An exciting week 1 of the NFL season has come and gone. Here is a look at the early Week 2 lines and predicted movement for each game. (odds courtesy of FanDuel)
Thursday, September 12th – 8:20 PM EST
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-6.5)
Predicted Movement: The Buccaneers and Panthers are both looking for their first win of the season as each lost home contests to NFC West teams in Week 1. The Panthers offense showed signs of life late in the game against the Rams. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston still couldn’t solve his turnover issues. He threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Given the fact that Carolina stays home on a short week, look for the spread to climb to -7 or higher. As far as the O/U, Winston’s turnover issues have a propensity to lead to direct points. However, there is a perception that Thursday games are usually sloppier, which means the O/U may be bet down some from 50. 82% of Carolina home games versus Tampa Bay have gone under since 1995. Carolina is also 5-1 in their last six home games against the Bucs.
Sunday, September 15th – 1:00 PM EST
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-13)
Predicted Movement: The initial O/U on this game was 42.5 points. The 3.5 point increase to 46.5 means that a slew of money was bet on the over originally, and it is not hard to figure out why. Given that the Ravens are 13 point favorites and the O/U is set at 46, this means the implied final score is the Ravens to beat the Cardinals 29.5-16.5. If you look at it that way, bettors may find flaws with both team totals. The Ravens are coming off a 59-point outburst at Miami, while the Cardinals managed a respectable 27 points in Kyler Murray’s debut. If bettors think that both trends will continue and that both of these offenses will play well this week, the O/U may climb even higher.
Buffalo Bills (-2) at New York Giants
Predicted Movement: I don’t see much movement in this line, given that it would take a lot to move the spread passed the key number of three. If anything, the spread may do the opposite of what people may think, and tick down closer to a pick’em. Though they are not traveling far, the Bills are on the road (coincidentally at the same stadium) for the second week in a row. Even though they are coming off a big win and the Giants are coming off a blowout loss, the Bills didn’t exactly play great in their come-from-behind win. Their defense did look stout and bettors may think the Bills do not have the skill players on offense to take advantage of the holes in the Giants’ defense. Therefore, do not be surprised to see the O/U come down some as well.
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) at Washington Redskins
Predicted Movement: The Cowboys offense looked great in new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s first game. Dak Prescott threw four touchdowns to four different receivers, and Dallas didn’t seem like a team that has to rely on Ezekiel Elliott as much as they’ve had to in the past. One thing keeping this spread somewhat low is the fact that the Redskins played the Eagles tougher than expected in Week 1. Running back Derrius Guice is dealing with a meniscus injury, so Adrian Peterson will reclaim his starting role. Bettors may think that Washington’s strong Week 1 showing was a fluke. That coupled with the Cowboys suddenly looking like an offensive juggernaut, and this line should creep up close to 6 or 6.5
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3)
Predicted Movement:The Titans might have had the biggest surprise result of Week 1. Not because they beat the Browns on the road, but because they scored 43 points in the process. Indianapolis meanwhile came back late to tie their game against a good Chargers team before ultimately falling in overtime. The Colts are playing their second consecutive road game, which is a tall task. If bettors are believers in the Titans, this has a chance to move off the key number of three to something like 3.5 or 4. The Colts have won six of their last seven games at Tennessee.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-9)
Predicted Movement: It was a tale of two halves for the Texans defense on Monday Night. They held the high-powered Saints offense to three points en route to a 14-3 halftime lead. Then they gave up 27 in the second half and lost a heartbreaking game in the final seconds. Whether or not Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew can take advantage of the leaky Houston defense in his NFL debut remains to be seen. The Texans are coming off a short week, but given the unfamiliarity with Minshew, I wouldn’t doubt bettors to inflate the line in favor of the Texans.
Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Detroit Lions
Predicted Movement: This line opened as Chargers -3.5. For the spread to move through the key number of three, an awful lot of money must have come in early on Detroit. It will be interesting to see how motivated the Lions are after blowing a late eight-point lead at Arizona, only to see the game end in a tie. The Chargers are 7-1 in their last eight games against Detroit. Given that the Chargers had a much better preseason outlook than the Lions, expect this spread to be bet back through the key number of three and closer to the original opening line.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3)
Predicted Movement: Green Bay and Minnesota both scored impressive victories over playoff contenders in Week 1. Green Bay will enter this game more rested since they started the season on Thursday Night Football. The Packers’ investments on the defensive side of the football paid huge dividends, as they completely shut down the Bears offense. The Vikings will most likely not be able to get away with just 10 pass attempts in this game, as that was their formula for beating the Falcons in Week 1. With both teams seemingly content to play a bit of smash-mouth football and with the Packers defense looking stout, the O/U may tick down a few points. Since Green Bay is 18-3-1 straight up at home in September since 2007, I cannot see the spread going lower than it already is.
