NFL Pick'em: Week 2

NFL
Written by John Ferguson
September 18, 2020
1,144 views

NFL Pick'em: Week 2

NFL Picks.jpgAs we wait for trends to build for a new season, it's always essential not to ditch your process as you head into Week 2. We saw some underdogs have their day like the Cardinals and Jaguars, who I rolled into a parlay that hit. All-in-all we take what we learned from last week, use it alongside what we know from last season, and tweak out projections based on that.

My picks last week went 8-5-1 ATS (65%), 6-8 O/U (43%), and 7-7 SU (50%), giving a final line of 21-20-1. I'll take that as a break-even start given we hit on some of the underdogs. 

For this article, we go through every game on Sunday's slate, comb through stats from TeamRankings to find trends, and provide a final prediction and picks for every game. The view of the public is based on the expert consensus picks at BettingPros.

You can also find consensus odds from all major sportsbooks for Week 2 of the NFL here at FantasyData.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5) (O/U 47.5)

  • The Panthers scored 30 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 21.2 PPG.
  • The Bucs allowed 34 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 28.1 PPG -- fourth-most in the NFL.
  • The Bucs scored 23 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 28.6 PPG overall but just 25 PPG at home.
  • The Panthers allowed 34 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 29.4 PPG -- second-most in the NFL.
  • The public likes the Bucs to win and the over to hit as heavy favorites with them barely covering the spread.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 28-19.5 in favor of the Bucs.

If you had told Panthers fans before Week 1 that their team would put up 30 points in Teddy Bridgewater's debut, they probably would have been ecstatic. Unfortunately for them, the Raiders came out ahead, putting up 34 points. The defense was a glaring issue last season for the Panthers as they allowed the second-most points per game in the league, and it doesn't seem like we should expect much different this season. 

Tom Brady's debut with the Bucs wasn't as glamorous as we had all hoped. His pass catchers are dropping like flies as Mike Evans was nowhere near 100% healthy leading up to Week 1, and Chris Godwin was placed into the concussion protocol. Coach Bruce Arians mentioned after the game that Evans hadn't even practiced for the last two weeks leading up to the team's opener. Fellow Pat defect Rob Gronkowski also got off to a slow start in his return as the Robin to Brady's Batman. 

There aren't any standout betting trends for this divisional tilt, but even if there were, they wouldn't matter much with the number of changes each team saw before this season. The Panthers' incredibly weak defense could be just the slump buster Brady needs to prove the haters wrong. We could also see Leonard Fournette begin to take on a more prominent role this week, which will help lift the running game. 

Final Prediction: Bucs win 30-23

Picks: Panthers +8.5, Over 47.5

San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) at New York Jets (O/U 42)

  • The 49ers scored 20 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 29.6 PPG overall (third-most in the NFL) and 26.7 PPG on the road.
  • The Jets allowed 27 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 22.4 PPG overall, but just 19.5 PPG at home.
  • The Jets scored 17 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 17.2 PPG (second-fewest in the NFL).
  • The 49ers allowed 24 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 19.5 PPG.
  • The under has hit in each of the last four games between these teams dating back to 2004 and 7-of-9 games dating back to 1986.
  • The 49ers are 7-2 against the Jets dating back to 1986.
  • The public likes the 49ers to win and cover the spread as heavy favorites with the under hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 24.5-17.5 in favor of the 49ers.

Both of these teams didn't quite get off to the start they had hoped for this season. The 49ers let the Cardinals score on every red-zone drive in Week 1 and didn't look much like the dominating defense we saw last season. The Cards were my favorite underdog to win last week, and that pick proved to be true. The Niners are set to get reinforcements on offense this week as rookie first-round draft pick Brandon Aiyuk should make his season debut. That will be much needed as the team's top pass catcher, George Kittle, hurt his knee in Week 1. Kittle won't be practicing leading up to Week 2, but the team is optimistic that he should play.

The Jets looked so bad in Week 1. They were barely able to get three points on the board in the final second of the first half. They are easily the top pick for the worst team in the league early on and will likely struggle mightily in this matchup. 

This is probably one of the easiest games to pick, and the 49ers are essentially a lock to come out on top, making them a decent survivor pool pick. The trends also like the under to hit here, which is likely, given the Jets ineptitude on offense. 

