Week 3 of the preseason is supposed to be the one that teams care about. Usually, we’ll see starters get their heaviest dose of minutes in the third week before resting up in Week 4.
If you’re looking at coaching records, the teams you’ll want to be betting on are the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints, and you’ll want to be betting against the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid is a sparkling 11-6 in Week 3 of the preseason. It seems like he puts a clear emphasis on the third week of the preseason as his teams are a combined 21-32 in the other three weeks. That’s part of why the Chiefs are a one-point favorite at Chicago this week. Both teams are 0-2 this preseason.
As for the Saints, head coach Sean Payton’s teams perform notably better in Week 3 compared to the other weeks. They are 8-2 in Week 3 compared to 13-21 in the other three weeks. The Saints are also winless in the preseason so far but are a one-point home favorite to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday. The Steelers were shut out in Week 2 of the preseason and have now scored a total of just 17 points in their first two exhibition games.
In terms of coaches to bet against, have a look at the Bengals and Rams. Marvin Lewis’ Bengals are just 4-9 in Week 3 of the preseason, which is by far their worst winning percentage of any of the four weeks. They are a combined 25-18 in the other three weeks. As for the Rams, Jeff Fisher’s teams are 5-13 in Week 3 of the preseason compared to 32-24 in the other three weeks. The Bengals are a 1.5-point dog at Jacksonville this week while the Rams are a five-point road dog at Denver this weekend.
The Broncos are in an interesting position this week as they’re laying a big number for the second consecutive week. After crushing the Bears 22-0 in Week 1, the Broncos were laying six points in Week 2 home to the San Francisco 49ers and they lost outright (31-24). They’re in the midst of a starting quarterback battle that includes Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian, and both were mistake-prone against the 49ers as Sanchez had two lost fumbles while Siemian had a pick-six.
The Rams have taken a lot of flak early on this offseason with the boring edition of Hard Knocks and the subpar early showing from first overall pick Jared Goff, but they’ve won both of their preseason games so far this month.
Speaking of laying big numbers, the other big favorite of the week is the Seattle Seahawks, who are laying five points at home to the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams are 1-1 so far and it’s a bit surprising to see the Cowboys as such a big dog considering how good their quarterback depth has looked. Backup quarterback Dak Prescott has been one of the MVPs of the preseason so far as he’s completed 22 of 27 passes for 338 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions through two games. The Seahawks eked out a 17-16 in Week 1 of the preseason and lost 18-11 at home in Week 2.
Week 3 of the preseason kicks off on Thursday night with the Atlanta Falcons visiting the Miami Dolphins in a game that will be featured on NBC.