The sports betting market boomed during the NFL’s opening weekend. According to GeoComply, who provides geolocation services for sportsbooks, 58.2 million online sportsbooks transactions took place between last Thursday and last Sunday.
Underdogs ruled the NFL odds, going 11-4 against the spread in Week 1. Underdogs went 8-7 straight up in Week 1, as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers (+6.5, ML +240) took home the largest win by an underdog with their 23-16 win over the Buffalo Bills. The Miami Dolphins (+3.5, ML +165) surprised some with their 17-16 victory over the New England Patriots.
These surprises mean NFL Week 2 picks and predictions will be that much more difficult to make. The totals were nearly evenly split, with the under hitting eight times and the over hitting seven times.
There’s plenty of information to pour over ahead of making another set of NFL predictions for this week. So here’s a look at each NFL Week 2 game, with best odds, picks and predictions for each contest.
New York Giants at Washington Football Team Picks and Predictions
The New York Giants play the Washington Football Team in a Thursday Night Football matchup of division rivals. Both teams enter coming off tough losses in Week 1. The Giants got trounced by the Denver Broncos, 27-13. Meanwhile, the Washington Football Team saw their starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick leave with a serious hip injury that landed him on the IR. The vaunted Washington defense then couldn’t hold the fourth quarter lead at home, losing to the Los Angeles Chargers 20-16.
The New York Giants hoped their offensive fortunes would turn with the return of Saquon Barkley, but the running back managed just 27 total yards and just 2.6 yards per carry last Sunday. Daniel Jones fumbled and the Giants offense put up just 314 yards of total offense. Jones’ fumble marked the 30th of his career, in just 28 career games.
The Washington Football Team entered looking to defend their NFC East title, but saw those hopes potentially dashed thanks to a serious hip injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Taylor Heinicke replaced Fitzpatrick in the lineup and played admirably, completing 11-15 passes of 122 yards, but the team managed just 16 points and 259 yards of total offense. Washington converted three of 10 third down attempts.
Washington’s defense held the Los Angeles Chargers to 20 points, but surrendered 424 yards in the process. Justin Herbert threw for 334 yards. Washington held the Chargers to two touchdowns on six trips into the red zone, and caused two red zone turnovers. That’s promising considering Jones is a significant step down from Herbert in terms of talent and capability.
Despite the subpar quarterback play, recent history favors the Giants in this matchup. New York has won the last five games between these two, including three in a row at FedExField. The under cashed in on both matchups last season, with the Giants averaging 21.5 points and Washington averaging 19.5 points per game.
Incredibly, Daniel Jones sports four of his eight career wins against Washington. Heinicke, meanwhile, will make just his third career regular season start, as the team opts for him over signing a veteran like Cam Newton. Heinicke played well in the postseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season and should be a suitable game-manager on the short week.
The under for this game stands at 41, and three of the last four matchups between these two have hit the under. With two good defenses, and two limited quarterbacks, the under seems like the safest play in this contest.
Picks and Predictions
Washington 20, New York 17
Moneyline: WAS +220 (FoxBet); Spread: NYG +3.5/-116 (UniBet); O/U: U 41/-105 (PointsBet)
The New Orleans Saints play the Carolina Panthers in an NFC South divisional matchup. Both teams enter this Week 2 contest coming off of Week 1 wins. The Saints surprised many in the football world with their 38-3 beat down of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Playing in Jacksonville didn’t seem to affect the Saints at all, who got solid quarterback play from Jameis Winston. The Panthers, meanwhile, topped the lowly New York Jets, 19-14, in what was something of a revenge game for quarterback Sam Darnold.
For the New Orleans Saints, their Week 1 drubbing of the Packers, who entered the game with the fourth-highest odds to win the NFC this season, stands as something of a feel-good story. Relocated in the wake of Hurricane Ida, New Orleans came together for this dominant victory despite working in 10 new starters. Perhaps most surprisingly, Winston outplayed defending league MVP Rodgers with his five-touchdown performance. The worry with Winston has always been his penchant for turnovers, and his only interception on Sunday was nullified by a penalty.
The Carolina Panthers handled their business with their win over the New York Jets. Darnold accounted for both Carolina touchdowns, throwing one and rushing the other in against his former team. His TD pass was a 57-yarder to another ex-Jet, Robby Anderson. The Panthers defense feasted on New York’s suspect offensive line, registering six sacks on rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. And Christian McCaffery, who played just three games last season, looked good in his return. He tallied 98 rushing yards on 21 carries and 89 receiving yards on nine catches.
Recent history between these two clubs favors New Orleans considerably, although that could be discounted somewhat since Drew Brees was their quarterback. The Saints have won four in a row in this matchup, scoring at least 27 points in each of those wins. They’re 6-1 in their last seven versus Carolina, but just 2-5 ATS against the Panthers.
New Orleans is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games overall, and it’s last five on the road. The total has gone under in four of the Saint’s last 5 road games. But the total has gone over in four of the last five in this matchup specifically. Carolina’s last 5 games when playing New Orleans. Carolina is 1-5-1 against the spread in its last seven home games against the Saints. The Panthers are 3-4 straight up in their last seven overall, but 5-2 against the spread.
