Sunday, December 4 2022

By Jason McIntyre
FOX Sports Betting Analyst

Will the New Orleans Saints continue to work their mojo against Tom Brady? 

How will the Dallas Cowboys fare in their first game since Dak Prescott got injured?

Are the Chicago Bears for real after their Week 1 upset of the San Francisco 49ers?

After a fun opening weekend, I’ve been pondering these big questions. We hope to uncover some answers as we look at five Week 2 NFL games from a betting perspective. So buckle up for this ride with me as I help you pick some winning wagers from now until February.

Let’s dive into my favorite plays (with odds via FOX Bet)!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

Perhaps the most popular statement of fact you’ll hear about any game this weekend: The Saints have owned Tom Brady in the regular season the past two years. They’re 4-0 in those meetings, sacking Brady 13 times. He has six touchdown passes and eight interceptions, by far his worst numbers against anyone since joining Tampa Bay. 

Will that trend continue? The sacks might – Brady’s offensive line is in shambles after losing tackle Donovan Smith in the opener. Brady is also likely to be down receiver Chris Godwin, who was injured (again) in the opener. 

The over/under (O/U) total is crashing, from 47 to 44. The line opened at Tampa Bay -4 and has crossed a key number to -2.5. That’s a lot of respected money on the Saints to win a low-scoring game. New Orleans didn’t look sharp in the opener, doing little to nothing for three quarters before waking up late to steal a 27-26 victory over the Falcons

The public will be on Brady after watching the Bucs totally shut down the Cowboys 19-3. If you can get a field goal (shop around), the side has to be the Saints. The under is certainly still in play.

PICK: Saints (+3 at FOX Bet at time of pick) to lose by 3 points or fewer (or win outright)

Dak Prescott won’t go on Cowboys IR, “real chance” to return in less than 4 weeks | UNDISPUTED

Buccaneers are 2.5-point favorites against the New Orleans Saints.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

The Colts rang up 517 yards of offense in a 20-20 tie with the lowly Texans, needing 17 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. On the surface, it’s a bad result for the Colts, but a closer look reveals an impressive offensive showing, with six trips inside the Houston 30-yard line. But they only got two touchdowns out of that as Indy went 2-for-5 in the red zone. They would have lost the game if Houston didn’t get ultraconservative. 

Jacksonville was the better team against Washington, registering 6.2 yards per play (YPP) and getting into the red zone five times. Between a dropped TD pass by Travis Etienne, 13 penalties, a missed field goal and a failed two-point conversion, it was a messy opener on the road. 

Now Jacksonville comes home to a slower track and temperatures that should be in the high 80s. The Jaguars spoiled the Colts’ 2021 season in Week 18 by knocking Indianapolis out of the playoffs, and they also took down Buffalo in Jacksonville. 

Take the points and hope the Jaguars don’t let cornerback Tyson Campbell (cooked by Jahan Dotson on two TDs) get matched up too often with Michael Pittman (nine catches, 121 yards in Week 1).

PICK: Jaguars (+4 at FOX Bet) to lose by 4 points or fewer (or win outright)

Cincinnati Bengals @ Dallas Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

No team had a worse Week 1 than the Cowboys, who lost a starting guard and their starting QB, and the offense was limited to one explosive play. Thirty-one teams scored at least one touchdown; Dallas was the only one not to. 

Enter Cooper Rush, who famously beat the Vikings on the road on Halloween last year in his only start. In that game, he threw TDs to Cedrick Wilson and Amari Cooper; neither are with the team anymore. 

Expect the Bengals to take away CeeDee Lamb (11 targets, two catches vs. the Bucs) and dare Rush to beat them with anyone else. Cowboys fans looking for a sliver of hope can take solace in the fact that since 2014, double-digit Week 1 losers are 25-16 against the spread (ATS) in Week 2. The market overreacts to the bad loss, and there’s value on the other side. 

At the same time, since 2010, teams that lose in Week 1 and go on the road in Week 2 are just 36-56 ATS. Whenever it feels too easy, tread cautiously. The Bengals were favored by 6.5 points and lost outright to the Steelers; now they’re favored by a TD. They were favored only twice last season.

The pick here would be Cincinnati at -7, but the higher it creeps, the more my confidence goes down. And this might hit -8 by kickoff. But I can’t take the beat-up Cowboys here. It’s Bengals or pass, even on the road.

PICK: Bengals (-7 at FOX Bet at time of pick) to win by 7 or more points

RELATED: Week 2 NFL odds

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers (8:20 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC)

The Packers were thumped by the Vikings 23-7, but Aaron Rodgers didn’t have his starting tackles or his top WR, Allen Lazard

Last year, the Packers were humiliated in the opener by New Orleans 38-3 and bounced back to pound the Lions to start a seven-game win streak. This is a great bounce-back spot against a below-average Bears team. Justin Fields was running for his life last week in the rain against the 49ers; now he goes to Lambeau Field where he’ll be chased by Rashan Gary and Preston Smith

Don’t be fooled by the Bears’ 19-10 win over San Francisco. They were down 10-0 midway through the third quarter and benefited from a couple broken plays, a monsoon and facing a young QB. 

Aaron Rodgers should have his way with this secondary and expect the Packers’ defense to make a statement after the Vikings gashed them for 6.5 yards per play. The under has been hammered by professional gamblers, going from 45.5 to 42.5.

PICK: Packers (-10 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 10 points

PICK: Bears-Packers under 45.5 combined points at FOX Bet (at time of pick)

Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills (7:15 p.m. ET Sunday, ESPN)

The Titans blew a 13-0 halftime lead against the Giants and lost when Randy Bullock’s 47-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide. There were plenty of positives – five sacks of Daniel Jones, four different WRs catching explosive passes – but they were unable to stop Saquon Barkley, who totaled 194 yards rushing and receiving. 

This game is a rematch of a prime-time thriller last year when Tennessee – at home – survived by stopping Josh Allen on fourth down inside the 5-yard line. The Super Bowl favorites are in a prime-time spot seeking revenge with an offense that didn’t punt in four of its past six games dating back to last season. 

I can’t make a case for the Titans. Their best shot is controlling the clock with Derrick Henry and keeping Buffalo’s offense on the sideline, but the Bills might have the deepest defensive line in the NFL and completely dominated the Rams last week. 

Did I mention the Bills have extra rest, having opened the season on Thursday? If you’re on Buffalo, just be aware that they’ll be the most popular side of any NFL game in Week 2, and the Bills will be in every moneyline parlay and teaser. They are likely to be the biggest liability of the sports books.

PICK: Bills (-10 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 10 points

Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst, and he also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gambling content on the NFL, college football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, “Coming Up Winners,” in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010.

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Source: FOX Sports

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