NFL Week 2 betting odds, picks, suggestions — Bengals bounce again; Upset alert for Bucs?
Week 2 of the NFL season commenced with the Kansas City Chiefs defending house turf towards the AFC West division rival Los Angeles Chargers in a 27-24 win. What’s going to Sunday’s slate maintain for bettors? Our crew explores the most important storylines, key matchups, which groups will or will not bounce again and provide their favourite performs and props. And do not forget, we’ll have extra to return on the Monday Night time Soccer doubleheader this week with Titans-Payments on ESPN/ESPN2 at 7:15 p.m. ET and Vikings-Eagles at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN+.
For now, let’s maintain Sunday.
Betting analysts Doug Kezirian, Tyler Fulghum, Joe Fortenbaugh, Anita Marks and Erin Dolan, fantasy and sports activities betting analysts Eric Moody and Andre Snellings, ESPN Stats & Info’s Seth Walder and Soccer Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz present insights into the video games and provide their suggestions and picks.
Observe: Traces from Caesars Sportsbook except in any other case indicated.
What’s your largest betting storyline getting into Week 2?
Schatz: The decline and fall of the Dallas Cowboys exhibits us simply how a lot the quarterback means to wagering within the NFL. With Cooper Rush because the beginning quarterback, the Cowboys at the moment are useless final in ESPN FPI. They’d likewise be thirty first in Soccer Outsiders’ DAVE scores if we assumed Rush would begin your entire season. The Bengals-Cowboys contest that was to be a marquee recreation, televised to a lot of the nation at 4:25 p.m. ET, now appears to be like like a blowout with a 7-point line and a low whole of 42.
Fulghum: 5 groups that misplaced in Week 1 are TD+ favorites in Week 2. The Rams, Packers, Bengals, Broncos and 49ers are all laying a minimum of a landing regardless of an 0-1 report. Which groups assail among the concern by not solely getting within the win column, however doing so convincingly? Which of those groups squeak by however fail to cowl, intensifying the scrutiny? And which, if any, of those groups fall to 0-2 on the season and power followers and media to enter a full on DEFCON 5 meltdown? I am most assured that the Bengals (-7 at Dallas) and the Packers (-10 vs. Chicago) cowl their massive numbers.
Moody: How Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos reply after struggling a heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Seahawks on the highway. Wilson’s homecoming ended up being a nightmare, particularly when coach Nathaniel Hackett took the ball away from him with the sport on the road. I digress, however critically, the Broncos should convincingly defeat the Houston Texans. Denver is a staff with playoff aspirations, a staff with a possible MVP candidate in Wilson, and one which some bettors view as a darkish horse to win the Tremendous Bowl. I am taking the Broncos (-10) to cowl the unfold towards the Texans.
Kezirian: I echo the emotions of Tyler and Aaron. The 0-1 groups laying an enormous quantity, which incorporates Cincinnati, is unquestionably noticeable. It has solely occurred 22 instances since 2000, and we’ve got a whopping 5 such eventualities. One oddsmaker informed me Cincy can be a 2.5-point favourite, if not for Prescott’s damage, as a result of Dallas seemed unhealthy within the opener even earlier than his damage. I feel Cincy’s loss is deceptive. The Bengals would have received comfortably if not for shedding the turnover battle, 5-0. ESPN FPI made this line 11. I feel the Bengals roll.
Snellings: I am going to take the opposite aspect of the coin from a lot of the crew, and shine a lightweight on groups that unexpectedly received in Week 1 that might probably be higher than the traces are giving them credit score for. The Seahawks beat Wilson’s Broncos on Monday Night time Soccer, however are 8.5 level canine to a 49ers staff that seemed very peculiar of their loss to the Bears final Sunday. Chicago is a 10-point canine to the winless Packers. The Steelers beat the Bengals, however are +2.0 at house towards a Patriots staff that struggled within the opener. The Commanders and Giants received, however they each have shut spreads towards the winless Lions and Panthers. Are any of the sudden Week 1 winners for actual? Of the checklist, I just like the Steelers +2.0 towards the Patriots the most effective, adopted by the Giants to cowl at house towards the Panthers.
Marks: If the Saints beat the Bucs this Sunday — they may grow to be the one staff within the NFL with a profitable report towards Tom Brady. Speak about additional motivation. We all know New Orleans has the key sauce towards Brady, contemplating he is unable to them within the common season since he joined Tampa Bay. The Bucs’ offensive line is in shambles and his huge receiving core is an infirmary. It took the Saints three quarters to seek out their rhythm towards the Falcons, but when they’ll choose up the place they left off within the 4th quarter every week in the past… hold the Saints marching on the cash line at +125.
