Week 2 of the NFL season is here.
Week 2 NFL Betting Odds
|(Odds courtesy of COVERS.COM)|
Jimmy Traina: Falcons -6.5 vs. Rams. The mantra for Week 2 in the NFL is the same as Week 1: tread lightly and don't go crazy betting the board. There will be a huge overreaction off of one week of play (Broncos -4.5 at the Giants for starters), but you shouldn't be swayed. We hit on the Saints -3 vs. the Falcons last week for our best bet. This week, we’re flipping the script and going with Atlanta to easily cover the 6.5-point spread at home against the Rams. Matt Ryan does not lose in the Georgia Dome. He is 33-5 there for his career. The Rams have a nice weapon in tight end Jared Cook, but they weren't overly impressive in pulling out a three-point win at home against the Cardinals last week. If they fall behind, which I expect, and have to throw the ball a lot, it won’t be pretty. I expect the Falcons offense to score with ease and put up 30-plus points. They moved the ball well against the Saints last week, but had a couple of turnovers and struggled on converting third downs. That won't happen at home.
Tom Mantzouranis: Texans -9.5 vs. Titans. Less rational minds might look at the Texans' narrow comeback win over the lowly Chargers and the Titans' win over the Steelers and come up with a smaller line. But Houston simply has too much for Tennessee to handle, on both sides of the ball. They're no longer new to winning, and have been battle-tested in ways the Titans haven't. They're simply a better, deeper, more professional squad. The Titans' dominant defensive effort in Week 1 had a lot to do with Pittsburgh's offense. Houston's offense is much better all around than the Steelers', and their offensive line won't let Matt Schaub hit the deck five times like Ben Roethlisberger did.
Stay Away From
Traina: Lions -1.5 at Cardinals. Good luck trying to figure out either of these teams. Detroit is on another level than Arizona when it comes to pure talent, but they are the Lions. It's always risky to expect them to pull of a road victory (2-6 away from the Ford Field in 2012).
Broncos -4.5 at Giants. The Giants should be an easy play here as people are clearly overreacting to Peyton Manning throwing seven touchdowns against the Ravens last week. Keep in mind, Denver was actually trailing at halftime before Baltimore completely collapsed. However, we hate what New York has done to its starting running back, David Wilson. Coach Tom Coughlin has benched him, ripped him publicly and brought in Brandon Jacobs. Meanwhile, Wilson hurt himself beyond the fumbles this week by ripping Giants fans. We have to see how he reacts this week before we’re ready to make a wager on the Giants.
Mantzouranis: Raiders -5.5 vs. Jaguars. I don't know why, but something keeps intriguing me about the Jaguars. Yes, I know the offense was a dumpster fire last week. But while Chad Henne isn't Peyton Manning, he's a lot better than Blaine Gabbert, and there actually is some talent at the skill positions in Jacksonville. Also: Their defense isn't half bad. They don't get any credit, but they did a pretty good job against a Chiefs offense that is superior to what Oakland will trot out. I'm far from all-in on Terrelle Pryor after just one week, and Jags coach Gus Bradley has some knowledge of mobile quarterbacks from his NFC West days with the Seahawks. Look, I'm not saying the Jaguars are good (they're not), I just think they'll be anxious to make some sort of statement after last week and, remember, this is the same Raiders team most people expected to be the worst in the league.
Best Of The Rest
Traina: Colts -3 vs. Dolphins. Here's a classic case of a line being out of whack based on last week's results. The Colts struggled at home against the Raiders because they couldn't stop Terrelle Pryor on the ground. The Dolphins pulled out a road win against the lowly Browns. Somehow, Indianapolis is only earning a field goal over Miami. I'd make this my best bet if I didn't love the Falcons so much. The Colts beat the Dolphins by three points at home in 2012. I think this Indy team is better than that one, especially with a more experienced Andrew Luck.
Bills +3 vs Panthers. Buffalo is one of those teams that played better in Week 1 than anyone expected, so we're a little leery here. EJ Manuel was impressive in his NFL debut, but the Bills gave the Patriots fits without getting much from C.J. Spiller (17 carries, 41 yards). We think that changes this week in front of the home crowd, which was rabid last week and clearly optimistic about the new quarterback and coach in town.
Mantzouranis: Rams +6.5 at Atlanta. I'm going opposite of Jimmy here. One thing, and one thing alone, is going to keep the Falcons from being a Super Bowl contender -- that offensive line. The Saints exploited it last week to the tune of three sacks, and the Rams' front seven is much better than New Orleans'. Steven Jackson may be supremely motivated against his old team, and I expect the Falcons to win, just not by a touchdown. Saints -3 vs. Buccaneers. The Saints have beaten Tampa Bay three times in a row, and the dark clouds hovering over the Buccaneers are just too ominous. A players-only meeting before the season even begins and reports the team is already about to quit on Greg Schiano? The Saints, unified more than ever by the return of Sean Payton and last week's win over Atlanta, will feast on a team that isn't playing as a complete, cohesive unit. Drew Brees said this week that he has a bit of a Revis Rule, as in, he'll try to avoid the Island at all costs. But even if Revis completely eliminates Marques Colston or even Jimmy Graham, who's going to stop the rest of the Saints' receiving options?