Bleacher Report's Expert Week 2 NFL Picks

NFL StaffContributor ISeptember 16, 2021

Bleacher Report's Expert Week 2 NFL Picks

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    Abbie Parr/Getty Images

    In the first week of the 2021 NFL season, nine of the 16 games were upsets. Altogether, underdogs were 12-4 against the spread, with only the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams covering as favorites.

    Bleacher Report national NFL writers Gary DavenportBrad Gagnon and Brent Sobleski, B/R Gridiron editors Ian Kenyon and Wes O'Donnell, and B/R Betting host Connor Rogers are here to take you through all 285 games in this special, extended NFL season with ATS picks for every one of 'em.

    The gang did not see so many upsets coming in Week 1 and have responded to that potential anomaly by riding faves quite heavily in Week 2.

    Here's where they come down on all 16 matchups.

New York Giants (0-1) at Washington Football Team (0-1)

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    Daniel Kucin Jr./Associated Press

    Editor's Note: Washington defeated the Giants 30-29 on Thursday night. 

    DraftKings LineWashington -3.5

    Two of the New York Giants' six victories last season came against the Washington Football Team, and New York objectively made more improvements this offseason than Washington did. Still, the majority of our panel is under the impression those victories were flukes. 

    They're backing the WFT as a 3.5-point home fave Thursday night. 

    "Tight end Evan Engram has already been ruled out for the Giants due to a calf injury, while running back Saquon Barkley looks like he'll need some time to get reacclimated coming off that torn ACL," Gagnon said. "That doesn't bode well at all for New York's chances on the road on short rest against a stacked Washington defense. That hook is a little scary, but the Giants' offensive line is no bueno, and it's difficult to trust the mistake-prone Daniel Jones with limited support against that Washington D."

    That defense wasn't as crisp as usual in Week 1, but it still had a pair of takeaways against the Los Angeles Chargers. It's hard to see it putting together a second consecutive non-awesome performance, especially considering the state of the Giants offense. 

    "Taylor Heinicke will quarterback the WFT in place of an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Heinicke outperformed Fitz last week and shined in a playoff loss in January," Gagnon added. "He could turn out to be an upgrade, and it helps that it looks like top back Antonio Gibson's shoulder injury won't be a huge factor either."

    Of course, it's also possible the Giants have Washington's number. Tread carefully, and consider buying back that hook to be safe. 

           

    Predictions

    Davenport: New York
    Gagnon: Washington
    Kenyon: Washington
    O'Donnell: New York
    Rogers: Washington
    Sobleski: Washington

    Consensus: Washington -3.5

    Score Prediction: Washington 23, Giants 17

New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-0)

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    James Gilbert/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineNew Orleans -3.5

    Our first hung jury of the season comes in Sunday's NFC South battle between the unbeaten New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. It's too risky a game to take a big chance on, especially with Saints bettors facing a hook in a divisional road tilt as the team deals with a potential COVID-19 outbreak

    Nonetheless, Sobleski on the Saints: "Jameis Winston isn't going to be perfect every week. But he's in a position to be while playing behind one of the game's best offensive lines. The Panthers built a promising and talented front seven. However, New Orleans' offensive front can negate Carolina's biggest strength. Furthermore, the Saints have the ability to pressure Sam Darnold behind his suspect front five. Of the two questionable quarterbacks, Winston is clearly in a better position to continue his early-season success."

    Meanwhile, Davenport on the Panthers: "Maybe the Saints really are as good as the team that just stomped a mudhole in the Green Bay Packers. Maybe Jameis Winston has truly turned a corner. Or maybe Week 1 was just an instance of everything going right for the team. Carolina's defense played well last week against the Jets, Christian McCaffrey can help the Panthers control the game's tempo and the last time Jameis Winston went two straight games without throwing a pick was sixth grade. Carolina could win this game outright, but the three points plus the hook at home is what seals it."

