Favorites went 10-5-1 straight up in Week 1 but dogs and favorites split 8-8 ATS. The biggest Week 1 moneymaker was the total, as unders went 11-5 including a perfect 3-0 in primetime games. Historically, Week 2 has been referred to as "overreaction week." The public only has a one-game sample size to judge every team. So if you played well and covered in Week 1, the public will automatically be inclined to bet on you this week. On the flip side, if you played poorly and failed to cover, the public will view you as an auto-fade. Wiseguys look to take advantage of this recency bias by buying low on the unpopular teams and selling high on the popular teams. Since 2018, dogs are 37-27 ATS (58%) in Week 2.
With these trends in mind, let's examine five NFL Week 2 games receiving sharp action from respected bettors ...
New England Patriots (0-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
This AFC clash is arguably the biggest buy low, sell high play of the week. It's also one of the fishiest lines. The Patriots got rolled in Miami, losing 20-7 and failing to cover as 3-point road dogs. Meanwhile, the Steelers picked up a big 23-20 road victory over the Bengals, winning outright as 7-point road dogs. This line opened with the Patriots listed as a 1.5-point road favorite. The public is shocked to see that the Patriots are favored and they're absolutely hammering Pittsburgh as a short home dog. However, despite 78% of bets backing the Steelers at DraftKings, this line hasn't moved off New England -1.5. This signals a sharp line freeze on the Patriots, with books reluctant to drop the number despite so much lopsided Pittsburgh betting. New England has rare fade the trendy dog value as an unpopular contrarian favorite. The Patriots are -120 on the moneyline. Teams coming off a 10-point loss or more in Week 1 have gone 40-25 ATS (62%) in Week 2 over the past decade. Injuries could play a big role in this one, as Mac Jones (back) is expected to play for the Patriots while the Steelers will be without TJ Watt (pectoral).
Arizona Cardinals (0-1) at Las Vegas Raiders (0-1)
Both of these non-conferences foes are looking to rebound from opening week losses. The Cardinals fell to the Chiefs 44-21, failing to cover as 6-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Raiders lost to the Chargers 24-19, failing to cover as 3.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Las Vegas listed as a 3-point home favorite. Pros have laid the points with the Raiders at home, steaming Las Vegas up from -3 to -5.5. Some books even touched -6 before falling back down to 5.5. Essentially all liability and movement is on the Raiders. Las Vegas is receiving 49% of bets but 69% of money, signaling a 20% sharp money bet discrepancy in their favor. If you want to be with the sharp line move but are wary of laying the worst of the number, Vegas could be worth a look on a teaser, taking them down to a virtual pick'em. The Cardinals have several key injuries in their defensive backfield, which could provide a heightened edge to the Raiders' prolific passing game.
Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
Both of these teams won and covered in Week 1. The Dolphins brushed aside the Patriots 20-7, covering as 3-point home favorites. Similarly, the Ravens edged the Jets 24-9, covering as 6.5-point road favorites. This line opened with Baltimore listed as a 4-point home favorite. The public is split down the middle and doesn't know whether to take the points or lay them. However, despite this even betting, we've seen the line fall from 4 to 3.5. In a vacuum, a line shouldn't move at all if the tickets are split. So this half point drop signals some respected money grabbing the Dolphins plus the points. Short road dogs +6 or less are 158-102 ATS (61%) since 2019. Tua Tagovailoa is 13-8-1 ATS (61%) in his career, including 7-3-1 ATS (70%) as a dog. We've also seen some respected under money come in, dropping the total from 46 to 44. Both teams went under easily in Week 1.
Carolina Panthers (0-1) at New York Giants (1-0)
The Panthers are coming off a 26-24 loss to the Browns, losing outright as 1.5-point home favorites. On the flipside, the Giants earned a gutsy 21-20 last-second win over the Titans, winning outright as 5.5-point road dogs. This line opened with the Giants listed as a short 1-point home favorite. Pros aren't outsmarting themselves on this one. They've gotten down hard on the G-Men laying short chalk, steaming New York up from -1 to -2.5. It will interesting to see if this line reaches the key number of 3, at which point we might see some Panthers +3 inflated buyback. The Giants are getting 56% of bets but 76% of the money, indicating just moderate support but heavy smart money. New York might be worth a look on the moneyline (-135) for those wary of laying the short points. Baker Mayfield is just 23-36 ATS (39%) in his career. Pros have also hit this over, pushing the total up from 42.5 to 43. Currently 60% of bets but 73% of the money is on the over.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-0)
This NFC South grudge match is one of the most heavily bet games of the week. The Bucs extinguished the Cowboys 19-3, easily covering as 2.5-point road favorites. Meanwhile, the Saints edged the Falcons 27-26, although New Orleans failed to cover as 5.5-point road favorites. This line opened with the Bucs listed as a 3-point road favorite. The public is all over Tom Brady and the Bucs laying the short number. However, despite 72% of bets taking Tampa Bay, we've seen this line fall from 3 down to 2.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Saints, with pros grabbing the home dog at the key number of +3. Divisional dogs are 156-131 ATS (54%) over the past three seasons. New Orleans also has contrarian buy-low value as a dog who didn't cover last week against a favorite who did. The Saints are only receiving 28% of bets but 48% of the money, a smart money bet discrepancy in their favor. Pros have also gotten down on the under, dropping the total down from 46.5 to 44.