Now that we’ve had a look at the starters and picked some tidbits of information along the way, the fun should crank up Sunday. This week’s NFL Weekend Spreads and Predictions: Week Two may give you a little something new to consider.
Note: Below includes current Las Vegas odds and predicted game finals to gauge levels of certainty.
NFL Week Two Spreads and Predictions
49ers: It’s an interesting week for the Niners. To score 31 points on a day of lost opportunities has to be encouraging heading into Week Two. But to have third-string running back Raheem Mostert leading in rushing yards and tight end George Kittle with the same amount of targets as all four starting receivers combined is a bit discouraging looking ahead.
Bengals: This revamped Bengals team led the Seattle Seahawks for most of the game before losing by a single point. I’m inclined to believe that it’s no fluke because this ex-Sean McVay staffer, Bengals rookie head coach Zac Taylor, has quarterback Andy Dalton reaching his best day as a pro first time out. Impressive, and now the entire team is impressed enough to believe.
The Last Word: Quite the interesting and potentially explosive game, especially if Nick Bosa is good to go and fifth receiver Deebo Samuel emerges for the 49ers. However, the Bengals nearly pulling off the upset dealing with Seattle’s noise last week under a new coaching staff and system was too impressive to discount.
Spread: Bengals -1.5 / Predicted Final: Bengals 30, 49ers 24
Cardinals: 2019 NFL Draft first-pick darling Kyler Murray threw 54 passes last week but only 308 yards to show for it. He rallied his team from an 18-point hole to tie the Detroit Lions in overtime, 27-27. Minus that final quarter, the Cardinals have not done enough to warrant them earning more than a third-place finish in their division.
Ravens: The Ravens, one team that made me appear smart in Week One’s edition, certainly look like a team others will dread in the AFC. While they weren’t expected to have much trouble in Miami, they also weren’t expected to have as much fun as they did either. This could garner some attention if it continues.
The Last Word: Murray received top-tier attention during the off-season but it is Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes currently dominating the double-threat quarterback category. This is a war by land and by air. Can’t promise there will be blood but there will definitely be chills, thrills, and rockets flying overhead.
Spread: Ravens -13 / Predicted Final: Ravens 38, Cardinals 18
Chargers: The Chargers beat the Luck-less Indianapolis Colts and deserve at least some credit. But in the process, seven players came out of the game injured and now they find themselves doing some patchwork. Running back Austin Ekeler might be more productive out of the backfield this week.
Lions: Matthew Stafford threw touchdowns to three different targets, one of which was impressive rookie tight end, T.J. Hockenson. He and Danny Amendola figure to be a pair for the banged-up Chargers secondary. A careful Stafford is a dangerous Stafford.
The Last Word: Home field advantage is a huge plus here and the Lions are due a plus or two. They played well in Week One and need only to learn to seal the deal.
Spread: Chargers -2.5 / Predicted Final: Lions 30, Chargers 28
Vikings: An impressive showing from the Vikings has the NFC North looking like a fight to the finish. Xavier Rhodes was back and was effective, as usual. Safety Anthony Harris earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. They will need a similar effort defensively as they face a confident Aaron Rodgers.
Packers: Despite Rodgers proclaiming that the Packers “have a defense now,” his offense still scored just 10 points after limiting Chicago’s opportunities. This is a concern because the Vikings have a defense, too. The Packers will need considerably more output on the offensive side.
The Last Word: The Vikings are the most banged up of these two teams, Packers list no significant injuries. Still, most will play and Minnesota appears to have the danger and momentum.
Spread: Packers -3 / Predicted Final: Vikings 27, Packers 23
Jaguars: The phrase of the week in Jacksonville, “Gardner Minshew.” Well, he did play well but no betting the farm just yet, he’ll face a better secondary this week. Still, it was encouraging for them and good things are in his future.
Texans: The Texans had the New Orleans Saints on the ropes until the very end last week that could cost them if they’re not aware of a pending letdown. One thing I do know, Deshaun Watson will be chomping at the bit to drop dimes on this somewhat high-profile secondary and get his team back in the win column.
The Last Word: Texans weapons not named DeAndre Hopkins will need to step up here for the team to succeed. Minshew, however, looked effective when not under pressure. J.J. Watt‘s redemption day is key.