Final Prediction: 49ers win 24-16

Picks: 49ers -6.5, Under 42

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-6) (O/U 49)

  • The Lions scored 23 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 21.3 PPG overall but just 19.1 PPG on the road.
  • The Packers allowed 34 points last week (tied for third-most in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed 20.7 PPG overall.
  • The Packers scored 43 points last week (most in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 23.6 PPG overall and 25.9 PPG at home.
  • The Lions allowed 27 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 26.4 PPG overall and 23.9 PPG on the road.
  • The Lions have covered the spread in each of their last six games against GB.
  • The Lions are 4-2 SU in their last six games against the Packers.
  • The under has hit in each of the last three games between these teams.
  • The public likes the Packers to win and cover the spread heavily with the over a near lock to hit.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 27.5-21.5 in favor of the Packers.

We get many divisional matchups early on this season as the Lions and Packers will square off in Week 2. The Packers had one of the most depressing offseasons of any franchise in the league from their horrid draft and all the uncertainty surrounding the future of Aaron Rodgers with this franchise. With help from the Vikings' swiss-cheese defense, Rodgers led the Pack to score the most points in the league in Week 1. Lost in the mix of the Packers offensive outburst, however, is the fact that the defense also allowed 34 points in that game. That will be something to keep an eye on moving forward, especially in these crucial divisional tilts.

The Lions looked poised to steamroll the Bears in Week 1. They were up 23-6 entering the fourth quarter and took their foot off the gas a little too soon. The Bears came back to take the lead and ultimately pulled off the biggest upset of Week 1. The Lions had a great chance to save face on their last drive, but rookie D'Andre Swift dropped a would-be winning TD pass. This is kind of how things went for the Lions last season as well while Stafford was healthy. The team looked great most of the time but continually wound up short in clutch situations, primarily because of their defense. All this team needs is average defensive play to be a more serious threat within their division.

The trends are interesting in this matchup, with the Lions winning four of their last six games against the Pack and covering the spread in each of their previous six games against them. Given how we saw Rodgers perform last week and the unreliable nature of the Lions defense still, I wouldn't expect them to pull off an upset here, but they could get away with keeping the game close enough to cover.

Final Prediction: Packers win 28-24

Picks: Lions +6, Over 49

Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts (-3) (O/U 48)

  • The Vikings scored 34 points last week (tied for third-most in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 24.6 PPG.
  • The Colts allowed 27 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 23.3 PPG overall, but just 19.6 PPG at home.
  • The Colts scored 20 points last week. In 2019, they scored 22.6 PPG overall and 24.5 PPG at home.
  • The Vikings allowed 43 points last week (most in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed 19.4 PPG overall and 22.1 PPG on the road.
  • The Colts have won each of their last five games against the Vikings dating back to 2000. 
  • The under has hit in 6-of-7 games between these teams dating back to 1988.
  • The public likes The Vikings to win and cover with the over hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 25.8-22.8 in favor of the Colts.

This is another matchup featuring two teams looking for redemption after a disastrous Week 1. The Vikings got taken out to the shed by the Packers as their barely-there defense gave up the most points in the league. The silver lining here was that their run defense made some solid stands at the goal line, but their secondary is still absolutely dreadful. It could somehow be worse than the unit that allowed the most receptions in the league last season. The Vikes running game continues to be the focal point of their offense as Kirk Cousins tried to do enough to keep the team from losing. 

Much like Brady with the Bucs, Philip Rivers' debut with the Colts didn't exactly go as planned. The Colts' final drive especially was eerily reminiscent of how countless Chargers games looked last season. The team just needed one strong final drive to stay in the fight, but they choked. Rivers choked, and they couldn't get it done despite being one of the heaviest favorites entering the week. The Jags were another team that I had mentioned last week that was one of the best bets to upset as an underdog. The Colts may look to run more this week. Nyheim Hines surprisingly got the goal-line work early and often and plunged in for a TD last week. He was also one of the most involved pass catchers on offense. Rookie Jonathan Taylor will be thrust into a larger role quickly as Marlon Mack was sent to I.R.

