Who would have thought that after two weeks of the National Football League season, there would be just seven 2-0 teams left, and that none of them would be the Kansas City Chiefs or the Green Bay Packers?
Or that the last two unbeaten teams in the AFC came from the AFC West, and it was not the Chiefs and Chargers, who most people predicted to go deep into the playoffs, but the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders?
Welcome to the world of 2021, where it is getting harder and harder to argue that we went into an alternate universe somewhere over the last decade.
Of course, the NFC West has three of those unbeaten teams, which everyone thought would be the case. Some of the teams at 0-2 are surprising as well, although others are not at all: there are some BAD teams in the NFL this season.
Here are all the NFL odds this week in case you're wondering how to bet on the third round of fixtures in the NFL season. You will also find the most attractive NFL lines in Week 3 - we took care of that.
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Carolina has been one of the surprise teams so far in 2021, with two wins to start the season and maybe a third on the way. Houston might have been 2-0 as well until Tyrod Taylor hurt his hamstring in the 31-21 loss to Cleveland Sunday.
Since this is a short week, it is probably going to be too soon for Taylor to play, even if his MRI Monday comes back clean (which with a hamstring probably won’t, but I don’t want to play radiologist here).
Read more about this game in the Thursday Night Football Betting Guide.
Arizona was about five feet or so from falling to 1-1 to start 2-0, but the Minnesota Vikings went all Minnesota Vikings, and blew a chip shop field goal on the last play of the game. The Cardinals are 2-0, and will soar into Jacksonville looking to go 3-0.
The Jags are a bit of a mess, but that was expected, with a rookie QB and head coach, plus a rebuilding squad. Kyler Murray could have a field day here, as he pushes for MVP honors in 2021.
Are we in early crisis mode for the Colts? Carson Wentz is hurt (OMG! Pretends to be shocked), and Indy is 0-2, heading to Nashville to face a Tennessee team that went to Seattle and beat the Seahawks in OT.
This could be an early title decider in the AFC South. If the Titans win, they go 2.5 games up in the division already. I can’t imagine the Colts being able to stop Derrick Henry, since no one else has been able to in the last couple of seasons.
Huge wins for both teams last week in different circumstances. Washington thought it had lost after Dustin Hopkins missed a game-winning FG attempt. But the Giants jumped, Hopkins made the ensuing attempt, and the Football Team is 1-1.
Buffalo annihilated Miami 35-0, and is back on track. This should be a decent test for the Bills’ offense, against a very good WFT defense. A win for either team would be huge, as both have very beatable teams in Week 4 (WFT, Atlanta; BUF, Houston)
You are going to start to notice a trend here coming up in NFL betting, over the next run of games: there are a lot of 1-1 teams. Ah, parity is back, at least for the first two weeks. New Orleans could not build on the big momentum from Week 1 in an ugly 26-7 loss to Carolina, while the Patriots' crisis was averted with an easy 25-6 win over the dumpster fire that is New York.
This could be an intriguing contest, but you would suspect Bill Belichick will have his team ready to shut down Jameis Winston.
Two crushing losses for the AFC West rivals in Week 2 set up a very interesting contest in Week 3. LA somehow found a way to lose 20-17 to the Cowboys and their laughably bad clock management on a last-second field goal.
Kansas City imploded in the fourth quarter to lose 36-35 to Baltimore and Lamar Jackson, who looked very much like he was back to his best. Still, the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, and that makes them favorites today, and basically every game.
Detroit was in the game Monday night for a half, then fell apart after the break in a 35-17 loss to the Packers, after the defense was shredded by San Francisco in Week 1. The 49ers were then limited in Week 2 against Philly. If Detroit could put together 60 minutes like the first half Monday and the second half of Week 1, it might be dangerous, although the flip side to that would be the other 60 minutes.
Baltimore came from behind to beat Kansas City and now have the tiebreaker. Lamar Jackson led his team to two fourth-quarter TDs in the come-from-behind win and could have a field day against the Lions. This line could open at double-digits.
