After several months of waiting, we have finally made it through the opening week of the new NFL regular season. With football back in the fold, online betting sites across the country experienced their biggest weekend of action in a long time, and that isn’t going to slow down as we head toward the second slate of games.
Here, we’re focusing on Week 2, which begins on September 16. Let’s get a closer look at the odds and make some Week 2 NFL betting picks. If you’re looking for more weekly NFL betting content, check out the following:
Week 2 NFL Betting Lines
NFL Week 2 Betting Predictions
THURSDAY, SEPT. 16 (8:20 P.M. ET)
New York Giants vs. Washington Football Team ()
The second week of the NFL season begins with an NFC East clash between the Giants and the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field. The big story here is that Washington is already without starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick after an injury in Week 1, though the Football Team is still favored by several points.
Bettors will remember Taylor Heinicke from his gutsy performance in last year’s postseason against Tampa Bay and if we’rre being honest, it’s a better backup QB than many other teams have. This is why we aren’t going to completely jump ship to the Giants based off of the injury.
The most important unit in this game is the elite Washington defense, which did enough to win in Week 1. The lack of continuity we saw from the Giants’ offense is unlikely to be cured on a short week, and now it needs to travel to face an even better defense than the one it just lost to.
Coupled with Heinicke’s moxie and efficiency, we still think the home team finds a way to win this game and the Giants can’t be counted on enough offensively for us to take even 4.5 points. The spread is between 3.5 and 4.5 right now but because weird things happen on Thursday nights, we’d consdier buying this number down to three if you can stomach the price and taking Washington.
The original total of around 46 points was an easy under pick for us but because this is a site for the people, we’ll keep the pick relevant by working with the current numbers based on the massive line move following Fitzpatrick’s injury.
Pick: Washington Football Team -3 (-110 or better)
Lean: Under 41.5 (play up to -120)
SUNDAY, SEPT. 19 (1 P.M. ET)
Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears ()
The Chicago Bears host the Cincinnati Bengals in the home opener at Soldier Field in Week 2. Things couldn’t have gone much worse for the Bears in Week 1, so you would think there’s no place to go but up. Despite that miserable showing in Los Angeles, the Bears are the standard three-point home favorite over the Bengals.
While Cincinnati managed a win in Week 1, we have to attribute at least part of that to the Vikings taking 116 yards in penalties and fumbling while nearing field-goal range in overtime. That said, seeing Joe Burrow on the field with no limitations and playing with efficiency was a welcome sign, and he’s got plenty of options in his receiving corps.
Going by Week 1 results alone, Cincinnati and some free points looks like the play. But the underlying numbers suggest there’s a problem with this offensive line protecting Burrow, who was sacked five times. The Bengals’ offense was also just 3-for-14 on third down against a middle-of-the-road Vikings defense.
In the end, we are hoping Matt Nagy comes to his senses and getting Justin Fields some more playing time in Week 2. And if he doesn’t, we’ll just call it an an Andy Dalton revenge game and bank on the Bengals defense not being comparable to what Chicago saw in Week 1 from the Rams. At three points or less, take the home team to get its first win of the season.
Pick: Chicago Bears -1.5 (-110 or better)
Lean: Under 46 (play up to -115)
Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns ()
Houston deserves some credit for blocking out the noise and trouncing the Jaguars in Week 1. Perhaps this group of veterans is a bit better off than we thought. That said, Week 2 is likely to yield a much different result.
Cleveland led for most of the game at Arrowhead in Week 1, but the Chiefs managed to get away with the win. Now, the Browns get to play in front of the Dawg Pound against a team that it outclasses on every level. This feels like an easy Browns win, but by how much?
Short answer is, it could be a lot. Houston possessed the worst run defense in the NFL in 2020 and few teams have a rushing offense like Cleveland does with Nick Chubb. And once the front seven in worn down and Houston must stack the box, Baker Mayfield has a ton of weapons to choose from and should pick the Texans apart. Although it did produce three turnovers from Trevor Lawrence in his first NFL game, the Jags still managed nearly 400 yards of total offense.