Oddsmakers are going back to the well with the Colts as favorites here in what should be a closely-contested matchup. I get it, the Vikes defense is atrocious, but so was Rivers. The Colts defense also couldn't do enough to stop an obviously rebuilding Jags unit. Now they'll have to face a much more competent offense with one of the best running games in the league. I'm with the public here that the Vikes are a great bet as an underdog.

Final Prediction: Vikings win 27-24

Picks: Vikings +3, Over 48

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-9) (O/U 42)

  • The Jaguars scored 27 points last week. In 2019, they averaged just 18.8 PPG.
  • The Titans allowed just 14 points last week (fourth-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed 20.6 PPG overall and 23.8 PPG at home.
  • The Titans scored 16 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 24.9 PPG.
  • The Jaguars allowed 20 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 24.8 PPG.
  • The Titans are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against the Jags.
  • The home team is 8-2 over the last 10 games between these teams.
  • The Jags haven't won at Tennessee since 12/22/13.
  • The Jags are 9-16 all-time on the road against the Titans/Oilers dating back to 1995.
  • The public likes the Titans to win but the Jags to cover with the under hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 25.8-17.8 in favor of the Titans.

The Jags are coming off a season-opening upset against the Colts, and the Titans marginally pulled off a win in a low-scoring Monday Night Football finale. The Jags were one of my favorite underdogs last week as the lines in favor of the Colts just didn't sit right with me. For all the negative narratives surrounding this team through the offseason, the offense really shouldn't be changed much. Meanwhile, if they can get their defense to perform just around average, that should suffice to keep their games close. That's pretty much what happened last week. 

The Titans are looking for Ryan Tannehill to build on the success he had last season that helped thrust this team into the playoffs. So far, so good as they were able to edge-out a Broncos team that has been one of the more stingy defenses in the league. Derrick Henry should feast in Week 2 as the Jags run defense could continue to be one of the worst in the league again this year.

There are many strong and long-standing trends here pointing towards the Jags having no shot at beating the Titans on the road. That's reflected in the spread of the Titans being nine-point favorites. While I don't see them pulling off another upset, nine points is a lot to give with the season being so young. I still like the Jags to cover in this game and keep it within a TD, and I like the over in this one.

Final Prediction: Titans win 27-20

Picks: Jags +9, Over 42

New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-5.5) (O/U 42)

  • The Giants scored 16 points last week (tied for fifth-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 21.3 PPG overall and 23.5 PPG on the road.
  • The Bears allowed 23 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 18.6 PPG -- fourth-fewest in the NFL).
  • The Bears scored 27 points last week. In 2019, they averaged just 17.5 PPG overall (fourth-fewest in the NFL) and 16.6 PPG at home.
  • The Giants allowed 26 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 28.2 PPG overall (third-most in the NFL) and 30.4 PPG on the road (tied for most in the NFL).
  • The home team has won each of the last five games between these teams dating back to 2010.
  • The Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Bears.
  • The public likes the Bears to win and the under to hit with the Giants a heavy favorite to cover the spread.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 23.8-18.2 in favor of the Bears.

The Giants looked like they would take the lead into halftime against the Steelers in Week 1. They couldn't stay in the fight, though, as Ben Roethlisberger quickly regained his form. Darius Slayton was basically the entire offense for the G-Men as he put up 102 yards and two TDs in the game. The heart and soul of this team is Saquon Barkley, who disappointingly ran for just six total yards on 15 carries. The Giants have no business trying to go toe-to-toe with anyone really in the passing game, and if they can't get that running game some space, it's going to be a long season.

The Bears had the most magical performance of Week 1. They were down 23-6 heading into the fourth quarter, and their win probability was 2% at that point per Next Gen Stats. They came back to take the lead and pull off a massive upset against the Lions with some help from rookie RB D'Andre Swift dropping a would-be winning TD. Trubisky looked like Trubisky for most of this game, but he has always found a way to stick it to the Lions in the past and did enough to keep his job for another week. I honestly didn't think he would make it through this game how he started, but he pulled it off. He'll have another shot at securing his job against a Giants defense that doesn't scare anyone. The Bears could also be more assertive with David Montgomery a week more healthy in the backfield.

The Giants didn't travel well last season as their 30.4 PPG allowed on the road was the most in the league. The home team also has a strong winning trend here. These are all enough for me to pick the Bears, but you can never be comfortable with them.

