Week 1 was not very kind to us after we finished the opening weekend with a sorry 2-4 record. And we completely whiffed on a couple of those picks (namely the Titans to cover and the under in Detroit vs. San Francisco). The Lock of the Week started in expected fashion, at this point, with a loss. If my weekly locks don't improve soon, I'll have to rename that pick the Fade of the Week. But week 1 is always the toughest to bet, so we'll learn from our mistakes improve going forward.
After using the prior season statistics and offseason personnel change knowledge to drive our opening week bets, we can now place our week 2 bets by completely overreacting to what happened in each team's first contest. There's no time to waste, so let's go 6-0 this week. Or at least finish above .500 for a change.
Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts Over 48.5
Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense looked incredible against the Bears, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns on just 26 passing attempts. The Rams averaged nearly 8 yards per play in that contest against a defense I believe to still be in the better third of the league. The craziest stat of that game to me is that Los Angeles put up 34 points while possessing the ball for less than 25 minutes of the game.
On the other end, the Colts are coming off a game in which they could only muster 16 points against the dominant Seahawk defense. But Indianapolis actually had several opportunities to score, but kept trying to go for it on fourth down, failing all three times. I expect the Colts to be more efficient in their second game under Carson Wentz and put up quite a few more points than they did in their first outing. I expect this to be a pretty close, but high scoring game. So we'll cash it in when the over hits.
Las Vegas Raiders +6.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers
I get that the Steelers are coming off a road victory over the Bills, but I think this number is way too high. Especially if you watched the Raiders impressive win on Monday night against the Ravens. While their run game was somewhat stymied due to a negative game script for much of the contest, Derek Carr looked really good and threw for over 400 yards and two touchdowns. Vegas's defense stepped up when it mattered most and forced a Lamar Jackson fumble which led to the winning score.
The Steelers were able to find a way to win in week 1, and I don't want to take anything away from them in that aspect. But they just weren't impressive enough on offense to lead me to believe they'll win this game by a touchdown or more. Their offense only put up 16 points, as the remaining score came from a blocked punt return. I would have loved to get this line at +7, but I'm still confident that this game will be decided by not much more than a field goal nonetheless.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles Under 50.0
I got killed by the 49ers when I bet the under in their week 1 game against the Lions, but I'm back to make the same mistake this wee- uh, I mean, that result won't happen again in week 2. Yes, the Niners and Eagles both put up a lot of points in their first games, but I think all that did is allow this point total to creep up higher than it should be. It felt like the Lions were trying to give the 49ers points for the first three quarters, as San Francisco had more points every time I checked the score. They let Detroit put up 33 in the end, but half of that came in the fourth quarter when the Niners had let off the gas (which nearly cost them as it turned out).
âAs for the Eagles, yes their offense looked very good to start the season, but you have to consider that they were playing against the abysmal Falcons. I think Philly's offense is definitely better than it was last year, but they won't come close to the point production they achieved in week 1 when they go up against San Francisco's defense. This feels like a 24-21 game if I've ever seen one.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Under 52.0
Speaking of the Falcons, look who they're taking on in week 2. How many points do we think they score against the Bucs? 10? 7? 3? I don't know exactly, but this game isn't going to be pretty. The Buccaneers snuck by the Cowboys in their season opener last Thursday night, which gave them 9 full days to prepare for Atlanta. Tampa will get a big lead and then slow down the offense and coast to an easy win. The biggest concern is a couple late game scores from the Falcons after the starters come out, but I like a score of around 34-13 in favor of the Bucs.
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers Over 55.0
There might be 100 points scored in this game. The Chargers have a high powered offense as it, despite only scoring 20 points in week 1. However, that was against the stout Washington defense, and they compiled over 400 yards of offense but just couldn't punch it in the end zone when they got close. They only scored touchdowns on two of their six red zone trips against Washington, but that percentage will be much higher against a Cowboys defense ravaged by injuries. Demarcus Lawrence is the latest man out for Dallas, suffering a broken foot on Wednesday. That defense was already thin before that injury, and they'll have no chance of stopping L.A.'s offense.
In order to stay in the game, Dak Prescott and company are goin to have to throw the ball early and often. And that is something that Dak has done really well the past couple years. Just last game, Prescott threw for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns, and that was against an elite Buccaneers defense. I'm not sure who will win this one, but I think both teams could easily reach 30 points, making the over the definite play.
Lock of the Week: New Orleans Saints -3.5 at Carolina Panthers
âThe Saints unleashed an utter demolition of the Packers in week 1, and they did it with a seemingly very simple offensive gameplay. Despite Jameis Winston throwing five touchdown passes, he actually only accumulated 150 yards in the air, with 55 of them coming on a single play. My thought is that we didn't even get to see Sean Payton really open up the playbook and let Jameis sling the ball. Either that, or this is just his strategy to attempt to limit Winston's potential interception. Regardless, New Orleans' rushing attack is lethal and they have an assortment of playmakers. The Panthers struggled against the Jets at home in week 1 and aside from Christian McCaffrey, they don't have the firepower to keep up with the Saints. The outcome won't be as lopsided as the 38-3 final score we saw from the Saints last week, but they'll definitely win this one by a touchdown or more.
What are your favorite picks for this week in the NFL? Let me know in the comments below.
Written by Nick Swatson