Finding underdog value in Week 3

Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams provide a good opportunity as an underdog this week. Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports

Through the first two weeks of the season, we've been able to take advantage of new head coaches and teams that lost Week 1 games to pinpoint profitable NFL betting opportunities. While most bettors overreact to straight-up results after Week 1, the betting market starts to see against the spread (ATS) panic following Week 2, as bettors want no part of teams that have had trouble covering the spread in consecutive games. There are 10 teams heading into Week 3 with 0-2 ATS records, meaning there is plenty of value for those interested in continuing with our contrarian betting philosophy.

First off, let me just advise that making 10 spread wagers with a slate of 16 total games will put your bankroll at risk and is not recommended. In order to filter this number down, I used our Bet Labs software to craft a Week 3 betting system that extracts as much value as possible from teams that start a season with back-to-back ATS losses. The table below displays the results of my analysis, dating back to 2007.

Note: Our NFL database starts with the 2003 season, but because of bye-week scheduling, I chose to start the analysis in 2007. From 2003 to 2006, bye weeks began in Week 3, so some teams enjoyed byes after starting 0-2 ATS. In order to keep the results consistent, I used 2007, when the NFL moved the first round of bye weeks to Week 4, as my starting point (Week 3 underdogs that started the season winless ATS covered 66.7 percent of the time from 2003 to 2006).