Fairway's Football Forecast - NFL Underdog Picks for Week 3

In a tough week to find value in the 'Dogs, Fairway offers up two underdog picks for this week's NFL action.

Last season FairwayJay went 16-8 ATS on an abbreviated schedule selecting underdogs only. Fairway is off to a 5-3 start this season and continues to chip-in and make more birdies in the never-ending pursuit of profit.

Identifying NFL Underdogs and Parlays for Profit

Throughout the NFL season, we'll post pro football plays and parlays with a focus on underdogs. Like our weekly college football parlay for profits underdog picks and plays, we'll take a similar approach in the NFL. However, with fewer games each week, finding four underdogs to join Fairway's Foursome is far more challenging. Still, we'll Chip-in our thoughts and analysis, and perhaps modify our course management along the way.

Following a 3-1 ATS result with two outright ‘Dog winners, we step to the tee in a 2-some this week instead of a 4-some. Not as interested in card this week with respect to solid underdog plays, and taking a totals approach similar to Week 1 when we went 4-0 for Fairway’s Followers.

Last week our top side play was Jacksonville over New England as a home ‘Dog, and the Jaguars mostly dominated the Patriots in a 31-20 win. We’ll play against New England for the third straight week with winless Lions team in their own den that few will agree with or have the balls to play. Kind of like the Oakland Raiders last week that delivered the green on our ‘Dog log and just missed (blew) the outright win.

Do your best throughout each week to anticipate line moves and bet the best numbers. With so many offshore options and leading online sportsbooks to choose from and compare, it should be reasonable to expect using due diligence in your search for the best numbers.

Risk vs. reward and searching for value is something bettors should shoot for in their pursuit of profit. Competitively-priced underdogs are always worth consideration, as many of these barking 'Dogs can not only have your wager secured in the later stages of a football game, but some will also have a solid shot to win outright. Thus, money line wagers should also be part of your betting portfolio. We’ve had three outright underdog winners through two weeks of our 5-3 start selecting only underdogs.

In the NFL, competitively-priced underdogs are 6-points or less. We'll add in some bigger 'Dogs along the way like this week, but note too you can evaluate these selected teams and consider using them in your straight wagers and parlays without money lines. It's very difficult to hit an underdog money line parlay. But we'll provide the potential payoffs with a small wager each week along with a straight parlay. Straight win wagers are a far more prudent play, but I know from experience that bettors like a bigger score with less risk and want to parlay their profits.

So join Fairway's Foursome and follow along as we fire for the flag and go for the green in our weekly pursuit of profit (doggy style) with Fairway's Football Forecast.

This week's picks and plays – Shop lines at the leading offshore sports books. BookMaker and/or 5Dimes have the lines listed below this week.

479 San Francisco (+7) at Kansas City – 49ers Money Line +230
488 New England at Detroit (+7) – Lions Money Line +255

$20 2-Team Money Line Parlay = $214
$20 2-Team Parlay = $52

49ers vs Chiefs free pickSan Francisco at Kansas City – Like the Patriots below, the Chiefs will be a popular teaser play this week. Kansas City has the top-scoring offense thus far and QB Pat Mahomes has already passed for an NFL record 10 TDs in two games. On the defensive side of the ball however, the Chiefs are dead last in defense allowing 508 yards per game and 6.9 yards per play (league ave. 5.4 to 5.5). Kansas City is 2-0 but has been out-gained by both the Chargers and Steelers. The 49ers defense has faced two good offenses and allowed 5.3 yards per play to the Vikings and Lions. San Fran QB Jimmy G is going to move the 49ers offense this week and roll up more than 425 yards, and the total of 56 says this is a shootout. San Francisco is 1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS after letting the Lions through the back door last week in a 30-27 win in which they rushed for a week-high 190 yards. In a Week 1 road loss at Minnesota 24-16,  the 49ers averaged 5.4 yards per play against the Vikings elite defense. San Francisco’s special teams are also excellent. Arrowhead Stadium will be rockin’ for the Chiefs home opener, but we still note from Playbook that NFL teams playing their home opener in Game 3 are 20-45 ATS against non-division opponents.  

Detroit Lions New England Patriots previewNew England at Detroit – Certainly the Patriots will be a most popular teaser play this week, as bettors love to tease those better teams down under 3 points against ‘bad’ teams. While the Lions have struggled to get their ground game going through 2 games under new coach and former Patriots assistant Matt Patricia, they should have more success this week against a New England run defense that has allowed 167 rushing yards (34 carries) in Week 1 against the Texans and 104 (24 carries without RB Fournette) in last week’s loss at Jacksonville in which the Patriots allowed QB Blake Bortles to pass for 377 yards and average 7.0 yards per play. The Patriots are still perceived as an elite team, but we’re not buying it right now. We’re not here to tell you Detroit is a quality team, and in fact a last place finish in the stronger NFC North is more likely. Through two games, the defense that coach Patricia was supposed to improve is last in run defense, scoring defense and turnover margin. You know how I feel about teams that cannot stop the run. We can point out that Detroit is actually out-gaining New England 383 to 345 yards per game, and QB Matthew Stafford is in line for a strong game after Bortles tore them apart last week. The Patriots WR core is weaker this season, but did add Josh Gordon from Cleveland this week. Detroit was embarrassed on Monday night football in a Week 1 home loss to the New York Jets that included five Lions turnovers. You’ve heard about all the trends on New England’s ability to bounce back off a loss and that coach Belichick has an advantage over his former assistants. But Lions coach Patricia should know the Patriots players, schemes and tendencies, and we think New England is in for a tougher test than expected in the Lions den.   

Best wishes in your pursuit of profit in NFL Week 3 action.

FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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