    Both arguments are convincing, but there's too much mystery here as we wait for the real Jameis Winston to stand up and wonder how much stock to put into Carolina's Week 1 win over the weak New York Jets. 

            

    Predictions

    Davenport: Carolina
    Gagnon: Carolina
    Kenyon: Carolina
    O'Donnell: New Orleans
    Rogers: New Orleans

    Sobleski: New Orleans

    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Saints 24, Panthers 21

Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1)

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineChicago -2.5

    Have the Cincinnati Bengals turned a corner in quarterback Joe Burrow's second season? Their Week 1 upset overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings was enough to convince the majority of the panel that Cincy can go toe-to-toe with a Chicago Bears team that is still led by Andy Dalton at quarterback. 

    "In what may or may not be the 11th sign of the Apocalypse, the Bengals aren't terrible," Davenport said. "Meanwhile, Matt Nagy won't start Justin Fields, because secretly he wants to be fired so he can work in television and people will stop yelling at him.

    "The Chicago secondary looked highly vulnerable Sunday night against the Rams, and the Bengals have the passing game weaponry to take advantage of that. The Bengals are headed to 2-0, Nagy's chair is about to hit about 375 degrees, and I can tell you with certainty what every single caller to Chicago sports talk shows a week from now will want to talk about."

    Before leading his team over the Vikes Sunday, Burrow was 1-1-1 with a positive points differential in games against non-playoff teams. That goes to show how tough the Bengals had it before their top pick suffered a torn ACL last November, but this Bears squad shouldn't be considered a tremendous challenge. The offensive line is in rough shape, and they allowed Matthew Stafford to post a near-perfect passer rating Sunday night. 

    It would be nice to get a full field goal from Chicago, but the Bengals are our play regardless. 

             

    Predictions

    Davenport: Cincinnati
    Gagnon: Chicago
    Kenyon: Chicago
    O'Donnell: Cincinnati
    Rogers: Cincinnati

    Sobleski: Cincinnati

    Consensus: Cincinnati +2.5

    Score Prediction: Bengals 24, Bears 23

Houston Texans (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineCleveland -12.5

    Another split comes with the Cleveland Browns laying a staggering 12.5 points against a Houston Texans team that won convincingly in Week 1. It's the first time the Browns have been favored by a dozen or more points since 1995, so it's easy to understand why there might be some trepidation there. 

    Then again, the Texans were a mess entering this season and nobody wants to read too much into a home blowout victory over a Jacksonville Jaguars squad riding a 16-game losing streak. 

    Rogers on the Texans: "The Browns are a really good team and are far from being on 'upset alert' this weekend. With that being said, this is a ton of points for a Texans team that showed they have no intention of laying over this season. Each groups' commitment to the ground game should prevent this one from getting completely out of hand. On top of that, the Tyrod Taylor to Brandin Cooks connection might be one of the most underrated in the NFL. It might not be pretty, but Houston won't get embarrassed in this one."

    Gagnon on the Browns: "Cleveland's pretty banged up coming off a tough loss, and Houston is a little scary with nothing much to lose right now. Throw in backdoor potential and I understand why several of my colleagues don't want to lay that many points. But the talent gap is utterly massive here, and the Browns won't want to mess around while looking 0-2 in the eye. Houston's run defense was abysmal last season, and Cleveland should run all over that unit in a three-plus-score victory."

               

    Predictions

    Davenport: Houston
    Gagnon: Cleveland
    Kenyon: Cleveland
    O'Donnell: Cleveland
    Rogers: Houston

    Sobleski: Houston

    Consensus: None 

    Score Prediction: Browns 30, Texans 17

Los Angeles Rams (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    DraftKings LineLos Angeles -3.5

    The Indianapolis Colts are such a talented and well-coached team that it's hard to believe they're significant underdogs while facing a potential 0-2 start at home. And yet, the majority of our experts are backing the Los Angeles Rams as a 3.5-point favourite in Indy Sunday. 

