NFL picks, predictions against spread Week 2: Seahawks clip Patriots; Steelers, Packers keep on rolling

0
15

Week 1 in the NFL brought a lot of Sunday surprises, but there was also a lot that fell in line with how we expected certain teams to perform going into the season. Per usual, a few blown leads and a few missed late possessions in close games turned wins into losses.

That led to a mixed bag of success in our Sporting News picks and predicitons for the first weekend of the 2020 season. There’s only one thing certain in Week 2: Figuring out who will win and cover games will be just as difficult.

Here’s more fearless forecasting to take on those challenges with our latest NFL game picks against the spread. The point spreads come courtesy of Sports Insider:

MORE: Get the latest NFL Week 2 odds & betting advice from Sports Insider

NFL picks against the spread for Week 2

  • Game of the Week: Patriots at Seahawks (-4, 45 o/u)

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

Cam Newton had a solid debut running for the Patriots. Russell Wilson had another spectacular start passing for the Seahawks. Both teams have solid secondaries to keep the downfield shots in check, but Wilson is equipped with a more reliable running game and better, deep wide receivers. You can also bet old AFC East foe Jamal Adams will want to keep making an impact for Seattle with New England in his new town. The Seahawks won’t have the normal crowd noise behind them, but it’s still a long trip for a Patriots team still figuring out things offensively. Pete Carroll gets the better of Bill Belichick in another close one for these teams, only with no Super Bowl on the line.

Pick: Seahawks win 23-20 but fail to cover the spread.

Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox and NFL Network

The Bengals saw a ton of promise from Joe Burrow and just fell short of him starting his career 1-0. They had to be pleased with their overachieving defense and the added versatlity of their offense. The Browns didn’t enjoy any of that in getting blasted by the Ravens, with Baker Mayfield continuing his struggles from 2019. That said, Cleveland did rock in the running game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and got better at stopping the run. The hosts will save their playoff chances early with Myles Garrett making the difference with a late sack of Burrow.

Pick: Browns win 24-20 but fail to cover the spread.

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Chiefs won’t be intimidated going into SoFi Stadium for the Chargers’ opener there. The spacious, modern venue is built for Patrick Mahomes to dazzle with downfield passing, with plenty more help from Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the running game. The Chargers lacked luster with Tyrod Taylor’s passing in the opener and will try to grind this one out more with Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley. Having no Derwin James, however, will allow Mahomes to feed Travis Kelce well and get around L.A’s strength at cornerback. Taylor, with his line banged up, is in a tougher spot with Chris Jones and Frank Clark rushing after him.

Pick: Chiefs win 34-20 and cover the spread.

(Getty Images)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Giants are coming off a short week at home and a tough AFC matchup with the Steelers. The Bears poured all their energy into the fourth quarter in Detroit. They are due for a letdown, while the Giants won’t be as worn down as expected. Mitchell Trubisky burned a bad defense late, while Daniel Jones ran into a mighty one. Chicago is due for a letdown and didn’t look great defensively against the running game, slot and tight end. That’s not good news against Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate and Evan Engram. 

Pick: Giants win 27-24.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Eagles’ offensive line injury issues have turned a strength into a glaring weakness in front of Carson Wentz and a backfield that’s seriously hurting, too. They also have limitations in the downfield passing game. It’s a bad time for Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey to pay them a visit. The spotlight might be on the 2016 top-of-draft reunion of Jared Goff and Wentz, but Goff gets a better break up front and on the back end while Wentz will deal with more duress and less rushing support. The Rams will be more effective with their two tight ends than the Eagles will.

Pick: Rams win 24-20.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Steelers should steamroll through another second-year quarterback because of their daunting pass rush and sizzling secondary coverage. The Broncos’ defense is severely hampered without Von Miller, which will allow Ben Roethlsiberger to feel great attacking them downfield with his loaded wide receivers. Drew Lock won’t be able to find many answers with the running game also contained.

Pick: Steelers win 24-13 and cover the spread.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The 49ers had some offensive limitations at wide receiver that cost them against the Cardinals, who also boosted an improved defense with a host of top-flight individual playmakers. The Jets have no way to stop San Francisco’s running game or any of its short-to-intermediate receivers. The Jets have little reliability in the passing game for Sam Darnold and now injuries have mounted for Adam Gase’s rushing attack with a hamstrung Le’Veon Bell.

