The 2020 NFL season figures to be anything but normal, but when it came to betting on the NFL, Week 1 was as close to normal as you could get.
There was just a two-game difference between favorites and underdogs (favorites going 9-7), while road teams covered at nearly the same clip as the hosts (home teams also going 9-7).
As for our own performance, we gave you three favorites to avoid last week and knocked one of them out of the park, as the Indianapolis Colts were the biggest favorite to lose outright in Week 1. We could have done even better had Carolina not given it away late, but that’s neither here nor there.
Here are three favorites to avoid in Week 2.
Cincinnati Bengals at (-6) Cleveland Browns
Among Cleveland’s many issues a year ago was the offensive line. Credit to the Browns, they worked diligently to address that problem in the offseason. But now, a week into the season, both starting right tackles are hurt with a short week on tap heading into this Thursday night tilt against Joe Burrow and the Bengals.
Jacksonville Jaguars at (-9) Tennessee Titans
The Titans have dominated the Jaguars in recent years, not only winning but also covering five of their last six contests. And can you really count on the Jaguars to have two good games in a row? Probably not. But we’ve got two reasons to fade the Titans here. One, is we don’t know how Stephen Gostkowski is going to respond after missing four kicks in his Titans debut. Few things can screw with a line like a shaky kicker. Second is the Gardner Minshew factor. It won’t be as easy this week against the Titans, but Tennessee is still without Adoree’ Jackson in the secondary, so the big-play factor is still there for Jacksonville.
New York Giants at (-5.5) Chicago Bears
Perhaps you’ve heard, but the Bears are a bit of a mess at the moment. Their best offensive player, Allen Robinson, reportedly wants out, and there wasn’t a ton to feel great about on that side of the ball despite a Week 1 comeback win in Detroit. The defense obviously is loaded with talent, but the run defense looked a little shaky last week against Adrian Peterson off the street in his Lions debut. Theoretically, the Bears are looking at another tough test this week with Saquon Barkley on the way looking to avenge a brutal 2020 debut. If Daniel Jones can protect the ball — an admittedly big “if” after Week 1 — the G-Men should be able to keep this close.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports Images