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There are two matchups of unbeaten groups Sunday in Week 2: Dolphins at Ravens (-3.5, 44.5) and Buccaneers (-2.5, 44) at Saints. What are your ideas on the overall and unfold, and who’re you taking in these video games?
Schatz: The largest lesson of Week 1 is to not overrate Week 1. Traditionally, some huge cash has been misplaced assuming that Week 1 outcomes are extra essential than all that preseason info we had about groups only one week in the past. In scores we use for the remainder of the season at Soccer Outsiders, Week 1 outcomes are price simply 7%, in comparison with 93% for preseason forecasts. With that in thoughts, I am pleased to take the Baltimore Ravens and provides 3.5 factors to the Dolphins. Miami seemed spectacular at instances in beating the Patriots, however Baltimore was our No. 2 DVOA projection within the preseason at Soccer Outsiders. Likewise, we have been very excessive on the New Orleans Saints. We had them projected with one of many league’s high defenses, and whereas issues do not look pretty much as good after giving up 26 factors to the Falcons — once more, this is only one recreation. The Saints protection ought to nonetheless be excellent and has a robust current historical past towards the Buccaneers. So whereas Tampa Bay is without doubt one of the high groups within the league, I’d take the Saints +2.5 right here.
Fortenbaugh: I am taking part in New Orleans to win the sport outright. Since becoming a member of the Buccaneers, Tom Brady is 0-4 each SU and ATS towards the Saints through the common season, getting outscored by a grand whole of 117-53. The New Orleans protection, mixed with the group noise, will wreak havoc on the suspect Tampa offensive line. I do know some persons are down on the Saints after they virtually misplaced at Atlanta final week, however needless to say Jameis Winston missed a lot of the preseason resulting from damage. Now that he knocked the cobwebs off, I would anticipate a greater efficiency.
Fulghum: Though I feel it is harmful to do, I am going to lean into the historical past of the Saints towards Brady and the Bucs. It seems New Orleans might have been waiting for Week 2 once they began so poorly towards the Falcons. They rallied and escaped that recreation with a win, and now they’ll totally concentrate on the one different staff that issues on this division in the meanwhile. New Orleans +2.5.
Snellings: I am going to make it a clear sweep, and choose the Bengals because the most certainly to cowl from this group. However, the crew has given many good causes for that one, so I am going to go in a unique route as properly and say that I additionally just like the Rams -10.0 towards the Falcons. This week marked the primary time within the McVay period that the staff was underneath .500, a testomony to how ready and prepared the Rams at all times are to start out the season and after losses. The Payments took them to job within the opener, however the Rams have had an additional three days to lick their wounds and regroup. I anticipate a unique staff on Sunday, one that ought to simply deal with the Falcons at house. Per FPI, the Rams have an 81.6% probability to win and needs to be favored by 10.6 factors.
Marks: I just like the Packers at -10. Aaron Rodgers is 4-0 in Week 2, after a loss in Week 1, sporting 12 touchdowns and 1 interception — so R.E.L.A.X! . He’s the self proclaimed “proprietor of the Bears”. Allen Lazard has been in a position to observe this week, so I do anticipate him again. The Bears beat the 49ers in Week 1, however that was extra in regards to the climate situations, and Trey Lance not being prepared. Lambeau will likely be rocking on Sunday night time.
The Rams, 49ers, Broncos, Bengals and Packers are all a landing or extra favorites for this week regardless of being 0-1. Who do you wish to bounce again this week and canopy?
Schatz: I do know that anecdotally backup quarterbacks appear to play properly of their first begins, however as famous above, the drop from Dak Prescott to Cooper Rush is big. It is not possible that Rush retains up the extent of play that gave him a optimistic passing DVOA and cheap 47.8 QBR a 12 months in the past. Joe Burrow confirmed final Sunday that each one these Bengals sacks in 2021 have been closely his fault, as a result of he took seven extra sacks even behind a rebuilt offensive line. However he is not going to throw 4 picks once more, even towards a robust Dallas protection. I am pleased to take the Bengals as favorites and provides over a landing to Dallas on this one.
