Cover Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images


As the third week of the NFL season has come to a close, it's clear to everyone around the league that no one has any idea what constitutes a legal hit anymore. A few of these calls had a major impact on NFL betting lines, so this could be something to keep an eye on moving forward. 


Through three weeks, 34 roughing-the-passer penalties have been made -- in comparison, 2016 had 20 such calls through three weeks and 2017 had 16 of them. If this continues, look for offenses to put up record-setting numbers in 2018.


Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who has been called for roughing-the-passer penalties in each of the first three games, is directly at the center of this discussion and it was one of those penalties that led to the first altered outcome. 

In Week 2, the Packers were winning 29-22 over the Minnesota Vikings late in the game. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a pick and Packers bettors thought they had themselves a win on the money line and the spread. But much to their dismay, the Vikings were given new life by said penalty and drove down the field to tie the game.

Again, in the Monday night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it looked more like Flag Day came early than it did an actual football game. Two key roughing-the-passer calls led to two additional field goals, thus giving the over-55 bettors that lucky break they needed to win.

Apparently, it won't be changing at any point soon, despite the NFL Competition Committee saying they're uncomfortable with how this experiment has played out. 

While the NFL continues to coddle the quarterback position, it's best for bettors to keep this in mind before placing bets. If the Matthews trend continues, there might be a lot more overs in games this season. 


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Al Walsh is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Al Walsh also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username 14AdotWalsh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.