    "Some might dismiss the Rams' convincing Week 1 victory over Chicago as 'it was just the Bears,' but that would be a mistake," Kenyon said. "Matthew Stafford and the Rams looked like a team that is going to compete as an NFC power all season. Meanwhile, the Colts struggled to put together anything on offense in Week 1. Carson Wentz threw for 251 yards and two scores, but the Colts' receivers could be a legitimate concern moving forward when they get into negative game script against good teams. Indianapolis' receiving corps combined for 10 receptions for 124 total yards against the Seahawks, despite trailing for three straight quarters.

    "This week they'll face the pairing of Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams. The Colts' best chance will be to play at a slower pace, grinding with Jonathan Taylor in an attempt to limit the Rams' shot plays on offense to establish a lower-scoring game where they aren't needing to rely on their passing game in the second half. However, I'd expect the Rams to be able to hit a few explosive plays and win this game convincingly."

    The icing on the cake for our gang? Key players Darius Leonard (ankle), Quenton Nelson (foot/back), Xavier Rhodes (calf) and Braden Smith (foot) are all banged up for the Colts, while L.A. remains healthy. 

    That nasty hook remains a factor worth considering, but it's difficult to get behind Indy right now. 

             

    Predictions

    Davenport: Indianapolis
    Gagnon: Los Angeles
    Kenyon: Los Angeles
    O'Donnell: Los Angeles
    Rogers: Los Angeles

    Sobleski: Los Angeles

    Consensus: Los Angeles -3.5

    Score Prediction: Rams 27, Colts 21

Denver Broncos (1-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

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    RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineDenver -6

    The Denver Broncos just took down the New York Giants with a double-digit road victory. So why are they laying just six points in another road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars? After all, Jacksonville has lost 16 straight games and was just smashed by a Texans team in disarray. 

    Four of six panelists agree the Broncos should be a bigger favourite. 

    "The Jaguars already have the feeling of a team coming apart at the seams after only one week," Sobleski said. "Maybe Urban Meyer isn't cut out to be an NFL head coach. The transition hasn't exactly been smooth. The Broncos are flawed with Teddy Bridgewater leading the way, but the veteran quarterback is an efficient operator. He has been his entire career. Trevor Lawrence could be great one day. But this year's No. 1 overall pick simply lacks the surrounding cast to lead the Jags over the Broncos at this stage of his career."

    Denver did lose receiver Jerry Jeudy to an ankle injury in Week 1, but that pass-catching corps is quite deep, and at least the Broncos might get Pro Bowl pass-rusher Bradley Chubb back from an ankle injury of his own. 

    Still, the unpredictable early-career Trevor Lawrence factor is a potential wrench here, which might explain why we remain far from unanimous on this pick. 

             

    Predictions

    Davenport: Jacksonville
    Gagnon: Denver
    Kenyon: Denver
    O'Donnell: Jacksonville
    Rogers: Denver

    Sobleski: Denver

    Consensus: Denver -6

    Score Prediction: Broncos 27, Jaguars 17

Buffalo Bills (0-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-0)

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    DraftKings LineBuffalo -3.5

    In the third and final deadlock of the week, the gang is again split by an obnoxious hook with the Buffalo Bills laying 3.5 points on the road against the Miami Dolphins. 

    O'Donnell on the Bills: "In Week 1, as a 6.5-point home favorite, Buffalo was upset by a Steelers team that deserved more respect from the home side and oddsmakers alike. The Dolphins, meanwhile, went to Foxborough as three-point road 'dogs and knocked off the divisional-rival New England Patriots. While neither result was truly surprising, I expect the script to flip this week with the Bills evening both their and Miami's record at 1-1 with a decisive road victory. Buffalo had huge expectations coming into the season, got a little early dose of reality, and will use that to right the ship in Week 2. It also doesn't hurt that head coach Sean McDermott has lost to the Dolphins only once since taking over in 2017 (7-1 record) with all but one of those wins coming by more than three points."

