NFL Picks Week 2: Why Vegas Got These Five Wrong
There's one thing better than taking down a wager on a spread or an over/under, and that is winning it in grand fashion.
Take week one for example.
TEN -6.5 vs. OAK was a joke. Or NE -5 vs. CIN, equally laughable. Just call those "easy money"
But when Vegas did many gamblers a favor with those two spreads, the handicappers got them real good with these ones:
HOU +1.5 vs. IND and WAS +3.5 vs. DAL.
It's easy to say that now, but they seemed to underestimate the rigors of division play.
Here are five spreads that Vegas may have gotten wrong in week two.
(All lines are from Caesars/Harrah's/Rio)
Kansas City +2 at Cleveland
An encouraging, winning display out of the Chiefs in the opener against the Chargers begs for gamblers to take the +2 to Kansas City.
The Chiefs may hold too many explosive weapons in Dexter McCluster and Jamaal Charles and could blow a seemingly soft Browns team to infinity and beyond.
Kansas City is riding on an cloud of confidence after taking down the four-time defending AFC West Champs. Stopping the running game is only half of the equation to a Chiefs team that some forget still plays Matt Cassel under center.
This team has some sort of balance that hasn't been around in sometime.
Kansas City plus the points may be a gift.
New England -2.5 at NY Jets
If a crisp 38-24 win against the Bengals in week one isn't an eye-opener to the potency of this Patriots offense, there may not be a better signal.
There may be questions on defense, but is the Jets offense any more impressive? No.
New England by a field goal is hardly a spread for healthy Tom Brady and a healthy wide receivers corps.
After a super season-opening letdown against the Ravens, the Jets have some major kinks to work out, and a contest with a rolling offense is hardly the best opponent for that.
The Pats minus the points appears to be a gimme.
Baltimore -2.5 at Cincinnati
Maybe a week of digesting a loss to the Patriots will help the Bengals get back on track, but an always-stout Ravens defense isn't the guinea pig to test.
The biggest concern is the home field in Cincinnati, but an abysmal offensive display against the Jets will have Baltimore hungry for points on the scoreboard, no matter how they come.
The Ravens' multi-faceted offense could spell trouble for the Bengals, who gave up 24 first half points to the Pats.
But what of the 428 yards of offense Cincinnati toted on a Belichick defense? New England cruised to victory and boasted a 31-3 lead just seconds into the third quarter.
A rebound for the Ravens' offense against a questionable Bengals defense makes -2.5 almost seem like an even spread.
Prop bet: -110 Ray Lewis injures somebody.
Philadelphia -6 at Detroit
Just when people thought that the Lions were beginning to turn a very large corner, their franchise quarterback is out for a few weeks, though no timetable was placed on his return from a shoulder injury.
Trigger an Eagles squad that nearly came from behind against the Packers only to fall short.
Likewise to Detroit, Kevin Kolb is sidelined with a concussion, pitting Michael Vick back in the spotlight as a featured signal-caller.
Vick's debut as the starter looks to be much anticipated as the feature in an offense that is nasty with talent, speed and agility at the skill positions.
Between Vick, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson, all four have the ability to make an incredible something out of nothing.
A touchdown may seem like a bundle to cover, but the Lions are starting Shaun Hill.
This could be a blowout.
Carolina -3.5 v. Tampa Bay
The Panthers get a feeble offense in Tampa Bay at home on Sunday.
Carolina forced four turnovers against a Giants offense that scored 31 points nonetheless.
All signs point to a similar defense performance out of the Panthers, but John Kasay accounted for nine out of 16 of Carolina's points on offense.
Whether Matt Moore or Jimmy Claussen gets the nod to start the game, three interceptions seems less likely if they lean on their two-headed rushing attack with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
The duo rushed 21 times for just 74 yards, a forgettable result considering the explosive ability of either tailback, and the Bucs gave up a league-worst 158 yards per game on the ground last season.
Carolina should cover the spread with ease.
Prop bet: DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart rush for 120 yards.