Week 2 of the 2018 NFL season began with a Thursday matchup featuring the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals and will end with a Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears vs the Seattle Seahawks. In between both games though is a busy 14-game Sunday which features several marquee matchups including the New England Patriots vs the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants vs the Dallas Cowboys. Week one brought us exciting games and unlikely results and the game slated in Week 2 should be no different.
Bettors are also looking forward to week 2 of the 2018 NFL season as it will either give them an opportunity to add to their opening week winnings or it will give them a chance to turn things around after suffering tough losses last week. The odds for Week 2 have been released and some are interesting.
Perplexing as they may be, there is still plenty of value to be found in the NFL’s week 2 odds, especially with the busy September 16 schedule. So we’ve listed down our best picks for Sunday’s games in this betting guide:
New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars 9/16/18, 4:25 PM ET
The rematch of last season’s AFC championship game is perhaps the most anticipated game in week 2 as the Jaguars look to avenge their 20-24 loss at the hands of the Patriots in the 2018 AFC title game.
Both teams won their season openers but only one of them will walk away undefeated on Sunday. The oddsmakers have pegged the Patriots as one point favorites to win on the road in Jacksonville:
New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Spread: Patriots -1 (-110), Jaguars +1 (-110)
Odds From Betonline.ag as of 9/12/18
The New England Patriots are no strangers to being favorites on the road. In fact, they have been favored in all their road games since Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season. Not only that, they have also been winning on the road too. The Pats are 14-1 SU and 12-3 ATS in their last 15 road games and have won those games by an average margin of 12.6 points. Given their reputation as Road Warriors, it’s interesting why New England isn’t a bigger favorite against Jacksonville on Sunday.
Speaking of defense, we all know how good the Jaguars defense was last season. But that defense was even better at home. While playing at the EverBank Field last season, Jacksonville limited its opponents to an average of 17 points per game. That tough defense has helped the Jaguars win their last six games (including the playoffs) on the road.
What’s The Best Bet?
Tom Brady passed for 277 yards with 3 TDs, 1 interception and didn’t look 40 against the Texans. New England has the edge in coaching and in game adjustments. The Jaguars defense was as good as advertised although they allowed Saquon Barkley more than 100 rushing yards in his NFL debut. A key factor in this game is the status of RB Leonard Fournette who left the Jaguars’ week 1 game with a hamstring issue. Fournette did not practice on Wednesday and the Jags are preparing for this game without him.
It’s hard to bet against the Pats’ success on the road and that alone makes me want to go with them. Brady doesn’t look 40 yet and Bortles will need to pass better especially if Fournette won’t be able to play or will be limited. I’m going with the Patriots to win by at least a field goal.
Prediction: Patriots -1.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9/16/18, 1:00 PM ET
Earlier, we talked about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers among the three home teams who enter Week 2 of the 2018 NFL season as underdogs despite winning their opening day matches. Well, the oddsmakers have a reason for this one and that’s because they are playing the defending Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles.
Doing Just Enough
Despite playing without starter Carson Wentz, the Eagles still managed to do just enough to win their season opener against the Atlanta Falcons 18-12. Philly wasn’t impressive, especially on offense as Super Bowl 52 MVP Nick Foles threw for just 117 yards on 19-34 passing with no touchdown and one interception while none of his targets had more than 48 receiving yards.
Jordan Hicks, Chris Long and Fletcher Cox sacked Falcons QB Matt Ryan a total of four times. Meanwhile, the rest of their pass rush defense accounted for 13 QB hits and 10 pass deflections. The Eagles’ defense also limited the Falcons to just 4 out of 15 on third down attempts and 1 for 5. They also did not allow the Falcons to score a touchdown until the 4th quarter which was worth noting.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Point Spread Odds: Eagles -3 (-124), Buccaneers +3 (+104)
Odds from Betonline.com as of 9/13/18
High Scoring Opener
Tampa Bay exceeded expectations in week 1 because despite playing without starting quarterback Jameis Winston who is on a three game suspension, the Bucs beat the New Orleans Saints 48-40 in a high scoring season opener.
