NFL Week Two Projections and Betting Preview
NFL WEEK TWO PROJECTIONS AND BETTING PREVIEW – All right degenerates, the NFL insists on playing games in the middle of the workweek and so week two is already upon us.
Related: Toby Wreathway’s NFL Week One Recap
The Eagles will get the festivities started when they host Minnesota on Thursday night and absolutely curb stomp the Vikings into the abyss. Kirk Cousins will go 34 for 46 for 384 yards and one TD in the loss.
My Projections for Week Two:
I don’t like as many as I liked in week one, but at least there’s no Washington game to cost me a 6-leg parlay like there was last week. I do have a similar favorite though. I’ll get to that in a second.
In my recap I mentioned the “spread value” or something to that effect. I’ve pulled all the teams a bit closer together, and here are what I projected the lines to be this week versus what they actually came in at:
So for example, I look at Baltimore and Cincinnati and I think, this game should be a pick ‘em. However, the actual line is Cincinnati -3, so that looks like a decent value to me.
These are done differently than my scoring projections. For example, I may predict a game to be a 30-point blowout but in reality you’d never see a +30 line in the NFL.
With that being said, here’s my top picks.
Tier One Game
Baltimore (+3) @ Cincinnati
Projected Spread: Pick ‘em
Projected Result: Baltimore 23 – Cincinnati 20
Joe Burrow played like he was shaving points in week one, which I don’t think will continue (unless he really is shaving points).
I know he’s owned Baltimore over the last two seasons, but I still don’t think they should be a 3 point favorite, so I’m taking the Ravens. This game feels similar to Green Bay/Chicago from last week and I’m gonna ride that wave.
Tier Two Games
Minnesota @ Philadelphia (-7)
Projected Spread: Philadelphia -8.5
Projected Result: Philadelphia 41 – Minnesota 20
Last year, Philly gave the first signs that they were for real in a week two Monday night game, when they just suffocated Kirk and his crew.
This year they get a chance to do it again and I’m guessing that they will. If they don’t, then I’m really going to start thinking that this is a hangover year.
Miami @ New England (+2.5)
Projected Spread: New England -1.5
Projected Result: New England 27 – Miami 24
This one surprised me, but, if the Patriots can hold the Eagles in check at home, it’s not too crazy to think that they could do the same to the Fish.
Tyreek Hill abused the Chargers secondary, but I’m betting that the Patriots will not allow a repeat of that in week two.
Indianapolis @ Houston (+1.5)
Projected Spread: Houston -2.5
Projected Result: Houston 14 – Indianapolis 13
Okay, not to sound like a masochist, but I love this game. My safe word is “punt.”
This week is a bit of a reversal of last week, as this time I love the home dogs. The Texans and Colts both suck, so why are the Colts giving points on the road? I probably won’t watch a second of this but I will absolutely be betting on it.
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (+2)
Projected Spread: Pittsburgh -2
Projected Result: Pittsburgh 17 – Cleveland 16
Another one! I think this is a bit of an overreaction to week one and I’m all over yet another home dog.
Let’s fire up the time machine and look back at last year. In week one of 2022, Minnesota embarrassed Green Bay, Tampa stifled Dallas, and Kansas City tore Arizona limb from limb.
What happened in week two? Dallas beat the Bengals with Cooper Rush, Green Bay destroyed the Bears, Philly had their dominating win over the Minnesota team that had just smashed Green Bay, and Arizona had that weird unwatchable overtime win in Vegas against the Raiders.
I will scream to from the mountaintops: don’t overreact.
Plus, Pittsburgh has been beating the brakes off of Cleveland for my entire life, so why would that stop now? As my grandma always used to say, “Toby, don’t overreact to week one, but absolutely do consider results from 15+ years ago in your predictions.”
And look at her now, up over 10,000 units.
Chicago @ Tampa Bay -3
Projected Spread: Tampa Bay -6
Projected Result: Tampa Bay 14 – Chicago 7
All right, look, I hate this game. I’m not going to watch it. But my numbers like it, so I’m going to count it in my picks.
Let me say it again: I hate this game.
Two garbage teams playing in one of the most unwatchable settings (September in Tampa). Sure, Tampa beat Minnesota last week in Minny, but that may have been more of a statement against Minnesota.
Tamps also did so with absolutely awful underlaying metrics. 5 yards per passing attempt against one of the league’s worst defenses? 2.2 yards per rush?
Hey did have 54.5 yards per punt though, so if you like hot punting action be sure to tune in and watch the sun bake these two teams into a trash casserole. Trasherole. Yum!
