Week 1 was all about the Unders, with just four games going over the closing total. Offenses largely looked out of sync, including some of the top projected units in the league in the Chiefs, Bills and Bengals, for various reasons. Scoring will start to pick up as offenses find their rhythm, but injuries are already making things difficult for offenses around the league. And not just for the Jets with quarterback Aaron Rodgers done for the year after just one pass attempt; the Ravens and Seahawks are battling multiple key injuries on the offensive line, while the Browns are another team that lost a key player for an extended period of time at right tackle.
Now we turn to Week 2, where two games feature some of the best defenses in the league facing each other (Jets at Cowboys, Browns at Steelers). Perhaps the rest of the league will be able to pick up the scoring as a result, like we saw on Thursday in a 34-28 Eagles win over the Vikings. But some are likely to need another week or two to find their groove. I do expect a big offensive performance from one of the AFC contenders we mentioned at the top.
I've been SportsLine's No. 1 NFL against-the-spread expert over the last six years, going 535-450-30 against the spread to put me up more than 35 units on those picks at SportsLine since 2017. I've also delivered a 56.5% hit rate on my Vegas contest picks over the last eight seasons, which is exactly what you're getting below. And that run includes two finishes in the money, including finishing 18th out of 2,748 entries back in 2017.
If you're a SportsLine subscriber, you can get all my picks, which in a typical NFL week number can near double digits, at the same time as I make them by downloading the app and signing up for alerts on my expert page. That's crucial, as you might not have access to the same lines from the Las Vegas contests, which don't move after they're posted mid-week. This week, I'm going right back to the well and fading a team that dealt me a loss last week because I expect an offensive explosion from its opponent: the Buffalo Bills -8.5 vs. the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Raiders gutted out an impressive win on the road in Week 1, a rare road team to get a victory at altitude in Denver at the beginning of the season. Their passing offense was efficient but may be without Jakobi Meyers after the Week 1 leading receiver suffered a concussion. Meyers was one of only three Raiders with multiple targets as he and Davante Adams were responsible for 19 of Jimmy Garoppolo's 26 pass attempts, so his absence could be huge for the offense. On the defensive side, the Raiders weren't challenged at all down the field by the Broncos, who did a solid job on the ground but averaged only 4.6 yards per pass play.
The Bills, of course, should stretch the field with Josh Allen, who tried to do that too much against an elite Jets defense on Monday and threw three picks as a result. He should have much more success against this unit, and the Bills rushing attack could also be more of a factor this week. The Buffalo defense largely did its job against Zach Wilson; take away the long Breece Hall run and the Jets averaged just under four yards per play. Of course, Josh Jacobs is capable of making the Bills pay with a big run or two, but defending the run should be a key focus for the Bills after last week, especially in a matchup where they'll likely win if they can erase explosive plays from Vegas. With Buffalo one of the healthiest teams in the league coming out of Week 1, I believe they'll beat the Raiders by double-digits this week.
Get the rest of my Vegas contest picks below, along with my large-format survivor pool play for Week 1.
So which teams should you back in Week 2? And which underdogs could win outright?... Join SportsLine right now to see who you should back in Week 2, all from the expert who has crushed the world's most prestigious handicapping tournament!
GET VEGAS EXPERT PICKS FOR NFL, MLB, NBA, CBB, GOLF, NHL, HORSE RACING AND MORE - PLUS ADVANCED COMPUTER SIMULATIONS, WINNING TOOLS, AND MORE!JOIN NOW
Share This Story