NFL Week 2 2016 – Sunday Game by Game Betting Breakdown – Previews and Predictions
Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great Week 1. I did pretty well with our picks last week, which can be viewed here.
I will start off by saying that I’m not betting every game that I go over in this article. It’s likely I will only be betting 5-6 of these games. There are some bets that I like more than others (which I will mention), but by no means am I advocating that you use bet every pick listed in this article.
Handicap the games yourself and if your conclusions line up with mine, then perhaps consider placing a wager. The betting odds we will use for this article are will be from BetOnline (Full Review).
They are offering a 50% Deposit Bonus Up to $2,5000 for new accounts on their first deposit.
The prices in this article are not live. The odds listed in this article were accurate when the post was published. Even if you already have an account at BetOnline, make sure to line shop for the best price before placing a wager.
Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions -6 Total: 47.5
The Titans started off strong last week with a lead at halftime against the visiting Vikings. However, after leading 10-0, they only managed to score six more points in the second half, losing by a final score of 25-16.
The Lions kicked off their season in the highest scoring game of the Week 1. They defeated the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium 39-35. Indianapolis took the lead late, but Stafford drove down the field, and Matt Prater punched on through the uprights to give Detroit the lead. The Colts were called for a safety on the final play of the game for an illegal forward pass in their end zone.
The odds in this one opened at -5, but with massive action on Detroit, they moved almost immediately to -6. That total has gone up slightly. It opened at 47 points and is at 47.5 at just about every book.
Not a game I’m in love with, but there could be some value on the Titans in this one if the line gets to +7 before kickoff. That’s definitely possible considering the public is betting the Lions heavily. Detroit is clearly the better team, but this one may come down to one score game.
The Lions offense was running on all cylinders last week, but let’s remember they were playing a Colts team with nearly their entire secondary injured. The Titans are far from a defensive juggernaut, but they do have a capable coordinator in Dick LeBeau, and Stafford does make his fair share of mistakes.
All in all, I’ll go with Tennessee, but like the bet a lot more if you can get it closer to seven points. Wait until closer to the weekend to bet this one if you’re interested.
Pick: Titans +6
Kanas City Chiefs at Houston Texans -2.5 Total: 43
Kansas City heads into a tough matchup against the Texans after rallying in dramatic fashion against the San Diego Chargers. In fact, the Chiefs had never rallied from 21 points down before last week’s game. They forced overtime and won 33-27 on the first drive via an Alex Smith rushing touchdown.
Houston started out slow in their home opener against the Bears, falling behind early, and trailing at half 14-10. However, that would be all the points Chicago would score. The Texans scored 13 unanswered points in the second half to win 23-14.
This game opened as a pk but moved quickly in favor of the Texans to -2.5. Betting action has been split so far, which may mean that sharps were behind this large move. The total hasn’t seen much movement. It opened at 43.5 and is listed at most sportsbooks at 43 or 42.5.
This is a pretty terrible spot for the Chiefs. They’re coming off an emotional overtime victory and are now task with taking on one of the top defenses in the NFL. They’re still not at full strength on either side of the ball, with Justin Houston and Tambi Hali both out on defense and running back Jamaal Charles almost sure not to play.
Defensively, is my primary concern, however. The Chargers have some decent skill players and a future Hall of Famer in Phillip Rivers, but their offense line is extremely poor. They moved the ball with ease for much of the game last week against KC.
Kanas City’s defense is not the same dominant unit they had last year. I don’t see the Texans having much issue scoring with all the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball. Houston is one of my stronger bets this week.
Pick: Texans -2.5
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots -6.5 Total: 41.5
Fresh off a loss at Seattle, the Dolphins have another tough test this week as they face division rival New England. Miami did a good job stopping Seattle last week. (though Russell Wilson did injure his ankle) but they couldn’t put any points on the board. They lost at Seattle 12-10, which was the lowest scoring game in Week 1.
The Patriots shocked most of the league on Sunday Night Football last week, beating the Arizona Cardinals. The odds moved in a big way as we got closer to kickoff. Arizona was -9 by the time the game started after being at -7 for much of the week. New England won a close game 23-21.
The odds opened with the Patriots at -5.5 but have moved to -6.5. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this one at -7 by kickoff. The total opened at 42.5 but is now at 41.5. Betting action sides on relatively split, but near 60% of the bets have been on the over, but the total points have dropped.