Final Prediction: Bears win 21-17

Picks: Giants +5.5, Under 42

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Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) (O/U 52.5)

  • The Falcons scored 25 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 23.8 PPG overall and 26.6 PPG on the road.
  • The Cowboys allowed 20 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 20.1 PPG.
  • The Cowboys scored 17 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 27.1 PPG overall and 32.1 PPG at home -- second-most in the NFL.
  • The Falcons allowed 38 points last week (second-most in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed 24.9 PPG.
  • This is the highest the O/U has been in a matchup between these teams dating back to 1985.
  • The Falcons have won three of the last four games against the Cowboys.
  • The public likes the Cowboys to win and the over to comfortably hit with the Falcons the favorite to cover.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 29-24.5 in favor of the Cowboys.

This could be the shootout of the week here as it comes in with the highest total of the week. The Cowboys have been two different teams when it comes to their home/away splits. Their 32.1 PPG scored at home last season was second-best in the league behind the 49ers. This gave them a drastic swing of 10-points compared to their road average of 22.1 PPG. They underwhelmed last week in what we expected to be a shootout as well. I don't see that happening again here.

The Falcons were quite the opposite of the Cowboys last season as their home/away splits favored them being on the road. Their defense helped antagonize the Seahawks into a shootout last week as they gave up the second-most points in the league. The running game was virtually non-existent for the Falcons last week as game flow led Matt Ryan to throw for 450 yards on 54 attempts. He supported all three of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage going over 100 receiving yards.

Given the home/away splits for both teams supporting massive shootout potential, I wouldn't be surprised to see the total of this game clear 60 points. Neither team's defense saw much of a difference in points allowed from a home/away standpoint, making it tougher to predict a winner outright, but I like the Cowboys chances at home.

Final Prediction: Cowboys win 31-30

Picks: Falcons +4.5, Over 52.5 

Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at Miami Dolphins (O/U 41)

  • The Bills scored 27 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 19.6 PPG overall and 21.2 PPG on the road.
  • The Dolphins allowed 21 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 30.9 PPG overall (most in the NFL) and 33.8 PPG at home (most in the NFL).
  • The Dolphins scored just 11 points last week (second-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 19.1 PPG.
  • The Bills allowed 17 points last week. In 2019, they allowed just 16.5 PPG -- second-fewest in the NFL.
  • The Bills are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Dolphins.
  • The over has hit in eight of the last 10 games between these teams and each of the last three.
  • The public likes the Bills to win and cover with the over slightly hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 23.2-17.8 in favor of the Bills.

The Bills performed pretty much as expected last week against a weak Jets team, winning by 10 points. QB Josh Allen looked happy to have a new weapon as he and Stefon Diggs seemed to click right away. The running game here also seemed as sharp as ever with Devin Singletary and Zack Moss shaping up to be a menacing duo with Allen always a threat to run it in himself. The Bills defense picked up where it left off and will look to hold it's opponents under 20 PPG again this season on average.

For all the tweaking the Dolphins did in the offseason, they still looked like the same Dolphins team. The running game got nowhere with Jordan Howard, and Matt Breida was nowhere to be seen. The passing game also continued to have no answer against Bill Belichick. Their luck won't change much here despite getting to head home.

The trends further support the Bills dominating this matchup as they're 7-3 over their last 10 games against the Fins. The surprising trend here was that the over had hit so often. With the total set just around 41 points, I guess that's possible, but I wouldn't bet on it as the Dolphins can drop an absolute dud again, leaving the Bills holding the bag to hit the over on their own.

Final Prediction: Bills win 26-14

Picks: Bills -5.5, Under 41

Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (O/U 45.5)

  • The Rams scored 20 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 24.6 PPG overall and 26.4 PPG on the road.
  • The Eagles allowed 27 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 21.8 PPG overall and just 16.8 PPG at home.
  • The Eagles scored 17 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 23.2 PPG overall but just 19.7 PPG at home.
  • The Rams allowed 17 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 22.8 PPG.
  • The Eagles have won and covered the spread in each of their last six games against the Rams dating back to 2005.
  • The Eagles have put up 30 points or more in each of their last four games against the Rams.
  • The Rams haven't won a game in Philly since 09/09/01.
  • The over has hit in each of the last four games between these teams.
  • The public likes the Eagles to win and cover slightly with the over barely hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 22.8-22.8 as a true pick'em.

