Week 2: NFL 1 pm Odds, Predictions, and Picks
Week 2 of the NFL season, and honestly I'm surprised I'm still alive. Everyone is talking about no preseason for players and coaches but what about the fans? My brain was not ready for the first Sunday slate in week one with the overload of NFL action, checking fantasy teams, checking NFL bets, and oh ya NHL decided to throw a game in there at 3 pm during the witching hour. Somehow I survived week one and I'm more than ready for these week 2 NFL picks!
My NFL betting picks are 9-3 on the season after Thursday nights game, let's stay hot.
Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are currently just over a field goal favourites at home in this one.
Hopefully, you listened to me in week 1 as the Falcons defense that impressed late last season was brought back to reality. Their secondary struggled with rookie CB A.J. Terrell getting torched. One positive note is that Matt Ryan and the offense did look good as he threw 450 yards but in classic Falcons fashion that only leads to two passing TDs. Todd Gurley on the other hand did not perform well in his first game as a Falcon, he did score a TD but graded out as the worst RB in the NFL in week 1.
Aldon Smith surprisingly looked like the dominant player he was 5 years ago but other than that the defense struggled to stop anything consistently. Jaylon Smith is the only starting linebacker not injured for the Cowboys right now, making them very susceptible to running backs. The offense struggled at times throwing the ball due to the pressure upfront from Donald but Zeke was running at will. Dak Prescott looked good but will need to throw more if the Cowboys defense does not improve.
Like most QB's Matt Ryan performs really well when he is not being pressured and the Seahawks have one of the lowest pressure rates in the NFL. Add in that the Falcons were behind the whole game it set up very well for Ryan to throw the ball all over the field. The Cowboys' Aldon Smith and Damarcus Lawrence vs the Falcons weak offensive line will challenge Ryan a lot more than he was in week 1. Cowboys are weak against RB's but the Falcons RBs as it stands now are also very weak. Dak Prescott and his three talented WRs will be way too much for the Falcons' CB's. Cowboys win this one in a possible shootout.
The Cowboys should win this one by over a TD take them at -3.5(-115).
The Falcons hit a large over last week and with both teams currently not having great defenses smash the over O 53.5(-115).
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
After dominating the Jets week 1 the Bills are road favourites in this one.
The Bills looked like a team that could do it all in their week 1 victory, but it was against arguably the worst team in the NFL right now the New York Jets. Josh Allen aired the ball out and his top two WR's in Diggs and Brown looked very impressive. It's tough to fully judge the Bills running game after 1 week as it was stopped by the Jets tough run defense. The Bills defense looked good and graded out as top five in the league.
Could this be the last game for Fitz Magic? Ryan Fitzpatrick looked terrible and I wouldn't be surprised that if Tua is fully healthy he could even come off the bench in week 2. Ignoring the dreadful offense, Miamis' defense was equally as dreadfully against the run in week one. Miami did allow the fewest passing yards in the NFL but that was mostly due to the Patriots game plan to run the ball with Cam Newton and the Dolphins having no answer for that.
The Bills beat the second-worst graded team in the NFL in week 1 and now a big step up in competition as they take on the third-worst. The Dolphins' defense on paper is much improved from last year with their secondary being their strength. The problem is they struggled mightily against a mobile QB in week 1 and take on another mobile QB in week 2 in Josh Allen of the Bills. The Bills defense is too good for the Dolphins to outscore the Bills, So it really comes down to can John Allen protect the football. The Bills have a lot of skill in the RB position and Josh Allen is too good of running QB for the Dolphins to stop him. Don't overthink it, the Bills win this one.
The Bills were -7 last week and covered with ease, take them again at -6(-105).
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After a disappointing home loss to the Saints, Tom Brady and Bucs are heavy home favourites.
Let's start with the positives. The offensive additions of Teddy Bridgewater at QB and Robby Anderson at WR looks to have made this explosive offense even better. The problem ... I don't think they will be able to stop anyone... well maybe the Jets. It's a young defense with a new head coach that should both improve.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers looked out of sync on offense in week one, which isn't too surprising given they have a new QB in Tom Brady and no preseason this year. One player who did look good, was Ronald Jones who looked very explosive in his cuts. Even in a loss, the Tampa defense looked impressive as they were able to limit Michael Thomas to 17 yards even before his injury.