If you like the Patriots in this one, now is the time to bet them. They could dominate this one throughout if the Dolphins can’t get the ball moving on offense – it might be locked up by half-time. I expect New England to be aggressive on offense and attack a Dolphins defense that is both low on talent and nursing a bunch of injuries.
Once the Patriots build a lead, Miami should see a healthy dose of LeGarrette Blount as the Patriots look put the game away.
My favorite play from this game is probably the under 41.5. It’s going to be tough for Miami to do much in the scoring department and we can’t expect Bill Belichick to run up the score once the game is in hand, especially with Garoppolo under center.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski is questionable to play in this contest, and I’d be surprised if he suited up against Miami. To be frank, they don’t need him to win this one. If you like Miami in this game, wait until Sunday and look for +7 or better.
Pick: Under 41.5
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns +6.5 Total: 42
Speaking of lower scoring contests, the Ravens beat the Bills 13-7 in their home opener last week. It was your typical “grind-it-out” victory. Baltimore’s defense held the Bills to just a touchdown. Offensively, their only touchdown came on a Joe Flacco to Mike Wallace bomb.
Cleveland started the season in Philadelphia, where they were beaten handily by Carson Wentz and the Eagles defense. They managed just a single touchdown in a 29-10 loss. Robert Griffin III broke a bone in his non-throwing arm and will likely be out all season. However, Josh McCown is arguably an upgrade for the Browns.
McCown played well last season, particularly when you consider the talent he had around him. This year, he has a lot more talent, which includes first round pick Corey Coleman and emerging threat Terrell Pryor. He also has an excellent connection with tight end Gary Barnidge.
One of the biggest reasons I like the Browns here is because the public just doesn’t have much faith in McCown. Aside from a terrible 11-game stretch in 2014 while playing for Tampa, he’s been easily above average the past five years.
Now with a lot more talent around him and getting nearly a touchdown at home, this one seems like a no-brainer. About 65 percent of all wagers are coming in Baltimore right now. There is a good chance that the odds get to Browns +7 or better by the weekend.
I know the Ravens defense looked dominant last week against the Bills, but they didn’t exactly play well either. Last season, Baltimore’s defense was a significant liability. The Ravens also have injuries on their offensive line and are short on talent at receiver.
Cleveland might be my top bet of the week.
Pick: Browns +6.5
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 Total: 48.5
We stay in the AFC North as the Bengals head to Heinz Field to take on the Steelers. Cincy comes off a last second victory against the Jets on last Sunday afternoon edging out a 23-22 win at the Jets on a last-second field goal. Wide receiver A.J. Green had a monster game, catching 12 balls for 180 yards and a touchdown.
It’s a shorter week for Pittsburgh, which comes off of a dismantling of the Redskins in Washington 38-16. Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdowns, two to wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back DeAngelo Williams rushed for 143 yards and two scores as well.
The Steelers opened as -4 favorites in this game. The odds moved to -3 shortly after opening. Right now, most sportsbooks have the odds at -3 or -3.5 for Pittsburgh with varying juice. The total has moved slightly off the original number from 48 to 48.5. About 60 percent of the wagers are coming in on Pittsburgh and the over.
I bet the Redskins on Monday Night and much to my chagrin the Steelers rolled over them after a slow start. Seeing the Steelers win big made me happy and softened the loss, as I’m a lifelong fan who still resides in the Steel City.
Washington had a lot of chances out of the gate and couldn’t capitalize on Pittsburgh’s early turnovers. Kirk Cousins was way worse than expected. He was a statue in the pocket and chucked it away at the first sign of pressure, even from three-man rushes.
The Redskins also totally shocked me by sticking Bashaud Breeland on Antonio Brown most of the game and leaving Josh Norman, their $75 million-dollar cornerback on the Steelers’ secondary pass catchers.
The Steelers secondary is not good. Any above average quarterback would have picked them apart Monday night and offered up a much more competitive game. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green should have no issue throwing the ball all over Pittsburgh.
The Bengals have a much better defense than the Redskins, and these divisional games may be high scoring, but they are usually close. The public is riding high with the Steelers, but they’re not worth laying -3.5 in this spot.
Pick: Bengals +3.5
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins -2.5 Total: 45.5
Off a divisional loss against the Giants, the Cowboys head to Washington for another critical division game against the Redskins. Dallas went lost narrowly to New York 20-19 under Dak Prescott’s first regular season start. They were close to having a chance to win it at the end of the game, but poor clock management sunk them.
As mentioned above, Washington is coming off a stinker on Monday Night in front of their home fans. Pittsburgh blew them out 38-16.
