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As is typically the case in sports, each NFL team’s optimism is typically at its zenith just before the dawn of a new season. However, the storm clouds quickly descended on a few teams once Week 1 actually began to unfold, with injury and unexpectedly poor play both culprits in those scenarios.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs are looking at extended absences from key offensive pieces, while the Cleveland Browns did nothing to rid themselves of the “same ‘ol” that often precedes their name with a shocking second-half unraveling against the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons managed to pose such little threat to the Vikings that Minnesota was only forced to put up 10 pass attempts, perhaps a fitting tribute to the offenses of yesteryear as the NFL kicked off its 100th anniversary season.
All 32 clubs will have a chance to either build on or disprove their Week 1 performances in short order, and one of the more intriguing storylines ahead of the final pair of season-opening contests Monday night is how the Jaguars and Chiefs will deal with the respective losses of Nick Foles and Tyreek Hill. Week 2 will also likely bring about the New England Patriots debut of Antonio Brown, who’d have the chance to do it in his hometown of Miami against a Dolphins squad that looked like it had no business on an NFL field in the opener versus the Ravens.
All eyes will continue to be on Kyler Murray as he faces his first big test against that Baltimore Ravens defense that dismantled the Fins, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers will be trying to quickly erase Week 1 nightmares.
With another full slate of interesting matchups, here’s a look at the live betting odds for NFL Week 2 at US sportsbooks, along with our analysis for each matchup.
NFL Week 2 lines
Week 2 analysis and predictions
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-6.5) — Thursday night
Jameis Winston and company looked spotty at best in their first crack at running coach Bruce Arians’ new offense for a full game. They don’t have much time to clean up mistakes, either, with the adverse effects of a short turnaround exacerbated by having to travel as well. Then again, Cam Newton looked out of sorts in his own right Week 1 against the Rams, but Christian McCaffrey, who was spectacular Sunday and touched up the Bucs for 161 total yards last time he saw them in Week 13 of last year, will be an early test for coordinator Todd Bowles’ new 3-4 scheme.
This is a matchup the Panthers have largely dominated in the Cam Newton era and Carolina was 3-2 versus the number as a home favorite last season, but the initial 6.5-point spread seems perhaps a tad ambitious at the moment. A projected total of 50 may also ultimately prove to be bloated, given each team’s short turnaround, inefficient passing attacks and solid pass defense efforts in Week 1.
More analysis for this game on our Thursday Night Football page.
San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals (-1)
San Francisco picked up the two-touchdown road win to open the season, but the 49ers defense almost outscored Jimmy Garoppolo and crew by notching a pair of pick-sixes against Winston. Then, running back Tevin Coleman went down with an ankle injury that appears set to sideline him for multiple games, and coach Kyle Shanahan appears to have a bunch of No. 2 and 3 receiver-types lining up alongside de facto No. 1 pass catcher George Kittle.
Meanwhile, the Bengals shook off their status as large underdogs to give the Seahawks all they could handle in Seattle, but Joe Mixon went down with his own ankle sprain in the contest. Cincy could therefore be down both Mixon and A.J. Green (ankle) in their home opener, further clouding the early-week outlook on what would already shape up as a very close matchup if both squads were at full health.
Cincy’s strong performance in a losing effort still can’t afford them a full three-point home-field edge in the oddsmakers’ eyes, as they’re favored by just half that number at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Detroit Lions
The Chargers kicked off 2019 life without Melvin Gordon in solid fashion, with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson compiling 115 ground yards at a clip of 6.4 yards per rush and Ekeler adding another 96 yards and two scores through the air. In other words, L.A. doesn’t look like it missed a beat, while the Lions blew a multi-possession second-half lead to rookie Kyler Murray to finish their opener in a tie with the Cardinals. Matthew Stafford’s 385 passing yards and three touchdowns did harken back to an earlier era of the quarterback’s career, and he appears to have an instant rapport with first-round pick T.J. Hockenson (6-131-1) and offseason acquisition Danny Amendola (7-104-1).
With the Chargers traveling across the country, this could be a favorable spot to take a flier on the Lions as a 2.5-point home underdog at plus money at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3)
The Packers will come into this home matchup with the benefit of extra rest of having played the Thursday night season opener. They should also be flush with confidence after pulling out an admittedly ugly but still notable road upset of the defending NFC North champion Bears. Aaron Rodgers and company will be tasked with trying to get right versus a Vikings defense that flummoxed Matt Ryan and his charges for most of Sunday and that held Rodgers to 198 passing yards last time they faced him in Week 12 of the 2018 campaign. After doing a solid job on rookie David Montgomery in the opener, the Green Bay defense gets an even stiffer challenge versus what appears to be a full-strength Dalvin Cook (21-111-2).
