Some sportsbooks released lines for every NFL regular-season game over the summer, obviously very subject to change. The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers were set as underdogs just once and that was this Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams in a potential NFC Championship Game preview. Los Angeles is -1.5 at Caesars Sportsbook for the 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff from SoFi Stadium, the site of Super Bowl 56.
Sunday's winner could hold a potentially huge head-to-head tiebreaker for playoff positioning with both entering at 2-0. Tom Brady at age 44 continues to amaze as he had five touchdown passes Sunday in a 48-25 win over the Falcons. That's four straight regular-season games throwing at least four TDs for Brady, tied with Dan Marino (1984) for the second-longest such streak in league annals. Peyton Manning had five games in a row in 2004. Brady is now tied with Manning with 35 career games of at least four TDs, second behind 37 from Drew Brees.
The Bucs are the first team in NFL history to score at least 30 points and win in nine straight games, including playoffs. Brady was also the starting quarterback for the only other streaks that reached eight games, set by the Patriots in 2010-11 and in 2007.
The Rams were 27-24 winners in Indianapolis on Sunday behind 278 yards passing and two scores from Matthew Stafford. Matt Gay made a tiebreaking 38-yard field goal with 2:23 to play. The Rams lost top running back Cam Akers to a season-ending injury in camp and may be without the new top guy, Darrell Henderson, for a while. He left Sunday's win with a rib injury. Trade acquisition Sony Michel carried 10 times for 46 yards and would be set for a bigger role if Henderson misses time.
The Rams won at Tampa Bay on a Monday night in Week 11 last year, 27-24. Jared Goff, now with the Lions, outplayed Brady that night, passing for 376 yards and three scores. Brady was picked off twice. Gay hit the winning field goal with 2:36 to go.
The availability of three starting QBs is up in the air for Week 3 as the Colts' Carson Wentz left with an ankle injury vs. L.A., the Bears' Andy Dalton did against Cincinnati with a knee injury and the Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa exited against Buffalo with a rib injury. None of them returned.
Jacob Eason would start Sunday at Tennessee if Wentz can't go. Eason completed 2-of-5 passes for 25 yards and an interception in relief of Wentz vs. the Rams.
Rookie Justin Fields would go for the Bears in Cleveland if Dalton can't. Fields went 6-of-13 for 60 yards and an interception and rushed 10 times for 31 yards in Chicago's 20-17 victory over the Bengals.
Jacoby Brissett was 24-for-40 for 169 yards and a pick in relief of Tua in a blowout loss to the Bills and would get the call Sunday in Las Vegas if Tua isn't cleared.
Opening Week 3 lines
- Thursday: Panthers at Texans (+7, 43.5)
- Cardinals at Jaguars (+7, 51.5)
- Washington at Bills (-9.5, 47)
- Saints at Patriots (-2.5, 43)
- Chargers at Chiefs (-6.5, 55) – may change after Sunday night game
- Falcons at Giants (-3, 48.5)
- Bears at Browns (-7.5, 47)
- Ravens at Lions (+7.5, 48.5) – may change after Sunday/Monday night games
- Bengals at Steelers (-4.5, 45)
- Dolphins at Raiders (-4, 45.5)
- Colts at Titans (-5, 50.5)
- Jets at Broncos (-11, 42.5)
- Bucs at Rams (-1.5, 54)
- Seahawks at Vikings (+1.5, 54.5)
- Sunday night: Packers at 49ers (-4, 48) – may change after Monday night game
- Monday: Eagles at Cowboys (-4, 51.5)
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