The NFL is rarely predictable, which is mostly what makes it great. Still, there are a number of virtual locks in Week 2 of the season.
Although it is important to be weary of fluke performances from the first set of games, Week 1 still told us a lot about each team in the league. Some looked great and some looked awful, and both extremes are likely to carry over at least partially into the second week.
While there are certain to be a number of extremely close battles in Week 2 (San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks will be a great one), these one-sided contests will be sure-things when betting against the spread.
Note: All spreads courtesy of Vegas Insider as of Sept. 12.
New Orleans Saints (-3) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While picking the Saints away from home is always scary, it is clear that this is once again one of the top teams in the NFC. New Orleans struggled last season without Sean Payton, but the coach has returned and the squad already proved themselves with a quality win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Even with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' remade secondary, they will not be able to keep up with Drew Brees and the dynamic passing attack from the Saints.
On the other side of the ball, the Bucs looked atrocious in a Week 1 loss to the New York Jets. Josh Freeman completed fewer than half of his pass attempts, and Doug Martin could not find any room to run.
The Saints will be able to apply pressure from the defensive front to slow down the opposing offense while lighting up the scoreboard themselves, leaving with an easy win.
Chicago Bears (-6) over Minnesota Vikings
Last season, the Bears had one of the worst offensive lines in football, which is something that seriously held back the offense. However, the new unit with two rookies on the right side has held up so far.
If this continues, the Bears could have one of the better teams in the NFC.
Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson remains the only true offensive threat in Minnesota. Christian Ponder is coming off a three-interception performance against the Detroit Lions, and this is only certain to get worse against a ball-hawking secondary from Chicago.
The Bears will have a tough time containing Peterson, but simply slowing him down will lead to a blowout victory.
Denver Broncos (-4.5) over New York Giants
After watching Peyton Manning's seven-touchdown performance against the Baltimore Ravens, is there anyone willing to bet against him?
The New York Giants played a very soft defense in Week 1, leaving open plenty of short passes for Jason Witten and Miles Austin. This same strategy will be costly against Denver, as Manning will be able to utilize the underneath routes to Wes Welker all game long.
If the Giants start to press, there are enough weapons like Demaryius Thomas to go over the top and score in that way. There is simply little chance the Broncos are held to fewer than 30 points, and another 40-point game seems very likely.
Offensively, New York will have to learn from its six-turnover game against the Cowboys. Eli Manning would love to have a good performance against his brother, but these types of mistakes will be tougher to recover from against the Broncos.
Denver is simply significantly better than the Giants, and this game should not even be close.
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