A projected 2.5-point edge for the Packers is somewhat interesting to start off the week, especially with Green Bay’s 1-5-1 record in the last seven encounters in this series. It’s also worth noting the Pack’s 3-4 record versus the number as home favorites at Lambeau last season.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3)
The Titans slid stealthily in under the cover of ample Browns hype and walloped Cleveland in their own backyard to open the season. With all phases clicking Sunday, Tennessee looks like it could be trouble, with offensive coordinator Arthur Smith particularly enjoying a strong debut in his first game replacing the departed Matt LaFleur. Meanwhile, life without Luck began in earnest for the Colts in their overtime road loss to the Chargers, but Jacoby Brissett (two TDs, no INT), T.Y. Hilton (8-87-2) and Marlon Mack (25-174-1) were bright spots. These two teams know each other well, with each taking turns sweeping the other the last two seasons.
The Titans have the standard three-point favorite home status to start the week, but the Colts could well benefit from not having to make the multi-time-zone trek this week and have a mammoth 13-2 edge in this series dating back to 2011.
New England Patriots (-17.5) at Miami Dolphins
The current state of the Dolphins can best be summed up by a post-game rumor that several players called their agents after their 59-10 loss to the Ravens and requested trades or releases. Miami is unsettled at essentially every important position, and given that the Patriots already looked every bit the powerhouse without Antonio Brown versus the Steelers in their opener, it could get very ugly very quick Sunday.
So ugly, in fact, that the oddsmakers have apparently mistaken the Dolphins for the Miami Hurricanes in assigning a positively college-like 17.5-point spread in favor of the Patriots. We’re talking uncharted betting waters here as far as recent NFL history, but something will have to give Sunday — either the Dolphins really are as disinterested and talentless (particularly on defense) as they looked against Baltimore, or the franchise that’s often bedeviled Brady and company in South Florida (1-5 record for New England in Miami over last six tries) does enough to at least achieve a modest cover.
Buffalo Bills (-2) at New York Giants
Josh Allen and company return to MetLife Stadium for a second straight week after shocking the Jets with a fourth-quarter comeback Sunday. Allen provided glimpses of his best and worst traits during the game, but he ultimately made plays when it mattered most. The front office had to be particularly smiling after the victory, considering rookie Devin Singletary (4-70) looks like he’ll make it his backfield sooner rather than later, while free-agent addition John Brown (7-123-1) paid immediate dividends.
The Giants gamely tried to hang in against the Cowboys, but their defensive deficiencies eventually surfaced in a rout. With an increasingly dynamic offense on tap again in Week 2, Big Blue could spend plenty of time in a trail position for the second time in as many games.
Thanks to each team’s respective performances, the Bills are in the rare position of road favorites for the moment, by a 1.5-2-point margin. Time will tell if that line holds, but Buffalo will head in with the confidence that comes from just having managed an unlikely comeback win on the same field just seven days earlier.
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
The ‘Hawks had their hands full with a game Cincinnati squad Sunday, and no component of their squad really stood out with its play. Rookie D.K. Metcalf was impressive while compiling a 4-89-1 line, but the passing game fizzled as a whole. Meanwhile, there has to be concerns about a secondary that surrendered 418 passing yards and two touchdowns to Andy Dalton, who was playing without A.J. Green (ankle).
Naturally, the Steelers looked far from competent Sunday night in New England, yet there’s enough talent on this team to lend credence to the notion their putrid performance will eventually be looked back on as a pretty significant outlier. Pittsburgh never had a shot to run its usual offense by falling behind 20-0 in the first half, and while the defense did look completely inept at times, the opponent and setting has to all be taken into account. On the injury front, it does appear that JuJu Smith-Schuster avoided a serious toe issue after limping off in the fourth quarter.
While a win from a Pittsburgh team that went 5-3 at Heinz Field last season wouldn’t surprise, a cover of a 3.5 or 4–point spread is a bit more dubious — Seattle was 4-1-1 against the number as a road dog in 2018 while Pittsburgh limped to a 3-4 mark against the number as home favorites.
