Underdogs continued to do higher than anticipated throughout Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season. They went 9-7 in opposition to the unfold, logging their second straight profitable week after a record-setting Week 1.
Bettors that relied on the favorites early this season could also be pissed off, however fear not. With two weeks of information now at our fingertips, it is simpler to identify traits and analyze which groups and gamers are overvalued and undervalued. And, after all, a few of these shut non-covers had been only a case of dangerous luck.
It is vital to not overreact to outcomes following Week 1, and the identical will be mentioned after Week 2. Some groups match up effectively with their data whereas others are more pretender than contender. As soon as Week 3 passes, the panorama will likely be simpler to investigate, however for now, pay much less consideration to the document and extra consideration to the personnel that every staff has obtainable.
That is very true as accidents develop into larger offers throughout the NFL. Many quarterbacks went down in Week 2. Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton and Tua Tagovailoa have already been dominated out whereas Carson Wentz is coping with two ankle sprains. The well being of those quarterbacks can have a big impact on the spreads of every recreation.
Whereas fading a backup quarterback will be enjoyable, do not simply do it haphazardly, particularly in opposition to the unfold. It’s a must to choose your spots, and the easiest way to do this is to focus on inexperienced, uncooked backups; not savvy veterans who can hold good groups afloat.
Here is a take a look at Sporting Information’ finest bets for Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season, together with picks in opposition to the unfold, moneyline bets, over/beneath wagers and a few participant props.
Chargers (+6.5) at Chiefs
The Chiefs are nonetheless seen as the favourite to win the AFC, however they’ve hit a few bumps within the highway to begin the season. Notably, their protection has been dangerous, and that is one thing of which the Chargers can take benefit.
Kansas Metropolis has allowed an NFL-high 469 whole yards per recreation. Their 202 dashing yards allowed per recreation additionally tops the NFL, although that quantity is skewed a bit by having performed Lamar Jackson and Nick Chubb.
It is true that the Chiefs have performed formidable offenses in Weeks 1 and a couple of. The Browns and the Ravens each possess weapons on the bottom and strong teams of pass-catchers, however the Chargers boast a equally robust offense led by Justin Herbert.
Herbert threw for 337 yards in his first recreation and 338 yards in his second. He has had a few turnovers however largely, he has helped the Chargers’ offense to maintain buzzing. With Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jared Cook dinner and Austin Ekeler in tow, he has quite a lot of weapons that he can use to choose aside Kansas Metropolis’s protection.
It is also value noting that current Chargers vs. Chiefs video games have been shut. 4 of the final 5 video games have been determined by seven factors or fewer. Los Angeles simply at all times appears to discover a option to keep in video games in opposition to Kansas Metropolis.
As such, we just like the Chargers right here to cowl. They might not win outright, however getting 6.5 factors with an offense this good is a danger value taking. We’ll even be positioned to earn a possible backdoor cowl if the Chiefs are main by two possessions late, so this looks like a strong worth.
Titans (-5.5) vs. Colts
The Colts are in dire straits on the quarterback place. Carson Wentz is coping with two sprained ankles and will not be able to play Sunday. If he cannot go, Jacob Eason will possible begin with Brett Hundley serving because the backup. Neither evokes a lot hope, even in opposition to a porous Tennessee protection.
The Titans lack expertise on protection and have allowed the third-most factors per recreation within the NFL this season (34). Nevertheless, they need to have extra success in opposition to Eason, who has solely thrown 5 profession passes of which one was intercepted, or Wentz on two dangerous ankles.
On the floor, 5.5 factors might look like loads for the Titans contemplating that the Colts hung with the Rams final week. That mentioned, current Colts vs. Titans video games have not actually been shut, because the winner has outscored the loser by a mean of 12.9 factors during the last 10 video games. And solely two of these video games in whole had been determined by lower than a landing.
This all makes the Titans appear to be an interesting wager, particularly since they are able to tire out the Colts’ protection through the use of Derrick Henry. If they will do this, they need to have an opportunity to win by double digits. Betting on them to win by lower than a landing is an effective worth.
Broncos (-10.5) vs. Jets
The Broncos are a staff to belief as soon as once more. The primary cause for trusting Denver this time is not due to Teddy Bridgewater’s sterling 37-13-1 document in opposition to the unfold. It is all about Vic Fangio in opposition to rookie quarterbacks.
Fangio may not fairly be Invoice Belichick-level in opposition to rookies, however he has logged a 19-9 record in opposition to them since turning into a defensive coordinator in 1995. The consists of wins over Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb and Justin Herbert.
