As all of you know, betting on lines early in the week is essential to maximizing opportunity. Getting to the numbers before bettors have a chance to correct them with their action is an advantage. We want to be the ones moving the lines, not reacting to those moves.
So, every week, Owl Eats Football will bring you the earliest possible look at lines for you to grab. There is more differentiation between lines depending where you're looking, but these are fairly close to what is available everywhere.
Without further ado, Week 2 gambling picks:
5 Spreads to Jump All Over
LAC -2.5 @ DET
I know, I know. You’re a diehard fan of Owl Eats Football and you are getting whiplash after I was trashing the Chargers last week. And this week. And every week since LaDainian Tomlinson took off their uniform.
But while all the things I said (no left tackle, suspect defense, questionable coaching) are true, the Chargers also displayed the ability to fully realize their offensive potential against a defense that is better than the public realizes. Add in the fact that a one-handed interception prevented them from extending their lead into the double digits, and that their kicker issues seem to be resolved (for now) and the team looks like it can score even if it can’t protect Phillip Rivers or defend anyone.
Meanwhile, Detroit managed to somehow look underrated and overrated while tying an Arizona team it had on the ropes from the get go. Matt Patricia is not long for the NFL as a head coach and that was exacerbated by the fact that his team refused to exploit the Cardinal’s lack of cornerbacks with its two pro bowl wide receivers and franchise quarterback.
Detroit’s D is good, their offense is poor, and the bad news for them is that these strengths and weaknesses align perfectly for LA to take advantage of.
BUF -2 @ NYG
Oh my beautiful Buffalo Bills. You proved me right three ways on Sunday (spread, money line, and the second half line) and I love you for it.
Those who are dedicated members of the Owl Hive know my affinity for this Buffalo team. They pulled off the rare feat of getting what they needed this off season, upgrading everywhere, and coming into Week 1 with a dangerous defense as well as a dangerous offense. In my “What didn’t happen” article I outline why the Bills should have blown out the Jets, but because they didn’t, we get a freebee here.
The Giants defense looked slow and outclassed Sunday against Dallas, and Josh Allen and John Brown are legitimately one of the fastest and most explosive duos in the league today, not to mention Devin Singletary.
Looking the other way, Eli was a check down machine again, and Saquon was explosive but underutilized and game scripted out by his own team. Even if he plays more this week, I have faith that the Bills can stack the box, dare Eli to throw deep, and live with Evan Engram having 25 catches for 125 yards.
The world doesn’t see the Bills for what they are yet, and we know what we are getting in the Giants. Let’s take advantage.
IND +3 @ TEN
Let’s just make sure we do a quick reality check here. The Titans didn’t beat the Browns, the Browns beat themselves.
Cleveland racked up over 100 penalty yards, had their right tackle thrown out of the game, only for his replacement to be injured, and their offensive game plan appeared to be designed to show off rather than win the game.
The Titans did nothing of note on offense outside of an explosive 85 yard Derrick Henry score, and were consistently bailed out by drive extending penalties.
Meanwhile, Indy should have won their game in LA (see my “What didn’t happen” column), and pounded their running game - the exact thing Cleveland refused to do. Despite giving up yards to the Chargers, the Colt’s D played hard, made plays, and came close to generating four or five additional turnovers.
So to summarize: Colt’s D > Titan’s D, Colt’s O > Titan’s O, Colt’s coach > Titan’s coach.
This is a game between a team the public will overreact to (TEN) and underreact to (IND) which means it’s a money making spot for us. Get it in quick before the (other) sharps move this line.
PHI -1 @ ATL
What on earth is going on here?
After watching an Atlanta D that quite legitimately could not stop a Minnesota O-line and running game that, while good, is not top 5, they now face a top 3 O-line.
Granted, the Eagle’s D had its own issues, but far less so than did the Atlanta offense. Matt Ryan’s 300 passing yards mask the fact that Atlanta has no discernible running game (RIP Devonta Freeman), no clear plan besides throw to Julio and Calvin (thanks Dirk Koetter), and what appears to be a lack of creativity (trademark Dan Quinn).
The Eagles are still the most valuable Super Bowl bet (+1400) on the market, and removing the start to their Week 1 game did nothing to dissuade that. Atlanta was a borderline wild card team who’s week 1 performance did everything to dissuade that.
Sometimes the best skill a gambler can have is not asking too many questions. I don’t know why this line is so small, but I do not intend to talk myself out of grabbing it before it skyrockets.
CLE -2.5 @ NYJ
Both of these teams had garbage performances in Week 1. The only difference is that the Jets opponent cooperated in masking it while the Brown’s opponent put it on full blast.
Peel back the layers, though, and I would rather be the Browns than the Jets. In a game where everything went wrong (losing linemen left and right, misdesigned game plan, Baker forcing throws, OBJ wearing a watch?!?) the Brown’s lost. For the Jets, this was a best case scenario where the opponent repeatedly shot themselves in the foot and New York STILL lost.
This wouldn’t be America without giant swings of hype and disappointment, but when we use level heads to analyze all sides of this, the Jets can’t score (Adam Gase Syndrome) and the Browns have an outstanding D (Myles Garret Syndrome) that looks like it had a worse week 1 game because of pick 6’s and penalties.
It can be easy to be swept away by narratives, but often talent wins out. The Browns are more talented on offense and defense, so this is free money.
2 Quick Over/Unders to Watch
MIN @ GB under 45
Both of these defenses looked great, both of these offenses were slow in pace. Intriguing.
SEA @ PIT over 46.5
Both of these secondaries were torched to start the season (albeit by different opponents) and each team didn’t get to/have to fully unleash their offense. Feels like a sneaky shootout.