NFL Picks on Week 2 Spreads: Giants vs Cardinals, Patriots vs Dolphins
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Daniel Jones.
Giants vs. Cardinals
While betting on the Cardinals sounds as pleasant as getting a root canal, let’s face it: This is a matchup of two bad teams.
I have no doubt that Brian Daboll will get the most out of his team and that everything went wrong for them in their 40-0 beatdown in Week 1 on Sunday Night Football. However, it might take more than a week to fix.
LT Andrew Thomas is questionable and if he’s unable to suit up or is limited, the Giants offensive line would be arguably the worst in the league.
Josh Dobbs was hardly an MVP candidate in Week 1, but the Cardinals managed to keep it close and ended up covering on the road against the Commanders, only losing 20-16.
We have to cut Dobbs some slack since he was essentially thrown into the fire with the Cardinals, who traded for him shortly before the season started and only had limited time to prepare with his new team before Week 1. Dobbs was in a similar situation last season with the Titans where he lost to the Cowboys 27-13 with limited time to prepare, then nearly upset the Jaguars on the road the following week 20-16.
Over the limited sample size of the past couple seasons, Dobbs has fared much better against man coverage and when teams blitz. The Giants use man coverage and blitz at the highest rate in the NFL.
The Giants shouldn’t be favored on the road by 3+ against any team in the NFL right now. I projected this spread closer to 2.5, and the most likely result is the Giants win by 3. It’s also going to be a lower-scoring game, making it even more of a premium to have exposure to the Cards getting +4.5.
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Dolphins vs. Patriots
The Patriots were the NFL’s unluckiest team in Week 1, which is a big reason why this is the matchup with the third-largest Luck Gap in our Luck Rankings.
New England lost to the Eagles despite gaining 130 more yards, getting seven more first downs and having three drives end on downs in Philadelphia territory. It was a misleading result.
The Patriots offense should be much better this season with a competent offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien. New England also gets an easier matchup this week against a Dolphins defense that ranks 31st in DVOA after one week.
I’m not sure you can actually slow down the Dolphins offense or Tyreek Hill. If anyone is going to have a good shot at doing it, though, it’s Bill Belichick.
I’m projecting this game as closer to Dolphins -1.5. I like Patriots +2.5, but I’d prefer to buy the extra half point at DraftKings to get to +3 so I can get to the key number.