Week 2 early NFL odds: Raiders open as monstrous favorites over visiting Jets
Here's an early look at the lines for all NFL games being played in Week 2
For the first time in 16 years, the Raiders are going to have to win by more than two touchdowns if they want to cover the spread.
In the odds for Week 2 that were released on Sunday night, the Raiders opened as a 14-point favorite over the Jets, which is a huge spread for a team that hasn't been favored by that much since 2001. Although the Raiders had one of the best teams in the NFL last year, they were never favored by more than 6.5 points in any game.
According to Pro Football Reference, the last time the Raiders were favored by 14 points or more in a game came in Week 4 of the 2001 season when Jon Gruden's Raiders were an 18-point favorite over the Cowboys. That was so long ago that Jerry Rice was on the Raiders' roster.
As for the Jets, this will mark the second year in a row that they've been an underdog of at least 14 points. In Week 16 of 2016, the Patriots beat the Jets 41-3 in a game where New England was favored 17 points. Before that, the Jets hadn't faced a spread that big since 2007.
The bad news for the Jets is that when you're a big underdog, the game usually turns into a bloodbath. Since 2015, the underdog is 1-10 against the spread in games where the spread is 13 or more points (and 0-11 straight-up).
The only team that covered over that span was the 2016 49ers, who lost 23-20 to the Cardinals in a Week 10 game where they were a 13.5 point underdog.
So is anyone else a big favorite this week? Let's check out the rest of the Week 2 odds and find out.
NFL Week 2 early odds
(All lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook via Oddsshark.com, all games on Sunday unless noted)
Opening line: Bengals, -3 points
If the Bengals are going to cover the spread in this game, they're going to have to do something they didn't do in Week 1, which is actually score some points. The Bengals' 20-0 loss to the Ravens marked just the third time under Marvin Lewis that they've been shut out. Of course, the Texans weren't much better in Week 1, scoring just seven points against the Jaguars.
The under (O/U is 40) might actually be the safest bet in this game. The Texans have won two in a row in this series with both games being played in primetime. In 2015, the Texans went to Cincinnati and pulled out a 10-6 win. In 2016, the Texans came away with a 12-10 win on Christmas Eve. The Bengals are 1-5 straight-up in their past six primetime games, including those two losses to Houston.
One other tidbit: Since Bill O'Brien became coach in 2014, the Texans are 13-7-1 ATS after a loss, which is the second-best record in the AFC over the span. Something to keep an eye will be the Texans' quarterback situation because it's still not clear who's going to start: Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson.
Jets (0-1) at Raiders (1-0)
Opening line: Raiders, -14 points
It's easy to see why the oddsmakers have made the Raiders such a huge favorite this week. In the Jets, we have a potentially tanking team -- that only put up 214 total yards and 12 points against the Bills -- that has to travel across the country to face a Raiders team that will be playing in their home opener. The one odd thing about this game is that the Raiders have had trouble blowing teams out. Since 2013, the Raiders have only won one game by more than 14 points. On the other hand, the Jets have struggled when coming out west. Since 2005, the Jets are just 2-8 when playing in the Pacific time zone.
Browns (0-1) at Ravens (1-0)
Opening line: Ravens, -7.5 points
After covering as an 8.5-point underdog against the Steelers in Week 1, the Browns aren't getting any respect in Week 2. Although betting on the Browns might feel crazy, Cleveland has actually kept things pretty close in their last few meetings with the Ravens. Five of the past seven games in this series have been decided by six or fewer points.
However, if there's one time you don't want to bet against the Ravens, it's in a division game. Since the beginning of 2016, the Ravens are 6-1 ATS against AFC North opponents, which is the best divisional record ATS of any team in the NFL over the span.
Cardinals (0-1) at Colts (0-1)
Opening line: Cardinals, -7.5 points
Although the Colts got whitewashed by the Rams in Week 1, they're only a seven-point underdog here, and that's probably because oddsmakers don't like what they saw from the Cardinals in Detroit on Sunday. For one, David Johnson suffered a wrist injury and there's a chance that he won't be playing in this game. If Johnson's out, that will put the offensive pressure on Carson Palmer, who looked horrible against the Lions (with three interceptions).
One twist in this game is that Colts coach Chuck Pagano and Cardinals coach Bruce Arians know each other well. Arians won Coach of the Year with Indy in 2012 after taking over for the Colts following Pagano's cancer diagnosis. The last time these two teams played, Arians outcoached Pagano in a 40-11 win back in 2013.
Patriots (0-1) at Saints (0-0)
Opening line: Patriots, -4.5 points
If there's any team you don't want to play after they lose, it's the Patriots. Since 2011, the Patriots are 15-6 ATS following a loss, which is the best mark in the NFL over that span. Last season, the Patriots went 2-0 after a loss and won both those games by an average of 17.5 points.
The NFL didn't do the Saints any favors with the schedule, either. Not only will the Patriots be coming off 10 days of rest, but the Saints will be coming into the game off a short week because they play on Monday night in Week 1.
Vikings (0-0) at Steelers (1-0)
Opening line: Steelers, -7 points
After watching the Steelers struggle against the Browns in Week 1, oddsmakers are apparently expecting big things out of them as they return back to Pittsburgh for their home opener in Week 2. The Steelers generally play much better at home, and that starts with Ben Roethlisberger, who is a completely different quarterback when he plays at Heinz Field. Over the course of his career, Big Ben has a 99.5 QB rating at home, compared to a 88.8 rating on the road.
