Panthers (-3, 40) at Buccaneers – 1:00 PM EST
Carolina has played one of the weakest schedules in the league through three weeks, but the Panthers have taken care of their business by jumping out to a 3-0 start for the first time under Ron Rivera. The Panthers picked up their first divisional victory in a 27-22 triumph over the banged-up Saints, but failed to cover as 10-point home favorites. Carolina erased an early 10-0 deficit, while winning their fifth straight game at Bank of America Stadium. Since 2012, the Panthers have struggled as a road favorite, posting a 3-6 ATS mark, even though they cashed in the season opener at Jacksonville.
The Buccaneers are winless against the AFC South at 0-2, but have won their lone divisional game against New Orleans as 9 ½-point underdogs in Week 2. Tampa Bay returns home where the Bucs have yet to win a game at Raymond James Stadium under Lovie Smith, going 0-9 SU and 2-7 ATS since the start of 2014. To take it a step further, Tampa Bay has been limited to 17 points or less eight times in the last nine at home, including 14 points against Tennessee. The Bucs lost each of their two meetings with the Panthers last season, but Cam Newton sat out both games due to injury.
Texans at Falcons (-6 ½, 46 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
Atlanta has turned many heads by rallying in each of its first three games against the Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys to start 3-0. The Falcons dug out of a 14-0 hole in a 39-28 triumph at Dallas, as Julio Jones hauled in 164 yards on 12 catches while finding the end zone twice. Now, the Falcons are listed as a substantial favorite for the first time this season, as Atlanta posted a dreadful 2-5 ATS record when laying points last season, while losing all four times to AFC foes in 2014.
The Texans finally broke through the win column in a 19-9 home victory over the Buccaneers to cash as six-point favorites. Houston continues its run against NFC South competition this Sunday, hoping to get starting running back Arian Foster back in the lineup after missing the first four games with a groin injury. Alfred Blue has filled in admirably, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay, the fourth win in the last five tries at home. Under Bill O’Brien, the Texans own a profitable 5-3-1 ATS record on the road, but all three losses have come in the underdog role.
Chiefs at Bengals (-4, 45) – 1:00 PM EST
Cincinnati and Baltimore played their typical back-and-forth game last Sunday, as the Bengals held off the Ravens, 28-24 to cover as 2 ½-point road underdogs. The two teams combined for 31 fourth quarter points after the Bengals entered the final period up 14-7, hitting the ‘over’ of 45 ½, as Cincinnati has outgained all three opponents so far. The Bengals have been nearly automatic at Paul Brown Stadium since the start of 2013, going 14-3-1 SU and 13-4-1 ATS, including the Week 2 victory over the Chargers.
Kansas City plays with a short week following a 38-28 setback at Green Bay on Monday night to drop to 1-2. The Chiefs cruised past the Texans in the opener, but melted down late against Denver at home in Week 2 before getting diced up at Lambeau Field to start 1-2 for the second straight season. Under Andy Reid, Kansas City has compiled a 6-4 ATS record as a road underdog, including a 4-2 ATS mark against AFC foes.
Packers (-8 ½, 48) at 49ers – 4:25 PM EST
Green Bay has started 3-0 for only the third time in the Mike McCarthy regime, as the Packers leave the Midwest for the first time this season. Following an opening week triumph at Chicago, Green Bay knocked off Seattle and Kansas City at home, while covering each time in the favorite role. The Packers own an incredible 12-4 ATS record in their last 16 games as a favorite since Week 4 of last season, including a 4-2 ATS mark as away chalk. Since 2012, Green Bay hasn’t had much luck against San Francisco, losing four straight times, while making its first trip to Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers are happy to be home after suffering a pair of blowout losses at Pittsburgh and Arizona the last two weeks. Colin Kaepernick threw four interceptions in last week’s 47-7 beatdown to the Cardinals, including tossing a pair of pick-sixes in the first quarter, marking San Francisco’s fourth straight road loss since last December. San Francisco wasn’t listed as a home underdog in its inaugural campaign at Levi’s Stadium, but is already a ‘dog for the second time this season, beating Minnesota in the season opener, 20-3.
Vikings at Broncos (-7, 43) – 4:25 PM EST
Minnesota has bounced back nicely since its disastrous opening loss to San Francisco, as the Vikings are fresh off home victories over the Lions and Chargers. The defense allowed a total of 30 points the last two weeks, which includes a late San Diego touchdown in the final minute of last week’s 31-14 triumph as a 2 ½-point favorite. The Vikings are listed as a road underdog for the first time this season, as Mike Zimmer’s club has covered four of their last five in this role, with three losses by two points or less.
The Broncos’ offense didn’t look impressive in Week 1, but the defense carried Denver to a home victory over Baltimore. Peyton Manning woke up in the last two road games, throwing five touchdown passes in wins over the Chiefs and Lions, while putting up a season-high 324 yards in last Sunday night’s 24-12 win at Detroit. Since Manning joined the Broncos in 2012, Denver has compiled a remarkable 23-2 SU and 16-8-1 ATS record at Sports Authority Field, including a perfect 6-0 SU/ATS mark against NFC opponents.
Rams at Cardinals (-7, 42 ½) – 4:25 PM EST
Arizona is proving that last season’s 9-1 start and playoff appearance isn’t a fluke, as Bruce Arians’ club has looked impressive in three victories. The Cardinals are the highest-scoring team in the league through three weeks after putting up 126 points, including a pair of 40+ spots against the Bears and 49ers. Arizona has turned into one of the most profitable teams in the league since 2014, covering 14 of 19 regular season games, while going 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS the last two seasons against St. Louis.
The Rams shocked the Seahawks in the season opener, but have put up a pair of stinkers on offense the last two weeks, combining for 16 points in losses to the Redskins and Steelers. The running game has averaged 69 yards the last two weeks, which doesn’t bode well against an Arizona rush defense that ranks ninth in the league, yielding 88.7 yards a game. St. Louis hasn’t fared well on the road inside the division the last two seasons, posting a 1-5 SU/ATS record, with the lone victory coming at San Francisco in 2014 as 10-point underdogs, 13-10.