It’s worth noting that the Browns were 6-2 at home in 2020 but only went 4-4 against the point spread. It’s something to consider when you’re laying double digits, which isn’t ideal. But all things considered, this feels like a two-touchdown win for the home team, so we are laying the points.
Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts ()
The Indianapolis Colts are one of the few teams with two home games to begin the season but for the second straight week, it’s a very difficult opponent. This time around, the Los Angeles Rams come to visit Lucas Oil Stadium as road favorites following a 34-14 trouncing of the Bears on Sunday night.
Based off what we saw in Week 1, this feels like a game where nearly nobody is going to back the Indianapolis Colts. Can’t say I’d blame you, as it’s quite clear the Rams are going to be a team to reckon with.
What else can we say about the Rams? They looked magnificent against Chicago as they opened their new stadium to fans for the first time. The defense dominated as one would expect. Matthew Stafford is exactly what Sean McVay’s offense needed, and after seeing the Colts get torched in the secondary by Seattle, it’s easy to expect more of the same.
All that said, we are looking to zig where everyone else zags. The early-season surprises aren’t exclusive to Week 1, and we should expect the unexpected throughout the first month without overreacting to what we see in the first couple of weeks.
On offense, the Colts’ offensive line was a huge letdown and it will have its hands very full with Aaron Donald and the Rams, but it will get better as Quenton Nelson will have the rust knocked off and Eric Fisher could return. They key for Indy is stopping the run. This team is supposed to have a premier run defnese but was gashed for over 140 yards by Seattle.
The total will be interesting to watch since the Colts went 13-3 to the over last year while the Rams were just 4-12. All that said, the pace of the game should be pretty high, and those added possessions can push this one top 48 or more points.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins ()
The Miami Dolphins will play a second straight divisional game in Week 2 as it welcomes Buffalo to town for the home opener. Miami defeated New England on the road in Week 1 by a 17-16 score while Buffalo struggled against Pittsburgh in a disappointing home loss.
This matchup pits strength vs. strength with Buffalo’s offense taking on Miami’s defense, and we can’t help but side with the visitors, which are favored by a couple of points. For us, this game is coming down to what Buffalo can do on its first two downs, because that leads to it having an advantage on third.
In situations of third and five or less, the Bills had one of the most efficient offenses in football in 2020. In these specific situations, Miami’s top-notch defense didn’t perform too well. Brian Daboll’s pass-heavy scheme is great at gaining chunks of yards on early downs, and it could put the Dolphins behind the 8-ball too many times to recover without giving up points.
While we need to take any data from last year with a grain of salt, so too do we have to take what happened in Week 1. But after looking at the full picture, the play for us is Buffalo.
As for the total, this game could look a lot like last year’s 31-28 matchup, which also took place in Miami during Week 2. We expect much more of the field to be open compared to what we saw in Foxborough and in Buffalo, where weather played a major role and it worked in the Steelers’ favor. Expect points, and that means the Bills and the over, as we saw so many times last year.
Pick: Buffalo Bills -2.5 (play up to -120), up to -3
Lean: Over 47.5 (-110 or better)
New England Patriots at New York Jets ()
Heading into Week 2, the visiting New England Patriots are favored over the new-look New York Jets in the home openeer at MetLife Stadium. Both teams played tight games to open the season and came up short, so one of these AFC East rivals is grabbing its first win on Sunday.
For his part, Mac Jones played well in his NFL debut. It was a late fumble from Damien Harris that did the Patriots in, while the Jets were coming from behind all day after letting their rookie quarterback run for his life for the entire first half. So there are improvements to make on both sides, and we expect another tight game for these two teams.
There’s plenty working against the Jets here. The overall talent disparity favors New England and the Jets already have some pretty impactful injuries at key positions such as safety, left tackle, and punter.
New York’s offensive line has to give its young QB some more time, as he can’t get sacked six times again and losing Mekhi Becton doesn’t help one bit. But Wilson did look much improved in the second half behind his sputtering line, which may only need to provide a little bit of time for the kid to do some damage with the Jets’ receiving corps.
