NFL Week 2 Picks: Game-by-Game SU Rundown & Early Predictions

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 9:16 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2016 9:16 PM UTC

With week 1 firmly in the books, we turn our attention to the second week of the NFL and analyse each and every matchup with a view towards serving up SU NFL picks. Let’s get cracking.

NFL Week 1 Recap
The first week of the season was highly entertaining, if not one of the best opening weeks in recent memory. Away teams enjoyed a strong showing going 8-6 SU versus home teams, including a nerve-wracking win by Jimmy Garoppolo and the New England Patriots in Arizona. Favorites, however, went 9-5 SU, proving worthy of the favorable nod at the sports betting floor.


Complete Week 1 NFL Betting Trends:
Home vs. Away: 6-8 SU, 4-8-2 ATS
Favorites vs. Underdogs: 9-5 SU, 5-7-2 ATS
Over vs. Under: 8-6


Weekly Game-by-Game Picks Columns SU, ATS, and Total
How our game-by-game picks fared for week 1? To be fair, not so bad at all. Going into Monday Night’s doubleheader we boast a winning record, which is as follows:


Nikki Adams Game-by-Game Picks Record Week 1
Week 1 SU: 13-3-0          (Season Total: 13-3-0)
Week 1 ATS: 12-4-0        (Season Total: 12-4-0)
Week 1 Total: 10-5-1        (Season Total: 10-5-1)


Thursday, September 15th, 2016

NY Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
The NY Jets jumped out to a fast start over the Bengals in week 1 but ended up losing 23-22 to the chagrin of a packed MetLife house as Nugent’s 47-yard field goal in the dying minute of the game gaily sailed through the posts. To be fair, the Jets fritted away too many opportunities in the red zone, putting the loss largely down to those rather than anything spectacular from the Bengals. The Bills, meanwhile, were dead awful in a 13-7 defeat to the Ravens. The Ravens defense manhandled Tyrod Taylor and the Bills. Case-and-point: the Bills had measly 160 yards of offense (passing and rushing combined) and one touchdown. No guesses as to which quarterback is sat at the bottom of the offensive stats following week 1…drumroll…Tyrod Taylor with 111 yards for his contribution to the defeat. The Bills are also at the bottom of total offense stats and are the only team to have scored in single digits in week 1.

Yet, they are the home favorites for their AFC East date with the Jets. Huh? Granted both sides have to iron out a few kinks before this Thursday Night Football clash that is set to get us underway for week 2.  Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan and his Bills last term were a thorn in Todd Bowles’ side. However, from what we’ve seen of the Bills in the preseason. Then following week 1, we’d be shocked if they were a thorn in anybody’s side this season. Simply put: not buying what they’re selling at all. Jets have a score to settle here and our money is on the Jets to get it done.


Free NFL Picks: Jets +110 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Bengals narrowly defeated the Jets at MetLife, but, in all honesty, it could easily have been a loss for them. Tale told a win is a win no matter how ugly or unconvincing. They’re not going to apologise for it. The reality is they are at the top of the AFC North, in a three-way tie with the Ravens and Steelers. Making this a crucial week in their division and a must-win game to keep pace. The Steelers are coming off a big win over the Washington Redskins on MNF. Ben Roethlisberger ripped the Redskins defense apart in a 38-16 victory. In fact, after the dominant victory the Steelers moved to the top of the FPI rankings with ESPN, tied with Packers for the top spot.

These two teams couldn’t have been more different in victory in week 1, prompting NFL odds makers to install the Steelers as hefty home favorites. Quite deservedly so, with NFL odds ranging from -165 or higher. However, this game isn’t played on the market’s floor. It’s a rivalry that is fierce, heated and, often, ugly and vicious. No love is lost between the pair, something recently witnessed in the wildcard round of the playoffs that the Steelers won 18-16. Overall, last term the pair split the regular season meetings with each side winning on the road.

It’s not a straightforward matchup to handicap because it can go either way given its intricacies and intensity. On the strength of the clinic, Roethlisberger put forward in the nation’s capital we’re of a mind to back the hosts. They won’t have it as easy as they did with the Redskins – the Bengals are no cakewalk – but, so long as they keep it together and don’t get unhinged (avoid needless penalties) the Steelers should make home advantage count.


