Co-host of THE HERD and FOX sports betting analyst
Week 1 of the NFL is now in the books, and what a monster week it was!
If you follow us in this space, you know that I went 6-3.
This week’s theme is not to overreact to what you saw last week. There is a lot of value in a couple of teams that should bounce back this Sunday.
Let’s dive into my best bets for Week 2 of the NFL.
All times ET
Bears in buccaneers (13:00, FOX App and FOX Sports)
One of the biggest overreactions of Week 1. This game was a pick’em last week, then came the one-way action in Tampa after their win over the Vikings, pushing the line to a field goal for most of week.
I took the Bears +3 on Wednesday. We beat the Bucs in this space last week and we’re going to fade them this week. The Vikings moved the ball consistently, but Kirk Cousins’ self-inflicted injuries finished them off.
Justin Fields should have a lot of success against a happy Bucs defense, both through the air and with his legs. Tampa Bay was the second-most blitzing team last week, and that could open the door for Fields for a big day on the field, as his rushing pillar is 61.5 yards. The Bears won’t want to lose two in a row and Fields won’t have the patience to try to win from the pocket.
I like to back Baker Mayfield as an underdog, but as a favorite, he is just 11-23 against the spread (ATS) in his career, including eight straight losses.
CHOOSE: Bears (+3) will lose by less than 3 points (or win outright)
PICK: Justin Fields 61.5+ rushing yards
Trevor Lawrence and Jags look to dethrone Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs in Week 2
It’s a showdown between the king of quarterbacks.
raiders in Bills (1:00 p.m., CBS)
Las Vegas was considered to be one of the worst teams in the league this season, while Buffalo was projected to be a Super Bowl contender. And yet, after a game, suddenly people want to bet on the Raiders at this place?
After escaping the altitude in Denver with a win, they now travel to face an angry Buffalo team that blew a 13-3 second-half lead to the Jets.
Last year, the Bills faced 11 teams that didn’t make the playoffs. If you eliminate the two games that had problems against the Jets’ elite defense, you have nine games left. They won seven of them by 12 points or more and four games by 20 points or more.
The Bills beat teams they were supposed to beat. The other two games? Wonky travels for back-to-back games in one week in Detroit.
It could be that the Bills drop 40 points against a Raiders defense, and Vegas won’t be able to keep up.
CHOOSE: Bills (-8) will win by more than 8 points
49ers in rams (4:05 p.m., FOX App and FOX Sports)
The 49ers looked like the most complete team in the league last week, and now they’re playing a second straight road game to start the season. Except, of course, SoFi might have 60/40 San Francisco fans on Sunday.
Kyle Shanahan has dominated Sean McVay. He is 10-3 ATS in his last 13 games, including 6-0 in the last three years in the regular season. Don’t make too much of the fact that the Rams racked up over 400 yards of offense against Seattle in Week 1. McVay has dominated Carroll toe-to-toe.
The 49ers win the trenches and will win comfortably.
CHOOSE: 49ers (-7.5) will win by more than 7.5 points
bosses in jaguars (1:00 p.m., CBS)
I caught the Chiefs at -3 earlier in the week because I anticipated Travis Kelce would play. The number started at -2.5 and will likely close at -3.5.
Kelce scored 17 targets against the Jaguars in the playoff game, and with Jacksonville playing the two-safety look to take the big plays, he had 14 receptions.
I don’t think the Jaguars’ defense, which allowed 21-year-old rookie Anthony Richardson to look good, can stop the Chiefs’ offense, which will bounce back with extra rest and have its best weapon back.
The real question is whether the Jaguars can keep up. He wouldn’t take it at -3.5, since a field goal is kind of a magic number for Mahomes: he’s 19-6-1 ATS as a three-or-under favorite.
So for me, it’s Chiefs -3 or pass.
CHOOSE: Chiefs (-3) will win by more than 3 points
crows in bengali (1:00 p.m., CBS)
This was the first game I bet this week, as on Sunday night, after the Ravens’ injuries in the opener became apparent, I took the Bengals -3.
On Monday morning, it hit -3.5 and has alternated between those two ever since.
The Browns’ powerful defensive front was able to shake up Joe Burrow last week, and his calf injury seemed to slow his mobility a bit. Fortunately for Cincinnati, the Ravens don’t have anything close to that pass rush to bother Burrow, so they’ll have to blitz, and historically, that’s bad news against Joe Burrow.
And when we add in the significant injuries to the Ravens (who could be down six starters, including two on the offensive line), I like the Bengals at this spot.
CHOOSE: Bengals (-3) will win by more than 3 points
Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst who also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. Before coming to FOX, he created the website The Big Lead. Follow him on Twitter @JasonRMcIntyre.
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