NFL Week 2 Picks, Odds: Bills smash Dolphins, Panthers beat Saints, Steelers crush Raiders


Somehow, someway, Cowboys-Buccaneers was just the pacesetter for Week 1. We closed with a flurry thanks to Vegas serving up football like only Vegas could with the Raiders winning a thriller over Baltimore. Can Week 2 deliver as an encore? I’m a little doubtful. The slate isn’t bad. It’s also not pre-stacked like a Week 1 gauntlet the NFL wants for ratings purposes. 

However, there’s more than enough intrigue just because it’s Week 2. We “learned” a billion things about 32 NFL teams and 99.9 percent of them will end up being false in a few weeks. The key here is to figure out what is noise and what is a signal (speaking of signals, if you want a supplement to your award winning CBS Fantasy coverage, check out our old pal Ben Gretch’s Stealing Signals SubStack; the annual cost is a steal for the content if you’re serious about fantasy) and then adjust accordingly. 

If you’re worried about how to adjust, R.J. White literally gives out his power ratings at SportsLine (promo code EDGE gets you a month for like a dollar).

Apologies for sounding like an #ad but winging it just doesn’t work anymore in this space. You need upgraded resources. There are a lot of great options and different stuff I use myself, but those two stood out while writing this. 

Finally, before we get to the picks. Norm McDonald died. He was an all-time funny human, a compulsive gambler (one of his final tweets told everyone to bet “8,000 units” on Brooks Koepka top-20 at the British Open; it hit, and Norm would have appreciated that) and someone who zigged comedically before most people were even thinking about a zag. He wouldn’t want a bunch of appreciation columns because he loved the comedic pregnant pause too much.

Anyway, a lot of people have suggested Norm would get cancelled if he was doing comedy today, which is hilarious. Norm got “cancelled” from SNL because he made too much fun of O.J. Simpson. And 18 months later he was back hosting and doing exactly what you would expect him to do

If you haven’t spent the past few days watching nothing but Norm gems, you should start doing that right now. He would probably ask why we haven’t gotten to the picks yet, so let’s go. 

All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook

NFL Week 1 Picks

Giants at Washington

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: 
NFL Network| Stream: fuboTV (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App

Latest Odds:

Washington Football Team
-4

I was all set to back the bizarre Daniel Jones trend of being 4-19 against the NFL that isn’t Washington Football Team and 4-0 against WFT in his career and to take the 3.5 points. But then, courtesy of our CBS Sports HQ production team and via producer Ryan Stryker, I stumbled upon Taylor Heinicke sporting a Fleetwood Mac t-shirt to a press conference. And I almost pivoted to Washington. But then someone alerted me to a trend of young people (A VERY DEPRESSING THING TO WRITE) going to department stores and purchasing t-shirts of old rock bands as an ironic fashion statement. No idea if that’s true, but I’m not going to let this potential modern day Spencer’s Gifts move shake my confidence in that sweet, sweet hook. What a rollercoaster for me. Unders are the look here anyway.

The pick: WFT 17, Giants 14

Props, Best Bets: 1H under 20 or better, Sterling Shepard under receiving yards 55.5 or better, Logan Thomas under receiving yards 45.5 or better

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Miami Dolphins
+3.5

I ended up rewatching the Steelers-Bills game a couple times (one for work, another when it ended up on TV one night this week and I kind of got sucked in) and I don’t think that game is indicative of what we get from those respective teams in Week 2. The Bills defense is set to bounce back big and the Steelers are just going to be good on defense again. I’m not gonna comp anyone to Aaron Donald but Ed Oliver might become the next Grady Jarrett/Geno Atkins this year. I would bet on this defense finishing top 10 in DVOA this season fairly easily assuming no cluster of injuries. More importantly for this game — the Steelers didn’t blitz at all! They sat back and played a ton of zone against Josh Allen and still got home with their front four. That’s not gonna work against anyone, even an MVP candidate. The Dolphins don’t do that — they’re man heavy (54 percent last year but only 47 percent last week against Mac Jones, which warrants monitoring) which is why Josh Allen shredded them last year. Don’t rule out a defensive shift, because Brian Flores ain’t no dummy, but the Bills are just good and we underestimated the Steelers preseason. 