Fortenbaugh: Cincinnati BIG. Outdoors of going -5 in turnover differential at Pittsburgh in Week 1, the Bengals owned the field rating by operating 33 extra performs than the Steelers, amassing 165 extra whole yards and holding the ball for an extra 17 minutes and 26 seconds. This staff will likely be out for blood after blowing that recreation. The factor about Dallas is that they weren’t good previous to the Prescott damage because of points at OL, WR and on protection. Now that Dak is down, will we anticipate Mike McCarthy to start out out-coaching the opposition? I feel not.
Moody: Mr. Fortenbaugh is correct. It is the Bengals for me. Regardless of a troublesome loss to the division rival Steelers, the Bengals will likely be wonderful, particularly offensively. The offense of Cincinnati is just too gifted, with gamers like Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon, to fail. The Bengals protection seemed good in Week 1. Cincinnati allowed simply 269 whole yards of offense, and the run protection was spectacular. That is essential since they will face a Cowboys staff with out Prescott, who’s out resulting from a thumb damage. Dallas has performed 12 video games with out Prescott since 2016. They’ve seen a lower in factors per recreation and the overall QBR is 43. The Bengals have been 5-2 towards the unfold following a loss final season. Cincinnati is properly positioned to cowl the seven factors in Week 2.
What are the three most essential issues that our analytics say?
The mannequin occurs to have a slew of huge variations of opinion with the market on sides this week. Let’s dive in!
Cincinnati Bengals (-7) at Dallas Cowboys
FPI prediction: Bengals by 11.2
FPI scores are based mostly on a staff’s present energy. And following Prescott’s damage, the Cowboys presently rank thirty second. Actually final. Sound loopy for a staff that was a severe playoff contender every week in the past? I do not suppose it’s. From FPI’s perspective this is what it sees within the Cowboys:
• The worst present beginning QB within the league in Rush.
• A barely under common non-QB roster.
• A poor efficiency in Week 1.
Put all of it collectively and, yeah, a very good staff just like the Bengals needs to be greater than a landing favourite.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) at New Orleans Saints
I perceive being cautious of this contest due to the Bucs’ current historical past towards the Saints, which has been about as unhealthy because it will get. However from FPI’s perspective the Bucs are a whole staff with an elite QB, wonderful receivers and an excellent protection. Even when there’s some matchup issue not thought-about by FPI, absolutely a staff of Tampa Bay’s high quality needs to be price greater than a subject purpose towards a middling Saints staff even in New Orleans?
It is a don’t-overreact-to-Week-1 every day double, because the mannequin is (principally) sticking to its priors on Inexperienced Bay, regardless of a large number of a recreation towards the Vikings, and Chicago, regardless of an upset victory over the 49ers. Making me personally much more assured right here? The mannequin is not conscious than the win over the Niners occurred in moist situations, which absolutely leveled the taking part in subject. That is even much less motive to love Chicago.
What’s your greatest guess for Week 2?
Schatz: I am taking Jacksonville +4 at house towards Indianapolis. I do know that Soccer Outsiders was pretty alone in how low we had the Colts in our preseason projections, however we had your entire AFC South clustered collectively, with no staff higher than league common. In Week 1, Matt Ryan actually didn’t appear to be Frank Reich would convey again the fountain of youth for him, though once more, that is only one recreation. I additionally nonetheless consider in what I have been calling the “subjective case for Jacksonville,” which is that Doug Pederson is such a greater NFL head coach than City Meyer that he can not help however enhance the Jaguars considerably and unlock a few of Trevor Lawrence‘s prodigious expertise.
Fortenbaugh: Cincinnati -7 for all the explanations listed above.
Fulghum: It smells fishy … however I am going to chew. Why are the Patriots favored by 2.5 factors in Pittsburgh towards the Steelers? I do know T.J. Watt is injured and Mitchell Trubisky seemed removed from spectacular towards the Bengals, however what did the Patriots do towards Miami to encourage this type of confidence on the books? The considerations about New England’s offense have been totally realized in Week 1, and even with out Watt, I consider the Steelers at house are a harder defensive check than the Dolphins in Miami. It is in all probability a low-scoring recreation given the offensive limitations on each side, however I belief the Steelers’ playmakers far more than New England’s. Oh, by the way in which, Mike Tomlin is 44-24-2 ATS in his profession as an underdog, together with 14-4-1 ATS as a house underdog. Steelers +2.5.
