Largest Week 2 Odds Shifts & How NFL Bettors Should React

Matthew Jordan

Friday, September 12, 2014 5:37 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 12, 2014 5:37 PM UTC

Underdogs were the smart bet in the opening week of the NFL season as they covered in 10 of the 16 games.  Don't read too much into that yet as Week 1 is the toughest to put a spread on. Here's a look at a few games with line movement this week.

Arizona vs. NY Giants (+2.5)
This is the biggest move of the week. Some books will open next weeks lines for a team on Monday morning even if that club plays Monday night. Those that did generally had the Giants as a 1-1.5 point favorites. Then Monday happened and the action has been streaming in on the Cardinals since. The Giants looked like the worst team that doesn't reside in the state of Missouri in Week 1, getting blown out 35-14 at Detroit. New York brought in a new offensive coordinator this offseason and a new West Coast offense to help Eli Manning's accuracy. Uh, not so much. Manning was just 18 of 33 for 163 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions against a Lions defense that is average at best. Manning's rating of 53.0 is the second-worst in the NFL. The Giants defense got little pressure on Matthew Stafford and couldn't cover Calvin Johnson (who can?). Arizona, meanwhile, was down 17-6 at home to San Diego but won 18-17. I expected the Cards defense to take a major step back this year but that unit held the Bolts to 52 rushing yards. Arizona was No. 1 against the rush in 2013 but lost a few key guys to injury, free agency and suspension. Let the "Fire Tom Coughlin" chants begin if New York loses.

Free NFL Pick: Giants. Teams from the Pacific Time Zone usually struggle on the East Coast.

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Atlanta vs. Cincinnati (-5.5)
The NFL odds were in flux earlier this week most likely due to the status of Cincinnati's A.J. Green, the second-best receiver in the NFL. Probably to a lesser extent because of the status of perhaps the Bengals' best defensive player, linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Neither Green nor Burfict participated in full practices on Wednesday or Thursday and some money starting moving the line as low as -4. However, both were practicing on Friday and thus should play. Green had the game-winning 77-yard touchdown catch in last Sunday's 23-16 win over Baltimore but had a foot injury. Burfict, a tackling machine, suffered a concussion but has been cleared to play. I also believe some were overly influenced by Atlanta's offensive explosion last week vs. New Orleans. The Bengals were dominant last regular season at home in going 8-0. Finally, the Falcons will be without injured starting left tackle Jake Matthews. Keep all of this in mind before placing your NFL picks.

Free NFL Pick: Bengals

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St. Louis vs. Tampa Bay (-6)
This is the second week in a row that the Bucs are not likely to face the opposing team's starting quarterback and the second week in a row the line has taken a huge jump in Tampa Bay's favor. In Week 1 it was Carolina's Cam Newton who sat out against the Bucs, but the Panthers still won 20-14 behind backup Derek Anderson. This time it's injured Rams veteran journeyman Shaun Hill who isn't expected to start. He lasted just a half in Sunday's 34-6 blowout loss to Minnesota. Austin Davis, who had never thrown a regular-season NFL pass, replaced him as a back-up quarterback in the second but the Rams were just as inept. Also, the Rams learned this week that star defensive end Chris Long would be lost for 8-10 weeks. Good thing St. Louis is a baseball town because it's going to be a long NFL season in the Gateway to the West. This total has been dropping steadily as well. It opened as high as 39 and is now 37. Considering both teams combined for 20 points in Week 1, it may continue to fall.

Free NFL Pick: Bucs and 'under' at You Wager

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