Week 1 is in the books and it's time to move on to the best bets in Week 2.
If you listened to my article earlier this week, you would have started 1-0 for taking the Giants with the points against Washington in that thriller of a matchup Thursday night. Now, let's dive into Week 2's best NFL bets.
Tennessee Titans/Seattle Seahawks Over 54
The Seahawks' offense was high-flying in the first half last week. Because the Colts never really threatened the outcome of the game, the Seahawks were able to take the air out of the ball and finish the game with an easy win while only scoring seven in the second half. While both the Titans' defense and offense looked atrocious, expect Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry to have big bounce-back weeks and make this an epic high-scoring game. This has all the makings for a shootout in which both teams put up 30-plus points.
Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 @ Chicago Bears
Until that Monday night game, the Bengals had the honor of winning the craziest Week 1 game over the Vikings in overtime. The Bears' defense, which is supposed to be their strength, looked awful against the Rams, including one of the most blown coverages you'll ever see on Cooper Kupp's long touchdown. It was simply an awful week for the Bears. I don't think it gets any better until they remove Dalton and promote Justin Fields. If they don't do that prior to game time, the Bengals will run away with this one.
Los Angeles Rams -3.5 @ Indianapolis Colts
Coming out of Week 1 the Rams looked great on both sides of the ball. Matthew Stafford had a great first game, going 20 for 26 with three touchdowns. The Colts... They didn't look that great on either side of the ball. While Carson Wentz's overall numbers didn't look bad, most of the yardage and one of his two TDs came in the fourth quarter as they were chasing from two or more scores back, never actually threatening to win the game. I'm leaning towards the Rams winning this in a blowout and would consider alternate spreads.
Arizona Cardinals -3.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Kyler Murray appears to be a man on a mission to avenge last season's bitter ending after absolutely torching the Tennesee Titans in Nashville. The Vikings' defense, who hasn't been as formidable as years past, is going to have their hands full with Kyler. Last week they allowed Joe Burrow to complete nearly 80% of his passes, and Burrow isn't a threat to run nor has a receiver as talented as DeAndre Hopkins. If the Vikings offense doesn't step up and make this a shootout, things could get ugly in Phoenix.
Dallas Cowboys + 3.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers
Dak Prescott looked great in Week 1 and if there were any issues with his shoulder after throwing 58 times, he had 10 days to get healed up again and ready for the Chargers. I can almost guarantee, whenever the Cowboys go to play either Los Angeles team in their stadium, that there will be more Cowboys fans than LA fans. So while they aren't playing in Jerry World, they'll have more fan support. My concern for Justin Herbert and the Chargers is their efficiency in the red zone. His most potent weapons in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler become less effective as they get closer to the goal line. That leaves Jared Cook and Mike Williams as your bigger bodies in the red zone, which isn't ideal. The Cowboys have a decent chance to win this one outright, but you can take the points for some cushion.
- Cowboys ML (+160)
- Titans +6.5 (-105)
- Steelers ML (-225)
- Rams -3.5 (-110)
Five Props To Consider
- Calvin Ridley OVER 6.5 receptions (+115)
- Tyrod Taylor OVER 34.5 Pass Attempts (-105)
- Aaron Jones OVER 88.5 combined yards (-115)
- Nick Chubb OVER 17.5 carries (-120)
- James Robinson OVER 9.5 carries (-125)
All five of these props have an excellent chance at hitting. I like the idea of wagering a three-leg prop parlay with the last three props listed (Jones, Chubb and J-Rob). Thanks me on Monday.
Let's start by checking on the previous week's picks.
The Theory of Continuity (4-3)
Four teams took care of business last week, as expected. Three did not.
Philip Rivers clearly brought his knack for wonky finishes east with him to Indy. Plus, the wound may never heal after all the head scratching I did about the use of Nyheim Hines over Jonathan Taylor.
The Eagles. I have no words. Except this:
My friend, noted Eagles fan, having his yearly break down in Week One.Tyler Austin
How did he know Philly would blow it at noon? Where did my friend find a bar that would serve him during COVID? At 8AM? Is he OK? The answer to all these? I don't know.
