Last Updated: 2019-09-12
Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season brought some huge upsets including the Cleveland Browns’ tough loss at home to the Tennessee Titans. A few teams barely won their games even though they were listed as strong favorites, while some teams met the expectations including the reigning champs New England Patriots who thrashed off the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium.
We enter Week 2 with the NFC South showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers Thursday night. Sunday brings plenty of interesting games, but it’s still early for some hot picks. However, some matchups could earn nice wages, so let’s take a look at our best bets for Week 2.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (+5.5)
The Dallas Cowboys (1-0; 1-0 ATS) started their NFC East title defense with a convincing 35-17 home victory over the New York Giants. Dak Prescott put on a strong performance, tossing for 405 yards and four touchdowns. Michael Gallup had seven receptions for 158 yards, while Ezekiel Elliott racked up 53 rushing yards and a TD. The Cowboys defense surrendered 470 total yards, but they stepped up on 3rd downs, preventing nine out of 11.
Now, the Cowboys meet another divisional rival, and the Washington Redskins (0-1; 1-0 ATS) were so close to making an upset at Philadelphia. The Redskins lost 32-27 despite a 13-point lead at halftime. Case Keenum had a tremendous afternoon, throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns, but the Redskins’ ground game completely fell apart, recording just 28 rushing yards.
Likewise, the Redskins allowed 436 total yards and could be in the big problem against the Cowboys’ balanced attack. Dallas is 7-2 straight up and 6-3 ATS in its last nine meetings with the Redskins and 4-1 straight up and ATS in the previous five encounters in Washington, so I’m backing the visitors to cover.
Week 2 Best Bet: Dallas Cowboys -5.5 (-110)
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3.0)
The Colts (1-0; 0-0-1 ATS) put on a fight at the Los Angeles Chargers, but they lost 30-24 in overtime. Marlon Mack was a monster with 25 carries for 174 yards and a TD, while T.Y. Hilton had eight receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Jacoby Brissett did well, completing 21 of his 27 passing attempts for 190 yards and two TD, but Indianapolis’ defense couldn’t find a way to slow down Philip Rivers.
On the other side, the Tennessee Titans (1-0; 1-0 ATS) humiliated the Cleveland Browns 43-13 on the road. The Titans’ defense picked off Baker Mayfield three times and prevented nine of Cleveland’s ten 3rd downs. Marcus Mariota had a solid game, tossing for 248 yards and three touchdowns, while Derrick Henry had 19 carries for 84 yards and a TD.
Considering the betting trends, the Titans will have a tall task to beat the Colts. Indy is 13-2 straight up and 12-3 ATS in its last 15 meetings with the Titans who are 1-6 straight up and 2-5 ATS in the previous seven head-to-head duels in Nashville. Still, I’m going against the trends here, looking to see another strong performance by the Titans’ defense. However, I would avoid the spread and take the money line odds instead.
Week 2 Best Bet: Tennessee Titans at -160
Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions (+2.5)
The Los Angeles Chargers (1-0; 0-0-1 ATS) needed overtime to outlast the Colts in Week 1. Phillip Rivers led the way for the Chargers with 333 passing yards, three touchdowns, and a pick, while Austin Ekeler scored three TD including the winner. Now, the Chargers will hit the road where they were the best team in the NFL last season. They are 9-2 straight up and ATS in the previous 11 outings away from home.
The Detroit Lions (0-0-1; 0-1 ATS) blew a 14-point lead in the second half at Arizona to earn a 27-27 tie. Matthew Stafford had a good game, tossing for 385 yards and three touchdowns, while T.J. Hockenson set the record for rookie tight end with 131 receiving yards and a TD. However, the Lions cannot be satisfied with their performance. They failed to win despite tallying 90 total yards more than the Cardinals.
The Lions meet the Chargers for the first time since 2015. The Chargers are 5-1 straight up and ATS in their last six encounters with the Lions. I would lean on the betting trends here and the visitors’ defense as well. Detroit lacks offensive firepower, while Chargers’ offense looks good despite Melvin Gordon’s holdout. Still, I would settle down with the money line odds.
Week 2 Best Bet: Los Angeles Chargers at -135
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-2.5)
The Saints (1-0; 0-1 ATS) escaped with a 30-28 home victory over the Houston Texans in Week 1 thanks to Wil Lutz’s 58-yard field goal in the dying seconds of the game. It was a pure thriller, as we saw three scoring plays in the final minute. The Saints’ offense did a good job on the back of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas, but their defense showed some big issues. The Saints allowed 180 rushing yards, while their secondary was pretty fragile.
On the other side, the Rams (1-0; 1-0 ATS) defeated the Carolina Panthers 30-27 on the road. Jared Goff tossed for just 186 yards, a TD, and a pick, but Todd Gurley had 14 carries for 97 yards, while Malcolm Brown added 11 carries for 53 yards and a couple of touchdowns. The Rams’ ground game carried them over the Panthers, and Goff will have a chance to bounce back against the Saints.
Considering New Orleans’ defensive performance in the opener, I think they will struggle against the Rams. The Saints will be highly motivated to get a payoff for a loss in the NFC Championship Game last season, but the Rams should have enough firepower to beat them at home. The Rams are 4-1 straight up and 5-0 ATS in their last five home encounters with the Saints who are 7-2 ATS in their previous nine outings on the road, but I’m backing the hosts to take this one.
Week 2 Best Bet: Los Angeles Rams -2.5 (-110)
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (-6.0)
The Browns (0-1; 0-1 ATS) opened as 3-point favorites here, but after the Jets QB Sam Darnold was diagnosed with mononucleosis, the Browns enter the clash as 6-point favorites. Darnold is sidelined indefinitely, and Trevor Siemian will start under center. Siemian is 13-11 as a starter, but the Jets (0-1; 0-1 ATS) will now rely on RB Le’Veon Bell who’s struggling with a shoulder injury. Plenty of problems for coach Adam Gase, especially after his team blew a 16-point lead against Buffalo in the opener.
The Browns, on the other side, had a big issue with their discipline. They committed 18 penalties against the Titans in Week 1 and suffered a tough 43-13 loss in front of the home fans. Baker Mayfield threw for 285 yards, a TD, and three interceptions, while Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham Jr. combined for 146 yards without scoring.
After a terrible Week 1 performance, I expect the Browns to bounce back and beat the Jets on the road. Covering a 6-point spread will be a tricky job, so teasing the Browns could be a smart move. Still, the Jets will struggle without Darnold under center, while they are 0-6 straight up and 0-5-1 ATS in the last six outings at home. On the other side, the Browns are 6-3 ATS in their previous nine showings on the road. After five straight losses to the Jets, the Browns beat them 21-17 as 3-point home favorites last season.
Week 2 Best Bet: Cleveland Browns -6.0 (-110)
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