We want to say the Jets can keep this close. New England spent a ton of money this offseason and does have the superior roster talent, but this will still be Jones’ first road game as an NFL starter. That puts the Pats on a bit more of an equal playing field with the Jets, and Gang Green will also have a packed house ready to make it as diffiocult as possible on Jones.
This is likely a pass for us but we’ll lean toward the Jets and the under. If you wait long enough, this number could continue to grow as it has early in the week. It also may be worth a play on the under if you feel these offenses aren’t suited to putting up huge points with their rookie quarterbacks.
Pick: Jets +6 (-110 or better)
Lean: Under 44 (-110 or better)
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles ()
The San Francisco 49ers opened up the season with a win halfway across the country, and now it will go even further east to play the Eagles in Week 2. After thoroughly beating up the Falcons on the road, Philadelphia goes into its home opener as an underdog.
We can’t take much of what the Niners did in Week 1 seriously. Kyle Shanahan’s team did exactly what it needed to do in smashing the Lions all over the field, although they did fall asleep at the end. The result was a cover for anyone who bet -7.5 early in the week and a loss for those who got it at -8.5 or higher.
Whether you think this is a long time to be away from home or that the Niners will be fully acclimated to the east coast by this time, it’s not an easy matchup either way. Oddsmakers agree with that assessment, lowering this line from San Francisco -4.5 to -3.5 over the weekend.
The Eagles’ offense including its line and its young quarterback looked even better than expected. Speaking of not taking things from Week 1 too seriously, it was the Falcons we’re talking about. But even still, there were positive signs that can’t be ignored when the expectation wasn’t originally very high for Nick Sirianni’s early goings as a head coach.
We think Philly is a live dog here so long as it can repeat its run-stuffing effort from Week 1. San Francisco already lost RB Raheem Mostert, and this part of the game will be something they desperately need to help out Jimmy Garropolo. At anything over a field goal, give us the Eagles and the under in what should be a tight game. Consider a sprinkle on the moneyline as well if it gets high enough.
Pick: Eagles +4 or higher (-110 or better), Eagles ML (+175 or higher)
Lean: Under 50 (-110 or better), play down to 48.5
Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers ()
After pulling off a dramatic come-from-behind overtime win on Monday Night Football in Week 1, the Raiders travel east for an early kickoff in Pittsburgh. The Steelers, which are coming off an impressive road win over Buffalo, are favored by nearly a touchdown and went 7-1 at Heinz Field a season ago. For what it’s worth, Las Vegas managed a 6-2 road record in 2020.
We can’t take anything away from the Raiders’ exciting Week 1 win. They were able to force Baltimore into a pair of key turnovers and also successfully drove the field in 35 seconds late in the fourth quarter to tie the game. It was a terrific night for Allegiant Stadium after letting Raider Nation inside for the first time.
All this said, the combination of all of those factors aren’t going to be present in Week 2. Las Vegas is now traveling across the country to face another elite defense with one less day of rest and preparation. Pittsburgh didn’t put on a massive offensive showing in Buffalo, but it didn’t have to. The Raiders’ defense still allowed over 400 yards and we could see a similar type of game play out this week, but with Las Vegas losing by a touchdown, as it was with just a couple of minutes left against Baltimore.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -5.5 (-110 or better)
Lean: Under 47.5 (-110 or better)
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers ()
Both of these NFC South teams opened the season with wins, though one was more convincing than the other. The Panthers did what they had to do against a Jets team starting a rookie quarterback in his first NFL game, and they escaped with a five-point win after leading by 16. The Saints absolutely dominated the Packers despite playing a neutral-site game instead of a home game, and it was shocking how convincing the win really was.
The credit needs to go to the New Orleans defense. The Packers were 1-for-10 on third down and gained just 229 total yards in the game. Yes, Jameis Winston silenced the doubters with five touchdowns, but he was only asked to throw 20 passes in total because the game was a blowout for the entire second half due to its defense dominating Aaron Rodgers.
The Saints’ defense won’t have quite the same success this week, even if the opposing offense doesn’t have Rodgers or Davante Adams. It does have Christian McCaffrey, however, and Sam Darnold made sure to utilize his biggest weapon in the running return from injury. That said, Darnold did struggle to throw the ball down the field and that is something the Saints will absolutely make him do far more than the Jets did.
