Week 2 NFL Predictions: Chiefs, Cardinals Top Best Bets

Jay Pryce

Saturday, September 17, 2016 8:16 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 17, 2016 8:16 PM UTC

The Chiefs, Cardinals, and a couple of totals bets lead our top NFL betting predictions for Week 2 of the 2016-17 season. Get free NFL picks with the analysis here. 

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans (-2.5)
Head coach Andy Reid has Houston’s number. He is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS all-time versus the franchise, three of these victories coming in his Chiefs tenure.

K.C. routed the Texans 30-0 in last year’s wild-card round, harassing then-starting QB Brian Hoyer to no end. The Chiefs defense picked off four passes and forced a fumble. We don’t expect the unit to dominate as much on Sunday, especially after an abysmal 33-27 showing in its opening-season overtime win over the Chargers, but count on it being the difference-maker.

Houston is loaded with playmakers, but new quarterback Brock Osweiler will be hassled. He graded out well below average in performance under pressure (-4.6) versus a clean pocket (4.1) in Pro Football Focus’ metrics last season while with the Broncos. The Bears only hurried Osweiler seven times in Week 1 (two sacks), but their pass rush is inferior to the Chiefs. K.C. averaged 2.8 sacks per game last year, tied for sixth best in the NFL (Bears ranked 22nd). The Chiefs defensive front is also up against a new-look Texans O-line. Whichever side wins this battle, likely wins the game. We give the edge to K.C. and look for the meeting to stay UNDER 43 points for your week 2 NFL predictions. Houston’s defense will put up a good show too.

Free NFL Pick: Chiefs +110; Under 43 -109
Best Line Offered: at JustBet

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Arizona Cardinals (-7)
We faded Arizona last week and cashed a big money-line play on New England (4-0 last weekend on our best bets). Let’s face it, the Cardinals should have never kicked off more than 4 or 5-point favorites with head coach Bill Belichick given a month to prepare.

We also were not keen on Arizona’s offense entering last Sunday. Their first-team unit looked abysmal in the preseason coming off a beatdown in the NFC Championship game. This week the Cardinals put it all back together.

Quarterback Carson Palmer missed a few throws badly in the first half against the Pats but looked more composed in the second. He received a nice confidence boost from Canton-bound Larry Fitzgerald reeling in two touchdowns and 81 yards on eight receptions.

The Cardinals offense should dictate the game. When controlling the time of possession, the team is 22-8-1 ATS under head coach Bruce Arians. Tampa Bay snuck out of Atlanta with a 31-24 victory in the opener, despite allowing the Falcons a 32:23 edge managing the clock. Last season, the Bucs went 3-7 ATS when allowing a greater time of possession.

Tampa continues to improve, and the future is bright under quarterback Jameis Winston, but they are not ready to challenge for the NFC Championship. To do so this year, a team will likely have to win in Phoenix. We predict a 31-17 victory for Arizona. Lay the 6.5 points.

Free NFL Pick: Cardinals -7
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions (-6)
The total is a tad too light according to our numbers. The Lions were favored five times last season and averaged 30.4 points per game on offense (38.0 in three home games). The defense put in a poor showing against the Colts in a wild 39-35 opening-season win, convincing us the Titans new-look offense can put up 20-plus points in this one. Tennessee averaged 21.2 in six away contests last season with quarterback Marcus Mariota under center. It scored over 16 points just twice, though.

The Lions are going to put up points in this matchup, In order for the Titans to contest, they’ll have to try and match them on offense. The edge is not as great as in the above-mentioned picks, so play it lightly. Shop around for the best number at top sportsbooks, a few books may drop back to the 46-point range prior to kickoff.

Free NFL Pick: Over 47.5 -110
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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