Some of the debuts to kick off the 2017 NFL regular season left bettors scratching their heads and wondering what’s to come. Let’s explore some of these uncertainties and cash some Week 2 bets, shall we.
The Rams lead the NFL in scoring after walloping the Colts 46-9 on Sunday; quite the turnaround for an offense that averaged a league-low 14.0 points per game last season. Is this some sort of “Greatest Show on Turf” renaissance? Hardly. The unit caught fire against a Colts team looking like they entered the matchup after one day of camp.
L.A.’s second-year quarterback Jared Goff showed improvement, keeping cool under pressure and connecting on four of five downfield passes of 20-yards or more. Nevertheless, the O-line is still problematic and the team accrued 63 rushing yards. That’s awful when running the ball on 46.9 percent of snaps with a huge lead throughout. What happens when the Rams face a competent offense that can control some of the clock? It will look a lot like last season, the Rams struggling to score points and always playing from behind.
The Colts performance should make everyone shudder: 225 total yards, 3 turnovers, and just 10 first downs the entire game. They entered the season with a bottom-10 roster, but played as the league’s worst without franchise quarterback Andrew Luck running the show. Indy is sitting at the bottom of many power rankings after Week 1. The Colts host the Cardinals this Sunday, catching 7.5 points on the odds board. Our advice: fade this team. This isn’t an overreaction. It’s a struggle to find one positive from last week, or from the entire preseason for that matter. The Colts will struggle to stay within 10 points of Arizona.
Which Week 1 loser will bite as underdogs this Sunday?
Since 1996, at least two underdogs have won outright in Week 2 when spotted 7.5 points or less following a season opening defeat. Which teams have the best shot at continuing the trend this Sunday? Here are the options as of now: Texans (+5), Bears (+7), Colts (+7.5), Redskins (+2.5), Browns (+7.5), or Saints (+6.5). Our guess is Cleveland.
Despite losing 21-18 to the Steelers last week, Browns fans must be giddy over the performance. The defense, led by safety Jabrill Peppers and linebacker Christian Kirksey, held the potent Pittsburgh offense to just 14 points. In addition, how about rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer throwing for 222 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT on 20 of 30 passes versus a solid pass defense. Cleveland won the time of possession battle (31:10), too, though were aided by 13 Pittsburgh penalties.
In what analysts expect to be a defensive struggle, the Cleveland unit will need to put in an encore performance Sunday against the Ravens for the Browns to pull off the shock upset. The Ravens are a perfect 5-0 SU against rookie quarterbacks under head coach John Harbaugh, holding the youngsters to a 60.2 passer rating combined. But here’s some good news as far as the betting market is concerned: the Browns are 4-5 SU and ATS versus the Ravens as a single-digit dog since 2000. Cleveland is getting closer to reaching the playoffs. A win here could build some momentum for a Wild Card run this season.