Betting News & Analysis

NFL Week 2 Betting: Darius Butler’s favorite bets of the week

Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks for an open receiver in the end zone in the first half of the game against the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

What a first week of NFL football — I think we all underestimated the underdogs to start the season. My four-game slate would have been perfect if it wasn't for that beatdown the Green Bay Packers took at the hands of the Jameis Winston-led New Orleans Saints.

Ah, well, I guess I can live with 3-1. Let's get to Week 2!

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New England Patriots (-6) @ New York Jets

This is the battle of the rookie QBs, and the edge goes to Mac Jones. Last week, Jones looked like he was already in complete control of the New England offense. Only a late fumble by Damien Harris kept the Alabama product from winning his first NFL game. 

Mac Jones vs. Zach Wilson Week 1
PFF passing grade aDOT Adjusted completion % Big-time throws
Turnover-worthy plays
Mac Jones 76.6 6.5 83.3 4 1
Zach Wilson 61.3 10.6 73.5 1 3

Bill Belichick’s history against rookie QBs does not bode well for Zach Wilson and the Jets. Wilson’s offensive line will be missing its biggest and best piece in Mekhi Becton. I expect a nice mix of QB pressure and tight passing windows for Wilson all afternoon. 

Prediction: Jones throws three touchdowns and Devin McCourty gets a pick.

Los Angeles Rams (-4) @ Indianapolis Colts

This pains me to say, but I see my Colts in an 0-2 hole once again to start the season. 

Indianapolis is dealing with injuries to some big-time players — T.Y. Hilton, Xavier Rhodes, Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson are all still dealing with nagging injuries. I think the Colts need to be at full speed to beat this Rams team coming into town. 

The Rams look primed to have a special season on offense. Sean McVay and Matt Stafford look like a match made in football heaven. With playmakers like Buckner, Leonard and Kenny Moore on defense, this unit should put up a much better fight than the Bears did on Sunday night, but I don’t think it will be enough to keep this game closer than a TD. 

PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

When the Carson Wentz-led Colts are on the field on offense, the main thing I will be watching is how well will this line protects. The Seahawks took advantage on the offensive line all afternoon last week, even though it's supposed to be one of this team's strengths. With injuries continuing to mount up front, I doubt this unit has a bounce-back week.

Dog of the Day: Cincinnati Bengals (+1.5/ML) @ Chicago Bears OVER 45.5

There is a long list of reasons why I like the Bengals here. The list starts with the clear advantage Cincy has at the QB position and in offensive playmakers. Joe Burrow is picking up right where he left off in his rookie campaign. (Maybe I was wrong about thinking the Bengals should’ve passed on Penei Sewell at No. 5 in this year's draft.)

I know it’s only been one week, but I’m ready to mark Burrow-to-Chase as one of my favorite 1-2 punches to watch. 

Bengals Starting WRs Week 1
PFF receiving grade Targets Receptions aDOT
Yards per route run
Ja'Marr Chase 79.8 7 5 16.3 3.37
Tee Higgins 77.5 5 4 10.2 2.15
Tyler Boyd 67.6 4 3 7.0 1.19

The Bears have had a long history of marching out good and sometimes great defenses. In primetime last week, Chicago put on one of the worst displays of defense of Week 1. I expect some changes in the secondary — specifically at the nickel position. Whoever the replacement is there will be baptized by fire. 

One of the few positives from the Bears' Week 1 loss was the performance of RB David Montgomery. Dominating the run game and making things easier on Andy Dalton will be the only way I can see this game going Chicago’s way.

Darius Butler is a former NFL free safety. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He also played for the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

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