The second week of NFL action shot off like a rocket.
A pair of overtime matchups in the early window, more gut punches for the Bengals and Chargers, and oh so many touchdowns.
We'll break down the games and what to watch moving forward in our NFL Week 3 betting trends below.
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NFL betting trends: All sorts of overs
How's this for some irony?
Inclement weather and out-of-sync offences led to a tidal wave of unders in Week 1, but a scoring surge showed up across the league in Week 2. Well ... except for the Chiefs/Jaguars game.
That's right, the game with the highest over/under of the week (50.5 points) featured just two touchdowns and an underwhelming 26 points.
But 12 of 14 games from Thursday through Sunday hit their respective overs, including eight that topped the 50-point mark.
The Seahawks vs. Lions game was particularly eventful, as Seattle closed out a 37-31 win in overtime. Seattle and Detroit have now played each other in three consecutive years, and those games have averaged an unbelievable 80.3 total points.
|Market||Week 2 record||Overall 2023 record|
|Favourites||5-7-2 ATS (9-5 SU)||12-16-2 ATS (18-12 SU)|
|Underdogs||7-5-2 ATS (5-9 SU)||16-12-2 ATS (12-18 SU)|
Go to full NFL betting markets.
Early Week 3 lines
Week 3 lines are out and a few of them have caught our eye:
- Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) @ Minnesota Vikings
- Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Los Angeles Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5)
Sunday's battle between the Chargers and Vikings is oozing with desperation. Both teams made the playoffs last year, but now both are 0-2 entering this game.
Only six teams in NFL history have made the playoffs after an 0-3 start, including only one in this millennium (Texans, 2018).
Both parts of Monday's doubleheader look interesting but for different reasons. The Eagles will test the unbeaten Bucs in South Florida, and it's time to see if Baker Mayfield can hang against a team from outside the NFC North.
Elsewhere, the winless Bengals don't look deserving of a 6.5-point favourite spread. The Rams have been surprisingly effective on offence without star receiver Cooper Kupp, posting 53 points in their first two games so far.
NFL spreads as of 9:20 a.m. ET on 09/18/2023.
NFL betting trends: Stock up
Bijan Robinson: Box scores often tell us plenty, and Robinson's numbers popped in a nail-biting win against Green Bay. The rookie had 172 scrimmage yards and was tied for second on the team with four catches.
And here's something the box score doesn't show ... Robinson's number was called on a fourth-down play in the closing minutes, and he came through with a seven-yard rush to move the sticks.
Puka Nacua: If you got in on the ground floor with Nacua, good on you. His stock has soared to unimaginable heights in the first two weeks of the season, and we can't wait to see what that means for his prop markets moving forward.
Nacua had an NFL rookie record 15 receptions on Sunday, and he now has 25 catches through two weeks (also a rookie record). Setting that single-game mark against a vaunted 49ers defence only adds to the fifth-rounder's legend.
Puka Nacua is the 1st player in NFL history to have 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards in each of his first 2 career games. pic.twitter.com/85x3FBnFaP— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 17, 2023
Dolphins: They can win on the road, in a shootout, or in a defence-first showdown. And with the co-favourite for MVP under centre, the Dolphins are in the driver's seat to continue their strong start.
Three of Miami's next four games are at home, and the team has a good shot at starting 6-0 or 5-1. Keep an eye on the Dolphins' AFC East title odds, which are currently priced at +100.
Cowboys defence: Dallas has played a Giants team that looked immediately bewildered, and an Aaron Rodgers-less Jets squad. But still, this unit's dominance is worth shining some light on, because it's in a class of its own.
Led by Micah Parsons, who notched his 10th-career multi-sack game already, Dallas has allowed just 10 points and 386 yards through two weeks. Next up is Joshua Dobbs and the lowly Cardinals. Gulp.
NFL betting trends: Stock down
Bengals offence: Cincinnati's end-of-game numbers from Sunday (282 total yards, 24 points) don't look as bad as if you'd watched it unfold. The team still had as many three-and-outs as it had offensive scoring drives (three apiece).
And after Joe Burrow mentioned that he tweaked his calf, there's reason for a bit of panic in Cincy. Things are bad, but they could always get worse.
Justin Fields: Last year, Fields took a league-high 55 sacks. Right now, he's on pace for 85.
That's nightmarish, obviously, as is his 2:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio to start the season. He finally got new WR1 D.J. Moore involved on Sunday (six catches, 104 yards), but it wasn't nearly enough.
Performance of the week
Kirk Cousins — 31-of-44, 364 yards, 4 TDs (125.6 QB rating)
For fun, let's give a quick run-through of Cousins' season-long statistical pace: 6,018 yards, 51 passing TDs, 72.7% completion rate.
The yards, if nothing else, won't possibly hold up. But it sure has been fun watching the 12-year vet sling the ball to his deep arsenal of weapons so far.
Everyone knows Justin Jefferson is an all-world receiver. But the upgrade from Adam Thielen to rookie Jordan Addison at WR2 has been notable — and immediate. Oh, and a full year of T.J. Hockenson won't hurt, either.
Jefferson, Addison and Hockenson were all first-round talents, and collectively they're making their quarterback's job look quite easy right now. Cousins could easily top his career-best marks for yards (4,547) and/or TD passes (35) this year.
Week 2 stat pack
- Zay Jones probably had the best goose egg performance you could draw up. He was inches away from a touchdown reception — twice — and had a third end zone target that sailed over his head. It's clear that Trevor Lawrence is looking for him, so don't lose faith.
- Since divisional realignment in 2002, Cincinnati is the seventh team to start 0-2 with both losses coming versus divisional opponents, per ESPN Stats & Info. None of the previous six made the playoffs.
- Despite an 0-2 start to his career, C.J. Stroud has thrown for 626 yards without an interception.
- Travis Kelce was fairly quiet in his season debut, but he did find the end zone. Dating back to last season, he now has 17 TDs in his past 21 games.
- After a three-INT game last week, Josh Allen threw for three TDs on an 83.8% completion rate against the Raiders. He's now had three or more TDs and an 80-plus-% completion rate five times, which is the most ever by a player under 30, per NFL.com.
- Tua Tagovailoa is 5-0 against the Patriots, and he's the only QB with five straight wins over New England since Bill Belichick took over in 2000.
Bad beat(s) of the week
A pair of outright underdogs failed in miserable fashion this week, which might explain why they were underdogs to begin with.
Green Bay, which had held +125 moneyline odds entering its game against Atlanta, was up 12 entering the fourth quarter before its offence forgot how to function.
The Falcons strung together a trio of scoring drives in the final frame, while the Packers gained just seven yards on 10 total plays.
In the 4 p.m. window, Arizona (+180) authored a truly impressive meltdown — even for a team with basement-dwelling expectations.
The Cardinals took a 21-point lead over the Giants at the 9:54 mark of the third quarter. What followed was a franchise-record-tying comeback for New York (in a 31-28 win) as Arizona finished the game with three consecutive three-and-outs.
In fairness, the Packers and Cardinals both covered their respective spreads. So if you took the points, you still made out OK (albeit with much more of a sweat than was necessary).
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