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Week 2 NFL Recap – Week 3 Betting Preview

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NFL Betting Recap For Week 2

Football content contributor Ron Marmalefsky offers his NFL Week 2 betting recap as well as his lookahead to Week 3 of NFL kicking off on Thursday! What are his takeaways and look aheads from a betting perspective? Read below now!

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NFL QB ‘s Couldn’t Just Turn on a Switch and Perform Week 1

Welcome to my Tuesday recap of last Sunday and Monday’s NFL football action. Part of one each week’s article will be a “what did we learn” segment as I put in print some observations from last week’s action. Part two will look ahead to next week’s games with some initial observations.

NFL Week 2: What Did We Learn?

Atlanta last week held the ball for 36 minutes. Get used to that, as the Falcons are a very run-heavy team.

Carolina lacks talent at WR, TE and along the OL. As a result, Bryce Young has completed 42 passes for just 299 yards.

Chicago had a league worst 20-58 sack ratio in 2022. They drafted and signed eight players to try and shore up their OL over the past two seasons, but as someone who has completed over 40 annual draft reports, I was less than impressed with the talent acquired. The sack ratio is 1-10 thus far (one sack for, ten sacks against). I care about this data.

Cincinnati has allowed 77-384 on the ground thus far. Should we be worried? I am not worried just yet, as they faced Cleveland (Chubb) and Baltimore so far. Do not be surprised if things get better down the road.

Denver has a Russell Wilson issue. His internal clock is off, and for a veteran QB who should know better, he takes way too many sacks.

Detroit has had a slow start rushing opposing QB’s (one defensive sack). More than anything else, that got them into trouble vs. Seattle, a team with savvy playmaking WR’s Lockett and Metcalf.

Las Vegas RB Josh Jacobs ran for 1,653 yards a year ago. Through contract talks, etc., perhaps the overall conditioning took a hit. He has more receiving yards (74) than rushing yards (48, on 28 carries). Let’s see how he performs at home vs. a subpar Pittsburgh rush defense that will have one less day to rest up after their thrilling conference victory.

Miami’s 7-1 sack differential is a surprise to me. I’ll be checking to see if that is sustainable.

Minnesota has rushed the ball just 26 times for a grand total of 69 yards. They lowballed Delvin Cook and he is missed.

New Orleans has clearly changed their passing attack for the better. With Derek Carr at the helm, the trio of WR’s (Shaheed, Olave, Thomas) have exploded for 35 receptions, good for 466 yards. I’m not a fan of Head Coach Dennis Allen’s ability to manage this side of the ball (he’s not the coordinator but as the boss, he prefers conservative offensive game plans), but the Saints have looked good so far.

There’s hope in New York as the Giants engineered a massive comeback to win at Arizona. That type of comeback creates confidence, but the stat sheet shows a 0-10 sack ratio. With RB Barkley possibly sidelined for a couple of games, Daniel Jones could use some help from the defense as he will likely be forced to be more pass oriented.

Finally, I feel like I may have misjudged Tampa Bay to start 2023. Yes, beating Minnesota thanks to a +3 turnover ratio and beating a very bad Chicago team may mask some problems, but as I look at the current roster I see experience in several areas, which makes them a cut above the younger teams in the NFL.

Having WR’s Godwin and Evans puts them above most teams, and the defensive roster has a few impact veterans as well. Let’s see how they fare moving forward.

Three Key Games to Keep in Mind for Week 3

Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota: Both teams are a disappointing 0-2, both in record and in one score games. Justin Herbert has been great, and the offense has scored 58 points.

The defense has underachieved. Head Coach Staley is under fire, and his outburst at one of the press conferences was not a good look.

Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins continues to display solid accuracy, but the run game without departed Delvin Cook is at the bottom of the NFL. We can clearly point to turnovers as the reason they are 0-2, as going -3 twice in turnover margin cost them both games. Still, like the Chargers, the defense is not where it needs to be.

Early Game Keys: My two keys reside with Minnesota. Can the Vikings establish the run, and will their pass defense be able to contain Justin Herbert?

Los Angeles Chargers vs Minnesota Vikings Prediction and Picks - Free Monday Night Football Pick

Pittsburgh at Las Vegas: Two defensive TD’s fueled Pittsburgh’s comeback on Monday night as Kenny Pickett and the offense has yet to find its rhythm.

The good news is that the Las Vegas defense is a step down from what they’ve seen from SF and Cleveland.

Las Vegas has a 6-0 sack ratio, but the fun ends there. Josh Jacobs has run for less than two yards per carry, Jimmy G has thrown three interceptions, and other than WR Adams, no other target has stepped up.

In a deeper dive, Pittsburgh has to become more balanced offensively. 31 rushing attempts in two games is not a formula for success. Matt Canada (coordinator) continues to underachieve.

For Las Vegas, they have an opportunity to improve running the ball vs. a Pittsburgh defense that seems vulnerable to the run. So far, Vegas has allowed nearly 82% through the air. Their safe zone scheme however has yielded just 451 yards on 58 completions.

Early Game Keys: With one less day to prepare, Pittsburgh must shorten the game by creating run holes. I expect Las Vegas to also attempt to feature the run game. Pittsburgh has nine defensive sacks, and this game may hinge on how well the Raiders protect their QB. Technical and situational factors will likely favor the home team in this matchup.

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay: Philly is 2-0 while not playing their best football. Tampa is 2-0 behind the steady play of Baker Mayfield and its +5 turnover ratio. Philly last played on a Thursday, and this time off could see them regain their edge. Tampa has been a strong Monday Night home dog. Something has to give.

The Philly stat sheet shows a (predictable) drop in defensive sacks, but an improved defense vs. the run. RB Swift is electric when healthy, which he is right now.

The Tampa Bay stat sheet shows just one sack allowed, which I currently attribute to how well Baker Mayfield has seized this opportunity.

WR’s Godwin and Evans have combined to catch 22 passes for 336 yards. This will be a stern test for their defense, which has risen to the challenge thus far vs. lesser opponents.

Early Game Keys: For Philly, can they force Baker Mayfield out of his comfort zone, and can their own pass game hit some big plays, which have been lacking thus far.

For Tampa Bay, can they continue to push the needle on their pass rush, and is their any hope that their run game (67-193) can improve. If not, Tampa’s offense may take a step back.

NFL Week 3 Betting Preview

Finally, scoring was way up in week two.  Lines on many games seemed low, likely an overreaction to the sloppy play we saw week one. 

Much was made about the (lack) of playing time for many offensive players during the preseason, plus the lack of conditioning with having to play a full sixty minutes for all starters. 

The chatter tended to focus solely on offense, but a good portion of the hamstring issues we saw after week one came from the defensive side of the ball.  When a team loses multiple defensive starters, savvy QB’s will exploit the backups.

For week three I feel conditioning will be back to “normal” levels both for the offense and for the defense.  As a result, I do not expect to see skewed results like we saw to the UNDER week one, and the OVER week two. 

As handicappers, the best advice I can give is to get back to matchup analysis, and ignore chasing short term scoring trends.  Teams will adjust, players will adjust and oddsmakers will adjust.  We must do the same.

Follow me on twitter @ronacesports to be alerted of future articles, and my weekly podcasts with @lasvegascris.

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