Week 2 is a watershed point of every season. Every team that won in Week 1 is looking to build on that momentum, while every team that loses is desperate to avoid the potential of falling to 0-2 and digging itself a hole that will take a month to try to dig out of (if they can).
There are four games pitting 1-0 teams against one another, which will knock down the number of undefeated teams by four – barring another tie – and there are five games involving teams that haven’t won yet, which will put a lot of pressure on them to avoid keeping a zero in the win column.
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NFL Betting Odds and Lines: Week 2
Los Angeles Chargers (+170) at Kansas City Chiefs (-205)
This is a tough one to start the week because these two tend to get in shootouts that make this game the highest Over/Under on the Week 2 slate (54.5 points). The road team has won the last four meetings, so the Chargers won’t be intimidated heading into Arrowhead. Given all the improvements the other teams in the division have made, Kansas City needs to make a statement that it’s still the big dog in the yard. On Wednesday, the spread dropped a point on the Chiefs winning (3.5 points at -105 Chargers, -115 Chiefs), but I get the feeling Patrick Mahomes will make the plays needed late to win another shootout. Take the Chiefs and lay the 3.5 points (-115).
Miami Dolphins (+160) at Baltimore Ravens (-190)
The Dolphins and Ravens both came off solid wins in Week 1, and the expectation is that the defenses will have the advantage with a relatively low Over/Under (44.5 points at -108 Over, -112 Under). Both teams have good defenses, but they play aggressively and are prone to making mistakes. When you have game-breakers like Lamar Jackson on one side of the ball and Tyreek Hill on the other, the potential for big plays that get a team immediately into scoring position makes you think the point isn’t high enough. Take the Over (-108).
Washington Commanders (+102) at Detroit Lions (-120)
The Lions have won only three of 18 games under head coach Dan Campbell, but the team showed signs of improvement late last year and are a young team building together on the draft harvest for Matthew Stafford. I’m not sold on the Commanders as being a team that can waltz in on the road and take a win. The point spread doesn’t make Detroit much of a favorite (1.5 points at -108 Commanders, -112 Lions). It doesn’t happen very often that you read these words: Take the Lions and lay the 1.5 points.
Indianapolis Colts (-190) at Jacksonville Jaguars (+160)
The Colts fully expected to be 2-0 opening on the road with the Texans and Jaguars to open the year, but they came away with a tie against Houston that has the plan changed. As a result, the Colts are a smaller road favorite than would be expected against the Jags (3.5 points at -112 Colts, -108 Jaguars). The Colts have a solid core who will correct mistakes better than a young Jaguars team, and Indy’s season as the best overall team in the division gets back on track. Take the Colts and lay the 3.5 points.
Carolina Panthers (+105) at New York Giants (-125)
Just as stunning as the Lions being a favorite, so are the Giants after an upset win over the Titans on the road. While New York won the game on a missed field goal, the Panthers comeback to take the lead was snuffed by a 58-yard field goal with eight seconds to play. I look at these rosters and say the Panthers have the edge in too many key spots, yet the Giants are favored by 2.5 points. I’m not betting on the Lions and Giants in the same week on principle. Take the Panthers on the moneyline (+105).
New England Patriots (-125) at Pittsburgh Steelers (+105)
I had some serious reservations about the Patriots before the season when hearing the news that they were putting a defensive coordinator and a special teams coach in charge of an offense. It showed in the Pats’ humbling loss to Miami in Week 1. Yet, the loss of T.J. Watt has impacted this line. New England is a road favorite (2.5 points at -125 Patriots, +105 Steelers). Do I have this right? You’re giving two-and-a-hook with the Steelers at home and I win more than I bet? Yes, please. Where did I leave my Terrible Towel? Take the Steelers on the moneyline (+105).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-150) at New Orleans Saints (+125)
I preface this pick with an explanation: I have learned that whenever a career stat is positive when you bet against Tom Brady, he has a history of rectifying those numbers. In four regular season games against the Saints as a division rival, Brady is 0-4. Despite that, the Bucs are still a small favorite in New Orleans (2.5 points at -125 Bucs, +102 Saints). I’ve been to the pay window too often by not betting against Brady – even with his O-fer against New Orleans in his Tampa experience (excluding sending the Saints home in the 2020 playoffs). Don’t bet against the G.O.A.T. It usually doesn’t end well. Take the Buccaneers and lay the 2.5 points (-125).
