The Week 2 point spreads might end up being the most interesting of the entire 2014 NFL season, as a few teams have been made big favorites because of the results of a single game. After the opening week featured just two road favorites, six teams are expected to win away from their home stadiums, according to the betting lines at Las Vegas casinos.
The favorites look to have better luck in Week 2, as the underdogs covered 11 of the 16 games on last week’s schedule. Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 2.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Steelers and Ravens always play each other close. Ten of their last 12 meetings have been decided by three points or less, and another game was decided by four points. Both teams are capable of winning on the other one’s home field. In this rivalry, it’s usually smart to take the points.
Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh
Detroit Lions (+3) at Carolina Panthers
After missing the opening week, Cam Newton is expected to start in Week 2. Even with Derek Anderson at the helm, Carolina got a convincing road win on Sunday. Returning home, where the Panthers are 6-0-1 against the spread in their last seven games, Carolina has a good chance to start the season 2-0.
Prediction ATS: Carolina
Miami Dolphins (-1) at Buffalo Bills
The Week 2 betting line actually opened with the Bills as one-point favorites, but the point spread has since moved in favor of the Dolphins. Buffalo had the most surprising win last week, but Miami played just as well, defeating the Patriots. It could be a close game, but Miami is the better team.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6) at Washington Redskins
Last week’s Jaguars game was a tale of two halves, as they outscored the Eagles by 17 points in the first half but were shut out 34-0 in the final two quarters. Despite their poor finish to the game, Chad Henne and the rest of the offense showed that they can have success against a weak pass defense. Washington’s defense is worse than Philadelphia’s, and Jacksonville has a good chance to stay within a touchdown.
Prediction ATS: Jacksonville
Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) at Tennessee Titans
The Titans could surprise in 2014, after a convincing win on the road to start the season. However, the Cowboys are being undervalued, following their loss to the 49ers. Tony Romo played uncharacteristically bad, and the team in unlikely to reproduce similar turnovers on their own side of the field that cost them so dearly. Considering a loss by a field goal covers the spread, the Cowboys are the sensible pick.
Prediction ATS: Dallas
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at New York Giants
The betting odds have seen a significant shift in just two days, as the Giants have moved from two-point favorites to 2.5-point underdogs. Eli Manning and the rest of the team didn’t seem to be comfortable under New York's new offense. Matthew Stafford had his way with the defense on Monday night, and it could be more of the same against Arizona.
Prediction ATS: Arizona
New England Patriots (-3) at Minnesota Vikings
A lot of signs point to the Vikings winning on Sunday. After their loss to the Dolphins, the Patriots are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games as road favorites. In his 15th season, Tom Brady was underwhelming, following his worst season in seven years. The Vikings were very impressive in their opener, going on the road and getting the largest victory of any Week 1 team. With all that said, it’s still hard to imagine New England starting 0-2, including a loss to Matt Cassel, who should come back down to earth after registering a 113.8 passer rating.
Prediction ATS: New England
New Orleans Saints (-6.5) at Cleveland Browns
While the Patriots aren’t a bad road team, that term can certainly be applied to the Saints. They are 1-8 against the spread in their last nine regular-season road contests. The Browns nearly beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, losing on a last-second field goal. New Orleans isn’t likely to go into Cleveland and get an easy victory.
Prediction ATS: Cleveland
Atlanta Falcons (+5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Teams like Seattle and New Orleans are usually described as the best home teams, but Cincinnati should be mentioned in the conversation. The Bengals went undefeated at home last year, and they’ve covered the spread in nine of their last 10 games at Paul Brown Stadium. Until the Bengals lose in front of their fans, it might not be smart to pick against them.
Prediction ATS: Cincinnati
St. Louis Rams (+6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Without Sam Bradford, the Rams could be headed for one of the worst records in the NFC. While St. Louis was blown out in Week 1, Tampa Bay didn’t look very good either. The Buccaneers won just four games in 2013 and start career-backup Josh McCown at quarterback. It’s hard to justify them giving six points to any team.
Prediction ATS: St. Louis
Seattle Seahawks (-6) at San Diego Chargers
The Seahawks have a reputation for being dominant at home, but they can be dominant on any field. They are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games as road favorites. The Chargers lost in Week 1 after making critical mistakes down the stretch, and Seattle will take advantage of any miscues by San Diego.
Prediction ATS: Seattle
Houston Texans (-3) at Oakland Raiders
After finishing 31st in points per game last year, the Texans’ offense didn’t look much improved in Week 1. The team scored 17 points, and one of their two touchdowns came from a blocked punt. The Raiders didn’t look much better, but Derek Carr didn’t turn the ball over in his debut, and Oakland’s rushing attack should improve on the 25 yards it posted against the Jets.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
New York Jets (+8) at Green Bay Packers
When the Packers are pegged as heavy favorites at home, they usually get the job done. Green Bay has covered eight of the last 11 betting lines that have made them at least eight-point favorites at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offense should play much better, now that they're not facing the best defense in the NFL.
Prediction ATS: Green Bay
Kansas City Chiefs (+13) at Denver Broncos
The Chiefs were routed at home against the Titans, and they could be in for another long day at Denver. In their seven home wins last year, the Broncos won by an average of over 20 points. Kansas City might see their win total from 2013 take a significant dip, and it could start with back-to-back blowout losses.
Prediction ATS: Denver
Chicago Bears (+7) at San Francisco 49ers
If this game had been played in Week 1, the 49ers would not be favored by a touchdown. The Bears’ loss could be a sign of things to come, but the betting line could also indicate an overreaction to a single loss. The 49ers have the better chance to win the game, but it should be a close contest.
Prediction ATS: Chicago
Philadelphia Eagles (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
The two teams are very even, as they both have young quarterbacks who lead offenses that can score a lot of points. On a neutral field, the contest would likely be a pick’em. While the Colts have a strong home-field advantage, that might not have much effect on the Eagles, who have won five of their last six road games.
Prediction ATS: Philadelphia
Season Record: 9-7