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) at Washington Redskins
No training camp/preseason, no problem for one Ezekiel Elliott, who, as it turned out, wasn’t even needed for close to his normal workload against the Giants in Week 1. While Big D is obviously elated to have Zeke in the fold right from the start of the season and his talents will ultimately be integral to the Cowboys’ success this season, it was Dak Prescott who took a major step forward with a 405-yard, four-touchdown performance. Amari Cooper (6-106-1) and Michael Gallup (7-158) also look like a lethal duo, while Randall Cobb (4-69-1) appears refreshed and ready to thrive out of the slot.
The Redskins threw quite the scare into the Eagles in their opener, but the vast gap in talent between the two squads ultimately carried the day for Philadelphia as they rattled off 25 second-half points. Washington’s Case Keenum looked like the 2017 Vikings version of himself while racking up 380 yards and three touchdowns, and rookie Terry McLaurin (5-125-1) offered some hope the ‘Skins receiving corps may not be a wasteland after all.
A current 4.5-point spread in favor of the Cowboys isn’t overly surprising when considering the Giants pack more offensive firepower than Washington and the Redskins won’t sneak up on Dallas after their first-half effort against Philadelphia.
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-13)
There was unsurprisingly a fairly healthy mix of good and bad in Kyler Murray’s pro debut, but his ability to lead Arizona back from a 24-6 fourth-quarter deficit was undoubtedly one of the high points. Both Larry Fitzgerald (8-113-1) and David Johnson (137 total yards) look very comfortable in coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid attack as well, but there is legitimate reason to fear Murray could hit a wall in Week 2. No Dolphins opponent will likely look as good as whenever they face Miami this season, so Baltimore’s 59-10 dismantling of Brian Flores’ team has to be kept in context. However, it’s clear Lamar Jackson has made strides as a passer and Mark Ingram looks like a hit of a free-agent acquisition after one game.
This game was at 9.5 points before Week 1, and although the Cardinals didn’t acquit themselves poorly in the end, the Ravens have the look of a world beater and have therefore seen their projected advantage bump up to 12.5-13 points as of Monday afternoon. This is certainly a figure that could be bet down over the course of the week, so there may be no time like the present to jump on betting a cover for a Cardinals squad that went 4-3-1 against the number as a road dog last season with less talent under center and that’s facing a Ravens team that was just 3-6-1 against the spread as home favorites in 2018.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-8.5)
Before the season, this shaped up as a favorable road division matchup for the Jaguars to an extent, considering they’d catch Houston on short rest after a road Monday night game versus the Saints in Week 1. How much that potential advantage is whittled away by Nick Foles’ clavicle injury remains to be seen, but rookie signal caller Gardner Minshew acquitted himself very well after having to step in Sunday versus the Chiefs. The play of second-year wideout D.J. Chark (4-146-1) was an eye-opener as well, and while Leonard Fournette’s performance wasn’t earth-shattering by any stretch, he was efficient while gaining 94 total yards on 17 touches.
The Texans projected as 9-9.5-point favorites heading into the Monday night matchup against the Saints, and despite the fact they put together an excellent effort and came within a hair of upsetting New Orleans on the road, the line has come down slightly.
Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) at Oakland Raiders
The Chiefs were another team to suffer a significant personnel loss in Week 1, as Tyreek Hill went down with a sternoclavicular joint injury. KC’s offense kept humming like the well-oiled machine it is thanks in large part the joint exploits of Patrick Mahomes and Sammy Watkins, as well as a vintage performance, in part-time duty, from LeSean McCoy (93 total yards). Kansas City seemingly has the personnel to withstand a multi-week Hill absence, and as far as their Week 2 matchup goes, they’ll face a team that was just stripped of its would-be No. 1 receiver as well, albeit for very different reasons.
Even without Hill, it’s a projected 7.5-point edge for the Chiefs, but that number is a notable step down from nine, where it opened before the Raiders’ impressive Monday night showing against the Broncos.
Chicago Bears (-1.5) at Denver Broncos
The Broncos will head back home after a Monday night matchup against the Raiders to tangle with what should once again be one of the elite defenses in the NFL this season. Chicago’s offense is another matter altogether. It looked completely without a compass in Week 1, with coach Matt Nagy not helping matters by dialing up some gadget play calls at odd times. Mitchell Trubisky and his teammates are capable of much better performances than what they exhibited in the opener against the Packers, but they’ll have to tangle with what could be an even tougher defensive unit in the form of the Broncos, although they’ll at least have a significant rest advantage over Denver.