The Saints defense looked particularly impressive last week against Green Bay, picking off Rodgers twice and surrendering just three points. Laying 3.5 points on the road against an unproven Panthers team seems like a good bet for New Orleans, as long as Winston doesn’t throw a few interceptions. The historical inconsistencies of these two starting quarterbacks makes this NFL Week 2 prediction difficult.
Picks and Predictions
New Orleans 27, Carolina 14
Moneyline: NO -175 (FoxBet); Spread: NO -3/+102 (FanDuel); O/U: U 44/-105 (PointsBet)
The Cincinnati Bengals play the Chicago Bears squared off in this interconference battle of rebuilding teams. The Bengals pulled off the upset victory at home with their overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Joe Burrow looked good in his return from a knee injury and Joe Mixon led all rushers in Week 1 with his 127-yard performance. The Bears, though, sputtered to a 34-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, one of the NFC’s top Super Bowl contenders this season. Chicago actually had a chance at a halftime lead before an endzone interception by Andy Dalton.
The Cincinnati Bengals have to be hopeful coming off their thrilling overtime victory against the Vikings. Burrow went 20-of-27 for 267 yards and two touchdowns. First round pick Ja’Marr Chase silenced preseason doubts with his 5-catch, 101-yard, 1-TD performance. And Mixon looked as good as ever churning up yards on the ground.
The Bengals defense held Minnesota’s Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook to just 61 yards on 20 carries, a 3.1 yards per carry average. They’ll look to repeat that performance against the Bears top running back, David Montgomery, who picked up 108 rushing yards on 16 carries in Week 1.
The Chicago Bears figured to play conservatively on offense, and they did. Chicago worked in first round quarterback Justin Fields for a few plays and saw the rookie get his first touchdown on a 3-yard run. He also completed both passes he threw for a total of 10 yards. Dalton managed the offense carefully, but couldn’t come up with the big play.
Chicago’s defense, though, gave up several big plays, which is concerning entering this matchup. First-year defensive coordinator Sean Desai saw his secondary blow multiple coverages against the Rams that led to a pair of 50-plus yard touchdown passes for Los Angeles. They’ll need to clean up those communication issues ahead of their matchup with Burrow and the Bengals.
The Bengals enter with a 2-4 mark against the spread in their last six road games. They’re 1-5 straight up in those contests. The Bears, meanwhile, went 3-5 both against the spread and straight up at home last season. Although these two teams don’t play very often, Cincinnati holds a 5-2-1 record against the spread in the last eight games in this matchup.
Both games for these two clubs hit the under last week, and that could happen again in this Week 2 matchup. If the Bengals are going to land their second upset victory in a row, they’ll need to do a better job of protecting Burrow, who was sacked five times against Minnesota. But if they can keep Burrow upright, he can make plays with Chase on the outside.
The Houston Texans play the Cleveland Browns in one of the NFL’s most intriguing Week 2 matchups. The Texans travel to Cleveland after dismantling the Jacksonville Jaguars, spoiling No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence’s debut. Houston entered with the longest odds to win the AFC this season, but looked nothing like the conference’s worst team. The Browns, meanwhile, are tied for the third-best odds to win the AFC and looked like a contender in the first half of their game against the Kansas City Chiefs. But Cleveland couldn’t hold the lead and lost a crucial game in Week 1.
The Houston Texans bucked many of the NFL picks and predictions for Week 1 with their 37-21 victory over the Jaguars. The Texans defense matched its entire 2020 total with three interceptions of Lawrence on Sunday. Houston rushed out to a 27-7 lead in Week 1 and got steady quarterback play from Tyrod Taylor. The Texans also piled up 160 rushing yards, fourth-most by any team in Week 1.
After registering as the league’s worst defense against the run last season, Houston held the Jaguars to just 76 yards. That, though, might be more the product of a big lead than an effective defense.
For the Cleveland Browns , everything looked to be going their way. The Browns built an 11-point halftime lead and held a lead entering the fourth quarter in Kansas City. But the Chiefs offense came to life in the second half and proved too much for Cleveland in this possible AFC playoff matchup. Mayfield threw for over 300 yards but tossed a game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter. The Browns did roll up 153 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns, something they look to replicate against Houston.
Houston is 6-3 against the spread in its last nine games, but 3-6 straight up in those contests. The Texans are even worse on the road, posting marks of 2-8 straight up and 3-6-1 against the spread in their last 10. The Browns, meanwhile, are 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games, but 10-3 straight up in their last 13 games in Cleveland.
The last two times these clubs have met have hit the under, with the winner covering both times. And both teams enter this Week 2 matchup after seeing their Week 1 games also hit the under. Cleveland likely attacks the Texans run defense with their combination of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, which will keep the clock moving. Houston may focus on the run as well in hope of limiting opportunities for Mayfield and company.
