NFL Week 2 Picks - Sunday's Best Bets
by DS WilliamsonThe Patriots and Jaguars throw down in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship while the Vikings and Packers battle for the NFC North Division lead. It's time to break down the angles for my NFL Week 2 picks. Here are my eight favorite betting matchups on the schedule. Good luck!
L.A. Chargers -7 at Buffalo Bills I’m convinced the Bills are the worst team in the NFL after they struggled for 83 rushing yards, 70 net passing yards, and a measly 3 points against the Baltimore Ravens in a 3-47 Week 1 loss. Sure, the Ravens have a good defense, but it’s not like the Bills battled the 1986 Chicago Bears. Buffalo’s offense should play better in Week 2 because the Chargers’ best defensive player, Joey Bosa, is questionable. But unless L.A. plays 8 against 11, Bolts win and cover. This feels like an easy line, but don't overthink that part when making your NFL Week 2 picks. The Chargers are getting discounted as a road team.
Miami Dolphins +3.0 at New York Jets I’m not siding with most every other NFL handicapper who believes the Jets are for real after they dominated Detroit 48-17 in Week 1. The Jets benefited from an ill-prepared Lions’ squad that had no idea what to do in new head coach Matt Patricia’s crazy complicated schemes. Now, the Jets battle a better-than-you-think Miami team that beat a decent Tennessee squad 27-20 in Week 1. From my perspective, Miami looks more real than the Jets do, which is why I’ll take the 3 points.
Indianapolis Colts +3.0 at Washington Redskins Indy’s defense played well in the 23-34 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals up until the fourth quarter when they gave up 17 points. To be fair, the touchdown that sealed the deal came via an 83-yard fumble recovery. The Colts might have a shot to upset Washington on the money line even though Washington looked great beating the Arizona Cardinals 24-6 in Week 1. I’m always wary of backing teams like Washington the very next week after big road wins so I'm leaning the other way in NFL Week 2 picks.
Carolina Panthers +6.0 at Atlanta Falcons I’d give the Falcons a shot if linebacker Deion Jones were to play. The Falcons placed Jones on injured reserve after discovering that he’ll need surgery on his injured foot. Carolina also lost a great player in Week 1 after tight-end Greg Olsen broke his foot. No offense to Olsen, but Atlanta needs their best defensive player way more than Carolina needs their best tight-end. I also just can't trust Atlanta after a really gross showing in the opening game of the season. That stink is still lingering.
Minnesota Vikings +1.0 over Green Bay Packers I like to go to trends in big rivalry games like Vikings vs. Packers. Because the Vikings are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings, and Green Bay is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games overall, I’m all over Minnesota in this matchup. Simple as that. The fact that Rodgers may or may not play makes me want to grab this line early.
Cleveland Browns +9.0 over New Orleans Saints The Saints’ defense allowed Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 417 yards and 4 TDs on the Buccaneers’ way to an impressive 48-40 win over New Orleans. New Orleans should bounce back and beat Cleveland, but it’s hard to see the Saints doing it by more than a touchdown. I'll take the points before trusting New Orleans implicitly in Week 2 NFL picks.
Denver Broncos -5.5 over Oakland Raiders After the Raiders took a 7-0 lead over the L.A. Rams this past Monday night, it looked like trading linebacker Khalil Mack might have been the right move. Then, the Rams put it together at halftime and outscored the Raiders 23-0 in the second half for a 33-13 Rams win. Quarterback Jared Goff threw 2 passes while L.A. rushed for 140 yards. That’s bad news for the Raiders in NFL Week 2 picks because Denver rushed for 146 yards in their Week 1 win over Seattle. Broncos roll to an easy win and cover because they can rush the football. Without Mack, Oakland can’t stop the rush.
New England Patriots -1.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars Most NFL handicappers look at Patriots at Jaguars and think about Tom Brady versus Jacksonville’s great defense. I look at Pats at Jags and think about the Jaguars’ offense versus the Patriots’ defense. New England held the Houston Texans to 20 points last week, employing their bend but don’t break defensive scheme perfectly as the Texans rushed for a fruitless 167 yards. Bill Belichick figures to draw up this Week 2 game the same way, allowing the Jags to get yards by rushing the football and then confusing the heck out of Jags’ quarterback Blake Bortles. I think Belichick’s strategy works, more so because I have zero faith in Bortles. I like the Patriots even more from this angle because Leonard Fournette is hurt and hasn't practiced much this week.