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Week 1 of the NFL season might not have been the most exciting week of football on the field, but for gamblers with the right edge, it was a solid opportunity to make a bit of money.
In our first week picking here at Business Insider, we went a strong 10-5 against the spread. It’s a great note to start the year on, but gambling is a fickle mistress, and will turn on you on a dime if you don’t put in the work. Every week can’t be a 10-5 week, but string enough of them together while keeping your losing weeks to a minimum and you can have yourself a fine season.
So it’s back to the grind for now. We can enjoy our winnings later, for now there’s more work to be done and picks to be made. Below are all of our picks against the spread for Week 2 of the NFL season.
All lines come courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
Houston Texans (+6) at Cincinnati Bengals (Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Bengals -6
The logic: A game between two teams that performed well under their potential in Week 1, with the Texans no-showing at home against Jacksonville and the Bengals getting shut out at home by the Ravens. We’re backing the Bengals simply because Thursday night games have been historically terrible, and it seems hard to believe the Bengals offense could be that incompetent two straight weeks. But I would be careful with my money on this one.
Philadelphia Eagles (+5.5) at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Eagles +5.5
The logic: The Chiefs are coming off a huge win in New England, but watching that game it feels like it took the whole kitchen sink to do it. Kareem Hunt and Tyreke Hill will still be a threat to break big plays, especially against the Eagles’ questionable-at-best secondary, but the Birds have enough talent to keep things close, especially if Reid has a traumatized flashback to his days of coaching in Philadelphia and unwittingly wastes his first half timeouts.
Cleveland Browns (+8) at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Browns +8
The logic: The Ravens shut out the Bengals in Week 1, and it seems unlikely that that’s a trend a that continues. Last week we bet the Ravens behind the logic that every game in the AFC North seems to be a three point game anyways, so why not take the points, and this week we’re using that same logic against them to bet the Browns. Also, Deshone Kizer showed that he’s not afraid to drive the field for a fourth quarter backdoor cover – something you love to see out of a young quarterback.
Buffalo Bills (+7.5) at Carolina Panthers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Panthers -7.5
The logic: The Panthers have won their home opener by seven points or more each of the last three seasons. While the Bills looked a bit better than expected on the defensive side of the ball Week 1, they were playing the Jets. Look for the Panthers to try and make a statement at home to tell fans that last season was a fluke and they are back at their winning ways.
Arizona Cardinals (-7) at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Colts +7
The logic: Betting against Scott Tolzien on the road last week was probably the easiest money available on the board. This week, Indianapolis comes back home, and according to the team, the Colts still haven’t firmly decided on a starter as of Wednesday. Jacoby Brissett looked somewhat passable as a quarterback with the three throws he made on Sunday in relief, and at the very least would be able to throw the ball high and far enough for Doug Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton to possibly make some plays. That said, wait until a starter is officially determined before putting any money down.
Tennessee Titans (-2) over Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Titans -2
The logic: Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars are going 2-0? Nah.
New England Patriots (-6.5) over New Orleans Saints (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Saints +6.5
The logic: Everyone and their mother is jumping on the Patriots in this game, and it’s easy to reason why. The Saints didn’t look great losing on Monday night to the Vikings, and anyone with half a brain would want to bet Belichick with 10 days to prepare over Sean Payton on a short week. But that’s just the thing – too many people like the Pats here. SportsInsights has 82% of the tickets on New England in this game. When the world zigs, we zag, and if it means we get to take a home dog, even better.
Minnesota Vikings (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Steelers -5.5
The logic: The Vikings haven’t beaten the Steelers on American soil since 1995. After a slow start against the Browns to open the season, look for the Steelers to put on a show at home with Le’Veon Bell playing his way into shape and Antonio Brown continuing to be faster than anyone else on the field.
Chicago Bears (+7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The pick: Buccaneers -7
The logic: Buccaneers had to wait an extra week to get their season started – expect them to come out running.
Miami Dolphins (+4) at Los Angeles Chargers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Dolphins +4
The logic: These are two quarterbacks that I promised myself I would never bet on for the rest of my life after the 2015 football season. If I have to break that promise, I’m going to take the points.
New York Jets (+13.5) at Oakland Raiders (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
- Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
The pick: Raiders -13.5
The logic: Normally, I would close my eyes and pick the Jets here – look back to the Raiders 12-4 season last year, and you’ll see that they won just one game by more than 14 points. But despite a more-valiant-than-expected effort last week against the Bills, the Jets seem to actively oppose the idea of winning this year, and the Raiders are currently one of the top three teams in football by my count. It’s the home opener of one of the Raiders last years in Oakland, and they’ll want to put on a show, and the Jets are this year’s Washington Generals, just waiting to be Globe Trotted.
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Denver Broncos (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
- Tom Pennington/Getty Images
The pick: Broncos +2.5
The logic: Denver looked good enough at home against the Chargers Week 1 that having them as the underdog in this spot feels off. The Cowboys played well, but were hardly tested by a Giants team without Odell Beckham Jr., and it feels like a leap to jump from that game to having Dallas favored on the road against one of the most consistently talented teams in the AFC.
Washington Redskins (+2.5) at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
- Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The pick: Redskins +2.5
The logic: In the divisional power rankings, I’d list the NFC East at the top and the NFC West close to the bottom. It’s not like the Rams have much of a home field advantage.
San Francisco 49ers (+14) at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
- Joe Robbins/Getty Images
The pick: 49ers +14
The logic: This is another pick I absolutely hate, but feel obliged to make by the rules of trends that dictate smart wagering. The way a blackjack player is trained at least consider doubling down every time they’re dealt 11, an educated gambler must always consider the underdog in a double digit line.
While the 49ers showed absolutely nothing to like in their Week 1 matchup against the Panthers, this is a divisional contest, and when these teams met in the final game of the regular season last year it was just a two point win for the Seahawks in a game they needed to attempt to secure a postseason bye. Plus, it’s never good to lay the points with two double-digit favorites in the same week.
Green Bay Packers (+3) at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
- Joe Robbins/Getty Images
The pick: Falcons -3
The logic: A rematch of last year’s NFC Championship, you could think of this game as a spot for the Packers to exact their revenge and tear through the Falcons, and if that’s the story you want to root for than by all means. But the Falcons are opening a new stadium in primetime and looking to show the league that they are still a force to be reckoned with, even after a lackluster performance against the Bears in Week 1, and this is a great spot to prove they’re still one of the teams to beat.
Detroit Lions (+3) at New York Giants (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
- Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
The pick: Lions +3
The logic: As of now, it looks as though Odell Beckham Jr. will be out again this week against the Lions. With how putrid the Giants looked without him, bettors will feel much more comfortable putting their money on Detroit in this spot.
LAST WEEK: 10-5 OVERALL: 10-5
Now check out our Power Rankings going into Week 2 of the NFL season
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