Free NFL Picks: Steelers -166 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions defied the NFL odds and upset the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 1, Hands up how many are truly surprised by that outcome? Anyone? Hmm…suppose, it was always expected to be a shootout between Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck, and the less than formidable defense of either team contributed to the sense of a wide open game that was up for grabs. On one hand, Stafford had a stellar game, going for 340 yards and 3 TDs and zero interceptions and the Lions as a whole put up 448 yards of offense and 39 points (a league-high following week 1). Something to get excited about if you are a Lions fans, right?

On the flipside, though, they allowed Luck to put up 385 yards and 4 TDs and zero interceptions. The Colts as a whole tallied 450 yards and 35 points but lost. Not exactly inspiring numbers on the defensive side of the ball for the Lions, which could give the Titans some hope in this game. Titans, who are coming off a loss to the defensively stout Vikings, will relish a matchup with the Lions, surely. It’s not going to be so physical of a matchup. Marcus Mariota, who had 2 TDs, 1 INT and 271 yards against the Vikings, might enjoy more freedom of movement at Ford Field. It could make this a slight tossup or a closer game than the NFL odds would have it. For our money, we’re going with the Lions to win SU but, admittedly, considering hedging our NFL bets with a Titans cover in the ensuing game-by-game ATS picks a piece. (That needs a bit more of a think.)


Free NFL Picks: Lions -245 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are off to a 0-1 SU start on the season. (Shocker!) If their opener were anything to go by, it’s going to be a long season in Cleveland, yet again. Making matters worse (or better, depends on individual perspective) is Hue Jackson’s choice quarterback RGIII injured his shoulder and is likely to miss the bulk of the season, if not the whole thing. (Speaking of which, what the hell was he doing? A head-on collision with the defensive player? Who is tackling who?)

Whatever…moving on from RGIII the starting job now presumably, goes to Josh McCown. Could be an upgrade for the Browns particularly in this matchup. Remember McCown led the Bears to a 23-20 win over the Ravens in 2013. Last year, he led the Browns to a 33-30 win over the Ravens. Bet Harbaugh would have much rather see crash-test dummy RGIII in this game. Oh, la…

The Ravens are coming off a drab 13-7 victory at home over the Bills, but the defense was something and played a large part in the low-scoring affair. They might not have fared well against backup McCown in recent meetings but, 2015, the most recent result, happened in a year that was riddled with woes. So far, the Ravens look good. They should dominate this game.


Free NFL Picks: Ravens -290 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
The Redskins looked clueless on MNF in a 38-16 loss to the Steelers. NFL bettors must credit the Steelers for putting up such a clinic, but Kirk Cousins’ erratic play, poor decision-making and generally overdoing it was a big part of the defeat. Head coach Jay Gruden also deserves some of the blame – what was the thinking behind the game-planning, matchups and the messy performance by his lads altogether, we may never know. Whatever it is, the Redskins need to get it together for their date with the Dallas Cowboys in week 2. Cowboys are coming off a heartbreaking 20-19 loss to the Giants at home, a game that many thought they could win. And maybe they might have had they not run out of time.  Looking at the accounts of both Cowboys and Redskins in week 1 we can safely assume both will be looking to iron out the kinks. 


Free NFL Picks: Cowboys +135

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New Orleans Saints vs. NY Giants
Last year, this pairing served up one of the most spectacular score lines of the season –a 52-49 win by the Saints with Drew Brees throwing 7 TDs and Eli Manning 6 TDs. Certainly, it was a score fest to thrill football fans the nation over but what it really served to highlight is the non-existent defenses of both teams.  How have these defenses improved in 2016? Well, if the 35-34 win over the Raiders at the Superdome last week were any indication, the prognosis is not good for the Saints. The Giants, meanwhile, are coming off a 20-19 win over the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, catching a break with rookie Dak Prescott at quarterback but still doing enough on both sides of the ball to get the win. With an improved defense and plenty of offensive weapons for Eli Manning to target, the G-men should come up trumps at MetLife.


Free NFL Picks: Giants -197 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers
The Chip Kelly era is off to a bright start in San Francisco. All the distractions surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s political stance proved to be just a backstory to what was a comprehensive beat down of a much-hyped up, hard knocks Los Angeles Rams. Heck, the Rams laid an egg. The Niners defense rose to the challenge and, arguably, was the main force behind the victory. Are we buying what Blaine Gabbert is doing? Not really. But he did execute the game plan so we’ll give him props for that. In any event, week 2 looms large and threatening. Cam Newton is not a happy camper, to say the least, after losing the Super Bowl rematch on Thursday. He has big designs on the 2016 season and getting back on the winning track will be paramount to those. (Wonder if the feather in his cap, this time, will be that of an ostrich). If anything, this is going to be a matchup that will give us a real sense of what the Niners are really about and whether Blaine Gabbert is the long-term answer. By the NFL odds, the answer isn’t what Niners’ fans are after.