McCaffrey was limited to 37 and 31 yards in his two meetings against the Bucs last year, so Teddy will be put to the test in this one to see if he is able to truly carry this offense when they need it. The Buccaneers on the other hand get the perfect opportunity to fix all the kinks in their offense even without Chris Godwin, as they face one of the worst defenses in the League. The Panthers are without DT Kawann Short in this one, which will only make their run defense worse. I see the Bucs doing whatever they want on offense and supported by their strong run D forcing Teddy to throw to win. Buccaneers win this one.
Ride the Buccaneers run game to victory -8(-115).
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh behind their strong defense are large favourites at home.
Drew Lock looked solid in week one even without his top WR Courtland Sutton, who might still be out for this one and at this point, I think there are more players injured than starting for them on defense. Melvin Gordon looked very good in week 1 and with Phillip Lindsay out will get an even bigger workload this week. Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb should be a full go this week and will need to impact the game to make up all for how vulnerable the Broncos are at DB.
Big Ben is back and he's traded in his walking boot for an arm sleeve. The Steelers offense after shaking off the rust in the first half looks back to normal. The Steelers though did lose two offensive linemen on the right side, so their backups will be put to the test in this one. The Steelers defensive looks just as impressive as last and suffocated the run in week 1.
The Steelers run defense is going to force the Broncos to throw the ball to win. With or without Courtland Sutton it will be tough for the Broncos and Lock to keep up with the Steelers. Even with an injured offensive line, the Steelers offense should take advantage of the Broncos without their top CB A.J. Bouye in this one. If the Steelers o-line holds up this could be a blowout.
The Steelers take this game by at least 7 take them at -7(even).
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Packers are expected to dominate in the NFC North matchup.
It's almost like the Lions want to lose every game. They were a Swift catch away from a win but they also had a 98% chance to win at the start of the 4th quarter and blew the lead with their questionable playcalling/ decisions. Still missing Kenny Golladay the Offense will be lead by Matthew Stafford and ....Adrian Peterson. Third overall pick Jeff Okudah will make his debut this week and will only improve their below-average defensive unit.
Green Bay Packers
The "Fuck You" tour for Aaron Rodgers was in full effect in week one and maybe the Packers knew what they were doing when they drafted a backup QB to improve their offense. While the offense looked good, the defense did not. It was a lot of garbage time yards but their big lead was really the only reason the Vikings had to stop running the ball. The defense graded out very well last year and should rebound when needed.
This game setups very similar to week one for the Packers, as they take on a team with a young secondary and limited defensive pressure on the D-line. The main difference is Lions may have less offensive weapons than the Vikings. I don't see how Stafford keeps up with FU tour Aaron Rodgers in this game. Packers Wins.
Packers upset last week and should cover with ease in this one -6.5(-105).
Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles
Even after blowing a game last week, the Eagles are very slight favourites at home.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams looked very good in week 1 on offense, as they rode Malcolm Brown's bulldozer like runs and Robert Woods played so well he got a 4-year contract extension. The defense generated a lot of QB pressures but did struggle against the run. If they can clean up their tackling, after another week of padded practice their defense could be much improved.
In the first half, the Eagles looked to be back. Carson Wentz was tossing the ball all over the field but then the o-line gave out and Wentz was unable to adapt. LT Lane Johnson is back for this game but he is only one player and Wentz must adapt to the weaker o-line with his decision making. The defense didn't look bad by any means but was put in terrible field position throughout the second half. The Eagles pass rush can be a problem for the Rams in this game.
This is obviously the hardest game to gauge on the day as the Eagles played two completely different halves. One thing that was consistent was the terrible online play. Lane Johnson is back but the Rams best pass rusher Aaron Donald does not play on the outside. The Eagles have the defense to limit the Rams on offense and pressure Jared Goff. Goff handled the pressure very well week 1 and Wentz did not. I see this happening and the Rams taking this one in a close one.
