After a crazy Week 1, our NFL picks are back for some more action and our experts seem to be in-sync with their selections.
Week 1 was the week of the underdog, with 12 of the 16 dogs covering the spread and nine of the 16 dogs winning straight up, both of which are records in the Super Bowl era. Alas, we now turn our attention to Week 2 where there are some incredible contests, headlined by Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens hosting Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.
Our NFL picks help provide some clarity on the five best games from Week 2 and help you find some winning bets.
Sunday, September 19th
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins – 1PM ET
This AFC East showdown will see the 1-0 Miami Dolphins host the 0-1 Buffalo Bills. Miami were able to take care of business in Foxborough last week while Buffalo suffered a shock, home upset at the hands of the Steelers. Can Josh Allen and the Bills bounce back or will Tua and the Dolphins add another win?
I’m taking the Dolphins with the points here. Miami has a scrappy defense that restricts the ability of their opponents to move the chains and put scores on the board, which is exactly the same type of defense that just restricted Buffalo to just 16 points last week. While Josh Allen and the Bills are definitely a step up from rookie Mac Jones and the Patriots, but New England did spend big on their offense in the off-season and has flashy pieces that were supposed to help more than what we saw against Miami’s defense.
The worry is that, despite not scoring many points, the Bills did control most of the game against Pittsburgh and if it wasn’t for a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown, we may be talking about a very different result. Allen does have a good record against Miami over his career but I don’t think he will be able to beat the Dolphins’ secondary by throwing over 50 times, like he did last week. This game should be close but Miami’s defense has me happy to take them getting more than a field goal in the spread.
Tim’s NFL Pick: Miami Dolphins +3.5 (-112)
91% of spread bets are currently on the Buffalo Bills (vs. Miami Dolphins)
The public loves the Bills… pic.twitter.com/As4JopyhiQ
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) September 15, 2021
After shocking the Patriots in a stunner, the Dolphins take on one of the best teams in the league from last season. Led by a solid game by Tua Tagovailoa, and a phenomenal showing from the defense, the Dolphins looked great in their first outing of the year. The Bills on the other hand didn’t look good as they choked a 4th quarter lead. The Bills offense struggled against a stout Steelers defense at the end of the game, while their defense failed to generate any stops against an aging Big Ben.
Despite their performances last game, in this matchup, I think the Bills win big against the Dolphins. The Bills are the superior team and just choked against a good defense and veteran led offense. In the last game the Bills played against the Dolphins, the Bills destroyed them 56-26. Although I don’t think that will happen again as the Dolphins defense has greatly improved, I think Josh Allen comes out guns blazing and the Bills win this one by at least a touchdown as they bounce back and show why everyone had such high expectations of them.
Mike’s NFL Pick: Buffalo Bills -6.5 (+130)
The Dolphins started the season with a bang! A one point win over the Patriots on the back of their extremely effective defense. However, the Bills are a stronger opponent than the Patriots and this is going to be a big test for Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins. I expect the Bills to come hard at the Dolphins after their seven point loss to Steelers, despite the Dolphins having a very impressive defense as well. I still see Josh Allen and the Bills taking the reins and putting pressure on the Dolphins, scoring more touchdowns than last week’s effort. I’m betting on the Bills to win by at least one touchdown.
Justin’s NFL Pick: Buffalo Bills -6.5 (+130)
Los Angeles Rams @ Indianapolis Colts – 1PM ET
The Indianapolis Colts will be hosting an NFC West opponent for a second straight week and will be hoping for a much better outcome this time around. The Colts couldn’t get a look in against the Seahawks last week and now host a revitalized Los Angeles Rams team that looked great on both sides of the ball last week against the Bears.
The Rams couldn’t be happier with the performance that Matt Stafford dished up on Sunday Night Football. While the Bears defense may be past it, Stafford made them look extremely pedestrian, going 20/26 for 321 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. Stafford’s 156.1 passer rating is the highest in NFL history for a quarterback debuting on a new team. His ability to throw the ball down the field combined with Sean McVay’s play calling creates a dangerous offense and the Colts will definitely have their hands full in this one. Especially when you consider that just allowed Russell Wilson to come into Lucas Oil Stadium and dominate them.
