Eli’s Week 2 NFL Best Bets: Spread, Total Wagers Include Broncos

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
NFL Best Bets

With NFL Week 2 odds approaching kickoff, this article (hopefully) serves as a reminder to stop short of overreacting to point spreads, moneyline odds, and totals across NFL betting sites. While there were a myriad of surprising results during the opening slate of games, it’s only a one-game sample size. The market was a bit trickier to navigate than in recent years, but I was still able to land on a pair of Week 2 NFL best bets — comprised of both spread and total wagers.

Click any of the odds below to place a bet at the best sports betting sites. The following prices are the best odds available in your state.

Washington commanders at Denver Broncos

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Admittedly, I nearly bet the Broncos’ odds in Week 1. Thankfully, an unnamed sportsbook didn’t process the wager in time. It inadvertently rescued me from cursing at Denver’s defensive front for more than three hours. Vance Joseph’s defense somehow managed to deliver the league’s lowest pressure rate (6.9%) versus an average offensive line at best.

Bet The Unthinkable?

For one, I’m anticipating a rebound performance against Sam Howell & Co. Not only did Commanders odds fail to cover versus the lowly Cardinals, but Howell also ranked No. 22 in EPA per dropback. He’s started only two NFL games, yet his pocket presence still isn’t appealing in the slightest. Couple that with Washington’s bottom-five protection up front, and edge rushers Zach Allen and Randy Gregory should have a big afternoon in store.

Considering the current spread doesn’t differ from the look-ahead line of Denver -3.5, the market hasn’t fully taken into account just how poorly the Commanders operated offensively. Granted, Broncos safety Caden Sterns landing on injured reserve doesn’t help this wager, yet veteran Kareem Jackson is a fine replacement.

Offensively, Russell Wilson’s 4.0 average depth of target (also known as aDOT) against Las Vegas doesn’t inspire much confidence. That said, first-year Denver coach Sean Payton has installed a very similar system to his Saints tenure. That plays to Wilson’s advantage given his aging arm, and his was ultra-efficient in their first go-around while tallying the seventh-most EPA per dropback.

Call me crazy, but the combination of Sean Payton and Joe Lombardi may have fixed Wilson after his horrific 2022 campaign. Despite Washington’s respectable secondary — paced by safety Kam Curl and corner Kendall Fuller — Wilson will have more chances for explosive plays if receiver Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) suits up. He was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice. Jeudy later expressed optimism about his status for this matchup, so I’m bullish on his chances.

The coaching mismatch between Sean Payton and Ron Rivera puts this bet over the top. I’m using Denver as my survivor pick, too. Send your thoughts and prayers for the first of my NFL best bets. What could possibly go wrong?

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Miami dolphins at new england patriots

As I discussed on Monday’s edition of Beat The Closing Number, I initially thought to back Mac Jones and New England. The point spread eventually rose to the key number of a field goal, as I expected.

However, Patriots odds should concern bettors in regard to their offensive line. After the Eagles’ defensive line dominated down the stretch, left tackle Trent Brown was diagnosed with a concussion. New England’s starting guards (Michael Onwenu and Cole Strange) are still limited in practice, and backup left guard Sidy Sow has his own concussion. The last injury to monitor is courtesy of center David Andrews (hamstring).

Things won’t get any easier for this bunch. Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio sent pressure on 33.3% of Justin Herbert’s dropbacks in Week 1, which was equivalent to the third-highest rate in the NFL. Fangio is not well-known for using blitz packages at a high rate, yet it wouldn’t surprise me if he employed the same strategy — and succeeded — on Sunday Night Football.

Will Dolphins’ Offense Regress?

Tua Tagovailoa saw NFL MVP odds soar up the board after posting an absurd 10.4 yards per attempt (YPA). He’ll be in for a more arduous task in Foxborough, though. Bill Belichick threw a variety of changeups at Jalen Hurts, a fellow MVP candidate, and Philadelphia’s offensive line failed to own the line of scrimmage like we’ve become accustomed to. Overall, the Eagles finished No. 20 in EPA per play.

Belichick has traditionally struggled to stymie duel-threat quarterbacks before the Patriots’ performance versus Hurts. But I’m trusting one of the league’s best units — now with another stud defensive back in Christian Gonzalez — to continue to reverse course. Even against the likes of speedy wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Belichick finally has the personnel to run more man-to-man coverage. Don’t forget that Tagovailoa has diced up zone looks in his pro career.

If you can’t tell, I’m aiming for a slightly higher total before wagering on the under for the second of my NFL best bets. It’s currently priced at . The live betting market is another way of approaching it.

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