Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season is in the books, meaning we’ve spent the past few days celebrating one of football’s greatest traditions: overreacting.
While making grandiose claims based on just a few minutes of actual on-field action may be a boon for debate shows on ESPN and FS1, it can lead to some dangerous waters for gamblers. Week 1 undoubtedly showed us a few breakout teams likely to emerge as powerhouses through the season, but don’t throw away your preseason rankings after one matchup.
Last week, our picks went a frustrating 6-9-1, with one failed two-point conversion and one blown 14-point fourth quarter lead between us and a winning week. But hey, that’s gambling. There’s always next week.
Take a look below at our picks against the spread for Week 2 of the NFL season, as we attempt to wade through the overreactions and get back to our winning ways.
All lines are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
LAST WEEK: 6-9-1
Baltimore Ravens (PK) at Cincinnati Bengals (Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
The pick: Bengals PK
The logic: Guessing the Ravens are a bit overvalued here after destroying the Bills on Sunday, and I’m not giving teams all that much credit for destroying the Bills this year. Hopefully, the Bengals can keep it close.
Carolina Panthers (+6) at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
The pick: Falcons -6
The logic: The Falcons have had an extra three days to prepare for this game, and their offense was a few broken red-zone appearances away from scoring a lot more than 12 points against the Eagles to open the season. Atlanta hasn’t lost to the Panthers at home since 2014 — I think they do enough to cover here.
Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
The pick: Bills +7.5
The logic: Save yourself the anxiety and don’t bet this game, but it is my solemn duty to pick every game on the slate. Every rule in the book is working against the Chargers here — West Coast team coming east playing a home dog after getting blown out. Josh Allen may not be the most impressive rookie of the 2018 class, but he should at least be an improvement on Nathan Peterman.