NFL 2020 Week 2 Moneyline Picks: Game-by-Game Previews and Predictions

NFL 2020 Week 2 Moneyline Picks: Game-by-Game Previews and Predictions
Allen Lazard #13 of the Green Bay Packers. Hannah Foslien/Getty Images/AFP

Find out where we line up our straight-up NFL picks for week 2. We’ve got you covered for the entire week’s slate, including four of the best bets in moneyline betting markets.

Week 2 NFL Odds Money-line Betting

Before we get into the nitty and gritty, here’s a short foreword to Week 2 NFL betting and the current odds on offer across several of the best online sportsbooks.

To begin with, the second week of the season sets up favourably for home teams. Eleven out of the sixteen games feature home favourites – only the Jets, Dolphins, Texans, Chargers and Raiders are tipped as home underdogs in early NFL markets.

Four home favorites – Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts – are searching for their first win of the season. Plus, the biggest home faves this week are the Titans over the Jags, despite the fact that the Jags are coming off the biggest upset in week 1, beating the Colts at TIAA Bank Field.

In lieu of a preseason, week 1 gave us some insight into all 32 teams and that makes this second week less of a crapshoot. Having said that nothing is a given on any given Sunday. The following is a rundown of early NFL picks for each and every game of the season, with a particular focus on four matchups.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-1-0) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-1-0)

Thursday, September 17, 2020, 8:20 PM EST FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland

TV Channel: NFL Network

Being a Cleveland Browns fan hasn’t been a lot of fun over the years, prompting many fans within the Dawg Pound’s zip code to want to crawl under a rock for having to suffer the laughingstock of the NFL. Things were supposed to be different in 2019 after the Browns put together what many NFL insiders believed to be the dream team.

Alas, things didn’t go to plan with the Browns sputtering to a sub-par 6-10 SU mark. It was all Freddie Kitchens’ fault, apparently. So, they said, and he was promptly shown in the direction of the exit sign.

The new era with Kevin Stefanski, however, didn’t get off to a smashing start. Well, the only smashing being done was by the Ravens as they eviscerated the Browns at the M&T Bank Stadium. The 38-6 loss was almost as bad as the 31-3 loss the Niners handed the Browns last season in week 5 at Levi’s Stadium.

Overall, the Browns were bad. The offensive line was out of sync, dropping passes left and right; special teams’ play was a shamble; and the defense was overwhelmed by a much better opponent.

The upshot of which has some believing Stefanski’s debut proved even worse than Freddie Kitchen’s debut when the Titans shredded the Browns 41-13.

Not unlike the Browns in recent years, the Bengals have had no cause for joy. The last time Cincinnati went above .500 was in 2015 when they won the divisional title behind a 12-4 SU mark. Those days are sepia-toned by now and it’s been four long years of angst and disappointment.

Enter the Joe Burrow era, the prized No.1 draft pick. In a few words: it got off to a mixed start. The rookie quarterback showed poise in the pocket and flashes of brilliance, but he didn’t flex his offensive muscle enough during the game (or was it Zac Taylor’s doing, not letting his rookie quarterback loose enough with the deep ball?).

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Not until the final drive did Burrow channel his LSU-self, as he marched the Bengals down the field in a final drive that very nearly yielded a game-winning touchdown. However, the Bengals faltered and were forced to go for a field goal instead.

The game on the verge of going into overtime, kicker Randy Bullocks, in a bizarre twist, came up lame and shanked the game-tying field goal – or he bottled it, as some who are throwing shade at the kicker have ruled. Whichever way one slices it, it doesn’t change the fact that Burrow and the Bengals proved losers in week 1, joining the Browns in the basement of the AFC North.

Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns have an opportunity to get on the winning track in week 2. Something is certainly going to have to give when they collide at FirstEnergy Stadium. If Taylor allows Burrows to play more freely, one has to like the Bengals’ chances over the Browns – or at least consider the upset isn’t improbable for NFL picks. After all, it’s primetime Thursday Night Football and a chance for Burrow to shine on the national stage as he did in the college football championships. Can’t wait to see it.

