NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
USATSI

Not exactly the way I wanted to start the 2022 NFL season, as I went 2-3 on my top five picks last week. The Philadelphia Eagles choked away a 17-point fourth-quarter lead against the Detroit Lions, failing to cover by one point, the Carolina Panthers were hurt by two very controversial calls on what was the Cleveland Browns' game-winning drive and then, I may have overestimated the Denver Broncos.

The only saving grace for me financially was that I hit a +1150 parlay that included Trey Lance throwing an interception, Mac Jones throwing an interception, Matt Ryan throwing an interception and Baltimore Ravens moneyline. Write it down, betting on interceptions in Week 1 appears to be lucrative. 

It was a bloody first week for many bettors, but we have a chance to rebound in Week 2. Remember that while we learned some lessons in Week 1, it's also easy to overreact in the second week of the regular season. 

As always, credit to the CBS Sports research team for making me sound smart. 

All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

Top five picks ATS record: 2-3
Overall ATS record: 6-10
Straight up record: 7-8-1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: New Orleans Saints +2.5

The last time the Saints and Buccaneers faced off, Tom Brady was shut out at home for the first time in his NFL career! In fact, Brady hasn't defeated the Saints in the regular season since he joined the Buccaneers (0-4). It's pretty wild, as the Buccaneers average nearly 20 points fewer per game against the Saints compared to other opponents since Brady signed with the team. Dennis Allen is largely responsible for New Orleans' defensive success against Tampa Bay, which is why he's now the head coach.

The Buccaneers were victorious against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday night, but it wasn't too convincing of a win. Leonard Fournette was awesome with 127 rushing yards, but the Buccaneers scored just one touchdown -- which came in the third quarter. How bad the Cowboys looked was really the headline.

As for the Saints, they were disappointing on both sides of the ball for the first three quarters of their season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Jameis Winston was missing passes, his offensive line struggled and the defense certainly did not look like a top unit. Then, the fourth quarter happened.

Winston threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns in the final stanza, leading a 16-point comeback. It marked the fifth time in his career that Winston threw for 200 yards in the fourth quarter of a game, which is the most of any player since 2000. That final quarter showed everyone how dangerous this Saints passing attack can be.

With this game in New Orleans and the Buccaneers opening up the week with five wide receivers on the injury report, I like the Saints to record an upset victory. I will say that I like Saints +3 much more than +2.5, but we may have missed our opportunity to grab that. I can't buy a half-point in this article, but you can on your Caesars Sportsbook app. 

The pick: Saints +2.5
Projected score: Saints 23-21

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Latest Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers +3

The Steelers lost star pass-rusher T.J. Watt due to a pec injury in Week 1, and Pittsburgh is 0-4 without Watt since his rookie year. Still, this Patriots team looked gross last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. They trailed 17-0 at halftime and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry on the ground. The Steelers offense was nothing to write home about in Week 1 either, but the defense certainly was. 

Pittsburgh recorded seven sacks and five takeaways last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. That unit made Joe Burrow look like a rookie for a moment, as Minkah Fitzpatrick proved he is one of the best players in the NFL. I don't think the Steelers are an elite team per se, and I have questions about the offense, but they played tough until the end in a wild overtime match and got the win. Should they be underdogs at home to a team that recorded an ugly loss in Week 1? 

I'm expecting a very close matchup, but Mac Jones is reportedly dealing with back spasms that may or may not affect him this weekend. How will he feel after that first sack? Heinz -- excuse me -- Acrisure Stadium is going to be rocking on Sunday. Jones has lost his last four games on the road, including playoffs, after winning his first six road games. I didn't see anything from New England's Week 1 performance that showed me this team is better than Pittsburgh. 

The pick: Steelers +2
Projected score: Steelers 20-14

Washington Commanders at Detroit Lions

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Washington Commanders PK

It has finally happened. For the first time in 24 games, the Lions are favored. Do they deserve it though? Detroit lost to Philly in Week 1 by three points, as a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter allowed the Lions to cover the spread. D'Andre Swift looked incredible, as he racked up 175 yards from scrimmage, but the defense struggled to contain Jalen Hurts and Co. 

This Washington offense looked refreshed in Week 1. The Jacksonville Jaguars don't have an elite defense, but I mean, Carson Wentz has weapons to work with. Antonio Gibson racked up 130 yards from scrimmage, Terry McLaurin caught a touchdown, Curtis Samuel caught a touchdown and then the rookie wideout Jahan Dotson caught two touchdowns in his NFL debut. The Lions struggled to contain A.J. Brown last week, who caught 10 passes for 155 yards. How will this unit handle multiple wide receivers who can make an impact on offense? I expect plenty of points in this matchup, but I like Washington to win. 

The pick: Washington +1
Projected score: Washington 33-30

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Latest Odds: Cincinnati Bengals -7

Even before Dak Prescott's injury on Sunday night, the Cowboys looked terrible. CeeDee Lamb caught 2 of 11 targets for a grand total of 29 yards while Prescott completed 14 of 29 passes for 134 yards and one interception. The Cowboys were the only team in the entire NFL not to score a single touchdown in Week 1. Do we really think Cooper Rush is going to step in and keep it close with the reigning AFC champions?

I'm willing to look past the Bengals' Week 1 performance against the Steelers. Burrow threw a career-high four interceptions and lost a fumble, but Cincy outscored Pittsburgh 14-3 in the second half to force overtime. Despite multiple additions in the offseason, the Bengals offensive line didn't look good -- allowing seven sacks. At the same time, the Bengals racked up 432 total yards of offense, 32 first downs and converted 50 percent of third downs. 

Since the start of last season, the Bengals offense has recorded the fifth-most 25-yard plays. On the flip side, the Cowboys defense has allowed the second-most 25-yard plays.

The pick: Bengals -7
Projected score: Bengals 30-13

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Latest Odds: Green Bay Packers -10.5

"I own you. I still own you." Everyone remembers the words Aaron Rodgers spouted towards the fans at Soldier Field last year. He's right, as the Packers have won six straight against the Bears, and Rodgers is 22-5 all-time vs. Chicago. The Packers' offense certainly missed Davante Adams in Week 1, as running back A.J. Dillon was the leading receiver with 46 yards. The Week 1 matchup vs. the Minnesota Vikings would have been closer if not for Justin Jefferson, who exploded for 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Those were the only two touchdowns Minnesota scored all game. Is there a Justin Jefferson on the Bears? 

To put it simply, this appears to be a bounce-back opportunity for the Packers at home. Last year, they were blown out by 35 points to the Saints in Week 1, then beat the Lions by 18 points in Week 2. On the other hand, I don't know if the Bears would have defeated the San Francisco 49ers last week if they weren't playing in a monsoon.  

The pick: Packers -10
Projected score: Packers 28-17

Other Week 2 picks

Chiefs 31-28 over Chargers (+4)
Colts 24-21 over Jaguars (+3.5)
Ravens (-3.5) 29-23 over Dolphins
Browns (-6.5) 20-13 over Jets
Giants (-2) 26-21 over Panthers
Rams 30-21 over Falcons (+10)
49ers (-8.5) 27-16 over Seahawks
Raiders 31-27 over Cardinals (+5.5)
Broncos (-10) 31-20 over Texans
Bills 30-22 over Titans (+10)
Vikings (+2) 27-26 over Eagles