With the 2019-20 NFL season underway, oddsmakers are constantly adjusting lines to account for the performance of players and teams in Week 1.
The continued holdouts of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, and Redskins LT Trent Williams, as well as serious injuries to Nick Foles (shoulder) and Tyreek Hill (shoulder), will play into the point spreads listed by US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook for Week 2 of the NFL season.
At PlayPicks, we feel confident with the information that we have to start making our picks against the spread.
In this weekly column, we will list three of our best bets against the spread with data to support our picks. Then, we will list the following games on the NFL slate in order of our confidence in analyzing the matchup. Keep in mind that lines can often shift due to weather or other unforeseen issues. Of course, injury news plays a huge role throughout the NFL season, and the status of specific players often bears monitoring until a couple of hours before kickoff.
NFL Week 2 Best Bets
Chicago Bears (-2.5) at Denver Broncos
This spread (as low as Bears -1.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook) seems like an overreaction to the futility of the Bears offense in last Thursday’s opener against Green Bay. Denver looked even worse on offense against a Raiders defense that finished dead last in points allowed last year. What’s more, Joe Flacco looked even more out of rhythm than Mitchell Trubisky. Denver’s offensive line struggled against a weak pass rush and will now have to contend with Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, and the Bears’ fearsome front.
Over the past two seasons, Denver is just 5-9-2 ATS at home and a league-worst 5-14 ATS following a loss. Since 2017, the Bears are 8-5-1 ATS after a loss and have the second-best record ATS (20-13) overall during that span. Chicago has 10 days to prepare for a squad that is coached by ex-coordinator Vic Fangio, so Bears head coach Matt Nagy should have some tricks up his sleeve to beat Fangio’s middling defense. Finally, note that the Broncos ranked 30th in DVOA pass defense in Week 1.
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) at Washington Redskins
Washington gave a lot of Survivor Pool players a scare by taking an early 17-0 lead at Philadelphia last Sunday. Still, they wound up with a backdoor cover in a 32-27 loss. While Case Keenum got off to a hot start thanks to deep threat Terry McLaurin, Dallas allowed the sixth-fewest pass plays of 20-plus yards (43) last season and has a conservative Cover-2 scheme that can account for the talented rookie.
With LT Trent Williams sitting, Washington’s offensive line posted the second-worst adjusted line yards (2.65) average in Week 1. Derrius Guice (knee) will be out, and 34-year-old Adrian Peterson will be hard pressed to beat the Cowboys’ excellent front. Dallas is 5-2-1 against the spread (ATS) since 2017 when listed as a road favorite, and Dak Prescott has been on fire so far in a new-look offense under OC Kellen Moore.
Philadelphia Eagles (-2) at Atlanta Falcons
The Eagles were nearly on the wrong side of a big Week 1 upset, leading to oddsmakers initially assigning a Pick ‘Em line for their Week 2 date at Atlanta. Yet the Falcons offense looked anemic in a loss at Minnesota, rushing for just 73 yards while coughing up four turnovers and four sacks. Now, they’ll be without first-round rookie Chris Lindstrom (foot) against a fearsome Eagles front four that can remain productive even with Malik Jackson (foot) also headed to IR.
Atlanta went 3-5 ATS at home last season and a league-worst 1-4 ATS when listed as an underdog. Philly is 10-7 ATS on the road since 2017 and has won three straight over Atlanta.
NFL Week 2 Picks Against The Spread
Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions (-2.5)
The Chargers were a perfect 3-0 ATS when listed as road favorites last year and are a team you can trust away from their lackluster home stadium. Detroit’s defense collapsed late against a rookie QB in Week 1, and the Lions offense still lacks any sort of consistent rushing attack.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5) at Houston Texans
Losing Nick Foles did little to hamper Jacksonville’s effectiveness on offense. Gardner Minshew II and his talented receiving corps should produce against Houston’s porous secondary.
Minnesota Vikings (+3) at Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers was rated as accurate on just 33% of his throws in Week 1, which was lowest among all QBs. The Vikings are 5-1-1 over their last seven meetings with the Pack.
San Francisco 49ers (+1.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals surprised with a close loss in Seattle but could now be without Joe Mixon (ankle) in addition to A.J. Green. San Francisco’s revamped defense should carry the day in a low-scoring affair.
Cleveland Browns (-2.5) at New York Jets
The Jets collapsed after opening a 16-0 lead over the Bills in Week 1 and are now riddled with injuries. Sam Darnold (mono) will not play, C.J. Mosley (groin) is questionable, and Le’Veon Bell (shoulder) is banged up. Take the Browns to bounce back under the bright lights of MNF.
Editor’s note: The line on this game has moved to CLE -6.5 after Sam Darnold was ruled out with mono.
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
Since 2017, Pittsburgh is 6-3 ATS following a loss. The Steelers were embarrassed on Sunday night and will be out to prove that they can compete without Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown.
Baltimore Ravens vs Arizona Cardinals (+13.5)
This is a huge number for the Ravens to cover against a Cardinals team that certainly has more talent than the no-account Dolphins. Kyler Murray found his rhythm late in his NFL debut and should play well enough to help Arizona cover on the road.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3)
The Titans finished second in DVOA pass defense in Week 1, and Marcus Mariota looked sharp in a blowout road win. The Colts will not have the same motivation in their second game without Andrew Luck and are in a tough road spot.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (+7.5)
This line has moved a couple of points since the Raiders’ solid showing on MNF and news that Patrick Mahomes (ankle) is dinged up. The past two meetings between these teams in Oakland have each been decided by 7 points or fewer. The Raiders have enough weapons to hang once again.
Buffalo Bills at New York Giants (+2)
Josh Allen is still very inconsistent and could produce key turnovers, even against the Giants’ weak defense. Saquon Barkley should carry the G-Men to a win in their home opener.
New Orleans Saints (+2.5) at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams still struggle to deal with receiving backs and appear worse in run defense without Ndamukong Suh. Expect another shootout in the NFC Championship rematch with Drew Brees keeping it close down the stretch.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (+19.5)
In our most shocking and least confident pick of the week, we’re taking the Dolphins to cover what is now one of the five biggest spreads in the NFL’s last decade. Ryan Fitzpatrick has historically had big days against New England, and the Pats have somehow dropped five of their last six games in Miami.