NFL Odds: Games Too Risky To Bet Either Way In Week 2

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, September 15, 2016 5:53 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 5:53 PM UTC

I deemed it too risky to bet on the favored Bengals at the Jets in Week 1 as well as the Colts at home vs. the Lions. Neither Cincinnati nor Indianapolis covered. Here are three NFL spreads I would deem too risky to wager in Week 2.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins (-2.5 at BetOnline)
I might change my tune on this game if it got to 3.5 points, but I don't see that happening. It opened there at a few of SBR's best sportsbooks, but the Cowboys are taking the lead. Washington didn't look good on either side of the ball in Monday's home blowout loss to Pittsburgh. Perhaps the Steelers are just that good. But Redskins QB Kirk Cousins looked more like the pre-2015 guy than perhaps the NFL's best quarterback in the second half of last season. He was picked off twice by Pittsburgh and didn't throw a touchdown. The Washington defense was gashed on the ground -- by a 33-year-old  tailback -- and through the air. 

And needless to say, the Skins are on a short week. Meanwhile, it's the first road game for Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. He didn't make any major mistakes in the Week 1 loss to the Giants but had a rating of just 69.4, among the league's worst. The Cowboys kept it ultra-conservative as Prescott averaged only 5.04 yards per attempt on his throws. Fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott also was quiet on the ground. The Cowboys and Redskins split last year and Tony Romo didn't play in any of those, either.

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Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings (+2.5 On NFL Odds Board)
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer must not be aware, or care, that NFL betting is a multi-billion dollar industry. He declined to name his starting quarterback before the Week 1 win over Tennessee. I expected him to go with veteran Shaun Hill because he had been with the team all offseason and knew the playbook. But Hill didn't lead the Vikings to an offensive touchdown. Zimmer says he won't say who starts this week, either, but most believe it will be newly-acquired Sam Bradford. He had another week in the offense and it would be easier to audible at the line in a home game than in the crowd noise in an opposing stadium. 

While the Packers will have a huge edge at quarterback regardless with Aaron Rodgers, the Vikings could step it up a notch because it's their first regular-season game in the new U.S. Bank Stadium. These teams split last year, each winning on the road. Of the past 28 regular-season meetings between the Packers and Vikings, 19 have been decided by seven points or fewer. I'm sure this one will too, but if Zimmer isn't going to tell me who is under center, I'll pass. 

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Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams (+3.5 For NFL betting picks)
For whatever reason, there seems to be one team regardless of the sport that always manages to give a certain other team fits. It doesn't matter how good or bad either club is when they play. For example, I follow the NBA's Chicago Bulls and they just can't win in Denver. During the Bulls' then-record 72-10 season in 1995-96, sure enough, Michael Jordan and Co. lost in Denver. I bring this up because of the Rams, who will play their first regular-season game back in the Los Angeles area since Christmas Eve 1994 on Sunday. The Rams have been nowhere near as good as the Seahawks for the past few years. Yet they swept Seattle last year, and even when the Rams have lost since Seattle has become a Super Bowl contender, it's usually close. 

This opening line could move a fair amount as only a few sportsbooks have it up. That's because Seattle QB Russell Wilson sprained his ankle in the Week 1 win over Miami. Wilson says he's playing in this one and he was at practice on Wednesday. But one tweak and suddenly the Rams get to face rookie Trevone Boykin. And it's not like that Seattle offense set the world on fire last week vs. the Dolphins. The Rams, meanwhile, looked comically inept offensively in their 28-0 loss at San Francisco on Monday night. So it's obviously a short week for them as well. But they can't play that bad again, right? The fired-up crowd also figures to be a huge factor in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Too many intangibles here.

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