NFL: Week 2 Handicapping Preview

Some thoughts on all 16 NFL games in Week 2. These are just opinions and I will tweet out any officials picks I make between now and Sunday morning.

Overreaction in the line?

Jets at Bills (+1.5)

Before Week 1 the Bills were a three-point favorite in this game. Money has come in on the Jets all week and we’ve seen a 4.5-point adjustment as of Wednesday night. The Bills looked awful against the Ravens especially on offense and now Sammy Watkins could be sidelined. I still don’t think that’s enough to justify the line move because Ralph Wilson Stadium will be rocking on Thursday night.

Chiefs at Texans (-3)

The line before Week 1 here was Texas -1.5. That seems fair to bring it up to a full field goal after the Chiefs needed a miraculous comeback to beat the Chargers in Week 1. However, the overreaction in this line comes from the Wild Card round last season. The Chiefs were between a three or 3.5-point favorite in Houston for that game. The Chiefs core remains intact and the difference for the Texans is Brock Osweiler will start instead of Brian Hoyer. Osweiler is an upgrade but not six points better. Remember the Texans were bet down to -4 against the Bears on Sunday morning. The Chiefs are much better than the Bears so seems like the value lies with Andy Reid’s squad.

Buccaneers at Cardinals (-6.5)

This line was at -8.5 before the Buccaneers beat the Falcons and Cardinals fell to the Patriots. The Cardinals were a -6 favorite against the Patriots before Rob Gronkowski didn’t make the trip to Glendale. When word got out that Gronkowski was out, the line ballooned to as much as -9.5. If the Patriots with Gronkowski were getting six then the Buccaneers should be over a touchdown underdog here. I don’t love taking bigger NFL favorites against the spread but this seems like the opportunity.

Colts at Broncos (-6.5)

Before I talk about the overreaction here, Trevor Siemian is a 6.5-point favorite over Andrew Luck. That is all I need to know to have a strong opinion on the Colts this week. The Indianapolis defense was horrible against the Lions but this line was -3.5 before last week. Siemian was fine in the opener against the Panthers but think he will show up flat here. A lot of value on the underdog with a huge edge at quarterback.

Bet against teams after crushing losses?

Saints at Giants (-4.5)

The Saints under Sean Payton have proven to be a much better team at home then on the road. Last week they blew a two-touchdown lead to the Raiders and lost by one point at home. Hard to see the Saints picking themselves up as they go outdoors to play the Giants. I’m not thrilled that the Giants are a favorite by this much but might be worth at shot.

Jaguars at Chargers (-3)

The Chargers picked up right where they left off from last season. In Week 1, they blew a big lead against division foe Kansas City. Now they return home where they have no advantage and the fans know they are leaving town after this season. San Diego’s offense stalled last week when Keenan Allen tore his ACL so not sure they should be a field goal favorite here.

Trust ugly ‘dogs? 

Titans at Lions (-5.5)

The Titans lost by more than a score to the Vikings but were unfortunate to give up two defensive touchdowns. Eliminating those costly turnovers would’ve made it a closer game. The Lions beat the Colts but now come into this game in a favorite role. Don’t think the Lions should be favorite by this many but you have to ask yourself if you are willing to back a team that is 5-28 in their last 33 games.

Ravens at Browns (+7)

Always have to favor home underdogs of more than a touchdown even if it’s the horrible Browns. This game could fall into the overreaction category because it was a 3.5-point line before Week 1. Josh McCown comes in for the injured Robert Griffin III, which I actually think is an upgrade for Cleveland. The Ravens offense was stagnant last week and Joe Flacco looks like he is still recovering from his knee injury. However, are you willing to back a really ugly underdog in this situation?

Seahawks at Rams

Not going to post a line here because the injury status of Russell Wilson will determine the spread. Although, some places have the Seahawks as a seven-point road favorite, which means they are assuming Wilson will play. The Rams played as bad as you can play on Monday night but don’t want to overreact to just 60 minutes of football. Jeff Fisher thrives in this situation as an underdog in a division game. The Rams also swept the Seahawks last season so if there was a situation for the Rams to cover, it would be in this game in their first contest back in Los Angeles.

Games I’m (likely) staying away from 

Falcons at Raiders (-5.5)

What have the Raiders done where they should be favorite by 5.5 against a team that’s only below average? The Falcons aren’t good enough to trust so I’m staying away.

Eagles at Bears (-3)

Carson Wentz was terrific in Week 1, which means I can see him struggling in this setting on Monday night. The Bears as a favorite usually doesn’t end well and Chicago’s home field advantage has really decreased over the last several seasons. Maybe look under in this game.

Packers at Vikings (+2)

Sounds like Sam Bradford will start but need to wait and see how he plays before taking the Vikings with confidence.

Dolphins at Patriots (-6.5)

Wish these teams weren’t playing each other so I could fade both of them here. Dolphins are playing their second road game in a row and went all the way to Seattle last week to lose in the final minute. The Patriots had a huge effort on Sunday night and this game is set up for them to have a huge letdown.

Bengals at Steelers (-3.5)

Steelers looked great on Monday night but Bengals are playing with playoff revenge. Can’t really pick a side here but can see if being a hard-nosed AFC North game where points are harder to come by.

Cowboys at Redskins (-2.5)

Never force a pick on a NFC East game. Such a hard division to figure out as we saw last week in Dallas.

49ers at Panthers (-13)

This is an awful schedule spot for the 49ers. They played on Monday night and now have to go across the country to play a 10 am pacific time game. The Panthers had four extra days to prepare and are coming off that Thursday night loss. Laying double digits in the NFL is tough but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Panthers dominate. A first half play might be a suggestion since the game is early.