Week 2 NFL Picks: Final Vegas Odds and Predictions for Sunday's Slate

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2017

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) makes a run against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Week 2 in the NFL doesn't look like much on paper. Eight matchups feature spreads of at least six points, including two double-digit spreads.

But there are always early-season surprises in the NFL as teams either exceed or fall short of expectations.

With so many teams favored by wide margins, we're almost certain to be treated to at least one shocking upset on Sunday.

Here's a look at the spreads for this week's matchups, followed by a breakdown of a few notable matchups: 

Eagles at Chiefs (-6)

Patriots (-6) at Saints

Browns at Ravens (-8)

Bills at Panthers (-7)

Cardinals (-7) at Colts

Titans at Jaguars (Even)

Vikings at Steelers (-5.5)

Bears at Buccaneers (-7)

Dolphins at Chargers (-3.5)

Jets at Raiders (-13.5)

Redskins at Rams (-3)

49ers at Seahawks (-14)

Cowboys (-2) at Broncos

Packers at Falcons (-3)

Lions at Giants (-3)

Bold denotes predicted winner against the spread.

         

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-8)

Gregg Williams has the Browns defense pointed in the right direction
Gregg Williams has the Browns defense pointed in the right directionJonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The days of marching up and down the field on the Cleveland Browns defense may finally be over. 

While this Browns team likely isn't ready to compete for a playoff berth, their improvement was obvious in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially on the defensive side of the ball. 

Led by new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the Browns held a potent Steelers offense to just 290 total yards—the lowest yardage total allowed by Cleveland since December 2015. 

The Baltimore Ravens offense has plenty of questions that still need to be answered, especially after losing Danny Woodhead to a hamstring injury in Week 1.

Given the Ravens' offensive questions and the Browns' improvement on defense, Baltimore may struggle to score enough points to cover a spread of more than a touchdown.

Recent history is also on Cleveland's side, as three of their past four meetings with the Ravens have been decided by a touchdown or less.

Prediction: Ravens 20, Browns 17

           

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (Even)

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars still have plenty of questions at the quarterback position, but rookie running back Leonard Fournette breathed new life into their offense in Week 1 against the Houston Texans. 

Fournette rushed for over 100 yards in his NFL debut, a number reached by Jaguars running backs just once during the entire 2016 season (Chris Ivory in Week 9).

Unfortunately for Fournette, he goes up against a Tennessee Titans defense in Week 2 that ranked second in the NFL a season ago in rushing defense.

But even if Tennessee can stop Fournette, can they stop quarterback Blake Bortles?

That sounds like a silly question considering Bortles' performance last season, but the Titans were one of the few teams unable to solve the Jaguars quarterback in 2016. In two games against Tennessee, Bortles completed 64 percent of his throws and tossed four touchdowns with zero interceptions.

A similar performance from Bortles should allow the Jaguars to start their season with a 2-0 mark.

Prediction: Jaguars 24, Titans, 21

            

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5)

Jay Cutler makes his Dolphins debut at Los Angeles
Jay Cutler makes his Dolphins debut at Los AngelesMitchell Leff/Getty Images

According to OddsShark's Jon Campbell, over the past five seasons, teams that lose in Week 1 and then play at home in Week 2 cover the spread 65 percent of the time. That stat applies to the Los Angeles Chargers, who are hosting the Miami Dolphins after a Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos. 

The Dolphins will be taking the field for the first time this season after their Week 1 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was rescheduled because of Hurricane Irma. 

An extra to week to prepare for a game often helps a team, but at the start of the season, the added benefit is likely minimal because of the fact players on both squads are relatively fresh and healthy to begin with. Additionally, Miami missed an opportunity to work through any early growing pains the offense may suffer with Jay Cutler taking the reins for the first time.

Cutler has been known to be careless with the football throughout his career, and as he adjusts to a new offense and receivers in Miami, it's likely he will toss a few interceptions. In his five starts with the Chicago Bears a season ago, Cutler threw at least one interception in four of those games.

Assuming they can capitalize on Cutler's mistakes, the Chargers should cruise to their first victory back in Los Angeles.

Prediction: Chargers 27, Dolphins 20

                

All spreads via OddsShark.