    Davenport's defense of his Phins choice: "This pick is as much about the number as the teams involved—getting Miami at home with the hook. At the very least, Miami should be able to keep this close—the Dolphins have the talent on the back end to slow down Buffalo's passing attack, and the Bills apparently decided that running the ball is for suckers against Pittsburgh. If Miami can get pressure on Josh Allen without a ton of blitzing and avoid big mistakes, the Dolphins could win this game outright. But even if they don't, Miami should keep it close enough that the smart play here is to take the points."

    A Miami pick also represents a significant public fade, which is never a bad approach when in doubt. The Dolphins don't get a lot of love from oddsmakers and bettors, but Brian Flores' team is 21-8 against the spread since October 2019. On the other hand, the Bills are the better team on paper and need this more. 

            

    Predictions

    Davenport: Miami
    Gagnon: Miami
    Kenyon: Miami
    O'Donnell: Buffalo
    Rogers: Buffalo

    Sobleski: Buffalo

    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Bills 26, Dolphins 23

New England Patriots (0-1) at New York Jets (0-1)

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineNew England -6

    Before the New England Patriots fell to Tua Tagovailoa and the bugaboo Dolphins last December, Bill Belichick's squad had gone 9-0 with an average scoring margin of 32-12 in their previous 10 matchups with rookie quarterbacks. 

    With their backs against the wall following another loss to Miami, our panel is looking for Belichick and Co. to unload on a New York Jets team quarterbacked by rookie No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson on Sunday. 

    "Does anyone really expect Wilson in his second NFL start to beat Belichick after the Jets just lost their best offensive lineman in Mekhi Becton last Sunday?" Kenyon said. "The Dolphins got the win over the Patriots last week, but the Pats outgained Miami 393-259 as penalties (8 for 84 yards) and turnovers (two) plagued New England. There's no way that is sitting well with Belichick this week, and it's hard to imagine the Patriots starting the season 0-2 to two teams in the AFC East. The Jets are giving six points, which gives some wiggle room, but I would expect this game to be closer to 10 when all is said and done."

    Everyone except Rogers is in the same boat. This Patriots team wasn't crisp after significant offseason changes in Week 1, but Belichick is too good a coach and that roster is too talented to cut it close against this limping and rebuilding Jets squad. 

               

    Predictions

    Davenport: New England
    Gagnon: New England
    Kenyon: New England
    O'Donnell: New England
    Rogers: New York

    Sobleski: New England

    Consensus: New England -6

    Score Prediction: Patriots 27, Jets 14

San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineSan Francisco -3

    One 'dog the gang is almost unanimously backing? The Philadelphia Eagles in their home opener coming off a surprisingly convincing Week 1 road victory in Atlanta. Few would argue Philly is a better team than the San Francisco 49ers, but the Eagles are getting a full field goal at home and the 49ers nearly choked last week against the lowly Detroit Lions before losing both Raheem Mostert and Jason Verrett to knee injuries. 

    "Jalen Hurts was as efficient as you could ask for in Week 1, while first-round pick DeVonta Smith wasted no time in making an impact at wide receiver," Rogers said. "Even with Mostert down for the year, my main worry with this pick is the Eagles front slowing down San Francisco's rushing attack. On the flip side, Philadelphia's pass rush is going to help the defense get off the field in big moments. Javon Hargrave was one of the best defenders across all of the Week 1 action. This has 'shootout' written all over it, but the Eagles will be ready to go at home against a tough opponent."

    Let's not forget that while there remain questions about Hurts, the receiving corps and the secondary, the Eagles have one of the best defensive lines in the league, they're loaded with young (if unproven) talent in the receiving corps, and the offensive line is in much better shape with both Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson healthy. 

    It's possible a lot of us wrongly looked past Philadelphia this offseason, and it's also possible the 49ers continue to be jinxed in the injury department. With that in mind, take the points. 