The Redskins opened this game as -3 favorites. That has moved to -3 or -2.5. Betting action is split mostly 50/50 on both sides. However, the total opened at 46.5 and has moved down to 45.5. Over 70 percent of bets are coming in the over. Despite this, it has dropped. That’s reverse line movement and usually a sign of sharp action.
I’m not sure which way this game is going to go. There’s value if you like Washington at -2.5 and value with Dallas at +3 if you’re leaning towards that side. Cousins and the defense looked horrible against Pittsburgh, but the Redskins aren’t the Steelers.
The under seems to be the best play for me. If Dallas gets a lead, you can expect them to salt away at the clock with their run game. Washington looked all out of sorts on offense as well last week, against a Pittsburgh defense that was decidedly average.
Pick: Under 45.5
New Orleans Saints at New York Giants -5 Total: 53.5
The Saints make a long trip to New York after losing to the Raiders in their home opener last week in one of the league’s highest scoring games. Oakland tied the game in the final seconds but opted to go for a two-point conversion instead of playing for overtime. They threw a fade to Michael Crabtree, and the Raiders won the game.
Defensively, the Saints were historically bad last season. With the largest total of the week in this game, it hasn’t gotten much better. To make matters worse, they lost their best cornerback, Delvin Breaux, which has led them to hire guys off the street to play this week.
The Giants are my play in this game for a number of reasons. Most importantly is how poorly the Saints play on the road. They’ve laid a lot of stinkers on the road many times against cupcake defense after high scoring outputs at home.
New York can score any way they want against the Saints. They have no strengths on defense is question marks all over the place. The Giants can run the ball and control this game, which interests in both the G-men and the under.
This is about the worst spot around to bet on New Orleans. Bet the Giants or skip this one.
Pick: Giants -5
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers -13.5 Total: 45
Chip Kelly’s 49ers took care of business Monday Night against the Rams in their first regular season game in Los Angeles. They pummeled the Rams on national television, winning 28-0. This week they face a much tougher test at Carolina.
The Panthers are well rested after playing their first game of the season last Thursday to kick off the season. Denver came out of the gate slow but rallied late to give themselves a 21-20 victory when time expired. Cam Newton drove his team down the field, but Graham Gano missed a 50-yard field goal to win the game.
This game had opened with Carolina at -11.5 before it was quickly bet up to -13.5, but betting action has been mostly split. The total has moved just a half-point from the 45 opener to 45.5. Again, most of the action has been down the middle.
This is a great spot for Carolina to demolish a San Francisco team that has to travel across the country after a big opening night win. The Panthers have also had extra days rest and are eager to avenge their opening week loss.
However, anytime a team is favored by double-digits, I’m almost always going to be a lot more interested in the underdog. As bad as the Rams looked on Monday Night, it’s important to remember that they still do have an excellent defense.
Carolina’s front seven is fearsome, but they did revamp their entire secondary in the offseason after losing Josh Norman to free agency and Charles Tillman to retirement. It’s low on talent and experience. They were out of position frequently against Trevor Siemian in the loss to the Broncos and struggled with tackling.
The 49ers offense is nothing to write home about, but they did move the ball pretty successfully against the Rams. I know they’re going on the road, and it sets up as a blowup spot for Carolina’s offense, but I think they can keep this one within two touchdowns.
I like San Francisco at +13.5, and there is a good chance that the public gets their bets and pushes this to +14 by game time (some sportsbooks have them at +14 now). The over doesn’t look bad either at 45 if we can expect SF to score, which I do.
Pick: 49ers +13.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals -6.5 Total: 50
The Buccaneers started their season off with a bang, winning at Atlanta 31-24 and starting the year off 1-0 on the year and the division. They face a much tougher test this week against Arizona. A team that is looking to grab a win after losing to an undermanned Patriots last week.
Arizona was -9 when the game started on Sunday Night against New England but did not play like a team that was one game away from the Super Bowl last year. They struggled most of the evening offensively and lost the game 23-21.
This game originally opened with the Cardinals as -7, a price that is still available at many sportsbooks. The betting action has been decidedly on Arizona so far with more than two-thirds of bets coming in the Cardinals. Bettors also like the over on the total which opened at 49.5 and is at 50.
This isn’t one of my favorite games on the slate. Arizona is in a beautiful spot to bounce back here against a younger team, especially offensively, but they didn’t play with much urgency last week against a Pats team that was outthinking them.
