Welcome to Week 2 of the NFL season or as I like to call it, overreaction week. All the surprises from Week 1, whether it be good or bad, always lead to overreactions heading into Week 2. The Rams and Browns will go winless, The Raiders are contenders, Washington is a hot mess, Carson Wentz is your MVP and Jimmy Garoppolo is ready to replace Tom Brady now.
When venturing into the world of sports betting. it is important to not go overboard with reactions after Week 1. You still want to trust your feelings heading into the season and use that to pick the best bets this week. Forget about last week because it can be a mirage of sorts.
Last week I went 3-2-1, with my push being the Giants beating the Cowboys by one. I lost two bets, the Vikings beat up on the Titans and me not trusting Belichick to cover as a 7 point dog was stupid on my part. Granted they were without their best pass rusher, quarterback, star receiver and two starting offensive linemen, but Belichick is a lot smarter than all of us put together and should never be doubted.
Here’s hoping for a better effort this week, even though you still would have profited off my advice last week.
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans(-1.5): In a battle of what used to be two teams that can reach the playoffs, but aren’t really Super Bowl contenders, I like the team that has taken that next step. Houston spent the offseason getting more explosive on offense by adding running back Lamar Miller and drafting DeSean Jackson clone Will Fuller. They also brought in a quarterback who actually has a deep ball in Brock Osweiler. Kansas City will still be without Jamaal Charles and is coming off a near upset at home against the San Diego Chargers. The small line here makes this an easy decision.
Miami Dolphins(+6.5) at New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady are still out so this figures to be a lower scoring affair. I love the bigger line in a game where both teams will struggle to score 20 points. I still think New England wins, but even a 20-14 Pats victory still gets you the win here.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns(+6): Cleveland looked awful last week, but I have more confidence in them with Josh McCown as their starter. He doesn’t have the arm strength or athleticism that RG3 has, but he is far more accurate and more careful with the football. He will keep this game close which is all you need to win this bet. I usually favor the home dog in a rivalry, especially in the AFC North where everybody hates everyone else.
Cincinnati Bengals(+3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers: I had planned on staying away from this one, but the big line is just too good to pass up on. Cincy is the superior team and got an extra day to prepare for this match-up. Despite the big win on Monday night, the Steelers defense looked awful. Maybe the worst tackling effort from Week 1. That’s not an overreaction, they always look that way, but they did nothing to instill confidence from me in a big divisional game early in the season. I think the Bengals win this game, but the fall back option of losing by a field still wins the bet makes it easy to take.
New Orleans Saints(+4) at New York Giants: The shootout to end all shootouts. Neither team can play much defense. The Saints gave up 35 points at home last week and the Giants gave up 5 scoring drives to Dak Prescott(probably six if Terrence Williams goes out of bounds). In a shootout I always favor the superior quarterback, Drew Brees in this case, who for some reason is a four point dog.
Indianapolis Colts(+6.5) at Denver Broncos: The Colts secondary is banged up and a complete mess. Good thing they are playing a quarterback who will struggle to complete most passes over 10 yards. This game will be close so long as the Colts don’t get torched by Broncos running back C.J. Anderson. I know the Broncos pass rush should feast on the Colts horrid offensive line, but Andrew Luck is used to having zero pass protection so this will be nothing new for him. I actually like the Colts to win this game, so getting +6.5 is a layup at this point.
Survival/Eliminator Pick: Detroit over Tennessee- The Lions have actually been playing really good football since Jim Bob Cooter took over as offensive coordinator late last season. Since their bye week last season, a week after they promoted Cooter to OC, the Lions have gone 7-2 and Matthew Stafford has never looked better. Meanwhile in Tennessee, the Titans are trying this thing called “exotic smashmouth” that will probably just shorten Marcus Mariota’s career.
I know the Lions are a bit risky for a survival pick early in the season, but I’m thinking long-term. I want to save the elite teams for later on and try to get by with another non-contender.