The first day of school gets all the attention. We see some friends for the first time in months, we meet our new teachers, and we get used to our new courses. It’s a big day. But generally, we’re just wading in the shallow end of the school year. The second day of school is where the real work starts. You have to actually start learning things. The same goes for the NFL when making picks for Week 2 and beyond.
We love Week 1, but we don’t really know anything going in. Do we now? That remains to be seen, but there are some nuggets we can extract from the first set of games. The key to the odds for NFL Week 2 picks: take advantage of others over-reacting. Zig when others zag.
NFL WEEK 2 PICKS: Sea Change in Detroit After Upsets
Going into the season, the Lions were a 2.5-point favorite over Seattle on DraftKings. Then last Thursday, the Lions went into the home of the defending champs and knocked them off. Then this happened:
Aaron Donald has elicited that reaction in a great many men. The Rams were impressive in their Week 1 victory in Seattle.
Now the line has moved three points in Detroit’s direction. Are the teams really that much different than they were heading into the season? Bank on that being a no.
The Play: Seattle +5.5 at Detroit (-105 on FanDuel)
Staying in the AFC North, let’s look at another team that under-performed in the opener. The Steelers, a popular upset pick, were trounced by the 49ers.
This week, they get Cleveland, who comes off the afore-mentioned win over Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh, at home, in primetime, with a burr in their saddle after an embarrassing first game. Favorites in this game preseason, and you are now getting points.
The Play: Pittsburgh +2 vs. Cleveland (-110 on PointsBet), +105 ML
Welcome to Atlanta, Where the Packers Will Play
Bijan Robinson is good. Insert aggressive Chris Berman “WHOOP” here…
Desmond Ridder is not. At least he wasn’t in Week 1.
Ridder was trusted to throw just 18 times. He completed 15, but totaled just 118 yards. The Falcons won as a result of a strong 1-2 punch from Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.
In Week 2, they face a Packers team coming off a thumping of their rival Bears (a game we correctly predicted). Green Bay held Chicago’s running backs to just 63 yards on 19 carries. Their defense will focus heavily on stopping Atlanta on the ground, which will not include the threat of QB runs with Ridder replacing Justin Fields.
The Play: Green Bay ML at Atlanta (-118 on DraftKings)
Dot Your I’s and Cross Your Tease
The Buffalo Bills were favored going into their season-opening match-up with the Jets. New York had more than its fair share of offseason hype. Then this happened four plays into New York’s first possession.
What happened over the next 55 minutes was puzzling. Josh Allen played a largely reckless game. When Allen wasn’t running into traffic like Frogger, he was throwing to new No. 1 receiver Jordan Whitehead–who is on the Jets.
This week, the Bills return home to face the Raiders. Las Vegas surprised many by winning in Denver in week 1. Now, they must travel cross-country, for a 1 p.m. Eastern game, after playing in altitude.
The line on this game was 9.5 going into Monday night. After Buffalo’s stunning loss, it was dropped to 8.5.
Pair them with Pittsburgh, bring the lines under a field goal, and you might have a hedge/middle opportunity on Monday night.
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