NFL Picks: Bengals +217 with BookMaker

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Detroit Lions (0-1-0) vs. Green Bay Packers (1-0-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Lambeau Field, Green Bay

TV Channel: FOX

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers burst out of the gates with a solid performance over the Minnesota Vikings. Indeed, the Packers were underdogs to the Vikings at the U.S. Bank Stadium, but they put paid on that score easily and rewarded their backers with the so-called “upset.”

Rodgers tossed 4TDs and zero interceptions, all the while passing for 364 yards in the commanding 43-34 road victory. It was a dominant performance by Green Bay that belied the close-ish score, The Vikings did get a few garbage touchdowns in to make it seem closer than it really was, but in actuality they were on the backfoot from the word go, trying to play catchup all the way.

The Lions – and Motown on the whole – must be down in the dumps right about now. How the Lions allowed the lead to slip through their fingers in week 1 against the Bears, with Trubisky at the helm of the offense, is mystifying. It was much like last season when the Lions constantly struggled to close out games, only to lose by a handful of points.

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

If the Lions defense can make Trubisky look good, imagine just how sensational Rodgers will look next Sunday. Put it this way, he could end up with another four-TD-performance, if not better. Which will have Green Bay fans convinced Rodgers has dialled back the clock to his heyday and, even, potentially, improve his odds for MVP consideration further.

Rodgers is now among the Top 5 best bets for MVP in 2020 – after Patrick Mahomes (+400), Lamar Jackson (+500) and Russel Wilson (+550), Rodgers is priced at (+1400) to win the coveted honour.

Looking at this week 2 clash, the divisional component to this game can’t be overlooked: for both the Packers and Lions, it is the second NFC North clash in as many weeks and the premium on the win can’t be understated. As well, Lambeau will be absent of any fans; thereby, the home-field advantage the Packers typically enjoy in Green Bay will be diminished.

Having said all that the Packers should win this game handily and that makes them the smart NFL pick. The first week may well be just scratching the surface of what Rodgers can do if the Packers as a whole play up to his level. Put it another way, colour the world shocked if Matthew Stafford and the Lions get the “W” here.

NFL Picks: Packers -260 with Betonline

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San Francisco 49ers (0-1-0) vs. New York Jets (1-0-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford

TV Channel: FOX

The San Francisco 49ers came crashing down to earth in week 1 following a stunning loss to divisional rivals, Arizona Cardinals. It wasn’t so much that the Niners played badly but that the Cardinals played great, rising to the occasion and underpinning their darkhorse credentials by handing San Francisco a 24-20 loss on their turf.

It’s easy to overreact to the first week, even read too much into the NFC Champions‘ opening defeat. It bears mentioning – and this applies to all the teams in the NFL – week 1 arrived without any preseason games being played. Clearly, there’s a lot of meshing and fine-tuning that needs to be done across the board.

That said, the Niners are the only team in the NFC West that remains winless after week 1. That puts the onus on the Niners for week 2 because to lose a second game in a row would be tantamount to disaster in a division that stacks up competitively and in which playing catchup would be excrutiatingly taxing.

Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

Fortunately, the Niners are slated to take on the hapless New York Jets in week 2. Granted it’s a road game, but the Jets appear to be there for the taking – at least, based on week 1 they are. Sam Darnold and the offense were clueless against the Bills, and the defense allowed Josh Allen to toss for more than 300 yards, which is a first in the third-year quarterback’s career.

Overall, Adam Gase’s team left much to be desired in their 2020 NFL season opener, and consequently the Jets prop up the league in power rankings compliled by many leading NFL insiders and experts. The verdict in a few short words: it’s going to be a long season for the Jets. Most telling of all, Gase is tipped as the favourite to be fired over Matt Patricia after week 1 across sports betting platforms. (ouch!)

If the Jets don’t turn things around fast, Gase‘s departure could happen sooner rather than later. There’s a lot of pressure on the Jets as a result too for this game. However, in the face of San Francisco’s defense, spearheaded by Nick Bosa, Ark Armstead and Dee Ford, one really worries for Sam Darnold and the offense. It can be a demoralising experience.

