We are already into Week 3 of the NFL season. Can you believe it? More importantly, we’ve already seen some stunning betting trends and outcomes coming to fruition. Now let’s keep it rolling!

For the second week in a row, FOX Sports Research had some big winners in last week’s trend piece. Five home underdogs covered or pushed, Tua Tagovailoa improved to 5-0 against the spread (ATS) and straight up (SU) against Bill Belichick, Matt LaFleur continued his dominance when covering as an underdog, Mike Tomlin won straight up as an underdog (again), Sean McDermott once again covered as a favorite of seven-to-nine points, and even Bryce Young pushed as a three-point underdog on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints.

FOX Sports Research is diving into the data to give you more winners this weekend. We dissected overall patterns and more coach — and player-specific trends. 

Here’s a look at the big trends that stand out:

The Over hits in Week 3

Our data told us that the under historically hits in Weeks 1 and 2, but not this time. No matter what time frame you look from, the over almost always hits in Week 3. 

Below we listed out how often the number goes over in the third week of the season from different historical periods:

Since 1995: 51.2% (over hit in 211 of 412 games, six pushes excluded)

Since 2005: 54.0% (over hit in 150 of 278 games, five pushes excluded)

Since 2015: 54.8% (over hit in 69 of 126 games, one push excluded)

Teams that are 0-2 cover in Week 3

It’s always tough to bet on winless teams, so this trend might surprise a few people. However, our data points towards 0-2 teams covering in Week 3 when looking back at the last 21 seasons. Since 2000, the cover percentage has ranged between approximately 54% and 63% for teams that enter Week 3 with an 0-2 record. 

Since 2000: 53.8% (covered in 92 of 171, five pushes excluded)

Since 2005: 56.4% (covered in 79 of 140, four pushes excluded)

Since 2010: 60% (covered in 60 of 100, one push excluded)

Since 2015: 60% (covered in 39 of 65)

Since 2017: 62.5% (covered in 30 of 48)  

Nine teams fit this bill entering Sunday, with two of them playing each other (Chargers at Vikings).

New England Patriots (-2.5) at New York Jets

Los Angeles Chargers (+1) at Minnesota Vikings

Denver Broncos (+6.5) at Miami Dolphins

Cincinnati Bengals (-3) vs. Los Angeles Rams

Houston Texans (+9) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Arizona Cardinals (+12.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys

Chicago Bears (+12.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

Carolina Panthers (+6.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Mac Jones and Bill Belichick should cover against Jets

Since entering the league in 2021, Mac Jones has never lost to the Jets and has covered in every outing against them at 4-0 ATS and SU. The Patriots have won those four matchups by an average of 18 points a game, with Jones averaging 233.3 pass yards per game. Furthermore, Bill Belichick has had long-standing success against New York — going 27-21 ATS (56.3%) and 37-11 SU (77.1%) against them in the regular season during his career. 

The future Hall of Fame coach is also 27-22-1 ATS (55.1%) and 36-14 SU (72%) when a road favorite against AFC East opponents. When removing location from the picture, Belichick is 62-52-2 ATS (54.4%) and 89-27 SU (76.7%) when a favorite against AFC East teams. 

It should also be mentioned that Zach Wilson has struggled mightly against New England during his career, going 0-4 ATS and SU since being drafted in 2021. 

Mike Vrabel is a cover machine

After a surprise win against the Chargers last week, we like Mike Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans to cover again this week against the Cleveland Browns. Vrabel and company are currently 3.5-point underdogs on the road. Below are some nuggets that point towards the Titans covering on Sunday:

  • Mike Vrabel is 25-15 ATS (62.5%) and 21-19 SU (52.5%) as an underdog in the regular season
  • Mike Vrabel is 14-10 ATS (58.3%) and 11-13 SU (45.8%) as a road underdog in the regular season
  • Mike Vrabel is 17-13 ATS (56.7%) and 19-11 SU (63.3%) against AFC South opponents for his career
  • Mike Vrabel is 11-5 ATS (68.8%) and 10-6 SU (62.5%) as a three-to-four point underdog in the regular season
  • Mike Vrabel is 22-19 ATS (53.7%) and 23-18 SU (56.1%) on the road in the regular season

Mahomes and Andy Reid struggle to cover as a double-digit favorite

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are currently 12.5-point home favorites against the Bears. While they’re considered a lock to win outright, the data suggests that the Chiefs are unlikely to cover the large spread. 

Since entering the league in 2017, Mahomes is just 8-12 ATS (40%) as a double-digit favorite in the regular season. When specifically a 12-plus point favorite in the regular season, he and the Chiefs are just 3-6 ATS (33.3%). The reigning MVP has also struggled to cover when following a win as of late, going 4-12 ATS in his last 16 games that followed a victory.

If that wasn’t enough, Andy Reid also historically struggles to cover as a double-digit favorite. For his career, Reid is 17-24 ATS (41.5%) as a 10-plus point favorite in the regular season, and 7-13 ATS (35%) when favored by 12 or more points.

Expect Joe Burrow to bounce back

Joe Burrow and the Bengals are off to a surprisingly slow start, dropping divisional games to the Browns and Baltimore Ravens.  However, Burrow and company were here last year. They started 0-2 and still made it to the conference championship where they fell to the Chiefs in a nail-biter. More importantly, Burrow has dominated against non-divisional opponents. In his last 18 games against teams outside of the AFC North, he is a whopping 16-2 ATS (88.9%) and 15-3 SU (83.3%) — including the playoffs.    

Baker Mayfield and Buccaneers are likely to come back down to Earth

Very few people thought that Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be 2-0 heading into a Monday night matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, we expect Baker and company to lose in Week 3 based off the data below:

  • Baker Mayfield is 4-7 ATS (36.4%) and 5-6 SU (45.5%) in night games during the regular season
  • Baker Mayfield is 1-4 ATS (20%) and SU in Monday games for his career, including losses in his last four such games
  • Baker Mayfield is 29-41-1 ATS (41.4%) and 33-38 SU (46.5%)  as a starter in the regular season for his career
  • Buccaneers are 4-7-1 ATS (36.4%) and 3-9 SU (25%) as four-to-seven point underdogs since 2017
  • Buccaneers are 3-7-2 ATS (30%) and 7-5 SU (58.3%) against NFC East opponents since 2017

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