The under seems like the safest play in this contest. 12.5 points is a lot to lay for most home favorites. But while the Texans might be better than everyone thought entering the season, Cleveland can’t afford to start 0-2 with two conference losses.
The Los Angeles Rams play the Indianapolis Colts square off in this Week 2 matchup of teams starting new quarterbacks this season. The results for these clubs in their first turns with their new QBs were vastly different. The Rams throttled the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football in front of fans for the first time at SoFi Stadium. Matthew Stafford looked comfortable, throwing for 321 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Colts, though, struggled in their Week 1 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The defense gave up big plays to Russell Wilson and the offense lacked explosiveness.
The Los Angeles Rams entered the season with the second-best odds to win the NFC Conference and proved to be one of the NFL’s top Week 1 picks straight up and against the spread. Chemistry concerns for Stafford and his receivers quickly went out the door, considering his early 67-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson. After not playing in the preseason, Stafford showed a mastery of the offense that has to hearten Los Angeles faithful.
Stafford hit long passes to Jefferson, Cooper Kupp (57-yard touchdown) and Tyler Higbee (37 yards), but the team struggled to establish the run against the Bears. The Rams managed just 74 yards on 23 carries (3.2 yards per carry), with the majority of those coming late. Los Angeles put up just 18 rushing yards through three quarters on Sunday night. But they’re facing an Indianapolis defense that allowed touchdowns passes to Wilson and the Seahawks on three of the first four possessions last week.
The Indianapolis Colts won the time of possession battle against Seattle by more than 11 minutes, but couldn’t limit the big plays on defense. The 28-16 loss stood as the eight consecutive Week 1 loss for the Colts. And although Carson Wentz threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns, the offense lacked any semblance of explosiveness.
The Colts enter this matchup just 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games at home. Indy is 4-3 straight up in those contests. The total has gone under in seven of Indy’s last 10 home games. The total has hit over in three of their last five games overall. The Rams, meanwhile, have seen the under hit in three of their last five and in 11 of LA’s last 16 games. The Rams are 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Indianapolis.
The four-point spread seems to favor the more high-powered Rams offense, but this could be one of those time-zone trap games for Los Angeles. The Rams also might be caught looking ahead to their pivotal Week 3 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the Colts, they desperately need a win in Week 2, considering their next three games are on the road against potential AFC playoff teams.
That said, another underwhelming offensive performance and a high-powered opponent could signal an 0-2 start in Indy.
Picks and Predictions
Los Angeles 27, Indianapolis 24
Moneyline: LAR -200 (BetMGM); Spread: IND +4/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: O 48/-105 (FoxBet)
The Denver Broncos play the Jacksonville Jaguars come into their Week 2 matchup feeling very different. The Broncos enter pleasantly surprised after dominating the New York Giants on the road in their Week 1 victory. The Jaguars, though, enter disappointed after their tough Week 1 loss on the road to the Houston Texans.
The Denver Broncos saw Teddy Bridgewater become their fifth different starting quarterback in Week 1 in five years. The instability at the position since Peyton Manning’s retirement has hindered this franchise, but Bridgewater’s steady play leans hope for the future. Bridgewater went 28-of-36 for 264 passing yards and two touchdowns. He posted the second highest completion percentage in Week 1 at 77.8 percent. Bridgewater added 19 rushing yards on three carries. He piloted the Broncos offense 27 points, which the team hopes will be more than enough given their potentially dominant defense.
Denver kept Giants running back Saquon Barkley under wraps, allowing him just 27 total yards in his return from a knee injury. The Broncos did suffer a major injury on Sunday, though. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy was carted off with an ankle sprain and will be out for several weeks.
For the Jacksonville Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence’s debut was shaky at best. The Jaguars looked ill-prepared under first-year head coach Urban Meyer. The offense made too made boneheaded mistakes early, like too many players in the huddle and lining up incorrectly. Jacksonville burned two timeouts early to avoid delay of game penalties as well.
Lawrence threw three touchdowns, but also three interceptions in his first game. But he wasn’t helped by his receivers, considering the six Jaguar drops on Sunday. Jacksonville also abandoned the run perhaps too early, attempting just 16 carries all game. James Robinson, coming off a 1,000-yard rookie season, got just five carries in Week 1.
This is a matchup of two of last season’s worst teams, and while the Broncos have improved, Jacksonville doesn’t seem to be able to say the same. The two clubs combined for a 6-26 record last season. The Jaguars won the last meeting between these two teams, back in 2019, but the rosters are completely different. Gardner Minshew and Leonard Fournette led the way for the Jags in that 26-24 victory.
Denver enters with a 4-2 record against the spread, but 2-4 mark straight up over the last six games. The total has gone over in four of the Broncos last five games, with the winner covering each time. And Denver sports a 6-3 mark against the spread in its last nine road games.
This game seems like one of the easiest NFL predictions of the week, but considering it’s Denver’s second straight east coast contest, it’s harder to call. Are the Jags really as bad as they looked? They may very well be, but there should be some juice for Lawrence’s home debut. It’s hard to bet against Bridgewater, who’s 36-13-1 against the spread in his career, but laying six points to the home team is a lot.
