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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Picks For Week 2


I started slow in the NFL just to get an early grasp on what went down in week one. The league had itself a crazy week one with various injuries and finishes that left fans wondering what just happened. That said, it's Week 2 and we have a small idea of some teams while others continue to be an enigma. You'll notice a little bit more in my writeups that we start looking at situational plays with certain things lining up in our favor. 

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Record: 1-2

Denver Broncos (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) (Thursday)

It was an impressive performance by the Chiefs offense, even though the scoreless sreak for WRs continued, in the 27-20 win over the Texans. I envisioned a lower-scoring affair and the combination of Alex Smith to Travis Kelce helped put an end to that. The defense was beaten up a bit through the air although a lot of that came towards the end when the game was already decided. Now Kansas City welcomes Denver to town to kick off Week 2 Thuesday night after the Broncos had a horrible offensive showing against the Ravens. Denver had just 219 yards of total offense with Peyton Manning failing to stretch the field. Manning's got the advantage out wide as the Chiefs' secondary just isn't as good. The Broncos got the win on Sunday because of a strong defensive effort, holding the Ravens in check. This will be one of the best defenses in the league if everyone stays healthy. Last year this game was a 29-16 Denver win on Nov. 30 when the Broncos rushed for 214 yards. Their offensive line has taken a massive step back so that can't be expected on a short week. These two have gone under in three of their last four meetings. SELECTION: Under 42

Houston Texans (0-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-0)

Carolina comes home after a win at Jacksonville that I didn't expect to occur. The Panthers' offense wasn't that explosive, but the defense held the Jags in check. Cam Newton may struggle this season because of a lack of weapons, and that could occur against Houston. The Texans allowed 27 points in the loss to the Chiefs, but were not helped out much by the offense that had two bad turnovers. Brian Hoyer's interceptions gave the Chiefs some short fields and he may struggle again this week if he gets the start. Neither of these offenses has much substance to them. Houston has gone under in nine of its last 11 games as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points. Carolina has gone under in 52 of its last 82 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. SELECTION: Under 40.5

St. Louis Rams (1-0) at Washington Redskins (0-1)

The Redskins didn't play too poorly in their 17-10 loss to the Dolphins at home. Washington ran the ball well, but struggled through the air. Their offensive line stood tall against the stout front line of the Dolphins. The question is whether Washington can do so against the Rams' front four, which is even stronger. The Rams put up 34 points against the Seahawks, but I don't see that happening again on Sunday. The Skins will have one of the best run defenses in the league. St. Louis has gone under in 24 of its last 36 road games with a total between 38.5 and 42. Desperation clicks in for Washington. SELECTION: Under 41.5 and Redskins +3

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New York Jets (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1) (Monday)

The overreaction from week one will be the downgrading of the Colts. The Bills have made a lot better offenses look foolish before in Buffalo. Losing T.Y. Hilton will hurt, but Philip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief are more than able to do some work in his place. The Colts' defense isn't great, but neither is the Jets' offense. They scored 31 points, but were helped greatly by five Browns turnovers. Darrelle Revis will probably be matched up with Andre Johnson. I have more faith in the Colts' offensive potential, while the Jets are not as good offensively as they showed in Week 1. New York has gone under in 14 of its last 25 games against AFC opponents. With the line moving, I'll go... SELECTION: Under 47


- The sheer definition of a spot play applies to the Steelers on Sunday. Pittsburgh has had 10 days off to prepare for a 49ers team that will have to fly cross-country after a huge emotional "Monday Night Football" win. The Steelers didn't look that awful against the Patriots with Ben Roethlisberger moving the offense to the tune of 330 passing yards. They come home for the first time this season and will be juiced to be in front of the Terrible Towels. The reason why this isn't an official play is that the Steelers' defense is so bad that I don't know if they can be trusted in this prime spot. I certainly think that they'll score on a Niners defense that held Minnesota to three points. The over may be the better play, but if you need some teams to throw in a teaser, I'd put the Steelers in there and hope that jet lag slows down San Fran. 

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- Another selection that came to close to becoming official was Cleveland. The Browns opened up as a favorite, but the Titans are now a slight fave. People have Marcus Mariota fever after he threw four touchdowns to beat Jameis Winston and the Bucs. It's the second straight road game for this young team and that's a lot to ask. Not a lot was expected from the Titans and things shouldn't change. The Browns were underwhelming against the Jets, which is another reason for the move. Tennessee has failed to cover in 14 of its last 24 games as an underdog. 

- I'll flat out say that I'm an Eagles fan, so any selections I make in games they play are clouded by that fact. Situationally I'd like to think they'd be the right play in this one as Dallas comes to Philly. The Cowboys were gifted a game on Sunday night and are now without Dez Bryant. The run game was nowhere near as productive as it was last year. One has to think the Eagles run DeMarco Murray more and pick up the victory on Sunday. The question is the margin and will they cover. Dallas has won two straight in Philly. Leg two of a teaser with the Steelers could be their Pennsylvania counterparts the Eagles.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.