Chicago got a second-half jolt from Justin Fields, who now looks to be the long-term QB, in a 20-17 victory over Cincinnati. Both teams did little of note until the fourth quarter, then combined for 27 late points.
Cleveland got it done in a 31-21 win over Houston, but it was tougher than expected. The Browns, and their backers, are going to have to learn to live as double-digit favorites most weeks, but that is the life of an NFL contender.
If the late NFC contest between Tampa Bay and LA is the Game of the Season (so far), is this the opposite? Maybe we call it the toilet bowl? Atlanta stinks, and the defense is atrocious. The Falcons have given up 80 points so far in two games, while no other team has allowed even 70.
This might be one game even the New York Giants can’t screw up, although they will certainly give it their best go. I would probably flip a coin if you asked me which team will win this, although I do think the over has a good shot to hit since both teams would struggle stopping Alabama’s offense, let alone an NFL one.
Firstly, much of this line, and maybe the outcome of the contest, may depend on T.J. Watt playing. But the Steelers are banged up all over the place, and that could be a factor facing the improving Bengals.
Cincinnati lost a close one late to Chicago, 20-17, but look to be moving in the right direction. Pittsburgh should still be able to win this, but it could be interesting.
Break up the Las Vegas Raiders! Jon Gruden’s multi-year plan is paying out like a slot machine, but we have to have a little caution here: it is still early. But the deep threat from Henry Ruggs III has turned Derek Carr back into a showtime QB.
The Dolphins were awful in Week 2, losing 35-0 to Buffalo. Tua is also hurt (ribs), and may have to rely on Jacoby Briskett. Maybe all the luck is starting to fall for the Raiders.
Break up the Denver Broncos! Amazingly, with a new quarterback under center that does not turn over the ball, and manages the game well to allow the defense to run the show, Denver has started the year 2-0 (after years of notoriously slow starts). Teddy Bridgewater has been fantastic under center.
Compare that to the Jets, who have seen Zach Wilson throw five interceptions already, including four in a 25-6 loss to the Pats last week. Was Wilson crying on the sideline after the fourth? I don’t know, but this Denver defense must be rubbing its hands together for its home opener.
Break up the Tampa Bay Bucs and Los Angeles Rams! Alright, we might have stretched this one a tad too far. This could be a potential NFC title game in January, and maybe a home-field decider, although the Bucs might be better situated even with a loss thanks to the strength of the NFC West.
Tom Brady threw for five more TDs last week, while Matthew Stafford has a little bit of a sore thumb to deal with after the Rams 27-24 win over the Colts.
Seattle was stunned late by Tennessee and Derrick Henry in a 33-30 OT loss last week, but comes into this game in better shape than the Vikings.
Minnesota missed a last-second field goal attempt to allow Seattle’s NFC West rivals Arizona to escape with a one-point win, 34-33. The Seahawks can’t really afford to lose this game, since they already trail in the standings.
Green Bay turned it on after halftime on Monday Night Football, on both sides of the ball, to stave off a second-straight upset attempt. Aaron Rodgers and Devonte Adams both had big nights against a bad Detroit defense, to avert an early-season disaster.
For the 49ers, it was back to the best for the defense, in a 17-11, grind-it-out win over Philly. San Fran’s offense did just enough, but it was the Nick Bosa show, and this defense could be primed to have a big night against Green Bay on a short week.
Read more about this game in our Sunday Night Football Betting guide.
Surprisingly, this might end up as a battle for the NFC East, as both teams might be better than some thought coming into the 2021 campaign. Both teams have come up with impressive wins in the first two weeks, and also played well in tough losses to very good teams that should be fighting for NFC honors.
Dallas has won four of the last six games these two teams have played, although they have split in 2019 and 2020. However, the Cowboys won 37-17 and 37-10 in those two years at home and could be set to pile up the points one again in 2021.
Read more about this game in our Monday Night Football Betting Guide.
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