NFL Week 2 Picks: 6 Predictions for Falcons vs Rams, Bengals vs Cowboys, Texans vs Broncos, More
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow.
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NFL Odds & Picks
Marcus Mariota took care of the football, going 20-of-33 for 215 yards without throwing an interception. The Falcons offensive line did not allow a sack, and the team as a whole only committed 55 penalty yards.
The Rams are clearly missing Andrew Whitworth in the trenches, and Cooper Kupp can only get their squad so far. Give me the Falcons inside of a key football number.
Also, heck of a jersey game!
Stuckey: I bet Atlanta +10.5 here and would play +10.
I believe the Falcons will be a feisty ATS team early in the season. The offense has more pop than some realize, and the defense at least has a strong cornerback group, which gives you a chance in the NFL. Plus, historically, we have seen improvement in the production of defenses under coordinator Dean Pees in his second season.
In regards to the Rams, while I don’t want to overreact to one game, I have my concerns about the defending Super Bowl champions. The defense may take a slight step back, while the offense might be in some trouble. Allen Robinson looked stuck in the mud last week, as did Cam Akers.
Maybe Matthew Stafford isn’t 100% healthy either, but I’m mostly concerned with the offensive line, which got absolutely abused against a Bills defense that didn’t blitz one single time. Now, Los Angeles is a bit beat up and will be without its starting center, which isn’t ideal against Grady Jarrett.
I think we all can agree, though, that was a throwaway game. Neither the Niners or Bears looked particularly good in that monsoon.
I still think the 49ers have a top-five unit on both offense and defense in the NFC. They now get to face a Seahawks team that I have graded as the 31st-ranked team in the NFL.
Seattle put its heart and soul into its win on Monday Night Football over the Broncos, but we all can agree they were not the better team. Denver fumbled twice in the red zone and had its new head coach make a bizarre coaching decision late in the game.
On one side, I’m getting a team the public is down on at home against a team everyone is suddenly higher on. I bet the 49ers every time in this position.
Chris Raybon: Jacobs was never one to play a big part in the Raiders’ passing game, averaging 1.5 receptions per game in 2019 and 2.2 in ’20 before spiking to 3.6 last season. That uptick was likely due to receiving backs Kenyan Drake and Jalen Richard missing a combined 12 games.
New Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels doesn’t ask his RB1 to play a major role in the passing game. In the last decade, not one McDaniels RB1 averaged more than 1.2 receptions per game, and nine of 10 averaged under 1.0. The trend continued in Week 1, with Jacobs seeing one target on 35 offensive snaps.
Jacobs averages 7.1 yards per catch in his career, so he could catch two passes and still hit the under on his yardage prop.
I’m betting Jacobs’ under on receptions and receiving yards at 2.5 and 15.5 at BetMGM.
Derek Farnsworth: The Bengals could have beaten the Steelers by three touchdowns, but luck was not on their side. They committed five turnovers, missed an extra point to win in regulation and missed a short field goal to win in overtime. Ja’Marr Chase also missed out on a spectacular touchdown by two inches.
If anything, I left that game more optimistic about the Bengals. Cincinnati improved its offensive line over the offseason, the defense is expected to be above league average and the offensive weapons are some of the best in football.
Asking a road team to cover a 7-point spread is a lot, but the Cowboys might be waving the white flag on their season already on the heels of Dak Prescott’s injury.
Most books have this spread at -7.5, so jump on the touchdown spread if you can find it.
John LanFranca: The Broncos were the fifth-slowest-paced offense in 2021. Then on Monday against Seattle, they played even slower.
Head coach Nathaniel Hackett is looking to avoid a repeat performance of last year with his offensive line, when they ranked 31st in adjusted sack rate on first and second down. Denver was 29th in the league in neutral pace a week ago, and there is no reason to expect a change in a game they are favored by double digits.
The Texans defense has shown signs of life, ranking 14th in DVOA in Week 1 after finishing 23rd in 2021. The addition of perennially underrated pass rusher Jerry Hughes has already made a difference.
When Hackett was the Packers offensive coordinator, his offense failed to clear this team total number at a 55% rate in 2021 despite having Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. The Broncos won’t have to push the pace against the Texans, so they’ll have to be incredibly efficient with their slow offense to score over 28 points.
Play the Broncos’ team total under 28.5 down to 28.
Derek Farnsworth: The Broncos were rather unlucky in their season opener against the Seahawks. They lost two fumbles at the goal line and then put together one of the worst potential game-winning drives I have seen in quite some time. Nathaniel Hackett is known for his play calling, but I’m not sure what he was thinking about in settling for a long field-goal attempt on that final drive.
Regardless, Russell Wilson is a big upgrade for the passing attack, the running backs should have success on the ground all season and this defense could be one of the best units in football when all is said and done.
Denver can’t afford to start their season 0-2 given the strength of their division. The Texans deserve credit for posting a tie in Week 1, but now they go into Denver and face a team that is very hungry for their first win. I see this game turning into a rout and there’s currently a 9.5-point spread out there for the taking.