NFL betting: Early season over teams

Some of the most coveted data that we get early in the season relates to a team's offensive tendencies. How fast do teams play? What are their run/pass splits? How efficient are they? How far do they push the ball down field? 

With two weeks now in the books, we can now hypothesize how these teams want to play. When betting on totals in the NFL, this data is extremely useful. Through two weeks, eight NFL teams have seen both of their games go over the total. What's led to their high-scoring explosions and is it something we can expect to see continue in Week 3 and beyond?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The defending Super Bowl champions are the highest scoring team in the league. They pass the ball more than any other team when you adjust for game situation. They rank 11th in pace-of-play offensively while currently sitting 10th in terms of yards per play. 

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight End Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown and is congratulated by Quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the regular season game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 19, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate a touchdown during Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Defensively, they've performed a bit under expectations. They're allowing 27 points per game, an increase from 22.2 last year. In terms of defensive DVOA, they currently rank 12th after finishing 5th last year. 

Week 3: Over/Under 55 vs. Los Angeles

Houston Texans

Houston is currently playing at the 6th fastest pace in the league offensively, which is a welcome sight. However, they rank 32nd in terms of adjusted pass rate. With the injury to Tyrod Taylor, I don't expect that to change very much. They rank middle of the pack in terms of yards per play. Defensively, they've forced five turnovers in two games. Their pass rate is definitely concerning, but they do play at a fast pace. Additionally, I'd expect their defense's turnover luck to regress. 

Week 3: Over/Under 44 vs. Carolina

Minnesota Vikings

There's been major changes in Minnesota through two games in terms of offensive philosophy, and it's up to us to determine whether it's predictive or not. After finishing 26th in pace of play and 27th in pass rate last year, the Vikings currently sit at 8th and 13th in those two categories, respectively. It's always been an efficient offense, but if they're going to play at a quicker pace and throw more, they might continue to cash overs at a great rate. 

Week 3: Over/Under 55 vs. Seattle

Detroit Lions

The Lions might have the worst defense in football, especially with Jeff Okudah injured. The 49ers hung 41 on them in Week 1 and then Aaron Rodgers put 35 on the board this past Monday night. Only Atlanta has allowed more points through two games. Offensively, they're below average in terms of pace of play, pass rate and yards-per-play. With their defense, it might not matter. 

Week 3: Over/Under 50 vs. Baltimore

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland currently ranks 22nd in pace of play and 28th in pass rate, but that doesn't matter when you have mastered the art of efficiency. The Browns currently rank third in terms of yards-per-play. 

Baker Mayfield currently leads the league with an 81.6% completion percentage. He also ranks second behind just Russell Wilson in yards per passing attempt. That's a deadly combination, especially since we know how great the Browns are at running the ball, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. 

Defensively, the Browns have struggled getting off the field on third down. Opponents are converting 63% of their third downs against the Browns, the worst mark in the league through two games. 

Week 3: Over/Under 46 vs. Chicago

Kansas City Chiefs

I probably don't need to tell you about how dynamic the Chiefs offense is, but I'm here to tell you it might get even better. 

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs scrambles with the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs scrambles with the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during Week 2. (Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

The Chiefs rank second in yards-per-play and seventh in terms of passing rate in neutral situations. Both are consistent with their performance last season. However, the Chiefs currently rank 20th in terms of pace of play, a sizable decline from last year where they ranked seventh. I expect them to increase their pace in the coming weeks, which should lead to even more scoring opportunities. 

Defensively, it's tough to be impressed by the Chiefs. They have gone against two extremely efficient offenses in the Browns and Ravens, but they're allowing over 32 points per game. 

Week 3: Over/Under 55.5 vs Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

We've always wanted to see someone other than Jared Goff run Sean McVay's offense, and this is why. 

The Rams currently have the fifth-most efficient offense in terms of yards-per-play. Passing wise, Matthew Stafford ranks third in yards-per-attempt. 

While the offense has been transformed, the defense will be a problem for those who bet overs in Rams games. They currently rank 4th in defensive DVOA, which is in line with where they finished last year. The Rams are giving up just 19 points per game. 

Week 3: Over/Under 55 vs. Tampa Bay

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore plays at the second slowest pace in the league and only two teams pass the ball at a lower rate than the Ravens. While this might scream "UNDER" to most, it hasn't been the case with Baltimore. 

The Ravens are gaining almost 6 yards per carry, despite the fact that they lost their top three running backs to injury during training camp. They're gaining 220 yards per game on the ground, which is 58 yards more per game than the second-best rushing team. 

Baltimore's always had an extremely efficient offense that could put up numbers even when running the ball most of the game. However, their defense is the difference this year. Baltimore has consistently had a top-10 defense, ranking ninth in defensive DVOA last year. This year, they rank 23rd. Only Kansas City has given up more yards than Baltimore defensively. 

Week 3: Over/Under 50 vs. Detroit

Stats via FootballOutsiders, NumberFire and Pro-Football-Reference

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