NFL Week 2 Picks: Favorites That Will Cruise to Victory

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08:  Brandon Marshall #15 of the Chicago Bears celebrates a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the final seconds at Soldier Field on September 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Bengals 24-21.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The favorite is usually favored for a reason.

Other than the New York Jets squeaking by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the help of a costly penalty, there were no major shockers that stunned football fans. The Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers came close, but ultimately fell short against their superior competitors.

Week 2 figures to offer another bag of largely predictable results. Many bouts feature a clear-cut favorite that sports a substantial advantage on paper. 

These NFL squads should have no trouble validating their position as the teams picked to win their Week 2 matchups.

Note: All odds are courtesy of Vegas Insider.


Chicago Bears (-6) vs. Minnesota Vikings

It's weird to think that the Vikings stole a playoff spot from the Bears last year.

Both NFC North clubs finished last season at 10-6, but it's no question which one is in better shape this season. The Bears will show this weekend why they're being taken much more seriously around the league than their division rival.

In their first game under new head coach Marc Trestman, Chicago topped the Cincinnati Bengals in a tightly-contested 24-21 bout. 

Minnesota lost to the Detroit Lions by 10 points, but that does not tell the whole story. The Lions recorded 139 more total yards than the Vikings.

Most of Minnesota's offensive woes were expanded by four turnovers, and Chicago knows a thing or two about generating turnovers. It led the league last year with 44 combined takeaways, including two interceptions off Christian Ponder.

Chicago will widen the gap between itself and Minnesota even more with a win.

Prediction: Bears 20, Vikings 9


Baltimore Ravens (-6) vs. Cleveland Browns

Allowing 49 points isn't the best way to follow up a Super Bowl win, but the Ravens should bounce back this Sunday against the Browns.

Peyton Manning decimated Baltimore with 462 passing yards and a career-high seven passing touchdowns, letting the champs know that repeating won't be easy. Losing Jacoby Jones for four to six weeks while Anquan Boldin went bananas in San Francisco had to make the week feel a lot worse.

Luckily they face the Browns, who saw the preseason buzz and decided to graciously squash everyone's hopes as soon as possible with a 23-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

While Jordan Cameron met the hype with nine catches, 108 yards and a touchdown, Brandon Weeden completed 49.1 percent of his passes and fired three interceptions. Cleveland's defense shut down the run but allowed Ryan Tannehill to compile 272 passing yards.

Panic will ensue if the Ravens drop to 0-2 this weekend, so expect a humiliated defense to gain some redemption against an easier opponent.

Prediction: Ravens 17, Browns 7


Cincinnati Bengals (-7) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

This AFC North did not look very good last week.

The Bengals and Steelers also both started the season with a loss, creating a four-way tie for first place among teams yet to sniff the win column. Cincinnati is still the division's top team simply by losing with the most substance.

In as even of a game as you can find, the Bengals fell to the Bears due to three costly turnovers and an All-Pro showing from Brandon Marshall. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, delivered the week's ugliest offensive display, mustering three field goals on 194 total yards from scrimmage.

Starting running back Isaac Redman gained eight yards on seven carries for Pittsburgh while Ben Roethlisberger was sacked five times. Its gritty defense will prevent the team from fading into oblivion, but the offense will prevent the Steelers from keeping up with top competitors.

After looking solid in defeat, look for the Bengals to look even stronger in victory on Monday night.

Prediction: Bengals 20, Steelers 10