New England Patriots (-18.5) at Miami Dolphins
Predicted Movement: The Patriots beat down the Steelers in Week 1, and Miami’s players already look like they’ve given up after Week 1. Either this game will be heavily bet in favor of New England, or it won’t attract much money at all and the line will stay in the ballpark of 17 points. Either way, the fact that Antonio Brown will be making his Patriots debut brings excitement to what projects to be one of the biggest mismatches of the season. The O/U may balloon if bettors feel he will seamlessly be added to the Patriots’ repertoire.
San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals (-1)
Predicted Movement: There is important injury news on both sides which could impact this game’s line. Both teams’ starting running backs (Tevin Coleman and Joe Mixon) are dealing with ankle sprains. Coleman has already been ruled out while Mixon is listed as day-to-day. The 49ers scored 31 points in Week 1, but 14 of them were produced by their defense. Given that both offenses struggled somewhat in Week 1 and that they will each be missing key players, the O/U may close closer to 43 or 44. If Mixon is ruled out, look for the 49ers to go off as small favorites.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-4) vs Seattle Seahawks
Predicted Movement: Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a toe injury late in last week’s game, but reports indicate he will be ready for Week 2. The Seahawks failed to cover a big spread at home in last week’s game versus the Bengals. Ben Roethlisberger has always played much better at home than on the road his entire career. However, bettors may be wary of how anemic the Steelers offense looked in their first game without Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell. As a result, the spread should not climb too high in what should be a close contest.
Sunday, September 15th- 4:05 PM EST
Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) at Oakland Raiders
Predicted Movement: Though Patrick Mahomes rolled an ankle in the second quarter of last week’s game, he was on cruise control after the Jaguars had no answer for him. While Mahomes appears fine, Tyreek Hill has already been ruled out for multiple weeks. It certainly didn’t seem like the Chiefs missed Hill too much, as Sammy Watkins torched the Jaguars for three touchdowns. The Chiefs will be playing their second consecutive road game while the Raiders play their second consecutive home game. While the Raiders looked impressive on Monday night, the public seems too enamored with the high-flying Chiefs offense to not bet this game closer to 9 or 10 points.
Sunday, September 15th- 4:25 PM EST
Chicago Bears (-1.5) at Denver Broncos
Predicted Movement: Mitchell Trubisky was a lot of people’s sleeper pick for MVP, until he laid a complete egg in Week 1 against the Packers. It is well-documented how little playing time the Bears starters got in the preseason, and their rust showed last week. New Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was the defensive coordinator for the Bears last year. He knows the Bears offense inside and out, and bettors may respect that familiarity. The stellar Bears defense coupled with Fangio’s knowledge of the Bears lends itself to the O/U being lowered a couple points. In addition, given the Broncos poor showing on Monday Night, the spread may creep closer to -3 by kickoff.
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-3)
Predicted Movement: The Rams were favored by more than the key number of three before Monday night’s Saints game, but the Saints impressive comeback win moved this line a half-point. Bettors may put stock in the fact that the Rams will be more rested while the Saints are traveling across the country. This may move the line to its original number of 3.5. The perception is that this will be a shootout, so expect this O/U to settle closer to 55 or 56.
Sunday, September 15th- 8:20 PM EST
Philadelphia Eagles (-1) at Atlanta Falcons
Predicted Movement: The Eagles’ offense came alive in the second half of a come-from-behind win over the Redskins. Meanwhile, the Falcons offense never had a chance to get rolling since the Vikings possessed the ball most of the game. If bettors believe the Falcons defense will play better at home and give their offense more of a chance, the O/U may rise a couple of points. However, history tells us to look at the under, as 67% of Philadelphia at Atlanta games have gone under the total.
Monday, September 16th- 8:15 PM EST
Cleveland Browns (-2.5) at New York Jets
Predicted Movement: It is hard to say which of these teams should be more disappointed after Week 1. The Browns were dismantled by the Titans, while the Jets blew a 16-point second half lead to the Bills. Keep an eye on injury news concerning Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield wore a wrap on his throwing hand after the game, although he was diagnosed with merely a bruise. Given Mayfield’s injury and the Jets offense struggling mightily in Week 1, expect the O/U to come down some. Interestingly, the Browns are favorites after going 1-5 ATS and SU in their last six games against the Jets. In spite of this, the hyped Browns are sure to go off as favorites if Mayfield is cleared to play.