What a wild Week 1 in the NFL. After a defensive slugfest in the Thursday night opener between the Bears and Packers, we saw nine teams score at least 30 points Sunday. Among them was a 59-10 dismantling of the Dolphins by the Ravens. Another was arguably one of the most surprising games of the week when the Titans handled the Browns on the road, winning by a score of 43-13.
As far as upsets go, we almost had one with the Eagles down 17-0 against Washington early. However, a second-half surge by Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense helped them squeak out a five-point win. With also saw our first tie right out the gate between the Lions and Cardinals. The week wrapped up with two games Monday night, one of which was a thrilling contest between the Saints and Texans that come down to the final seconds.
As we turn the page to Week 2, we have some exciting matchups on the docket. The first of which is yet another divisional matchup for the Packers, who will take on the Vikings at home. Another will pit the Eagles against the Falcons. As far as wagering goes, there are also some underdogs who might be in a position to help you take home some extra cash.
Saints (+2) at Rams (O/U 52.5)
The Rams never lost the lead in their win against the Panthers, but their victory was anything but a walk in the park. The Panthers cut their lead to three points early in the fourth quarter, but a touchdown pass from Jared Goff to tight end Tyler Higbee helped them hang on for the win.
The aforementioned matchup between the Texans and Saints was about as good as it gets. It took the Saints a while to get their offense rolling, but they ended up outscoring the Texans 27-14 in the second half. Just when it looked like they were going to lose after Kenny Stills caught a touchdown pass with 37 second left, Drew Brees helped lead the team back down the field for a game winning 58-yard field goal by Will Lutz.
After facing each other in the NFC title game last season, expect the Rams and Saints to once again be among the best teams in the conference. That was a closely contested game that the Rams ended up winning in overtime. Of course, there was the controversial no-call on what looked to be an obvious pass interference by the Rams late in that matchup. Both times these teams met last year, the underdog ended up being the outright winner. With the Saints having revenge on their minds, I like them to come away victorious in this matchup.
Colts (+3.5) at Titans (O/U 44.5)
With all the hype surrounding the Browns heading into this season, what the Titans did to them was extremely impressive. This game was close in the early going with the Titans leading 12-6 at the half. However, they stormed past them in the second half, including outscoring the Browns 21-0 in the fourth quarter. Derrick Henry was one of the driving forces for their offense, totaling 159 yards and two touchdowns.
The Colts started off the post-Andrew Luck era with a tough matchup on the road against the Chargers. They entered as six point underdogs and were down by eight points in the final minute, but Jacoby Brissett hooked up with T.Y. Hilton for a 19-yard score and Marlon Mack converted a two-point conversion to force overtime. The game ended as a push with the Chargers bouncing back for the 30-24 win.
One of the key takeaways from the Colts’ game is that Brissett played well. While he’s a downgrade from Luck, they should still at least be a competitive team on a weekly basis. Running back Marlon Mack could also be a difference maker in this game after amassing a whopping 174 rushing yards last week. The Colts did win both games against the Titans last year by at least 16 points, so I think they can keep this close enough to where I like taking the points.
Cardinals (+13) at Ravens (O/U 46.5)
It doesn’t get much more impressive than the victory the Ravens had against the Dolphins. Yes, the Dolphins have stripped down their roster and look to be one of the worst teams in football. Still, Lamar Jackson showed he can be much more than just a running quarterback, completing 17 of 20 passes for five touchdowns. Mark Ingram II also torched them for 107 yards and two scores on only 14 carries.
The Cardinals couldn’t have started out much worse against the Lions and were down 24-6 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Their offense then came to life, scoring 18 unanswered points to force overtime. Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray helped lead the comeback, throwing touchdown passes to David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald while also converting a two-point conversation. Although they ultimately came away with a tie, the late push was an encouraging sign for both Murray and the offensive scheme deployed by new head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
It’s no surprise that the Ravens are heavy favorites at home. They should be after their Week 1 route and facing a team with a rookie quarterback and a porous defense. However, the Cardinals have significant firepower on offense, so expect them to put up much more of a fight than the Dolphins did. While I like the Ravens to win, taking the points is awfully appealing.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
*21+. NJ/WV only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.