Is anyone else still slightly dizzy after that Week 1 slate of NFL games? There were seven games decided by a field goal or less, two games that went to the final second of overtime, and the Texans and Colts ended their game in a tie.
NFL favorites finished the first week of action at 8-8, with the totals going under in 11 out of 16 games. We saw some low-scoring sloppy weather games, a couple of shootouts in the dome stadiums in Detroit and Arizona, and a group of touchdown underdogs win outright. It’s great to have football back.
After last week’s 4-0 start to the 2022 NFL season, we look to build off that momentum and not get too greedy in Week 2. Here are this week’s NFL best bets.
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Cincinnati Bengals @ Dallas Cowboys: OVER 43
The market reaction to the Dak Prescott injury is an understandable one. The total has fallen 7 points since he was announced to be out for 6-8 weeks. The Cowboys will struggle mightily to score with Cooper Rush as the projected starter, even against a Bengals defense that isn’t the most difficult to score against.
The majority of this handicap rests on the performance of the Bengals against Pittsburgh last week and the Cowboys’ defensive effort against the Bucs on Sunday night. Joe Burrow threw the ball 53 times and committed five turnovers by himself against the Steelers, throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble.
We feel that the Bengals’ ability to score is improved this week after watching Tom Brady methodically move the ball into the red zone despite only converting one of those into a touchdown. Cincinnati will have plenty of chances to score, and if Dallas can even get to double digits in this game, we like the number to go over the total.
Washington Commanders +2.5 @ Detroit Lions
This line opened at Commanders -2 on the road and has since swung heavily in favor of the Lions to the point where they’re nearly a field goal favorite. This spread would indicate that these two are essentially evenly matched teams, given that Detroit doesn’t have a full 3-point home-field advantage.
The Lions did play relatively well against Philadelphia on offense, but their defense allowed 6.3 yards per play and allowed the Eagles to score 38 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of their Week 1 loss at home.
Detroit’s garbage-time touchdown by DJ Chark made that game appear closer than it was, and the Hard Knocks appeal of the Lions is giving them too much credit here.
Atlanta Falcons @ Los Angeles Rams: UNDER 47.5
It would have been better to bet this line at the open when it was 49.5, but there is still value on this matchup at the current number. The Rams looked like an average NFL Team when the Bills blew them out in Week 1, while the Falcons were a worthy home underdog that covered against the Saints in a 53-point shootout in Atlanta.
The Rams’ defense will look significantly different facing a team that is not the Buffalo Bills, and we think it will be a long day for Marcus Mariota against this defensive front for Los Angeles.
Stafford and company will have their chance to bounce back after managing just 10 points last week, but we’ll take these two teams to go under the point total.