NFL Week 2: 49ers-Panthers Lead Biggest Spreads & Picks

Carolina Panthers team running into the field

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, September 18, 2016 2:26 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 18, 2016 2:26 PM UTC

I hit on two of the three biggest spread picks of Week 1 in Miami covering +10.5 in Seattle and Houston (-6) doing the same vs. Chicago.  Missed on Chiefs -6.5 vs. San Diego. Here are three of the biggest Week 2 spreads on NFL odds.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers (-13.5 For NFL betting picks)
When the 2016 NFL schedule was released in April, I thought this game had the chance to have the biggest spread of the entire season even this early in it. But perhaps the 49ers aren't as bad as expected, although it's hard to know if San Francisco's defense is actually pretty good or the Los Angeles Rams' offense is that ridiculously bad. The 49ers still have some good players on that side of the ball, led by Pro Bowl linebacker NaVorro Bowman, but I didn't expect them to blank the Rams and hold them to 185 total yards on Monday night. It was borderline unwatchable when the Rams had the ball. The Niners are certainly not a great offensive team, but Blaine Gabbert appears to be a decent quarterback these days, and Carlos Hyde is a good running back. 

But it's also a short week for the Niners and one of those killer 10 a.m. Pacific time kickoffs. Carolina is on extra rest after losing 21-20 in Denver on Thursday, Sept. 8, when Graham Gano missed a 51-yard field goal at the end of regulation. He actually made the kick off the right upright the play before but it was whistled dead as the Broncos wanted to ice him. Guess it worked as Gano overcorrected himself on the second kick and hooked it. Presumably, the Panthers are going to play angry here off that loss and the fact the NFL did little about all those blows to the head that Cam Newton took int the loss.


Free NFL Pick: A point higher, and I'd take the 49ers. But not at 13.5. Carolina wins its fifth straight in the series. San Francisco is 1-4 ATS in its past five on the road. Carolina is 5-1 ATS in its past six following an ATS loss.
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns (+7 On NFL odds)
It's too bad the NFL doesn't relegate sorry teams like the English Premier League does because perhaps it would help the Cleveland Browns franchise to spend a season of two in the Arena League. They looked terrible in their Week 1 29-10 loss at Philadelphia. The Eagles aren't very good and started a quarterback in Carson Wentz who barely played in 2015 at FCS school North Dakota State due to a broken wrist and only played one-half of the first preseason game because of a broken rib. So naturally, Wentz torched the Browns, who could have drafted him. And Cleveland lost starting QB Robert Griffin III to a broken bone in his shoulder. Alas, the Browns won't use a 26th different starting QB this week since returning to the NFL in 1999 as last year's primary starter, Josh McCown, gets the call. He started both games vs. Baltimore last year and threw for a franchise-record 457 yards in a 33-30 OT win in Baltimore but then 212 in a 33-27 loss in Cleveland. 

The Ravens beat visiting Buffalo 13-7 in Week 1. That offensive output left much to be desired, but QB Joe Flacco looked good in his return from a torn ACL, throwing for 258 yards and  a touchdown with no picks. The Ravens played Week 1 without excellent pass-rushing linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot) and he won't go Sunday, either.


Free NFL Pick: I really wish the sportsbooks would be forced to put lines at 7.5 or 6.5 instead of 7 as this may push. But I'll take the points and look for 7.5. McCown might be an upgrade on RGIII at this point. The underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in the past five  meetings.
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots (-6.5 In NFL Betting)
Do I dare take Miami as a big road dog again? If Tom Brady were playing, this surely would be above a touchdown. But of course, he remains suspended three more games. Jimmy Garoppolo played well in his first NFL start last Sunday night in Arizona, leading a 23-21 upset when the Cardinals missed a late field goal. New England also played without Rob Gronkowski and two starting offensive linemen. It appears Gronk will play here as he has been practicing this week, although reports are he's not 100 percent recovered from his hamstring injury. Left tackle Nate Solder said he plans to return as well. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower is in question with a knee injury. 

The Dolphins nearly ruined Survivor Pools everywhere last week as they were leading in Seattle 10-6 with under a minute left before the Seahawks scored the winning TD. While the Miami defense deserved a win, the offense had just 214 yards. Fins defensive end Mario Williams is questionable for this game with a concussion. He had a sack and tackle for loss vs. the Seahawks. It should be noted that Miami beat visiting New England 20-10 in Week 17 last year and Brady played. That loss cost the Patriots perhaps a trip to the Super Bowl because they lost the AFC's top seed with the defeat.


Free NFL Pick: Patriots. They haven't lost at home in this series since 2008 and are 13-1 in home openers at Gillette StadiumThe home team is 8-0 ATS in the past eight meetings.
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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