Week 2 NFL Betting Picks: The 5 Spreads & Totals To Lock In Early

Credit:

Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Newton

Sep 16, 2020, 06:30 PM EDT
  • Two road underdogs. Three unders. Our staff highlights the five Week 2 NFL picks they locked in early.
  • Find out which spreads and totals they found value on and which odds they would bet them until.

What are the early betting edges for Week 2? Our staff breaks down five picks they made right away.

Note that the following odds are as of Monday evening, but you can compare real-time lines across multiple sportsbooks with our NFL Odds page.

Early Week 2 NFL Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead to that analysis.

Pick
Bet Now
Lions +6 at Packers
Patriots +4.5 at Seahawks
DraftKings
DraftKings
Browns-Bengals Under 44.5
Jets-49ers Under 43.5
BetMGM
FanDuel
Bills-Dolphins Under 42
DraftKings

Travis Reed: Lions +6 at Packers

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday

The Packers put up 43 points on the Vikings while the Lions blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, so the perception of these two teams after one week could not be further apart. But my simulations think this line is too high in what is likely an overreaction to how the teams performed in Week 1.

I bet the Lions at +6 but given the importance of key numbers, I would not bet it at 5.5 and would instead wait to see if the line creeps back up later in the week.

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Chris Raybon: Browns-Bengals Under 44.5

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET on Thursday

Despite their name-brand talent, the Browns aren’t a high-powered offense. They averaged 20.9 points per game in 2019 (22nd in the league) and mustered only six points in Week 1.

Now after a season opener in which Nick Chubb saw only 10 carries and the team failed to convert an ill-advised fake punt, we’ll probably see a less aggressive, more run-focused game plan from head coach Kevin Stefanski in a winnable game on a short week — as offensive coordinator for the Vikings last season, Stefanski ran 48.3% of the time, the fourth-highest clip in the NFL.

Rookie Joe Burrow almost pulled off a last-second comeback in his NFL debut, but he averaged only 5.4 yards per attempt. The Browns defense is not as stout as the Chargers, but going on the road on a short week does not exactly scream “coming out party.”

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Mixon

Burrow may also not have the support of an efficient run game: Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard picked up only 76 yards on 20 carries in Week 1 (3.8 yards per carry), while Cleveland just held Baltimore’s dynamic Lamar Jackson-led rushing attack to just 107 yards on 30 attempts (3.6 YPC).

I bet this at 46 but like it down to 44.

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Chris Raybon: Jets-49ers Under 43.5

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday

Jimmy Garoppolo won’t get top wide receiver Deebo Samuel back for at least another couple of weeks, and wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Richie James Jr. are battling hamstring injuries. That means Garoppolo will have to rely on throwing to his tight ends and running backs, positions that accounted for 66% of his targets in Week 1.

Raheem Mostert’s 76-yard touchdown reception notwithstanding, targeting these positions will lead to shorter completions and require longer time of possession to score.

San Francisco is also shaky on the interior offensive line: Daniel Brunskill is a new starter at guard, and the 49ers may be down to their third-string center with starter Weston Richburg (knee) on PUP and backup Ben Garland (ankle) failing to suit up in Week 1.

So we’ll get the better of the two offenses in this game at less than 100% while traveling across country for a sleepy early start against a listless Jets offense that doesn’t have the ability to force San Francisco into a shootout: New York averaged only 17.3 points per game last season and needed extended garbage time just to get 17 in Week 1 against a defense of similar quality to San Francisco in Buffalo.

The Jets and 49ers both played to totals of 44 in Week 1, but the 49ers offense the Jets will face won’t be nearly as aggressive (or effective) throwing as the Bills were last week, and the Jets offense the 49ers will face has zero resemblance to that of the Kyler Murray-led Cardinals.

I would bet this down to 41.5.

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Matthew Freedman: Bills-Dolphins Under 42

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday

The under didn’t hit last week, but Bills games tend to go low because of the team’s complementary style of play.

The Bills defense was Nos. 2 & 6 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric in 2018-19, and on offense, the team tends not to run up the score. Instead, the Bills prefer to control the ball. Last season they were No. 7 with a 45.0% run rate. The season before that, No. 4 at 46.4%.

In Week 1, the Bills allowed just 4.8 yards per play while averaging only 5.0 yards themselves. This is not the kind of team that finds itself in shootouts.

In three-plus years with head coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are an A-graded 31-20 to the under (18.9% ROI), and with run-focused scattershot quarterback Josh Allen, the under is 20-9 (34% ROI).

Additionally, the Bills are even more content with a grind-the-clock approach to game management on the road, which has resulted in an astounding under record of 12-2 (67.1% ROI) in Allen’s starts outside of Bills Stadium.

Last week, the Dolphins managed just 4.6 yards per play as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for a meager 191 yards and threw a loathsome three interceptions.

I doubt the Dolphins will do their part in Week 2 to drive the total to the under.

I bet this at 43 but like it until 42.

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Read more of Matthew Freedman’s early Week 2 bets


Travis Reed: Patriots +4.5 at Seahawks

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday

My simulations were bullish on the Patriots heading into the season, and nothing that happened in Week 1 is going to change that. Bill Belichick did what he does best: Utilize the team he has to put them in the best position to succeed.

It wasn’t the same offense that Tom Brady had, nor should it be.

While the Seahawks are a much better team than the Dolphins, I think the Patriots defense should be up to the task. One key factor to take into account is the home-field advantage that Seattle is losing by not having fans — teams like the Seahawks that have had the best home-field advantage in recent years have the most to lose with an empty stadium.

I would still take New England at +3.5, but it’s imperative to shop around and see if you can find a +4 or even a +4.5 if you have it available.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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