The Rams candidacy for the bounce-back team of the year has officially begun. It didn't exactly go off with a bang as they barely squeezed by the Cowboys in Week 1, but a win is a win. The Rams' retooled defense did a surprisingly good job of keeping Dak Prescott in check, allowing him to just throw for 266 yards with one TD while sacking him three times. They didn't have an answer for Ezekiel Elliott, however, as he went for over 100 yards from scrimmage with two total TDs. Still, it was a much better than expected outcome for L.A. as they now travel to face the wounded Eagles.

The Eagles were my lock of the week last week, and that blew up in my face. I knew that the Washington pass rush could be a problem, but it made the game downright unmanageable for Carson Wentz and company. Wentz was sacked eight times in the game and hit six more times on top of that. He fumbled twice while losing the ball just once. Dallas Goedert was the only bright spot on offense for Philly as he put up an 8/101/1 line. The running game was non-existent but could be helped with Miles Sanders expected to return this week. OT Lane Johnson is also likely to return after missing last week.

The home/away splits for last season were not pretty for Eagles fans as they saw their team score a full TD less at home on average. Luckily, their defense helped balance that out as they were much stronger at home, allowing 11 fewer PPG at the Linc. The Eagles have dominated the Rams in the past, and despite their lack of weapons in the passing game right now, I think that could be enough for me to give them an edge here, especially if their defensive trend at home remains strong this season.

Final Prediction: Eagles win 24-23

Pick: Over 45.5

Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) (O/U 40.5)

  • The Broncos scored 14 points last week (fourth-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 17.6 PPG -- fifth-fewest in the NFL.
  • The Steelers allowed just 16 points last week (tied for fifth-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed 18.9 PPG -- fifth-fewest in the NFL.
  • The Steelers scored 26 PPG last week. In 2019, they averaged 18.1 PPG overall and 22 PPG at home.
  • The Broncos allowed just 16 points last week (tied for fifth-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed 19.8 PPG overall and 21.6 PPG on the road.
  • The home team has won in each of the last five games between these teams, and Denver has been the home team in four of those games.
  • The Broncos are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games against the Steelers.
  • The Broncos have won four of their last five games where they were an underdog against the Steelers.
  • The public likes the Steelers to win and slightly cover with the under hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 23.8-16.8 in favor of the Steelers.

The Steelers are looking to build on their momentum after a Week 1 win while the Broncos shake off their close loss.

The Broncos offense was seen as one of the biggest winners of the offseason as they completely retooled to give young QB Drew Lock all the weapons he needs to succeed. He didn't do that in Week 1, throwing for just 216 yards and one TD. His line kept him clean, too, as he took no sacks and was only hit five times. Second-year TE Noah Fant served as the team's top pass catcher with Courtland Sutton sidelined. Sutton returned to practice this week, and his return would be a big boost for this offense. Melvin Gordon found the end zone in his first game for Denver but also lost a costly fumble. Fellow RB Phillip Lindsay was hurt in Week 1 and could miss time, making Gordon a potential bell cow here.

The Steelers took a quarter or two to shake the rust off, but Big Ben was back to connecting with JuJu Smith-Schuster in no time. It looked like neither missed a beat and if both stay healthy all season, this could return to being one of the top passing offenses in the league with Diontae Johnson acting as a reliable WR2. RB James Conner was hurt in this game, but backup RB Benny Snell Jr. took over and shined in his place. All-in-all, the Steelers offense is in a really good place right now, and their defense was able to capture two INTs and three sacks against the Giants.

The trends are intriguing for this matchup. You could easily argue, based just on those, that the Broncos could have a legitimate shot at winning this thing. If the game were in Denver with full stands, that might have been a more plausible argument. But in Pittsburgh, with Ben looking healthy and the Broncos again struggling to cross the 20-point mark this season, I don't think so. 