The Colts defense, which is supposed to be one of the best in the league, allowed Wilson to go off for 254 yards, four touchdowns and no picks last Sunday and that won’t cut it when they have Carson Wentz at QB. While he had an interrupted pre-season and performed admirably last week, going for 251 yards and two touchdowns, he was flustered, ineffective and now faces an even better defense. The Rams weren’t at their best last week, but they still restricted Chicago from scoring, making stops in the Red Zone time and time again. I like what Stafford, McVay and the Rams are doing so far so I am taking them to win & cover.
Matt Stafford had a wild debut for the Rams with the best performance in his career. Stafford posted a career high 156.1 passer rating with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Stafford looks like he has a team around him and a coach that will make the most of his elite arm talent. The Rams and Stafford will take on the Colts who lost by 12 to the Seahawks in week 1. Wentz was good but not great in his debut for the Colts with a 102 passer rating. The particular area of trouble for the Colts was their rushing attack, which struggled against the Seahawks.
They now face a much better Rams defense. The Colts offensive line will need to contend against a Rams defensive line that is led by the best defensive player in the league, Aaron Donald. The Rams defense should stifle the Colts running game, meaning Wentz will have to win the game through the air. With Jalen Ramsey and the good group in the Rams secondary, Wentz may struggle, especially if he continues to have growing pains. The Rams led by the rebirthed Matt Stafford and that insane defense should beat the Colts by at least a touchdown.
Mike’s NFL Pick: Los Angeles Rams -6.5 (+115)
The Rams performed strongly in their 34-14 win against the Bears last week and Stafford had it under control in his Rams debut. He threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns, looked right at home with new team and I expect he will continue his form in this match against Indianapolis. The Rams certainly can get better from here and coach McVay will demand the Rams return home with a 2-0 record. The Colts are a better opponent than the Bears on paper and they can put up a fight, however the Rams should prove too good for the Colts. If Stafford doesn’t throw any interceptions, the Rams will have another comfortable win against the Colts this week.
Justin’s NFL Pick: Los Angeles Rams -3.5 (-110)
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 4.05PM ET
After an awful Week One performance, the Atlanta Falcons get on the road to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in some NFC South action. This game will have some feeling to it with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski famously beating the Falcons in Super Bowl LI when they were members of the Patriots, with Brady reminding everyone of that on social media during the week.
While the Bucs were vulnerable last week, almost losing to the Cowboys, I can’t bet against them here. Yes they had four turnovers and yes they allowed Dak Prescott to throw for 403 yards and three touchdowns, but they still have Tom Brady and they still won the game. The lack of impact in the running game is a worry but then you have two receivers with over 100 yards and a touchdown for the game plus your tight end picking up 90 yards and two touchdowns, you don’t have to worry too much.
That will be even more evident against an Atlanta side that didn’t look like their usual selves. The Falcons are known as being one of the best offenses in the league when playing at home and the six points they scored last week is the fewest they have scored at home in the last seven years and the second fewest they have ever scored with Matt Ryan at QB. They went just 3/14 on third downs and now face a Bucs defense that, while showing signs of imperfection last week, are still better than the Philadelphia one they just came up against.
The injury to Sean Murphy-Bunting is a worry, given the Bucs’ secondary is already one of their thinnest areas, but they have more than enough talent on both sides of the ball to make up for that in this one.
Tim’s NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -11.5 (-111)
Football is BACK, back 😏
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 10, 2021
After a deflating 32-6 loss to the Eagles, the Falcons now face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A year ago the Buccaneers swept the Falcons, and they should do the same this year as the Falcons look like a bottom 5 team from their week 1 performance. Not only did Matt Ryan fail to generate offense, despite his weapons at tight end and receiver, the Falcons running attack looked like a shell of its former self. The defense also looked horrible getting just 1 sack and failing to contain the Eagles in the air or on the ground.