In short, even though the NFL odds are pricey for a San Francisco win, it should pay dividends as the Niners clinch their first win of the season.

NFL Picks: Niners -300 with Bovada

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Denver Broncos (0-1-0) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

TV Channel: CBS

Ben Roethelisberger had a great start to the 2020 NFL season, marking his return from his 2019 season-ending elbow injury with a solid win over the Giants. A slimmer and fitter Big Ben even showed he had wheels as he out-rushed Saquon Barkley in the 26-16 win.

However, it wasn’t all about the Steelers’ veteran quarterback but the run game as well as the defense. Mike Tomlin’s defense is something else, a super bowl calibre defense as some are quite rightly calling it. And they manhandled Daniel Jones relentlessly, giving him headaches as well as forcing a couple of interceptions.

The Denver Broncos’ defense put in a mighty fight against the Tennessee Titans and rendered Derek Henry and the Titan’s famed run-game a moot point. However, it was a mixed performance by the Broncos, who had a realistic shot at winning the game. Stephen Gostowski, Tennessee’s kicker, gave them ample opportunities when he missed four field goal attempts – his worst-ever performance in an otherwise legendary career. That said, he did find the gap in between the posts to sail the winning field-goal through.

Cameron Heyward #97 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

It’s a short week for both the Steelers and Broncos given both played in Monday Night’s double-header last week. On account of the short trek to New York, one could argue the Steelers have the slight edge on travel for this game. Another aspect that tips the scale for Pittsburgh in this game is the growing list of injuries in Denver’s camp. Not only did Denver lose Von Miller for the rest of the season even before week 1, but RB Phillip Lindsay and CB A.J. Bouye also suffered injuries in the game with the Titans.

Denver Broncos enjoyed preseason hype but that all came crashing down in week 1. Things are only going to get tougher against a Steelers’ team that is chomping at the bit now that it has its quarterback back. Steelers to clinch the home win is the NFL pick to shade here.

NFL Picks: Steelers -340 with Intertops

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All the rest of week 2 NFL Moneyline Picks:

New York Giants (0-1-0) vs. Chicago Bears (1-0-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Soldier Field, Chicago

TV Channel: CBS

NFL picks: Giants +210 with Bovada

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Atlanta Falcons (0-1-0) vs. Dallas Cowboys (0-1-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST AT&T Stadium, Arlington

TV Channel: FOX

NFL Picks: Falcons +185 with Youwager

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Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0-0) vs. Tennessee Titans (1-0-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Nissan Stadium, Nashville

TV Channel: CBS

NFL Picks: Titans -385 with Heritage

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Minnesota Vikings (0-1-0) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

TV Channel: FOX

NFL Picks: Vikings +135 with Betonline

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Buffalo Bills (1-0-0) vs. Miami Dolphins (0-0-1 Sunday)

September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens

TV Channel: FOX

NFL Picks: Bills -240 with Intertops

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Los Angeles Rams (1-0-0) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

TV Channel: FOX

NFL Picks: Rams -111 with BookMaker

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Carolina Panthers (0-1-0) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

TV Channel: FOX

NFL Picks: Buccaneers -400 with Heritage

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Washington (1-0-0) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-0-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 4:05 PM EST State Farm Stadium, Glendale

TV Channel: FOX

NFL Picks: Cardinals -285 with BookMaker

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Kansas City Chiefs (1-0-0) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 4:25 PM EST SoFi Stadium, Inglewood

TV Channel: CBS

NFL Picks: Chiefs -400 at BookMaker

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Baltimore Ravens (1-0-0) vs. Houston Texans (0-1-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 4:25 PM EST NRG Stadium, Houston

TV Channel: CBS

NFL Picks: Ravens -310 with Intertops

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New England Patriots (1-0-0) vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-0-0)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 8:20 PM EST CenturyLink Field, Seattle

TV Channel: NBC

NFL Picks: Seahawks -175 with Bovada

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New Orleans Saints (1-0-0) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0-0)

Monday, September 21, 2020, 8:15 PM EST Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas

TV Channel: ESPN/ABC

NFL Picks: Saints -228 with BetOnline

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