Points come in all sorts of ways like we saw last week around the NFL. A blocked punt was returned for a touchdown and the Cardinals won a game in overtime taking a recovered fumble the distance. Safeties are worth two points that can easily alter the line, and of course kickers are increasingly hitting from longer distances making a shutout a rarity in the game. So leave it to the worst team in the NFL last season to put up the first shutout. Jacksonville continued its unexplainable home dominance over Indianapolis with a 24-0 blanking.
Can offenses and as a result point totals be impacted by injuries to quarterbacks? The answer is that it depends. In the case of the San Francisco 49ers we probably won’t see much difference. With Trey Lance lost for the season with a broken ankle, Jimmy Garoppolo assumes the role he held for the previous few seasons leading the Niners to the Super Bowl a few years ago and the NFC Championship last season. The Cowboys responded to backup Cooper Rush upsetting the Bengals last week and will have a few more games without Dak Prescott.
Just like any good quarterback and offensive coordinator, I was thinking points last week with all three of my top total plays backing the OVER. Unfortunately I hit on just one pick for a second straight week. Looking on the bright side it wasn’t a total loss and there’s plenty of season left to make adjustments.
Let’s take a look at some total plays in Week 3 of the NFL season that can help fatten your wallet.
NFL Week 3 Betting Lines
Top Total Plays Of Week 3
San Francisco 49er at Denver Broncos
Pick: UNDER 44.5
One of the main reasons why these teams are 1-1 entering this matchup is the play of the defense. A couple of breakdowns in the opener proved fatal in a loss to the Bears, but we saw the Niners pick things up last week holding Seattle to 36 yards rushing and 216 total yards while not allowing a touchdown. Seattle’s only score came on the return of a blocked field goal, which we can add to the list of ways teams scored points last week.
Both clubs have misfired offensively with Russell Wilson looking to find a groove. The Broncos scored just 16 points in each of their games. And the Niners have to readjust to Jimmy G’s skillset after working with a more mobile player in Lance. I do expect a defensive struggle with both teams ranked highly in nearly every key defensive stat category.
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Pick: OVER 48
It took a while but Kyler Murray and the Cards finally got going offensively. And what a show it was. Murray directed two fourth quarter touchdown drives and converted the 2-point try after each helping Arizona overcome a 20-0 halftime deficit for a dramatic 29-23 overtime conquest. The Rams also broke loose with Matthew Stafford tossing three touchdown passes in a 31-27 win over Atlanta. The Rams managed just 10 points in the opener.
We’ve witnessed some high-scoring affairs between these teams in the past with the OVER going 4-2 in the last six meetings when the teams combined to average over 50 points. And with the quarterbacks breaking out of their slumber there’s no reason to expect a defensive struggle in this game. I actually thought the total was a bit low so I jumped on this matchup as a top total play.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers
Pick: UNDER 47
The Jaguars are doing things right under Doug Pederson and it all paid off with last week’s shutout of Indianapolis. This is a different team with Trevor Lawrence looking more comfortable and the defense behind No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker stepping up its game. I’m not ready to put them in the playoff contender category since they dropped their opener to the team formerly known as the Redskins. But they could be there soon. Lawrence still has issues to work out and will face a Chargers defense that held Patrick Mahomes in check last week.
Another thing that has me backing the UNDER is the health of Justin Herbert. A rib injury against the Chiefs was a significant blow and he is listed as day-to-day. With a few extra days to recover it’s likely we see Herbert in the lineup, but I expect a more conservative game plan from the Bolts to help protect the franchise.
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