Heading into Monday night, it was a pick ‘em scenario in terms of a spread. However, a lackluster debut by Joe Flacco and underwhelming performance by the Broncos as a whole against the Raiders on Monday night shook this number loose from the straight toss-up that it originally ws projected as.
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-3)
The Saints will have a shot at avenging their unceremonious, and in their eyes, unjustified, exit from the postseason last January in this game, although they’ll have to get their just desserts on the road. New Orleans will hit the field for the first time Monday night against the Texans in what should be a raucous Superdome crowd, so they could well head into this showdown with a 1-0 mark.
The Rams offense hardly hit on all cylinders in Week 1, but to its credit, it did enough to pull out a road win in a Bank of America stadium that often proves difficult for visiting squads. While all the preseason affirmations from coach Sean McVay about Todd Gurley’s knee being in perfect health did seem to check out – Gurley gained 97 yards on 14 rushes – the passing game was far from efficient. Jared Goff totaled just 186 yards and the Panthers did a good job taking Brandin Cooks (2-39) out of the equation, making the Week 2 matchup even more intriguing.
The Saints are getting respect in a game for which they’ll have no shortage of motivation, with DraftKings Sportsbook giving the Rams just under the standard three-point home-field advantage line at 2.5 points and FanDuel Sportsbook affording Los Angeles that field-goal edge.
Philadelphia Eagles (-1) at Atlanta Falcons
The world seemed upside down in the City of Brotherly Love for the first half in Week 1, as the massive underdog Redskins played like anything but while running out to a 20-7 halftime advantage. The Eagles woke from their slumber in the third quarter, however, and DeSean Jackson particularly seemed to discover the fountain of youth in his return to Philadelphia. He finished with an 8-154-2 line that keyed the comeback and quickly erased the memory of the speedster’s last two seasons in Tampa. Carson Wentz also looked every bit the Pro Bowl quarterback that he’s proven capable of before injuries derailed his last two seasons.
The Falcons, in turn, are badly in need of a “get right” game after a Week 1 that saw them completely dictated to by the Minnesota Vikings for most of the contest. Matt Ryan may have put up cosmetically pleasing numbers stemming from the sheer volume game flow called for, but there was no mistaking the Atlanta offense in particular for an efficient unit. Things weren’t much better on the other side of the ball with Dalvin Cook running at will, and Atlanta looks to be facing the very real possibility of an 0-2 start, good as they often are at home.
The oddsmakers seem to be projecting a potential Falcons rebound in their dome, however, opening this game as a straight toss-up. The spread moved to PHI -1 on Tuesday. The over on 51 points might be the way to go for now, as the Over combined for a 10-7 mark last season in the team’s home/road splits that apply in Week 2.
More analysis for this game on our Sunday Night Football page.
Cleveland Browns (-6) at New York Jets — Monday night
The Browns pulled off one of the true shockers in Week 1, and not in a good way by any stretch. An offseason of hype seemed to collapse during the second half in particular, when Dog Pound inhabitants must have been having flashbacks of some of the many dark years the franchise has endured since its 1999 reboot. There’s naturally too much talent in a unit that boasts Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham, Jr., Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry for Cleveland to play as badly as they did versus the Titans, but a trip to MetLife Stadium versus what’s likely to be an ornery Jets squad isn’t necessarily the best recipe for success.
New York’s defense looked like the real deal for most of its game against the Bills. Meanwhile, newcomers Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder already look like excellent fits within the offensive scheme. But New York has already been hit with news of two major injuries on that side of the ball this week. First, it was announced that receiver Quincy Enunwa would miss the remainde of the season with his second serious neck injury in three seasons. Then, Thursday morning brought even more impactful development: Sam Darnold has already been ruled out against the Browns with a bout of mononucleosis. That elevates Trevor Semian, into a starting role against Cleveland. That’s already added another 3.5 points to the Browns’ projected advantage.
Undeterred by what may well be an outlier, the oddsmakers had initially madee the Browns 2.5-point road favorites before the Enunwa and Darnold injuries. In addition to the even steeper challenge the now face, it’s also worth noting last year’s numbers aren’t in favor of a Jets cover under any circumstance — Gang Green was an NFL-worst 0-3-1 versus the spread as home underdogs in 2018.
More analysis for this game on our Monday Night Football page.