If the Chicago Bears were not able to score 21 unanswered points in the 4th quarter vs. the Detroit Lions to steal a win from the clutches of Ford Field, the PFN betting team would’ve been looking at nearly 20 units of profit — you find all of our work right here. We’ll “settle” with our nearly 12 units of profit and move on to the point spreads that caught our eye on the Week 2 NFL docket. Let’s cap some games, shall we?
San Francisco 49ers (-7) at New York Jets, Over/Under 42.5
The 49ers will dominate the trenches
When comparing two teams it is always wise to begin in the trenches. This determines if a quarterback will have time to throw the ball or constantly be pressured. It shows you whether a running back will run wild or get stuffed at the line repeatedly. This game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets has a disparity that I love to capitalize on. If you read my article last week on the Bills/Jets game, you will see similar comparisons to this game.
The 49ers march out an upper-echelon offensive line in this game against the Jets’ defensive line that is decent against the run but terrible as a pass-rushing unit. On the other side of the ball, the Jets have a bottom-five offensive line and happen to be facing off against a top-five defensive line in the 49ers. The 49ers have an overwhelming advantage in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
Long story short, the 49ers should be able to run all over the Jets with Raheem Mostert and give Jimmy Garoppolo plenty of time to find his targets, which will allow him to perform better than he did last Sunday versus the Arizona Cardinals. When it comes to defense, the 49ers should be able to plug lanes and keep the stagnant Jets run game at bay while also consistently pressuring Sam Darnold into making quick and erratic decisions.
Does each team have enough weapons to win?
This past week we saw the 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel placed on injured reserve (where he will be out until approximately Week 4) and tight end George Kittle go down with a knee sprain and remains questionable for the game against the Jets. Their rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk should be back this week, however. If Kittle gets the green light then the 49ers will have more than enough weapons to attack the Jets in a multitude of ways.
The Jets do not possess as many dangerous weapons that the 49ers do, but Jamison Crowder is a nifty veteran. Crowder, however, was missing in action until the game was out of hand down 21-3 to the Buffalo Bills this past weekend. Add in the fact that Le’Veon Bell is slated to miss a couple of weeks due to a hamstring injury he sustained in Week 1, and we have a Jets offense that will not have many threats to compete with San Francisco.
Both the 49ers and Jets have what some may call “game managers”, and while this statement may be justified, a true game manager can only perform well if surrounded by the proper pieces to help them succeed. It is clear that the 49ers have a vastly better team coming off a Super Bowl run in 2019 and returning almost the entire team in 2020. The Jets on the other hand spent the entirety of 2019 in the basement of the NFL standings and will do so again this year.
Although neither quarterback is stellar, the 49ers are in a position to utilize its run game and potential tight end advantage, whereas the Jets will be stuck figuring out ways to move down the field against an elite defense in the NFL.
Jessica’s Pick: 49ers -6.5 (buy ½ point @ -125) for 4 units: This NFL point spread for Week 2 opened at -6.5 and immediately jumped up to -7. Most online sportsbooks should allow you to adjust the betting line by at least a half-point. Although taking this game at -7 should still be an easy bet to cover, I tend to pay a little extra to get the win rather than a potential push.
If the West Coast to East Coast travel happens to affect the 49ers, you can still secure a win with a touchdown rather than needing eight points or more to cover the spread. This game should present complete domination, in every aspect, by the 49ers. Richard Sherman was placed on the injured reserve which may open things up for the Jets, but the 49ers aggressive defensive line should still cause Darnold to take sacks and make inaccurate throws.
The only two question marks are if Kittle will be able to suit up and if Garoppolo can step it up from last week’s abysmal performance. Either way, the 49ers should not have an issue winning the game by a touchdown even without Kittle and a mediocre Jimmy G.
New England Patriots (+4) at Seattle Seahawks, Over/Under 45
The Patriots are not the Patriots of old
The Patriots lost linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive tackle Danny Shelton in free agency to the Dolphins and Lions respectively, which has caused their top-five defense from 2019 to falter a bit. They also lost starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung via opt-outs, which further depleted their stout defense. Bill Belichick is renowned for finding new players to plug into his defensive schemes and still produce results. Yet, an elite quarterback like Russell Wilson in the second game of the season may be too much for Belichick to game plan for.