Picks and Predictions
Denver 24, Jacksonville 20
ML: DEN -263 (BetMGM); Spread: JAX +6/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: U 45.5/-105 (PointsBet)
The Buffalo Bills play the Miami Dolphins face off in this pivotal early season AFC East matchup. The Bills travel to Miami Gardens after a second half meltdown at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. Buffalo squandered a 10-point second half lead and couldn’t complete the comeback. The Dolphins, meanwhile, bucked many NFL Week 1 picks and predictions with their road victory over the New England Patriots.
The Buffalo Bills entered the season with the second-best odds to win the AFC Conference and sought to establish their claim atop the AFC with a convincing win over the Steelers. But the Bills offense struggled to find traction in this one, especially with their offensive line being flagged for six holding penalties. The Steelers outscored Buffalo 23-3 in the second half, and the Bills defense allowed three nine-plus play drives in the second half.
MVP runner up last season, Josh Allen threw for 270 yards and the team tallied 117 rushing yards, but the Bills converted just one of four trips into the red zone for a touchdown.
The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, upset the New England Patriots in their Week 1 game. Miami was one of 11 underdogs to win in Week 1. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is now 2-0 in his career in games started against New England. Tagovailoa went 16-of-27 for 202 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran in a touchdown from three-yards out. The Dolphins opened the first and second halves with touchdown drives, but struggled otherwise. Miami managed to convert only 4-of-11 third down attempts/
The Dolphins defense, though. held the Patriots to just 16 points and forced two key turnovers in this one, a year after leading the league in takeaways. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones played well enough, but spent most of the day completing underneath throws. He nearly lost a fumble on his first drive.
But in this crucial AFC East matchup, the Bills have held the upper hand of late. Buffalo sports five straight wins over the Dolphins, including a dominant 56-26 victory in Week 17 last season. The Bills won by three points in Week 2 of 2020 with Allen throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns the last time he played in Miami. Buffalo’s offense has scored at least 31 points in each of those five victories.
The Bills are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games. The Dolphins picked up where they left off last season with another against the spread win. Last season, Miami led the NFL with a 11-5 record against the spread, but they’ve lost their last five straight up to the Bills. They are, however, 5-0 against the spread in their last five home games.
Both teams saw their Week 1 games hit the under, but the last three matchups between these two have hit the over. It’s hard to bet against the Bills in NFL predictions this week because an 0-2 start with looming games against Kansas City and Tennessee really hurt those futures bets.
The New England Patriots play the New York Jets open AFC East divisional play this season with their Week 2 matchup. One week after suffering a difficult upset loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots look to right the ship against a rookie quarterback. The Jets host their division rival for their home opener after a disappointing Week 1 loss of their own. But when looking at this matchup, it’s hard not to consider New England one of the top NFL Week 2 picks straight up and against the spread.
The New England Patriots controlled the majority of their Week 1 contest against the Dolphins, but still suffered a 17-16 loss. The Patriots won time of possession, registered 5.6 yards per play (better than Miami’s 5.0), and converted 11-of-16 third down attempts. But a pair of costly turnovers prevented the win. New England also struggled in the red zone, scoring just one touchdown in four trips inside the 20-yard line.
Rookie Mac Jones seemed poised in his first start, although he almost suffered a boneheaded fumble in his first drive. Although Jones didn’t make any key mistakes, the Patriots offense coddled him in his first start. The majority of his throws came underneath, and he released the ball quickly to avoid Miami’s pressure. All told, he completed 29 of 39 throws for 281 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown, though, came after a questionable roughing the passer penalty which negated a third-down sack by the Dolphins.
New England head coach Bill Belichick gets to scheme against another young quarterback in this one. Jets rookie Zach Wilson struggled at times against the Carolina Panthers in his NFL debut, and now he has to face a Patriots defense ready to feast on a weak New York offensive line. Belichick enters this matchup 21-7 against rookie quarterbacks since 2000.
The New York Jets struggled to protect their rookie quarterback in Week 1. The Jets allowed Carolina to get six sacks. New York posted a meager 4.2 pards per play against the Panthers and managed just one red zone trip in Week 1.
New England has won the last 10 games in this matchup, and 18 of the last 20. In the last meeting between these two teams, albeit with very different quarterback situations, the Patriots won 28-14, covering the spread. In their Week 9 matchup last season, the Jets managed to cover the nine-point spread in a 30-27 loss. The over hit in both those games and in three of the last four in this matchup.
The Patriots enter this game with a 9-1 record straight up in their last 10 games against rookie quarterbacks. The total has gone under in four of New England’s last five road games, and seven of the last 10 against the Jets.
Although this is a rookie starting quarterback on the road for the first time in his career, it’s hard to bet against Belichick and the Patriots. New England remains a solid NFL Week 2 pick straight up, and a solid NFL Week 2 pick against the spread. The under also checks in as a solid NFL Week 2 prediction considering the two conservative offenses with rookie QBs.
