- After a 38-13 drubbing from Arizona, can the Tennessee Titans rebound against the Seattle Seahawks?
- Will the Dallas Cowboys be able to outscore the Los Angeles Chargers in what should be an absolute shootout?
- Last week’s picks went 2-0 and won us 5 shiny units. Hooray!
Well that was a nice start to the season for our upset picks! We won’t get too cocky though: the odds were in our favor after underdogs went 9-7 straight up last week. That included stunning wins by the Steelers and Saints over presumed powerhouses, the Bills and Packers.
The key lesson to take from Week 1 is always avoid overreacting. Obviously, Buffalo and Green Bay aren’t going to be dreadful this year, despite some early hiccups. That’s why as we turn to the NFL’s Week 2 odds, the goal is to keep an eye out for lines where the public may be putting too much stock into what they saw on Sunday. That means our hunt for an upset starts in the Pacific Northwest this week, where the home team is getting a little too much love.
NFL Week 2 Upset Picks
|Tennessee Titans vs Seattle Seahawks||SEA -6.5||+230||Titans||1|
|Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Chargers||LAC -3||+160||Cowboys||1|
|San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles||SF -3||+135||Eagles||1|
Odds taken Sept. 18 from DraftKings
Tennessee Rebounds From Rough Week 1
One week ago, the early betting lines had the Seahawks giving 3.5 points at home. Now, after a strong Seattle showing in Indy and and awful day for Tennessee against the Cards, they’ve added an extra field goal to the line.
With Seattle favored by 6.5 points against a playoff team that was 6-2 on the road last season, this is a spot where Week 1 overreactions can provide some value for our purposes.
The Titans won’t look as dreadful as they did against Arizona in this spot: it’d be almost impossible to duplicate that terrible start to the game.
Chandler Jones has THREE sacks in the first quarter 🤯
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 12, 2021
Taylor Lewan has owned up to his awful showing and sounds ready to rebound. However, against this Seattle front there aren’t any Chandler Joneses to block, just a rotation of solid lineman. The biggest issue facing the Titans’ offense is new offensive coordinator Todd Downing apparently didn’t watch this team at all the past two years, dialing up virtually no play action versus the Cardinals.
Titans used play action on 5% of their plays on Sunday after averaging 59% last season… https://t.co/gFV5YZ42Ih
— Buck Reising (@BuckReising) September 16, 2021
Tennessee also rarely kept extra men in to block, so Ryan Tannehill had no time to find his excellent receiving options. If the Titans can clean it up this week, they’ll have an opportunity to show the Seahawks’ great receiving tandem that they have the best duo in the league.
My top 5 WR duos in the #NFL
1) Mike Evans + Chris Godwin
2) DK Metcalf + Tyler Lockett
3) Julio Jones + AJ Brown
4) Adam Thielen + Justin Jefferson
5) Cooper Kupp + Robert Woods
HM: OBJ/Landry, Cooper/Lamb, Diggs/Beasley
Comment your rankings below 🔥
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) June 8, 2021
Defensively, the Titans will be in tough to stop Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. But they’ve never been a strong unit and Tennessee has still gone 20-11 in the Tannehill era. That includes quality wins over offenses led by Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson and more.
With Derrick Henry in line for a rebound game against a so-so Seattle run defense, Tennessee should be able to shorten the game and keep this within reach. And if you’re worried about fading Seattle because they’re playing in the comforts of Lumen Field, keep in mind they’re only 12-14-1 ATS as a home favorite since 2017.
Cowboys Offense Outduels Chargers
Dak Prescott’s return was everything Dallas fans wanted to see and more, guiding the Cowboys up and down the field against the defending champs. Prescott will need to duplicate that performance in order to keep pace with another QB who was sensational last week, LA’s Justin Herbert, whose Chargers are favored by 3.5 at home.
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) September 10, 2021
This game should be an absolute shootout, as both of these offenses are loaded with talent. The big concern for the Cowboys will be blocking a Chargers front that had a 67% win rate against Washington in Week 1. That might mean Ezekiel Elliott gets his number called a little more in this matchup.
Early down pass rate over expected (based on situation).
The season opener had the two pass-happiest teams, and wow, Bengals pic.twitter.com/vizVO8CTiR
— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) September 14, 2021
Last week, I cited a stat about teams in stadium opening games that was incorrect, because I forgot to include for the Chargers. Often an afterthought, the Bolts haven’t had a true home-field advantage since departing San Diego. So while this will be their first foray into a SoFi Stadium with fans, I think that will just be a detriment when the crowd ends up being 90% Cowboy supporters.
In what will serve as a de facto home game, look for the Cowboys’ defense to make some timely plays like they did in Week 1 and pull this one out. Heck, they’ll need a win to keep pace with our next pick.
Eagles Fly By 49ers
Picking against a Baltimore team hampered by injuries served us well last week, so we return to that well with San Francisco. Though it should come as a surprise to no one that oft-injured Raheem Mostert and Jason Verrett are done for the year, it will impact a 49ers team that’s favored by three points in Philadelphia.
So, final injury loss list from the 49ers’ season opener at Detroit (starters):
– Jason Verrett (out for season)
– Raheem Mostert (out for season)
– Dre Greenlaw (out 4-6 weeks)
49ers have made multiple regrouping moves at both CB and RB this week; may also make one at LB
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) September 16, 2021
On the opposite side of the field, the injury bug has yet to nest in the Eagles locker room after decimating this team in the trenches in 2020. Philly’s veteran roster owned the line of scrimmage against Atlanta in Week 1, making life hell for an immobile Matt Ryan while creating space for Jalen Hurts to start his second season off strong.
Jalen Hurts balled OUT in his first start of the season 😤 pic.twitter.com/jOVCWxSEaV
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 12, 2021
A shaky San Francisco secondary allowed the Lions to rack up over 400 yards of offense. That should allow Hurts and this Eagles attack to have a nice encore performance. And who knows who Philly’s defense will be tasked with stopping after Kyle Shanahan limited Brandon Aiyuk’s work and made Trey Sermon a surprise scratch?
After mostly being written off in the dreadful NFC East, Philly has the look of a team that could surprise early in the season. They’re also 4-1 in their last five home openers, and managed to get the better of San Fran last season, when they only won four games all year.