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NFL Week 2 Odds and Best Bets:  Patriots, Eagles, and Cowboys Getting Big Action

New England, Philadelphia, and Dallas all have exciting match-ups in Week 2. Our betting analysts discuss who will cover the spread.

From a sports betting perspective, it was a wild first week of the NFL season. Nine underdogs, including the Saints, Texans, and Steelers, won their games outright, let alone with the points. How will things play out in Week 2? Sports Illustrated's betting analysts have their breakdown below.

But first:

Here's our criteria for picking games:

  • All odds from SI Sportsbook
  • Each analyst must pick five games games
  • Three of the bets must be Against The Spread or Over/Under
  • The remaining two picks (if didn’t pick all five ATS or O/U) can be on the Moneyline (but at least one of those ML picks must be on an underdog)
  • We believe transparency is paramount in the world of sports betting, which is why we entrust Sharp Rank to keep track of all our picks/performance.

Frank Taddeo's Best Bet: Los Angeles -3.5

The NFL certainly did not do the Cowboys any favors in terms of scheduling in 2021. After beginning on the road against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay in Week 1, "Jerry’s Boys” will head out West to face Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys will score points thanks to Cee Dee Lamb and Amari Cooper in the passing game. However, the loss of defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence (foot) and the questionable status of Randy Gregory (COVID-19) leaves Dallas potentially down two vital players needed to slow down Los Angeles' passing attack. Expect the Chargers to start the season 2-0, while Dallas will remain winless heading into next Monday’s NFC East showdown against the Eagles.

Richard Johnson's Best Bet: 49ers -3

I was very impressed with what the 49ers did in Week 1 despite a late surge by the Lions to give 'em a scare and cover right through the backdoor. The Eagles rolled, but over a Falcons team that's pretty bad. Week 1 results can be wonky, I'm going with the better team by a field goal or more.

 Casey Olson’s Best Bet: Broncos -6 

Teddy Bridgewater is now 22-3 ATS in 25 career road starts after the Week 1 beatdown while visiting the Giants. Here in Week 2, the Broncos head down to Jacksonville to pick on rookie Trevor Lawrence and coach Urban Meyer, both of which got off to a rough start against a very lackluster  Texans. Meyer has been very transparent with his team vocalizing that this is a “build,” and they are still building. The Jags have now dropped 16 straight games heading into Week 2, and according to Meyer, it's going to take more time to turn this around. That said, Denver has the better matchups on both sides of the ball and Von Miller will no doubt get to the rookie passer often and early, making it a very long four quarters for Lawrence.

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Jennifer Piacenti's Best Bet: Cowboys +3.5

With an Over/Under of 55 points, SI Sportsbook expects a lot of points in this game, and so do I. The Chargers are favored as the home team here, but I saw enough out of Dak Prescott last week vs. a tough Tampa Bay team to know he will keep this game close. Ezekiel Elliott will be able to get going vs. the Charger’s Defense and Prescott can easily air it out given his array of playmakers for another 400 yards even if the Dallas defense does him no favors. 

Bill Enright's Best Bet: Steelers -6

The 2021 demise of the Steelers and rise of the Bills was a popular topic heading into Week 1 and for the most part, the majority of NFL pundits couldn't have had it more wrong. Pittsburgh was victorious over a team many expect to make it to the AFC Championship. As for the Raiders, they had an emotional roller-coaster of a win on Monday Night. But now the "Silver and Black" are now on a short week without their starting running back and playing in enemy territory. Outside of Darren Waller and with Jacobs out, the Raiders won't produce much offense. Pittsburgh was able to slow down a much more impressive offense in Josh Allen and the Bills and will have a field day with Derek Carr and a banged up Las Vegas offensive line. Home team by a touchdown is the easy pick, even better when only laying six points.

Sports Illustrated's Betting 101 series

Whether you are an experienced sports bettor or someone that is new to the scene, the Betting 101 series is perfect as a refresher course or guide to learn more. Check out our list of key terms that every sports bettor must know.

For a complete list of spreads for NFL Week 2, check out SI Sportsbook.

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