Picks and Predictions
New England 23, New York 17
ML: NE -227 (FoxBet); Spread: NE -5.5/-110 (DraftKings); O/U: U 42.5/+100 (FoxBet)
The San Francisco 49ers play the Philadelphia Eagles in one of the most exciting matchups on NFL’s Week 2 slate. The 49ers looked very much like the team with the third-best odds to win the NFC Championship this season when they held a 38-10 lead in the second half. But San Francisco had to survive a furious fourth quarter rally from the Detroit Lions to come way with the victory. The Eagles, however, raced out to a sizable lead of their own, but cruised to victory over the Atlanta Falcons. This matchup is one of two in the NFC with 1-0 teams facing each other.
The San Francisco 49ers suffered through an injury-riddled campaign last season and looked to put that all behind them. But the 49ers lost their starting running back, Raheem Mostert, and an important member of their secondary in Jason Verrett, as well. And thanks to the Lions’ rally, San Francisco lost the cover. But the over cashed in easily in this game, the highest-scoring of the weekend.
After an opening drive fumble on a snap exchange, Jimmy Garoppolo bounced back to go 17-of-25 for 314 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers worked in Trey Lance early and the rookie quarterback threw a touchdown on his only pass attempt. George Kittle looked like his All-Pro self with 78 yards on four catches, and Deebo Samuel put up 178 yards on nine catches, including a 79-yard touchdown.
Jalen Hurts looked very much like a startling-caliber NFL quarterback with his performance. Hurts threw for 264 passing yards and three touchdowns, then ran for another 64 yards on seven carries. The Eagles piled up 173 rushing yards total, between Hurts, Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell. That was the second-highest total of any team last weekend. Hurts connected on a touchdown early with rookie wideout DeVonta Smith, who finished with six catches, 71 yards and one TD in his debut.
Questions surround both teams entering this contest. Are the Eagles for real, or is Atlanta just that bad? Did the 49ers just ease off the gas, or are there large issues at play?
The 49ers have to come all the way to the east coast for an early kickoff, but that’s something they’ve been okay with in Philadelphia. San Francisco sports a 6-3 record both against the spread and straight up in its last nine road games against the Eagles.
While Philadelphia seems clearly better than preseason prognostications, the 49ers looked Super Bowl-worthy early in their Week 1 tilt. This game won’t be a blow out, but San Francisco should prevent the Eagles from running all over the place and ultimate take this one.
Picks and Predictions
San Francisco 28, Philadelphia 24
ML: SF -185 (888sport); Spread: SF -3.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: O 50/-105 (DraftKings)
The Las Vegas Raiders play the Pittsburgh Steelers in a matchup of surprise 1-0 AFC teams. Both were underdog winners in Week 1. The Raiders welcomed fans in to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for the first time and didn’t disappoint. Although the team fell behind early, the Raiders rallied for a thrilling overtime victory that capped an exciting NFL Week 1 overall. The Steelers stole a game as underdogs in Buffalo. Pittsburgh proved to be the biggest underdog winners in Week 1, defying the Week 1 picks and predictions and overcoming a 6.5-point spread en route to a 23-16 win.
The Las Vegas Raiders have improved each season under head coach Jon Gruden in his second tour with the team. They gone from 4-12 to 7-9, and last year posted an 8-8 record. This year, they’re looking to make the playoffs for just the third time in 20 years, and the Week 1 win over the Baltimore Ravens helped in that quest.
Derek Carr led all passers in Week 1 with his 435-yard performance. Carr completed 34 of 56 attempts and threw two touchdowns along the way. Carr found tight end Darren Waller 10 times for 105 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders rallied to score 17 fourth quarter points and converted an overtime fumble by Lamar Jackson into the game-winning score.
Las Vegas’ defense will have to shore up along the line, considering they allowed 189 rushing yards and 5.6 yards per carry. They won’t have to deal with a mobile quarterback in Week 2, considering Ben Roethlisberger is essentially a statue when compared to Lamar Jackson.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday’s thrilling come-from-behind victory in Buffalo could help with playoff seeding down the line, but the offense left much to be desired in that one. The Steelers were outgained in Week 1 by 371-251, and first round running back Najee Harris managed a meager 2.8 yards per carry. They managed just six points through three quarters before a blocked punt-turned-touchdown completely reversed the momentum of the game.
The Steelers defense looked great in Week 1, holding the high-powered Bills offense to just three second-half points. Linebacker T.J. Watt impressed with five QB hits, two sacks, and one tackle-for-loss.
The Raiders come east for this important early season AFC matchup on a short week. The Raiders are 3-2 against the spread, but just 1-4 straight up in their last five games in Pittsburgh. The over hit in four of the last six of the Raiders’ games in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are 11-3 straight up in their last 14 home games. The over has hit in six of their last nine home games.
The Steelers seemed to silence some of their critics after their Week 1 win, and look to do so again this week. Najee Harris should see better results in this one, too.
