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By Bill Speros | | 14 mins

NFL Week 2 Picks: Best Bets & Tips For Every Game

NFL Week 2 Picks: Best Bets & Tips For Every Game

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The NFL welcomed millions of new legal sports bettors across the United States in Week 1. Those newbies to NFL betting learned two important lessons:

No. 1 – ”Never bet on the Jets.”

Gang Green came tantalizingly close to covering the +3.5 line at Carolina as rookie Zach Wilson led his team back from a 16-0 deficit only to lose to Sam Darnold & Co. 19-14.

No. 2 – “There is no such thing as a sure thing. That’s why they call it gambling.” – Oscar Madison, 1970.

In “The Odd Couple,” Oscar was a bedraggled, divorced sportswriter who had an affinity for gambling, and losing. But when his fastidious BFF and roomie Felix wanted to get in on the action, he learned the hard way that the house (or bookies) always win in the end.

Favorites opened the season 3-13 against the spread. A surprising and lopsided performance that left the nation’s legal sportsbooks flush with winnings. Many bettors at sportsbooks and betting sites were not as fortunate.

Part of this, undoubtedly, was the result of it being Week 1 of the season, the first with full stadiums since 2019. Allegiant Stadium and SoFi Stadium welcomed fans for the first time, and both host teams won and covered in front of raucous fans.

Week 1 broke down nicely with Tom Brady and the Bucs having the stage on Thursday against Dallas, and the other 30 teams fighting for the spotlight on Sunday and Monday. Until further notice, the NFL will remain a clash between Brady and Everyone Else.

Now, it’s on to our Week 2 NFL picks.

Thursday, Sept. 16

NY Giants at Washington, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)

A week ago, Thursday night gave us Dak Prescott vs. Brady. The two QBs threw for a combined 782 yards and seven touchdowns. This week, we’re in Opposite World as Daniel Jones leads Big Blue into FedEx Field against Tyler Heinicke and the Washington Football Team.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured during Washington’s Week 1 loss. Jones remains as ineffective as ever, despite a flood of offseason hype. These two teams combined for 29 points in Week 1. This may be the biggest over/under trap game of the year. But we’re going with the under anyway. Best Bet: Under 40.5 Points (-105) at PointsBet.

Check out Giants vs Washington odds, injury report, betting lines and more.


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Sunday, Sept. 19

New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Former Jets QB Sam Darnold enjoyed his first week of freedom with a win over his former team in Week 1. Christian McCaffrey gained a total of 187 yards rushing and receiving (9 catches) in his return after injury.

Jameis Winston lit up the Packers in Jacksonville, throwing 5 TDs with no picks. The Saints smashed Green Bay 38-3 and Alvin Kamara “only” had 83 yards rushing. Winston threw for 400 yards the last time he played at Carolina. And now he can see. The Saints have been hit with a slew of positive COVID-19 tests, affecting much of the coaching staff. But “adversity” is becoming their middle name and NFL spreads will soon reflect that. Best Bet: Saints -3.5 (-105) at DraftKings.

Check out Saints vs Panthers odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

Cincinnati at Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow made his 2021 debut after missing a chunk of last season due to injury with a home victory against the favored Vikings in OT. Burrow amassed 261 yards passing (20-27) with 2 TDs against what was billed as a top defense.

Meanwhile, the Bears continue to face Monday Morning Quarterbacking over their decision to stick with Andy Dalton over rookie Justin Fields. Fun Fact: Burrow transferred from Ohio State in 2018 and Fields transferred to Ohio State in 2019. And Dalton was at TCU when both were in elementary school. Best Bet: Cincinnati Locked In At +3 (+114) at BetRivers.

Check out Bengals vs Bears odds, injury report, betting lines and more.


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Texans at Browns, 1 p.m. (CBS)

The Texans may have won their Super Bowl last week with a 37-21 rout of the Jaguars in their home opener. Tyrod Taylor threw for 291 yards and 2 TDs ... against a team that had lost 15 straight games. He’ll meet reality and the Browns defense on Sunday.

The Browns nearly upset the Chiefs for the second game in a row before losing 33-29 – but covering the +5.5 line on the backside. A 12.5-point spread in the NFL is trouble, especially on the short end and without OBJ. We’ll stick with the under on the total of 48, which has moved north since opening at 46. Best Bet: Under 47.5 Points (-105) at PointsBet.