Pick: 49ers win 27-10 and cover the spread.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Lost in these teams’ upset losses in Week 1 was the fact that Kirk Cousins rebounded to play very well after a slow start while Philip Rivers, despite higher pass volume and better running support, carried his shakiness from the Chargers. Minnesota’s defense is better than the one that got gashed all-around by Green Bay, while Indianapolis remains inconsistent, in the middle of the pack. The Vikings are better positioned to win with a run-heavy, efficient passing game plan with Dalvin Cook and Cousins than the Colts are with their young backs and Rivers.

Pick: Vikings win 23-19.

(Getty Images)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Buccaneers showed that their run defense remains strong in Week 1, and that will slow down Christian McCaffrey just enough here. The Panthers have gone from being awful against the run to being just as bad against the pass. Teddy Bridgewater will feel some heat in more uncomfortable passing downs, while Tom Brady stays ahead of the chains, buoyed by more rushing production and stronger receiver connections than he had in Week 1. Brady will make sure his Tampa Bay opener isn’t a letdown knowing a good rebound is critical.

Pick: Buccaneers win 34-24 and cover the spread.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Jaguars have something going with the young offensive combination of Gardner Minshew and James Robinson. They have proved to be deep at wide receiver and are more capable of spreading the ball around effectively. The Titans have more passing game limitations, but they can drag the Jaguars down with plenty of Derrick Henry setting up big pass plays downfield. Minshew keeps his team in it again dueling Ryan Tannehill, but ultimately the Titans’ defense will get to him in some key late moments.

Pick: Titans win 20-17 but fail to cover the spread.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Cowboys have three great wide receivers in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and now CeeDee Lamb. The Falcons have two great wide receivers in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and have shown a promising No. 3, Russell Gage. Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan should have no issues spreading the field and lighting it up. The question comes down who will get better three-down support from a back. Advantage Ezekiel Elliott over Todd Gurley.

Pick: Cowboys win 31-27 but fail to cover the spread.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Dolphins have assembled a great cornerback duo in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, which might make it tough on Stefon Diggs and John Brown, but they just proved that they are vulnerable to big mobile QBs in folding against Newton. The Bills can also support Josh Allen on the ground with young backs Zack Moss and Devin Singletary. If DeVante Parker can’t go for Miami with the hamstring and it keeps playing committee games with the backfield, it wouldn’t have enough to match. Former Bill Ryan Fitzpatrick will have another rough game, bringing a Tua Tagovailoa start closer to reality.

Pick: Bills win 30-17 and cover the spread.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Lions melted down in the fourth quarter against the Bears with more defensive issues under Matt Patricia, including hamstring injuries to cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman. That’s bad timing for another division game against a Packers offense firing on all cylinders and then some with the Aarons, Rodgers and Jones. The Lions will hope to get Kenny Golladay back, but their top wide receiver also can be contained by Jaire Alexander. Lambeau Field won’t be the same without Cheeseheads filing the stands, but the Packers still will have good reason to leap.

Pick: Packers win 31-24 and cover the spread.

(Getty Images)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray had great comeback moments as second-year first-round QBs in Week 1. Haskins, despite a lack of explosiveness and balance around him, grinded Washington to victory in its new offense. Murray used his legs and new elite go-to receiver DeAndre Hopkins effectively against the 49ers. Murray will be pursued by Chase Young and a good Washington pass rush, but then again, Arizona has Chandler Jones for Haskins. The Cardinals are simply the team with the real NFL offense in this matchup.

Pick: Cardinals win 34-17 and cover the spread

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Ravens destroyed the Texans 41-7 at home last November. They will handle themselves well in the road rematch, too. Lamar Jackson will face little resistance when running or passing. Houston may try to take away the deep ball like it did against Mahomes and Kansas City, but it would be asking to be pounded and worn down by ball control with rookie J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram supplementing Jackson on the ground. Deshaun Watson has less of a reliable big-play element around him and will be pushed to play catchup against another young elite contemporary.

Pick: Ravens win 30-20 and cover the spread

Monday 8:20 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Saints will march into Las Vegas as the first visitor to Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders should be pumped to open their new venue, much like the Rams were. But, unfortunately, they didn’t invite a patsy to homecoming, just another NFC South foe with more offensive prowess. Alvin Kamara and Josh Jacobs will be an epic scrimmage duel, but advantage to Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders vs. Derek Carr’s mix of mostly new wide receivers.

Pick: Saints win 30-27 but fail to cover the spread.