NFL Predictions Week 2: Last-Minute Picks and Advice for Sunday's Schedule

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2020

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) can't makes a reception defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

The second Sunday of the 2020 NFL season has arrived, and if the early action were any indication, we're likely in store for some unpredictable outcomes.

Week 1 was full of upsets, critical injuries and surprising developments, and the wackiness continued Thursday night. The Cincinnati Bengals lost but managed a back-door cover with less than a minute left in regulation.

Don't expect Cincinnati to provide the last wild finish of Week 2, as several of these games could go down to the wire. Here we'll lay out our predictions for each remaining game, along with the latest lines and over/unders from DraftKings Sportsbook.


NFL Week 2 Picks

San Francisco 49ers (-7,41.5) at New York Jets: 23-17 San Francisco

Buffalo Bills (-5.5, 42) at Miami Dolphins: 26-20 Buffalo

Detroit Lions (+6, 50) at Green Bay Packers: 31-22 Green Bay

Minnesota Vikings (+3, 49) at Indianapolis Colts: 28-27 Indianapolis

Los Angeles Rams (-1.5, 45.5) at Philadelphia Eagles: 27-24 Los Angeles

Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5, 44) at Tennessee Titans: 30-21 Tennessee

Carolina Panthers (+8.5, 47) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 34-24 Tampa Bay

Denver Broncos (+6.5, 40.5) at  Pittsburgh Steelers: 27-17 Pittsburgh

Atlanta Falcons (+4, 53.5) at Dallas Cowboys: 33-30 Dallas

New York Giants (+5.5, 42) at Chicago Bears: 26-20 Chicago

Washington Football Team (+7 46.5) at Arizona Cardinals: 28-26 Arizona

Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5, 47) at Los Angeles Chargers: 33-24 Kansas City

Baltimore Ravens (-7.5, 49.5) at Houston Texans: 31-17 Baltimore

New England Patriots (+4, 44.5) at Seattle Seahawks: 28-23 Seattle

New Orleans Saints (-5.5, 48.5) at Las Vegas Raiders: 30-20 New Orleans


Green Bay Packers (-6) over Detroit Lions

Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

While divisional matchups are often competitive affairs, the Green Bay Packers have a chance to run away with Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. Green Bay racked up 522 yards of offense and 43 points in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings and could have a similar outing against Detroit.

The Lions defense is set to see the debut of No. 3 overall pick and cornerback Jeff Okudah, but it will also be without starting corners Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman. That's going to be a problem with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looking as dangerous as ever

Additionally, star wideout Kenny Golladay is out for Detroit, though he could return in Week 3, according to NFL Media's Tom Pelissero.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

#Lions WR Kenny Golladay hasn’t practiced since injuring his hamstring Sept. 9 and is out again today against the #Packers, but coach Matt Patricia told me Saturday: “He’s really close.” They’ll see how he progresses, but sounds like Golladay could be back for Week 3.

With Golladay not featuring, Detroit could struggle to keep pace on the scoreboard, even if it is able to limit Rodgers, Davante Adams and the rest of the Packers offense. A line of less than a touchdown feels a bit low at this point, and Green Bay seems like a relatively safe pick.


Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) at Houston Texans

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Another injury that could have an impact Sunday is that to Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson. A premier pass-catching tailback, Johnson could have been a valuable weapon against the Baltimore Ravens. However, the Texans expect him to sit, according to ProFootballTalk's Michael David Smith.

The Texans do expect to have wideout Brandin Cooks, though he was essentially a non-factor against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This compounds a problem that the Texans have—most notably, their defense isn't very good. The team ranked 29th in pass defense a year ago and made few changes in the offseason. It was gashed by rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in Week 1.

The Ravens offense might be even better than it was a year ago, when it ranked second in yards and first in scoring. The addition of J.K. Dobbins to the backfield only makes the running game more dangerous, and Lamar Jackson is growing as a signal-caller.

As is the case for the Packers, this feels like a relatively low line for what, on paper, appears to be a noteworthy mismatch.


Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers OVER 40.5 Points

Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers game has one of the lowest over/under lines of Week 1, and for good reason. The Steelers defense is a top-five unit—it ranked fifth in both yards and points a year ago—while the Broncos are coming off of a game in which they scored just 14 points.

Here's the thing, though. Even if Denver only manages two touchdowns, that leaves Pittsburgh only needing to score 27 to hit the over. While the Tennessee Titans only scored 16 against Denver, they also left 10 points on the board with missed kicks.

Don't expect Steelers kicker Chris Boswell to miss four times Sunday.

With a healthy Ben Roethlisberger and weapons like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson and Vance McDonald, the Steelers should have a more explosive offense than Tennessee. They're not as likely to use a grind-it-out approach.

Plus, Denver could see the return of No. 1 receiver Courtland Sutton, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Broncos WR Courtland Sutton, dealing with an AC joint sprain, has a good chance to play today, I’m told, but the team wants to work him out pregame to make sure his ailment has healed enough, source said.

Expect Denver to do enough for Pittsburgh to keep its foot on the offensive gas for most of the game. This one should hit the over.


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