The opening weekend of the NFL season has come and gone, so now is when things get really interesting.
Bettors don’t want to overreact or under-react from Week 1, but it will be hard not to when placing bets for the second NFL slate of the season. Sunday’s schedule is especially brutal, with eight different games having a spread larger than a field goal at this point in the week. This honestly might end up being a good week to play props or totals, if you don’t feel confident in a side.
I have put together a list of Week 2 lines that have caught my eye or that I will be monitoring this week. It is important to note I haven’t actually placed a bet on any of these games just yet, but they have my attention early in the week before injury reports start to surface.
All lines in this story are via Caesars Sportsbook, which is the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports. Sign up today to take advantage of their terrific new-user offer when you place your Week 2 bets.
Washington Commanders (+2.5) at Detroit Lions
If you bet against the Lions last week, that was certainly a tough beat. The Philadelphia Eagles were in complete control after their pick-six midway through the second quarter. After that, each of Detroit’s final four touchdown drives came when they were trailing by double-digits: 14, 17, 17 and 10. Dan Campbell’s crew might have gotten the cover, but it seems like a stretch to make them a near-field goal favorite against a feisty NFC East challenger.
I thought the Commanders were a bit underrated entering the year, especially in a weak division that became even weaker after Dak Prescott’s injury. Washington jumped on Jacksonville early, but needed a fourth-quarter rally to eventually win and cover the 2.5-point spread in a 28-22 victory. Carson Wentz is still going to have his boneheaded mistakes, but Scott Turner’s offense should be able to score against this Detroit defense.
I make this game Commanders -0.5, so I’ll likely end up betting this game at the current spread with a sprinkle on the moneyline as well. The best way to bet this game might actually end up being Washington’s team total, however, after the Lions gave up 38 points and 6.3 yards per play to the Eagles in Week 1.
Indianapolis Colts (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars
One of the more misleading final scores of the week was the tie between the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. It certainly looked bad on paper, as the Colts needed a 17-point rally in the fourth quarter to even force overtime as a touchdown favorite.
But the Colts low-key kind of crushed the Texans. They won total yardage (517-299) and yards per play (5.7-4.4), but squandered three of their five trips in the red zone. Matt Ryan was pedestrian in his debut, finishing with 352 yards along with one touchdown and one interception, so he obviously has to be better if the Colts are going to win the AFC South.
The Colts could still be in the driver’s seat to win the division with a win this week, and they should have a significant advantage in the trenches against the Jaguars. I think this number gets better, but I will be looking for the best price to bet.
Carolina Panthers (+2.5) at New York Giants
Both of these teams made a late surge in the fourth quarter, though the only difference is that the Giants finished the job while the Panthers did not. Maybe that is why the Giants are suddenly a near-field goal favorite after this game was a pick ‘em via the lookahead lines in the summer.
Brian Daboll’s debut was one to remember, as the Giants scored 21 points in the second half and converted on a game-winning two-point conversion in a 21-20 victory over the Titans. But it is no secret that the Giants will lean on running back Saquon Barkley, who finished with 18 carries for 164 yards and one touchdown.
The Panthers put together a 17-point effort in the fourth quarter of an eventual 26-24 home loss to the Cleveland Browns. Carolina had a better yards per play (5.2-4.8), and Baker Mayfield finished with 235 yards along with one touchdown and one interception with his new team.
Arizona Cardinals (+5.5) at Las Vegas Raiders
The reason why this one is listed last is because it will be hard to back the Arizona Cardinals two weeks in a row. The Cardinals never had a shot in a 44-21 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, in which Patrick Mahomes finished with five touchdowns and 360 yards.
Bettors want no part of the Cardinals, as this line opened at a field goal and has been trending one way ever since. The Cardinals were really banged up last week, so keep an eye on the injury report before deciding to bet on them.
My power ratings make this closer to the original number, so I’m tempted to buy low on the Cardinals yet again. But I might end up staying away after being burned by that thought process last week, especially since I am fully prepared to back a few other road teams.