New York Jets (+220) at Cleveland Browns (-270)
I strongly dislike both New York teams when it comes to betting on them. But one thing I strongly dislike even more are Over/Under numbers less than 40. This one qualifies (39.5 points at -117 Over, -103 Under). The Browns are capable of putting up points and, while it may take garbage time to hit it, I’m a sucker for an Under that is too hard to justify in the NFL. One defensive or special teams touchdown seals the deal. Take the Over (-117).
Atlanta Falcons (+420) at Los Angeles Rams (-550)
The Rams are stinging from their Week 1 home drubbing by the Bills and will have had 10 days to stew on it. They’re a gigantic favorites against the Falcons (10.5 points at -115 Falcons, -105 Rams). You’re almost being dared to take the Rams. That’s good enough for me. I would consider a boosted bet of 16.5 points to get more juice, because this has the makings of being an SEC non-conference game. Take the Rams and lay the 10.5 points (-105).
Seattle Seahawks (+360) at San Francisco 49ers (-475)
Geno Smith played the half of his life in Week 1 and still managed to put up only 17 points. The 49ers are still taking baby steps with Trey Lance. Both teams want to run the ball, which lends itself to the pee-wee Over/Under (42.5 points at -108 Over, -112 Under). This is an interesting number since the 49ers are 9.5-point favorites. A blowout is predicted with a low total. I’m not convinced Seattle can bring 13 points to the table. Take the Under (-112).
Cincinnati Bengals (-380) at Dallas Cowboys (+300)
The defending AFC champs are coming off a face-slap loss at home to the Steelers that shouldn’t have happened. Dallas is reeling with the loss of Dak Prescott and the unwillingness to accept that fact and give up draft capital to bring in a replacement. The Bengals are a big road favorite (7.5 points at -108 Bengals, -112 Cowboys). This is a number that is deceptive because it has to be big enough to get Dallas fans to bet. It’s not big enough for my liking. Take the Bengals and lay the 7.5 points (-108).
Arizona Cardinals (+175) at Las Vegas Raiders (-210)
This has a really big Over/Under (51.5 points at -110 for both). This is an ideal point because both offenses are capable of putting up 30 and both defenses are likely going to be forced to get back on the field quickly if the other hits a big play, which is a classic element of the “anything you can do, I can do better” mentality with offenses that think they’re superior. This has all the makings of that. Take the Over at -110.
Houston Texans (+400) at Denver Broncos (-520)
The Texans came away with a tie in Week 1, and the Broncos took a loss they shouldn’t have. Denver is clearly the better team, but I’m not willing to give 10.5 points to prove a point. My only bet on this game is the Over/Under (44.5 points at -115 Over, -105 Under). I’m not a big fan of this bet either, but I like Denver’s defense enough to think the Texans won’t do their part enough to get to 45 points. Take the Under at -105.
Chicago Bears (+380) at Green Bay Packers (-500)
A year ago after being drubbed by the Saints in Week 1, the Packers weren’t written off for dead, but they were disrespected. All Green Bay did was win its next seven games and 13 of its final 16 regular season games. I’m not a fan of how big a favorite the Packers are (9.5 points at -103 Bears, -117 Packers), but Chicago is still in the infancy steps with Justin Fields as the franchise guy, and Rodgers owns the Bears. He’s won the last six meetings and 20 of the last 23. That’s dominance. Not to mention that his last four wins have all been by double digits. Take the Packers and lay the 9.5 points (-117).
Tennessee Titans (+380) at Buffalo Bills (-500)
The Titans were stunned by the Giants and the Bills are at home with 10 days rest. The Over/Under is big (48.5 points at -112 Over, -108 Under), but I’m very bullish on Buffalo coming out of the AFC, and this is another chance to make a statement. I’m convinced, barring a couple turnovers, the Bills are capable of scoring 35 points. The Titans can take care of the rest. Take the Over (-112).
Minnesota Vikings (+110) at Philadelphia Eagles (-130)
The Vikings dominated Green Bay for four quarters, and the Eagles dominated the Lions for three. The Eagles are a sketchy home favorite (2.5 points at -108 Vikings, -112 Eagles). By now we know Kirk Cousins’ history in primetime (not good). The Vikings are a playoff team, but this one isn’t their mountain to conquer. Their defense will make the critical mistakes that cost them a lead, and Cousins will make the mistake that costs them the game. Take the Eagles and lay the 2.5 points.
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