Lastly, the Titans. This one is pretty high on the bad-beat-o-meter. If Stephen Gostkowski hit just one of the four kicks (3 FGs, 1 PAT) he attempted. We'd all be residents of Cover City. Instead, I think they should revoke a syllable from his last name for every whiff. You're on notice Stephen __________.
The Panthers played this one close and nearly secured the upset, but their run D could've given up 100 yards and a TD to a Roomba (the rumored design inspiration for their stadium).
The Falcons were never in it and should consider a name change to the Garbage Men considering how much work they did during some meaningless football.
Julio Jones dominating another game that ultimately ends in defeat.AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
The Bengals… PUSHED and I will take it. The Chargers will play a lot of close games this season except maybe the upcoming week, but more on than later.
Money line Upset (0-1)
Well, turns out a Heisman/MVP-winning QB that's 12 years younger than your last signal caller might just be an upgrade. Belichick, you did it again!
For the most part, betting on continuity worked. Where can we apply those lessons to make us some scratch?
Ravens -7 over Texans
Steelers -7.5 over Broncos
Chiefs -8.5 over Chargers
Saints -4.5 over Raiders
The Ravens played this game last season. Final score: BAL 41 HOU 7. I'm not sure what the line would have to be for me NOT to take them. If I'm being honest with myself, I think 16.5 but you could talk me up to the low 20s. The offense is demoralizing, terrorizing, and, to borrow a phrase reserved for defense, smothering. The Texans look anemic, at best, and due to some cruel scheduling have booked themselves an 0-2 start.
The Steelers could somehow be better on defense. They held Saquon Barkley to six yards, picked Daniel Jones twice, and provided a needed goal line stand early. Big Ben got going, after a year off, and his rapport with JuJu Smith-Schuster looked as lively as ever. Denver showed flashes last week, but don't think their sophomore QB will fare much better against this stout D.
Not to mention, Vic Fangio hasn't quite proven his coaching mettle after letting time run down in the 4th, which set up the Titans' game-winning FG with a handful of seconds left. All the while, the two timeouts in his pocket cried out, never to be heard from, as they were sent straight to Clock Management Hell.
The Chiefs played this game last year at high altitude in Mexico City without Tyreek Hill, Damien Williams, who went out of the game early, and it was the second start for Pat Mahomes after dislocating his kneecap. They won 24-17, and if not for a late Philip Rivers' TD toss and 2 point conversion, it'd have looked even worse. I don't know if KC will cover every game this year, but I'm willing to pay to find out, especially against a Chargers team, who, even with an A- defense, only ever pulls out a C+ game.
Ben Roethlisberger scrambling for a score against the Denver Broncos in a previous matchup.David Zalubowski/AP
The Saints didn't set the world on fire a week ago when they beat the Bucs. Michael Thomas, the world's number one target, had only three catches, and Drew Brees, the NFL's walking record book, threw for a measly 160 yards, yet they won by 11 and didn't make it look hard. The offense will continue to click against a D that allowed 30 to Drew's backup with significantly less impressive weapons. The Raiders run heavy attack should be easily outpaced by a Saints team with sights set on the Super Bowl.
Drew Brees celebrates a successful throw in a victory over the divisional rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Bills and Dolphins under 41
Josh Allen is one of the most exciting players in football, not a compliment. You never know if he's going to fumble twice or rumble for a score. The Miami offense didn't quite have the Fitzmagic of old in Week One when they managed only 11 points. Both teams are facing better defenses than their previous opponent, so as boring and torturous as it can be to root for, I have to hit the under.
The Dawg in the Fight
Carolina +8.5 over the Buccaneers
The Panthers could have something special on offense this year and that's not just Sir Purr talking. Between Rhule and Joe Brady, the steady hand of Bridgewater, and their array of weapons, it's easy to say the raw talent is there. The D will be a problem going forward, but against Tompa Bay, a team who hasn't gelled offensively, this one should be a lot closer than 8.5 points. The unearned respect by odds makers should be something to monitor because it's one of a few ways to keep winning before they adjust.