NFL Betting: Week 2 Best Picks and Advice

Sides I Like

Bears (+2.5) over Buccaneers: Before Week 1 was played, the Bears were a 1.5-point favorite in this game. There was a lot of optimism going into the season for the Bears and they completely no-showed against the Packers, losing 38-20. The Buccaneers received a lot of betting support last week, closing +4 at the Vikings and winning the game 20-17. However, Tampa Bay only gained 3.6 yards per play on offense and won the turnover battle 3-0 against a Minnesota team that is due to regress after 13 wins last year.

The Buccaneers unsurprisingly re-opened as a favorite after the Week 1 results and got bet out to -3 immediately. Despite the Bears’ poor performance over the first 60 minutes of the season, I still rate Chicago and Tampa Bay as equal teams. I don’t trust Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield as a favorite and I believe there’s an overreaction to the point spread for this game. I don’t like the Bears as much after they moved from +3 to +2.5, but still recommend having something on Chicago.

Sides I’m Considering

Chargers (-3) over Titans: This is an important game for both of these 0-1 teams in the super-competitive AFC. The Chargers lost a back-and-forth thriller 36-34 to the Dolphins in which their defense gave up 8.2 yards per play to Miami. The Titans went to New Orleans and kicked five field goals in a 16-15 loss.

The Chargers’ defensive performance was concerning, but I’m not sure the Titans’ offense — led by QB Ryan Tannehill — can take advantage of that unit, considering how he played in Week 1. This could be an opportunity to bet Justin Herbert and Los Angeles at a cheap price.

Bills (-9.5) over Raiders: I like this spot for the 0-1 Bills to bounce back at home against the 1-0 Raiders. The Bills had an inexcusable loss to the Jets on Monday night, with Zach Wilson taking nearly every snap for the New York offense. Josh Allen accounted for four turnovers and Buffalo let one get away.

The Raiders had extremely low expectations going into the season and pulled off a 17-16 upset win at the Broncos. Now, Las Vegas has to go back on the road to face a hungry Bills team in a hostile environment. This one has blowout potential.

Chiefs (-3.5) over Jaguars: The Chiefs were another elite team in the AFC to lose last week. Their loss was more excusable, as they fell to the Lions 21-20 in the opener last Thursday night. The Chiefs were plagued by fixable mistakes and were without two of their best players in TE Travis Kelce and DT Chris Jones. Kelce is on track to be back for his game and Jones resolved his contract dispute on Monday.

The Jaguars won and covered against the Colts last week in a game that could’ve gone either way. Jacksonville has some huge question marks on their offensive line and defense. That could be an issue against a Chiefs offense coming off a loss with extra time to prepare. Last year, the Chiefs closed -9.5 in a playoff game against the Jaguars. Not much has changed with these rosters since that game, and -3.5 looks short even with flipping home field.

Giants (-5.5) over Cardinals: I’m not high on the Giants this season, but this might be the time to bet on them coming off an embarrassing 40-0 loss against the Cowboys that everyone saw in primetime. I still respect Brian Daboll as a head coach and schemer, and this matchup against the Cardinals is much different than facing the Cowboys.

The Cardinals covered in Week 1, but they’re still my lowest-rated team in the NFL by far. Arizona settled for three field goals and scored their touchdown on a two-yard fumble return. No team is as bad as their last game and I’m going to consider the Giants to rebound in this spot.

Broncos (-3.5) over Commanders: This would be more a bet against the Commanders, who scraped by to beat the Cardinals 20-16 in their first game under new ownership. The Commanders only had 3.8 yards per play against the worst team in the NFL.

The Broncos had a tough loss in their first game under new HC Sean Payton. The positive for Denver is they get to stay at home for this game and historically are a strong home team in September because road teams get fatigued playing in high altitude early in the year. I’m going to wait to see if this gets to -3 before betting on the Broncos.

Patriots (+3) over Dolphins: I backed the Dolphins +3 last week against a Chargers team with hardly any home-field advantage. Now, Miami goes back on the road as a favorite for this Sunday night game in a tougher place to play. I was impressed with the Dolphins’ offense in Week 1, but their defensive pieces are still acclimating to new DC Vic Fangio’s system. It’s very tempting to bet the Patriots, who were unlucky not to cover in Week 1.

Game-Time Decisions

Vikings at Eagles (-6.5): I shared my thoughts for this game on the Stadium social channels. The summary of it is this: I don’t think the Vikings played as poorly as their 20-17 loss to the Buccaneers indicates. Minnesota outgained Tampa Bay by 127 yards and were doomed by turnovers. On the other side, the Eagles were very fortunate to win and cover against the Patriots.