The pick: Bills 35, Dolphins 17

Props, Best Bets: Bills -3.5 (obvs prefer -3 but doesn’t matter), hoping for low Diggs catches/yards numbers but not out yet

Excited for the biggest NFL schedule in history? Follow along on the CBS Sports app and get the latest insights from our team of NFL insiders, plus news from our team of experts, as well as data insights on every player. If you already have the CBS Sports app, make sure to favorite the your favorite team so you don’t miss a thing!

Sunday,1 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Chicago Bears
-2.5

One day you’ll be able to tell your grandkids you saw back-to-back NFL seasons with Andy Dalton Revenge Games ™. This line has MOVED — the Bears were a one-point favorite as of Wednesday evening. The matchup works in theory because Chicago’s secondary and offensive line are a lot more suspect than people are talking about. Mainly because everyone is talking about Justin Fields. If Cincy’s defensive line is legitimately improved this year and Dalton is pressured this could get ugly. But at home, with everyone backing Zac Taylor and the single lowest pass rate vs expectancy against a good Bears front while trying to ease Joe Burrow in? Plus non-prime-time Dalton in revenge mode (he won 30-7 against the Bengals last year with Dallas) and getting a home NFL team as a pick ’em? Have to go Bears here. If these two teams putz around in the first half, look for a second half over.

The Pick: Bears 27, Bengals 24

Bets: Bears -1 is a lean, Ja’Marr Chase over anything less than 60 receiving yards is a bet

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Jacksonville Jaguars
+6

So this Urban Meyer thing is going great, right? Anytime you can sign a multi-year deal to essentially take over control of an NFL franchise only to answer “legitimate” (did you hear that question, lol) inquiries about leaving the team for a once-was college football program eight months later, things are probably going great. Sometimes this kind of turmoil rallies a locker room, but the dynamics of the Jags roster make it hard to believe it happens. It’s annoying because this is an obvious bounceback spot to take the Jags as huge home dogs. But they’re not good. Trevor Lawrence piled up garbage time numbers and Denver’s defense is a bit north of Houston’s. I originally leaned Jacksonville as a market correction spot and now I think Denver will roll them but I’m going to stick with my gut and pray for a backdoor from Lawrence as the second half scoring picks up. Fangio loves an unnecessarily close September football game.

The Pick: Broncos 28, Jaguars 24

Bets: Pass

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Indianapolis Colts
+3.5

Another Week 1 overcorrection game here. Matthew Stafford and the Rams lit up the Bears in prime time. The Colts got smoked by the Seahawks at home. The public is going to hammer the Rams here I would bet. I’m going to take them, but the stat concerning me the most is Frank Reich going 0-4 in Week 1 games and 3-0 in Week 2 games. It makes no sense when you look at them either. Lose to Jacksonville! Kill the Vikings! Lose to the Bengals! Crush WFT! Injuries are too big a problem for Indy here though — if Darius Leonard and Xavier Rhodes don’t play, I can’t see the Colts stopping Stafford and the Rams. Sean McVay’s offense had two 50-yard plays (one on busted coverage fwiw) last week, tied for most in the NFL … and equaling the Rams total from last year. This offense is going vertical. If Quenton Nelson is somehow out and Aaron Donald is spearing through the middle against Carson Wentz, the Rams would immediately become a best bet. 

The Pick: Rams 31, Colts 17

Bets: Rams -4 (wait on injuries tho)

Houston at Cleveland

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Cleveland Browns
-13

Nothing like laying double figures against an undefeated division leader. Yeah, sure, it’s Week 2, but the Texans qualify. Again, the “gambling numbers” scream to take the Texans, but the matchup is just bad for Houston. David Culley wants to run the ball and Cleveland’s rush defense looked much improved against Kansas City. The Texans could press against a bad Jaguars offense last week in a gotcha moment, but the Browns have a monster OL and run game. They should be able to get downhill on Houston, take play-action shots, build a lead and keep chunking. It’s also the home opener for the Dawg Pound after seeing the best Browns team — at least in terms of preseason expectations — since 1999 go toe-to-toe with the Chiefs. Maybe it’s a let-down spot, but I saw a good Cleveland team. Houston fought hard too and I don’t want to bet this, but I have to, so give me Cleveland.