Be careful betting against the Vikings, though. Since Mike Zimmer took over as coach in 2014, the Vikings are 12-6 ATS as road underdogs, which is the third-best mark in the NFL over that span. During that same period, the Vikings are 10-2 ATS against AFC teams, which is the best mark of any NFC team over that span.
Opening line: Chargers, -4 points
This game is almost a total mystery. Not only are we going to see the Dolphins play for the first time this season (which means we finally get to see Jay Cutler!), but we're also going to see a regular-season NFL game played at the Stubhub Center for the first time.
Basically, we're about to find out if 27,000 fans can really give an NFL team a true homefield advantage. San Diego definitely wasn't much of an advantage for the Chargers as they went 5-11 ATS at home over the past two seasons. These two teams met last year, with the Dolphins winning on the road 31-24 in a game where the Chargers were favored by four.
Titans (0-1) at Jaguars (1-0)
Opening line: Titans, -1 point
The oddsmakers might not love Jacksonville, but they love Sacksonville (the Jaguars decided to change the name of their city after recording 10 sacks against the Texans on Sunday), which is why the line in this game is so close. Although you might be inclined to bet the Titans in this game, Tennessee has actually struggled during their past few trips to Jacksonville. Since 2014, the Titans are 0-3 straight-up in Jacksonville, and those three losses have come by a total score of 78-43. Since drafting Marcus Mariota in 2015, the Titans are 5-11 ATS on the road, which is the second-worst record in the NFL over that span.
Opening line: Chiefs, -4 points
After slaying the Patriots in Week 1, Andy Reid will be going for a win in Week 2 that he might enjoy even more. For the just the second time since being hired by Kansas City in 2013, Reid will get a shot at revenge on the team that fired him in 2012.
Although the Chiefs have been good under Reid over the past four years, they do seem to have one weakness. Since 2013, the Chiefs are 11-17-1 ATS as a home favorite. In that same period, the Eagles are 11-5-1 ATS against non-conference teams, which is the third-best mark in the NFL. By the way, the only other time Reid faced the Eagles came in 2013 in a game that Kansas City won 26-16.
Bears (0-1) at Buccaneers (0-0)
Opening line: Buccaneers, -6 points
We could call this the Mike Glennon revenge game, only it doesn't feel like Glennon is actually going to get revenge. The Bears starting quarterback spent the first four seasons of his career in Tampa, where he never really took off. This game will be serving as the Buccaneers regular season-opener since their Week 1 game against the Dolphins got postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
The Bucs have actually struggled as a home favorite in recent years. Since Jameis Winston's rookie season in 2015, the Bucs are just 3-6 as a home favorite. However, if this meeting goes anything like the last time these two played, that will be good news for the Bucs. Last season, the Bucs blew out the Bears 36-10 in Tampa.
Redskins (0-1) at Rams (1-0)
Opening line: Rams, -2.5 points
Before taking over as the Rams head coach this year, Sean McVay spent three seasons as the Redskins offensive coordinator, which means he probably knows more about Kirk Cousins than anyone. That's probably bad news for Cousins, because McVay will be able to offer a few tips to a Rams defense that racked up two pick-sixes in Week 1. The bad news actually gets worse for Cousins because Aaron Donald might end up playing in this game for the Rams.
Cowboys (1-0) at Broncos (0-0)
Opening line: Cowboys, -2.5 points
It's not often that the Broncos open up as a home underdog. Since 2012, that's only happened a total of six times, and the Broncos are 4-2 ATS in those games. On the other hand, the Cowboys have been unbeatable against the AFC since drafting Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. During their rookie year in 2016, the Cowboys went 4-0 ATS and 4-0 straight-up in games vs. AFC teams.
49ers (0-1) at Seahawks (0-1)
Opening line: Seahawks, -12.5 points
The 49ers' annual trip to Seattle has been one of the biggest mismatches in the NFL over the past few seasons. Since 2012, the 49ers have made six trips to Seattle, and they've gone 0-6. Even worse, those six losses have come by an average of 17.7 points.
Also, the Seahawks are 26-14 ATS coming off a loss under Pete Carroll, which is the best mark in the NFC since 2010. In 2016, the Seahawks went 5-0 straight-up after a loss and won those five games by an average of 13.5 points. It's not all bad news for the 49ers though, as they did go 4-2 ATS in divisional games last season, which was tied for the best divisional ATS record in the NFC.
Opening line: Falcons, -2.5 points
The last time we saw these two teams on the same field came in January when the Falcons blew out the Packers 44-21 in the NFC title game and covered a 6.5-point spread while doing it. This time around, the oddsmakers seem to like the Packers a little bit more than they did last time, and that might have to do with the fact that Green Bay seems to have a defense this year. In Week 1, the Packers absolutely shut down the Seahawks while the Falcons struggled with the Bears.
The one thing we should find out on Sunday is if the new Falcons' stadium actually gives them a home-field advantage. This will be the first regular season game played at Mercedez-Benz Stadium.
Lions (1-0) at Giants (0-1), Monday
Opening line: Giants, -5 points
The Giants are favored by five points in this game even though they didn't even score five points in Week 1. The big question here is whether or not Odell Beckham will be able to play after sitting out the opener with a sprained ankle. If Beckham can't play, it's not crazy to think that the Giants offense will completely struggle through another week.
Of course, the Giants could end up covering, but that's only because the Lions seem to look horrible every time they play in primetime. Since 2015, the Lions are 1-5 straight-up and 2-4 ATS in late night games. These two teams actually played in New York last season, with the Giants winning 17-6 in a game where they were favored by four.
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