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NFL Week 3 Betting Market Report: Rams vs. Browns seeing lopsided action on key number

Analysis courtesy of The Action Network’s Mark Gallant. Yahoo Sports is partnering with The Action Network during the football season to bring you expert sports betting information and analysis.

Welcome to the Week 3 NFL Betting Market Report, where no quarterback jokes, puns, quips or mean remarks will be made. As far as I’m concerned, this is just a normal old Week 3 — just so happens that there’s about a half dozen fewer starting QBs playing than we were expecting a month ago. Hey, maybe a couple of them end up being half decent, who knows?

Odds as of Wednesday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).

Key Numbers

Texans at Chargers: It’s just Week 3, but anyone holding a Texans or Chargers division or Super Bowl ticket isn’t going to feel great about their team falling to 1-2. Hell, I’m pretty afraid about my Texans division ticket even though the AFC South quarterbacks other than Deshaun Watson are Gardner Minshew, Jacoby Brissett and Marcus Mariota.

After opening at +3.5, bettors have taken kindly to Houston. The Chargers just lost to the Lions, remember?! What happened last week is the most important thing in the world in the eyes of the public, which is why 70 percent of tickets are on Houston.

Most books have taken the hook away and have set the line at LAC -3, with enough juice to put the Mott’s factory under.

Steelers at 49ers: Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys are headed to San Fran, and guess what? They are actually seeing some sharp support. Ah, damn … I guess I lied about the backup QB remarks.

Though the Steelers are getting about one third of the tickets, they’re getting 60 percent of the money, which has helped them move from +7 to +6.5.

Jimmy G and the Niners have started out hot, but the line adjustment from +1 to -7 following the Big Ben news was apparently an overreaction in the eyes of big bettors.

Rams at Browns: This game is fairly similar to the Rams-Panthers Week 1. The Rams are 3-point road pooches and are quite a popular pick. However, the key difference is that the Panthers had sharp bettors on their side that were able to move the line from +3 to +1.5. While we have seen sharp support come in on Cleveland at +3, it hasn’t been enough to budge the line off the key number.

Popular Sides

Rams (91%) at Browns: I told you the Rams were quite a popular pick! If sharp bettors weren’t coming in on Cleveland, I reckon the line would be up to -3.5 or -4 with this amount of support.

Jets at Patriots (90%): The Pats were super popular in the early stages of last week, too, but more and more folks were inclined to back the Dolphins as it got closer to game time.

Bettors aren’t afraid of this gargantuan spread, either, while only one in 10 brave souls have the guts to back Luke Falk at +22.5/23.

Dolphins at Cowboys (83%): I wasn’t expecting to see Dak Prescott and Co. as more than three touchdown favorites, but here we are. As is the case in New England, bettors don’t seem to mind laying the 21.5 points against the Dolphins, who have lost their first two games by a score of 102-10.

I feel like we may see some sharp bettors come in and grab “the hook” on this “key number,” but who knows with this team.

Biggest Movers

Lions at Eagles Total: A popular trend this week — taking unders. With unders hitting at a high rate in the early going, a lot of the early action this week has caused totals to drop. More than 70 percent of bets and dollars on this total has made it one of the week’s biggest movers, falling from 49.5 to 46.5.

Bengals at Bills Spread & Total: This game don’t follow no trends, ya dig? After moving from 40.5 to 44, this total is just one of two games on the week that has risen since opening. The over is getting more than 80 percent of the bets and loot — take that, DET-PHI under.

As for the spread, it seems like folks are buying into the Josh Allen era. The Bills opened as four-point home favorites, which in theory would make them about a one-point favorite over the Bengals on a neutral field. Apparently that wasn’t respectful, as 70 percent of bettors have helped move Buffalo to a six-point favorite.

Ravens at Chiefs Total: Another trend-bucker, this is the other total on the week that has risen since opening. Like CIN-BUF, it’s risen a lot, too.

The opener of 52 was apparently far too low for these young, gunslinging arms, as heavy early action moved it all the way up to 55.5. Since then, however, sharp action on the under has caused it to fall to 54.5. Regardless, the 2.5 point swing makes it one of our biggest movers of the week.