What’s going to hold me back from betting on the Vikings is that it’s a Thursday night game and they are on the road. A short week with travel for the road team is a tough spot that will keep me on the sideline for this one.

Packers (-1.5) at Falcons: These are two teams I wanted to buy on early in the season. Both teams won in Week 1, with the Packers having one of the best performances of the week and the Falcons getting the job done despite a very conservative offensive game plan.

I would only consider the Falcons in this game because the Packers are dealing with injuries and the Falcons run game should have the matchup edge against the Packers run defense. But I still have my concerns about Atlanta trusting QB Desmond Ridder to make a big throw if they need it, and Green Bay still may be undervalued.

Colts (-1.5) at Texans: This game is a complete stay-away for me after the Texans re-opened a two-point favorite and the line swung enough where the Colts are now a road favorite.

Seahawks at Lions (-5.5): My initial thought for this game was to bet the Seahawks off a very bad performance against the Rams that caused the line to move from Lions -3 to -6. That’s a drastic adjustment after just one game, but it might be justified.

The Seahawks were a team I thought was due for regression this season and there was a lot of anti-Seattle money in their Week 1 game against the Rams that closed Seahawks -4.5 even thought the Rams didn’t have Cooper Kupp. The Seahawks lost the game 30-13 and both offensive tackles left the game with injuries.

I didn’t think the Lions were great in their win at the Chiefs last Thursday, but it was still a huge victory for a team on the rise and now they have extra time to prepare for a possibly wounded opponent.

Ravens at Bengals (-3.5): The Ravens won and covered in their Week 1 game against the Texans, but their offense wasn’t crisp under new OC Todd Monken. On top of that, they lost RB J.K. Dobbins for the season and had two injuries on the offensive line. Baltimore’s injury situation is why the line went from Bengals -3 to -3.5 in this game.

The Bengals come into this game off a three-point offensive output against the Browns, and Joe Burrow only threw for 82 yards. There might be an expectation that Cincinnati bounces back, but I can see them start slowly offensively for a few more weeks after Burrow missed most of training camp. I expect this to be a tight, low-scoring game between two teams familiar with each other.

49ers (-8.5) at Rams: The 49ers were the most impressive team for me last week when they beat the Steelers 30-7. Brock Purdy looked a lot better than I expected him to in his first start since tearing his UCL in the playoffs last season. San Francisco’s defense picked up where they left off last year despite losing DC DeMeco Ryans, who became the Texans’ head coach in the offseason.

The Rams also played well against the Seahawks last week, but that didn’t stop the line going from -6.5 to -8 early in the week. Kyle Shanahan has consistently gotten the better of Sean McVay in these regular season matchups and the Rams won’t have any home-field advantage because of how many San Francisco fans will be at this game. The 49ers are the only side I would look to, but will pass now since the point spread is over a touchdown.

Jets at Cowboys (-9.5): This game is an easy pass for me. The point spread indicates that the drop-off from Aaron Rodgers to Zach Wilson is six points, as the Cowboys were -3.5 in this game before Rodgers’ injury. I usually like betting teams in their first game with a backup QB, but I don’t want any part of the Jets in this game after their emotional overtime win on Monday.

The Cowboys’ pass rush against the Jets offensive line with Zach Wilson at QB and Nathaniel Hackett calling plays is a huge mismatch. This is also a tough spot for the Jets on a short week with travel. I also would stay away from the Cowboys because there is some inflation in this point spread because they won 40-0 against the Giants in their opener.

Saints (-3) at Panthers: There has been plenty of movement around the key number of -3 early in the week for one of the two Monday night games. The Saints re-opened -2.5 on Sunday evening and got bet out for -3.5 Monday morning. Now we are back to Saints -3, which seems like the right number in the game. I’m not high on this Saints team, but I’m not looking to bet the Panthers yet because of their offensive makeup.

Browns (-2.5) at Steelers: The Steelers were a popular bet last week in the month leading up to the game. They got bet from +3 to +1 against a 49ers team that is rated very highly. Pittsburgh completely flopped in their opener after impressing in the preseason with second-year QB Kenny Pickett. The Steelers are also dealing with a lot of injuries on both sides of the ball from their forgettable Week 1 game.

That’s why we’ve seen this line go in the Browns’ favor with the total dropping to 38.5. The Browns had a dominant win over the Bengals in large part because of their defense. I usually want to bet on the team coming off a bad loss — especially when they play a team coming off a blowout win. But I’m likely going to stay away due to Pittsburgh’s injury situation.

Nate will discuss all of his NFL and college football bets on Stadium Bets. Check out the new show across Stadium’s OTT and OTA channels and subscribe on Spotify and Apple for podcast episodes. Don’t forget to follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content!