Our NFL picks against the spread for Week 2 are now live after a pretty darn successful opening week. Big thanks to the Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins for that.
As for Week 2, there are a ton of sexy opportunities for those of you looking to cash in. The Minnesota Vikings are seven-point road dogs against the Philadelphia Eagles. Perhaps, that would be a nice one to play.
In the second edition of this article for the 2023 NFL season, we will focus on the five games (listed below) that offer up NFL picks against the spread worth your bet.
NFL picks against the spread, Week 2 edition
|Vikings (+7.0) @ Eagles||8:15 PM (Thursday)||Amazon|
|Colts @ Texans (+1.0)||1:00 PM||CBS|
|Raiders (+9.5) @ Bills||1:00 PM||CBS|
|Chiefs @ Jaguars (+3.0)||1:00 PM||CBS|
|Commanders (+3.5) @ Broncos||4:25 PM||FOX|
Minnesota Vikings surprise on “Thursday Night Football”
Minnesota as seven-point dogs on a short week just doesn’t sit right with us. That’s especially true given the Eagles’ most-recent injury report. Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry is still in the concussion protocol and will not suit up. The same thing can be said for RB1 Kenneth Gainwell (ribs).
The Bradberry situation is interesting in that Philadelphia yielded the most completions (35) in the NFL last week to Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. He also threw for 316 yards with three touchdowns. You don’t need to be a genius to realize how well this bodes for record-breaking Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who put up nine receptions for 150 yards in the season opener last week. Jordan Addision is no slouch, either.
On the other side, Jalen Hurts was held to 170 yards on 33 pass attempts by New England in Week 1. The Eagles won 25-20, primarily due to two early turnovers on the part of the Patriots that turned into consecutive touchdowns for Philadelphia. While we’re not going to pick Minnesota two win outright, it should cover.
C.J. Stroud gets the best of Anthony Richardson
Indianapolis was 2-6-1 on the road a season ago with opposing teams averaging 28 points per game. This is the first tell that being one-point favorites heading into Houston for Week 2 doesn’t make a ton of sense.
Dating back to the 2020 season, rookie quarterbacks are 2-14 in their first road start. The only two exceptions were Tua Tagovailoa (2020) and Brock Purdy (2022). Typically, rookie signal callers struggle a great deal away from the friendly confines.
When doing NFL picks, you have to take into account this type of history. Given that we’re looking at a one-point spread, it’s pretty much a crapshoot. But history tells us that Houston will maintain home-field and help C.J. Stroud to his first win while Anthony Richardson falls to 0-2 in his young career.
Las Vegas Raiders keep it close in Western New York (NFL picks lock)
We’re definitely not sold on the Bills as near double-digit home favorites after their performance from a week ago. Taking on a Jets team that should’ve been deflated following the Aaron Rodgers injury early in the first quarter, Buffalo laid a complete egg. Josh Allen threw four interceptions. The defense gave up some big plays in the end. It was not a good look for Sean McDermott’s squad.
For the second consecutive week to open the season, we’re going to go with the Raiders as an NFL picks lock. Led by Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas pulled off a late-game comeback on the road in front of a hostile environment in Denver last week.
We know very well that the Bills are a much superior team compared to Denver. We also know not to bet against Garoppolo in situations like this. At the very least, when it comes to his team covering. First off, Garoppolo boasts an insane 28-10 road record as a starter in the NFL. His 100.9 QB rating in such atmospheres is the second-best among active quarterbacks behind Patrick Mahomes. Secondly, only seven of his 58 starts have resulted in Garoppolo-led teams losing by double digits. While we’re not picking the Raiders outright, they’ll cover in Western New York.
Related: Top NFL Week 2 storylines
Jacksonville Jaguars with a statement in Duval
We’re not 100% sure about Travis Kelce’s availability in this one. The Kansas City Chiefs star tight end missed last week’s game with a hyperextended knee. While things could be trending in the direction of Kelce suiting up on Sunday, we still like this matchup for Jacksonville.
The likes of linebacker Devin Lloyd (three interceptions as a rookie last season) and safety Rayshawn Jenkins (78.6 QB rating allowed in 2022) have done major work against tight ends recently. It also must be noted that Kelce won’t be 100% even if he suits up. With the Chiefs’ struggles at wide receiver (Patrick Mahomes completed 2-of-12 passes to that position in the second half last week), we’re not sold on the defending champs driving up and down the field against Jacksonville.
There’s another component to this pick, too. The Chiefs’ defense was exploited by a young Detroit Lions offense in the opener (368 total yards). Jacksonville’s new trio of Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and Calvin Ridley should eat. Postseason included, Jacksonville has won five consecutive home dates. Expect the team to push that to six come Sunday, moving the Chiefs to 0-2 on the season.
Related: NFL Week 2 power rankings
Washington takes command in Mile High
Following last week’s loss to Las Vegas, Russell Wilson is now 4-12 as the Broncos’ starting quarterback. In those 16 starts, Denver is averaging just north of 16 points per game. While Washington put up an uneven performance in a win over Arizona last week, its defense yielded just 16 points in the win.
This is the biggest key that leads us to believe that the Commanders will pull off a minor road upset over Denver on Sunday. It’s going to be incredibly hard for this iteration of Wilson and his Broncos offense to score points against Washington. That’s magnified with the Commanders boasting one of the best defensive lines in football. In what should be an ugly and low-scoring affair, pick Washington to start 2-0.