NFL Week 2 Lines and Betting Picks
NFL Week 1 concludes Monday night with a doubleheader. The night kicks off on the West Coast when the drama-filled Oakland Raiders host the Denver Broncos, followed by an NFC South showdown between the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints. While we already touched on both games in NFL Week 1 Lines, Totals and Picks we’ll add some additional Monkey Knife Fight plays to look at tonight before we break down NFL Week 2 lines and betting picks.
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Monkey Knife Fight Picks for Thursday Night Football
Now let’s look at the NFL Week 2 lines and betting picks for all 16 games. Also, Be sure to use Rotogrinders’ new NFL odds comparison tool to look at NFL Week 1 lines across the industry and find out what sportsbook has the best price for your favorite NFL betting picks.
NFL Week 2 Lines and Betting Picks
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers -6.5, O/U 50.6
Update: Here’s an in-depth betting preview for Thursday Night Football.
NFL Week 2 starts with a Thursday night matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. Tampa Bay looked awful against the 49ers as Jameis Winston threw more touchdown passes to the 49ers defense than he did to his own receivers.
The Panthers didn’t look great offensively in the first half Sunday, but they rallied back in the second half for a 3-point loss to the defending NFC champions. Cam Newton, who didn’t complete a pass longer than 17 yards, should be able to move the ball against Tampa Bay’s porous defense. With that said, I still think a touchdown is too much. The Panthers offense, which struggled during the preseason, could have more problems than we know.
Early Lean: Buccaneers +6.5 (use our FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)
Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens -12.5, O/U 42.5
The Baltimore Ravens, and Lamar Jackson in particular, had the most impressive performance on Sunday. The Ravens set a new franchise record for points scored (59) and total yards (643) behind Jackson’s 324 yards and 5 touchdowns. As Warren Sharp points out, Jackson is the only QB in NFL history with a game of five or more touchdowns, 300+ yards, 15+ YPA and 3 or fewer incompletions. He’s also the only quarterback to have 300+ yards and a perfect passer rating in Week 1. Jackson did all of that on just 20 pass attempts. In the words of Jackson himself, not bad for a running back, eh? While Jackson and the Ravens were more than impressive, it was against the lowly Miami Dolphins (more on them later).
Things couldn’t have been more different on Sunday for the Cardinals, at least during their first half against the Detroit Lions. First-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray got off to a rough start in their attempt to introduce the air raid offense to the NFL. They trailed the Lions 17-3 at half before Murray led his team to 18 points in the fourth quarter to take the game to overtime.
I didn’t enter the season as someone skeptical of short quarterbacks. Maybe it’s an overreaction, but after Week 1, I’m worried about Murray as an NFL quarterback. Murray, who is generously listed as 5’10’‘, had passes routinely knocked down by the Lions’ towering defensive line. That could spell trouble against the Ravens. On the other hand, bettors, including me, could be overreacting to Baltimore. I don’t think the Cardinals can score enough to keep up with Jackson and his new favorite target Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. This line has already moved to -13 at some sports betting sites.
Early Lean: Ravens -12.5 (use our FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins +5, O/U 44
From the offensive to the defense, the Cowboys looked like a complete package against the New York Giants. Dak Prescott, who is vying for a hefty contract extension, had the best game of his career. The Cowboys put up 35 points and nearly 500 total yards despite Ezekiel Elliott only carrying the ball 13 times and receiving one pass from the backfield. Racking up 53 yards on 13 carries, Elliott was substantially more productive than backup Tony Pollard, who ran for only 24 yards on the same number of carries. You can expect more snaps for Elliott against the Redskins now that he’s more than a few days removed from his offseason holdout.
The Redskins looked good against the NFC East favorites early on, jumping out to an early 17-0 lead over the Eagles. Unfortunately, the defense faltered in the second half, giving up several big-play touchdowns after communication mishaps between defensive backs. Already, the Dallas Cowboys hype train is revving its engine, but I think Washington learns from Week 1 and keeps Dallas in check to cover the spread as home dogs.
Early Lean: Washington Redskins +5.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers -2.5, O/U 45.5
The Minnesota Vikings are all-in on the running game. Kirk Cousins only passed the ball 10 times against Atlanta, while Dalvin Cook cooked up 111 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. In a league where teams are trying to pass more, the Vikings are doing the exact opposite. Against the Falcons, Minnesota ran the ball a higher percentage of their plays than any team in the last 15 years. Running the ball against the Packers might not come as easy after the Green Bay front office used the offseason to invest in their defense. In the second year under defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s system, the Packers held the Chicago Bears to just 46 yards rushing and 228 yards passing.
