The first two weeks of the preseason have seen plenty of points and if
the opening game of Week 3 is any indication, we could see some more
high-scoring contests this weekend.
Over bettors held a 10-7 advantage after the opening week, including
the Hall of Fame game. Week 2 saw them extend their lead, as 10 of 16
games eclipsed the total. Interestingly, it was the days with fewer
games which were generally the highest scoring. The days with two or
less games (Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday) saw the 'over' go 5-1.
Including last night's 49'ers/Bears shootout, which sailed above the
number with 67 combined points, the 'over' is now 21-13 (61.8%) on the
Before looking at this weekend's over/under card, let's check some
recent Week 3 stats to see how coaches have been treating the
preseason's "dress-rehearsal." Looking back to last preseason and we
find that Week 3 was relatively high-scoring with the games producing
an average of 41.31 points. The 'over' held a 9-6-1 advantage. However,
before jumping blindly on the 'over' bandwagon this weekend, note that
the Week 3 scores were significantly lower in each of the previous two
years, averaging less than 35.5 points per game. Overall, the 3-year
scoring average for Week 3 games from 2005-2007 came in at 37.31
You'll see the number 37 quite regularly during the next several
months. In fact, if you've been following the games from an over/under
perspective, you've already come across it several times. Two of the
Week 1 games produced exactly 37 points and three of the Week 2 games
fell exactly on that number. Note that three of the Week 3 games in the
last two preseasons (2 in 2006, 1 in 2007) also landed directly on 37.
Knowing that 10 of 16 games produced 37 or more combined points in Week
3 of last preseason, this week's complimentary selection is an 'over.'
It comes from a game which opened with an over/under line of 37.5 but
which has since fallen below the key number of 37. As always, best of
luck and if you can't get at least as good a number as one which has
been mentioned, I suggest passing.
Arizona at Oakland OVER (play at 37 or better)
This total opened at 37 or 37.5 but most shops now have it at 36.5. I
feel that number is too low for a pair of non-conference foes which
combined for 43 points last week. Both teams are hoping for strong
games from their young quarterbacks. Former number one pick JaMarcus
Russell was fairly solid last week, going 10-of-17 for 75 yards and a
touchdown. That was on the road against a tough Tennessee defense which
allowed 18.6 points per game last season and less than 200 passing
yards per game. I managed a winning ticket with that 'under' in that
game (17-16 final) but expect Russell to enjoy more success this week.
Not only is he now playing at home, but he'll also be facing an Arizona
defense which allowed 24.9 points per game last season and which was
below average in defending the pass. Note that Cardinals' safety Antrel
Rolle is unlikely to play. While he isn't likely to see much action,
it's still worth mentioning that backup QB Andrew Walter has been sharp
and appears capable of leading the Oakland offense to some fourth
quarter points. The Cardinals put up 27 points at KC last week. They've
seen Matt Leinart convert more than 73% of his passes through the first
two week, going 14-of-19. Meanwhile, Warner got the start last week and
completed six of nine passes while leading the team on a touchdown
drive. Naturally, a little quarterback competition is generally healthy
when trying to cash a preseason over ticket. Even without receiver
Anquan Boldin, Leinart and Warner aren't without weapons.
These teams also faced each other here last preseason. That game
finished well above the number with a final score of 27-23, in favor of
the Raiders. It was the second highest scoring game of what was
otherwise a relatively low-scoring opening week. Don't be surprised if
this one proves higher scoring than most are expecting once again.
Consider the Over.