We saw a little bit of everything in Week 1 with a tie, a heroic Aaron Rodgers comeback and a slew of surprise results. What was also interesting to note is that every head coach making their debut lost.
Now NFL betting fans shift their attention to Week 2, where we start to figure out if the first week of action was merely an aberration or whether we’re starting to see trends. Let’s take a closer look at Week 2 and make four picks against the spread.
The line: Cowboys -3 at Karamba.
The Cowboys might be the favorite, but if you watched them play offense against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, you know they are in trouble.
Injury and illness along the offensive line – which was and is the most important position group for the Cowboys – has left Dallas in dire straits on offense. Yes, facing the Giants defense will be an easier task than the Panthers last week, but the bigger concern is that this offense has been stripped down.
Dak Prescott doesn’t have that strong of a line in front of him and with Dez Bryant and Jason Witten gone, he doesn’t many reliable options in the passing game.
The Giants aren’t an All-Star team but they have explosive weapons at receiver and running back, and they probably have about the same caliber of defense as the Cowboys. That’s why we’ll take the Giants with the points in this spot.
The line: Patriots -2 at Karamba.
This is the AFC Championship Game rematch, and while the Jaguars want revenge, keep in mind that Jacksonville outplayed New England for most of that game but then lost at the end.
Is that going to happen a second time? New England knows that the Jaguars represent a central obstacle on the road to another Super Bowl appearance.
Lost in the Jags Week 1 win was how much the offense struggled. They finished with just 305 yards and 13 points as the defense scored the other seven. Blake Bortles was 18-of-33 for 176 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Add in the fact that star running back Leonard Fournette is dealing with a hamstring injury and this looks like a good place to play the Pats as a small favorite.
The line: Falcons -6 at Karamba.
The Falcons’ Super Bowl hopes are flashing before their eyes. A heartbreaking loss in Week 1, in which their red zone offense failed them – a common theme carried over from last season – has been compounded by the losses of safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones for the season.
Those are two elite players who can’t easily be replaced. Add in the fact that offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, can’t seem to push the right buttons with this team in the red zone and it’s a bit of a concern.
Meanwhile, the Panthers are coming off a quality Week 1 win where they turned aside the Cowboys 16-8. Things could have been better but they’re 1-0.
Cam Newton was effective, going 17-of-26 for 161 yards. While the yardage is low, he did complete 65.4 percent of his passes and completion percentage is something this coaching staff has worked with him in the offseason.
The Panthers are healthier, in a better mindset and are getting nearly a touchdown. They should at least cover – if not win.
The line: Broncos -5.5 at Karamba.
What are we to make of the Raiders Week 1 performance? Jon Gruden actually had a good game plan and his team fought for a half. Of all players, Derek Carr was who torpedoed the team’s chances with three critical interceptions.
The issue is that the Raiders will face another tough defense in Week 2. This time, on the road.
Denver grabbed a Week 1 win over Seattle. A win is a win, but sometimes some bad aspects get lost in a win, like Case Keenum’s three interceptions. Still, he had 353 passing yards and the running game looked very strong. They should be licking their chops at facing the hapless Raiders defense this week.
With the Broncos at home, with momentum and the Raiders on a short week, we’ll lay points with Denver in this spot.