NFL Predictions Week 2: Early Odds, Picks and Projections for Upcoming Schedule

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2017

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) calls a play against the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. The Raiders won 26-16.(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

The best part about Week 1 of any given NFL season is that very few people, no matter how closely they follow football, can predict what's going to happen.

The opening week of the 2017 NFL season certainly followed that script, as viewers were shocked and, often, delighted to see storylines previously held to be true come crashing down. 

For instance, there was the Kansas City Chiefs dismantling the Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots 42-27 in prime time. Or how about the Baltimore Ravens shutting out the Cincinnati Bengals to the tune of 20-0? 

But not every team was much worse than expected; the new-look Los Angeles Rams under head coach Sean McVay got off to a hot start, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 46-9.

Now that we have a week's worth of data, we can make more informed projections about the results of the Week 2 clashes on the slate. Odds, picks and projections for all those games are below. 

All game starts are listed in Eastern time. 

Week 2 NFL Odds, Picks and Projections

Thursday, Sept. 14

Houston at Cincinnati (-3): 8:25 p.m., NFLN; Pick: Texans  

     

Sunday, Sept. 17

Arizona (-7.5) at Indianapolis: 1 p.m., Fox; Pick: Cardinals

Buffalo at Carolina (-4.5): 1 p.m., CBS; Pick: Panthers 

Chicago at Tampa Bay (-5.5): 1 p.m., Fox; Pick: Buccaneers

Cleveland at Baltimore (-9.5): 1 p.m., CBS; Pick: Ravens

Minnesota at Pittsburgh (-4.5): 1 p.m., Fox; Pick: Steelers 

New England (-4) at New Orleans: 1 p.m., CBS; Pick: Patriots 

Philadelphia at Kansas City (-4): 1 p.m., Fox; Pick: Chiefs

Tennessee (-1.5) at Jacksonville: 1 p.m., CBS; Pick: Titans 

Miami at L.A. Chargers (-2.5): 4:05 p.m., CBS; Pick: Chargers

N.Y. Jets at Oakland (-10): 4:05 p.m., CBS; Pick: Raiders 

Dallas (-1.5) at Denver: 4:25 p.m., Fox; Pick: Cowboys 

San Francisco at Seattle (-13): 4:25 p.m., Fox; Pick: Seahawks

Washington (-1.5) at L.A. Rams: 4:25 p.m., Fox; Pick: Rams

Green Bay at Atlanta (-1): 8:30 p.m., NBC; Pick: Falcons 

     

Monday, Sept. 18

Detroit at N.Y. Giants (-5): 8:30 p.m., ESPN; Pick: Giants

        

Biggest Week 2 Favorites

Seattle Seahawks

Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

The Seahawks lost in somewhat alarming fashion to the Green Bay Packers—17-9 in a game that saw them rendered unable to score a touchdown—so it's somewhat surprising that they open as the biggest favorites in Week 2.

However, if you saw the San Francisco 49ers play in Week 1...well, it makes a little more sense.

The 49ers put up one lowly field goal against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, and they did it on their home turf. So even if the Seahawks haven't quite gotten their footing this season, it's hard to imagine that the 49ers could put up enough of a fight to outscore them, especially at CenturyLink.

Even one week into the season, it's becoming clear that Seattle's offensive line is going to be a thorn in the side of the offense. The team struggled to get much of anything going either via Russell Wilson's arm or on the ground, as the Packers defense was relentless with its pressure. 

However, a matchup with struggling San Francisco could be just the thing Seattle's offense needs to get back on track. 

Projection: Seahawks 20, 49ers 7

         

Oakland Raiders

Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

The Raiders' postseason hopes were dashed in 2016 when quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken fibula. So, needless to say, the fanbase was anxious to see if the offense could pick up where it left off with Carr's return this season.

Long story short: It did.

The Raiders defeated the Tennessee Titans 26-16 in Week 1, and Carr was instrumental to that result, passing for 262 yards and two touchdowns in the win. He completed 68.8 percent of his attempts and looked sharp and precise in his return.  

But one of the reasons the Raiders are so dangerous is their position as one of the league's more complete teams. Between Carr, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Marshawn Lynch, the Raiders' offensive weapons are obvious. However, aside from Khalil Mack, there aren't a lot of big names on the other side of the ball for Oakland.

That didn't seem to matter on Sunday, as the defense, ranked 26th in the league in 2016, came together to finish the job against the Titans. 

Those who still haven't bought into Oakland's prowess will want to see the Raiders deliver against better competition, and the Jets don't count for that. But stacking wins will give Carr and his team the confidence it needs to show up when the schedule gets tougher later this season. 

Projection: Raiders 24, Jets 6

       

Baltimore Ravens

Gary Landers/Associated Press

The Ravens looked sharp in their 20-0 shutout of the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, even if quarterback Joe Flacco, who went just 9-of-17 for 121 yards and one touchdown, was underwhelming. 

But Flacco got a lot of help from Baltimore's offensive line, which limited the Bengals to just one sack on the Ravens' signal-caller. The team also compiled 157 rushing yards behind Terrance West and Javorius Allen. 

Running back was a huge question mark for the Ravens as they begin their season. West and Allen aren't exactly household names.

And to complicate matters further, free-agent signing Danny Woodhead went down with a hamstring injury, weakening that three-headed backfield attack a bit. There's no update as of Tuesday morning on how much time Woodhead will miss, if any. 

To be sure, while the final score in Cincinnati looked lopsided, the Bengals did enough to cause their own demise; not all the credit goes to the Ravens here.

But looking ahead to Week 2, Baltimore showed enough in its season debut that instills confidence the Ravens can get the job done against the division rival Browns, who gave the Steelers a run for their money in Week 1. 

Projection: Ravens 17, Browns 10

          

Odds courtesy of OddsShark and current as of Sept. 12.