Free NFL Picks: Panthers -700 
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

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Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
Arguably, the most impressive win of the first week of the NFL season. No Tom Brady. No. Rob Gronkowski. But Patriots somehow win with a backup quarterback that nobody was totally sold on in one of the toughest stadiums in the NFL and against a side that many are touting as viable Super Bowl contenders. In fact, inasmuch as the Patriots were impressive the Cardinals left much to be desired until late in the game when they perked up. In any event, the Patriots return to Gillette for the first of three home games before Tom Brady’s scheduled return. (One down, three to go.) Garoppolo was impressive, so much so that they enter week 2 as the -300 home favorites in NFL betting markets or thereabouts –a significant change from +300 road underdogs in week 1 – and all and sundry are talking the Patriots up. Some have the Pats at the top of the power rankings in week 1.

The Dolphins have always been a tough customer and a fierce divisional rival, but they’re coming off a loss to Seattle Seahawks. Cross-country travel and a second straight road game do take the shine off of the Dolphins, who mustered up so little in meaningful offense at CenturyLink Field that it would be stunning if they, all of a sudden, found their mojo at Foxboro.


Free NFL Picks: Patriots -273 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
Kansas City Chiefs looked down and out early when they fell 21-3 to the Chargers but, somehow, doing a great Houdini impression, they turned it around to win 33-27 in OT at Arrowhead. Nightmare for the Chargers. Narrow escape for the Chiefs. The Houston Texans, meanwhile, defeat the Chicago Bears 23-14 at NRG Stadium. The Texans are faced with a second straight home gameHome advantage and a complete performance in week 1 give the Texans the edge on the NFL odds board, but, clearly, the Chiefs are not a side to discount entirely. There’s a bit of sore nerve here for the Texans, who were decimated by the Chiefs in the playoffs the last term. Might they get their own back?


Free NFL Picks: Texans -132 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Seattle Seahawks left many fans perplexed following a 12-10 win over the Dolphins in week 1 NFL betting. It was a confusing game, lacking in intensity, energy, quality, character….oh, whatever. Suffice it to say it was unwatchable. Nevertheless, they got the win. Ugly though it was. What can we say politely about the Rams? Hmmm? Absolutely pointless in MNF. Abysmal.  at Levi Stadium in MNF. (Might Los Angeles want to ship the Rams back to ST. Louis?) Ha. They were a laughing stock and made a mockery of the NFL betting markets that had Rams installed as the significant road faves (-145 Money Line odds and -2.5 against the spread at closing doors).

At face value, this is a matchup the Seahawks should win. 


Free NFL Picks: Seahawks -280

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Jameis Winston and the Bucs improved to 3-0 SU over the Atlanta Falcons with a week 1 victory on the road that saw them both win SU and cover against the NFL odds. In week 2 they have a much tougher assignment at the University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Cardinals are still probably reeling after a spectacularly botched field goal denied the Cards the sure-fire win over the Patriots. Instead, they had to take the disappointing 23-21 loss on the chin. Bruce Arians and the birds aren’t best pleased and will look to bounce back at the expense of the Bucs. Arguably, a winnable game by all accounts.


Free NFL Picks: Cardinals -265 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes offering 50% free sign up play!

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers
Both the Jaguars and Chargers suffered bitter disappointments in week 1. The former lost a close one at home to the Packers but gave good as they got, while the latter allowed a massive lead to slip through their fingers. Based on week 1, you have to like the Jaguars on your NFL week 2 betting picks. They played well, showed heart and grit against a very good team and an elite quarterback. Philipp Rivers and Co., meanwhile, simply couldn’t keep it together. They got unhinged. Panicked. Lost confidence. It was a total and utter mess. Nightmare. That doesn’t instil confidence. Of course, it’s important not to overreact or take week 1 entirely to heart. Arrowhead is a tough place and some allowances must be made when playing on hostile territory. Be that as it may, are the Chargers a good team? Not really. So there you have it.


