Our second NFL Sunday of the year is just a few days away and if history is any indication, most of the hot takes you saw all week will look ridiculous come Sunday.
Remember when Tampa won at Atlanta in Week 1 of 2016? Everything ended up working out just fine for the Falcons, who represented the NFC in the Super Bowl that year. (Well, worked out just fine up until they blew that 28-3 lead.)
You will see that theme of fading the overreaction throughout this column. A week after having our most popular play be on the Bucs, three of us like another ugly side on the surface — in addition to a total on Sunday Night Football.
Let’s get into our staff’s favorite 20 NFL Week 2 bets and hopefully improve upon a 9-6-2 Week 1.
You will see a few of us directly oppose one another, which is healthy dialogue. The information and intelligent takes are the valuable parts of this exercise.
*All odds pulled from 5Dimes in the 8 a.m. ET hour on Sept. 14 (hence slight line variations are possible). Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
SUNDAY’S EARLY ACTION
Sean Koerner: Bills +7.5 (vs. Chargers)
1 p.m. ET on CBS
Make no mistake, the Buffalo Bills are a terrible football team and should be underdogs in this matchup. There is a bit of a Week 1 overreaction in this line after the Bills got waxed, 47-3, by the Ravens.
The blessing in disguise from that game is it allowed the Bills to officially move on from Nathan Peterman as they turn to their No. 7 overall pick of the 2018 draft, Josh Allen. The Wyoming product will surely have his fair share of rookie mistakes early on, but is still an upgrade over Peterman.
On the other side of the ball, we have a Chargers team that opened its 2018 season with a 10-point home loss to Kansas City. The Bolts will be without Joey Bosa again this week, which downgrades this defense more than people realize.
I think this line has a couple points of value, and getting the hook on a key number makes the Bills +7.5 my favorite bet this week.
Evan Abrams: Bills +7.5 (vs. Chargers)
1 p.m. ET on CBS
This was a very close call for me between going in on the Bills and going in on the Lions this week. I’ve always been a fan of bet the opposite of what you just saw, and in Week 2, you are normally offered the biggest gap between reality and recency all season.
The world just experienced Peterman starting for the third time, and I think we have all had enough, including the Bills. Over those three starts, Peterman had 1 TD, 7 INT, 3.5 Y/A and a laughable 16.8 passer rating.
Yes, the Bills had the worst VOA rating in a Week 1 since the expansion Browns lost, 43-0, to the Steelers in 1999, but there are a few reasons I am (gulp) backing Buffalo:
- Under Sean McDermott, the Bills are simply much better at home.
- I’m getting the hook off a key number.
- Los Angeles is missing both Bosa and Corey Liuget.
Take the points and watch the other 1 p.m. ET games.
Stuckey: Bills +7.5 (vs. Chargers)
1 p.m. ET on CBS
I could have easily gone with the Falcons or Dolphins, but I’ll roll with the home dog catching more than seven points — which is always a good proposition in the NFL in my book. Favorites of 7.5-plus points are 74-95-1 (43.8%) ATS since 2003 for an ROI of -12.2%.
I agree with almost everything that Evan and Sean stated above. I also think the Bills will use an even more conservative game plan in Allen’s first start. You can run on this Chargers team, and I anticipate the Bills might hand the ball off 40 times on Sunday.
That’s a good thing because it would limit the turnovers, which Peterman handed out like candy on Halloween when he was under center.
I love buying low in the NFL, even if I have to do so on the team I rate as the worst in the league. Along those lines, home underdogs off a loss of at least 40 points are 10-3-2 ATS since 1995. NFL teams are not as good or as bad as they appear on their best and worst weekends.
If it’s hard to put the bet in on an underdog and you’re not betting against the Patriots, you’re probably going to win more times than not in the NFL.