On the other side, the Buccaneers played relatively well against the Cowboys last week. Tom Brady led the 40th 4th-quarter comeback of his career and showed us why the Buccaneers are one of the best finishers in the league. The Buccaneers defense did look worrying as they allowed 29 points and over 400 yards from Dak Prescott, who hadn’t played since week 5 of last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons got an early lead, but the Buccaneers should win this game.
Mike’s NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-720)
After getting thrashed by the Eagles in Week One and the worst is yet to come. The Buccaneers are a much stronger opponent than the Eagles and this is another home game for Buccaneers, where they aim to continue their winning form. The Falcons will struggle in this game, not having lots of confidence and they will have to find their form quickly or they will keep struggling every week. Matt Ryan is capable of throwing 350+ yards on his good days and for him to beat the Buccaneers, he has to do that. The Buccaneers defense did look worrying when Dak Prescott attacked them with his 403 passing yards and allowed the Cowboys to score 29 points but the Buccaneers still managed to snatch the win in the last seconds. The Buccaneers will win this game and I’m betting on them to cover the spread.
Justin’s NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -11.5 (-111)
Tennessee Titans @ Seattle Seahawks – 4.25PM ET
Two teams that couldn’t have had bigger differentials in performance in Week One face off as the Seattle Seahawks host the Tennessee Titans. The Seahawks are coming off a dominant performance on the road against the Colts while the Titans were embarrassed at home by the Cardinals. Can Seattle push on to 2-0 or while Tennessee recapture their form that saw them win the AFC South last season?
I’m all over the Seahawks to cover given the spread is currently under a touchdown. While I expect the Titans offense to show something better than last week, there are worrying signs that things have changed since losing Arthur Smith as offensive coordinator in the off-season. Derrick Henry only had 58 yards and failed to get into the endzone while A.J. Brown and Julio Jones could only combine for 78 receiving yards. Given this is a team that typically relies on their offense to control time of possession and grind their opponents down, that wasn’t the start that they would have wanted.
As mentioned in the intro, the Seahawks were the complete opposite. Russell Wilson played like he did when leading the conversation for MVP at the start of last season, tearing up the Colts’ defense, which is supposed to be much better than that of Tennessee that he faces this week. What helped was that Chris Carson picked up 91 yards on the ground, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. This opened up the defense and Wilson took advantage, finishing with numbers of 18/23 for 254 yards and four touchdowns.
While Week One numbers aren’t everything to go off, the Seahawks have a massive edge and return home in front of their loud, raucous crowd, the ‘twelves’. Seattle fans are up there with the loudest in the league and I believe they will help the Seahawks comfortably win this game.
After being embarrassed by the Cardinals, the Titans now face the Seattle Seahawks. The Titans look to get their mojo back after a 38-13 loss which saw one of the league’s best offenses from last season fall back to earth. The Titans, which generally lean on big back Derrick Henry, will need to get their running game going against the Seahawks to stand a chance of winning. The Titans offensive scheme is dictated by the success of the run and without it they will likely lose. Despite adding Julio Jones, the Titans passing game didn’t look great last week. The Titans may bounce back in this game as they play a below average Seahawks secondary. The Seahawks may be worthy opponents to stop the Titans run game as they completely suffocated the Colts run game last week. The Titans are a completely different beast though.
Russell Wilson has been looking good and had a near perfect performance last week throwing to his 2 favourite targets, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. He should feast again against the Titans’ poor defense. The Titans defense struggled to contain the scrambling Murray last week and now face a very similar Russell Wilson, who is essentially a bigger and better Kyler Murray. I am leaning toward the Seahawks to win this one but I think the overs may be the smart bet as the Titans bounce back and the Seahawks feast against a poor defense.
Mike’s NFL Pick: Over 53.5 (-110)
The Titans were embarrassingly thrashed by the Cardinals and will face another challenge when they travel to Seattle this week. After a huge 28-16 win for the Seahawks, they’ll be brimming with confidence to win in front of their fans at Lumen Field. The Seahawks balanced their plays against the Colts with 23 passing attempts and 27 rushing attempts, scoring 28 points on the back of 4 touchdowns. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are the main receivers for the Seahawks and they gain good yardage when Russell Wilson throws them the ball. It will be a hard task for Titans defense to stop them and I predict both receivers will score a touchdown in this game.