Check out Texans vs Browns odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

LA Rams at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (FOX)

The Rams began their long road to Super Bowl 56 – which will be played at SoFi Stadium – with a nifty 34-14 rout of the Bears Sunday night at SoFi Stadium. The Rams are the No. 2 pick in NFC championship futures markets behind the Bucs (+225) at +600. The Colts were crushed at home by the Seahawks, who are projected to finish behind the Rams in the NFC West.

Matthew Stafford not only threw for 321 yards and 3 TDs in Week 1, he’s now had three straight games with 300+ yards passing and 2+ TDs against the Colts. Road Dogs did well last week. Woof. Woof. Best Bet: Rams -3.5 Locked In (-105) at DraftKings.

Check out Rams vs Colts odds, injury report, betting lines and more.


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Denver at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)

The Broncos and Teddy Bridgewater, who holds the best record ATS of any NFL starting QB, had no problem with the Giants at MetLife Stadium. And the Giants had not lost 15 straight beforehand. Rookie QB Trevor Lawrence put up 332 yards and 3 TDs last week, but most of that came in garbage time. TL’s three picks helped sink Urban Meyer in his NFL debut. If Meyer isn’t coaching USC by Sunday, he’ll fall to 0-2 as a pro coach.

This line opened at Denver -2.5 but has widened to Denver -6. That’s a little unnerving, especially for a road team. We’ll stick with the under and hold on as Lawrence runs it up again late. Best Bet: Under -45.5 (-110) at PointsBet.

Check out Broncos vs Jaguars odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

Buffalo at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)

The Bills were the trendy pick among many to win the AFC but now face the real possibility of starting their season 0-2 with a pair of conference losses. The Dolphins hit the turf at Gillette Stadium and punched the Patriots in the face in Week 1, forcing 8 penalties for 84 yards and a pair of crucial fumbles. Meanwhile, Tua won the Saban Bowl against Mac Jones. The Bills were shaky against the Steelers, while smothered by the members of Bills Mafia.

Buffalo, which has won five straight against Miami, must travel to a warm, humid and hostile environment in South Florida. A low scoring, tight affair beckons. Take an order of very mild wings. Best Bet: Miami +3.5 (-115) at DraftKings.

Check out Bills vs Dolphins odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

New England at NY Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)

The Patriots began the Jones Era with a tough 17-16 loss to the Dolphins at home. Mac & Cheese went 29 for 39 in his NFL debut, connecting for 281 yards and a TD with no picks. He’ll face fellow first-round pick Zach Wilson and the Jets in his first road game. Even during the height of Brady’s reign in Foxboro, the Patriots and Bill Belichick struggled on the road against Gang Green.

A loss would leave the Patriots 0-2 in the AFC East, something that was unimaginable from 2002-19. In Bill We Trust. Also, never bet on the Jets. Best Bet: Patriots -5.5 (-115) at FanDuel.

Check out Patriots vs Jets odds, injury report, betting lines and more.


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San Francisco at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)

The 49ers led by 28 points before the Lions rallied late for a back-door cover on a 9-point spread. This week, the Niners enter a combustible environment at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles gun for a 2-0 start. Philly only won four games in all of 2020. Jalen Hurts bar-be-cued the Falcons, but the 49ers will be a much tougher test. The trends favor Philly in this one. The Eagles are riding a 5-1 run ATS at home and the Niners are 3-7 ATS in their past 10 games. Best Bet: Eagles +3.5 (-110) at FanDuel.

Check out 49ers vs Eagles odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

Las Vegas at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS)

The Raiders left it all on the turf of Allegiant Stadium in an overtime win over the Ravens Monday night. Now, they travel east and face the Steelers, who roll into their home opener coming off a 23-16 upset win at Buffalo. The Raiders have played the Steelers tough in recent years and have covered in four straight against Pittsburgh. But Pittsburgh’s defense and constant pressure on Derek Carr should swing this one in the Steelers’ favor. Best Bet: Pittsburgh -5.5 (-110) at FanDuel.