The Rams Moneyline(even) offers good value for a team that could be dominant this year.
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
Colts after getting upset in week 1 are slight home favourites.
As I outlined last week the Vikings without Hunter and their young DBs won't be able to stop anyone. They still have skill at the linebacker and safety position but everywhere else is struggling right now. Dalvin Cook looked quite good but bad game script limited his ability to affect the game as the score forced them to pass. Hard to judge their pass offense as a lot of the production came during garbage time.
Philip Rivers' average depth of target keeps getting shorter as his arm strength continues to get worse. The running game was not there in week 1 as once Mack got injured the run game struggled. Johnathan Taylor is a huge RB prospect but did not perform well on the ground in week one. The Colts defense struggled more than I thought they would, as Garder Minshew threw 3 TDs on just 20 passes.
This is a battle of two teams who had a terrible performance in week 1. Minnesota's was not as bad because it was predicted that they would not have much of a chance to keep up with Aaron Rodgers. Thankfully Philip Rivers is not Rodgers. Both defenses struggling, you have to lean towards the team with the better QB. Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook will lead the Vikings to victory in this one.
Take the Vikings at +3(-105).
New York Giants at Chicago Bears
Bears at home are 5.5 favourites.
New York Giants
The Giants' defense looked solid in the first half, as the advances stat indicate the Giants could go from a bad defense last year to average this year. The offense on the other hand struggled. Slayton looked very good but Barkley couldn't find any room to run and Daniel Jones continues to turn over the ball at the worst times. Its almost like he's the second coming of Eli Manning.
Through 3 quarters the Bears' season looked over but then somehow Mitch Trubisky remembered he was the second overall pick when he threw three TDs in the 4th quarter. The running game did look good just early on the Bears could not string together first downs. The elite Bears defense of the past is gone, the stats indicate this unit is by no means bad but I don't think they will have the ability to take over games like this did in the past.
The Bears pass rush could be getting a major boost with free-agent addition Robert Quinn possibly making his Bears debut this week. The Giants offensive line struggled last week, and that should limit Barkley's effectiveness on the ground this week again. The difference-maker in this game will be Mitchel Trubisky for better or worse, which is never something you want to rely on. The Bears playmakers in Robinson and Mack should do enough in this game to survive whatever Trubisky shows up.
The Bears should win but it will be close take the Giants +5.5(-115).
San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets
If the 49ers didn't so many injuries on offense this line would be bigger.
San Francisco 49ers
The advanced stats indicated the 49ers actually performed pretty well in a week one loss the Cardinals, especially considering all their injuries on offense. The defense pressured Murrary and kept him uncomfortable, the only problem is that made him run all over the defense. It will be hard to judge the offense until healthy but the playbook will definitely be limited early season, so fade most overs.
New York Jets
The worst team in football and oh their top WR is out too.
The Jets are known for their run defense but will be put in a negative game script all game due to the 49ers defense dominating their offense. 49ers -7(-115).
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennesse Titans
The Titans are big home favourites.
Now no one expected the Jaguars to do what they did last week, especially me. C.J. Henderson may already be an elite NFL CB after just one game as he was the highest-graded CB in NFL after week 1. The offense was efficient, which is not sustainable but definitely performed very well in week one. The run d was not put to the test as the Colts abandoned the run as the game went on.
Stephen Gostowski almost lost his spot in the hall of fame after his first game for the titans. The Titans left 10 points off the board with his missed kicks and controlled the game more than the score indicates. The defense continues to improve as it bottled up Denver's offense. The Titans threw more than they usually due but that was most likely due to Derrick Henry's limited effect on the ground(3.7 yards-per-carry).
Almost 65% of underdogs(+7 or more) to win a game the week before do not cover their game the following week. The Jaguars pulled off an upset and their offense looked very efficient doing so. The main problem is that their terrible run defense was not put to the test and that is what the Titans are going to do. Jaguars won't be able to keep up in this one and will get grinded by smash mouth Titans running.
The Titans offer good value at -7.5(-105).