The Week 3 Sunday Night Football betting breakdown looks at the high-profile matchup between the Cleveland Browns (1-1) and reigning NFC champion Los Angeles Rams (2-0). Here, we look at the best Sunday Night Football betting picks for the moneyline, spread and over/under at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. I’ll also provide my favorite game or player betting prop from one of the two sportsbooks best suited for the specific week’s matchup.
Actionable advice on each bet type will be provided in the form of either a “lean” or a “pick”. Leans are reserved for whenever there’s a reasonable amount of confidence in the bet but there are some outside factors at stake. Hesitation can be caused by player injuries, roster moves or depth chart uncertainty, or even weather. When a lean is suggested, it may be best to wait until later in the week or close to game time before placing a wager of any size. Picks will be for bets to make at any time prior to kickoff with a fairly high degree of certainty. Several aspects of the week’s matchup, in-season statistics or recent trends will point heavily toward one team being the one to back.
Always be sure to visit TheLines each and every week and consult the Sunday Night Football Preview which takes a weekly in-depth look at the opening betting lines, shifts throughout the week and the on-field matchup.
Sunday Night Football picks: Moneyline
The Rams and Browns are two of the more promising and tantalizing up-and-coming teams in the NFL. The Super Bowl LIII runner-up Rams are maybe just a year or two further along in their development than a Browns team crowned kings of the 2019 offseason and now laden with Super Bowl aspirations of their own. Both teams are equipped with a plethora of young stars on offense and a quality mix of youth and experience on the defensive side of the ball.
Los Angeles opened as a -150 favorite on the FanDuel moneyline with the host Browns +130 underdogs at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Rams have become more heavily favored throughout the week both at FanDuel and DraftKings. The public money has come in on L.A and should be expected to continue to do so. The discredit to the Browns is largely due to their 2019 season opener which they dropped to the Tennessee Titans by a lopsided 43-13 score at home, including a 31-7 second-half point differential. The Rams are 2-0 on the year, winning their season-opener 30-27 on the road against the Carolina Panthers.
Quarterbacks Jared Goff (24 years old) and Baker Mayfield (24) have gotten off to similarly lackluster starts to the year. Both are completing under 65% of their pass attempts and have thrown just a pair of touchdowns. Goff has one interception and Mayfield has four through two games. The Rams and Browns rank seventh (140.5) and 22nd (86.0), respectively, in team rushing yards per game. The Browns will get on a run later in the season, but it won’t start against a more experienced and better-rounded Rams squad.
Sunday Night Football picks: Against the spread
The Rams are 2-0 against the spread to start the year. They’ve won both games by an average of 10.5 points (boosted by a 27-9 victory last week over a New Orleans Saints team that lost QB Drew Brees in the first half). They’ve covered the spread by an average of 8.8 points after closing as 1.5-point favorites each week. L.A. finished the 2018 season at 5-4 ATS as the road team (including playoffs). It won by an average of 8.2 points but just 2.1 points more than the spread.
Cleveland is 1-1 ATS after being upset as a 5.5-point favorite against the Titans in Week 1. The Browns were able to beat a New York Jets team led by Trevor Siemian, then Luke Falk, 23-3 on Monday Night Football. They closed as 6.5-point road favorites. The Week 3 hosts were 5-2 ATS at home last season, covering by an average of -0.1 points. A pair of lopsided home losses against the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs drag the number down.
This week’s number of 3 is well below the Rams average coverage amount to open the season. The visitors should be trusted again with a more rewarding payout.
The Pick: Rams -3 (-113) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Sunday Night Football picks: Over/under
Both sides enter their third game of the 2019 season at relatively full health. They’ve at least avoided the devastating rash of quarterback injuries plaguing the league in the early going. Browns TE David Njoku is the biggest concern in Cleveland with a broken wrist. He’s viewed as week-to-week and may not return until after the team’s Week 7 bye. Rams TE Tyler Higbee is considered day-to-day with a chest injury that forced him out of Week 2.
The Rams rank fifth and the Browns seventh in yards allowed per game. L.A. has allowed 36 points through two games and Cleveland has given up a total of 46. Week 1 is accounting for the bulk of the points allowed for either side. The Rams went just 2-7 against the over/under as visitors last year. The Browns averaged 21.6 PPG across Mayfield’s full six games as the starter at home.
Cleveland has a shorter week than normal following its appearance on Monday Night Football in Week 2. The six days of preparation will only add to what have been many inconsistencies on offense to open the year.
The Pick: Under 49 (-105) at FanDuel Sportsbook
SNF best bet
First Half Total: Over 24 (-110 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Rams and Browns rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in seconds per play ran on offense in the first half. Look for both sides to come out quick before making adjustments at the half. Fatigue will also factor in for Cleveland to slow things down. It’s not an overly rewarding play, but it’s made with confidence and helps to hedge against our full-game ‘under’.