You do not have to look far for an much more current pattern both. Denver beat Trevor Lawrence’s Jaguars in Week 2 and lined a six-point unfold. They gained by 10 factors.
Fangio’s defenses have allowed 33 touchdowns whereas recording 26 interceptions in 28 video games in opposition to rookie quarterbacks. Zach Wilson simply confronted Belichick and the Patriots and threw 4 interceptions whereas scoring six factors. He might discover it troublesome to maneuver the ball as soon as once more.
Trusting the Broncos to cowl a ten.5-point unfold might not sound thrilling in concept, however the Broncos ought to have defensive success in opposition to Wilson very like the Patriots did. And because the Broncos have higher offensive weapons than the Patriots, they need to be capable of win this one by double digits. The one factor we must always have to fret about is a possible backdoor cowl.
Bengals moneyline (+146) at Steelers
Moneyline bets at all times carry with them some danger. This can be one value taking, and it has the whole lot to do with the Steelers’ harm scenario.
Ben Roethlisberger is coping with a pec harm. He could possibly play, however Mike Tomlin acknowledged that his preparation could be affected by the injury. If that is the case, he may begin off rusty. Or worse, he may play at lower than one hundred pc, which can affect his means to throw downfield, which was already dwindling.
Past the 39-year-old quarterback’s harm issues, the Steelers’ protection may very well be lacking practically half of its typical starters. Two defensive linemen — Stephon Tuitt and Tyson Alualu — are undoubtedly going to be out of this recreation. There are three extra key gamers that may very well be questionable in cornerback Joe Haden, linebacker Devin Bush and rush linebacker T.J. Watt.
Watt is the Steelers’ finest defensive participant. He had 4 tackles, a sack and a compelled fumble earlier than leaving the Steelers’ loss to the Raiders. Las Vegas’ offense was predictably way more efficient as soon as Watt exited the sport.
|Scenario||Yards per drive allowed||Factors per drive allowed|
|With out Watt||48.4||2.9|
So, what does all of this imply? Watch the Steelers’ accidents carefully this week. If Roethlisberger is banged up and Watt is unable to go, that might give the Bengals a reputable likelihood to win this recreation. Cincinnati did not look nice in opposition to the Bears, however their subpar blocking will not be as a lot of an issue given the multitude of accidents Pittsburgh has on the line of defense.
If Watt performs, then taking the Bengals (+3) might be the higher transfer. However in case you’re in search of an underdog moneyline to belief, the Bengals may very well be a sneaky-good possibility due to the Steelers’ accidents.
Seahawks moneyline (-120) at Vikings
That is decidedly much less dangerous than the Bengals choose, so in case you’re in search of a protected moneyline wager, that is most likely it. Each of the Seahawks and Vikings are coming off brutal losses wherein their defenses did not comprise the opposing offense.
The Seahawks allowed the Titans to come back again utilizing the run and drop 36 on them. The Vikings intercepted Kyler Murray twice and misplaced by one level after lacking a game-winning discipline purpose as time expired.
That mentioned, of the 2 groups, the Seahawks had the higher efficiency, and their offense matches up effectively in opposition to that of the Vikings.
Seattle is similar to Arizona offensively. They’ve a dynamic quarterback who could make performs together with his arm and legs and a plethora of receiving weapons to focus on. The Vikings could not cease Murray and the Cardinals Sunday, they usually allowed 474 yards to Arizona. If not for a few second-half interceptions from Murray, together with a pick-six, the Cardinals may have scored much more.
That is why Wilson and the Seahawks are a very good wager. Wilson merely does not flip the ball over. His 1.8 % interception share is tied for the third-lowest in NFL historical past, trailing solely Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.
So, the Vikings can have bother producing factors off turnovers as they did in opposition to the Cardinals. That makes the Seahawks a protected wager.
However why go along with the moneyline as a substitute of taking the Seahawks (-1.5)? Effectively, the Vikings offense may go blow-for-blow with the Seahawks, so this might find yourself being a detailed recreation. We do not need to danger this turning into one other one-point recreation, so we’re prepared to take a bit much less revenue to choose Seattle because the winner.
Panthers at Texans: UNDER 43.5 (-118)
The “Thursday Night time Soccer” recreation for Week 3 is shaping as much as be a snoozer, not less than from a scoring standpoint. Davis Mills will likely be quarterbacking the Texans. Will probably be the rookie’s first profession begin. That spells excellent news for the beneath.
