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NFL Week 2 Picks: Final Predictions and Over/Under Odds Before Thursday Night

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2016

Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith
Kansas City quarterback Alex SmithJamie Squire/Getty Images

There is a lot of danger in the second week of the NFL season. Handicappers have seen a whole week of NFL football, and it's easy to draw conclusions.

Those conclusions, however, are just guesses—or in some cases, false positives. Sharp handicappers know that most teams are still finding themselves and will for the first month of the season. Once a team has four games under its belt, it's much safer to draw conclusions about any team's strengths or weaknesses.

That does not mean there aren't good wagering opportunities out there for fans who like to bet on the NFL. But at this point, it's more advantageous to make place and show bets, and save the larger win bets for later in the season.

It's hard not to like the Kansas City Chiefs as they go on the road to take on the Houston Texans. The Chiefs staged an impressive rally to beat the San Diego Chargers 33-27 in overtime in Week 1, while the Texans came from behind at halftime to beat the Chicago Bears.

The Texans may have more motivation than the visitors, because the Chiefs knocked them out of the playoffs with a 30-0 dusting in last season's AFC Wild Card Round. However, the disparity in the score indicates that the Texans were not prepared for the postseason action, so it's not a matter of revenge.

The Chiefs may have gotten off slowly against the Chargers, but they turned it on when they needed to and have all the elements needed to cause problems for the Texans. Quarterback Alex Smith is a smart leader who is an accurate short- and medium-range passer. He refuses to throw interceptions, and his professional demeanor is a source of comfort to head coach Andy Reid and Smith's teammates.

NFL @NFL

Alex Smith, @derekcarrqb lead Week 1's Clutch performers: https://t.co/3WClZPkfJb https://t.co/ub6iOuEWdW

The Chiefs can also cause problems for a strong Houston defense with their running game. Whether Jamaal Charles is back in the lineup or not, the Chiefs can pick it up on the ground with Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West.

The Texans fell behind against an ordinary Chicago team, and they don't appear to have a well-rounded offense. The ground game appears solid with ex-Dolphin Lamar Miller, but quarterback Brock Osweiler is shaky and unproven. He does not have a rapport yet with star wideout DeAndre Hopkins.

The Texans are 2.5-point favorites, according to Odds Shark. We like the Chiefs to walk into NRG Stadium and come out with at least a seven-point victory, giving them an easy cover.

Week 2 Odds and Predictions
RoadHomeLineOver/UnderPrediction
JetsBillsNYJ -1.540.5Jets/Under
49ersPanthersCAR -13.545.5Panthers/Under
CowboysRedskinsWSH -2.544Cowboys/Over
BengalsSteelersPIT -348.5Steelers/Under
SaintsGiantsNYG -4.553Saints/Over
DolphinsPatriotsNE -6.541.5Patriots/Over
ChiefsTexansHOU -2.543.5Chiefs/Under
TitansLionsDET -647Lions/Under
RavensBrownsBAL -642Browns/Under
SeahawksRamsSEA -3.5N/ARams
BuccaneersCardinalsARZ -6.550Cardinals/Over
JaguarsChargersSD -347Jaguars/Under
FalconsRaidersOAK -4.549.5Raiders/Under
ColtsBroncosDEN -646Colts/Under
PackersVikingsGB -244Vikings/Under
EaglesBearsCHI -342.5Bears/Under
Odds Shark; Silverman prediction

   

Look for Saints, Giants to light up the scoreboard yet again

Eli Manning (10)
Eli Manning (10)Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Many longtime handicappers often start tearing their hair out when they come down on the wrong side of a point spread that may be decided by a half-point.

It seems that many of these close decisions always seem to go the house's way when a player is in the middle of a losing streak.

But Las Vegas does not always win, and while there are many trap games in a given season, there are also some gifts along the way.

When the New York Giants host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the oddsmakers appear to be giving away a gift. Last year, the Saints and Giants met at midseason in New Orleans, and the Saints outlasted the Giants 52-49.

The Saints and Giants were the two worst defensive teams in the league a year ago in yards allowed per game, and it was easy for quarterbacks Drew Brees and Eli Manning to have big games on that day.

Both the Saints and Giants made moves to improve their defenses in the offseason, with the Saints adding linebacker James Laurinaitis and defensive tackle Nick Fairley. The Giants added defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Damon Harrison and cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

Jon Campbell @JonnyOddsShark

Last year's Saints-Giants game saw 13 passing TDs & 101 pts. You may not be shocked to learn that all the early money is on the OVER this wk

All of these moves should help both teams improve defensively, but it's not going to happen right away. These two teams should be ready to engage in another back-and-forth shootout.

Perhaps it won't be one in which 101 points are scored, but look for both teams to reach at least 30 points.

The total in this game is 53 points, so we like the over coming in with relative ease in this game at MetLife Stadium.

   

Pats try to go 2-0 in the Jimmy Garoppolo era

Bill Belichick
Bill BelichickNoah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are facing the biggest handicap of any team in the first month of the season. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady is not allowed near the team's facilities, and he won't be allowed to come back until Week 5 when the Patriots play at the Cleveland Browns.

Few thought the Patriots would be able to continue their winning ways without him, but backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led the Pats to an impressive 23-21 win at Arizona in Week 1.

Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy GaroppoloMatt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Many thought the Pats would be cannon fodder in the desert, but the Cardinals got off to a slow start, and head coach Bill Belichick's team managed to hang on at the end. Garoppolo was poised and in control throughout the game, and he completed 24 of 33 passes for 264 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

That should put him in a good position to go 2-0 when the Pats host the Miami Dolphins Sunday. The Dolphins put on an impressive defensive show before losing their opener 12-10 at Seattle.

The Dolphins scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to take the lead, but the defense could not keep Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from mounting a game-winning drive.

The long coast-to-coast trip piled on top of a disappointing defeat may not leave the Dolphins in the best state of mind to compete at Gillette Stadium. The Pats are 6.5-point favorites at home, and we see them taking control of this game early in the third quarter and winning by double digits. 

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