2.30am (AEST), Monday, October 3
The Teams: Jags TE Julius Thomas is racing the clock to overcome an elbow injury. Trent Cole was placed on the Colts’ IR, while Donte Moncrief and Jonotthan Harrison have been ruled out this week.
History: The Colts lead their series against the Jaguars 21-9. Last season, the Colts got up in overtime at home, but the Jags romped to a 51-16 win in the return clash in Jacksonville.
Form: The Jags are 0-3, copping a hiding from the Chargers either side of narrow losses to the Packers and Ravens. The Colts are 1-2, chalking up their first win of the season last week against the Chargers after losses to the Lions and Broncos.
Stats: Indy have won six of the last seven between the teams. Only one of the last seven games have been decided by less than 17 points. The Colts have a 10-5 record in Jacksonville. The Colts have the worst defence in the AFC, but the third-best attack.
Final Thoughts: This is a pivotal battle in the AFC South, with the Jags desperate for their first win of the season and the Colts going down in a heartbreaker last week. The home-ground advantage – and a couple of encouraging performances – render Jacksonville a handy option as underdogs.
Recommended Bet: Jacksonville +2.5 @ $1.96
6.00am (AEST), Monday, October 3
The Teams: Veteran pass rusher Elivs Dumervil will make his first appearance of the season for the Ravens. Raiders center Rodney Hudson and RB Taiwan Jones were both limited in practice, while safety Nate Allen (quad) did not participate.
History: The Ravens have won seven games to the Raiders’ two in nine previous meetings. Last season the Raiders prevailed 37-33 at Oakland.
Form: The Ravens lead the AFC North at 3-0, downing the Bills, Browns and Jaguars. The Raiders are 2-1 and third in the AFC West, beating the Saints and Titans either side a loss to the Falcons.
Stats: The teams’ last two matches both produced 70-plus points. The Ravens have won four of their last five against the Raiders. The Ravens have conceded the least points in the AFC (44), but have scored less points than any other team in the league with a 3-0 record (57).
Final Thoughts: The Ravens will be ecstatic with their unbeaten start, but the quality of their opposition has been average – similar to what the 2-1 Raiders have faced so far. Baltimore’s stingy D should be enough to get them over the line at home.
Recommended Bet: Under 46 @ $1.91
6.00am (AEST), Monday, October 3
The Teams: Panthers DE Charles Johnson has been limited in practice and is a questionable starter this weekend, while Jonathan Stewart is still out and Chris Scott is on suspension. Julio Jones and Justin Hardy are battling minor injuries in the Falcons camp.
History: The Falcons lead their series against the Panthers 25-17. Last season the Panthers won 38-0 in Charlotte, but the Falcons turned the tables 20-13 in Atlanta.
Form: The Falcons lead the NFC South with a 2-1 record, recovering from a first-up loss to Tampa Bay with wins over the Raiders and Saints. The Panthers are third in the same division with a 1-2 record, losing to the Broncos and Vikings either side of a win over the 49ers.
Stats: The Panthers have won five of their last seven against the Falcons. Three of the Panthers’ last four wins were by 24-plus points. The last seven matches have produced totals of 50 or less. The Falcons are the highest-scoring team in the league.
Final Thoughts: Pre-season Super Bowl favourites the Panthers have struggled thanks to a diabolical offensive line, and they desperately need a win to right the ship. The Falcons have started the year solidly and their offense is running hot, so they could be a good option at home with the start. Overs might be the best play, though.
Recommended Bet: Over 50 @ $1.87
6.00am (AEST), Monday, October 3
The Teams: A cracked fibula has ruled Texans RB Jonathan Grimes out for a month, while JJ Watt is on the IR list in a huge blow to Houston. Safety Da'Norris Searcy is out for Tennessee.
History: The Titans lead the tally with 15 wins to the Texans’ 13. The Texans won both games last year, however, 20-6 at home and 34-6 away.
Form: The Texans lead the AFC South at 2-1, beating the Bears and Chiefs before going down to the Patriots 27-0 in Week 3. The Titans are second in the same division with a 1-2 tally so far, banking a Week 2 win over the Lions while losing to the Vikings and Raiders.
Stats: The Texans have won their last four – and seven of their last eight – against the Titans. Six of the Texans’ last seven wins were by 14-plus. The Titans are 7-7 in Houston. The Texans and Titans have scored the equal-least points in the league. The Titans have the best defence of any team with a losing record.
Final Thoughts: Houston would have been feeling pretty good about themselves heading into Week 3 – until they received an old-fashioned thrashing from the injury-hit Patriots. How they react to that loss and the Watt injury will say plenty about the Texans’ prospects, and the unfancied Titans could be worth a nudge with the start.
