NFL Week 2 capsules


New York Giants at Washington Football Team


The Giants (0-1 SU and ATS) travel to Washington (0-1 SU and ATS) for a Thursday night divisional battle as both teams try to avoid 0-2 starts. The Giants scored as time expired in Week 1, so the 27-13 final was a bit deceiving, as the Broncos thoroughly outplayed them for most of the game. The Giants allowed 420 yards, forcing the Broncos to punt only on their opening drive and again with less than two minutes left. Washington fell to the Chargers 20-16, losing not only the game but also quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose hip injury forced him to the injured list. The lookahead line was Washington laying 3, but even with the uncertainty at quarterback, this number has moved only to 3.5, as the Giants’ unimpressive debut did not give lines makers much confidence. Despite winning the division in 2020, Washington lost to the Giants twice last season, but only by a combined four points. This Is the lowest total on the board at 41.5.


New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers


The Saints (1-0 SU and ATS) head to Carolina to take on the Panthers (1-0 SU and ATS) as both teams come off impressive opening victories. The Panthers held the Jets to 252 yards and sacked rookie Zach Wilson six times. Carolina led 16-0 until late in the third quarter before the Jets scored touchdowns in the last minute of the third and fourth quarters to fall 19-14. The Saints had to host the Packers in Jacksonville, Fla., due to the effects of Hurricane Ida and won 38-3 as 4-point underdogs. The Saints averaged only 4.4 yards per play, but their defense forced three turnovers and held the Packers to 2.9 yards per play. Jameis Winston ushered in the post-Drew Brees era by tossing five touchdown passes despite throwing for a modest 148 yards. The line opened at 3 and has held steady. As impressive as the Saints were in the opener, it will be interesting to see how bettors and bookmakers factor in the toll it might take on them to possibly be displaced for an extended period. The Saints swept the season series in 2020. The total is 44.5, with both teams playing to an Under in Week 1.


Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns


The Texans (1-0 SU and ATS) visit the Browns (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) in one of three games featuring a double-digit spread. The Texans had the lowest win total on the board entering the season, while the Browns were a trendy pick to contend for their first Super Bowl appearance. However, the Texans are already looking for their second win after defeating the Jaguars 37-21, while the Browns squandered a double-digit lead in a 33-29 defeat at the hands of the Chiefs. Still no sign of Deshaun Watson on the Texans’ depth chart, as Tyrod Taylor led the team to 449 yards of offense in victory. While the Texans allowed Trevor Lawrence to throw three touchdown passes in his debut, two came in the second half with the game well in hand. Lawrence also threw three interceptions. The Browns, 11-point favorites this week, led the Chiefs 22-10 in the third quarter and 29-20 in the fourth, piling up 457 yards of offense. However, a flurry of offense fueled by Patrick Mahomes and a -2 differential in turnovers for the Browns resulted in yet another narrow defeat at Arrowhead. The Browns beat the Texans 10-7 last November in a game when heavy winds wreaked havoc on both passing attacks. Odell Beckham Jr. was inactive for the opener and is questionable for this game. The total is 48.5.


Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears


Andy Dalton is favored as he faces his former team, with the line opening at 5.5 but having already been bet down to 3. The line movement is likely due to the promising Week 1 performance of Joe Burrow. Reports were discouraging during training camp regarding Burrow’s health, but the second-year QB hit 20 of 27 passes for 261 yards as the Bengals (1-0 SU and ATS) defeated the Vikings 27-24 in overtime. Burrow was certainly effective but was walking with a noticeable limp after a sack in the second half, something for bettors to keep in mind. The Bears (0-1 SU and ATS) showed some fight in their opening loss to the Rams, moving the ball efficiently but struggling to get off the field on defense. The Bears allowed 7.7 yards per play and were -2 in turnovers, losing 34-14 despite picking up 23 first downs and averaging 4.7 yards per play. The Bears were one of only three teams to record no tackles for losses.


Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins 


The Bills (0-1 SU and ATS) were favored to win the AFC East coming into the season, but it is the home team that looks for its second straight win. The Dolphins (1-0 SU and ATS) look to go 2-0 overall and in the division after they upset the Patriots on the road. Although the Dolphins were outgained by over 100 yards, a 2-1 turnover margin in their favor, including a late fumble recovery, helped them to victory. The Bills, on the other hand, outgained the Steelers by over 100 yards but lost the turnover battle 1-0 and had a punt blocked for a touchdown, leading to the biggest upset of the week based on the point spread. The Dolphins are 3.5-point home dogs and will add free-agent acquisition Will Fuller, a wide receiver who has completed a suspension that carried over from last season. The line opened at 3, being bet up to 3.5 perhaps based on the perceived sense of urgency for the Bills looking to avoid an 0-2 start. The total is 48.5.


Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts


The Rams (1-0 SU and ATS) were catching a point on the lookahead line, but a blowout victory in prime time coupled with a lackluster performance by the Colts (0-1 SU and ATS) has driven this line up to where the Rams are now laying 4 on the road. Quarterback Matthew Stafford paid early dividends for his new team, leading the Rams to a turnover-free victory in which they averaged nearly 8 yards per play. The Rams led the league in points allowed on defense a year ago and held the Bears to 14, causing two turnovers. The Colts were limited to 4.7 yards per play in their home loss to Seattle and scored a late touchdown to make the 28-16 final seem closer than perhaps the game actually was. The Colts’ offensive line is usually a strength, but injuries this summer were a cause for concern, and those concerns materialized when the Seahawks recorded three sacks and hit Carson Wentz 10 times. The total opened at 49 but has been bet down to 46.5.


Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals


The Vikings (0-1 SU and ATS) were 3-point favorites in Week 1 but lost a heartbreaker in overtime to the Bengals. On the other hand, the Cardinals (1-0 ATS and SU) won as 3-point dogs, thumping the Titans 38-13. The Cardinals dominated on the field as well as the stat sheet, piling up a 416-248 advantage in yardage and holding the Titans to under 4 yards per play. This line opened with the Vikings as 2-point underdogs on the lookahead line, but each team’s Week 1 performance contributed to pushing this past the key number of 3, and it has settled at 4. The Vikings were held to 61 yards rushing and had difficulty extending drives, going only 3-for-14 on third down, but rallied from 14 points down to force overtime. A controversial Dalvin Cook fumble in OT led to the Bengals’ victory, as the Vikings were on the fringe of field-goal range when Cook lost the ball. The total is 51.5. The Vikings look to avoid an 0-2 start with games looming against the Seahawks and Browns.


Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers


Both teams come off impressive upset victories. The Steelers (1-0 SU and ATS) held the Bills’ high-flying offense to 16 points, as a blocked punt and a strong defensive effort helped spring the upset. The Raiders (1-0 SU and ATS) won a wild Monday nighter, amassing nearly 500 yards while mounting a late rally to force overtime and defeat the Ravens. It will be interesting to see how bettors react to the Raiders’ victory, as Week 2 will be a short week on the road after a hard-fought, emotional game. Josh Jacobs was questionable going into the Ravens game, battling a toe injury and an undisclosed illness, but he scored two touchdowns and carried the ball 10 times, though for only 34 yards. The Steelers open as 6-point favorites, and the total is 48.5.


San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles


The 49ers (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) covered early numbers against the Lions but failed to beat the closing number of 9 due to a wild back-door cover. The 49ers led by 24 with two minutes left, but a successful onside kick sandwiched between two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions resulted in an eight-point final margin. The 49ers averaged 8 yards per play and flashed rookie quarterback Trey Lance in the process as they defeated the Lions 41-33. The victory came at a cost, however, as running back Raheem Mostert was injured and is expected to miss eight weeks, while starting cornerback Jason Verrett tore his ACL and will be out for the season. The Eagles (1-0 SU and ATS) had one of the more complete and impressive victories of opening weekend, outgaining the Falcons by nearly 200 yards and holding them to 4.1 yards per play. This game opened at 5 on the lookahead line, but injuries for the 49ers combined with the Eagles’ convincing victory have it down to 3.5. The 49ers’ shootout in Week 1 has influenced the total, as it has risen from 45.5 to 50.


Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars


The Broncos (1-0 SU and ATS) punted on their opening drive, then didn’t do so again until the last minutes of a blowout victory over the Giants. Teddy Bridgewater orchestrated a convincing road victory in his debut for the talented Broncos, whose season win total and Week 1 line movement indicate optimism from sharp bettors. The Broncos led 27-7 when Daniel Jones scored as time expired, narrowing the final score a bit. Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy suffered a high ankle sprain and will miss six to eight weeks. The Jaguars (0-1 SU and ATS) were favored for the first and perhaps last time in Week 1, closing as 3-point road favorites in Houston before getting buried 37-21 in Urban Meyer’s debut. The final score was not indicative of the Jaguars’ performance, as they trailed 34-7 before finding the end zone a couple of times late in the game. This line had the Broncos as 2-point favorites when it opened, but the performance of each team has driven it up to 6, with the total at 45.5.