New Orleans opened at -2.5 on the road after going 6-2 away from the dome in 2020. Things have been a bit chaotic for the Saints at home, so maybe going through a typical road week will actually help. At three points or less, we’re taking the better team as a huge step up in competition from what the Panthers just saw.
Pick: New Orleans Saints -3 (-110 or better)
Lean: Under 47 or more (-110 or better)
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars ()
Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence made their NFL debuts together in Week 1 and it’s safe to say that things did not go well. Lawrence managed almost 400 yards passing but it was almost entirely due to the Jags getting blown out by the Texans of all teams, with the QB throwing three picks in his first NFL game.
On the other side, Teddy Bridgewater was efficient and the defense was suffocating in the Broncos’ Week 1 win over the Giants. Not many teams are being asked to start the season with two road games, but Denver has a very real chance of going home for Week 3 at 2-0.
There’s something to be said for Denver being forced to stay on the east coast for a second straight week, just as San Francisco is. With that said, Jacksonville is flawed enough for that advantage to be mitigated by the Broncos’ defense, which always travels.
This line was -2.5 before Week 1, and then it shot up to its current number of -6 after the Jags’ poor showing. This game is a pass for us but if you’re forcing yourself to make a bet, you can only go with Denver and in our mind, the under.
Pick: Under 46 (-110 or better), play to 45
Lean: Denver -6 (+100 or better)
SUNDAY, SEPT. 19 (4 P.M. ET)
Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals ()
It’s only one week, but the Vikings are facing a pretty awful early-season scenario. They blew a comeback win with a turnover in overtime and now must go on the road yet again in Week 2. The next issue that they’re taking on Arizona, a team which dominated on both sides of the ball in its first game.
Two of Week 1’s star performers were Kyler Murray and Chandler Jones, as the former accounted for five touchdowns while the latter recorded five sacks. After decimating Tennessee on the road, Arizona is sure to be a popular bet against against a Vikings team that couldn’t get out of its own way against the Bengals. This spread jumped from Cardinals -1.5 to -4.5 after Week 1 action, so we can tell oddsmakers put some stock into the opening contests.
For us, the best play is on the over. Minnesota’s offense with Kirk Cousins will always have its bumps, but there were also 12 penalties for well over 100 yards. Many of them came on offense and were drive killers for the Vikings. We know what Arizona’s offense is capable of and with a bit more dicscipline, the Vikings will do some scoring of their own.
Pick: Over 49.5 (-110 or better), play up to 51
Lean: Arizona Cardinals -4 or less (-120 or better)
SUNDAY, SEPT. 12 (4:25 P.M. ET)
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers ()
The Super Bowl champion Bucs get to open the season at home on Thursday, then rest for 10 days before welcoming the Falcons to town in Week 2. This is a huge advantage for Tampa Bay, which did not lose a game after Week 12 last season. It’s not a shocker that the Bucs are huge favorites and now that we saw the Falcons in action, we certainly have to wonder if the Falcons can keep up offensively.
When Tampa Bay was -8 before Week 1, this felt like a phenomenal bet. But anytime you start giving away double digits, you have to reconsider. We went with Cleveland at home against the Texans and the Bucs also have this one at home, but the Falcons are better equipped than Houston is to withstand a superior opponent. As this number continues to grow, we’re waiting to potential snag the Falcons at the two-touchdown mark. Otherwise, it’s just a play on the over.
Pick: Over 52 (play up to -120)
Lean: Atlanta Falcons +14 or higher (play up to -125)
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers ()
The Los Angeles Chargers open the season at home in Week 2 against Dallas, which nearly pulled off a huge upset in Week 1 to open the season. Los Angeles dispatched the Washington Football Team on the road in Week 1, and now it comes home as short favorites against the Cowboys.
Credit where it’s due to the Chargers. This team made a living losing one-score games a season ago and under its new coach, has already begun to turn that tide. Granted, it took an Antonio Gibson fumble inside his own 10-yard line to get there, but it did erase a Justin Herbert interception the play before. The point is, the Chargers are a team many people are high on, and for good reason.
