Let's be honest—it's always way more fun taking the points with underdogs. You know it's a long shot they'll actually win the game, but hey, all they have to do is lose by the right amount and you're good to go.
But laying points with the favorites, well, that's always a stressful affair. But fear not, you nervous bettors, for I've identified three favorites I think are sure to cover. Don't be afraid to roll with these teams despite the amount of points you'll have to lay.
San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles
Line: Eagles (-7.5), according to Bovada
Analysis: The San Diego Chargers gave up 28 points to the Houston Texans in Week 1, have to travel to the East Coast on a short week and only have a few days to prepare for Chip Kelly's caffeine-riddled offensive attack.
Yeah, the Chargers are going to give up a lot of points in this one.
Robert Griffin III may have been rusty, but before settling back into a deeper zone to take away the big play, the Philadelphia defense played well against Washington. If you believe Philip Rivers can have a big game, you may not trust this line.
If you think he'll be prone to turning the ball over as he did so regularly last year, lay the points with the Eagles and enjoy the show.
Prediction: Eagles win, 35-24
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Line: Bears (-6), according to Bovada
Analysis: The Bears are at home, force crazy amounts of turnovers (which is always a danger for Christian Ponder-led teams) and looked quite good against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1.
Frankly, Chicago just looks like the better team. They have more weapons on offense—though, obviously, Adrian Peterson is always capable of taking over a game—a better defense and a quarterback in Jay Cutler that, despite his penchant for bad mistakes, can actually make plays down the field.
The Vikings may have made the playoffs a season ago, but they're overrated this year. Peterson can't do it all.
Prediction: Bears win, 24-17
Washington at Green Bay Packers
Line: Packers (-7), according to Bovada
Which favorite is the safest bet?
Analysis: There are a lot of reasons to like the Packers in this contest. Let's list them.
- Washington had the third-easiest schedule in the NFC a season ago and came into the season overrated. Someone had to say it.
- Robert Griffin III is still playing his way into regular season form after missing the preseason. He isn't himself yet.
- The Packers are always tough to beat at Lambeau Field, where they've won 23 of their last 26 games.
- The Packers held Colin Kaepernick in check on the ground last week, allowing him just 22 yards on seven rushes. Yes, he had a field day passing, but RG3 doesn't have the weapons in the passing game that the Niners do. RG3 will have a good game, but not a great one.
- The Packers haven't lost two games in a row since the 2010 season.
Prediction: Packers win, 31-21