New England Patriots at New York Jets


A pair of rookie quarterbacks face off in an AFC East showdown, with each team looking to avoid an 0-2 start. The Patriots (0-1 SU and ATS) fumbled late as they looked poised to erase a 17-16 Dolphins lead before falling short. The new-look Patriots outgained the Dolphins by over 100 yards, but two turnovers and three field goals in the red zone ultimately cost them the game. The Jets (0-1 SU and ATS) were shut out for much of their opener against the Panthers, trailing 16-0 late in the third and 19-7 until a 94-yard drive got the final margin within a score. The Jets were held to 45 yards rushing, and 4.2 yards per play. The Patriots are favored by 5.5, up from 4.5, as Bill Belichick off a loss and against a rookie quarterback will surely be angles that entice bettors. A low total here at 42.5, as both teams stayed well Under the total in their openers. 


Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks


The Titans (0-1 SU and ATS) were gashed by the Cardinals in the opener and now go on the road to face another talented NFC West quarterback. The Titans will look to bounce back after giving up 416 yards of offense while being held to under 4 yards per play. The Seahawks (1-0 SU and ATS) will have their raucous fans back as they head home after a thorough victory over the Colts. The Seahawks averaged over 7 yards per play and hit Carson Wentz 10 times, sacking him three times. The Seahawks have predictably been bet up from 4.5 to 5.5, with the total rising from 49 to 53.  


Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Optimism surrounded the Falcons (0-1 SU and ATS) heading into the year, as they had outplayed their record in a lot of metrics in previous years but suffered bad luck in close games. That optimism was tempered when the Eagles dominated the Falcons in one of the uglier Week 1 performances. The market has certainly reacted accordingly, as the lookahead line was 7 but has nearly doubled to 13.5. The Falcons were held to six points on 4.1 yards per play in a 26-point home defeat. The Buccaneers (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) overcame four turnovers and 11 penalties while giving up 451 yards to defeat the Cowboys on a field goal in the final seconds. The Bucs swept the season series last year, including erasing a 17-0 halftime deficit in Atlanta. The total is 52.5.


Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers


The Cowboys (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) will have extra time to lick their wounds coming off a heartbreaking defeat 10 days before their Week 2 contest. The Cowboys forced four turnovers and compiled 451 yards of offense in Tampa Bay, but failure to convert in the red zone coupled with a poor night from kicker Greg Zuerlein led to their demise. This will be a road game, but one has to think the ever-popular Cowboys will be well-represented in Los Angeles. The Chargers (1-0 SU and ATS) ran out the clock as they had first-and-goal, defeating Washington 20-16. The Chargers outgained Washington 424-259. The Chargers opened as 1-point favorites on the lookahead line but are up to -2.5 after their impressive Week 1 performance. 


Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens


These teams have dominated the AFC the last two regular seasons, going 51-13 combined. The Chiefs (1-0 SU and ATS) defeated the Ravens (0-1 SU and ATS) 34-20 in Week 3 last year on “Monday Night Football,” leading 27-10 at the half. The Ravens let one get away in Week 1. After taking the lead in the final minute, they allowed the Raiders to tie and eventually win in overtime, and they will now face the Chiefs on a short week. The Chiefs opened as 3-point favorites, but a litany of injuries to the Ravens has driven this line up to 4. The Chiefs overcame a 12-point deficit to defeat the Browns and will look to go 2-0 against a Ravens team that allowed 491 yards in Week 1. The Chiefs allowed 8.2 yards per play, so it’s no surprise the total has gone up from 51.5 to 55.


Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers


Two of the worst performers of Week 1 square off Monday night. The Packers (0-1 SU and ATS) were held to a meager 229 yards and turned the ball over three times in an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the Saints. The Lions (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) rallied from down 41-17 late to miraculously cover the late number, losing only 41-33 after scoring 16 points in the final two minutes. The Packers have the right opponent to get their offense back on track, as the Lions yielded 8 yards per play and will now be without cornerback Jeff Okudah, the third overall pick in 2020, who ruptured his Achilles tendon. The Packers were -7 on the lookahead line, but even with the poor performance they have been moved to 10.5-point favorites as the Lions and their porous defense are unlikely to attract much support from the betting public. The total is 48.5.


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