Week 1 in the NFL went pretty much as you’d expect, at least on the whole.
Betting favorites won 10 of the 16 games but went 8-8 against the spread. A few underdogs, including the 6.5-point dog Seattle Seahawks in the Week 1 finale, won outright, with the week’s biggest NFL upset being the Chicago Bears knocking off the San Francisco 49ers as seven-point underdogs.
Now, we start to see the market evolve with a week’s worth of games to go off. In Week 1, the biggest spread was seven points in Chicago. In Week 2, there were four games with spreads of at least 9.5 points as of Tuesday morning.
After digging through the full list of NFL Week 2 lines, here are three favorites you’ll want to think twice about backing at the betting window or in your pick ’em pools this week.
(-1) New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
Typically, Bill Belichick has handled Mike Tomlin with relative ease. This doesn’t appear to be your typical Patriots team, though. Granted, one of the Steelers’ best players — defensive end T.J. Watt — won’t play Sunday. However, the Steelers are playing their home opener after a big divisional win a week ago. They still have a pass rush that can get home against a discombobulated Patriots offensive line. Considering there are also arguments against Pittsburgh — the injury situation plus having to play a full overtime period in the division last week — this eyebrow-raising spread makes this a stay-away game.
Washington Commanders at (-2.5) Detroit Lions
The Lions are favored. Should we just stop there? The Commanders don’t inspire a ton of confidence, but they did show something resembling resolve in Week 1 against Jacksonville. Detroit definitely has resolve, as evidenced by how close it made things in Week 1 against Philly, but the Eagles dominated chunks of that game. At the end of the day, though, does anyone feel comfortable laying points with Jared Goff?
Atlanta Falcons at (-10.5) Los Angeles Rams
This might fall under a Week 1 overreaction, but we’re not in any rush to get to the window to get a ticket for the Rams laying double digits. That this opened at Rams -11.5 indicates that’s a shared opinion. The Rams might have pass-protection issues, too. The Bills sacked Matthew Stafford seven times in Week 1, pressuring on 31.3% of his dropbacks. The Falcons, meanwhile, generated a lot of pressure against New Orleans. Just feels like too many points.