Moody: The Browns (-6.5) to cowl towards the Jets. The Jets are anxiously awaiting the return of Zach Wilson after Joe Flacco‘s efficiency towards the Ravens in Week 1. New York solely scored 0.8 factors per drive and punted on six of their 12 drives towards Baltimore. Jacoby Brissett is under no circumstances elite, however he was in a position to lean on the Browns operating recreation with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and a stellar protection with Myles Garrett. It is smart given Cleveland’s personnel that this will likely be their id. Ball management will play a key position within the Browns’ success this season, particularly whereas Deshaun Watson serves his suspension. Cleveland’s protection ought to be capable of overpower Flacco. Baker Mayfield was sacked 4 instances by the Browns in Week 1, and the Jets’ offensive line nonetheless wants work. Cleveland is 6-2 towards the unfold over their final eight house video games towards groups under .500. The Browns excel towards lesser opponents.
Snellings: I agree with Moody. I just like the Browns to cowl -6.5 towards the Jets for comparable causes. So, I am going to go along with my second greatest guess right here, and thats the Steelers and Patriots underneath 40.5 factors. Each offenses had main questions getting into the season, and the unfavourable scouting studies have been solely supported by what we noticed from each groups in Week 1. Add in that each defenses are elite models, and that key offensive gamers like Mac Jones and Najee Harris are already taking part in banged up and this simply looks like a low-scoring recreation ready to occur.
Marks: Panthers +2 towards the Giants. Huge Blue misplaced DB Aaron Robinson this week to an appendectomy, he performs reverse Adoree’ Jackson. PFF gave Robinson a excessive grade in Week 1 and he will likely be completely missed. DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson ought to have a subject day towards the Giants, and Baker Mayfield can have loads of time to get them the ball. Christian McCaffrey has a stable matchup towards the subpar LB core as properly. Matchup central for a Panthers staff trying to not begin the season 0-2..
What’s your favourite participant prop?
Schatz: Give me over 44.5 receiving yards (+100) for Rashod Bateman of the Ravens. Xavien Howard is a good cornerback, however the Dolphins nonetheless allowed an opponent-adjusted 62 yards per recreation to opposing WR1s final season. I am not discouraged that Bateman acquired 55 of his 59 yards in Week 1 on a single catch; he is extra of a possession receiver than a deep menace and was regular with a minimum of 4 catches in seven of his 12 video games final season. That included a six-catch, 80-yard day towards Miami, though that recreation got here with Byron Jones masking Bateman as a substitute of Howard. Miami will blitz Lamar Jackson a ton, and he’ll be searching for both Bateman or Mark Andrews when that occurs.
Fulghum: Saquon Barkley over 27.5 receiving yards (-133). The Giants’ pass-catching corps is an absolute mess. Kenny Golladay seems dusted. Wan’Dale Robinson is damage. Kadarius Toney is simply trusted to play seven snaps a recreation. Daniel Jones does not have a lot to work with on offense apart from his operating again. Barkley was a beast in Week 1 towards the Titans, taking part in 83% of the offensive snaps and incomes a team-high seven targets within the passing recreation, which he parlayed into six catches for 30 yards. I anticipate Barkley to have comparable pass-game alternatives and manufacturing on this matchup with the Panthers.
Walder: Allen Robinson underneath 4.5 receptions (-129). Oof. Robinson didn’t look good in that opener. He ran a ton of hitches in Chicago, and I used to be curious if Sean McVay would make use of him in another way. Nope. Robinson ran 25% hitches within the season opener. Plus, now he has to face Casey Hayward, who’s nice at deterring targets, and A.J. Terrell, who’s simply nice. My receiving mannequin — which does not know in regards to the hitches or the precise corners he is dealing with — initiatives simply 3.7 receptions for Robinson.
Moody: Aaron Rodgers over 246.5 passing yards (-117). Rodgers and the Packers had a horrible begin to the season towards the Vikings in Week 1. It was encapsulated by Christian Watson burning cornerback Patrick Peterson on a deep route however then dropping what would have been a protracted landing catch. The back-to-back MVP will look to bounce again at house towards the division rival Bears. Rodgers has averaged 260.3 passing yards per recreation towards Chicago at house since 2018.
Marks: Cordarrelle Patterson over 53.5 speeding yards (+110). Damien Williams has not practiced this week resulting from a rib damage and likelihood is he will likely be inactive on Sunday towards the Rams. I anticipate one other large day for Patterson. The Falcons ran 28 pistol snaps in Week 1 towards the Saints and Patterson rushed for over 120 yards. I see a lot of the identical towards the Rams protection to offset their cross rush.