The Pick: Browns 28, Texans 14

Bets: Pass

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Carolina Panthers
+3

The Saints would probably qualify as the surprise of Week 1, except they forced the award on Green Bay. Jameis Winston looked legit! The Panthers were impressive but hard to judge against the Jets. Carolina tied for most sacks last week (6) but, again, Jets. Unfortunately for the Saints, Erik McCoy is out with an injury and Cesar Ruiz is filling in at center. Carolina’s front will give the Saints more problems than Green Bay did. This is an emerging unit with Derrick Brown, Brian Burns (good DPOY bet at 50-1 or better imo) and Yetur Gross-Matos lining up. Week 2 is a good litmus test of where they are in terms of a breakout as an overall defense, but I’m willing to be ahead here. Sam Darnold was great last week, but I don’t expect many points either way. Remember, Sean Payton coached Joe Brady prior to LSU. Some chess here, but I don’t expect aggression. 

The Pick: Panthers 21, Saints 17

Bets: Panthers +3.5 (no lower than +3), under 45

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Pittsburgh Steelers
-6.5

I’m kicking myself for not being higher on the Steelers this offseason. I buried them last offseason (whoops) and the numbers got out of whack heading into 2021. 8.5 wins, 20-1 for AFC, 40-1 for Super Bowl. That’s wild, man. The defense pressured Josh Allen 22 times in Week 1 and only blitzed twice. That is going to be a problem for Derek Carr and that Raiders offense. Maxx Crosby beasted out for the home Vegas opener and the Raiders defense was definitely a pleasant surprise. But Pittsburgh may have dealt with a good defense on their own and now gets home field against a team on short rest with an emotional win. Carr was 5 of 15 with a pick when pressured in that game. This could be a Steelers blowout.

The Pick: Steelers 28, Raiders 9

Bets: Steelers -6, Under 47

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Philadelphia Eagles
+3

What is Kyle Shanahan doing? Brandon Aiyuk was an insanely talented/explosive rookie wide receiver who Shanahan traded up to get in the first round and now he has to beat out Trent Sherfield while not seeing any targets Week 1? Shanahan also traded up to get Trey Sermon, who crushed it in the preseason, only to make him a healthy scratch and declare he was behind Eli Mitchell? In the words of Tone Lōc, something ain’t stirring the Kool-Aid. I’m not the type who buys into random Internet rumors, but if you were a rational human being you’d be hard pressed to figure out why Shanahan decided these guys weren’t worth using in what looked like a blowout win before the week started and only narrowly turned into a Bad Beat. At any rate, I think they come back this week and play well. I also think the Eagles are going to be good! Jalen Hurts looked fantastic and we all did the dumb “judge the press conference” thing on Nick Sirianni. He had them moving, got the most out of Devonta Smith/Jalen Raegor and set up Hurts to succeed. I think San Francisco wins but I’d back Philly if forced. Give me the over as a best bet though.

The Pick: 49ers 34, Eagles 31

Bets: Over 50.5

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

New York Jets
+6

Zach Wilson will be good in the NFL barring a total organizational collapse around him, which, weeeeeeell, let’s just hope it doesn’t happen. This ain’t it though. Bill Belichick just got beat by Brian Flores and will have a rookie quarterback behind a bad offensive line he can pressure aggressively. Watch “The Belestrator” and you can see Belichick’s respect for the young QB. But this is a mismatch. Plus, the great Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston promised to shave an eyebrow and wear Hawaiian shirts for a few weeks if the Pats didn’t roll. Sort of turns betting on the Pats to blowout the Jets into a win-win.

