NFL Week 2 picks: Patriots roll, Eagles cover and more of Will Brinson's best bets

The second I saw the public numbers for the SuperContest come out and realized that four of my five picks were the four biggest consensus selections for Week 1, I knew something was wrong. Something was indeed wrong and I limped out to a terrible start in my best bets this week.

It all unfolded at the same time -- all my picks were 1 p.m. games -- but when I found out everyone was on the Bengals, Titans, Cardinals and Texans were popular picks, well, I knew I was toast. Having the top four consensus picks on your slate is ...


I'm still determined, every week in this space, to gonna find you some locks. You can see our full 2017 NFL Expert Picks here. We're gonna get hot and it starts this week. 

Panthers -7 vs. Bills

Value prop here, even though the line is higher than you would like it to be (5.5 would be ideal). The Panthers and Bills both played bad teams in Week 1 and both covered against their respective opponents. But the difference is the Panthers snuffed out the 49ers 20-3, while the Bills let the Jets hang around before putting them down 21-12.

The Bills offense is better than the 49ers, but it isn't geared to score a ton of points, and the Panthers defense is an elite unit capable of shutting teams down. Carolina would love nothing more than to shorten this game, play great defense and run the ball 40 times.

The Bills did a nice job of shutting down the Jets running game, and it's possible former Panthers DC Sean McDermott is generating a nice little defense in Buffalo. Both teams know a lot about one another, though, and I give a big edge to the Panthers. 

Patriots -6.5 at Saints

Can't entirely get away from road chalk, and anytime there is a situation where you can take Angry Tom Brady and Death Star Bill Belichick coming off a loss and catching less than a touchdown, it has to be an inviting opportunity.

It's an absurdly high number here too, considering how well the Saints play at home, but New Orleans has a few problems on its hands. One, the defense is horrible again. Time is a flat circle. Two, there isn't anyone on the Saints that is going to let them stretch the field. Three, the protection for Drew Brees is a major problem. He was getting hammered by the Vikings in Week 1 and the Saints couldn't do anything in the red zone. Four, the running game is still a jumbled mess.

The Saints need to get healthy and find their identity and that is not a good spot to be with the Patriots coming off a loss. 

Eagles +5.5 at Chiefs

This is me taking advantage of a public approach to this game with the Chiefs winning in New England on Week 1 and the Eagles having a fairly quiet victory over the Redskins.

The Chiefs are getting a major bump as a result of throttling the Patriots, although there is plenty to like here. Kareem Hunt is the truth and Alex Smith appears intent on pushing the ball down the field. The Chiefs have had 10 days to prepare and Andy Reid knows what Doug Pederson (his old OC) will try to do.

And yet, this Eagles team is going to keep it close because they are capable of getting pressure on Smith in a way that the Pats could not do. Additionally, Eric Berry's injury will open things up some for Carson Wentz's passing attack. 

Rams -2.5 vs. Redskins

Another pupil-teacher situation here, with Sean McVay welcoming in in his old boss Jay Gruden and his old quarterback Kirk Cousins. More than the Eagles-Chiefs game, there is a ton of knowledge that McVay can give to Wade Phillips about the things that Cousins/Gruden want to do.

Gruden is 2-1 ATS in his career in Week 2 games and he acknowledged today his team is always better in its second week under him (although he doesn't know why). But this is a cross-country game for the Redskins and Kirk Cousins and Terrelle Pryor don't have their mojo yet. Josh Norman can lock down Sammy Watkins, but good luck locking down Cooper Kupp. McVay will continue doing a good job getting Jared Goff's targets open for him on easy reads, and with Aaron Donald coming back, the Rams will be a major problem for the Redskins offensive line.

Broncos +2.5 vs. Cowboys

Feel oddly confident about this because the Broncos are underrated based off playing late at night on Monday and the Cowboys are a big time public team giving points on the road.

Denver's defense has not been fantastic against the run over the last year or so, but they will shut down teams in the air and can limit Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant while loading the box and trying to slow down Ezekiel Elliott. The offense is just better than people think, and Trevor Siemian may be emerging as a viable quarterback option, while C.J. Anderson could have a nice little game here against a surprisingly stingy Cowboys defense.

Denver is a legitimate team and I like the idea of them getting points at home. 

  • Last week best bets: 1-4
  • Best bets season: 1-4
  • Last week overall: 7-8
  • Season overall: 7-8
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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