Dallas is another team people are high on after Week 1, though it’s much more tempered due to the recent history of the team. While we aren’t jumping head first into some of the hype around the Cowboys, it’s clear after Week 1 that Dak Prescott is indeed healthy and this team can score with anyone. And considering all the factors, a Dallas as a road underdog is a team we’re willing to back in Week 2.
Not only did the Chargers catch a break with Ryan Fitzpatrick immediately getting injured, but it also gets much less rest compared to a Cowboys team that played on Thursday in Week 1. Everyone is fresh this time of year, but it’s never a bad thing to have three days of rest and preparation over your opponent.
Dallas is missing pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence and could also be without Randy Gregory, which would be one reason to side with Los Angeles. But we are banking on Cowboys fans negating the home field a bit, plus the Chargers not converting 14 of 19 third downs again.
Pick: Dallas Cowboys +3 (play up to -120) ML (+125 or higher)
Lean: Over 52.5 (-110 or better), up to 54
Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks ()
The Seahawks’ home opener will come against Tennessee in Week 2, and these teams couldn’t have gone in opposite directions any more than they did during the oepning game. Seattle went on the road and took care of a playoff-contending Colts team while Tennessee sputtered at home against Arizona and was thoroughly beaten on both sides of the ball.
We try not to overreact to one game, but it’s really difficult not to look at Seattle and just see a much better team than Tennessee, especially with the Seahakws at home. The Titans’ defense was fraudulent a season ago and it isn’t any better now, so there’s no reason to think Seattle’s new offense will look any different than it did in Week 1.
Tennessee is likely to find ways to score and to better protect Ryan Tannehill. For that reason, we expect to see some points in this one. This over-under opened at 49 points but has risen steadily into the low 50s in most places. But when it comes to the game, we’re going with the team which looks like it has fewer flaws and will have a packed house in the loudest stadium in the NFL.
Pick: Seattle Seahawks -5.5 (-110 or better), play up to -6
Lean: Over 51 (-110 or better), play to 52.5
SUNDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:20 P.M. ET)
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens ()
In what should be one of the highlights of the early season, the Ravens host the AFC champion Chiefs in prime time during Week 2. This game opened as a pick ‘em but considering how Kanas City looked in Week 1 and the Raven’s rash of injuries, the Chiefs are now road favorites.
After looking at every side of this game, it’s hard not to side with Kansas City on a short line despite the fact that they didn’t cover in Week 1. It’s worth noting that the Chiefs were 8-0 on the road in 2020 and thanks to Baltimore playing on Monday night, the visitors also get an extra day of rest.
The strength of the Ravens is its run defense, but the Chiefs excel most through the air. This Ravens defense will be his first big test for the Chiefs’ high-octane offense, and we expect success for Patrick Mahomes’ group. We also think Baltimore could struggle a little bit on offense because of its injuries at the running back positon and the Chiefs’ relatively decent passing defense.
If you’re on Kansas City grab this line at -2.5 before it hits a field goal. And if you’re really worried about giving any points with this team, the moneyline at -140 or less could be worth a play. It’s hard to wager agianst Baltimore, especially in its home opener, but we’re fighting the natural inclination to take the home dog because oddsmakers are rtelling us that the Chiefs are the play.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 (play up to -115)
Lean: Over 53 (play up to -120)
MONDAY, SEPT. 20 (8:15 P.M. ET)
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers ()
The Lions and Packers both enter Week 2 after losing their first game, which is a surprise to most of us. Even if you did see New Orleasn beating Green Bay, you didn’t see it going quite that way. Nobody could have. But we move on to the home opener at Lambeau Field, where the Packers are double-digit favorites at most sportsbooks after opening at -7.5 in the offseason.
Detroit deserves some credit for clawing back into the game against San Francisco and not giving up when it was down 24 points. That said, you can only rely on the magic of an onside kick and several two-point conversions once. And we could see them face another huge deficit against Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay.
Plus, the Packers were embarrassed and we all know that despite this team’s issues, it still outclasses the Lions at every position. Green Bay will also have an added advantage on offense now that Detroit’s No. 1 cornerback Jeff Okudah is out for the season with an achilles injury.