Week 1 of the NFL season is one of my favorite weeks to gamble, and it showed. #DajaniDimes went 4-1 on his top 5 against-the-spread picks and 11-5 overall. I also had the Las Vegas Raiders upsetting the Baltimore Ravens as a top 5 pick. While I am currently atop the CBS Sports ATS leaderboard, it wasn't all perfect for me. I really thought the Green Bay Packers would defeat the New Orleans Saints. Jameis Winston and his new role under Sean Payton was the most intriguing storyline to come out of Week 1 in my opinion. What a debut.
While I was able to dominate Week 1 from a money perspective, Week 2 presents plenty of potential pitfalls. Here's where gamblers can overreact to what they think they learned in Week 1, so we all have to be careful about that. Identify the trends that could be legitimate instead of just one-game phenomena.
Top five picks record: 4-1
Overall ATS record: 11-5
Straight up record: 9-7
2020 ATS record: 125-120-9 (2 official picks missed due to COVID rescheduling)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
The Rams are entering a new era with Matthew Stafford at quarterback. He threw two 50-plus yard touchdown passes in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, matching the amount of 50-yard touchdown passes recorded by the Rams all of last season. Stafford also posted a career-high passer rating in his first game with the Rams and became the first player in NFL history to win his team debut while passing for over 300 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. With Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp at his disposal, this Rams passing attack could be one of the best in the league. Don't count out Van Jefferson either.
As for the Colts, Jonathan Taylor looks like a stud, but he's not enough on offense. They still lost by double digits to the Seahawks, and now they have to face one of the best defenses in the NFL. I'm laying 3.5 with the Rams.
The pick: Rams -3.5
Projected score: Rams 30-17
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Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Teddy Bridgewater made the New York Giants' above-average defense look below-average. OK, that doesn't sound like an amazing compliment, but Bridgewater did what he needed to do in Week 1 to get those in the Drew Lock fan club to warm up to him. It was his fourth-career game in which he completed 75 percent of his passes, threw for at least 250 yards and recorded two or more touchdowns. Even though Bridgewater loses Jerry Jeudy for a few weeks, this wide receiving corps is talented enough to still make an impact. Keep an eye on Tim Patrick this week.
The Jaguars lost to who we all assumed would be the worst team in the NFL in Week 1. That's a big deal. The Jags have allowed 24 or more points in an NFL-record 16 straight games now and have lost a franchise-record 16 straight games -- which is the longest active losing streak in the NFL. I actually think there was some good to take away from Trevor Lawrence's debut, but he's not ready to carry a bad team to the win column this early on -- especially while the entire sports world is talking about his one-week old head coach being tied to a college job. By the way, I think the Meyer to USC noise is completely overblown, but noise is still noise. It's something that will be talked about in every pregame show and on every sports radio station. Even if it has no merit, that's not a good thing for a rebuilding franchise.
The pick: Broncos -6
Projected score: Broncos 30-20
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)
The Vikings looked poor defensively last week. They allowed 366 yards of total offense and 149 rushing yards to a Cincinnati Bengals offense that ranked No. 29 in the league last year. SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh says the value in this game is on Arizona to cover the spread and that a healthy Kyler Murray should "destroy" this Vikings team after his five-touchdown performance last week.
We'll dive more into what the Cardinals specifically did last Sunday in the next section, but I really like Arizona at home and that's where the simulations are pointing as well.
The pick: Cardinals -3.5
Projected score: Cardinals 28-21
Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)
I think the Titans are going to be a top five team in the AFC, but it remains to be seen how quickly they can get it together. They were absolutely dominated by the Cardinals in Week 1, 38-13. Left tackle Taylor Lewan, who is coming off of a torn ACL, did not look healthy and was taken to church by Chandler Jones -- who recorded five sacks and two forced fumbles. The Titans offense was not on the same page all game and the secondary was atrocious. In fact, Tennessee's defensive backs have convinced me to make this one of my top five best bets.
Kyler Murray passed for 289 yards and four touchdowns and ran another score in. He's near the top of the too-early MVP rankings, and part of that is because of how badly the Titans struggled in covering receivers. What does Russell Wilson love to do? Air it out to his talented receivers. In the 28-16 win over the Colts, Tyler Lockett caught four passes for 100 yards and two long touchdowns while DK Metcalf caught four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Wilson missed just five of his 23 attempts, as he and new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron seem like quite a match. This number will likely climb, so I would grab it at -5 or -5.5. The Titans aren't as bad as they looked in Week 1, but with this game being in Seattle, I'll take the Seahawks.
The pick: Seahawks -5.5
Projected score: Seahawks 31-24
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
This will be round four of Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson, and the Chiefs have won all three matchups. The first went to overtime, but the Chiefs have covered the spread of 3.5 points in the last two meetings. This would be a much more enticing matchup if the Ravens had the injured J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Marcus Peters, Rashod Bateman and Tyre Phillips healthy. Jackson, a dual-threat playmaker, is going to make sure the Ravens are still a contender, but the Chiefs are obviously the better team.
Kansas City didn't play incredibly well in Week 1. They went down 12 points to the Cleveland Browns and still found a way to win. Mahomes has won nine of the past 11 games in which he's trailed by double digits. It's just ridiculous. You've probably seen the stat by now, but Mahomes is 11-0 in the month of September and has the Chiefs averaging 34.2 points per game in said month.
The pick: Chiefs -3.5
Projected score: Chiefs 30-24
Other Week 2 picks
Washington (-3.5) 20-14 over Giants
Eagles (+3) 29-28 over 49ers
Patriots (-6) 28-21 over Jets
Bengals (+2.5) 27-24 over Bears
Browns 35-28 over Texans (+12.5)
Dolphins (+3.5) 28-24 over Bills
Saints (-3.5) 30-23 over Panthers
Steelers (-5.5) 33-24 over Raiders
Buccaneers (-12.5) 35-21 over Falcons
Chargers 30-27 over Cowboys (+3.5)
Packers 27-20 over Lions (+11)