On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Steelers proved a lot of doubters wrong by upsetting the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, in overtime. However, starting RB Najee Harris and OLB T.J. Watt
did leave the game with injuries. If they’re forced to miss time, Pittsburgh could be in trouble.
In an NFL Week 2 game that could go either way, I’m taking the under as the best bet — along with a close-fought Steelers victory.
The Indianapolis Colts’ Week 1 performance against the Houston Texans was embarrassing, resulting in a 20-20 tie. It wasn’t all bad as Jonathan Taylor did rush for 161 yards with a touchdown and could find success against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that’s given up 468 rushing yards and three TDs to him in four career meetings.
Speaking of the Jaguars, they came out on the wrong side of a 28-22 final score last week. Going 3-of-12 on third downs didn’t help Jacksonville, however, Doug Pederson’s team did look slightly better than they have in a long time.
Still, until the Jaguars prove more, I’m counting on the Colts bouncing back in Week 2.
The Panthers nearly opened Week 1 with a victory, but couldn’t get the job done. The key to NFL Week 2 success will be to run the ball more. Despite having one of the top RBs in Christian McCaffrey, Carolina only ran the ball 19 times for 54 yards on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the New York Giants actually looked like a team in their 21-20 win against the Tennessee Titans. Saquon Barkley was the star of the show, turning 18 carries into 164 yards and a touchdown.
I really liked how the Giants played under Brian Daboll and could see them starting the slate off 2-0.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren’t challenged too much in their 19-3 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Aside from RB Leonard Fournette’s 127-yard performance, though, there wasn’t too much to write home about as it was far from the Bucs’ flashiest win.
On the other hand, the New Orleans Saints’ 27-26 win over the Atlanta Falcons wasn’t as decisive. The Saints gave up 416 total yards — including 201 rushing — to the Falcons, which could spell disaster after how well Fournette played over the weekend.
Expect the Buccaneers to roll into New Orleans before leaving with the W.
Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Saints 21 Best Bet: Over 45.5 Points (-110) Commanders vs Lions Odds Washington Commanders (1-0, 0-0 Away) vs. Detroit Lions (0-1, 0-1 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 1 p.m. ET Spread: Washington Commanders +2.5 (-115), Detroit Lions -2.5 (-105) Total: OVER 48.5 (-110), UNDER 48.5 (-110) Moneyline: Washington Commanders +116, Detroit Lions -136
The Commanders are riding high after their hard-fought victory against the Jaguars over the weekend. While there were positives, such as Carson Wentz throwing four touchdown passes, there are things that the team must approve, including being more disciplined after yielding 13 penalties.
The Lions came close to beating the Eagles last week, so it’ll be interesting to see how they start this game. Detroit’s offense truly showed up at Ford Field on Sunday, but the defense must be better after giving up 455 total yards and 10 third-down conversions.
Having said that, this year’s Lions feel different and I think they’ll get the win for Dan Campbell this week.
Prediction: Lions 25, Commanders 19 Best Bet: Lions -2.5 (-105) Seahawks vs 49ers Odds Seattle Seahawks (0-0, 0-0 Away) vs. San Francisco 49ers (0-1, 0-1 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 4:05 p.m. ET Spread: Seattle Seahawks +8.5 (-114), San Francisco 49ers -8.5 (-106) Total: OVER 42.5 (-110), UNDER 42.5 (-110) Moneyline: Seattle Seahawks +315, San Francisco 49ers -400
The Seattle Seahawks haven’t played their Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos, making it tough to gauge how they’ll do against the San Francisco 49ers. While the Seahawks have won four straight games against their NFC West rivals, continuing that trend will be hard since Geno Smith is a massive downgrade from Russell Wilson under center.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are out for revenge after a disappointing 19-10 loss to the Chicago Bears. It’ll be interesting to see how San Francisco responds, especially after Trey Lance’s lackluster performance (13-of-28, 164 yards, one interception).
Things will be even tougher for the 49ers
without No. 1 RB Elijah Mitchell, however, their defense should be good enough to shut down Smith for the victory. Prediction: 49ers 21, Seahawks 13 Best Bet: Under 42.5 Points (-110) Falcons vs Rams Odds Atlanta Falcons (0-1, 0-0 Away) vs. Los Angeles Rams (0-1, 0-1 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 4:05 p.m. ET Spread: Atlanta Falcons +10.5 (-115), Los Angeles Rams -10.5 (-105) Total: OVER 47.5 (-114), UNDER 47.5 (-106) Moneyline: Atlanta Falcons +420, Los Angeles Rams -560
The Falcons looked like they were about to prove doubters wrong on Sunday, leading 26-10 over the Saints during the fourth quarter. As usual, they ended up collapsing like only they can do. Atlanta was projected to be one of the worst teams in the league this year and it looks like they might end up being true.
Speaking of disappointments, the Los Angeles Rams were destroyed, 31-10, by the Buffalo Bills to open the schedule. An elbow injury had QB Matthew Stafford not feeling like himself while the team’s defense couldn’t even stop a nosebleed.
Nonetheless, the Rams are better than they showed last week. Expect a stronger NFL Week 2 effort, resulting in a victory.
Prediction: Rams 28, Falcons 12 Best Bet: Rams -10.5 (-105) Cardinals vs Raiders Odds Arizona Cardinals (0-1, 0-0 Away) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (0-1, 0-0 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 4:25 p.m. ET Spread: Arizona Cardinals +5.5 (-110), Las Vegas Raiders -5.5 (-110) Total: OVER 51.5 (-114), UNDER 51.5 (-106) Moneyline: Arizona Cardinals +198, Las Vegas Raiders -240
The Cardinals’ late-2021 woes bled into the start of the 2022 NFL season, proven by last week’s blowout loss to the Chiefs. It was an all-around poor team effort, highlighted by the fact that Arizona only scored seven points through the first three quarters. If the Cardinals play like that again, expect an incoming loss.
