Let's try not to overreact after one week
Week 1 is in the books for the NFL and it's time for overreaction from the fans. The teams that won are going to go 16-0 while the ones that lost may not win a game all season. Vegas doesn't overreact, it lets the betting public do it for them.
You'll see a lot of line movement this week as people think they know teams after one week when they really don't. I'll say this, the bad teams did pretty well covering last week. Let's take a look at the Week 2 slate.
Note: All games are on Sunday, Sept. 17 and all times ET
Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Baltimore Ravens (1-0), 1 p.m.
The Browns hung tough with the Steelers at home losing 21-18. Cleveland's defense surprisingly played well against the run, Le’Veon Bell and company to 35 yards on the ground. The offense struggled as one would expect with rookie DeShone Kizer making his first career start. Now the Browns hit the road to play the Ravens who shut out the Bengals on the road in Week 1, holding Cincinnati to just 221 yards of total offense while forcing multiple turnovers and Pro Bowl quarterback Andy Dalton look like a rookie. Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh relied on his ground game (157 rushing yards) to get the win because the Ravens’ passing attack doesn’t seem to scare anyone at this point. Baltimore has gone under in 18 of its last 33 games including nine of the last 16 at home. To me, this one is a lower scoring game continuing the early trend of unders. SELECTION: Under 39
New England Patriots (0-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-1), 1 p.m.
This one has shootout written all over it after the two teams combined to give up more than 1,000 yards of offense and 71 points to their Week 1 opponents. New England lost at home 42-27 to the Chiefs as neither the defense nor offense looked great. Tom Brady didn't lock in with his receivers and Rob Gronkowski was neutralized for the most part. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower is hurt and hasn't practiced yet this week. He's an important cog to the defense. New Orleans was gashed on the road by Minnesota, as the Vikings did pretty much whatever they wanted to on offense. The Saints are a different team at home, especially on offense, but they need to figure out how Adrian Peterson is going to fit into the game plan. New Orleans has gone over in 10 of its last 16 home games including nine of the last 13 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome where total is 49.5 or more. The Patriots love the turf going over in 17 of their last 28 played on it. This one should be one of the best games of the day. SELECTION: Over 56
Washington Redskins (0-1) at Los Angeles Rams (1-0), 4:25 p.m.
Here's one of those games where the overreactions may take place. You've got a Rams team that demolished the Colts who are barely pro level with Scott Tolzien at quarterback. Los Angeles’ defense played fantastic and will certainly be a factor against Washington, who struggled with the Eagles’ front seven. There's also the giant storyline of Rams head coach Sean McVay going up against his former team and who knows more about the other's team’s tendencies? Kirk Cousins didn't do very well against the blitz so you have to think that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will be bringing the heat, and Los Angeles should get All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald back from his contract holdout as well. Terrelle Pryor will have to improve for Cousins, especially since Josh Doctson is nowhere near ready. The Redskins’ defense wasn't that bad against Philadelphia and I don't know if the Jared Goff and Todd Gurley-led Rams offense will be much of a threat. Washington is 14-8 against the spread in its last 22 games as an underdog. I think this one is a Skins win. SELECTION: Redskins +3 & Under 46
Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Denver Broncos (1-0), 4:25 p.m.
Another overreaction after one week is that Dallas can suddenly play defense. This couldn't be farther from the truth considering the Giants’ offense is horrendous without Odell Beckham Jr. Eli Manning was constantly on the run because his offensive line couldn't block either. Yes, the Cowboys’ offense did its part, but it's very hard to throw on Denver. Cole Beasley and Dez Bryant won't find as many openings as they did in Week 1. Denver's run game worked and Trevor Siemian did enough to win on Monday night. I'm guessing some of the love for the road team is based off the short week for the Broncos. Denver has been a home underdog of three points or less 19 times since 1992 and has won 12 of those outright. The Cowboys have covered just eight of their last 18 games as a favorite. I'll bite on the potential trap. SELECTION: Denver +2.5
- I came really close to adding the Bears once again. We saw so much bad football in Week 1 as teams get used to playing a full game after the preseason. The Buccaneers got an early bye week and spent it staying away from the hurricane so who knows what their mindset is entering this one. Chicago hung with Atlanta and coordinator Vic Fangio is doing good things with the Bears’ defense. There's no doubt Tampa Bay is the more talented team, but the Bucs might be rusty. Mike Glennon spent his first three seasons with Tampa so he’ll have some familiarity with them. The Bucs have covered just six of their last 16 home games.
— 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.