NFL betting: Saints, Steelers looking like under teams

·6-min read

There are now two weeks of NFL football in the books, giving us an opportunity to reflect on what we've seen up until this point. We went over the teams that have produced high-scoring games, now let's take a look at the other side of the spectrum.

Through two weeks, we've had 10 teams see both of their games go under the total. Are these teams going to be under teams all year long? 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Heading into the season, most people expected the Steelers offense to change from last year. However, that hasn't happened through the first two games. They are still a pass-heavy, inefficient offense. They rank 4th in neutral pass-rate while ranking 21st in yards-per-play. Additionally, they're playing at a much slower pace this year. 

It's hard to expect a 39-year-old, potentially injured Ben Roethlisberger to succeed in such a pass-heavy offense. Additionally, their defense is good enough to keep opposition at bay. 

Week 3: Over/Under 44 vs. Cincinnati

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen had a tremendous season last year, but he was an obvious candidate for regression. Through two games, Buffalo's offense has ranked 27th in terms of yards-per-play. Allen is averaging just 5.3 yards per passing attempt, the second-worst mark in the league. His completion percentage is third lowest in the league. 

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 19: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills reacts against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills reacts against the Miami Dolphins during Week 2. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Even if Allen gets going, there seems to be improvement on defense for Buffalo. It was already a solid unit last year, but this year it ranks second in terms of defensive DVOA through two games. 

Week 3: Over/Under 45.5 vs. Washington

New York Jets

The Jets currently rank 28th in pace, 30th in passing rate and 28th in yards-per-play. Zach Wilson is completing under 56% of his passes, the second-worst mark in the league through two weeks. Additionally, he has thrown five interceptions. The Jets have scored just 20 points through two weeks.

Defensively, the Jets sit middle of the pack in terms of DVOA. They rank top 10 in both yards allowed and points allowed. Even if the defense begins to struggle like many expected in the preseason, they don't seem to be a sieve. 

Week 3: Over/Under 41.5 vs. Denver

Carolina Panthers

Any guesses as to who the best defensive team in the league is through two weeks? The Carolina Panthers are giving up just 190 yards of total offense per game. Opponents have scored just 21 points against Carolina. They rank first in both pass and rushing defensive DVOA. The Panthers have a young, exciting and fast defense, and it seems like they're finally reaching their potential. 

Offensively, Carolina ranks around league average in pace, pass rate and yards-per-play. They have the weapons to be a dangerous offense, but the jury is still out on their quarterback even if early results are encouraging for Sam Darnold. 

Week 3: Over/Under 44 vs. Houston

Los Angeles Chargers

Most probably didn't expect to see the Chargers on this list, as their offense led by Justin Herbert has the potential to be dynamic. Through two games, they've been a bit unlucky with issues that should be fixable. 

Los Angeles has turned the ball over four times in two games. Additionally, the Chargers are scoring touchdowns on just 30% of their red-zone trips. I expect less turnovers and more red-zone success moving forward for the Chargers. 

Defensively, the Chargers rank 20th in DVOA. They're especially poor against the run. The numbers say they've gotten a bit fortunate in terms of limiting points against. 

Week 3: Over/Under 55.5 vs. Kansas City

Philadelphia Eagles

It's been a tale of two games for the Eagles offensively. They dominated and moved the ball at will against the Falcons in Week 1. They struggled against the 49ers defense, but most offenses will. We need a bit more time before seeing what this Jalen Hurts offense will look like. Early returns suggest a high-paced offense that is run-heavy but efficient.

Defensively, it's been a tremendous start for the Eagles. They rank top five in terms of both yards and points allowed. They rank eighth in defensive DVOA. It'll be interesting to see how they look without Brandon Graham, their best pass-rusher. 

Week 3: Over/Under 51.5 vs. Dallas

Miami Dolphins

Miami has the least efficient offense in the league in terms of yards-per-play. They were shut out in Week 2 by Buffalo. Only New Orleans has amassed fewer yards on offense than Miami. Things might somehow get worse if Tua Tagovailoa misses time with his injury.

Defensively, Miami is above average. It didn't fare well against Buffalo, but that score got out of hand late once the game was all but decided. The Dolphins rank 11th in defensive DVOA. 

Week 3: Over/Under 45.5 vs. Las Vegas

New England Patriots

New England's offense runs plays at the second-fastest rate of any team in the league. However, it ranks 22nd in terms of yards-per-play. There's a rookie quarterback in control, and his weapons wouldn't excite most fanbases out there. There's hopes of New England having an average offense, but I wouldn't expect much more than that. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots directs the offense in the first half of the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 19, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Quarterback Mac Jones of the New England Patriots directs the offense against the New York Jets in Week 2. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Defensively, Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches of all time. The Patriots have had the benefit of going against the Dolphins and Jets offenses, but they've taken full advantage. New England ranks third in terms of defensive DVOA. 

Week 3: Over/Under 41.5 vs. New Orleans

Denver Broncos

No team in the NFL runs its offense at a slower pace than the Denver Broncos. They're about average in terms of efficiency and yards-per-play. Denver's offense has been solid, scoring 50 points over their first two games. However, it's hard to imagine an offense quarterbacked by Teddy Bridgewater posting crooked numbers all too often.

The bread and butter of the Broncos is their defense. They rank top 10 in both pass and rushing defensive DVOA. They held the Jaguars and Giants to 13 points each in their first two games. 

Week 3: Over/Under 41.5 vs. New York Jets

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are averaging just 225 yards of offense per game and 115 passing yards per game. In neutral situations, they rank 29th in terms of pass rate and 30th in yards-per-play. A lot was masked by the score in game one, but the offense didn't exactly move the ball much against the Packers. It was completely shut down in Week 2 by Carolina.

The Saints' defense looks to be its usual solid self. It currently ranks fifth in defensive DVOA. 

Week 3: Over/Under 41.5 vs. New England

Stats from Football Outsiders, Number Fire and Pro-Football-Reference

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