NFL Week 2 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Six Best Bets

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We got things going in a positive direction by going 4-2 in Week 1. It could have been 5-1 if not for the heroics of the New York Jets defense and special teams units but excuses don't pay the bills.

RAMS (+8) vs. NINERS

With the important caveat that SoFi is going to be a sea of red and not much of a homefield advantage, it feels giving one of the more impressive teams in Week 1 eight free points in their own building forces our hand. Matthew Stafford looked very much like someone who is still capable of unlocking a Sean McVay gameplan and Cooper Kupp was not missed. Puka Nacua has the chance to become a cult hero if he keeps up his 170-reception pace and Aaron Donald is still causing opponents to scream in comical terror. Yes, San Francisco did as much destruction to Heinz Field as Bane back in the day. Yes, Brock Purdy looked wonderful and George Kittle will only get healthier. It's still so many points. Niners 24, Rams 17


You can understand why the line is so low and yet it feels like free money. Jordan Love is still an unknown quantity but winning Week 1 in front of an extremely hostile Chicago crowd is mighty impressive (even if the Bears were the opposite of that). The Falcons put up 24 points last week yet still feel like a toothless offense due to Desmond Ridder's inability to throw the ball further than five yards down the field. Atlanta's defense feasted on the inexperience of Bryce Young and could very well do so again to Love, but the line makes this effectively a pick-em and it's hard to imagine the Falcons keeping up with Matt LeFleur's unit. Packers 27, Falcons 20


If we had quit The Big Lead and only wagered five- or six-figures weekly on Dan Campbell's scrappy band of worldbeaters over the past season and change, we could be out on the golf course right now and unbothered about the prospect of paying for any child's college. They've been very good to us and now everyone else in the world believes. There was a lot to clean up from a season-opening road victory over the defending Super Bowl champions and that's what scary. If you're not on the bandwagon yet, there's no excuse. Lions 38, Seahawks 17

RAVENS (+3.5) over BENGALS

It seems Las Vegas is just as confident in a Joe Burrow bounceback as any pundit out there. That's the only reason to give them more than a field goal against Baltimore, even at home. This is because Ravens DC Mike Macdonald has managed to frustrate Burrow better than any singular coordinator in the NFL. In Burrow's three games against the Ravens with Macdonald calling plays, he's averaged only 214 yards through the air and hasn't thrown more than one touchdown in a game. Cincinnati won two of those three games (including a playoff win) so they should still be favorites. The point is that Burrow isn't going to light it up against these Ravens and he also might still be hurt if last week was any indication. Baltimore's devastating rash of injuries from Week 1 will make it hard to win but they'll keep it close. Bengals 23, Ravens 20


Baker Mayfield was gritty and gutty while being flawed. Justin Fields was just flawed. Suddenly the Bears really need to win a game and there's little on film to suggest they are capable of doing so. Chase Claypool should play harder and it can't be much worse for Chicago's offensive unit. Or could it? This one will be ugly and dull but sometimes that's where they money is. Buccaneers 19, Bears 14


We do love our road teams this week, don't we, folks? But this was tough to ignore because the Titans looked bad in their Week 1 loss to the Saints. The defense was solid but gave up a few big plays. Ryan Tannehill was missing guys left and right and for some reason rookie Tyjae Spears outsnapped Derrick Henry. Even if you bet on some improvement from the offensive side it feels incredibly unlikely they'll be capable of keeping up with a Chargers offense that absolutely cooked in Week 1 even in a loss. It is also very reasonable to think LA will be more able to handle a Titans offense that is, in many ways, the polar opposite of the Dolphins unit they faced in Week 1. The line is generous because the game is in Tennessee and the Chargers regularly find ways to lose games they should not but this will be a snoozer of a blowout. Chargers 41, Titans 20