A common theme that NFL fans will hear entering Week 3 is the playoff probabilities of 2-0 or 0-2 teams. Seven teams entered this week at 2-0, and since the NFL adopted its current playoff format in 1990 more than 62 percent of teams to start a year with that mark did make the postseason.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Almost impossibly, there’s not a single matchup of 2-0 teams in Week 3. There is one meeting of 0-2 clubs as the New York Giants visit the Houston Texans, two teams struggling offensively. Eli Manning, at age 37, sure looks like he’s shot for the G-Men. On the flipside, Houston’s Deshaun Watson may just be a bit rusty coming back from last year’s ACL tear. The Texans are 6-point favorites but have lost eight straight overall and failed to cover their previous seven.
Perhaps the marquee matchup of Week 3 is a battle of Los Angeles, and possibly a Super Bowl preview, as the Chargers head across town to take on the Rams – those teams will share the same stadium in a few years. The Rams have been perhaps the league’s most impressive team thus far and are -7. They are 7-2 ATS in their past nine as a favorite.
The Philadelphia Eagles won last season’s Super Bowl without injured star quarterback Carson Wentz, and he will play Sunday for the first time since tearing his ACL late in the 2017 regular season. The Eagles are 6.5-point home favorites against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Bad news for Colts backers: They won last week but have failed to win their past eight after a victory.
The clear mismatch of the week features the Minnesota Vikings as 17-point home favorites against the horrific Buffalo Bills – that’s the biggest spread of the season and there won’t be many (if any) bigger. Although that depends on whether Buffalo continues to play like it has. The Bills have dropped their past 17 games as a double-digit underdog.
The Sunday night game should see the New England Patriots debut of former Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl receiver Josh Gordon, and the Pats are -7 at the Detroit Lions, who are coached by ex-New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. The Pats are 12-4 ATS in their past 16 road games but 0-1 ATS away from home in 2018.