Your curated list of wagers for Week 2 of the NFL season, from moneylines and player props to overlooked underdogs.
Consider me privileged and excited to be bringing my betting prowess to Boardroom — those who followed me at Deadspin last year uncorked significant winnings, so let’s just try and shoot for more of the same in ‘22.
NFL Week 2 Best Bets Overview 2022
Best Over/Under Bet of Week 2
Since joining Tampa Bay a couple of years ago, Tom Brady has not emerged victorious from any of his regular season matchups against the NFC South rival Saints. He did, however, lead the Bucs past them in the 2020 postseason in what was ultimately Drew Brees’ final ballgame.
The common denominator in these meetings was a healthy amount of scoring. In fact, at least one of the two sides reached 30 points in all but one of the contests, and overall, they’ve posted a combined average of 46 points over this period (all despite an odd 9-0 final score in the second Bucs-Saints game last year).
That last encounter can be thrown out the window, though, as it featured pro football’s version of a Swiss army knife, Taysom Hill, starting at quarterback. Here, he’s back in his role as a gadget player.
Jameis Winston was QB1 in that first matchup in Week 8 only to suffer a torn ACL against his ex-teammates — but that’s all the more reason to believe that the Bucs’ former No. 1 overall pick will continue to be on the warpath against his old team Sunday.
That was seemingly the case in his Week 1 return, as Winston led New Orleans on a furious fourth-quarter rally to upend the Falcons in Atlanta. Given what the Heisman Trophy winner was doing a year ago — he had a 102.8 passer rating and an eye-opening 14-3 TD/INT ratio before getting hurt — I’m buying into this reascension of the Buccaneers’ former franchise signal-caller.
Remember also that Winston has a far better cast around him than when he first donned the black and gold in 2021. Michael Thomas is back and appears to be closer to his old form than he has in years based on the pair of touchdowns he snagged against ATL. Jarvis Landry and rookie Chris Olave are part of the squad now as well and very much in the mix.
Brady, meanwhile, had himself a nice season debut, too, guiding the Bucs to a road stomping of the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. While the defense also looked very impressive, let’s remember that Dak Prescott got injured in that one.
There’s no doubt both teams boast quality defensive units. They also boast quality, star-studded offenses, making for one of the most enticing collisions on the Week 2 slate. Featuring an over/under of 44.5, that isn’t much for the two contenders to topple and I’m buying a half point to 44 in case there’s a 24-20/27-17 type outcome.
Pick: OVER 44 (-120)
Best Point Spread Bet of Week 2
Lamar Jackson made a strong opening statement to the powers that be who did not give the talented QB his desired contract extension. Granted, this came at the expense of the Jets, but still, it was a huge message sent after Jackson missed the last handful of weeks a year ago due to injury, costing Baltimore the playoffs.
Miami also sent loud shockwaves across the league from their Week 1 triumph in which they throttled New England. Perhaps Tua Tagovailoa is a franchise quarterback after all, as he certainly looked the part in connecting on 23-of-33 passes for 270 yards and a score against a good defense. Having Tyreek Hill helps.
Either way, this is a very interesting battle set to occur at the M&T Bank Stadium opener, featuring two starting QBs who have been doubted by many. Betting this boils down to which of the two you prefer.
For me, it’s Lamar. People seem to forget that before getting hurt, the Louisville product was putting up huge numbers — both with his arm and his feet — not to mention is a recent Most Valuable Player Award winner. Through 2019 and 2020, Baltimore averaged more than 30 points per game. How can people hate on that?!
On defense, the Ravens are always among the best and it certainly looked that way again in Week 1. While they had one of the worst resistances against the pass last year, remember that Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are back. They’ll have their way versus the Fins.
Pick: RAVENS -3.5 (-110)
Best Teaser Bet (3 legs, 10 points) of Week 2
Under is usually what should come to mind when the Jets are involved, especially with Joe Flacco under center. That will be the case once again this week and after an uninspiring performance in Week 1, so expect more of the same. New York’s defense looked stout, too, and is capable of preventing a Cleveland Browns outburst.
The other franchise that calls the Meadowlands home, the 1-0 New York Giants, had a completely different start to the campaign, squeaking out an impressive road victory over the Titans. Emphasis on “squeaking out” — if they do win their home opener against Carolina, it will most likely be close. The Panthers, meanwhile, emerged from their season debut feeling miffed thanks to a questionable late penalty, and Baker Mayfield figures to be out for blood.
That, and Carolina is probably the better team. Take them getting double-digit points.
To finish things off, we’ll grab one of those sizable home favorites coming off an upset loss last week. The world champion Rams got embarrassed on national television by the Bills; there’s no way they let this prime opportunity to right the ship slip away opposite a bottom-feeder.
Best Prop Bet
- Justin Fields Over/Under 36.5 Rushing Yards
A Sunday Night Football prop bet to cap off the Week 2 card resides right here.
True, Justin Fields did not have the most promising season debut statistically, completing just 8-17 passing for 121 yards, but this bet only involves his legs.
And it’s a beautiful one on paper. Fields only needs 37 yards on the ground to cash this prop? Okay, that’s a bet to make. Looking back to his two matchups with Green Bay last season, the then-rookie out of Ohio State collectively compiled 15 rushes for 117 yards. Each time, he easily eclipsed the 36.5 number we need to beat this time.
Fields simply isn’t going to let up on his running style. In last week’s season-opening win over the 49ers, the former Buckeye took it to the ground 11 times, and while that was albeit for only 28 yards, he had unusually tough weather conditions to deal with.
No matter the game script, Fields is going to run it plenty because that’s what he does. That was specifically the blueprint for nearly beating the Pack late last season, so it’s only a matter of time before he starts drawing large rushing-yard prop totals.
Pick: OVER 36.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
NFL Best Bets Record for the 2022 Season
- Over/Unders: 1-0
- Spreads: 0-1
- Teasers: 0-0
- Props: 0-0
- Overall Record*: 1-1, +0.9 unit
*Each over/under is graded to win 2 units; everything else is for 1 unit