Two of the best coaches in the preseason will go head-to-head on Friday in Week 3 when Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings (1-1) host Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks (0-2) as 3.5-point home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Zimmer owns a remarkable 15-4 preseason record straight up in five years with the Vikings, while Carroll is 22-12 in nine seasons with the Seahawks.
Neither team has looked great this preseason though, making this week’s “dress rehearsal” for the regular season even more critical. Week 3 is typically when each NFL team’s starters play the most in preparation for the regular-season opener, with the last game often showcasing lesser-known players simply trying to earn a final roster spot.
For Seattle, Carroll does not want to see any additional injured players. The Seahawks are expected to have Doug Baldwin (knee) and running back Rashad Penny (finger) available for Week 1 of the regular season, but both remain out for now to recover from their injuries. Another running back – J.D. McKissic – will miss four-to-six weeks with a fractured foot, further hurting the team’s depth at that position.
Meanwhile, Minnesota is also battling some injuries, particularly to the offensive line that is responsible for protecting new starting quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Vikings lost six players to injuries last week in a 14-10 home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars after routing the Denver Broncos 42-28 in their preseason opener on the road.
Week 3 preseason action will kick off on Thursday when the Cleveland Browns (1-1) host the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) as three-point home favorites on the NFL betting lines. The Browns will look to rebound from a 19-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills last week that ended their five-game winning streak in the preseason dating back to last year and try to get some clarity on their quarterback situation between veteran Tyrod Taylor and rookie Baker Mayfield.
The Eagles will give reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles another start despite a shoulder injury and hope he avoids any further damage.
There are five more NFL preseason games on Friday, seven on Saturday and two on Sunday to close out the Week 3 schedule. The Oakland Raiders (1-1) are the biggest favorites on the board as they host the Green Bay Packers (2-0) as seven-point home chalk on Friday. Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy has said he will rest his key players.