NFL picks against the spread, Week 2: Will the Saints beat the Rams this time?
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It’s Week 2 of the NFL season, which kicks off on Thursday with the Carolina Panthers facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so it’s time for our weekly look at the point spreads in order to help you win some money.
Last week, our Charles Curtis went 8-8 in Week 1 picks and Steven Ruiz went 10-6. We now go to each of them for comments before their picks.
Charles: I’d say this is pretty good for Week 1, which is always a tough one as oddsmakers get to know the teams. I’ll take a .500 week.
Steven: A good week that could have been a great week if I didn’t blow the Monday night double-header and trust the Browns, who also ruined my $100 parlay bet for Week 1.
Buccaneers at Panthers (-6.5)
File this under “weird stuff happens on Thursday nights.” Jameis Winston — who looked awful in Week 1 — will find a way to cover, maybe just by throwing 55 times.
Sure, weird stuff does happen, but the home team typically has an advantage on Thursday night. I think we’ll see a bounce-performance from Cam Newton and the Panthers win a shootout 34-24.
Colts at Titans (-3.5)
See below — they nearly beat the Chargers! The Titans put up 43 points on the Browns, but this is a case where I bet on a close game.
I’ll take the Colts straight up in this one. The Titans had some injury and penalty luck in Week 1. That won’t carry over to Week 2. And neither will Adam Vinatieri missing three kicks, which is the only reason Indy didn’t beat the Chargers.
Chargers at Lions (+2.5)
Los Angeles has a lot to prove as an AFC contender — they nearly lost to the Colts last week. I think they can beat the Lions by three.
This line is way too low. Philip Rivers is good enough to out-score Detroit by a field goal.
Bills at Giants (-2.5)
The Giants secondary is a mess, the clock continues to click on Eli Manning, and the Bills have one of the better defenses in the NFL.
I’m not confident betting on Josh Allen after what I saw in Week 1, but the same goes for Eli Manning. And the Bills have the better defense. Buffalo should win, but they’ll definitely cover in a low scoring game.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Cardinals at Ravens (-13.5)
Kyler Murray will struggle and the MVP talk about Lamar Jackson will get louder after the Ravens win 35-10.
I like what I saw out of Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, but the Ravens are on another level. Their defense is going to get after Kyler Murray and I don’t see the Cardinals slowing down Lamar Jackson.
Patriots at Dolphins (+18.5)
Hoooooolllly cow. This stat gave me pause …
83% of spread tickets are on the @Patriots -19 at Dolphins.
Since 2003, Tom Brady’s against the spread record as a favorite of more than 17 points:
Brady is 0-5 ATS, failing to cover by 12.4 points per game.
But then I remembered what Lamar Jackson did last week and I took the Pats anyway.
You’d have to add another touchdown onto the spread to get me to bet on Miami. Easy choice.
Cowboys at Redskins (+4.5)
Man, Dak Prescott looked good last week. And Dallas will probably give Zeke a full day of work. That should be more than enough against a Skins team that was seconds away from losing vs. the spread last week.
We saw the real Redskins in the second half of the Eagles game, when they couldn’t stop Philly from marching up and down the field. The Cowboys are a complete team that will have no problem taking care of business on the road.
Jaguars at Texans (-8.5)
The Jags are starting something called (squints at screen) a Gardner Minshew and their defense won’t be able to contain Deshaun Watson. Texans by 10.
The Texans are good, but they’re not that good. The Jags defense will be better and I think Minshew can find some success against an unimpressive defense.
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Seahawks at Steelers (-4.5)
This feels like a gift from Las Vegas. I know, the Hawks won by just a single point at home last week, but they are good enough to keep this within four against a Steelers team that will bounce back but still struggle.
The Seahawks were just out-played by the Bengals at home. And they’re traveling across the country to take on a Steelers team that isn’t nearly as bad as it looked in New England.
49ers at Bengals (-1.5)
Cincinnati is turning into the Good Enough Team to Cover Spreads, there are always a couple of those every season. I bet they do it again here even if Joe Mixon misses the contest.
I’m not buying the Bengals hype after their narrow loss in Seattle. The 49ers offense will do just enough to win this one outright.
Vikings at Packers (-2.5)
Anybody else worried about Aaron Rodgers facing a second straight tough defensive matchup, even at home? Me too, although the Packers’ D looked so good last week.
I think this Packers defense is legit and built to stop a team like the Vikings. And I expect Aaron Rodgers to be better at home. I’ll lay the points and take the better quarterback in this game featuring two evenly matched teams.
Chiefs at Raiders (+7.5)
If it’s a shootout — and, as Derek Carr fantasy owners should note, it will be — Patrick Mahomes will pile up the points.
I’ll need to see more from the Raiders before I’m ready to think they can hang with this other-worldly Chiefs offense. Mahomes throws for four TDs in an easy win.
Saints at Rams (-2.5)
Game of the week! I’ll be honest, I don’t love what I saw out of Jared Goff last week, so I’ll go for the team that will have revenge on its mind after last year’s NFC title game.
Jared Goff was awful in Carolina. I think the questions about him and the Rams offense are legitimate. The Saints offense got it together in the second half and that’ll continue this week. Give me the points.
Bears at Broncos (+2.5)
Ugh, I don’t want either of these teams, which screams TAKE THE POINTS. Broncos 12, Bears 10.
There isn’t a surer bet than the Broncos at home in September. Take the home dogs and don’t look back.
Eagles at Falcons (+1.5)
I’m a believer in this Philly team, even against a home dog like the Falcons.
The Eagles looked like a team capable of winning the Super Bowl in the second half against the Redskins. I’m not sure what the Falcons looked like last week, but it wasn’t good. This spread is just small enough for me to bite.
Browns at Jets (+2.5)
NOTE: This game came off the board after the Jets announced Sam Darnold would miss it with mono.
Cleveland’s offensive line is a problem, but I think this line is a bit of an overreaction. I’ll go for the road favorites.
As I wrote earlier this week, the Browns are going to be just fine. They aren’t going to turn it over three times and commit 18 penalties again. At least I don’t think they will.