What a start to the 2021 season! The first NFL Sunday brought with it loads of surprises and it proved to be the week of the underdog. Through the first 15 games of the regular season, the underdogs are 11-4 while the Under is 9-6. There were some great performances across the slate, including a dramatic backdoor cover by the Detroit Lions in their opener against the San Francisco 49ers. Even the Houston Texans, a team that many folks project will have the worst record in the NFL this season, has begun the year 1-0. Bananas!
With the bulk of the Week 1 slate in the books, we'll turn our attention to Week 2 and take a gander at the opening odds for each matchup across the league and see how much opening weekend may have shifted the minds of the oddsmakers.
Week 2 early odds
(All lines from Caesars Sportsbook, all games on Sunday unless noted)
Giants (0-1) at Washington (0-1), Thursday
Opening line: Washington -4
Washington has now lost starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for the foreseeable future after the veteran suffered a hip injury in the opener that will see him land on injured reserve. In the meantime, Taylor Heinicke will get the nod against New York on Thursday night. With the news of Fitzpatrick being sidelined coming down, Washington's advantage has begun to slip a bit, falling to -3.5 at Caesars. While there's certainly reason to fade a Heinicke-led offense, there shouldn't be much confidence in the Giants, either. In their opening loss to Denver, the running game struggled mightily and averaged three yards per carry. That said, New York is 4-1 ATS in its last five games against Washington and 5-0 straight up.
Opening line: Patriots -4
Both these AFC East clubs debuted their rookie quarterbacks in Week 1 and each team was unable to come away with a victory. Mac Jones and Zach Wilson will be looking for the first win of their careers when they square up at MetLife Field on Sunday and it's the Patriots who are a four-point road favorite. That number could rise with Jets left tackle Mekhi Becton slated to miss substantial time due to a knee injury he suffered in the opener. When you combine that with New England's stout defense, Wilson could have some problems. The Patriots are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against the Jets and are rolling into MetLife Stadium riding a 10-game SU winning streak.
Opening line: Broncos -6
Vic Fangio looks like he made the right choice in Teddy Bridgewater as the veteran quarterback was strong in his Broncos debut against the Giants. He'll get another soft opponent in Week 2 when they travel to Jacksonville as a big road favorite over the Jaguars, who were upset by the Texans in Week 1. While Trevor Lawrence may be the most talented young quarterback we've seen come out of college in quite some time, Urban Meyer making the switch from college to the NFL is not going along smoothly. Laying six points here seems like a very doable hurdle to cross when looking at the Broncos, who are 4-2 ATS in their last six games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. the AFC South. Meanwhile, the Jags are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 Week 2 games.
Opening line: Bills -3.5
While the Steelers are a tough out, Buffalo falling in the opener was one of the more surprising results of Week 1. That said, the oddsmakers don't seem too worried about the Bills after opening as a 3.5-point favorite against the Dolphins in Miami. Tua Tagovailoa and Co. looked solid in their opening win against New England, so this could prove to be an entertaining AFC East head-to-head. Buffalo is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games, but is 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games played in Week 2. As for the Dolphins, they are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 contests and are currently riding a 6-0 ATS streak at Hard Rock Stadium.
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49ers (1-0) at Eagles (1-0)
Opening line: 49ers -3
The backdoor cover by the Lions was killer for 49ers bettors, but Kyle Shanahan's club was still able to fend off Detroit's crazy comeback attempt to move to 1-0 on the year. They open as a field-goal favorite on the road to the Eagles, who had an impressive showing against the Falcons. While Jalen Hurts' start to the 2021 season was strong, it will be curious to see what he does for an encore against a much more difficult San Francisco front seven. Philadelphia has been kind to bettors, owning a 5-1 ATS record in their last six games at Lincoln Financial Field. The Niners, meanwhile, are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games.
Opening line: Rams -4.5
The Los Angeles Rams lived up to the offseason hype when they began their 2021 season against the Chicago Bears on Sunday night. Matthew Stafford made his Los Angeles debut and got off to a fast start, completing a 67-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson on just his second throw of the night. With L.A. looking like a viable contender in the NFC, it's no surprise to see them serve as a road favorite they turn their attention to Week 2 and the Colts, who they have a 6-2 ATS record against in their past eight contests. Over the last five seasons, the Rams are also 4-1 ATS in Week 2. As for the Colts, they are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games.
Raiders (0-0) at Steelers (1-0)
Opening line: Steelers -6
Pittsburgh was able to move to 1-0 (1-0 ATS) after upsetting the Buffalo Bills and will now head to Heinz Field for their home opener against the Raiders, who will be hosting the Ravens on Monday night to wrap up Week 1. Laying six points doesn't appear to be too costly for the Steelers, who cleared that hurdle against a Bills team that is much more potent offensively. Depending on how the Raiders look on Monday, bettors could possibly fade Ben Roethlisberger, who didn't look particularly sharp in the opener. That said, any faith in the Steelers for this game should be thanks to their defense being able to give Las Vegas enough fits to keep a solid distance.