Oh, also props to Kirk Cousins for putting up another trademarked 350 yard 2 TD game in which his team scored 17 points and lost. I have no idea how he does this. Some of it is surely bad luck, but you can’t consistently do this and blame it all on bad bounces.
Anyway, yeah, I hate this bet and, in my head, I think I’d pick Chicago, but the numbers don’t lie. Well, actually they do quite often but…whatever man, bet this game if you hate nice things.
I suggest that you save your money. However, if you think it’s too environmentally unfriendly to simply burn your money, feel free to bet it on these games. Gun to my head picks are in green text.
New Orleans @ Carolina (+3.5)
Not sure what Carolina is yet; I liked them in week one but they couldn’t hang against a team allergic to completing passes.
Not to be outdone, New Orleans slogged their way to a 16-15 “victory” in a game that cost millions of people their eyesight. Derek Carr is like, the cool version of Kirk Cousins. At least he’s not Ryan Tannehill, I guess. Anyway, yeah, not touching this one.
Green Bay @ Atlanta (+1)
Honestly, I could see either side of this, and I actually probably prefer Green Bay. However, I have my model set to give ties to the home team and, honestly, I don’t think that’s a terrible betting strategy.
I’m not going to bet this. Well, probably not.
Washington (+3.5) @ Denver
So, the word is Russ “Mr. Unlimited” Wilson looked like he was reverting to All-Pro form last week, as he *checks notes* lead the Broncos to 16 points in a home loss to the Raiders.
Yeah, okay. I didn’t watch a second of this check down fest as Jimmy G. and Russ combined to game-manage to a tune of 47 for 60 and 377 yards.
That’s like a 1993 Drew Bledsoe statline. At least Bledsoe would have been entertaining while doing so.
That being said, that’s far better than Sam Howell managed against a team that is trying to lose on purpose.
I would rather invest money in dial-up modems than put it on either of these two teams. I wonder if I can get odds on like, Under 14.5 or something like that?
New York Giants (-5.5) @ Arizona
Arizona almost didn’t lose last week, but I still think they are desperately trying to.
New York meanwhile is not likely to look as listless as they did in week one. Not going to take this one, but if I had to I would still blindly bet against Arizona.
Seattle @ Detroit (-5.5)
Is Geno Smith magic over? I don’t know. That was a very weird game in week one and I’m willing to give him another chance to not suck.
That being said, Aaron Donald and some randos pressured him into another dimension last week and as far as I can tell, both of Seattle’s tackles are still out.
If Detroit’s defense is for real, and it sure seems like it is after one game, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do the same. If I was going to bet this one I’d probably take Lions -13.5 and take my chances at a higher payout.
San Francisco (-8.5) @ Los Angeles Rams
I have no idea what to think about the Rams, but I do know what to think about the Niners…they look like an absolute juggernaut.
Brock Purdy looks legit. Their defense is an absolute brick wall. And outside of that playoff game (damn it, Jaquiski Tartt), Shanahan owns McVay. I just hate the spread on this one.
Las Vegas @ Buffalo (-8.5)
Hopefully the authorities are able to arrest whoever it was that put meth in Josh Allen’s cereal last week.
I may be too low on the Raiders but I do believe it’s still too early to panic about the Bills. But at this big of a spread I don’t want any part of this game
New York Jets @ Dallas (-8.5)
A frightened Zach Wilson and possibly the league’s best defense travel to an amusement park to take on a Dallas team fresh off of their 4th preseason game.
I have no idea how this one’s going to turn out and so this is yet another 8.5 point line that I want nothing to do with.
Los Angeles Chargers (-3) @ Tennessee
Switch the coaches and I’d be all over this one. I wouldn’t trust Brandon Staley to operate a light switch.
Kansas City (-3) @ Jacksonville
September home games in Florida are a huge advantage.
It’s going to feel like this game is being played in Saudi Arabia and I don’t want to rely on the Chiefs not melting in the 2nd half.
In week one, I was set to take Washington, but they veered into consensus territory and so I moved over to Jacksonville.
Washington showed just why I strongly recommend avoiding consensus pick teams as they almost lost to the Cardinals and knocked out half of your pool. Fortunately both won, as I can see how adding a stipulation like that could come across as disingenuous.
For week two, it appears that the consensus favorite so far is Buffalo.
Dallas and the New York Giants are a distant 2nd and 3rd, respectively. I’m going to eliminate each of those teams as potential choices.
Of the remaining teams, the one that stands out to me is San Francisco. Sure they are a road team but it’s a short trip and both teams are in the same time zone. Plus, the game is indoors and these teams will not be subjected to the elements posed by a pleasant day in Southern California. So yeah I’ll take San Francisco -0.5.
Good luck bettors and be sure to spend five figures on a ten-team parlay.