This one comes down to price if you can capture Arizona at -6.5 and you think they will dominant, go for it. Likewise, if you’re interested in the Buccaneers, I believe you need +7 or better. I’ll go with Arizona, but this is a spot where I am most likely staying away.
Pick: Cardinals -6.5
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams +6.5 Total: 38.5
The Seahawks take a short flight to L.A. after scraping out a victory against the Miami Dolphins last week in Seattle. The Rams look to get a win in their first regular season in Los Angeles and to come back from the embarrassment of their 28-0 loss at San Francisco.
Seattle is a crowd favorite coming into the one with over 70 percent of wagers have come in on the Seahawks. They opened at -6.5 and -7 at most sportsbooks, which is where they are at now. The total has seen the biggest drop after opening at 40.5 and moving down to 38 or 38.5 at most sportsbooks.
The biggest news surrounding this game is the health of Russell Wilson. He tweaked his ankle in the game against Miami last week but has insisted that he is “ready to roll” this week. He did practice in full on Thursday, but it’s a situation worth monitoring and I don’t buy that the ankle is still not bothering him.
It’s hard to come back from a devastating defeat like the Rams have to do after Monday night, but this is the spot to do it. It’s their first game in L.A., and they’re getting almost a touchdown. As we mentioned in our Panthers-49ers breakdown, we know this defense is a lot more talent than what we saw last week. Case Keenum is also a bad quarterback, but he’s not as bad as he was last week against the 49ers.
I love the L.A. in a bounce back spot here, and there’s a good chance the odds get back to +7 before the late kickoff.
Pick: Rams +6.5
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos -6.5 Total: 46.5
The Colts lost a winnable game in Detroit last week, but their defense simply couldn’t get a stop. Their home opener was spoiled by giving up nearly 40 points in the loss to the Detroit, despite the home team putting up 35 points.
Denver beat Carolina again to kick off the NFL season. They’re fresh after the extended rest, and they easily have the most dominant defense in the league these days.
Denver opened as -5.5 favorites, but that line is no longer available with most bookmakers setting in at -6.5. Slightly more than half the bets have come in on the Broncos. The total has seen the most action. It opened at 44 points but has been bet up heavily to 46.6 and 47 at most shops.
I’ve been critical of Andrew Luck over the years. Everyone saw him as the second coming of Steve Young, but he’s far too careless with the ball. Luck started slow last week against Detroit but got it going later in the game.
I want to like Indianapolis in this game, but for how good Denver’s defense is playing, it’s tough to get behind Luck in this offense, particularly with their offensive line woes. The Broncos also shouldn’t have trouble moving the ball against a Colts defensive that is missing several starters.
Pick: Broncos -6.5
Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders -4.5 Total: 49
After losing in their home opener to the Buccaneers, the Falcons head out west to take on the Raiders who are 1-0 after beating the Saints in New Orleans in Week 1.
Oakland opened this game as -4 favorites, but thanks to lopsided betting action on the Raiders, the odds moved to -4.5 rather quickly. The biggest movement in this game comes with the total, which opened at 47 and is now at 49 and 49.5.
I’m not huge on this game, as I don’t love either side. Oakland should take a step forward this year, but it’s tough to judge how good they are after one game. Their secondary did not look good against New Orleans last week, and they will face another high-scoring offense in Atlanta.
Betting overs is not something I typically do, but both these defense have some issues, and there is a lot of offensive talent in this game. If you can get over 49, there’s a high chance that you may beat the closing line. This one should go up as we get closer to the weekend.
Pick: Over 49
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers -3 Total 47.5
The Jaguars head out west to face San Diego after losing at home to the Packers to start the season. The Chargers are coming off a tough road loss in Week 1 at Kansas City, where they led 21-3, but ending up losing in overtime by the score of 33-27.
The biggest news out of this game is San Diego losing wide receiver Keenen Allen torn his ACL in last Sunday’s loss and is out for the entire season. No clear guy will take over his role as the number one receiver.
The Chargers will be without their top playmaker, but this is a great spot for them to bounce back after a rough loss. They’re a pass-first team, and that should work out well in this matchup against the Jaguars which are much better against the run than the pass.
The public has been heavily on the Jags since the opener, but the odds haven’t moved the opener of -3. The total opened at 48 and is at 47.5 or 48.
Jacksonville played over their head last season. They’re a young team that is flying across the country that is still plenty mistake prone. San Diego shouldn’t have any issues winning this one in what is one of my favorite spots this week.
Pick: Chargers -3
Good luck in Week 2! Check back later this week for picks on the Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games.