NFL Week 2 – Best Bets Against the Spread
We didn’t do so well last week, going 0-3 (1-2 if you got Jets +9.5), but we’re off and running in Week 2 and hopefully coming in with some profits after the weekend is done. What stands out this week is that there are only two games with totals higher than 47.5 points. Those are New England at New Orleans (55.5) and Green Bay at Atlanta (54).
Odds are quoted from Bovada Sportsbook and accurate as of the date published. Always line shop for the best price before placing your bet. These days, moving funds around offshore sportsbooks is easier than ever with Bitcoin.
Arizona Cardinals -7.5 (-105) at Indianapolis Colts +7.5 (-115) Total: 44
Both teams are 0-1 after a week of football. Carson Palmer had one of the worst games of his career when the Cardinals fell to the Lions at Ford Field. He threw three interceptions in a 23-35 defeat. The Colts were beaten far more soundly in Los Angeles, losing 46-9. Head coach Chuck Pagano benched Scott Tolzien late in the game and brought in Jacoby Brissett. It is unclear who starts this at quarterback for the Colts.
The odds opened with Arizona as a -7-road favorite. Action has been heavy on the Cardinals since the odds opened, with about 80 percent of wagers coming in on Arizona. They have moved to -7.5 at many sites while others are still at -7.
I don’t think the Colts are a good football team, far from it, but I do believe this is an overreaction to their Week 1 dismantling at the hands of the Rams. It wasn’t an ideal way to start the season, backup quarterback, on the road, against an excellent front seven.
Indianapolis isn’t as bad as we saw last week. Furthermore, they may go with Brissett over Tolzien, who offers more upside and aggressiveness in the passing game. Brissett may also use his legs compared to the statuesque Tolzien.
The Cardinals defense has some standout players, but the unit as a whole is just a little better than average. They also sprang a lot of leaks last week as the Lions put on an aerial show late.
We also need to talk about Carson Palmer’s performance last week. At this point, he’s at risk of an in-game benching considering his poor last season. Yes, we know how bad the Colts defense is, but the Lions aren’t exactly an elite unit either. Palmer was the worst quarterback to play last week, sans Scott Tolzien.
Take the points with the home team.
New York Jets +14 (-120) at Oakland Raiders -14 (-105) Total: 43.5
The Jets head out to Oakland to take on the Raiders after losing last week at Buffalo by nine points. They were in the contest for much of the game and had a chance to make it a one-score game before quarterback, Josh McCown, threw an interception on the last drive.
Oakland was far more dominant. Their much-maligned defense stopped Marcus Mariota and the Titans in their tracks, holding their opponents to under 20 points. The Raiders were efficient early and salted away the game late with Marshawn Lynch.
Oakland opened as a -14.5 favorite. However, that has come down to -13 at most sportsbooks. At Bovada, New York is still available at +14 (-120). Most of the wagers have come in on the Raiders so far, with about 80 percent of bets coming in on Oakland.
Like the Colts, I do feel like this is a bit of an overreaction to the Jets’ play in Week 1 and Oakland defense against the Titans. One strong defensive start from the Raiders is not going to make me think they are some defensive stalwart.
The unit is mostly unchanged since last season, especially in the secondary, where they have struggled for much of the past few years. Their play last week was encouraging, but it still doesn’t make me believe that the group is even above average.
New York should be able to move the ball against the Raiders. As I mentioned in the article last week, Josh McCown isn’t the trash heap at quarterback that most believe him to be. He should be able to move the offense in this one.
It’s obvious that Oakland is the far better team, but two touchdowns is a bit much. Bovada is one of the few sites that still has +14 while other sportsbooks are sitting at +13.
Green Bay Packers +3 (-115) at Atlanta Falcons -3 (-105) Total: 54.5
Sunday Night Football is easily the top game of the weekend with the Packers heading down to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. The game has the second highest total of the week and is just a few points behind the New England and New Orleans game.
Both the Packers and Falcons won ugly last week, with Green Bay finally pulling away from the Seahawks in the final quarter and Atlanta keeping the Bears at bay during their comeback attempt.
Atlanta initially opened at -2, but that has gone to -3 at every book online. Bettors have favored the favored the Packers by a small margin when it comes to betting tickets.
The Packers are probably my favorite bet on this list. They faced a tough defense in Seattle last week and while it wasn’t a typical “Rodgers at home” performance – he still ended up with over 300 yards and a touchdown, against one of the best defenses around.
Let’s also not forget that Mike Glennon and the Bears’ offense controlled much of the game against Atlanta’s defense. Time of possession was not nearly what you would have expected from last year’s best offense.
Green Bay’s defense is awful in the secondary, but they are strong up front and are a much better unit than the Bears, overall. On the defensive side for Atlanta, they have little hope of slowing down Rodgers, who should be able to control the clock and keep Matt Ryan and Company off the field.
You can be assured the Falcons will score points, but Green Bay has a good chance of dominating this one from start to finish. Rodgers isn’t at Lambeau Field, but he could easily have one of his blowup home games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.