The Bucs defense gave up 475 yards against the Saints last week but they forced the only two turnovers of that game. One of those turnovers turned into a defensive score for the Bucs. However, after taking a 48-24 lead, Tampa Bay allowed New Orleans to come back and cut the lead to 8 before hanging on for the win.
What’s The Best Bet?
The good news for the Bucs is that Carson Wentz is still not available for the Eagles. This means that Nick Foles will get the start again Foles has been struggling since preseason play and that’s one of the main reasons why the Eagles’ barely got the win last week. But the Bucs have injury issues of their own.
Starting cornerback Vernon Hargreaves left last week’s game with a shoulder injury. That’s an added setback for the Tampa Bay secondary who already lost Brent Grimes to a groin injury in practice. Grimes is expected to miss several weeks. The latest news out of Tampa Bay is that Hargreaves is out for the season.
With the Bucs playing a much better defensive team in Philly, Fitzpatrick and company aren’t expected to go to town with their aerial assault. Sure, the Eagles’ offense didn’t look great last week but they have more than enough on both ends to grind out a win like they did last week. The Eagles are 4-0 ATS in their last four games and 4-2 ATS in their last six games on the road. Give the points and take the Champs.
We’re picking the Philadelphia Eagles to win and cover the spread. Prediction: Eagles -3
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys 9/16/18, 8:20 PM E.T.
After disappointing Week 1 performances, the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys renew their rivalry on Sunday 9/16/18 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The Giants dropped their season opener to the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-15 after falling to a suffocating Jacksonville defense. On the other hand, the Cowboys sputtered all night long as they managed only 8 points against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. Both teams look to bounce back this week but they will have to do so against each other. Only one team will leave Dallas with a victory. Who will it be?
Is Saquon Barkley The Real Deal?
Sure, the Giants lost their opening game of the season but there was plenty to be optimistic about for New York. On top of the list is rookie running back Saquon Barkley who shone in his Giants debut. The 2nd overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft ran for a total of 106 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown. Considering he did so against what is considered by many as the best defense in football, Barkley looked like the real deal in week 1.
Eli Manning also had a productive game with 223 passing yards but he didn’t have a touchdown and had threw one interception. The most surprising thing though about the Giants’ performance last week was that their defense held the Jaguars to just 305 total offensive yards.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys 9/16/18
Over/Under Odds: Over 42.5 -105, Under 42.5 -115
Odds from Betonline.ag as of 9/13/18
Prescott’s Struggles Continue
The Dallas Cowboys went scoreless for three quarters last week but they ultimately punched home a touchdown courtesy of running back Ezekiel Elliott. QB Dak Prescott then completed the two point conversion as the Cowboys would cut the Panthers’ lead to 16-8.
Dallas has one of the best running backs in the game in Elliott but he only had 15 carries last week while Prescott was one shy away from 30 passes. Look, Prescott isn’t Troy Aikman nor is he even Tony Romo. Dallas should focus on its running game and let Ezekiel Elliott become their top offensive option.
What’s The Best Bet?
Both teams combined to score just a total of 23 points in week 1 and if that’s any indication, this should be a low scoring affair. Dallas only had one scoring drive last week while the Giants had just three field goals before Elliott’s TD.It’s not so much their defense but their offensive woes that’s bothering both squads.
Low scoring though is a trend in this divisional rivalry as they have gone UNDER in their last four meetings. The teams combined to average 29.5 points per game in those four meetings including last season’s opener, also held here in Dallas, which the Cowboys won 19-3.
The total has gone UNDER in 7 out of the Giants’ last 8 games, including four out of their last 5 games on the road. The total has also gone UNDER in four out of the last five home games for the Cowboys. Take the under in Arlington.
Prediction: Under 42.5