            

    Predictions

    Davenport: Philadelphia
    Gagnon: Philadelphia
    Kenyon: Philadelphia
    O'Donnell: San Francisco
    Rogers: Philadelphia

    Sobleski: Philadelphia

    Consensus: Philadelphia +3

    Score Prediction: Eagles 27, 49ers 24

Las Vegas Raiders (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)

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    Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

    DraftKings LinePittsburgh -5.5

    The Las Vegas Raiders might have pulled off a sweet upset in their debut performance in front of Clark County fans Monday night, but now they're traveling across the country on short rest to deal with a Pittsburgh Steelers team that we may have preemptively eulogized. 

    Throw in injuries to veterans Gerald McCoy (out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury), Denzelle Good (ditto), Richie Incognito (calf), Josh Jacobs (toe/ankle), Carl Nassib (pectoral/toe) and Yannick Ngakoue (hamstring) and it's easy to see why most of the gang thinks LV is in trouble this week. 

    "The Raiders deserve a ton of credit for their comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1—a win the Steelers no doubt appreciated thoroughly," Davenport said. "As a thank you, T.J. Watt and the Pittsburgh pass rush is going to make Derek Carr cry. If the Steelers can get Najee Harris going Sunday, then a suspect Raiders secondary is going to be exposed, and I just don't see how Vegas is going to move the ball consistently.

    "Pittsburgh was able to cover a spread this size on the road against a 13-win Bills team last week. The Raiders may be better than last year, but they still aren't that good—and Heinz Field is going to be rocking for the home opener."

    Under Jon Gruden, the Raiders are just 3-7 ATS in the Eastern time zone. Rogers and Sobleski aren't convinced the Steelers are worthy of being a 5.5-point fave here, but the case against Vegas is pretty compelling. 

            

    Predictions

    Davenport: Pittsburgh
    Gagnon: Pittsburgh
    Kenyon: Pittsburgh
    O'Donnell: Pittsburgh
    Rogers: Las Vegas

    Sobleski: Las Vegas

    Consensus: Pittsburgh -5.5

    Score Prediction: Steelers 27, Raiders 20

Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-0)

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineArizona -4

    Don't put too much stock into the slight edge our committee gives the Arizona Cardinals as a four-point home favorite over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. O'Donnell, who is laying the points, admits this is a game that should be avoided. 

    "Trusting Arizona to string together two strong performances is a lot to ask," he said. "After their Week 8 bye in 2020, they went 3-6 down the stretch with two of those wins coming courtesy of NFC (L)East teams. While this squad appears to be better, and while they've hopefully learned from the disappointing end to last season, I'll believe it when I see it. Then again, there's the Vikings, a team that inspires even less confidence than the Cardinals in what is their second straight road game to open the season. Riding with the hot-handed home team is the safer play in a game I wish I didn't have to pick at all."

    It's worth pointing out, however, that all of Arizona's wins came in batches last season, including a start in which they went 2-0 straight-up and against the spread. The Cards' talented defense looks as though it has turned a corner, and the Vikes don't appear to be well-equipped to slow down Kyler Murray. 

    But that four-point spread is likely annoying Cards backers, and you might lose all value if you even have a chance to buy back that point to cover a field-goal margin. The oddsmakers are really pushing those hooks and extra points down our throats this week, and it's not surprising some of the guys are trying to get on the other side of them. 

               

    Predictions

    Davenport: Minnesota
    Gagnon: Minnesota
    Kenyon: Arizona
    O'Donnell: Arizona
    Rogers: Arizona

    Sobleski: Arizona

    Consensus: Arizona -4

    Score Prediction: Cardinals 26, Vikings 21

Atlanta Falcons (0-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineTampa Bay -12.5

    Are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers somewhat vulnerable in the secondary without injured cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting? Sure. Will that make a difference Sunday considering the sorry state of the Atlanta Falcons offense? Five of our six experts say no way. 

