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

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2018

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers throws during the second half of an NFL football game -against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

Seven teams come into Week 2 of the NFL season favored by six or more points. 

The large gaps between favorites and underdogs suggest the second weekend of the season could feature a handful of blowouts. 

While that may be the case in some matchups, there will be some games that are closer than expected, or feature results that some thought weren't possible. 

Of the teams favored by six or more points, three of them are favored by more than a touchdown, and it's likely all three of those favorites cover. 

      

Week 2 Schedule and Odds

Sunday, September 16 

Predicted winners against the spread in bold.

1 p.m. ET 

Carolina at Atlanta (-6) 

Cleveland at New Orleans (-9.5) 

Houston (-3) at Tennessee

Indianapolis at Washington (-6) 

Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-4.5) 

Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5) at Buffalo 

Miami at New York Jets (-3)

Minnesota at Green Bay (-1.5) 

Philadelphia (-3) at Tampa Bay 

   

4:05 p.m. ET 

Arizona at Los Angeles Rams (-13) 

Detroit at San Francisco (-6) 

   

4:25 p.m. ET 

New England (-1) at Jacksonville

Oakland at Denver (-6.5) 

   

8:20 p.m. ET 

New York Giants at Dallas (-3) 

   

Monday, September 17

8:15 p.m. ET 

Seattle at Chicago (-3) 

Odds obtained from OddsShark

      

Predictions

Packers Find A Way To Win With Rodgers Less Than 100 Percent

After what Aaron Rodgers did in Week 1 against Chicago, we're not counting out another impressive performance in Week 2 versus Minnesota. 

Of course, the Vikings are a more complete opponent and their defensive line should be close to the pocket on every pass rush, but we're not betting against Rodgers after his unreal come-from-behind showing in prime time. 

Rodgers has had plenty of success against the Vikings, as he's thrown for 39 touchdowns and been picked off six times in 19 meetings with Green Bay's NFC North rival. 

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during a game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The 34-year-old signal caller is 41-14 against division opponents, and if the Packers leave Week 2 with a victory, they'll have a commanding early lead in the NFC North. 

When it comes to the spread for the NFC North clash, the Packers are slight favorites due to the uncertainty over Rodgers' health and the quality of the Vikings' defense. 

Minnesota will win if it makes Rodgers uncomfortable from the first snap and Kirk Cousins thrives in his first road test. 

While the Vikings aren't a bad selection to cover or win outright, it's hard not to be impressed by what Rodgers can do while banged up. 

        

Rams and Saints Cover Large Spreads

Betting on heavy favorites like the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints could be risky, just ask the people who bet on the Saints to thrash the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. 

Week 2 will bring a different result for the Saints, who along with the Rams are the only teams favored by nine points or more. 

New Orleans received the benefit of the doubt from the oddsmakers because it's taking on the Cleveland Browns at home. 

On paper, Drew Brees should put together one of his best stat lines of the season, as he, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas and the rest of the Saints offense run rampant at the Superdome. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 9:  Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 9, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 48-40.
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Rams are the heaviest favorite in Week 2, as they are favored by 13 points against an Arizona Cardinals team they beat by a combined score of 55-16 in two meetings a year ago. 

Sean McVay's Rams easily covered against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1, and it's hard to see to them not winning by two or more scores in their home opener. 

The Rams won't be favored by as many points every week, but until they face stiffer competition, games like Sunday's clash at the Coliseum serve as opportunities to blowout lesser opposition and for Todd Gurley to please his fantasy owners. 

        

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference. 

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