While the Raiders also lost, it wasn’t nearly as bad as their counterparts. They fell short to the Chargers, which wasn’t helped by QB Derek Carr throwing a trio of interceptions. Nevertheless, Carr did connect with Davante Adams on 10 passes for 141 yards and a TD, so it wasn’t all bad.
With how bad the Cardinals looked last week, I’d be surprised if the Raiders lost.
Prediction: Raiders 28, Cardinals 21 Best Bet: Raiders -5.5 (-110) Texans vs Broncos Odds Houston Texans (0-0-1, 0-0 Away) vs. Denver Broncos (0-0, 0-0 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 4:25 p.m. ET Spread: Houston Texans +10.5 (-114), Denver Broncos -10.5 (-106) Total: OVER 43.5 (-114), UNDER 43.5 (-106) Moneyline: Houston Texans +385, Denver Broncos -500
Aside from strong defensive play at times, the Texans didn’t look that great in their tie with the Colts. Tight end O.J. Howard had a pair of touchdowns, but that was the offense’s only bright spot considering how Houston only tallied 77 rushing yards on 28 carries.
The Broncos haven’t made their 2022 debut yet, but they’re a much better team on paper than the Texans. Unless something goes terribly wrong, I expect this to be one of the more lopsided NFL Week 2 games.
Prediction: Broncos 35, Texans 14 Best Bet: Broncos -10.5 (-106) Bengals vs Cowboys Odds Cincinnati Bengals (0-1, 0-0 Away) vs. Dallas Cowboys (0-1, 0-1 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 4:25 p.m. ET Spread: Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 (-120), Dallas Cowboys +6.5 (-102) Total: OVER 43.5 (-110), UNDER 43.5 (-110) Moneyline: Cincinnati Bengals -300, Dallas Cowboys +245
The Bengals had a lot of fans worried by their poor start against the Steelers and while they still lost, they looked better as the game went on. The offense could take a hit if WR Tee Higgins can’t clear concussion protocol, however, the remaining players still might be too much for Dallas to handle.
Although scoring only three points against the Bucs was bad enough, things are even worse for the Cowboys now
Dak Prescott is out for the next several months with a broken hand. Cooper Rush is a massive downgrade at QB, making it tough to imagine a competitive effort from Mike McCarthy’s group.
I predict that this game will get ugly fast, ending in a Bengals win.
Prediction: Bengals 28, Cowboys 13 Best Bet: Bengals -6.5 (-120) Bears vs Packers Odds Chicago Bears (1-0, 0-0 Away) vs. Green Bay Packers (0-1, 0-0 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 8:20 p.m. ET Spread: Chicago Bears +9.5 (-106), Green Bay Packers -9.5 (-114) Total: OVER 42.5 (-110), UNDER 42.5 (-110) Moneyline: Chicago Bears +360, Green Bay Packers -460
Somehow, someway, the Bears managed to squeeze out a win against the 49ers in Week 1. It was far from a pretty effort, but Chicago showed heart under Matt Eberflus, leaving time to tell if the Bears are capable of more upsets or if that was an anomaly.
At the same time, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are coming off an embarrassing 23-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers’ offense simply wasn't clicking, leading to only 227 passing yards and a pair of turnovers.
Considering that they’re 21-3 in their last 24 games with the Bears since 2011, look for the Packers to win, making last week’s loss a distant memory.
Prediction: Packers 30, Bears 13 Best Bet: Over 42.5 Points (-110) NFL Week 2 Predictions & Picks — Monday, Sept. 19 Titans vs Bills Odds Tennessee Titans (0-1, 0-0 Away) vs. Buffalo Bills (1-0, 0-0 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 19 @ 7:15 p.m. ET Spread: Tennessee Titans +9.5 (-110), Buffalo Bills -9.5 (-110) Total: OVER 49.5 (-108), UNDER 49.5 (-112) Moneyline: Tennessee Titans +330, Buffalo Bills -420
A.J. Brown’s departure proved to have a negative impact on the Titans last week. While Tennessee generated 266 passing yards against the Giants, there wasn’t a wideout who finished with more than 66 yards. Furthermore, the run game was also lacking, generating just 3.6 yards per carry.
If the Bills start this game as strong as they ended their season-opener, they should be fine. With how well their defense shut the Rams down, it’s hard imagining the Titans having a fighting chance here.
It’s the Bills’ game to lose, hence why I’m backing them to win.
Prediction: Bills 33, Titans 17 Best Bet: Over 49.5 Points (-108) Vikings vs Eagles Odds Minnesota Vikings (1-0, 0-0 Away) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, 0-0 Home) Date: Sunday, Sept. 19 @ 8:30 p.m. ET Spread: Minnesota Vikings +1.5 (-110), Philadelphia Eagles -1.5 (-110) Total: OVER 52.5 (-105), UNDER 52.5 (-115) Moneyline: Minnesota Vikings +102, Philadelphia Eagles -120
It remains to be seen if the Vikings’ Week 1 win was because they are that good or because the Packers had an off night. Regardless, standout wideout Justin Jefferson was in mid-season form, hauling in nine catches for 184 yards and a pair of TDs.
The Eagles led by as many as 17 points against the Lions but nearly blew the game in the fourth quarter. Both the pass and run game were clicking, so it’ll be up to Philadelphia’s defense to stand tall — especially on the ground, where the unit allowed Detroit to rush for 181 yards on 28 attempts.
In a game that could go either way, I’m backing the Eagles.
Prediction: Eagles 24, Vikings 21 Best Bet: Eagles -1.5 (-110)