Spread: Texans -9 / Predicted Final: Texans 24, Jaguars 20
Patriots: The Patriots, quite honestly, looked like world-beaters (‘World Champions’ is such an overused phrase, don’t you think?) last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m inclined not to predict another upset all season regarding any team they play but we’ll see. For now, this would be a good spot to get the back-up quarterback some second-half reps.
Dolphins: Highly embarrassing outcome last week at the hands of the Ravens. It can’t help but feel like punishment to face Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
The Last Word: Short and sweet (or bittersweet if you hate that team), this won’t be pretty for fans of the ‘Fins…but I’ll go easy on them.
Spread: Patriots -18.5 / Predicted Final: Patriots 42, Dolphins 0
Buffalo Bills at New York Giants
Bills: It was a mild upset but an upset nonetheless that the Bills beat the New York Jets in Week One. Quarterback Josh Allen didn’t set the world on fire and only receiver John Brown‘s stats stood alone (seven receptions from 10 targets, 123 yards, 1 touchdown). Against the Giants they’ll need more players to step up.
Giants: Not sure why but the Giants appeared to play better than the final score in the end. Tight end Evan Engram was thoroughly entertaining but having receiver Cody Latimer as your biggest threat again is a concern. Sterling Shepard is now ruled out, too. Saquon Barkley is the real deal and bound to get his in Week Two. The defense will need to do more still.
The Last Word: Have to go with the Giants here as Engram and Barkley seem more dangerous than every weapon the Bills possess combined.
Spread: Bills -1.5 / Predicted Final: Giants 24, Bills 21
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers
Seahawks: The Seahawks barely escaped falling at the feet of the new-look Bengals at home and until there are undisputed facts in support, the Steelers facing them at home and being triumphant seems logical enough. However, betting against Russell Wilson and that late-game magic the Hawks are known to have from time to time is not advisable. The team is still finding its newer way and set to improve knowing an important division game follows.
Steelers: Hard to place too much emphasis on them scoring only three points against the Patriots now that champs have done it in back-to-back meaningful games (yes, counting that Super Bowl). The coaching this week should be closer to level playing fields on both sides and the Seahawks secondary wasn’t exactly the Legion of Doom revisited.
The Last Word: The Steelers should get off to a faster start and gain confidence. Look for the passing game to come alive but stay for the defensive talent.
Spread: Steelers -4 / Predicted Final: Steelers 27, Seahawks 24
Colts: This might be a dog fight. The Titans were highly impressive in shutting up supporters of that other Ohio team going to the Super Bowl. Shutting down the Colts may not be so easy, with or without Andrew Luck. Running back Marlon Mack ran for a whopping 174 yards on 25 carries and a score behind road-graders. Jacoby Brissett is good enough to keep opposing secondaries honest. The Colts will come strong here.
Titans: Not surprised at all that the Titans beat the Cleveland Browns. What’s surprising is that they appeared to whoop them on both sides of the ball — didn’t the Browns have a defense last year? Tight end Delanie Walker and rookie receiver A.J. Brown were big-time contributors. They will need an additional weapon this week against the Colts.
The Last Word: In the end, the Colts have too much muscle, possibly punching it in late.
Spread: Titans -3 / Predicted Final: Colts 24, Titans 23
Cowboys: America’s team made supporters proud last week and it’s easy to see why the Cowboy faithful is all smiles. The preseason performance by the defense carried into Week One and figures to continue. Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper had over 250 combined receiving yards and Dak Prescott appears as fired-up over his choices as I’ve seen him.
Redskins: The Redskins got off to a 17-0 lead last week against the Philadelphia Eagles and if that happens again, they win this one. Their barely-known receiving corps was led by Terry McLaurin (125-yard day) but Case Keenum hit several targets for excellent balance. Returning to the starting lineup is Adrian Peterson. This is a definite plus.
The Last Word: The Cowboys defense has been consistent so far this season and Keenum’s is known to have bad days after good ones.
Spread: Cowboys -5.5 / Predicted Final: Cowboys 23, Redskins 17
Chiefs: The Chiefs are forced to go without the dangerous Tyreek Hill this weekend and will feel it. Sammy Watkins looked amazing last week but if he’s on your fantasy team you probably fear potholes in the field. Patrick Mahomes will still manage to find and pull a rabbit from his hat, so who’s worried?