This game will be won in the trenches, as first-year head coach Matt LaFleur also tries to establish more of a running game to set up big play-action passes for Aaron Rodgers. Though you should never write off a Mike Zimmer defense, the Packers will look better offensively in Week 2. Additionally, I’m not sold on the Vikings’ new run-heavy approach long term. This will be a team I look to bet against throughout the season.
Early Lean: Packers -2.5 (use our William Hill promo code to get these odds)
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Giants +2.5, O/U 42.5
The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen overcame four turnovers in the first half to score 17 unanswered points against the New York Jets. They stay in New York for a matchup against the Giants on Sunday, who the Cowboys steamrolled in Week 1.
The Giants are actually home underdogs. Home underdogs against the Bills? Give me the points.
Early Lean: Giants +2.5 (use our PointsBet promo code to get these odds)
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins +16.5, O/U 47
The New England Patriots looked unstoppable against the Steelers during prime time Sunday night. The Dolphins couldn’t have looked anymore stoppable. It’s still to be determined whether Antonio Brown will make his Patriots debut on the field. This line might not take long to move to 17. If so, I’m backing Miami.
Early Lean: Dolphins (wait for the line move to +17)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5, O/U 46.5
The Steelers offense was shut down by the New England Patriots, while the Seattle Seahawks struggled to scrape by with a 21-20 win over a depleted Cincinnati Bengals squad. Seattle came from behind thanks to a defense that sacked Andy Dalton five times. Pittsburgh’s biggest problem is the wide receiver spot opposite of JuJu Smith-Schuster. Still, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is significantly better at Heinz Field. In fact, the Steelers are 4-2 ATS in their last six games in Pittsburgh. Expect them to rebound in a big way at home against Seattle.
Early Lean: Steelers -3
San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals +2, O/U 45
The Bengals might have been competitive with the Seahawks but their offensive line will continue to be a major liability, even against San Francisco. General manager John Lynch warned that the 49ers defense would be much improved this season. They kicked off the season with three sacks and four takeaways against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is one game I won’t be backing the home dog.
Early Lean: 49ers +2
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans -3, O/U 44
The Tennessee Titans pulled off the biggest upset of the weekend. They entered the Dawg Pound as 5.5-point underdogs, but wiped out the Browns 43-13. The defense wreaked havoc on Baker Mayfield and posted a string of points against a talented Cleveland defense, all while missing their best offensive lineman.
Indianapolis took the Los Angeles Chargers to overtime in what should have been a win if it were not for two missed field goals and an extra point from aging veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri will likely get a chance to redeem himself in Week 2, but field goals could continue to haunt the Colts if he doesn’t fix the problem.
Is Tennessee the real deal or was the Week 1 blowout just a fluke? I lean somewhere in between, but enough to back Tennessee.
Early Lean: Titans -3 (use our DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Detroit Lions +3, O/U 47.5
Detroit’s second-half performance leaves little optimism for Lions fans. A tie is typically confusing for players and fans alike, but it’s particularly concerning to tie at home against a team that was projected to be one of the worst in the NFL according to preseason win totals. The Chargers came close to a tie as well. It took overtime for Los Angeles to beat the Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts 30-24. Philip Rivers will continue to play without lead running back Melvin Gordon. Instead, the Chargers have turned to a committee made up of Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. It should work against the Detroit Lions, another team I’ll look to fade early this NFL season.
Early Lean: Chargers -3
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons Pk’em, O/U 51
In what has become a theme for Atlanta’s defensive unit over the years, the Falcons didn’t have an answer for Minnesota’s running attack in Week 1. The Eagles managed to put up 115 yards between Darren Sproles, Jordan Howard, and rookie Miles Sanders against the Washington Redskins. Carson Wentz also excelled, throwing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Desean Jackson proved to be a valuable addition as he turned 8 receptions into 154 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. I like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones to get back on track against a tough opponent in Week 2.
Early Lean: Falcons ML -105
Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets +2.5, O/U 46
The New York Jets are only 2.5-point underdogs to the Cleveland Browns. Despite the disappointing season opener for Cleveland, the public will be backing the Browns on Monday night football. This time, I think they’re right. Mayfield and Odell Beckham should thrive under the spotlight and the Cleveland defense will rebound to agitate Sam Darnold.
Early Lean: Browns -2.5
Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images