    They're laying a tied-for-season-high 12.5-points with Tampa Bay.  

    "Let's set aside the fact the Bucs are the reigning Super Bowl champs and the Falcons have serious issues throughout their roster," Sobleski said. "As good as Tampa Bay already is, Tom Brady and Co. had a couple of extra days of rest and preparation after playing on Thursday Night Football. Usually, a 12-point spread is too enticing to pass up, but the Buccaneers are that damn good without needing any added advantages."

    Brady had extra time to rest before scorching the Kansas City Chiefs in last year's Super Bowl. He of course had plenty of time to prepare before throwing four touchdown passes in Week 1 this season. And he and the Bucs were 2-0 straight-up and against the spread when they had 10-plus days off between games in 2021. 

    That could be critical with such a big line, as could the fact the Julio Jones-less Falcons had the league's fourth-worst passing offense in terms of DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average at Football Outsiders) in Week 1.

            

    Predictions

    Davenport: Atlanta
    Gagnon: Tampa Bay
    Kenyon: Tampa Bay
    O'Donnell: Tampa Bay
    Rogers: Tampa Bay

    Sobleski: Tampa Bay

    Consensus: Tampa Bay -12.5

    Score Prediction: Buccaneers 38, Falcons 17

Dallas Cowboys (0-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineLos Angeles -3.5

    There it is again! That pesky hook, this time scaring away some of those who want to back the Los Angeles Chargers after a strong Week 1 road win but figure the well-rested Dallas Cowboys can stick around with star guard Zack Martin returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

    "Dallas fans might be exhausted after watching a Week 1 game that featured nearly 800 total passing yards, but buckle up once again," Rogers said. "I don't think there will be a defensive answer for Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense, but the Cowboys will counterpunch with tons of points. The Michael Gallup injury would devastate most teams, but not one with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. This is one of the toughest picks of the week, but I'm betting on Dak Prescott and Co."

    He's in the majority, but by the slimmest possible margin after Gagnon jumped to Dallas on Wednesday in light of news that the Cowboys won't have DeMarcus Lawrence (foot), Gallup (calf) or La'el Collins (suspension). Kenyon joins him on the Bolts, although anyone following would be smart to consider buying back that hook to insure against a field-goal victory for Los Angeles. 

    This is another one in which you'll want to tread carefully and monitor the status of Chargers right tackle Bryan Bulaga (back).

             

    Predictions

    Davenport: Dallas
    Gagnon: Los Angeles
    Kenyon: Los Angeles
    O'Donnell: Dallas
    Rogers: Dallas

    Sobleski: Dallas

    Consensus: Dallas +3.5 

    Score Prediction: Chargers 28, Cowboys 27

Tennessee Titans (0-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

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    Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineSeattle -5.5

    "A tale of two offenses with high expectations that could not have been further apart in Week 1," Kenyon said of Sunday's late-afternoon tilt between the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks. "The Titans' star-studded offense got cooked by the Cardinals defense as the offensive line surrendered six sacks and provided little to no room for Derrick Henry. Meanwhile, 'Let Russ cook' was in full effect for the Seahawks, who saw Wilson complete 18-of-23 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns in a road win over the Colts.

    "The Titans' terrible defense will have their hands full again. There should be some expected regression for both teams, but my money would be on the Seahawks continuing to roll at home by at least one touchdown. The best bet in this game will likely be the over, which is set at 54."

    That number in a high-scoring game could leave the backdoor wide open for the Titans, which is something Gagnon and O'Donnell had in mind when taking the points. Seattle is also more banged up than Tennessee coming out of Week 1, unless you count the ego bruise Arizona handed the Titans. 

    Broadly, the Seahawks should be particularly fired-up for their first real home game in front of that famously cacophonous crowd since COVID-19 hit, and it's easy to see this one getting away from Tennessee again. 