The strongest part of the Patriots defense is definitely their secondary, but with the ability to rely on the run and Wilson’s elusive traits to extend plays, he shouldn’t have an issue finding D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett open time and time again. If the Seahawks maintain a balanced attack and keep the Patriots’ secondary honest, I believe the Seahawks should have no issue putting up at least 27 points against this defense.
The Seahawks offensive line is a work in progress like it has been for Wilson’s entire career, but the Patriots defensive line is nothing to write home about. I believe both of these below-average units cancel each other out throughout the game, especially with Wilson’s ability to extend plays. On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks will have to work extremely hard to get pressure on Cam Newton with their bottom tier defensive line since the Patriots are in the upper echelon in regard to their offensive line. They are missing starting left tackle Marcus Cannon due to opting out, however, which may help the Seahawks generate a pass rush.
The Patriots showed in Week 1 that they have shifted their game plan to be a run-first offense due to the lack of receiving weapons on the team and Newton’s ability to keep defenses honest with his rushing capabilities. I think this continues throughout the 2020 season and the Seahawks will have to focus on this aspect since their defensive line is the weakest link on defense.
Week 1 comparison for both teams
It seems, at least in comparing Week 1 statistics, that the Seahawks are finally moving toward a pass-first offense and not stubbornly relying on the run game like they have historically. If this is the case, then the entire offense gets a boost in 2020 because they will be unpredictable, whereas it was almost guaranteed that they would run the ball on first and second down. This benefits the Seahawks as well because, as mentioned before, Wilson is fantastic at extending plays and giving his receivers time to create separation in the secondary.
The Patriots seem to have joined the Seahawks taking a 180-degree turn, but in regard to their offensive scheme. Historically, the Patriots were a dink-and-dunk team relying on short crossing patterns that Tom Brady would execute flawlessly to move down the field with ease. If Week 1 is an example of what to expect, the Patriots are now utilizing a run-heavy offense with the major focal point being Newton as a rusher. The key part of this game will be how each defense adjusts and minimizes the other team’s strengths.
Outside of his MVP year, Cam has never thrown for more than 24 touchdowns in a season while his completion percentage tends to hover just under 60% year in and year out. He averages around 3,400 passing yards per year and has also thrown double-digit interceptions every single year of his career. Overall, Newton is not an efficient passer and has maintained his position in the NFL due to his ability to make plays on the ground. With the lack of overall receiving and rushing talent around him, Newton will need a stout defense and low scoring games the majority of the time to keep games close for the Patriots in 2020.
On the other hand, even with all of Russell Wilson’s incredible accomplishments, he has yet to receive one MVP vote in his entire career. He has thrown for over 30 touchdowns in four out of his last five seasons and has kept his interceptions in the single-digit range in five of his eight NFL seasons. He has also averaged just under 4,000 passing yards per year and his completion percentage typically stays above 63% — those are elite numbers. If the Seahawks can give Wilson ample time to throw down the field and if he can find a way to extend plays when they don’t, we could be looking at Wilson’s MVP year here in 2020.
For this game to remain close the Patriots will need to get to Wilson and cause him to make inaccurate throws, which is rare, and stop the Seahawks’ ferocious rushing attack as well. If they fail to accomplish either one of these tasks, the Seahawks should have no issue turning this into a 10+ point advantage by the third quarter.
Jessica’s Pick: Seahawks -4 (-110) for 3 units: Last week, we saw the Patriots struggle to put away a bottom-tier team in the Miami Dolphins in which they emphasized the run, especially with Newton. The Seahawks are a potential Super Bowl contender with a top-three quarterback in Wilson and a dangerous run game featuring Chris Carson. The only area of concern with this team is on both the offensive and defensive lines. Wilson has found a way to make the offensive line concerns less of an issue in the past, which leaves us with just the Seahawks’ defensive line as the question mark in this game.
The Patriots do not have many receiving threats and their run game is stagnant besides the dual-threat Newton possesses. I prefer this Week 2 NFL/Super Bowl XLIX rematch at Seahawks -3 and I will buy the ½ point if it gets down to a -3.5 point spread; I also feel comfortable with the Seahawks -4 at home in a game where they should be able to light up the scoreboard and limit the Patriots’ big plays.