The Pick: Patriots 24, Jets 14

Bets: Pats -6, Under anything over 40 honestly

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Seattle Seahawks
-6.5

Backing the Seahawks could be considered an overreaction to Week 1 but there are a couple reasons it makes sense here in my opinion. One, Taylor Lewan got ROCKED on Sunday. Not just by Chandler JonesBudda Baker tossed him. I’m honestly worried he’ll use all the chatter as motivation and cut Derrick Henry loose. I just don’t know if it’s that correctable this quickly while going into a RAWKOUS 12th man situation. Pete Carroll is undefeated in home openers. And Shane Waldron decided to #LetRussSousVide. The Titans offensive line might figure it out, but the Titans defense won’t this week. 

The Pick: Seahawks 35, Titans 24

Bets: Seahawks -5.5, lean over 54 (but Tennessee hurt me), everything D.K. Metcalf over, DK to score 2 TDs, etc.

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-12.5

The Falcons were utterly humiliated at home last week. Most of the problems stemmed from the defense being bad and the offensive line susceptible to interior pressure. Fortunately they get to play the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers on the road, going up against a scorch-earth hot Tom Brady with an obscene amount of weapons and a Tampa defense with an obnoxious wealth of quarterback smushing defensive tackle talent.

The Pick: Buccaneers 41, Falcons 21

Bets: Over, I guess, if the Falcons will score more than 6

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Arizona Cardinals
-3.5

Polar opposite starts here: Kyle Murray vaulted himself into the Week 1 MVP conversation, we got a post-hype breakout from Christian Kirk and the Cards defense looked nasty. Meanwhile, the Vikings can’t pass protect, got scorched by a rookie wideout who was struggling to adjust to the size of an NFL football and struggled to pass protect. I’m going to zig off the theme of this particular picks column and actually take the “clearly unpopular underdog with a schematic disadvantage” because football is weird.

The Pick: Cardinals 24, Vikings 21

Bets: Nope

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Los Angeles Chargers
-3

The DeMarcus Lawrence injury is just brutal for the Cowboys, who looked much better on defense against the Bucs than anyone expected. He’s their best defensive player by far and now they’re not going to be able to stop anyone. They’re definitely not stopping Justin Herbert and the Chargers, who could have hung 30+ on the WFTs last week but not for some dumb mistakes. Derwin James is balling out but I’m not sure anyone is slowing down Dak Prescott if the same offense shows up for the opening week. Over is a donkey play, but I don’t care. Play it up to 56. I lean Chargers here but just enjoy the fireworks. On CBS! Nantz! Romo! Wolfson!

The Pick: Chargers 35, Cowboys 31

Bets: Over anything less than 60

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: 
NBC | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Baltimore Ravens
+3.5

I might be a sucker for the Ravens against the Chiefs — they keep not winning or covering and I just keep taking them. Kansas City’s defense looked vulnerable but Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark weren’t out there. Baltimore’s defense might not be elite either — if they still had Marcus Peters it’s a different story. Marlon Humphrey kept Darren Waller in check, but if he does the same to Travis Kelce it will unlock Tyreek Hill and vice versa. Making John Harbaugh a dog in prime time at home, though? I’m taking the Ravens, especially with the “lost to the Raiders” discount. I’ll obviously bet this game because it’s Sunday night but I’m not thrilled about it.

The Pick: Chiefs 34, Ravens 31

Bets: Not for now

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: 
ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Green Bay Packers
-11.5

Congrats to Dan Campbell on the Comeback Cover of the Year Award. While it’s not officially recognized by the NFL — although maybe now it should be on NFL Honors with the swerve the league has taken towards gambling — the Lions improbable storm back to the back door probably won’t be beat this year. Unfortunately when they open that door an angry Aaron Rodgers in prime time at home will be waiting. Bet on the Lions at your own peril here. However, if you like money bet the over on every D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson prop on the planet Monday night. They’re soaking up usage from Jared Goff and the Lions won’t give up on a game if Week 1 is any indication. On second thought, maybe PC Principle and Motown are just going to be our backdoor cover darlings all year. Something to think about.

The Pick: Packers 35, Lions 21

Bets: Swift/Hock overs, bet them before Monday

Week 1: 9-6-1 ATS

Season: 9-6-1 ATS





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