The Minnesota Vikings play the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona this week. This game features a pair of teams with surprising results from Week 1. The Vikings went to Cincinnati last week as a road favorite, but lost the game in overtime to the Bengals. The Cardinals, meanwhile, traveled to Tennessee and dominated as a road underdog in Week 1. Most NFL Week 1 picks and predictions trended one way for these teams, now sportsbooks seem to have adjusted their spreads for Week 2.
The Minnesota Vikings found themselves at the mercy of a fully healthy Joe Burrow in Cincinnati. Burrow completed 20-of-27 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings secondary. Although Minnesota’s defensive line generated pressure and sacked him five times, Burrow still made big plays. The Vikings also surrendered the highest single rushing total of Week 1, as Joe Mixon ran up 127 yards against them.
The Vikings offense struggled throughout the day to find traction. Their offensive line struggled mightily as well. The o-line was responsible for 70 of Minnesota’s 116 penalty yards. They also couldn’t open holes for Dalvin Cook, who managed just 61 yards on 20 carries. If the Vikings are going to compete with a high-powered Cardinals offense, they’ll need to be sharper and more balanced.
For the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday’s 38-13 drubbing of the Titans stands as a coming out party of sorts. The Cardinals are something of a Super Bowl dark horse heading into the season, but their dismantling of another Super Bowl hopeful turned heads in Week 1. Kyler Murray completed 21-of-32 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns. He ran for 20 yards and another touchdown as well. He found DeAndre Hopkins six times for 83 yards and two scores, while connecting with Christian Kirk five times for 70 yards and two TDs.
Not to be outdone, the Cardinals defense complete stifled 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry. The All-Pro running back put up just 58 yards on 17 carries, a 3.4 yards per carry average. Arizona limited Henry to just eight yards in the first half, his lowest total as a starter in two years. Tennessee’s offense as a whole struggled, gaining just 251 net yards in the game. Chandler Jones submitted his name early for Defensive Player of the Year after registering five sacks in this one.
Arizona enters 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 games, while the Vikings are 0-5 against the spread in their last five. Minnesota’s had the advantage in recent matchups between these two, with a 3-1-2 record against the spread and 5-1 record straight up in their last six. Both teams have seen the over hit regularly, with five of six going over for Arizona and four of five for the Vikings. The under has come in the last two matchups between these two, with Minnesota winning and covering both times.
For the Vikings to hang with Arizona in this one, they’ll need to slow the pace to a crawl. Minnesota must win time of possession and get consistent yards on the ground with Dalvin Cook just to limit the opportunities for Murray and company. But the Cardinals strike fast and should have no problem controlling this game.
Picks and Predictions
Arizona 31, Minnesota 21
ML: AZ +205 (FoxBet); Spread: AZ -4.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: O 51.5/+100 (FoxBet)
The Atlanta Falcons play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a matchup that features a pair of teams heading in the wrong direction. The Falcons enter this divisional game coming off a blowout loss in their home opener to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, started their Super Bowl defense last Thursday with a close win over the game Dallas Cowboys.
The Atlanta Falcons are reeling after the Week 1 rout at the hands of the Eagles. Philadelphia put up 434 total yards of offense in this one, despite committing 14 penalties for 89 yards. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense, meanwhile, managed just 260 total yards and six points. Atlanta went 3-for-14 on third downs in this one. Ryan threw for just 164 yards. Heralded rookie tight end Kyle Pitts put up four catches and 31 yards in his debut.
Atlanta’s defense struggled to stop anything the Eagles were doing. Philadelphia ran up 173 rushing yards, the second highest team total in Week 1. While the Bucs don’t normally rely on the run game, Tampa Bay does have a pair of capable backs in Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers escaped their Thursday Night game against the Cowboys with a 31-29 win thanks in large part to three missed kicks by Greg Zuerlein. The Bucs are favored to win the NFC Conference despite the struggle in the opener, but Tom Brady showed once again age is but a number. Brady went 32-of-50 for 279 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions against Dallas. He targeted seven different receivers and saw two eclipse the 100-yard mark.
The only hope for Atlanta entering this contest is to attack the Bucs secondary like Dallas did. The Cowboys couldn’t run the ball effectively against Tampa Bay’s front seven, but quarterback Dak Prescott found plenty of space through the air. Prescott threw for over 400 yards and three scores. Ryan will need to duplicate those efforts if the Falcons are going to snag an upset victory.
The Bucs swept this series last season, winning 44-27 in Week 17 as a 7.5-point favorite at home. Tampa Bay won on the road earlier in the season 31-27. Brady averaged 394.5 passing yards in the two meetings against the Falcons last season. The over hit for both of those contests last season. Actually, the over’s hit in the last six straight games in this series, and in each of the last three meetings in Tampa.
Tampa Bay still holds the best Super Bowl odds in the NFC, but the 12.5-point spread is the widest in Week 2. While it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Bucs run away with this one, there’s a solid chance the Falcons stay within two scores.
