Stuckey: My 5 Favorite Week 2 NFL Games on Sunday’s Betting Slate

Sep 16, 2018 10:23 AM EDT

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold

  • Overreactions from Week 1 of the NFL season have created betting value in Week 2.
  • The Bills (+7.5) may be one of the worst teams in the NFL, but they are in a good spot against the Chargers.
  • The Jets (-3) looked great on Monday Night Football, but are bettors giving them too much credit?

You have to love the overreactions after Week 1 of the NFL season. Like clockwork, those hot takes lead bettors to the poorhouse in Weeks 2 and 3.

This is the NFL, where most teams are within a field goal spread of each other on a neutral field. Teams are never as bad or as good as they seem at their lowest or highest.

I like to incorporate this buy-low/sell-high philosophy into metrics-based analysis and what I see on the field when capping the NFL.

I’ll have good weekends and bad, but hopefully come out ahead by the end of the year. Most importantly, I’d just like to share the insight into what I’m seeing to facilitate discussion.

Let’s take a look at the five games that jump out to me in Week 2.

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Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills

  • Spread: Chargers -7.5
  • Over/Under: 43
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

I told you it was going to be ugly. Look, I’m not happy about betting the Bills, either, as I have them rated as the worst team in the NFL. However, that doesn’t mean Buffalo won’t have betting value throughout the season.

With running back LeSean McCoy publicly stating that he needs to do everything possible to help out quarterback Josh Allen in his first career start, I expect a heavy dose of the run game. While I’m not a huge Allen fan, the rookie does have some wheels, which could help.

I don’t think the Bills will let Allen do too much through the air Sunday. A focused commitment to the running game not only protects Buffalo’s young quarterback, but it’s the best way to attack this Chargers defense — which ranked dead last in yards per rush (4.9) in 2017.

Here are a few other reasons why I like the matchup today:

  • Buffalo might have the worst offensive line in football, but Los Angeles is missing star defensive end Joey Bosa (foot) and defensive tackle Corey Liuget (suspension).
  • Speaking of offensive lines, L.A. has its own issues on that front and will be without its right tackle Joe Barksdale (foot). Sam Tevi will make his second career start in his place.
  • The Bills also should have an advantage at kicker in the swirling winds at Orchard Park.
  • Even if the Chargers move the ball, they might have trouble scoring touchdowns in the red zone, as they did all last year (28th). L.A. finished fourth in yards last season, but only 13th in points. Led by their excellent safeties, the Bills can potentially avoid breaking more times than not when they do bend.

Additionally, home dogs off a loss of 40+ points are 10-3-2 ATS since 1995. While I’m not a big trends guy, that does fit with my buy-low/sell-high NFL capping philosophy.

Plus, taking 7.5 point underdogs in the NFL is never a bad idea. Since 2003, road favorites of more than seven points have an ATS record of just 74-95-1 (43.8%) for an ROI of -12.2%.

The Bills should put up a solid effort in their home opener against a notoriously slow-starting team traveling across country. Buffalo could get blown out again, but I won’t regret taking the hook on the home side and a piece of the under.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

  • Spread: Jets -3
  • Over/Under: 43
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS



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