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Billsfans Bets: NFL Week 2 Picks
Week one has already thrown up multiple surprises around the league. The Buffalo Bills stomped the current world champion LA Rams, and while many might have favored the Bills on opening night, the lopsided 31-10 scoring line was far from expected.
The Bears put away the 49ers, while the Giants took down the Tennessee Titans on head coach Brian Daboll’s first outing in charge. Dallas only managed to put three points on the board, and if all that wasn’t enough, Russell Wilson’s homecoming against Seattle didn’t exactly go as planned. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith put on a clinic and led the home side to a fiery upset on Monday Night Football.
So, with all of that in mind, it’s time to turn our attention to Week 2 and refocus our predictions ahead of another weekend slate. Here are three games we like the look of from the Week 2 lineup and our predictions for the games.
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Washington Commanders @ Detroit Lions
Spread: Lions -2.5, Commanders +2.5
Total: Over/Under 49
Moneyline: Lions -135, Commanders +115
The Commanders went toe to toe with the Jacksonville Jags in Week 1, clearing the minus three spread with a 28-22 victory. Carson Wentz made a couple of mistakes, which we think we’re used to, but he turned it on and helped the Commanders pull out a win. Wentz was 27/41 throwing the football, totaling 313 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions.
Washington had 41 passing opportunities to go with 28 runs. Carson Wentz took only one sack in the game on those 41 passing plays. The Commanders put a lot of pressure on Trevor Lawrence in Week 1 too, which is something Jared Goff didn’t see too much of in Week 1.
So if the Commanders can put the pressure on Goff this weekend, they could heavily disrupt the Lions’ ability to move the football.
On the flip side, D’Andre Swift looked phenomenal behind a budding offensive line. The Lions line held the Eagles front off and gave D’Andre Swift plenty of room to be great on the ground and Jared Goff time in the pocket.
Swift had 144 yards on 15 carries, resulting in the best YPA average amongst running backs with more than five carries in Week 1. Wide Receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was also a key player, with eight catches on 12 targets for 64 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions need to knock Carson Wentz off his game with pressure. If he has enough time to pick a target, he has plenty of them to choose from. Antonio Gibson had 130 all-purpose yards, and Terry Mclaurin picked up 58 yards despite only hauling in two catches. Curtis Samuel is finally looking like the free agent Washington wanted him to be, and Jahan Dotson brought in two touchdowns in his NFL debut.
I'm going to take the Lions in this one. Had it not been for AJ Brown, Detroit would probably have beaten the Eagles, and they certainly showed that they’re capable of scoring some points and being effective on the ground and through the air. I like the over for the game and Detroit to cover the spread in their home opener.
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Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Spread: Colts -4, Jaguars +4
Total: Over/Under 47
Moneyline: Colts -200, Jaguars +170
The Colts came out flat. There are no two ways about it. They were disappointing offensively and looked to struggle for alternative options outside of Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman is the clear number one threat, with 13 targets on Sunday. Still, outside of Jonathan Taylor, Pittman is pretty much it.
Rookie Alec Pierce, drafted in the second round, failed to make a catch and dropped a pass in the end zone, while it was tight end Kylen Granson who saw the most targets outside of Taylor or Pittman. The question is whether they have enough offensive weapons to do damage against oppositions that can neutralize their top two threats. Matt Ryan needs to improve, and his targets must step up when it matters.
The Jaguars moved the ball reasonably well when Trevor Lawrence had time to do so, but taking two sacks and being knocked to the ground on nine other occasions, showed signs that the problems with the offensive line are not patched up just yet. The Colts’ defense could make things difficult for Trevor and co, especially if they can take an early lead and force the Jags to chase the game.
Lawrence was 24/42 for 275 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. James Robinson was the surprise upside, with many expecting it would be Travis Etienne who took the lead. Robinson had 11 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown, while Etienne had four carries for 47 yards and two catches for 18 receiving yards.
Christian Kirk looked good on his debut for Jacksonville. The highly paid free agent put up 117 yards on six catches and was the clear favorite target.
I like Indianapolis in this one because the Jags were allowing Carson Went to move the ball freely without getting enough pressure. If they play like that against Matt Ryan and Jonathan Taylor, the game could get away from them fast.
The Colts may also have pro bowl linebacker Shaquille Leonard, back in Week 2, who is literally the heartbeat of their defense. Leonard was a full participant in practice this week but was downgraded to out with a back injury.
I’ll take the Colts to cover here and the over for the game. It’s easy to overreact to Week 1 results, but the fact is that the Colts’ mistakes can be corrected. It’s a new group, with Matt Ryan and new pieces on the offensive line. Plus, once Jonathan Taylor got going in Week 1, he was pretty difficult to slow down.
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Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants
Spread: Giants 2-5, Panthers +2.5
Total: Over/Under 43
Moneyline: Giants -135, Panthers +115
I liked what the Giants put on tape with their ground game and defensive front in Week 1. That was an impressive win against the Titans, with the standout factor being the Giants’ ability to crash down on Derrick Henry and eliminate him from doing too much damage. The Giants held Henry to 82 yards on 21 attempts, averaging 3.9 yards per carry, but a lot of that came on a couple of 15+ yard runs.
The Panthers struggled to get Christian McCaffrey involved in Week 1, and having that problem against a Giants defense that just halted Derrick Henry is far from ideal. The Giants, however, had no problem involving their running back. Saquon Barkley looked as good as he ever has and showed many that he can still do it at an elite level. Post-injury concerns had been growing, and he just didn’t look right last season.
Adding two first-round caliber offensive tackles will help, and we might be looking at a big year for Saquon and the Giants’ ground game if last weekend is anything to go by.
Brian Daboll is encouraging efficiency from Daniel Jones, who threw just four incomplete passes against one of the league’s better secondary's last season. Jones threw one interception and got a stern talking to from Daboll on the sideline following his mistake. If the Giants can be dominant on the ground and throw the ball efficiently, that’s their recipe for success.
The Panthers need to figure out their run game. Having Christian McCaffrey carry the ball ten times for 33 yards will not help you win football games, but Baker did a good job throwing the football regardless.
Carolina is reinventing itself, and who knows if Baker is the long-term solution at quarterback, but right now, he can certainly do the job they need him to do. Robbie Anderson was the standout receiver, catching five passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, while DJ Moore added three more catches for 43 yards of his own.
The Panthers struggled to slow the Browns down on the ground, with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combining for over 180 yards receiving and a Kareem Hunt rushing touchdown. That doesn’t bode all that well when you’re heading into Week 2 against an in-form Saquon Barkley and a far improved offensive line. I’m not sure Carolina has the pieces to shut that down.
I like the Giants. Even against the spread, I am comfortable taking them here. Brian Daboll can tighten up this unit and have them playing effectively. There’s a lot of talent there, it just needs to be utilized, and the Giants didn’t even really involve the likes of Kadarius Toney or Kenny Golladay. The receivers were quiet, while Saquon Barkley had the most targets.
I’ll take the Giants to cover and the under for the game.
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