Rebounds Coming For DeVonta Smith And Hunter Renfrow

When Ted Lasso’s Dani Rojas said “Football is life,” his legs said soccer. But his eyes . . . his eyes shouted the NFL. As we get pumped for Sunday, here’s our final predictions and picks for Week 2’s remaining 15 games. The following betting odds are for picks against the spread, as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFL Week 2 picks and predictions

Each week of the NFL season features the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting sub-plots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities.

With that in mind, here are our preliminary assessments of how each game might proceed, including two major questions surrounding each team’s execution of its offense.

Cleveland Browns (-6.5) vs. New York Jets

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

While Jacoby Brissett operates as a game manager, apparently Joe Flacco is on a different trajectory. The veteran QB is on pace for 1,003 pass attempts. Even more interestingly, his 59 attempts last week weren’t even a career-high (he’s thrown 60+ three times). Nineteen of those passes went to his backfield. By Jets standards, this team is already in midseason form.

Keep an eye on how Cleveland utilizes Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. They’ll play again on Thursday. Historically, some coaches have opted to only partially work their starting RB to keep them fresher for Thursday. Since Cleveland has two stalwart backs, this might not apply. But something to monitor in a game that should go Cleveland’s way.

Against-the-spread prediction: Browns
Moneyline winner: Browns

Detroit Lions (-1.5) vs. Washington Commanders

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

What can we expect from D’Andre Swift? If “not much,” then at least this year’s Lions have plenty of capable receivers to choose from. If “more than not much,” then carry on. Detroit has the firepower to hang another 30+ points on an unsuspecting opponent — in this case, a Washington defense that couldn’t contain the Jaguars last weekend. While the fantasy world eagerly invests in Carson Wentz and Curtis Samuel, the biggest under-the-radar stars today realistically could be Jared Goff, D.J. Chark, and T.J. Hockenson.

Against-the-spread prediction: Lions
Moneyline winner: Lions

New Orleans Saints (+2.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

A tough game to figure out, mostly because so injuries have impacted so many key players. Imagine a Bucs offense missing three of their top four receivers, or the Saints rolling with a heavy dose of Dwayne Washington and Tony Jones? As of Saturday, advantage Saints. If Kamara sits, you might see an updated assessment at the top of this page by Sunday morning.

Against-the-spread prediction: Saints
Moneyline winner: Saints

New York Giants (-1.5) vs. Carolina Panthers

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey have faced off only once: in October 2018, when they were both held in check on the ground. But they both crushed it through the air, and that might be what we see today. I’m not expecting Barkley to rumble for 9+ yards per carry again (or even 6+), but 14 combined receptions seems realistic in a contest that might come down to the final possession.
Against-the-spread prediction: Giants
Moneyline winner: Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) vs. New England Patriots

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

With T.J. Watt out and Mac Jones appearing healthier, this line has shifted from +1.5 to +2.5 in the past few days. I remain undaunted. Pittsburgh has the advantage thanks in part to an offense that should move the ball better than the Patriots’. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if New England runs it 35+ times in an effort to wear down the Steelers and make this game come down to field position.

Against-the-spread prediction: Steelers
Moneyline winner: Steelers

Jacksonville Jaguars (+4.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Imagine for a moment that Week 2 ends with Jacksonville and Houston leading the AFC South. It’s very possible. Just over eight months after these same Jags dashed the hopes of Indy fans everywhere, this rematch features a young Jacksonville squad that can compete with the Colts provided Jonathan Taylor doesn’t run all over them. I’m bracing for a nail-biter.

Against-the-spread prediction: Jaguars
Moneyline winner: Colts

Miami Dolphins (+3.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

How good is Miami’s running game versus Baltimore’s? Sunday’s contest could come down to which team moves the ball better on the ground.

Keep close tabs on whether Chase Edmonds loses more touches to Raheem Mostert and whether J.K. Dobbins returns in only a limited capacity. Both teams are strong postseason contenders and will need to establish the run throughout the season. Miami had 18 RB rushing attempts last Sunday, and Baltimore had only 15. I’m expecting those numbers to rise in this matchup.

Against-the-spread prediction: Dolphins
Moneyline winner: Ravens

Los Angeles Rams (-10) vs. Atlanta Falcons

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

An ugly loss for the Rams last week, and a heroic loss for the Falcons. Sunday’s contest should go differently. I’m expecting Allen Robinson to snap back and for Cam Akers to get enough run — even if it’s garbage time — to justify why he’s part of a two-headed backfield and is not merely Darrell Henderson’s lesser half. This should be a get-right game for the defending champs and a back-to-the-drawing-board game for a Falcons club that needs to install a franchise QB.