Recommended Bet: Tennessee +4.5 @ $1.94
9.05am (AEST), Monday, October 3
The Teams: Tampa RB Doug Martin is out, while DE Robert Ayers and TE Luke Stocker are in doubt. DeMarcus Ware is still out for the Broncos, while TE Virgil Green did not practice on Wednesday.
History: The Broncos have won six of their eight games against the Buccaneers. The Broncos won 31-23 at Mile High Stadium in 2012, the teams’ last meeting.
Form: The 1-2 Bucs are second in the NFC South, backing up a Week 1 win over the Falcons with disappointing losses to the Cardinals and Rams. The Broncos are riding in high in the AFC West at 3-0, beating the Panthers, Colts and Bengals.
Stats: The margin in the last six games has been eight or less – including four or less in four games. The Broncos have won two of three clashes staged in Tampa. The Bucs are the only team in the league to concede over 100 points so far.
Final Thoughts: After three home wins, the Broncos put their unbeaten record on the line against Tampa Bay, who have had a woeful fortnight. The Broncos should do it comfortably against a Bucs D that has been haemorrhaging points.
Recommended Bet: Denver/Denver @ $2.20
9.25am (AEST), Monday, October 3
The Teams: Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is suspended, while TE Troy Niklas was placed on injured reserve. Rams WR Tavon Austin was a limited participant at Wednesday’s training.
History: The Cardinals lead their series against the Rams 37-36-2. St Louis beat Arizona 24-22 in Phoenix last season, before the Cards turned the tables on the Rams 27-3 in St Louis.
Form: Arizona are last in the NFC West at 1-2, with a 40-7 rout of Tampa Bay bookended by losses to the Patriots and Bills. After a heavy Week 1 loss to the 49ers, the Rams have rallied with upsets of the Seahawks and Buccaneers.
Stats: The Cardinals have won four of their last five against the Rams. The Cardinals have the best points differential (+16) of any team with a losing record. The Rams have the worst points differential of any team with a winning record.
Final Thoughts: The Rams are the shock of the league at 2-1 – especially after their pitiful Week 1 effort. This shapes as a true test of their quality, however, and the Cardinals are desperate to not slip further behind in the NFC after crashing against the Bills last week. The Rams are still subpar on both sides of the ball and will be brought back to reality.
Recommended Bet: Arizona -7.5 @ $1.92
1.30pm (AEST), Monday, October 3
The Teams: Senquez Golson is out for the Steelers, while Sean Davis, Ryan Shazier and Eli Rogers are also questionable this weekend. For the Chiefs, Jamaal Charles, Marcus Peters and Phillip Gaines have been limited participants at training.
History: The Steelers lead their series against the Chiefs 20-11. The Chiefs won 23-13 at home last season, however.
Form: The Steelers are No.2 in the AFC North with a 2-1 record, beating the Redskins and Bengals before getting whipped by the Eagles. The 2-1 Chiefs are second behind the Broncos in the AFC West, losing to the Texans in Week 2 but defeating the Chargers and Jets.
Stats: The Steelers have won three of their last four against the Chiefs. The Steelers have won their last five at home against the Chiefs, whose last win in Pittsburgh was way back in 1986.
Final Thoughts: These 2-1 teams can take a giant stride forward with a win this weekend, but the Steelers are at home and boast far more all-round quality than KC. Pittsburgh will prove last week’s heavy loss to be merely an aberration by comfortably putting away the Chiefs.
Recommended Bet: Pittsburgh -5 @ $1.92
1.30pm (AEST), Tuesday, October 4
The Teams: Giants RB Rashad Jennings was limited in practice but DE Olivier Vernon practiced in full. Alex Boone is likely to be fit for the Vikes, but Sharrif Floyd has been ruled out.
History: The Vikings have won 15 games to the Giants’ 12. Last season the Vikings powered to a 49-17 home win.
Form: The Vikings sit atop the NFC North standings at 3-0, accounting for the Titans, Panthers and Packers. The 2-1 Giants are second in the NFC East, with narrow opening wins over the Cowboys and Saints countered by a two-point loss to the Redskins in Week 3.
Stats: The Giants have a 4-7 record in Minnesota. The Viking have won five of their last seven against the Giants. Five of the last six games were decided by 16 points or more. The Giants’ three games this season have been decided by three points or less.
Final Thoughts: What QB crisis? The Vikings have stunned most pundits by putting the Teddy Bridgewater injury behind them to rack up an unbeaten start. But the Giants will test that record strenuously this weekend – the New York side is unlucky to not be 3-0 as well, and are worth the punt with a generous start.
Recommended Bet: New York +5 @ $1.92