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NFL Week 2 Picks Straight Up – Predicted Upsets and Underdogs Showing Value

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Updated Sep 17, 2022 · 6:33 AM PDT

Tom Brady (
Dec 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata (93) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
  • History is influencing the line as the Patriots are favored in Pittsburgh
  • The past is being ignored in New Orleans, where the Saints are dogs against Brady and the Bucs
  • Last week’s picks went 1-1-1, leaving us exactly where we started, neither up nor down

The NFL’s return was predictably absurd, as we saw wild finishes, insane catches and head-scratching decisions during our favorite sport’s debut weekend. There were a couple of nice upsets too, with the Bears, Steelers and Seahawks all winning as dogs of six or more. We couldn’t get in on the fun though: despite holding fourth-quarter leads of eight, 13 and 17 points, our Week 1 picks only ended up breaking even but we’re hoping for better for our NFL Week 2 upset picks.

Rebounding is the theme of this weekend, which is why there’s some huge spreads for NFL Week 2. Oddsmakers are anticipating some return to normal for contenders like the Packers, Rams, 49ers, Bengals and Broncos, who all looked varying degrees of awful out of the gate. We’re fading that narrative for one of those teams, part of four dogs to like in Week 2.

NFL Week 2 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers NE -2.5 +115 Steelers 1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints TB -2.5 +120 Saints 1
New York Jets vs Cleveland Browns CLE -6 +228 Jets 0.7
Atlanta Falcons vs Los Angeles Rams LAR -10 +400 Falcons 0.3

Odds as of September 16th at BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook

The Falcons at +400 on the moneyline would pay a healthy $50 for a $10 stake.

Pittsburgh piles on Patriots woes

Despite one of the worst offensive performances of Week 1, the New England Patriots travel to Pittsburgh as 2.5-point favorites in Week 2.

There’s clearly public confidence in Bill Belichick to lead his team to a turnaround on the road because the Steelers side hasn’t been pounded into oblivion. It should be.

As Bob lays out, any “Belichick coming off a big loss” stat you hear is influenced heavily by Tom Brady.  In a post-Brady era, every positive stat about New England is worth side-eyeing, especially their dominance over Pittsburgh.

The Patriots did little to assuage concerns about their Matt Patricia/Joe Judge-led offense in Miami. A rushing attack that was so strong last season was lackluster. Now Mac Jones is banged up, and even without TJ Watt in the lineup, the Steelers’ defense will still be able to inflict more harm to the young QB.

Pittsburgh got some good news on the injury front, as Najee Harris is good to go this week. The Steelers’ offense doesn’t inspire much confidence either, but there’s no reason to think that the Pats are superior to the point they should be favored here. Take the home team.

Saints march over Bucs, again

The line actually opened with Tampa Bay favored by three, but now they’re only giving 2.5 points over the Saints on the road after the betting public recalled New Orleans has Tom Brady’s number.

Dennis Allen’s defense has given Brady fits since he joined the Buccaneers, leading to an 0-4 regular season record against the Big Easy, including games where he lost to Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill.

It looks like the Saints offense is actually poised to contribute this time around too, after a nice throwback performance by Michael Thomas in Week 1.

Some of the key players for the Saints shutting Brady down have moved on: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Malcolm Jenkins and Marcus Williams. But Marshon Lattimore is still here to lock down Mike Evans, leaving Brady looking for options before this banged up offensive line collapses.

Sure, betting against Brady is always a risk. But I never would’ve bet that he and Giselle would split up and look where we are. Life is full of surprises!

Jets beat Browns

The New York Jets fly into the Dawg Pound as 6.5-point underdogs for the Cleveland Browns home opener.

Lost in all the doom and gloom in New York, is that their defense played really well against the Ravens. They limited their run game to 63 yards, as Baltimore had only 13 first downs on the afternoon. Robert Saleh’s defense is coming into their own in year two. The only question is whether the offense will get there before he’s gone.

The Browns pulled one out in Carolina, but it had little to do with their passing game. The two biggest gains on the day for Jacoby Brissett came on screen passes. Their best weapon was kicker Cade York.

As the 39-point total tells you, this game has ugly written all over it. So does the Browns field.

When a game is this low-scoring, it could swing on one or two plays from these young Jets skill players. New York is a  strong spread play here, but also worth a little dice roll on the moneyline.

Falcons stun Rams

The Los Angeles Rams are expected to rebound from their opening night loss, favored by 10 over the visiting Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta is giving off last season’s Lions vibes: a very fun and feisty team that will be in a lot of games, but will still be near the top of the draft when it’s all said and done. Their offense moved the ball well against a vaunted Saints D, racking up over 200 yards on the ground.

They failed to close out the game, but hopefully Arthur Smith learns from his cowardly call to punt, and shows some more aggression on the road.

The reason for concern with the Rams is the state of their offensive line. Injuries have hit what was already a suspect unit and it showed, both in their pass protection and their inability to run the ball.

Obviously the Falcons don’t boast the same juice that the Bills pass rush has, but you should definitely take the over on whatever Grady Jarrett props you can find.

With Stafford still dealing with an elbow injury, it’s not unrealistic to think the defending Super Bowl champs could find themselves in some trouble to start the season. The Falcons are worth a small play here.

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