NFL Week 2 Predictions: 3 Underdogs Guaranteed to Win
Early in any NFL season, there are several teams that get severely overrated by the public.
In Week 1, a few teams were exposed. For example, many believed the New Orleans Saints would easily cover the 8.5-point spread against the Washington Redskins. But with all the coaching suspensions and an aging defense, the Saints were blasted by Robert Griffin III in the Superdome.
Week 2 features a few can't-miss lines in which overrated teams are favorites.
These three underdogs will not only cover the spread, but win outright.
(All spreads courtesy of Bovada.lv)
Miami (+3) vs. Oakland
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Darren McFadden never got going against the San Diego Chargers, rushing for just 32 yards on 15 carries. When the Oakland Raiders decided to pass, Carson Palmer faced major pressure from the Chargers' pass rush.
It all led to an ugly 22-14 loss in which the Raiders needed a garbage-time touchdown just to make it that close.
The Miami Dolphins ranked third in rushing defense last year. They should have no problem containing McFadden. With the Raiders run game in check, Cameron Wake will have a big game pressuring and sacking Palmer.
Coming off playing one of the best defenses in the NFL on the road, rookie Ryan Tannehill should play a lot better against the Raiders. If this game goes anything like last year, he won't have to play all that well to win it anyway.
The Dolphins dominated the Raiders 34-14 a year ago by rushing for 209 yards. The Raiders, who fell behind 34-0 before scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns, did what many West Coast teams do when they have to travel to the Eastern time zone: They started slow.
I expect Reggie Bush to have a 100-yard game and Miami to win a low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Miami 19 Oakland 13
Kansas City (+3) at Buffalo
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In a battle of huge Week 1 disappointments, I'll take the team getting healthier over the team that lost two of its best playmakers.
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers should be able to play this week, and he's talented enough to contain wide receiver Stevie Johnson.
C.J. Spiller is too talented to completely shut down, but the Chiefs run defense limited Atlanta running backs to 62 yards on just 20 carries a week ago and should be able to keep Spiller from gaining 100 yards on the ground.
As far as the Week 1 losses go, I'd be more concerned about Buffalo's than Kansas City's.
The Falcons were just a terrible matchup for the Chiefs. Atlanta features a great run defense that made Kansas City one-dimensional, which forced Matt Cassel to do too much. The Falcons also have a phenomenal passing game that exposed the Flowers-less Chiefs secondary.
But the Bills have no excuse for the way they were beat down by the Jets, a team that simply doesn't have the talent that the Falcons have.
Expect the Kansas City two-headed monster of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis to run wild as the Chiefs pick up a win in Buffalo.
Prediction: Kansas City 24 Buffalo 13
Baltimore (+3) at Philadelphia
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The Philadelphia Eagles defense looked phenomenal against the Browns, but I don't think it will be able to shut down a balanced Baltimore Ravens attack.
Joe Flacco dominated a decent Cincinnati Bengals defense, passing for 299 yards and two touchdowns. Ray Rice and Co. will find more resistance from Philadelphia's defense, but you can still expect them to find the end zone twice.
Michael Vick is coming off a four-interception performance, and the Ravens should have no problem forcing him into multiple turnovers again.
It doesn't help that both Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are banged up.
Philadelphia's defense may be for real, but the Ravens should take advantage of multiple Eagles turnovers to put some points on the board. Once Baltimore has the lead, Andy Reid will stop calling running plays for LeSean McCoy, and we all know that the Eagles offense struggles when it becomes one-dimensional.
Prediction: Baltimore 23 Philadelphia 10