Check out Raiders vs Steelers odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

Minnesota at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

The Cardinals opened the 2021 season with a spectacular rout of the Titans in Nashville. Arizona scored 38 points and totaled 425 yards of offense. Kyler Murray threw for 4 TDs and added another on the ground. The Cardinals run defense held Derrick Henry in check and face a similar challenge against Dalvin Cook.

The Vikings play their second straight on the road after losing their opener to the underdog Bengals in Cincy. The Cardinals should be primed for another win here with lots of points on both sides. Best Bet: Total Locked In Over 50 (-105) at DraftKings.

Check out Vikings vs Cardinals odds, injury report, betting lines and more.


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Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

The Bucs and Brady began the defense of their Super Bowl title with a rousing come-from-behind 31-29 win over the visiting Cowboys. Brady tore up the Cowboys defense for 379 yards and 4 TDs. The Falcons were defeathered at home by the Eagles and lost 32-6. The Bucs front seven is stacked, but this secondary could be exposed by Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley and rookie tight end Kyle Pitts in much the same way it was torn up by Prescott.

This line is monstrous, even for a team led by Brady. The underdogs have covered the spread in each of the Buccaneers' last five regular season games, and this line has moved as many as 5 points since it was first posted. Meanwhile, six straight between the Falcons and Bucs have gone over the points total. Best Bet: Atlanta +12.5 (-115) at PointsBet.

Check out Falcons vs Buccaneers odds, betting lines, injury report and more.

Tennessee at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

The Titans hit the road after suffering a 38-13 beating at home. Derrick Henry gained only 58 yards on 17 carries. QB Ryan Tannehill was sacked 6 times. The Seahawks and Russell Wilson hammered the Colts in Indy, with Wilson throwing for 4 TDs.

The Seahawks play their home opener inside one of the loudest NFL stadiums in front of a full house of fans for the first time since 2019. They are 6-2 in their past eight games against the Titans. This game has all the makings of a bounce-back affair for the Titans, who remain a real threat in the AFC. Fear of an 0-2 start should motivate here. Best Bet: Titans +6.5 (-110) at DraftKings.

Check out Titans vs Seahawks odds, betting lines, injury report and more.

Dallas at LA Chargers, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

The Chargers get their chance to christen SoFi Stadium – complete with a sellout crowd this week. LA held on last week at Washington after knocking out Ryan Fitzpatrick with a hip injury. The Cowboys traded blows with the Bucs in Week 1 and came up two seconds short in a 31-29 loss. Prescott was spectacular in Tampa, throwing for 403 yards and 3 TDs. He completed 42 of 58 passes, hitting Amari Cooper 13 times for 139 yards.

The Cowboys should be able to establish a running game against LA. These two teams combined for 875 yards of offense last week. We could see that again Sunday. Best Bet: Dallas Locked In +155 on the ML at DraftKings.

Check Cowboys vs Chargers odds, betting lines, injury report and more.

Kansas City at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Andy Reid is 4-0 against the Ravens as head coach of the Chiefs, beating Lamar Jackson three times. The Ravens aim to shake off a tough overtime loss at Las Vegas and hope to get back some of the players they lost to injury ahead of Week 1.

The Chiefs are another enticing road favorite even though they had to rally to beat Cleveland last week at home and failed to cover. The Chiefs are 2-10 ATS in their past 12 games but have won 15 straight in September. This line is a bit more reasonable than most. Best Bet: Kansas City -3.5 (-110) Locked In at PointsBet.

Check out Chiefs vs Ravens odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

Monday, Sept. 20

Detroit at Green Bay, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Aaron Rodgers says the 38-3 beating suffered at the hands of the Saints last week was just one game. Rodgers is notorious for not panicking after early-season losses. Here, he and the Packers have a could-not-have-scripted-it-better chance to remind the NFL community why they remain among the top-tier teams to win Super Bowl 56.

The Lions roared back to cover the +9 line at home against San Francisco last week. But Jared Goff won’t have that luxury on a Monday night in front of a full house at Lambeau Field. Still, we avoid double-digit spreads on the upside given the potential scoring possibilities late in a game already decided. A loss here would leave Green Bay’s season in “Jeopardy.” Best Bet: Under 49 Points (-110) at PointsBet.

Check out Lions vs Packers odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

2021 Record

  • Last Week: 9-7
  • Season: 9-7

About the Author

Bill Speros for
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.