Final Prediction: Steelers win 23-17

Picks: Broncos +7, Under 40.5

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Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals (-7) (46.5)

  • WFT scored 27 points last week. In 2019, they averaged just 16.6 PPG -- fewest in the NFL.
  • The Cardinals allowed 20 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 27.6 PPG overall and 29.2 PPG at home.
  • The Cardinals scored 24 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 22.6 PPG.
  • WFT allowed 17 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 27.2 PPG overall and 25.4 PPG on the road.
  • Washington has won 10 of its last 12 games against the Cardinals.
  • The home team is 8-2 over the last 10 games between these teams.
  • The Cardinals have only been a 7-point favorite against Washington once dating back to 1985. It happened back on 12/11/94. They won that game by just two points.
  • The public likes the Cards to win and cover as heavy favorites with the over slightly hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 26.8-19.8 in favor of the Cards.

Karma got me here. After relentlessly making fun of the Washington Football Team, they beat the Eagles by 10 points in Week 1. The process was right with the evaluation here. Their offense still stunk. Their defense was just even more potent than anticipated, and the Eagles were just too ravaged by injuries to protect their players and make plays happen. With this defensive performance, we have to respect how close games could be with WFT this season as their defense could keep them competitive.

The Cardinals were my favorite underdog of the week last week. They played the 49ers tough last season, and the combination of their offseason upgrades and the 49ers downgrades and injury concerns all pointed towards an upset. Kyler Murray picked up where he left off and quickly got comfortable with newcomer DeAndre Hopkins targeting him 16 times. Murray didn't light the sky on fire, but he ran for 91 yards and a TD. He'll need that scrambling ability again this week against WFT's pass rush.

The trends here are solid in favor of WFT, but these trends also span many, many years, and we have nothing to rely on given the state of each franchise. I saw enough from WFT last week to know they can probably keep the game close with their defense, but ultimately you have to like the Cards to win this. My favorite pick here is the under.

Final Prediction: Cardinals win 23-18

Picks: WFT +7, Under 46.5 

Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5) at Los Angeles Chargers (O/U 47.5)

  • The Chiefs scored 34 points last week (tied for third-most in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 29.9 PPG -- second-most in the NFL.
  • The Chargers allowed just 13 points last week (third-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed 21.6 PPG overall and 24.1 PPG at home.
  • The Chargers scored 16 points last week (tied for fifth-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 21.1 PPG.
  • The Chiefs allowed 20 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 20.2 PPG.
  • The Chiefs are 11-1 in their last 12 games against the Chargers.
  • The Chiefs are 8-3-1 ATS over their last 12 games against the Chargers.
  • The Chargers have been held to 17 points or fewer in five of their last 10 games against KC.
  • The public likes the Chiefs to win and cover heavily with the over hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 28-19.5 in favor of the Chiefs.

The Super Bowl Champs get a long week of rest here, which is entirely unnecessary for them to dismantle this new-look Chargers squad. The Chiefs looked every bit as impressive in Week 1 as they did last season blowing the Texans out of the water. Rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire lived up to his first-round draft capital. The scary thing is they didn't even need to tap into his potential as a pass-catcher, which is where he shines. 

The Chargers went from bad to worse with their offseason changes. They had the most unconvincing win of the week easily as they were saved by Randy Bullock blowing out a tire on a chip-in field goal that should have sent this game into overtime. Tyrod Taylor struggled to complete 50% of his passes and was a nonfactor running the ball, which is supposed to be his saving grace. As long as Tyrod is under center, this offense will struggle to eclipse 20 points. The Chargers defense did its job holding rookie QB Joe Burrow under 200 yards and no passing TDs in his debut, adding three sacks and one pick.

The trends are firmly in favor of the Chiefs across the board here. It's just a matter of how much do they win by? I would slightly lean towards the under because you know that you are relying on the Chiefs to crush.

Final Prediction: Chiefs win 30-17

Picks: Chiefs -8.5, Under 47.5

Baltimore Ravens (-7) at Houston Texans (O/U 50)

  • The Ravens scored 38 points last week (tied for second-most in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 31.9 PPG (most in the NFL) and 36.5 PPG on the road (most in the NFL).
  • The Texans allowed 34 points last week (tied for third-most in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed 25.3 PPG overall and 23.9 PPG at home.
  • The Texans scored 20 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 23.9 PPG.
  • The Ravens allowed just 6 points last week (fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed only 18.2 PPG overall (third-fewest in the NFL) and 16.6 PPG on the road.
  • The Ravens beat the Texans 41-7 last season.
  • The home team has won in each of the last seven games between these teams. The Ravens have been the home team for five of those seven games.
  • The Ravens are 9-2 all-time against the Texans. 
  • The under has hit in each of the last four games between these teams.
  • The public likes the Ravens to win and cover heavily with the over hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 28.5-21.5 in favor of the Ravens.

