[Overall Record ATS: 2-1]
Week 2 is perhaps the most bettor-friendly week of the NFL season.
By then, the oft-hyperbolic media has already incorrectly determined who the best teams in the NFL are (This time last year, the Buffalo Bills were in consideration for this imaginary praise. They went 6-10.) and Vegas reacts in kind with inflationary lines liable to make any bettor worth his salt salivate.
The list of the top teams in the NFL based on week one play reads like a who's who of teams whose peaked with many 1-0 teams doomed to come crashing back down to earth (See: 2011 Buffalo Bills). In many cases, this happens sooner rather than later.
Week 2 is also about desperation. As you have probably heard more times than you have cared to, history is unkind to teams who start the season 0-2. Only 26 teams that started 0-2 have made the playoffs since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978
The New Orleans Saints,
Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Steelers are all playoff teams from last season looking to avoid statistical victimization from that standpoint.
Expect desperation to ensue.
PHILADELPHIA (-2) over BALTIMORE
This is a bit of a risky bet given the fact that the Eagles take a value hit after a sloppy Week 1 victory where they committed five turnovers—one more than the Cleveland Browns—yet still won.
The Philadelphia and mainstream media are treating Week 1's slop fest like a loss for the Eagles, as they should be, and premature chatter is already starting to drum up about head coach Andy Reid's job security and whether Michael Vick is the answer for the Philadelphia Eagles long term.
Whether he is or isn't (I say no), The Eagles find themselves in an advantageous rebound situation taking on an impressive Baltimore Ravens team coming off of a nationally televised blowout over a division rival.
The Ravens have had a short week to prepare for a road game against Eagles following an emotional victory over the Cincinnati Bengals accompanied by endless accolades for Joe Flacco, who appears reborn under Cam Cameron's new hurry-up offense.
Meanwhile, the Eagles—picked by some to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl—have been more motivated in practice to prove that they are better than the team who was one dropped interception in the end zone away from suffering a catastrophic loss to the Browns in the opener.
The Eagles may be the favorites in Las Vegas, but their treatment by the mainstream media has earned them underdog-type value. The Eagles escape with a quasi-must win victory.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins 26-20.
CAROLINA (+2.5) OVER NEW ORLEANS
Desperation has made the Saints a very popular pick this week as they are dominating both moneyline and spread bets 82 percent and 89 percent, respectively.
Unfortunately, the Saints will have to travel outdoors, away from the confines of a powerful home-field advantage, to play on a slowed-down grass surface where they averaged 25.8 points a game in 2011, as opposed to 38 points per game when indoors.
Drew Brees and Co. will be playing an equally desperate Carolina Panthers team with high hopes after 2011 featured the exceptional play of rookie quarterback Cam Newton. The Panthers have value as a home dog coming off a Week 1 loss as favorites, while the Saints are showing inflation as a road favorite fresh off a deplorable defensive effort at home in which the surrendered 40 points to Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
Carolina's identity is to air it out (they passed 72 percent of the time) under a potent attack led by their standout rookie quarterback. New Orleans' poor pass defense makes them a sketchy play prone to an upset.
Prediction: Carolina wins 32-24.
KANSAS CITY (+3) OVER BUFFALO
So let me get this straight, the Buffalo Bills continued their second-half "slowmentum" from last season by getting blown out by the Jets' still-questionable offensive attack.
Their defense allowed 48 points and now they return home as the favorites?
The Buffalo Bills simply aren't equipped to cover this week matched up against a Kansas City team seeking revenge from an embarrassing opening-week home loss to the Bills last season.
Kansas City is built to run the ball and were taken out of their game plan last week thanks to the effectiveness of the Falcons' fast-paced, no-huddle offense. Do not expect that to be the case this week as Bills' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick commits more turnovers than KFC, and Buffalo's overrated run defense—having allowed a near 100-yard effort to the the perennially unspectacular Shonn Green—goes up against Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs' potent ground game.
Prediction: Kansas City wins 26-19
[Lines from Sportsbook.com via VegasInsider.com]