It was a rickety start to the NFL for Week 1, even after the dramatic first game that saw the Kansas City Chiefs down the defending-champion New England Patriots 42-27 on Thursday night.
The first week of pro football saw a handful of lopsided results and a slew of low-scoring slugfests, with many of the results serving as rude wake-up calls for teams looking to improve upon their 2016 campaigns.
There's plenty of time for teams to overcome stumbling out of the starting gate as fans look for the action to pick up in Week 2. There's not a whole lot of information to go on for bettors and pick-makers, but that's hardly going to stop anyone from trying to predict outcomes.
|NFL Week 2 Spreads, Expert Picks|
|Matchup (spread)||Nathan Jahnke, Pro Football Focus||Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports||Stephen White, SB Nation|
|Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals (-6)||Texans||Bengals||Bengals|
|Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)||Chiefs||Chiefs||Chiefs|
|New England Patriots (-6.5) at New Orleans Saints||Patriots||Saints||Patriots|
|Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-8)||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens|
|Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers (-7)||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers|
|Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at Indianapolis Colts||Cardinals||Cardinals||Colts|
|Tennessee Titans (-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars||TItans||TItans||TItans|
|Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)||Steelers||Steelers||Vikings|
|Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7)||Buccaneers||Buccaneers||Buccaneers|
|Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5)||Chargers||Chargers||Chargers|
|New York Jets at Oakland Raiders (-13.5)||Raiders||Raiders||Raiders|
|Washington at Los Angeles Rams (-3)||Rams||Washington||Washington|
|San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-14)||Seahawks||Seahawks||Seahawks|
|Dallas Cowboys (-1.5) at Denver Broncos||Cowboys||Broncos||Cowboys|
|Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-3)||Falcons||Packers||Falcons|
|Detroit Lions at New York Giants (-3)||Giants||Lions||Giants|
There's no love from oddsmakers for the San Francisco 49ers. They are two-touchdown underdogs on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers played in front of an all-too-empty Levi Stadium in Week 1, losing to the Carolina Panthers 23-3.
The Seahawks weren't much better on offense in their debut, losing to the Green Bay Packers 17-9 on the road. The team will be looking forward to the return of Thomas Rawls, who can add some punch to the run game. Eddie Lacy was miserable against Green Bay with just three yards on five carries, and C.J. Prosise wasn't much better. Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable made it clear what he expects from Rawls.
"Violence," Cable said, per ESPN.com's Brady Henderson. "Really when you think about his career, what he's done, he's going to come after it. He's going to go after it every time he touches it."
The 49ers lack weapons on offense, so don't expect them to score much in the roaring cauldron of CenturyLink Field. However, they could have a shot at covering the spread if Seattle doesn't improve upon Rawls' return and Russell Wilson (158 passing yards, one fumble vs. Packers) has another poor outing.
The Detroit Lions are slight underdogs on the road against the New York Giants in Week 2 despite coming off a big comeback win.
The Lions were down 17-9 in the second half but stormed back to win the game 35-23. Matthew Stafford threw four touchdowns against one interception, two of them going to rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay. The running game led by Ameer Abdullah was still mostly a scuffling mess, while the defense forced four turnovers and helped key the comeback.
So why the underdog status against a Giants team that lost to the Dallas Cowboys 19-3 in Week 1? Well, being on the road never helps the betting line, and it would seem oddsmakers are banking on the return of superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to breathe some life into the New York passing attack.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Wednesday that the team is optimistic he will return after spraining his ankle in the preseason:
However, even if Beckham returns, there's no guarantee he will revive the offense. The New York Post's Paul Schwartz noted that with or without Beckham in the lineup, the Giants' scoring woes date back to the middle of last season:
"As fervently as the Giants want to flush this stinker, it is impossible to dismiss this as an opening-season clunker. The Giants, dating back to last season, have failed to score 20 or more points in seven consecutive games — counting the playoff loss in Green Bay.
"No other team in the NFL has an active streak longer than two games without reaching 20 points. The new season arrived with the same problems."
A Giants secondary, led by safety Landon Collins, might be able to do a better job than the Cardinals of disrupting Stafford, but the offense will have to take care of the football and do its part. The Giants may be a small favorite, but the Lions could be primed to pull off the slight upset on Monday night.