Week 2 started off with an upset when the Buccaneers defeated the Panthers on the road. With Cam Newton (foot) now injured, their 0-2 start is looking fairly ominous. Another team dealing with an injury to a star quarterback is the Steelers, who lost a close one to the Seahawks on Sunday and will now be without Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) for the remainder of the season. Injuries were a common theme throughout Week 2, including the Saints losing Drew Brees (thumb).
There were some impressive wins to keep teams undefeated, including the Patriots drubbing the Dolphins, 43-0. The Chiefs also used a 28-point second quarter to dispatch the Raiders and improve their record to 2-0. One of the more surprising starts that we have seen has come from the 49ers, who beat the Bengals by 24 points to give themselves another victory.
Looking ahead to Week 3, we have a lot of games that include inexperienced quarterbacks. One of those figures to be a Herculean-mismatch with Jets third-string quarterback Luke Falk starting on the road against the Patriots. Another will be Mason Rudolph starting for the Steelers against the aforementioned impressive 49ers. If you’re looking to take a chance on an underdog or two, the following are all intriguing wagers to consider.
The Lions had a disappointing performance in Week 1, blowing a fourth quarter lead and eventually ending up with a tie against the Cardinals. They looked to get back on track at home against the Chargers, who had won their first game of the season against the Colts in overtime. This was another closely contested battle, but a late touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Kenny Golladay ended up giving the Lions a 13-10 victory.
In what looked to be a significant mismatch on paper, the Eagles had to mount a second half comeback to overcome Washington at home in Week 1. They were on their way to pulling off another comeback win against the Falcons when Carson Wentz rushed for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. However, a 54-yard touchdown reception from Julio Jones ultimately resulted in the Eagles suffering their first loss of the year.
Can the Eagles bounce back with a win despite DeSean Jackson (abdomen) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) both possibly missing this contest? Well, they have won 17 of their last 21 home games, which is a stat that certainly works in their favor. However, the Lions have covered the spread in four of their last five meetings against the Eagles. While it might be difficult to envision a scenario in which the Lions win this game, this line is large enough to where taking the Lions and the points is appealing.
Falcons (+1) at Colts (O/U 47.5)
The Falcons couldn’t have played much worse in their Week 1 clobbering at the hands of the Vikings. The game was never in doubt with the Vikings at one point holding a 28-0 lead. If there was a silver lining, it was that Matt Ryan closed the game with two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. As mentioned previously, they quickly bounced back with a win against the Eagles, a game in which Ryan recorded three more passing touchdowns.
The Colts were dealt a shocking blow when Andrew Luck retired in the preseason, leaving the quarterback job to Jacoby Brissett. They rode running back Marlon Mack to the near-upset of the Chargers in Week 1, although Brissett did complete 21 of 27 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Brissett threw for three more touchdown passes in Week 2 when the Colts were able to pull out a win on the road against the Titans.
It might be noteworthy that the Colts have won each of their last nine games as home favorites, but a lot of that was with Luck at the helm. They are also dealing with an injury to Mack (calf), which would be a critical loss if he is limited or can’t play all together. Outside of their dud in Week 1, the Falcons are a team that shouldn’t have problems scoring points. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see them grab this win on the road.
Giants (+6.5) at Buccaneers (O/U 48)
There wasn’t much to be excited about through the first two games if you are a Giants fan. They were destroyed by the Cowboys in their season opener and lost by two touchdowns at home to the Bills in Week 2. Their defense has major problems both in coverage and pressuring the quarterback while they have an extremely thin wide receiver depth chart as a result of injuries and suspension. On the bright side, they do have Saquan Barkley, who has already rushed for 227 yards and a touchdown.
As far as bad performances go, what the Bucs displayed on the field in their first game against the 49ers was right up there. The turnover-prone Jameis Winston threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Winston didn’t have a single interception in the aforementioned Week 2 victory over the Panthers, which likely went a long way toward helping them win that contest.
The big news surrounding this game is the Giants benching Eli Manning in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. While giving him his first career start on the road so early in the season might not be ideal, Manning’s best days have long been behind him. Having Jones start could provide a jolt that the offense needs. They should also receive some reinforcements with wide receiver Sterling Shepard being cleared from the concussion protocol. Despite their defense still being a major area of concern, the Giants might be able to do enough on offense here to make taking the points a viable option.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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