For a while, it looked like the San Francisco 49ers’ inability to trade Jimmy Garoppolo would cause problems for the team. All it took was one play, though, to change things significantly. Trey Lance ended up with a fractured ankle after Week 2, which means he will spend a third season not playing much football. Garoppolo entered the game and led the team to a 27-7 win over Seattle. Ironically, the 49ers have a better chance to make the playoffs now than they did with Lance, as Garoppolo led this team to an NFC title game last year, while Lance was still a work in progress. Looking ahead to Week 3, here are some NFL betting outcomes that we think you can take to the bank.
NFL News: Sure Losers for Week 3
→ Sunday, September 25
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Carolina Panthers
(1:00 pm ET, FOX)
Of the two teams, the New Orleans Saints have the better defense, while Carolina has the better tailback (Christian McCaffrey). Trading A.J. Brown to Philadelphia meant that the Panthers had even less of a passing attack than they did in 2021, so even with the addition of Baker Mayfield, the Panthers have difficulty moving the ball. Mayfield played one outstanding quarter against Cleveland in the opener but looked mediocre in the rest of that game and in the loss to the Giants.
The health of Jameis Winston is a question that the Saints will have to answer. He has looked decent so far, but he does not have the same explosiveness that he showed last season before he blew an ACL against Tampa Bay. With the wild card that Taysom Hill presents in the New Orleans offense, the Saints will have more versatility than the Panthers. So even though this is a road game, I like the Saints here. New Orleans to win and cover.
L.A. Rams (-4) at Arizona Cardinals
(4:25 pm ET, FOX)
The Cardinals got dismantled by Kansas City in Week 1, and they spent the first half getting dismantled by Las Vegas in Week 2. Their historic comeback against the Raiders, though, meant that the Cardinals were back on track with a 1-1 record. James Conner may not be able to go for Arizona, which means that Eno Benjamin will have to do the work. I don’t think that they will struggle to find room running the ball, but the Cardinals’ defense is another thing.
The Rams still have a high-powered offense, with Cooper Kupp just the top option in a stellar passing game and a running game that has more speed than last year. The problem for the Rams is that Matthew Stafford looks to be back to his turnover-prone self. The interceptions came back in the last third of the regular season, popped up now and then in the playoffs and then came back in the first two weeks of the season. He almost threw away what should have been a laugher against Atlanta. Even so, the Rams have both the talent and the track record to take care of Arizona. Rams to win and cover.
→ Monday, September 26
Dallas Cowboys (+3) at N.Y. Giants
(8:15 pm ET, ESPN)
Dallas backup quarterback Cooper Rush performed well enough on Sunday to get the win, leading a couple of early scoring drives and then bringing the team into field goal range after Joe Burrow had brought the Cincinnati Bengals back to tie their Week 2 game late in regulation. Tight end Dalton Schultz (knee) could also be out against the Giants.
The Giants have Saquon Barkley back and as much of a force than ever. Dallas has struggled stopping the run the past few seasons, and I see him running all over the Cowboys, grinding out long possessions and keeping the Dallas defense on the field. Even if Daniel Jones gets forced into a turnover or two, I’m not sure Dallas can do much damage against this defense. Giants to win and cover.
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