Free NFL Picks: Jaguars +165 
Best Line Offered: at WilliamHill

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Atlanta Falcons vs. Oakland Raiders
One win in the books and Black and Silver nation are entertaining playoff grandeur already. Talk about cart before the horse… One win does not a playoff team make. Don’t get it wrong, it was a nerve-wracking thriller at the Superdome and a gutsy win going for the two-point conversion instead of knotting the game up at 34-34. But – Raiders fans aren’t going to enjoy this – reality is the Saints came very close to winning it but for a missed field goal attempt. Plus, and this should be a worry for both Raiders fans and head coach Jack Del Rio, there was no defense to speak of. It was MIA. 

Granted some of it is down to the elite quarterbacking of Drew Brees picking apart the Raiders defense. But this was supposed to be a largely improved section of the bench. So they talked it up in the offseason and preseason. To look at the defensive stats sheet, the Raiders prop up the league with a massive total of 507 yards (419 yards passing) allowed and 34 points conceded. That’s not exactly going to instil fear in the Atlanta Falcons, who are coming off a loss in week 1 to divisional rivals. Matt Ryan might relish a shot at this defense. Consider he put 334 yards and 2TDs for a 112.6 passer rating in week 1. Put another way, the Raiders look overcooked as the runaway -240 favorites or thereabouts depending on your choice sportsbook.


Free NFL Picks: Falcons +200
Best Line Offered: at WilliamHill  

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Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos
Andrew Luck has absolutely no protection – he was sacked twice in the 39-35 loss to the Lions, despite enjoying ridiculous offensive stats. That’s been a concern for some time and, to be fair, quite typical of past Colts’ teams going back to Peyton Manning’s era. (Great offensively but shoddy defensively.) This isn’t a good matchup as result for Andrew Luck, a Denver defense that is coming off a Super Bowl and a week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers in the hyped-up Super Bowl rematch. Can the Colts protect their pricey quarterback? Not really. Until they show they can they’ll remain at risk of losing any given Sunday, despite Luck’s ability to litter the stats sheet. On balance, the NFL odds for this game are trading rather high – so much so that the Broncos do appear to be slightly overrated – but they are the correct favorites when all is said and done. Trevor Siemian had a good outing at Mile High in his debut. Of course, there are bound to be rookie mistakes and he has a learning curve to go through, but he was poised and calm in the pocket and led the Broncos in the come from behind win.


Free NFL Picks: Broncos -265
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 

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Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Green Bay Packers are coming off a big win on the road in week 1. Although they faced a relatively unheralded team in the Jaguars that shouldn’t take anything away from the victory. Winning on the road in the first week of the season is no mean feat. Not to mention, the Jaguars did give them a run for their money. The Packers are faced with a second straight road game in Minnesota – a much tougher assignment, arguably, for week 2. 

Betting on a team to win back-to-back on the road is always a risk, but, this is the Packers on Sunday Night Football. The NFC North favorites to win back their precious division title which the Vikings snatched right out of their hands so surprisingly last term. Vikings are without Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill isn’t the long term answer but that didn’t stop them from winning in week 1. Thanks to a defense and run game that is nothing to sniff at. Buoyed by the win, the Vikings will be raring to go at U.S Bank Stadium when they welcome Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. No word whether Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford will start and, most likely, Zimmer won’t be revealing who his starter is before game time. Still, hard to look beyond the Packers.


Free NFL Picks: Packers -135 
Best Line Offered: at WilliamHill   

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears
Carson Wentz and the Eagles enjoyed a stellar start to their season behind a 29-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Granted the No.2 overall NFL draft pick Wentz caught a break with a date against the Browns in his debut, but any perceived lack in Cleveland’s quality shouldn’t take away from his overall performance which resulted in 278 passing yards and 2 TDs and a 101.2 passer rating and puts him in the Top 10 offensive leaders after the first lap around the NFL. It’s but one game, though. Best not to get too carried away. 

Week 2 serves up a Monday Night Football clash and it remains to be seen how Wentz will hold up under the spotlights and with the eyes of the nation watching. Then again, it’s Soldier Field where the Bears can’t seem to buy a win no matter how hard the try. Jay Cutler and the Bears went 1-7 SU in 2015 at home. Yikes. Somehow, the Bears are the home favorites at -175 in money line markets. That’s a rather steep price to pay for a team that strikes such an unconvincing pose at home. In fact, there is no way we’re putting up a bet on the Bears. Are you crazy?  $175.00 on the Bears just to win $100 is highway robbery. Either wait until the price comes down significantly, which it might as there’s bound to be straight up bettors pounding the Eagles at their tempting price. Or simply go for the upset. It pays to be brave, sometimes.


Free NFL Picks: Eagles +160
Best Line Offered: at WilliamHill   

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