The Dallas Cowboys play the Los Angeles Chargers in SoFi Stadium, where Chargers faithful get to see their team live for the first time. Cowboys fans in Southern California are also expected to flood SoFi Stadium and they might very well wash out any home field advantage Los Angeles might have held. The Cowboys enter coming off a heartbreaking Week 1 defeat to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Chargers come home after securing a solid road win against the Washington Football Team.
The Dallas Cowboys can take solace in the fact that Dak Prescott looked great in his return from injury. Prescott threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns against the Bucs. He immediately flashed the old chemistry with Amari Cooper, who made 13 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Second-year wideout CeeDee Lamb also impressed with 104 yards and a score on his seven catches.
The worry for the Cowboys has to be the play of Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke managed just 33 yards on 11 carries. Dallas as a whole only mustered 60 rushing yards on 18 carries, a 3.3 yards per carry average. The Cowboys made it to the red zone four times, but came away with just one touchdown.
Despite all that, Dallas was in position to win if not for the two missed field goals (31 and 60 yards) and the missed PAT by Greg Zuerlein. Cowboys exploited Tampa Bay’s young secondary, but the Chargers feature a better backend group that the Bucs.
The Los Angeles Chargers, meanwhile, won a game that they would have lost in recent years. Justin Herbert proved once again to be the most prolific passer of last year’s rookie quarterback crop, throwing for 337 yards and one touchdown. He completed 31-of-47 attempts, but had two costly red zone turnovers.
It was those red zone troubles that kept the game close in Washington. The Chargers made it to the red zone six times last Sunday, but came away with just two touchdowns. Herbert lost the ball on a freak fumble that went through the back of the end zone, but also threw a red zone interception.
The trends for Dallas check in all over the place. The Cowboys are 4-1 against the spread in their last five, but 4-8 straight up over their last 12. Dallas sports a 3-8 mark against the spread in its last 11 road games, and an a 2-10 straight up mark in its last 12 road games. The Chargers, meanwhile, are 5-0 against the spread and straight up in their last five. Los Angeles is 5-12-1 against the spread in its last 18 home games.
Five of LA’s last seven games have gone under, while six of the Cowboys’ last eight went over. This game seems to be ticketed for the over, despite the high total, considering the quarterbacks in play and average defenses. The Cowboys look to avoid an 0-2 start coming off a solid Week 1 performance.
Picks and Predictions
Dallas 33, Los Angeles 30
ML: DAL +145 (DraftKings); Spread: DAL +2.5/+102 (888sport); O/U: O 55.5/-105 (FanDuel)
The Tennessee Titans play the Seattle Seahawks in a game that features two teams feeling very different after their Week 1 contests. The Titans were shocked at home by the Arizona Cardinals, but Tennessee remains among the top-6 Super Bowl hopefuls in the AFC. The Seahawks, though, went to Indianapolis and dominated the Colts, flashing a big-play, quick-strike offense.
The Tennessee Titans are easily one of the most disappointed teams coming out of Week 1. After being favored by most NFL Week 1 picks and predictions, the Titans head out on the road as 5.5-point underdogs. Tennessee’s defense surrendered five total touchdowns to Kyler Murray, and 38 points overall, and face a similarly mobile quarterback this week in Russell Wilson.
The Titans offense brought in Julio Jones in the offseason, but he and quarterback Ryan Tannehill couldn’t find the chemistry in their first game together. Jones managed just three catches for 29 yards. The offensive line surrendered six sacks of Tannehill, giving up five to Chandler Jones alone. The o-line also did little to help Derrick Henry, who posted just 58 rushing yards after a year where he ran up over 2,000-yards.
The Seattle Seahawks started the season with an impressive road victory in Indianapolis. The Seahawks scored on touchdown passes from Wilson on three of their first four possessions against Indy. He hit on multiple big throws downfield, exposing problems on the backend of the Colts defense. Seattle also registered 140 rushing yards and 5.2 yards per carry.
The Seahawks defense clamped down on Indy’s offense, keeping Caron Wentz to 251 passing yards in his Colts debut. Seattle registered three sacks and allowed just 90 rushing yards to Colts running backs. They’ll face an offense with more high-powered weapons in Tennessee, though.
Tennessee enters a must-win situation in Seattle, hoping to avoid an 0-2 start. The Titans are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games, but 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games on the road. Tennessee, though, is 4-1 straight up in their last five road games, but the Seahawks are 7-2 straight up in their last nine home games. For Seattle, their trends show a 5-1 straight up record in their last six, and a 4-2 mark against the spread in their last six home games.
Each of the last five Titans games have hit the over. The Seahawks had three of their last five hit the over. But the total has gone under in eight of the last 10 games in Seattle. With the total set at 53.5 for this one, and two solid offenses, the over could hit here.
Tennessee needs to establish the run with Henry to limit opportunities for Seattle’s high-powered offense. But Wilson and company can replicate all of the issues the Titans had against the Cardinals in Week 1.