Bengals (1-0) at Bears (0-1)
Opening line: Bears -3
A quality opening win for Joe Burrow and the Bengals as they led a 46-yard drive in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal. While Burrow and the Cincy offense showed promising signs, they're still a three-point road 'dog to Chicago this weekend. I'd expect bettors to be keeping an eye on the Bears quarterback situation. If Andy Dalton is still starting, taking the Bengals with the points could make a lot of sense. Cincinnati is 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games played in September. Meanwhile, Chicago is 3-7 ATS in their last 10.
Texans (1-0) at Browns (0-1)
Opening line: Browns -11.5
The Texans were one of the surprise teams of the Week 1 slate, but their 1-0 record is being paid no mind by the oddsmakers when stacking up against the Browns. This is the second-highest spread on the Week 2 slate and for good reason. Despite their win, Houston isn't expected to be a good football team in 2021, while the Browns are. They were able to go toe-to-toe with Kansas City in the opener and should have no problem getting the win over the Texans here. The question is whether or not they'll be able to do so by two touchdowns. Over their last five home games, Cleveland is 1-4 ATS. As for the Texans, they have hung around in these games, owning a 6-3 ATS mark in their last nine games. Houston is also 6-0 ATS in their last six games against the Browns.
Opening line: Saints -3
Hello, Jameis Winston! The Saints quarterback exploded in the opener with five touchdowns on the day en route to New Orleans' win over Green Bay. While they likely would have been favorites over the Panthers regardless of the Week 1 outcome, laying the points on the road after seeing that kind of performance from Winston becomes much more palatable. New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in their last five games and the Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven heading into Week 2.
Opening line: Cardinals -4.5
Kyler Murray is another quarterback who dominated Week 1, totaling five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) in Arizona's win over Tennessee. That impressive offensive display by Murray on the road -- and Chandler Jones' five-sack day on defense -- could have bettors running to the ticket booth to get this spread while it's still under a touchdown. If Minnesota struggled to contain Joe Burrow, who is coming off last season's ACL tear, Murray could prove to be a nightmare for Mike Zimmer's squad. The Vikings are also 0-8 ATS in their previous eight games and 0-5 SU in their past five September games. Historically, the Cardinals do play well in Week 2, owning a 7-2 record in their last nine.
Falcons (0-1) at Buccaneers (1-0)
Opening line: Buccaneers -13
The Buccaneers hold the highest spread on the Week 2 slate as they are set to host Matt Ryan and the Falcons, who struggled to contain Jalen Hurts and the Eagles in the opener. Atlanta's defense continues to be an issue, but what more alarming was the six points scored offensively. Tampa Bay's defense is superior to the unit Philly brought to the opener, so Ryan and his offense will need to recalibrate fast. In their last six Week 2 games, the Bucs are 5-1 ATS and are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. Meanwhile, Atlanta has recently been a tough team to bet on to begin the year, owning a 1-5 ATS mark in their last six September games.
Opening line: Seahawks -5.5
Once again, Russell Wilson is getting off to a hot start to begin the season, throwing four touchdowns in the opening road win over the Colts. If Wilson continues to play at this pace, it could mean trouble for a Tennessee defense that was put on its heels against Kyler Murray to the tune of five total touchdowns. With this line under a touchdown and the Seahawks playing their first regular season home game, this number should jump up quickly.
Opening line: Chargers -3
Despite the opening loss to the Bucs, you can't help but feel optimistic about Dallas after the performance that Prescott put together. The offensive line, however, could continue to be in a state of flux for the Cowboys as tackle La'el Collins faces suspension, which will be worth monitoring throughout the week. Meanwhile, the Chargers are coming into this matchup after squeaking out a fourth-quarter win over Washington. Given Dallas being one of the most popular teams in the NFL and the Chargers boasting one of the young stars in the league in Justin Herbert, this could prove to be one of the more popular games on the slate. Both teams are entering this game on a strong cover streak with the Chargers 5-0 ATS and the Cowboys 4-1 ATS over their last five. In Los Angeles' previous nine games in Week 2, they are 6-3 ATS.
Chiefs (1-0) at Ravens (0-0)
Opening line: Chiefs -2.5
Baltimore still has to play on Monday night, but this primetime spread seems favorable to those who want to lay the points with the Chiefs. The Ravens are banged up and if you can get K.C. giving up less than a field goal, that should be the most sought-after ticket in Week 2. For his career, Lamar Jackson is 0-3 against Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Lions (0-1) at Packers (0-1), Monday
Opening line: Packers -10.5
Green Bay put out the clunker of all clunkers against the Saints in Week 1, managing just three points in the loss. When factoring in how bad the Packers looked to begin the year and how the Lions were able to fight their way back in their loss to San Francisco, Lions +10.5 could prove to be where the majority goes, driving this number down below double-digits. Detroit is also 4-2 ATS in their last six games.