Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season kicked off Thursday with the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles improving to 2-0 with a 34-28 win over the Minnesota Vikings (0-2). Sunday’s 13 games along with a doubleheader on Monday includes six division contests and some key games drawing signficant betting action.
Bettors and fantasy football enthusiasts are hoping the Week 2 betting guide and matchups produce more scoring than Week 1 which saw an average of just 41.0 points per game – the second-fewest in the last 13 years, ahead of only 2017. That despite the Dolphins 36-34 shootout win over the Chargers as QB Tua Tagovailoa passed for 4 TD’s and 466 yards – the fourth-most passing yards in a Week 1 game in NFL history. Thirteen other QB’s passed for less than 200 yards in Week 1, including six of the highest paid QB’s in Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson, Jalen Hurts, Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott.
Third-down conversions (37%) were the lowest in five years and tied for the third-lowest since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002. There were just 37 TD passes thrown, and touchdowns were thrown at their lowest percentage (3.4%) since 2006. The 6.2 yards per attempt were the lowest since 2002, and the QB sack rate (7.2%) was the highest in 12 years.
The Eagles and Vikings scored plenty Thursday to kickoff Week 2, but oddsmakers have still made adjustments on the game totals. Eight Week 2 games have an over/under of less than 41 points.
Week 2 Odds and Most Watched NFL Games
The Associated Press reports that the average TV viewership of an NFL game last sason was 16.7 million. The Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs had the highest viewership (113 million) in championship history and was the most-viewed U.S. telecast of all time, according to Nielsen ratings.
With watch and wager action in mind, these are 5 must-watch games for NFL Week 2 Sunday and Monday. And the leading online sportsbooks report that the Chiefs-Jaguars and Cowboys-Jets games have the most money bet.
There are six division games in Week 2, and the three remaining prime-time games on Sunday night and Monday night are all division games and must watch TV for sports bettors with prop bets adding to the excitement and engagement of the games.
Pro football odds from FanDuel Sportsbook refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting.
- Kansas City at Jacksonville (+3.5), Total 51.5
- Baltimore at Cincinnati (-3), 46.5
- NY Jets at Dallas (-8.5), 38.5
- Green Bay at Atlanta (-1.5), 40.5
- Cleveland at Pittsburgh, (+2.5), 38.5 MNF
Other games include:
- Chicago at Tampa Bay (-2.5), 40.5
- Seattle at Detroit (-4.5), 47.5
- Las Vegas at Buffalo (-8.5), 47
- LA Chargers at Tennessee (+2.5), 45.5
- Indianapolis at Houston (-1), 39.5
- San Francisco at LA Rams (+7), 44.5
- NY Giants at Arizona (+4.5), 39.5
- Washington at Denver (-3.5), 38.5
- Miami at New England (+2.5), 46.5 SNF
- New Orleans at Carolina (+4), 40 MNF
Kansas City at Jacksonville
The highest game total of the week is between the Chiefs and Jaguars with an over/under of 51.5 points. NFL underdog bettors know that the Jaguars have won and covered 6-straight as a home underdog including high-scoring wins last season over the Cowboys, Ravens and Chargers (playoffs).
As for tight end Travis Kelce (knee) and defensive tackle Chris Jones, Kansas City coach Reid had some positive news to share.
“As long as nothing happens, they’ll be out there [on Sunday],” Reid said.
Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Trevor Lawrence ranked No. 1 and 2 in most touchdown passes on throws that took place in under 2.5 seconds last season. Lawrence was at his best on quick throws (75% completion, 17/3 TD-to-INT), and his average time-to-throw of 2.52 seconds in 2022 ranked third among all qualified quarterbacks.
When the Jaguars didn’t blitz during last season’s Week 10 matchup – and they only blitzed six times – Mahomes completed 22-of-29 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 9.7 yards-per-attempt in the Chiefs 27-17 home win. According to Pro Football Focus’ grading system, it was Mahomes best game of the season when not blitzed.
NFL Week 2 Picks
If you like advanced stats and insightful NFL analysis, then see what Dr. Bob Sports adds in his NFL analysis on select games. I reached out to Bob Stoll for additional games and selected analysis, and he has rated plays on the Falcons (-1.5) and Colts (+1.5), noting that Atlanta was a slight underdog when he bet and the market has moved the Falcons to favorite.
Here is betting support below for the Indianapolis Colts in a division duel at Houston between two rookie quarterbacks who were take No. 1 and No. 4 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.
- The Colts’ offense averaged 4.1 yppl (23rd) in QB Anthony Richardson’s first career start and I expect them to get noticeably better in the rookie’s second game. Richardson is clearly more comfortable throwing right as only 16% of his passes were to the left last week. This will serve Richarson well on Sunday attacking Texans CB Derek Stingley, who ranked 79th in PFF coverage grade last season out of the 86 CBs with at least 300 cover snaps and he allowed 10.0 yards per target in week 1.
- Houston safety Jalen Pitre was taken to a local hospital after suffering a bruised lung and safety Jimmie Ward is not practicing either due to a hip injury. Indianapolis head coach Shane Steichen is known for picking on matchups and will certainly attack 3rd-stringer MJ Stewart.
- Colts running back Zach Moss will start this week replacing the two replacement level RB’s from last week. Moss has a career 4.3 yards per carry average and is a capable rusher.
- Houston’s offensive line is without three projected starters from training camp and rookie quarterback CJ Stroud faced a 46% pressure rate in his debut. Backups Jarrett Patterson, Josh Jones, and George Fant started and Fant went down to injury – forcing the Texans 9th offensive lineman Michael Deiter to come in and surrender a sack in just 15 pass-blocking snaps. Fant will try gut through a right shoulder stinger this week, but this offensive line looks awful.
- The defensive line is the strength of this Indianapolis defense, particularly on the interior where DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart combined for 6 pressures in week 1. The Colts have a better defensive line than the Ravens and should give Stroud similar problems in week 2.
- Houston’s receiving corps is awful and was already ranked 31st by our metrics heading into the season and they just put starting WR Noah Brown on injured reserve with a groin injury.
- Our model favors the Colts by 2.2 points, with a predicted total of 42.7 points, and Indy applies to a 23-0 ATS week 2 situation.
Follow the NFL teams, news and odds as Week 2 provides more exciting and engaging watch and wager action.
You can bet on it.