Each Monday morning during the season, I’ll preview three games with spreads that I think will move by the end of the week. This article is designed to help you get the best odds possible by helping you to decide if you should place a bet early in the week or if you should wait to wager until closer to kickoff based on potential line movements. I’ll include any early week leans and wagers that I make in my write-ups.
Week 2 Opening Lines
Lines courtesy of Westgate SuperBook on Sunday night
Cincinnati vs. Cleveland (-6.5)
Los Angeles Rams vs. Philadelphia (-2.5)
Carolina vs. Tampa Bay (-8)
Denver vs. Pittsburgh (-6.5)
Atlanta vs. Dallas (-7)
San Francisco (-6.5) at New York Jets
Buffalo (-4) at Miami
Minnesota vs. Indianapolis (-3)
Detroit vs. Green Bay (-5.5)
New York Giants vs. Chicago (-5.5)
Jacksonville vs. Tennessee (-10)
Washington vs. Arizona (-6.5)
Baltimore (-6.5) at Houston
Kansas City (-7) at Los Angeles Chargers
New England vs. Seattle (-3.5)
New Orleans (-5.5) at Las Vegas
Atlanta Falcons (1-0, 1-0 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (0-1, 0-1), 1 p.m.
Opening Line: Cowboys -7
Recent Results: The Falcons defense from the start of the 2019 season showed up in the season opener as the Seahawks ran the Falcons off the field in a 38-25 victory as one-point road underdogs. Russell Wilson averaged 9.2 YPA while throwing for 322 yards and four touchdowns against a still shaky Falcons secondary. The Cowboys are coming off their own disappointing Week 1 to the Rams. Dallas’ high-flying offense managed just three points in the second half in a 20-17 loss to the Rams in a game that closed as a pick-em contest — Dallas was as high as three-point favorites.
Injuries/Developments to Follow: The Cowboys not only lost on the scoreboard, but they also left Los Angeles in much worse shape heading into this week. They took several big hits in the season openers by losing both LB Leighton Vander Esch (collarbone, IR) and TE Blake Jarwin (ACL, IR) to season-ending injuries. Dallas also lost RT Cameron Erving (knee) in Week 1, and the Rams immediately started attacking his backup Terence Steele.
Potential Line Movement: I’ve already laid my money on the Falcons at +7 on Monday morning because I don’t see this line holding at the key number of seven. Dallas suffered some massive injuries in Week 1 by losing both Vander Esch and Jarwin, and it doesn’t sound like starting RT Erving will be available against the Falcons, as well. I’ll be downgrading the Cowboys in my Power Ratings, and I think this line should be more in the five-point range. I’ll still like the Falcons when this line dips later this week, but I want to get some extra insurance by getting the full seven points right now. If you favor the Cowboys this week, I’d wait until later this week since I could this line getting down to a six-point spread.
Washington Football Team (1-0, 1-0) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-0, 1-0), 4:05 p.m.
- Opening Line: Cardinals -6.5
- Recent Results: The Football Team and the Cardinals are both coming off two of the bigger Week 1 upsets. Washington erased a 17-point first-half deficit by scoring the final 27 points against the Eagles to win 27-17 as 5.5-point home underdogs. It was the largest deficit Washington has overcome against Philadelphia in the series history. The Football Team’s defense keyed the victory with eight sacks to give Ron Rivera a victory in his Washington debut. The Cardinals are coming off an impressive 24-20 victory over the 49ers as 6.5-point road underdogs. WR DeAndre Hopkins lived up to all the hype in his first game with the Cardinals, owning a 40% target share and a 65.6% receiving yards share against the 49ers.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: Hopkins and Kenyan Drake looked just fine in Week 1 after they sat out much of a training camp with “injuries.” The Football Team’s defense was wildly impressive in Week 1, and they could be in a little better shape this week if they get CB Kendall Fuller (knee) and LB Thomas Davis (calf) back this week.
- Potential Line Movement: The Football Team is going to be in a tough spot coming off a satisfying season-opening victory after all the turmoil the franchise went through this off-season with owner Daniel Snyder and the organization’s name change. They’ll also have a small negative travel spot flying to Arizona after their victory in the home opener. The Cardinals could also be in a small letdown spot after beating the reigning NFC champion 49ers in Week 1. I think the betting markets will be more impressed with the Cardinals’ start to the season and I anticipate this line will get up to a full seven-point spread this week. I haven’t made a decision on which way I’m leaning on this game, but if I favored the Cardinals I’d get down now while the line is still at -6.5. I could see some value on the Football Team’s side at +7 since I think their defense is going to travel well this year so hold off on a bet on Washington until later this week.
San Francisco 49ers (0-1, 0-1) vs. New York Jets (0-1, 0-1), 1 p.m.
- Opening Line: 49ers -6.5
- Recent Results: The 49ers ended their 2020 season opener with a whimper just as they ended their 2019 season against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. San Francisco allowed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to lose 24-20 to the Cardinals as 6.5-point home favorites. The Jets fell behind by three touchdowns to the Bills in the first 25 minutes of their season opener, and they could never climb within one score the rest of the way in a 27-17 loss as 6.5-point road underdogs. A late Josh Adams touchdown made the final score much more respectable considering the Bills settled for two short second-half field goals, which were missed by Tyler Bass.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: Jimmy Garoppolo could really use some help at wide receiver right now after Kendrick Bourne led the 49ers receiving corps with 2/34 receiving in the season opener. San Fran won’t be getting WR Deebo Samuel (foot, IR), back until at least Week 4 but at least it looks like rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) could make his debut after getting a pair of limited practices late last week after suffering his injury on Aug. 23. Jets RB Le’Veon Bell is dealing with his own hamstring injury after leaving Week 1 early. Bell missed some time in training camp due to a tight hamstring, which he denied on Twitter as part of his ongoing feud with HC Adam Gase. The Jets would use a combination of Frank Gore, Josh Adams, and rookie Lamical Perine (ankle) this week if Bell can’t play.
- Potential Line Movement: The Jets may have lost by only 10 points in the season opener to the Bills, but the score wasn’t indicative of their overall performance. Simply put, New York looked like potentially the league’s worst team in Week 1. San Francisco is in a tough spot heading to the East Coast for an early kickoff, but they should give a full effort this week since they don’t want to start their season 0-2. I don’t see the betting markets rushing to back the Jets this week, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this line gets into the 7.5-8.5 point range this week. Don’t waste any time if you want to get down on the 49ers at -6.5 or -7 this week since I don’t think those lines will last long. On the flip side, there’s no reason to rush to the window to bet the Jets. You’ll get maximum value later in the week after the San Francisco money comes rolling in this week.