            

    Predictions

    Davenport: Seattle
    Gagnon: Tennessee
    Kenyon: Seattle
    O'Donnell: Tennessee
    Rogers: Seattle

    Sobleski: Seattle

    Consensus: Seattle -5.5

    Score Prediction: Seahawks 31, Titans 23

Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-1)

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineKansas City -3.5

    The Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens have never defeated the Patrick Mahomes-quarterbacked Kansas City Chiefs, and K.C. won and covered when the two parties met in each of the previous two Septembers. Why should we expect that trend to change Sunday night with the banged-up Ravens operating on short rest and coming off a brutal overtime loss?

    Most of our panelists feel the Chiefs will take care of business again, even if yet another hook is in play.

    "Kansas City had to overcome an early double-digit deficit at home last week against a damn good Browns team they could very well see again in the postseason," O'Donnell said. "In Week 2, there is no let-up here as they take on another potential postseason rival on the road. Like Cleveland, Baltimore will look to exploit the Chiefs run defense, control the game and keep Mahomes off the field as much as possible.

    "However, in overcoming that early hole, Mahomes accounted for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) with zero interceptions in the comeback. He looked like the guy the entire league fears, and if he's feeling himself, that's not good news for the Ravens. In what could be a potential shootout, or a drubbing, I'm riding with Mahomes all the way."

    It could be tough for the Ravens to run all over the Chiefs. Jackson will have his opportunities, of course, but the offensive backfield was gutted by preseason injuries, and a soft-looking Baltimore D sans Marcus Peters could have trouble keeping it close enough for that run game to remain the focal point.

    Throw in that the Chiefs are expected to get All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu back, and this might be a no-brainer, especially if you have a chance to get Kansas City at -3 without losing too much value.

             

    Predictions

    Davenport: Kansas City
    Gagnon: Baltimore
    Kenyon: Kansas City
    O'Donnell: Kansas City
    Rogers: Kansas City

    Sobleski: Kansas City

    Consensus: Kansas City -3.5

    Score Prediction: Chiefs 31, Ravens 24

Detroit Lions (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (0-1)

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    James Gilbert/Getty Images

    DraftKings LineGreen Bay -11.5

    The Green Bay Packers' season will likely go one of two ways when they host the Detroit Lions Monday night. Either that Week 1 mess against New Orleans was a sign of things to come, or it was a complete aberration for a squad known to slip up from time to time and they'll hammer their retooling division rival in prime time at Lambeau. 

    Almost the entire gang is voting for the latter. 

    "Exclude games played in California or Florida (where they're 1-5 straight-up and ATS) and the Packers are 22-9-1 ATS (including playoffs) in the Matt LaFleur era," Gagnon said. "They've failed to cover the spread or push in back-to-back games just once during that two-plus-year stretch, and Rodgers usually bounces back strongly from ugly losses. He thrives when his back is against the wall, and the Packers can't afford to mess around against a really bad Lions team that played way over its head late in what otherwise was a dominant performance from San Francisco last week in Detroit."

    Rodgers and the Packers were crushed 38-10 in Tampa last October before rebounding with an easy win in Houston. And while it's possible a disgruntled Rodgers has checked out, it's hard to believe an intense competitor would bail on a critical late-career season this early on. 

           

    Predictions

    Davenport: Green Bay
    Gagnon: Green Bay
    Kenyon: Green Bay
    O'Donnell: Green Bay
    Rogers: Green Bay

    Sobleski: Detroit

    Consensus: Green Bay -11.5

    Score Prediction: Packers 35, Lions 17

              

    Lines are from DraftKings as of Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m. ET. Check DraftKings for the latest odds info. Information on public betting trends courtesy of the Action Network.


    If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).

    Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789 (TN).

    21+. NJ/PA/WV/IN/IA/CO/IL/TN/MI only. Odds and lines subject to change. Eligibility restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com/Sportsbook for full terms and conditions.

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