The Kansas City Chiefs play the Baltimore Ravens in a game that pits two of the teams with best Super Bowls odds in the AFC. The Chiefs fell behind early in their Week 1 contest against the Cleveland Browns, but got going in the second half to take the victory. The Ravens enter this one on a short week, after losing their Monday Night Football matchup in overtime to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Kansas City Chiefs remain favored to win the AFC Conference despite struggling to overcome the Browns. Cleveland held a 22-10 lead at the half, and a nine-point fourth quarter lead. But the Chiefs offense struck quickly with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill in the fourth quarter to turn the momentum around. Hill finished with 11 catches for 197 yards and that score. Mahomes threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns.
The Chiefs leaned on Mahomes and the passing game throughout. Kansas City ran up 73 rushing yards, but managed just 3.2 yards per carry. The Chiefs defense struggled to contain Cleveland’s rushing attack. The Browns ran up 153 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. They averaged 5.4 yards per carry, something that plays right into the strength of the Ravens. Kansas City did come up with the game-sealing interception late the fourth quarter though.
For the Baltimore Ravens , Week 1 ended on a sour note. Despite having a backfield decimated by injury, the Ravens still managed 189 rushing yards. Lamar Jackson led Baltimore with 86 rushing yards. Ty’Son Williams led their running backs with 65 yards on nine carries. The Ravens built an early lead in Las Vegas, but critical turnovers proved to be their downfall.
With this loss, Baltimore is now 81-1 under John Harbaugh when leading by 14-plus points. They’ll have their hands full with Mahomes and the Chiefs passing attack. The Ravens gave up a NFL-Week 1-high 435 passing yards to Derek Carr. Tight end Darren Waller caught 10 balls for 105 yards and a TD.
The Chiefs enter this matchup 0-4-1 mark against the spread in their last five games on the road. But Kansas City is 11-1 straight up in their last 12 road games. The Chiefs are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against Baltimore. Kansas City has won the last three games between these two. Jackson is 0-3 in three career starts against Mahomes.
The Ravens are 7-2 against the spread and straight up in their nine games. The total has gone under in four of Baltimore’s last five games, but has gone over in four of the Chiefs last six games.
For the Ravens to win this ballgame, they’ll need to attack Kansas City’s weakness against the run. They’ll need to keep the ball away from Mahomes and company to limit the Chiefs scoring opportunities. Although Kansas City has won the last two matchups by double digits, the Ravens should be able to keep this one close.
Picks and Predictions
Kansas City 31, Baltimore 28
ML: KC -164 (PointsBet); Spread: BAL +4/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: O 55.5/-110 (BetMGM)
The Detroit Lions play the Green Bay Packers in the Week 2 edition of Monday Night Football. The Lions staged a furious fourth quarter rally against the 49ers in Week 1, but ultimately came up short. The Packers, meanwhile, were dominated by the New Orleans Saints in their neutral-site opening contest.
The Detroit Lions entered their Week 1 home games against San Francisco with the longest odds to win the NFC Championship. Despite their stirring comeback, the Lions dropped the game 41-33. The only positive for Detroit fans is the valiant rally resulted in the Lions grabbing the cover. Detroit and the 49ers combined for the highest point total of Week 1 (74) and easily hit the over (46).
Jared Goff become the first non-Matthew Stafford starter at quarterback for Detroit since Jon Kitna’s 2008 Week 1 start. Goff started slowly for the Lions, 1-of-5 for 12 yards and an interception, but he closed strong. Goff finished 38-of-57 for 338 yards and three touchdowns.
The Green Bay Packers, meanwhile, suffered a surprisingly one-sided defeat against the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints. After leading the NFL in scoring last season, the Packers managed just three points in the opener. Defending league MVP Aaron Rodgers looked mortal, throwing two interceptions, including his first red zone interception since Week 6 of 2019. In that span, Rodgers threw 45 red zone touchdowns. He managed just 133 passing yards against the Saints. Rodgers eventually gave way to second-year quarterback Jordan Love in mop-up duty.
Green Bay worked in two rookies along the offensive line and will be without David Bakhtiari for at least six weeks. Rodgers and the Pack will look to bounce back against a Lions team they’ve dominated of late.
Last season, the Packers beat Detroit 31-24 in Week 14 at Ford Field. In their Week 2 game in Lambeau, Green Bay routed the Lions 42-21. Detroit covered the Week 14 contest, but the Packers covered in Week 2 and that game hit the over.
The Lions are actually 3-1 against the spread in the last four games in this series, but that’s the only thing going in their favor. The Packers are 4-0 versus Detroit over the last two seasons. Green Bay is 6-0 following losses recently, with five of those six wins coming by double digits. In their last three primetime games, the Packers are 3-0 with an average margin of victory of 18.7 points.
That said, three of the last four games between these two have been decided by seven points or less, and the Packers are coming off a league-low 229 total yards of offense in Week 1. The total has gone over in four of Green Bay’s last five games.
Picks and Predictions
Green Bay 30, Detroit 24
ML: GB +140 (FoxBet); Spread: DET +10.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: O 48.5/-105 (FoxBet)