The Titans will have to try something new to overcome their 13-38 loss to the Cardinals and Ryan Tannehill must improve his passing accuracy after making only 21 passes out of 35 attempts for 212 yards last week. If he can improve on that, the Titans will perform better and score a few more points this week. However, I’m betting that the Seahawks will cover the spread.
Justin’s NFL Pick: Seattle Seahawks -6.5 (-108)
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens – 8.20PM ET
The Baltimore Ravens will look to open their account for the season when they host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. Given Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson won league MVP in 2018 and 2019 respectively, as well as both teams being in the AFC, there has been expectation that these sides would have one of the best modern era rivalries, however Kansas City have claimed each of the three meetings when both QBs have played.
The pre-season injuries may have caught up with the Ravens on Monday night. They had their chances to beat the Raiders given they were up 14-0 in the first half, put themselves ahead with under 40 seconds remaining and then also forced a turnover in overtime. However, the roster is looking thin and Lamar Jackson hasn’t looked like he has improved his passing game, which will continue to limit the Ravens’ offense.
On the other hand, Kansas City can move the ball freely and score in an instant, as shown in the fourth quarter of their clash with the Browns last week. Despite facing a nine point deficit in the fourth quarter, Mahomes and the Chiefs offense knew they had to turn it on. It started with a one-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a Tyreek Hill touchdown to cut the lead to two and then ended with a three-play, 92-second drive that saw Travis Kelce get into the endzone to give the Chiefs the lead.
Adding to the advantage that Kansas City have based on last week’s form, John Harbrough, the Ravens’ coach, is just 1-5 against Andy Reid, the Chiefs’ coach, and has lost four straight to him overall. The Ravens are also more banged up than the Chiefs and have one last day to prepare, and the short week won’t do them any favors. Patrick Mahomes is still perfect in September, where he hasn’t lost and hasn’t thrown an interception in his career.
Tim’s NFL Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 (-110)
.@ShannonSharpe on the Ravens & Chiefs Sunday night matchup:
“I’m worried about the Ravens defense. Derek Carr threw for 435 yards and he ain’t got not one weapon on the offense other than Waller. Can you imagine what Tyreek & Kelce are going to do?!” pic.twitter.com/Qcb9X4b2zV
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) September 16, 2021
The 2 most exciting offenses in the league to watch play once again. The Chiefs, led by the magical Patrick Mahomes play the dynamic Lamar Jackson. Both teams were involved in shootouts last week and will likely have another high scoring affair this week. The Chiefs look to continue their dominance after beating the ascending Browns. The Browns played phenomenally and still lost, highlighting the pure dominance of the Chiefs. Mahomes conducted a clinic against a ferocious pass rush and great secondary, throwing for 337 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Chiefs defense also played well against the pass but had trouble against the run, allowing 4 touchdowns on the ground. This may be a warning sign as the Chiefs face one of the best rushing attacks in the league, led by Lamar Jackson. The Ravens had a last minute meltdown where they lost a winnable game to the Raiders. I’m looking for the Ravens and their offense to bounce back in this game as a 0-2 start in the AFC North would be a big problem for them. This game is tough to call as the Ravens could run all over the Chiefs leaky run defense, but I think the Chiefs will win this behind another signature Mahomes performance.
Mike’s NFL Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-210)
This is the game of the week with two of the most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL, who are building rivalry for many years to come. Both teams are coming off thrilling games last week. The Ravens blew a winnable game to the Raiders while the Chiefs, after trailing in the final quarter, bounced back with 2 touchdowns to clinch the win. The Chiefs struggled against the run, as they leaked 4 rushing touchdowns to the Browns. Given Jackson frequently balances his game between passing and rushing and seeing as the Browns exploited the Chiefs defense on the ground, Jackson will use that to his advantage on Sunday night.
Justin’s NFL Pick: Baltimore Ravens (+168)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.