Daily public money update: Bettors love Cardinals, Raiders for NFL Week 3

Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) warms up with Deandre Hopkins (10) before a game against the Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Dec. 20, 2020.
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NFL football is officially back. And there’s also plenty of MLB and college football action to pore over, as well. There are a lot of big contests coming up, which always attract some big public sides. Let’s take a look at where the public money is going as bettors once again try to beat the ‘books, with the Cardinals and Raiders leading the way for NFL Week 3.

Don’t forget to check out our free picks on the side and total for all of college football’s biggest games this weekend!

NFL: Panthers -8 @ Texans

Before we get to the Sunday Week 3 games, we’ve got a big public side brewing for Thursday Night Football. 73 percent of the bets and 83 percent of the public money are laying more than a touchdown on the road with Carolina here, per DraftKings’ internal numbers shared with us. Imagine telling somebody before the season started that the Panthers would be a multi-score road favorite, and that everybody would be lining up to back them.

Apparently, there isn’t much enthusiasm about the start of the Davis Mills era in Houston. Of course, this spread is as high as it is because of the injury to Texans starter Tyrod Taylor. With this being Mills’ first NFL start and the Panthers having an emerging young defense, we agree that Carolina is the play here.

NFL: Cardinals -7 @ Jaguars

The Texans aren’t the only AFC South team that the public is fading in Week 3. Bettors also want no part of the Jaguars at the moment. It’s not too hard to understand why, as Trevor Lawrence’s first two NFL starts certainly haven’t gone as planned. The Cardinals on the other hand are a perfect 2-0. As a result, 93 percent of the bets and a whopping 96 percent of the public money are laying a touchdown with Arizona here.

A couple weeks ago this spread wouldn’t have been nearly as high, but things change fast in the NFL. ‘Not For Long,’ as they say. Clearly, bettors are all aboard the Kyler Murray hype train. Granted the Cards failed to cover the spread in their Week 2 win over the Vikings, but that’s not enough to scare anyone away. The Urban Meyer experiment appears to be an abject disaster, so we’re on Arizona as well.

NFL: Raiders -4 vs Dolphins

The Cardinals are the big public money side of the early slate. Looking at the afternoon kickoffs now, the Raiders jump out. Las Vegas has picked up two tough wins over the Ravens and Steelers to start the year, and Jon Gruden is winning over bettors. 92 percent of the bets and 82 percent of the handle are laying the points with the Raiders over the visiting Dolphins.

However, the split in those two percentages indicates that there have been some larger volume bets on Miami. Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out for this one, which means it will be Jacoby Brissett under center for the Dolphins. Interestingly this spread has actually come down a bit from where it opened at -5 despite the avalanche of public money. Nevertheless, we’re siding with the public once again and taking the Raiders over this lifeless Dolphins offense.

NFL: Buccaneers @ Rams over 55

Elsewhere on the West Coast, we’re also seeing the over get hammered in this showdown between NFC heavyweights. Tom Brady has looked about as sharp as possible through two weeks while Matthew Stafford seems to have unlocked a new dimension to this Rams offense, so it’s not hard to see why the public is excited about this over.

81 percent of the bets and 87 percent of the public money are on the over 55 in a game that projects as a shootout. Tampa has now put up 79 points through their first two games, while the Rams have put up 61. When these teams played last year there were 51 total points scored, but that was with Jared Goff at quarterback for the Rams.

NFL: Packers +3 @ 49ers

Well, well, well. If it isn’t a public underdog. That’s not exactly something we see every day. Per DraftKings’ report, each of the five most heavily bet teams in Week 2 were favorites. But after the Packers’ triumphant bounce back victory over the Lions on Monday Night Football, bettors are jumping back on the bandwagon. 82 percent of the bets and 75 percent of the public money are grabbing the points with Green Bay here.

Those are pretty staggering numbers to see for an underdog. While the Packers looked a lot better than they did in Week 1, the performance came against Detroit. They also trailed to the lowly Lions at halftime before turning it on in the final 30 minutes. But very real concerns about this team remain, so we’re fading the public on this one and taking the 49ers.

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