Raiders: It doesn’t have the extra spicy sauce of the old rivalry but this just might be a re-heating of beef. The post-A.B. drama didn’t seem to affect the team as a whole much. In fact, Jon Gruden was adamant in his feelings towards it all moving forward in his, “Move on…I can’t deal with it anymore,” comments.
So moving on, receiver Tyrell Williams rolled up over 100 yards and rookie Josh Jacobs said hello to the world with 85 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. Chucky firing up the Black Hole has got to be worth three points the following week, too.
The Last Word: This game threatens to be closer than first glance. The Raiders are playing better of late. No Tyreek Hill and with Oakland facing a better secondary last week, one has to deduce a few fireworks in Week Two. It’s a good week to make some noise, Raider nation. UPSET ALERT!
Spread: Chiefs -7 / Predicted Final: Raiders 32, Chiefs 31
Bears: Didn’t much care for most of what went on for the Bears offensively in Week One. Mitchell Trubisky hit just 57.8 percent of his throws and missed seeing quite a few opportunities in addition. No player reached 20 rushing yards and, frankly, they made the Packers defense look better than they actually were.
Broncos: The Packers played good defense last against this offense and an equally good defense awaits them this week.
The Last Word: Just as faith comes, it goes when it comes to the Bears offense. Might be wise in the near future to consider a move. There is a back-up or two right now looking better than what they have.
Spread: Bears -2.5 / Predicted Final: Broncos 13, Bears 10
Rams: The Rams really appeared to be several points better than the Panthers last week but the rust was too thick, being relatively the first preseason game for most of the starters. Eric Weddle‘s head injury is not serious and he’ll play barring any setbacks. This is news because the secondary played better with him on the field. Todd Gurley was limited but effective and he will undoubtedly make his presence felt again.
Saints: The Saints, with that amazing comeback on Monday night to defeat the Texans, have to be riding a wave of invisibility coming into the Memorial Coliseum to face the Rams. They bring all the usual weapons plus tight end Jared Cook, who seems to enjoy playing them.
If the Saints pull this off the city of New Orleans and Saints fans wherever they may be can finally put the past in the past and sleep a full eight hours again.
The Last Word: A good night’s rest is overrated. Aaron Donald is on a mission to dominate after barely getting noticed (that alone should worry the state of Louisiana) and Wade Phillips will likely apply considerably more pressure on Drew Brees than what Houston was able to do. The Rams defensive talent and a fast-track turf team on real grass are enough to make up my mind quickly. Get your popcorn ready but be forewarned, this may not be as close as most expected.
Spread: Rams -2 / Predicted Final: Rams 31, Saints 24
Eagles: The Eagles could be expected to get off to better start this week versus the Falcons. Carson Wentz threw three touchdowns on a decent defense. That can certainly carry inspired play. Their collective weaponry is possibly more potent than what the Falcons were beaten by in the air but Atlanta couldn’t stop the run.
Falcons: Quarterback Matt Ryan might be pressured into throwing longer passes this week and that could lead to turnovers. It will be important not to play the majority of the game from behind.
The Last Word: Overall, the Eagles should return to postseason form after last week’s wake-up call. Still, both teams are a fireworks show when they get going. One thing is for sure. Atlanta needs to up their ground game. Devonta Freeman‘s 19-yard day (on eight carries) won’t cut it Week Two.
Spread: Eagles -1.5 / Predicted Final: Eagles 30, Falcons 24
Browns: The Cleveland faithful will get a second chance to see their team’s Super Bowl potential Monday night in the New York spotlight. A good week of practice says they show up ready to play. Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. have a bit to prove after last week but to no one but themselves.
Jets: By now you know Sam Darnold is out indefinitely and Trevor Siemian is the current starter for the Jets. This might work out okay. Siemian won’t rattle a great deal under pressure, as it’s not his first rodeo. If the game plan is smart most of what’s called is short to intermediate passes to various receivers including setting up screens to Le’Veon Bell. It should work just fine and there be little to no drop-off. Bell will certainly be on both fantasy owners’ and the Cleveland defense’s radars. This could possibly work out better fantasy-wise so do not sit Bell out of fear the unknown.
The Last Word: The Browns defense should get to form here and make it difficult for New York. It won’t be easy on the road but I’ll give ‘potential’ another shot.
Spread: Browns -6.5 / Predicted Final: Browns 27, Jets 24
That’s a wrap! Remember, if you’re betting, good luck but use caution and be sure to return for next week’s NFL Spread and Predictions: Week Three.