September 21, 2017 - by Seth Trachtman
In this post, we’re going to share the biggest NFL Week 3 rankings and predictions updates, then preview some interesting Week 3 matchups on the NFL schedule.
Here are the top 10 increases in team predictive rating coming out of Week 2. Keep in mind that predictive ratings are measured in points, with a 0.0 rating equivalent to a “perfectly average” team:
Helped by strong margins of victory, Tennessee and Denver were the big ratings winners in Week 2. The Titans rose seven places in our predictive rankings and currently sit at #11, while the #9 Broncos rose four spots to crack the top 10.
See where every team currently stands in our NFL rankings.
Here are the top 10 gainers in projected wins for the 2017 season coming out of Week 2:
Washington’s road upset of the Rams did a lot to help their fairly low win total projection. In addition, three teams that were roughly in the middle of the NFL pack coming out of Week 1 (Tennessee, Denver, Detroit) were helped by solid wins.
See our latest projected season win totals for all teams on our NFL projections.
Tennessee not only picked up a division win against Jacksonville, but also helped weaken the thesis that the Jaguars could be a major threat in the AFC South this year. Meanwhile, the Lions benefitted from both a strong win and losses from all three NFC North division rivals.
Arizona is an interesting case as the #3 gainer. As 7-point Vegas favorites, Arizona barely beat the Colts by 3, but our predictive ratings thought the game would be much closer, only favoring the Cardinals by around a point. So Arizona ended up outperforming ratings-based expectations, and still escaped with a valuable road win. At the same time, after worse than expected performances, the predictive ratings of division rivals Seattle and the LA Rams both took a hit.
See our latest division winner odds for all teams on our NFL projections.
Again, at the top of this list we see a several middle-of-the-pack teams at the start of Week 2 that bolstered their playoff odds from around 50/50 last week to more solid expectations as of Week 3.
Currently, the AFC West (Kansas City, Oakland, Denver), NFC North (Green Bay, Detroit, Minnesota) and NFC South (Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay) each have three teams with around 40% or better odds to make the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how that shakes out as the season goes on.
See our latest odds to make the playoffs for all teams on our NFL projections.
Here are three games on our radar screen for Week 3, either for their excitement factor, importance to projections, betting line movement so far, or some/all of the above:
NY Giants at Philadelphia
Sun 1:00pm ET
The sky is falling in New York after the Giants dropped to 0-2 after losing to the Lions on Monday Night Football. The offensive line play for the Giants has been heavily criticized, with Eli Manning already taking eight sacks and facing an Eagles front that has an equal number of sacks for the season. The Giants are six-point underdogs at the time of this writing, sobering news for a team that we ranked ahead of Philadelphia in the preseason. Is it just a rough start, or will we see more evidence that New York is about to suffer through a brutal season?
Seattle at Tennessee
Sun 4:05pm ET
Seattle is still our second highest ranked NFC team, thanks largely to preseason expectations, but their first two performances of 2017 haven’t inspired much confidence. The Seahawks now visit the Titans as three point Vegas underdogs. Seattle’s offense has been thoroughly unimpressive through two games, scoring a combined 21 points against two defenses (Green Bay and San Francisco) that were far from juggernauts in 2016. Their three point margin of victory against the 49ers last week, 13 points less than our predictive ratings expected, moved Seattle down a full point in our ratings heading into Week 3. That trend will continue unless Seattle can start to put things together.
Dallas at Arizona
Mon 8:30pm ET
The Giants aren’t the only NFC East team approaching a big Week 3 game. Dallas was embarrassed at Denver in Week 2 and are now looking to rebound in a Monday Night game at Arizona. The Cardinals needed overtime to defeat the Andrew Luck-less Colts in Week 2, and have plenty of critics after shaky early play from Carson Palmer and an injury to star running back David Johnson. Both these teams are underperforming expectations so far, and it will be interesting to see which one bucks that trend in Week 3.
Enjoy NFL Week 3, and if you’re in an NFL pool or planning on betting some of the Week 3 games, please check out our premium products:
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