Against-the-spread prediction: Rams
Moneyline winner: Rams

San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

If the 49ers lose this week, we’ll hear a lot of noise coming out of San Francisco. But I don’t think they’ll bring on the noise, and I certainly don’t think they’ll bring on the funk.

Lance has started only four games since completing his 2019 collegiate season. He’ll need all season to acclimate, if not longer. Meanwhile, Seattle’s defense isn’t good enough to win games, and we should see an even better Niners defense in Week 2. I’m anticipating to see the Seahawks struggle to move the ball, leading to enough punts to help the 49ers win the field-position battle. Even if they’re not finding the end zone, Robbie Gould’s field-goal kicking might be all they need.

Against-the-spread prediction: 49ers
Moneyline winner: 49ers

Dallas Cowboys (+7) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Two 0-1 squads facing more questions than answers. No doubt, Dallas is in more trouble without their starting QB for the coming weeks. In a battle between a rebounding Joe Burrow and a backup Cowboys QB, I like Cincy winning on the road. That said, don’t expect Dallas’ strong defense to roll over. Cooper Rush is playing for a Week 3 start, and I think he’ll find solace in the warm, football-curved embrace of CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, and other loving teammates.

Against-the-spread prediction: Cowboys
Moneyline winner: Bengals

Denver Broncos (-10) vs. Houston Texans

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Don’t count out the Broncos! Oh, you haven’t counted them out? Well, don’t count them out for a blowout. They sharply outplayed the Seahawks last week (discounting those two goal-line fumbles). In fact, their 443 total offensive yards were more than the team had in any game last season, and they limited Seattle to only 271 offensive yards.

The disparity could be comparable or even greater against Houston. Don’t expect Rex Burkhead to save these Texans again.

Against-the-spread prediction: Broncos
Moneyline winner: Broncos

Las Vegas Raiders (-5) vs. Arizona Cardinals

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Last season, the Cardinals were the last undefeated team. Now they’re on the verge of going 0-2, and the point spread has shifted from -3.5 on Tuesday to -5 today. We’ll soon find out whether the Cardinals’ disastrous Week 1 loss is a sign of things to come, and we’ll also learn if the stacked Raiders offense (and a rebounding Hunter Renfrow) can compete in the fierce AFC West.

I want to believe that Arizona will keep this one close, even if Kyler Murray has to put the team on his back. He might have to given the injuries and suspension that have ravaged a squad that looked so good on paper.

Against-the-spread prediction: Cardinals
Moneyline winner: Raiders

Chicago Bears (+10) vs. Green Bay Packers

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 18
  • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

It’s been 16 years since the Packers have opened the season 0-2. Last year they dropped their first game and then rattled off seven straight victories. No doubt, Green Bay isn’t down-and-out just because they lost their No. 1 receiver this offseason. While Justin Fields helped will his team to an impressive win over the Niners last weekend, doing the same in Green Bay seems out of reach.

Against-the-spread prediction: Bears
Moneyline winner: Packers

Buffalo Bills (-10) vs. Tennessee Titans

  • Date: Monday, Sept. 19
  • Start time: 7:15 p.m. ET

If you saw what the Bills did to the defending champs on the road, wait until you see what they can do at home against the sliding Titans. It’s not Tennessee’s fault. I mean, yeah, they traded their all-world No. 1 receiver, and Treylon Burks isn’t (yet) a comparable replacement. But unless Derrick Henry dictates the pace of this game, it could get away from Tennessee quickly. And so could the season — just look at how tough their schedule is.

Against-the-spread prediction: Bills
Moneyline winner:  Bills

Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings

  • Date: Monday, Sept. 19
  • Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

It was a 2-point spread for the Eagles a few days ago. Now it’s 2.5. I’m still comfortable with at least a four-point victory for Philly. Minnesota has a strong offense, as always, and their defense reportedly should be much better this year. That said, I like the Eagles at home with a strong four-headed running game (including Jalen Hurts) and one of the better young WR tandems in the NFL (i.e. don’t underestimate DeVonta Smith).

Against-the-spread prediction: Eagles
Moneyline winner: Eagles

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