The 2020 NFL Week 2 slate follows a Week 1 of the NFL season that produced some big surprises when the Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5) and Washington Redskins (+6) pulled outright upsets. Those two teams were the least selected bets by the public, and also knocked nearly 40% of survivor pool players out in Week 1. The Rams were the other home underdog outright winner. We had the Cardinals (+7) as our lone winner and Arizona took money and won outright 24-20 at San Francisco. Check out the Cardinals next four games and you'll see they will be favored in all four contests, so if you're betting futures on Arizona to win the Super Bowl, know they have already dropped from +4400 this week to below +3500 at many leading online sportsbooks.
So a 1-2 ATS start in Week 1 is not not great, especially looking back at last year's 4-0 start in Week 1 with our underdog only picks. Now 78-56 (58.2%) lets see if we can do better and chip-in more winners.
With the continued growing interest in the NFL and betting, many bettors are (over) reacting to Week 1 results, and that provides plenty of opportunities in Week 2 as usually one of the best weeks of the season to wager on NFL games. The lack of fans and homefield edge has us all adjusting. Certainly the linemaker also adjusts, and will sometimes protect itself from being overexposed in teasers, providing even more value on underdogs or some favorites that were underpriced and teased like the Bills in Week 1.
My perfection reflection shows why I look forward to NFL Week 2, as a decade ago I went 10-0 on my point spread prognosis picks documented publicly.
Week 2 Winless Teams Match-ups
The winless teams in Week 2 match-ups begins started Thursday and Cleveland beat Cincinnati 35-30. Bengals bettors loved the backdoor cover in the final minute when rookie QB Joe Burrow's 61st pass of the game and third TD pass was the crushing blow for Browns (-6.5) bettors.
Other Week 2 winless team match-ups includes:
Atlanta at Dallas (-5)
Minnesota at Indianapolis (-3)
Carolina at Tampa Bay (-9)
San Francisco (-7) at NY Jets
If you're interested in following the lines from top online sportsbooks and teams betting percentages on weekly match-ups, checkout SportsInsights free live NFL odds and note Week 2 road favorites are taking some of the highest percentages of bets. More than 75% of the bets are on San Francisco at NY Jets, Buffalo at Miami, Baltimore at Houston and Kansas City at LA Chargers. A big market move has also seen the LA Rams (+1) potentially closing as road favorite at Philadelphia. We considered the Rams for our picks below, and you can still tease them up. But sometimes best to monitor more injuries and updates prior to kickoff and consider other ways to bet the game if you missed numbers that move more.
Case in point, if you bet on the Titans (-2.5 or -3) Monday night in Week 1, you lost in a 16-14 victory and Tennessee was available as an underdog, pick or +2 days before the game. We also won't take a significantly deflated number on the Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5) this week after the line opened +10 or +10.5. Still, the Jaguars upset win in Week 2 sets up a negative ATS letdown situation in Week 2.
Be sure to check the NFL injury reports and monitor the betting lines as the Eagles and other teams suffered some key injuries in Week 1.
Risk vs. reward and searching for value is something bettors should shoot for in their pursuit of profit. Competitively-priced underdogs are always worth consideration, as many of these barking ‘Dogs can not only have your wager secured in the later stages of a football game, but some will also have a solid shot to win outright. And as the Bengals proved Thursday night, the backdoor is often open when betting on a barking 'Dog.
Thus, money line wagers should also be part of your betting portfolio, and after watching three big ‘Dogs of greater than 6 points win outright in Week 1, you can expect the unexpected in the NFL as you pursue profit with your point spread prognosis.
Week 2 Picks and Analysis
Compare odds and lines and bet at the leading online sportsbooks.
275 Detroit (+6.5) at Green Bay – Lions Moneyline +240
284 Houston (+7) vs Baltimore - Texans Moneline +270
286 Los Angeles (+9) vs Kansas City - Chargers Moneyline +315
290 Las Vegas (+6) vs New Orelans - Raiders Moneyline +200
Detroit at Green Bay
The Lions blew it again last week just as they did so many times early last season. A blown fourth quarter lead and dropped pass at the goal line in the closing seconds left them shocked in a 27-23 loss to division rival Chicago. Detroit's offense was strong with 426 balanced yards at 5.9 yards per play. Bettors are still backing Green Bay at a high percentage after watching the Packers pound the Vikings 43-34 as QB Aaron Rogers was exceptional in leading the top offense in Week 1 with the Packers piling up 522 yards at 6.9 yards per play. The Packers were playing with a large lead when they allowed more significant yardage to the Vikings last week, but Detroit's offense should be plenty strong against an uneven Green Bay defense. Monitor the Lions defense and cornerback situations as DB Trufant is still not practicing. Contrary call still the way to go in lining up on the Lions, and take +7 too, if it gets there on game day.
Baltimore at Houston
The line is inflated based on Week 1 results and perception, and the support of the Ravens and QB Jackson is through the roof. Baltimore blitzed more than any team in Week 1 (57%), and the Texans will need to run the ball more than 22 times like in Week 1. It was efficient running against the Chiefs with 118 rushing yards and 360 total yards at 6.2 yards per play. Baltimore's defense is better, and match-ups favor the birds. But a letdown situation still looms and Houston is playing with extra rest and an improved defense (and coordinator) this year.
Kansas City at Los Angeles
Just like the Ravens, most bettors will not bet against the juggernaut Kansas City Chiefs. They would rather bet on Russian ping pong than make a $50 bet against the Chiefs. Sure it's tough, but so was Week 1 trying to support Washington and Jacksonville. The oddsmaker at BetOnline has moved this up to Chiefs -9 to also protect teasers and not fall below -3 on 6-point teasers. Not a believer in the Chargers coaching or quarterback, although QB Tyrod Taylor is better than his perception and his average air yards per attempt last week was second best in the league. While Los Angeles plays without start defensive back Derwin James and Kansas City should move the ball well, key to supporting the Chargers is hopes than they can run the ball effectively again with Taylor also extending plays and running for positive yards. The Chargers rushed 39 times last week for 155 yards. They do have some offensive line issues to monitor, but if the lightning bolts run 30 times this week, I'm confident we're cashing in on the Chargers. Division big home 'Dog play, just like the Jaguars and Redskins cashed in on Week 1 and the Chargers apply to a solid Week 2 home underdog situation. Also, since 2000, divisional road favorites of more than a touchdown, not off a bye, are just 42-58 ATS (42%).
New Orleans at Las Vegas
Wait to take a touchdown on the home 'Dog Raiders (+6), who will try to christen their new Allegian Stadium with a win in Las Vegas to kick off a new era for RaiderNation. Still taking +5.5 as needed and also +3 in the first half. The Saints offense struggled more than expected in their Week 1 win despite scoring 34 points in a 11-point win over the Buccaneers. Drew Brees is a Fairway favorite, but age (41) is not on his side despite experience having its advantages. Brady (44) looked worse in defeat, and the Saints were able to take advantage of a 3-0 turnover edge - a longtime 92% ATS winning situation that you will rarely overcome if you bet on the team having turnover troubles that day. Raiders QB Carr was solid as was the entire Las Vegas offense with no turnovers in a 34-30 Week 1 win with 371 yards at 6.1 yards per play. Key is a running game that rushed 31 times with star second year running back Josh Jacobs rushing 25 times for 93 yards and 3 touchdowns. Fans in the stands would make this much better to watch and wager on, but we're still shooting to cash in on the home town Las Vegas Raiders.
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and betting analyst, and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay