One week into the season and we’re already seeing some teams needing a win in Week 2 to salvage their season. With desperation comes the willingness to do whatever it takes to win, from gadget plays to special teams tricks. Teams with one loss are already desperate and will need to be ready to make some tough decisions to save their early portion of the season
NFL Betting Odds and Lines: Week 2
All odds via BetMGM Sportsbook.
Cincinnati (+210) at Cleveland (-250)
I really hate the idea of laying six points with Cleveland (-110 on both the Bengals and Browns side of the ledger), but these are never tight games. The winning team has won by seven points or more in the last 16 games (and 10 of those by 13 or more)! With a heavy heart, take Cleveland and lay the six points.
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Los Angeles Rams (-118) at Philadelphia (Even)
Coming off a dismal loss to Washington, where the Eagles suffered a lot of self-inflicted damage, they need a bounce-back game to keep their season on track. With the Rams coming across country to play at 10 a.m. body clock time on a short preparation week following a Sunday night game, take the Eagles in mild upset on the money line at even money.
Carolina (+340) at Tampa Bay (-455)
Tom Brady’s debut didn’t come off as hoped, but that was New Orleans. This is Carolina. Both teams gave up 34 points last week, so the Over/Under is a little inflated at 47.5 (-110 for both). The Panthers have big-play potential with Christian McCaffrey, but the Bucs held him to 68 yards on 38 carries in two games last season. Bet the under.
Denver (+270) at Pittsburgh (-334)
The conventional wisdom is that if Ben Roethlisberger can just stay healthy, the defense will do the job of getting them to the playoffs. The money line is too rich and a 41.5 Over/Under is about right. The bet that makes the most sense is laying the 7-point spread (-110) and look for the Steelers to roll a West Coast team in an early Sunday game.
Also see: NFL Picks: Office pool pick’em – Week 2
Atlanta (+175) at Dallas (-209)
The Cowboys got off to a slow start against the Rams, but the truth is that Atlanta can’t stop anyone and has an offense built to get into downfield shootouts. 51.5 points (-115 for the Over, -106 for the Under) is a high Over/Under, but Dallas should put up a minimum of 27 points and likely more. The Falcons will look to keep pace and will have to if the Cowboys get up by double digits. Take the Over.
San Francisco (-304) at New York Jets (+250)
The 49ers struggled in Week 1 in a critical division loss to Arizona and its defense didn’t look like the one that dominated its way to the Super Bowl. The Jets have very little to offer in the way of dynamic offensive talent, so laying 7 points (-110 for both teams) isn’t that big a stretch, especially since Frank Gore is likely going to be the primary running back. Take the 49ers and lay the points.
Buffalo (-239) at Miami (+195)
Neither offense lit up the town in Week 1, but the last three times Miami and Buffalo have played, they have combined for 59, 52 and 57 points. It’s what they do. With Ryan Fitzpatrick fighting for his starting job and Josh Allen becoming one of the more versatile quarterbacks, an Over/Under of just 41.5 points (-110 for both), this one doesn’t need much to hit that number. Take the Over.
Minnesota (+125) at Indianapolis (-150)
Minnesota got carved up by Green Bay and the Colts lost to Jacksonville while the team was holding a fire sale. There are very little in the way of positives for either team. Philip Rivers is 1-3 in his career against Minnesota with losses of 18, 17 and 29 points. Mike Zimmer knows how to attack a glacier-like QB. Take Minnesota on the money line at +125.
Detroit (+220) at Green Bay (-264)
Aaron Rodgers finds ways to beat the Lions – it’s what he does. Green Bay is favored by 6 points (-110 for both teams) after carving up Minnesota, while Detroit collapsed in Week 1, allowing Mitchell Trubisky to light up its defense for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Lions may stay close for a while, but take the Packers and lay the 6 points.
New York Giants (+210) at Chicago (-250)
The Giants couldn’t hang with the Steelers on Monday, so heading to Chicago doesn’t sound like the sure path to success. However, the Bears are far from dominant and giving away 5.5 points (-110 for both teams) is a little too high a number for a Giants team that has the balance offensively to compete with anyone. Take the G-Men and the +5.5.
Jacksonville (+320) at Tennessee (-400)
There are so many signs pointing to Tennessee mopping the floor with the Jags. But, Tennessee is coming off a Monday late game that shortened its week considerably. The Titans have the ability to cover the 8-point spread, but the Jaguars may score 10 points or less against that defense. At that rate, the Over/Under of 41.5 (-110 for both teams), Tennessee would have to score more than 31 points to hit the Over. Take the Under.
Washington (+240) at Arizona (-295)
Washington was able to beat up an injury-laden Eagles offense last week, but the Cardinals are fresh off a win over San Francisco and Kyler Murray brings a dimension to the offense that Washington isn’t used to in NFC East. Arizona is only favored by 6.5 points. I think they should be favored by 10. Take the Cardinals and lay the points.
Baltimore (-295) at Houston (+240)
Both offenses have the ability to post 40 points. I firmly believe the Ravens have the horses to do a lot of damage this year – offensively and defensively. The Over/Under is gaudy at 52.5 (-110 for both the Over and Under), but if the Texans get behind, it’s going to make them pass-happy and that’s how games get into shootouts. The O/U is reachable, but it will take some big plays to make it happen. Take the Over.
Kansas City (-385) at Los Angeles Chargers (+300)
It will take being a double-digit favorite to get many to even consider taking a Chiefs opponent and points. The Chargers should have lost to Cincinnati. They are getting 8.5 points (-110 for both teams), which is too small a spread for a team that might bench Tyrod Taylor if he stinks out as badly as he did in Week 1. Take the Chiefs and lay the points (or do a parlay to lay 11 and make more money).
New England (+185) at Seattle (-223)
There are times you go with a critical matchup and, in this game, that is Cam Newton vs. Seattle’s defensive scheme. In eight career games, Newton is 2-6 against Seattle – with both wins coming in the year the Panthers went to the Super Bowl. Pete Carroll’s defense is only giving away 4 points (-110 for both teams). They will keep Newton from getting loose and let Russell Wilson do enough to win. Take Seattle and lay the points.
New Orleans (-228) at Las Vegas (+190)
The spread seems too small (Saints by 5.5) and the money line is just a little bit too prohibitive. The Saints should win this game, but, without Michael Thomas – he has only missed one previous game – there are a lot of questions as to how the Saints offense will make up for their big dog being gone. An Over/Under of 50.5 (-110 for both) seems a little aggressive for a favorite without its most dynamic weapon. Take the under and cheer for the running games.
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