NFL Week 2 Picks: Late Slate Best Bets on 49ers vs Rams, Jets vs Cowboys, More

NFL Week 2 Picks: Late Slate Best Bets on 49ers vs Rams, Jets vs Cowboys, More article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Stafford (left) and Zach Wilson.

The Sunday late slate from which we're making NFL Week 2 picks isn't as juicy as last week, but there are still some intriguing matchups.

The Rams surprisingly dominated the Seahawks last week but now face the Goliath that is the 49ers. The Broncos can't afford to go 0-2 and host the Commanders. The Jets look to shock the world again and face the Cowboys.

Let's get to it. Here are our picks for the 4 p.m. ET slate of NFL Week 2.

NFL Week 2 Picks

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our NFL betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

GameTime (ET)Pick
4:05 p.m.
4:25 p.m.
4:25 p.m.
4:25 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NFL Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
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49ers vs. Rams

Sunday, Sept. 17
4:05 p.m. ET
Matthew Stafford Over 225.5 Passing Yards

By Brandon Anderson

As good as the 49ers are, the Rams have the best player on both sides of the ball. If LA has any chance to hang, it has to be because Matt Stafford had a great game against these beatable corners. This number is way too low. Stafford has gone over 224.5 passing yards in 23 of 27 games with the Rams (85%), with three of the four misses his final three games last season before missing the second half to injury.

If you really believe in the Rams and think they can win this game, you have to go all-in and bet L.A. to win the NFC West (+1100). A win here puts them 2-0 with head-to-head wins against both competitors.

If the Rams hang around, it's because of Stafford. If the Niners roll, Stafford will be throwing. Whatever weapons he's got left, this over is well in range. I'll take the prop and pass on a side.

Pick: Matthew Stafford Over 225.5 Passing Yards

Commanders vs. Broncos

Sunday, Sept. 17
4:25 p.m. ET
Broncos -3.5

By Stuckey

If backing Zach Wilson on the road against Dallas sounds scary, how about needing Russell Wilson to win by more than a field goal?

For the three of you still reading, that's exactly what I'm doing.

Despite losing by a point in their home opener, I saw some positive things from the Broncos offense under the tutelage of Sean Payton. There was significantly higher use of play-action and extra blockers in protection. It led to a very efficient day for Wilson, albeit void of explosiveness with an average depth of target of four yards, which was only higher than Desmond Ridder and Justin Fields. To his credit, Payton acknowledged that deficiency.

I anticipate we'll see a few more deep shots off of that play-action this week, especially if Jerry Jeudy makes his season debut. Payton said Jeudy was close to playing last week, so I'm optimistic he can provide that much-needed spark to the passing attack.

On the other side of the ball, Denver's defense underwhelmed in Week 1. It had the lowest pressure rate in conjunction with Damarri Mathis arguably having the worst corner performance in the league.

The good news is the run defense shined against Josh Jacobs, who only recorded 48 yards on 19 carries. Additionally, they will face a quarterback in Sam Howell, who held the ball way too long last week, which led to six sacks against a horrific Arizona defense that didn't generate an abundance of pressure. I don't think Howell is mentally ready to excel at this level right now, especially in a hostile environment against a more talented defense.

I'm happy to buy low on the Broncos against a young quarterback who isn't quite ready to excel at the professional level. A major coaching edge doesn't hurt, either.

Trending: Of 143 coaches in our Action Labs database, Sean Payton is the second-most profitable after a loss with a gaudy ATS record of 52-29 (64.2%) since 2003, covering by 3.7 points per game.

Jets vs. Cowboys

Sunday, Sept. 17
4:25 p.m. ET
Under 38.5

By Brandon Anderson

Both defenses ranked top five in DVOA last year and looked the part again in Week 1. The Jets held the Bills to 16 points and forced four Josh Allen turnovers, and it's clear this defense will have to step up to give Wilson a chance.

Teams often respond favorably in the first game with a backup QB, and if the Jets stay close, it'll have to be because they keep it low-scoring. And hey, if Wilson looks as bad as the Giants did last week, that probably hits the under, too. Week 2 unders with a total at 40 or below are 47-19-3 (71%) the past two decades.

Jets games finished at 40 points or below in 12 of 17 last year (71%), including seven of nine Wilson games (78%). We win this bet with an ugly 17-16 game or a 31-6 Cowboys blowout.

Pick: Under 38.5

Jets vs. Cowboys

Sunday, Sept. 17
4:25 p.m. ET
Jets +9

By Stuckey

Apologies in advance to anyone who decides to tail this bet.

I'm backing Zach Wilson, who I've continuously slandered since coming into the league.

My thoughts on the former BYU product have not changed. He's still a career backup — at best — in my eyes. However, I'm backing him here indirectly since I show value in the number, which I think is a bit inflated after the performance we saw from Dallas last week, in addition to Aaron Rodgers' unfortunate season-ending injury.

First off, what did we really learn about Dallas in that blowout win over the Giants on Sunday night that included a pair of non-offensive touchdowns? We already knew the Cowboys have an elite defense that's dominated in each of the past two seasons. The offense didn't have to do much of anything, so we didn't learn anything new there, either.

I also had questions about how Rodgers would play this season, especially behind a shaky offensive line. I certainly didn't have him rated as the same caliber of player we saw during his MVP campaigns, which means the drop-off from Rodgers to a backup isn't as massive as it used to be.

Plus, I'm really banking on the elite Jets defense to keep them in the game. The secondary can hold its own and the dominant defensive line could cause major problems for a Dallas offensive line that might not be at full strength.

Getting over a touchdown in a game with a total under 40 will always pique my interest, especially when I fancy the under. I believe both coaches will call this game conservatively to avoid costly mistakes, which I also believe Dak Prescott may do early in the season with the interception narrative swirling. The Cowboys know they are going up against Wilson, while the Jets know they have to win a low-scoring slugfest with their defense.

For all of his shortcomings, Wilson has found a way to cover four of seven as a touchdown-plus underdog in his short career. Maybe he can make a few plays with his legs against Micah Parsons and company that Rodgers couldn't.

But can he avoid the critical mistakes that Rodgers wouldn't make? That will likely decide whether Dallas wins by double digits. I'll take my chances this week with a Jets team that should come in with a chip on their shoulder after being written off all week. Everybody else should step up, similar to what we see in basketball in the first game after losing a star player to injury.

A trend to back the pick: The Cowboys crushed the Giants 40-0. Following a win of 35 or more points, teams have gone just 34-53-4 (39.1%) ATS since 2003.

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