The NFL schedule makers want to see Bill O'Brien fired as much as I do because you literally couldn't draw up a worse schedule for the Texans to start the season. They had the Chiefs last week and now face a Ravens team that was somehow more dominant on the road last season than at home. The Ravens also scarily looked better than last season in Week 1 as Lamar Jackson may have taken a step forward as a passer. He threw three TDs against the Browns in Week 1 and only needed his legs to carry him for 45 scoreless yards. The running game also added another dimension with rookie J.K. Dobbins looking every bit as good as Mark Ingram was in his prime.

The Texans are probably the most depressing team in the league right now. They're like that friend you have that you love hanging out with, but he has a girlfriend that you just can't stand, always keeping him from living his best life. Deshaun Watson is that friend, and Bill O'Brien is that girlfriend that desperately needs to get dumped. The silver lining in Week 1's loss for the Texans is that David Johnson looked as good as ever, which could help B.O.B. look less like a dunce for making that trade. 

The trends love the Ravens, and so should you. Like with the Chiefs game above, it's just a matter of how much do the Ravens win by?

Final Prediction: Ravens win 30-21

Picks: Ravens -7, Over 51

New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks (-4) (O/U 44.5)

  • The Patriots scored 21 points last week. In 2019, they averaged 25.5 PPG overall and 27.2 PPG on the road.
  • The Seahawks allowed 25 points last week. In 2019, they allowed 24.2 PPG overall and 28.6 PPG at home.
  • The Seahawks scored 38 points last week (tied for second-most in the NFL). In 2019, they averaged 24.7 PPG.
  • The Patriots allowed 11 points last week (second-fewest in the NFL). In 2019, they allowed just 14.4 PPG -- fewest in the NFL.
  • The over has hit in each of the last five games between these teams.
  • The Seahawks haven't been a favorite against the Patriots since 10/24/93.
  • The public likes the Seahawks to win and cover with the over slightly hitting.
  • Vegas has an implied total of 24.2-20.2 in favor of the Seahawks.

We get a Super Bowl 49 rematch here that gave us one of the most memorable game finishes. Only the faces are a little bit different now in the post-Brady dynasty for the Pats. Cam Newton made an early statement as a comeback player of the year candidate in Week 1, leading the Pats to victory and showing that rushing ability that made him a league MVP just a few years back. The offensive weapons are still lackluster for the Patriots, but with Cam in peak form, he can make all the plays needed to keep his team competitive. The Pats defense also looked strong despite their many offseason turnovers, but we haven't seen them against a man like Mr. Unlimited yet.

Russell Wilson looked sharp, completing all 12 of his first attempts last week. The Seahawks scored the second-most points in the league and may have finally committed to letting Wilson rip after all these years of holding him back. He has been one of the best deep-ball passers in the league for years and could be in for a career-year if their offense can stay healthy.

This is one of the most challenging games of the week to pick for me. The Seahawks secondary got torched by Matt Ryan last week to the tune of 450 yards, but Cam Newton is a much different player. He is also a very volatile player and pops up with absolute duds for some weeks. I have a feeling this could be one of those weeks, but also wouldn't be surprised if he led the team to another win behind a strong defensive performance. At the end of the day, I just don't have any signs pointing towards an upset though the Pats could keep it close enough to cover.

Final Prediction: Seahawks win 23-20

Picks: Pats +4, Under 44.5

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John Ferguson

John Ferguson is an avid Fantasy Football fanatic with 10+ years of experience in friends and family leagues, paying public leagues, and DFS Tournaments. Ferguson specializes in draft strategies, trade negotiations (Buy Low/Sell High) and DFS value picks amongst other parts of fantasy football analysis. When Ferguson isn’t spending time skimming over stats while at the beach, he follows the Oakland Athletics closely as a diehard fan and enjoys spending quality time with his beautiful wife and three children. A native of Monterey, California, Ferguson now calls Quintana Roo, Mexico home.