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NFL Week 2 Betting Preview

The idea that things are not so bad as they seem will be put to the test on Sunday.

Teams suffering a beatdown of 10-plus points in Week 1 rebound to cover the spread at a bettable rate in Week 2, according to statistics beginning with the 2014 season.

We have a primary play and a pair of bonus bets for Week 2.

THE HEADLINER Ravens at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET Sunday

The line: Bengals (-3.5)

With those Week 1 victims 10-3 against the spread the past two seasons – the Bengals were routed by the Cleveland Browns 24-3 last Sunday – a bounceback effort is coming.

Cincinnati’s potential isn’t even the biggest reason for an optimistic outcome in the Bengals’ home opener.

It’s the Ravens’ lackluster Week 1 victory over the Houston Texans in which their three-headed running back attack (JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill) gained 63 yards on 24 carries. And Dobbins suffered a season-ending injury. Quarterback Lamar Jackson led Baltimore with 38 yards on six carries – more impressive than his final passing stats (17 for 22, 169 yards, no TDs and one interception). Houston held a narrow edge in total yards, 268-265, against Baltimore, which was penalized 13 times for 108 yards and surrendered 242 passing yards to rookie CJ Stroud in his NFL debut.

The Ravens’ defensive backfield is far from healthy and there is trouble on the offensive line.

Early this week, coach John Harbaugh said safety Marcus Williams and offensive linemen Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum won’t play in Cincinnati. After managing only 142 total offense in Week 1 at Cleveland, Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, et al, can’t wait to get into the starting blocks. Burrow struggled mightily last week, going 14 for 31 for just 82 yards, good for a 52.2 passer rating. “Nobody is panicking in here,” Burrow said. “Week 1 doesn’t define anybody’s season. Obviously, (we were) not very good out there. … But we’ve been in this spot before, we’ve come back stronger and had a great year, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

After a 1-3 start, the Bengals won 12 of their final 14 regular-season games last season.

The pick: Bengals -3.5


The key to the weekend is finding the best fit for the Week 1/Week 2 trend.

According to Action Network stats, since the start of the 2014 season, teams that lost by at least 10 points in Week 1 have covered the spread at a 62.9 percent rate in Week 2.

The Panthers, Bengals, Colts, Texans, Steelers, Bears, Seahawks and Giants are the candidates to bounce back.


Another game that fits the trend, along with a player prop to consider.

Saints at Panthers, 7:15 p.m. ET Monday

The line: Saints (-3.5)

In Week 1, the Saints were what was expected of them: a struggling offense without suspended star running back Alvin Kamara and with quarterback Derek Carr in his first game.

That 16-15 win over Tennessee was a home game, but the scene shifts to the road and the Monday Night Football spotlight. Carolina’s 24-10 setback in Atlanta provided a nice opportunity for rookie quarterback Bryce Young to find his footing against an aggressive defense. Panthers coach Frank Reich should be able to help Young’s game-planning from Week 1 to Week 2 and the pair can find the right recipe to cover this number against New Orleans.

The pick: Panthers +3.


Lions RB David Montgomery rushing yards

The Detroit Lions upset the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1, and Sunday’s opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, dropped a 30-13 stunner at home to the Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks, 5.5-point underdogs, fit the Week 1 blowout/Week 2 rebound model but that’s not the play here. It’s Montgomery against the Seahawks’ run defense. Seattle wasn’t awful, statistically anyway, against the Rams running backs – but that’s because LA QB Matt Stafford was carving up the secondary. If Seattle devotes more attention to its pass defense, the run D will be even more vulnerable.

Montgomery’s workload in KC is the final word here. He carried the ball 21 times, and volume is the king when it comes to player props. With the winning number of 57+ rushing yards and a game that should stay close throughout, this feels like a relatively easy cover.

The pick: Montgomery over 56.5 yards (available at BetMGM) – Field Level Media


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