Mills was a third-round choose within the 2021 NFL Draft. For the reason that 2016 draft, 18 quarterbacks drafted outdoors of the primary spherical have began for NFL groups. The outcomes have not been nice, because the starters have averaged merely 17.2 factors per recreation. Solely seven of these quarterbacks have scored 20 or extra factors of their first begin.
The Panthers have the league’s finest scoring protection. They’re permitting solely 10.5 factors per recreation, so it may very well be arduous for Mills to even method the 17.2 mark. He could also be held to single-digit scoring.
In the meantime, Sam Darnold is not an elite scorer in his personal proper. In his final 16 begins, he has averaged 16 factors per recreation. His efforts with the Panthers have been barely higher — he’s averaging 22.5 factors per recreation with them — however even that quantity plus the typical rookie QB quantity checks in practically 4 factors beneath the purpose whole for this contest.
Until Mills is best than anticipated or the Texans’ protection collapses, going beneath on this 43.5 whole appears to be the possible consequence. When you’re apprehensive in regards to the Panthers offense going off on this one, taking the Texans UNDER 16.5 (-102) can be a strong different.
Cardinals level whole: OVER 30.5 (-106)
The Cardinals’ offense has come out firing on all cylinders to begin the season. They scored 38 factors in opposition to the Titans in Week 1 and 34 in Week 2. Their 36 factors per recreation are second-best within the NFL behind solely the Buccaneers.
The scary factor about that’s that the Cardinals may very well be scoring much more than that. They’ve posted a good turnover margin by two video games, as they’ve compelled three turnovers whereas Murray has thrown three interceptions. If he can lower down on these errors, that can give the Cardinals much more alternatives to generate factors and maintain drives.
The Cardinals are poised to do this in opposition to the Jaguars. Jacksonville has but to power a turnover but has dedicated 5 of their very own. The Cardinals’ protection ought to put the offense in place to attain if they will make some opportunistic performs and power turnovers.
Murray figures to be a tricky matchup for the Jaguars, too. They confronted Tyrod Taylor within the season opener and had bother containing his dual-threat means. He threw for practically 300 yards and added 40 on the bottom. Murray has accounted for a mean of 370 yards and 4.5 touchdowns per recreation this season, so he alone may place the Cardinals to publish greater than 30 factors.
Arizona’s offense will be trusted once more on this favorable spot. Be happy to roll with them in opposition to one other weak protection that’s permitting 423.5 yards and 30 factors per recreation.
Participant props will likely be added all through the week main as much as video games.
Christian McCaffrey dashing + receiving yards: OVER 132.5 (-114)
McCaffrey has recorded over 132.5 dashing and receiving yards in 15 of his final 20 video games relationship again to the start of 2019. He solely did not do it 5 instances: twice in opposition to Tampa Bay, twice in opposition to New Orleans and as soon as in opposition to Washington.
What do all of these groups have in widespread? They’ve been among the many league’s finest run defenses during the last couple of seasons. As such, it is comprehensible that McCaffrey would wrestle in these matchups.
The Texans aren’t practically as threatening. They’ve carried out at a middle-of-the-road stage this season, however the Browns simply gashed them for 156 dashing yards and three touchdowns. They struggled to comprise Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and they’ll wrestle once more versus McCaffrey.
McCaffrey is averaging practically 30 touches per recreation. He simply must get a bit of greater than 4 yards per contact if he will get that a lot work in opposition to the Texans. And in actuality, he it’s going to most likely take much less for him to surpass this whole, because the Texans had been one of many league’s worst run defenses final 12 months. Be happy to belief him on this favorable matchup.
Jared Goff passing yards: OVER 262.5 (-114)
The Ravens truly rank dead-last within the NFL in go protection. They’ve allowed a mean of 376 yards per recreation to opposing quarterbacks. Granted, that has come in opposition to Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes, however it’s going to nonetheless be arduous for them to decelerate Goff.
Goff is averaging 292 passing yards per recreation. Extra importantly, he is throwing the ball 46.5 instances per contest. The Lions determine to make use of a pass-heavy method with Goff operating the offfense, particularly because the staff’s protection is not nice. It has allowed 38 factors per recreation, good for the second-most within the NFL, so Detroit must throw loads to maintain tempo with the robust Ravens’ offense.
The Ravens are getting cornerback Jimmy Smith again, which figures to assist their protection loads, however they are going to be lacking Derrick Wolfe, Brandon Williams and Justin Houston on the line of defense. If they can not strain Goff, he’ll discover methods to throw on them. He may have a 300-yard day, so banking on him to go over looks like a very good transfer right here.