Week 2 kicked off last night in Charlotte as the Bucs won an ugly game against the Panthers, 20-14. Unfortunately, I went 0-2 on my plays, although I was 1-yard away from being 1-1, but Christian McCaffrey just came up short. As for O.J. Howard, I throw my hands up and don’t understand that one. I guess the truth of the matter is Bruce Arians just doesn’t like using tight ends in his offense. So my record is now 8-8 for the season against the spread and 2-1 in my top plays. During the NFL betting season, we give you at least one play a day here on CA Betting News with my top three plays coming on Friday and top three player props coming on Sunday. Here are my three top plays of the week using the latest odds from FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook:
Table of Contents
Los Angeles Rams -2 vs. New Orleans Saints
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: LAR -2 (-110)
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: LAR -2 (-115)
The biggest game of the week takes place in Los Angeles in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game. Both the Saints and Rams started the season off right and come into this huge contest 1-0. This is a tough one because on any given week in a neutral setting, I think the Saints are the better team. But there are a lot of factors coming into this one that makes me lean Los Angeles in this game alone. For starters, the Saints are operating on a short week, with just six days rest. Not only that, they are coming off a very emotional win on Monday night in a wild game against Houston and have to travel all the way across the country to take on the Rams. I question whether the Saints can rebound after such a huge win on a short week.
The Saints were gashed pretty badly through the air on Monday night by the Texans and now face a Rams offense with plenty of weapons to go around. The Saints will have to find a way to cover Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and a healthy Cooper Kupp. Of course, the Saints have a pretty dynamic offense of their own, led by Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara. The letdown factor, I believe, will be real in this one and I do think the Rams saved Todd Gurley last week and will unleash him more this week. I expect Gurley to have a huge game on Sunday and get a lot more involved in the passing game and be a weapon the Rams will utilize. I like the Rams in a close one on Sunday in what I think will be just the first of two meetings between these teams before the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Rams 31, Saints 26
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Texans -2 + Ravens -6.5
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Texans -2 + Ravens -6.5
My best teaser game of the week involves two favorites that I feel go up against much inferior opponents. The Texans take on a Jaguars team starting a sixth-round rookie quarterback who the Texans have had a week to game plan against. I think Gardner Minshew showed a lot of great things last Sunday, but it’s much different to come into a game for the first time than starting a game for the first time. It’s going to take Minshew a few games to adjust to how defenses adjust against him. They will force him to make plays, and Houston is a much tougher defense than Kansas City. I also am very concerned about what I saw from Jacksonsville’s defense during week 1 and it doesn’t get any easier on the road against another dominant quarterback and receiving corps.
Also in my teaser play, the Ravens host the Cardinals Sunday afternoon. A lot of people were focused on just how bad the Dolphins played after that game with the Ravens last week, but they should also be focused on just how good this Ravens team is. The number that concerns me is the Cardinals 32nd ranked rush defense in 2018 going up against an offense that ran for 265 yards a week ago. The Ravens have running threats in Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill, and Jackson proved last week he can kill you with play-action. I have a hard time seeing the Cardinals containing the Ravens rushing attack and think the Ravens will win this game by double digits.
Prediction: Texans 27, Jaguars 17; Ravens 30, Cardinals 13
Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers 1H Under 23.5
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: 1H Under 23.5
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: 1H Under 23.5
The Seahawks travel cross-country to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in week 2 of what is a huge game for the black and gold. After getting destroyed in New England on Sunday night, the Steelers have a sense of urgency as they will battle the 1-0 Seahawks. There’s concern with the Steelers and their lack of playmakers without Antonio Brown and Le’veon Bell. I think Juju Smith-Schuster is a great wide receiver, but he’s not much of a deep threat. It’s something the Steelers lack. The Seahawks last week seemed to have the same problem. Tyler Lockett finally broke loose in the third quarter for his only catch of the game, but Seattle used to have a bigger threat downfield when Doug Baldwin was also in the mix. This could keep the first half very much within the 10-15 yard range during the first half this upcoming Sunday with no big plays down the field. Neither team started fast a week ago, with Seattle failing to score in the first 22 minutes of the game and the Steelers getting shutout in the first half against the Patriots. Both teams will try to establish the run early and open it up more in the second half. So I think you will see a low scoring first half here. I like the under for the first 30 minutes, which is a pretty high number.
Prediction: Halftime score 10-10
Recap of My Top Plays:
Rams -2 over Saints
6.5 point teaser: Texans -2 AND Ravens -6.5
Saints/Steelers 1H Under 23.5