Week 2 NFL point spread picks from the rest of the PFN betting team
Baltimore Ravens -7 | -104 for 2 units
The Ravens were dominant against the Browns through the air in Week 1, but they should get back to having success with their run game as well in Week 2. The Texans were gashed in both areas by the Chiefs and I expect the Ravens to have similar, if not more, success this week.
San Francisco -6.5 | -110 for 1 unit
San Francisco opened as 6.5 point road favorites on Sunday Night, and the line had moved to -7 by Monday morning. The 49ers and Jets are both coming off Week 1 losses, although the defending NFC champs are clearly the better team. While Kyler Murray and the Cardinals had enough weapons to give the San Francisco defense some fits on Sunday, Sam Darnold does not have the elusiveness to get away from the 49ers pass rush in this one.
Both teams may have to make due without offensive stars in Bell and Kittle, but I have confidence that Kyle Shanahan can game plan enough points to cover a touchdown against a Jets team that looks poised to challenge for the worst record in the NFL this season.
Seattle Seahawks -4 | -110 for 3 units
It was all aboard the Newton hype train in Week 1 as the quarterback showcased that he still has what it takes to get it done through the air and on the ground. He completed 15 of his 19 passes and ran for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns en route to an easy 21-11 victory over the Dolphins.
However, I am not fully sold on the return of Newton to elite dual-threat form because he had success against a porous Dolphins run defense that did not know what to expect from a Newton-led Patriots offense. I will instead side with Wilson who seems to have established an excellent connection with his dynamic duo at wide receiver in Metcalf and Lockett. Look for this talented Seahawks defense, featuring newly-acquired Jamal Adams, to do a much better job at slowing down Cam and company as well.
Other NFL point spread plays from Drew for Week 2: Cardinals -6.5 (2 units), Colts -3 (1 unit), Falcons +4.5 (1 unit)
Green Bay Packers -6 | -110 for 1 unit
I’m sticking with the theme of fading Detroit and Matt Patricia. Plus, Aaron Rodgers looks like the best version of himself again as he dissected the Minnesota Vikings to the tune of 364 yards and four touchdowns. The Packers rolled up 522 yards of total offense last week, and now they face a Lions defense that surrendered three touchdowns (in the fourth quarter no less) to the Bears and Mitch Trubisky. Yikes!
Kansas City -8.5 l -110 for 3.3 units
The Los Angeles Chargers offense was atrocious this past Sunday. I had them as a playoff contender, but that won’t come to fruition if Tyrod Taylor continues to be this bad. His 6.47 Adjusted Net Yards per attempt was 15th among all qualifiers in Week 1. The Cincinnati Bengals defense is slightly improved, but we still can’t call them good. Taylor should have been far more efficient considering the offensive talent the Chargers possess. Yet, the Chargers offense averaged just 5.1 yards per play, which was 22nd in the league.
The defense is good, and my only fear is that the Kansas City Chiefs come out slow as the Chargers do have the athletes to keep up with the Chiefs skill players. That said, they won’t be able to keep it up all game. The Chiefs defense is far better than the Bengals, and at some point, Taylor will have to air it out.
The head coach and quarterback advantage is too great here. The market doesn’t agree with me, as this opened at Kansas City (-6) but has not moved off the 8.5, which makes this a handicapping play instead of a value play. I think the Chargers defense eventually breaks and the Chiefs win this one in a route.
Cleveland Browns -5.5 l -115 for 1.15U
I was on the Browns last week (+7.5) against the Baltimore Ravens, and they fell flat on their face. The Ravens are going to make ample teams look silly this year, so I’m willing to give Cleveland a pass.
I have the Browns as a playoff contender, while the Bengals are potential season-long “cellar dwellers”. This spread opened with the Browns as eight-point favorites, yet has been adjusted to six since Sunday’s games ended. I didn’t see enough from the Bengals to move them through the vaunted seven.
I like it less at the six, obviously, but still think it is worth a bet. The Browns defensive line should swarm Joe Burrow, while I expect this offense to be able to execute against a sub-par defense. I’m giving Baker Mayfield another shot. Hopefully, he doesn’t disappoint.
Other NFL point spread plays from James for Week 2: Giants moneyline +210 (1 unit), Kansas City -2.5/San Francisco -1 on a 6-point teaser -130 (2.6 units)