Much like the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, I stumbled out of the gate, losing two of my three Week 1 total picks. It was a weird first week in the NFL with 12 of the 16 games cashing the UNDER on the NFL betting line with less than half the teams scoring more than 20 points. Oddsmakers adjusted with only game on the Week 2 NFL betting board having a total higher than 50 and four games boasting a number lower than 40. It almost looks like a preseason week.
Most teams elected to not play starters during the exhibition season, which could be a reason why offenses appeared a step behind in Week 1. We also saw a number of teams trot out a new quarterback. The rookies didn’t fare well with No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young and his Carolina Panthers scoring 10 points in a loss. C.J. Stroud couldn’t even orchestrate a touchdown drive in Houston’s 25-9 setback. No. 4 pick Anthony Richardson had the most success of the three with 223 passing yards and an additional 40 and a TD on the ground. Richardson and Stroud go head-to-head for the first time when the Colts visit the Texans on Sunday with the total at 39.5.
NFL Week 2 Totals Best Bets
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: OVER 41
Neither team showed me enough in Week 1 to make them an NFL pick against the spread. But there were signs that backing the OVER is a good play. I was dismayed by the performance of the Chicago Bears in their outing against Green Bay. At some point they need to decide if Justin Fields is the guy that can lead the team. He’s flashed glimpses in the past and the club made an effort to upgrade the receiving corps. However, Fields threw for only 216 yards in the opener with D.J. Moore targeted twice. Moore was the centerpiece of a trade that sent the No. 1 overall pick to Carolina and he’s targeted just two times.
Baker Mayfield tossed a pair of scoring passes in his Tampa Bay debut leading the Bucs to a win. And if the Bears defense plays like it did against Green Bay, Mayfield could put up big numbers. Chicago allowed Jordan Love to throw three scoring passes rarely getting pressure. And that’s troublesome since head coach Matt Eberflus is a defensive guy. The teams have hit or exceeded the current total of 41 at BetRivers sportsbook seven times in the last 10 meetings.
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions
Pick: UNDER 47
One thing the Detroit Lions felt they had to do in order to compete in the NFC was upgrade their defense. Early returns were positive after their season-opening 21-20 win over Kansas City. Aidan Hutchison can get after the QB like no other and rookie Brian Branch stepped up with a pick-six against the Chiefs. The team revamped its secondary after finishing 30th against the pass and last in total defense. Granted, the Chiefs played without Travis Kelce on opening night and receivers dropped a number of catchable passes, but the plan has come to fruition.
And the Lions have some unfinished business with the Seahawks. This game is a yardstick to see if they have turned a corner. Detroit has lost five straight in the series allowing 99 points in the last two games. The Lions lost out on a wild card spot last season with their 48-45 setback to Seattle proving to be a difference. Over their last nine games the Lions have allowed 20 points or less in six of them making this game an NFL best bet to cash the UNDER.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Pick: UNDER 40.5
Gone are the days of the NFC South putting up big offensive numbers. In Week 1 the four division teams combined to average 17.5 points with the Falcons erupting for a high of 24 in their win over the Carolina Panthers. With Desmond Ridder the longest tenured QB in the division, you can see why things have shifted. Bryce Young may end up being a fine quarterback when his career is finished, but it’s going to be a rocky start on a rebuilding team. The No. 1 overall pick tossed a pair of interceptions and the Panthers managed just 10 points in their Week 1 loss.
The Saints have arguably a better defense than Atlanta making Young’s job more difficult. And New Orleans has some issues on offense as well with their starting tackles both injured in the opener and Alvin Kamara sitting out the second of his three-game suspension. Since I’m going to bet on NFL games I’ll have to back the UNDER in this matchup.
Check out the latest NFL betting odds at BetRivers.