After going a perfect 3-0 with our best NFL bets for Week 1, let’s see how our next batch of football picks performs in Week 2.
Week 1 Betting Recap
As you may have heard already, Week 1 of the 2022 NFL regular season was a good one for the top sportsbooks. That’s because some very large underdogs made it to the pay window, including the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, who won their season openers straight-up.
Add in the Baltimore Ravens covering as 6.5-point road faves, and we were a perfect 3-0 with our Week 1 NFL picks. Generally speaking, if the sportsbooks have had a good week, so have the sharps, since we’re all trying to collect the money provided by the so-called recreational bettors – if we’re doing our jobs right.
Our picks won’t go 3-0 every week, but this is a great start nonetheless. Let’s see if the prolate spheroid bounces our way in Week 2; in our humble opinion, these are the three best straight bets (point spread, moneyline or total) on the NFL odds board at press time.
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns
Sunday, September 18, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at FirstEnergy Stadium
The underdogs are usually the ones with the betting value, and the Jets are our first Week 2 pick as 6-point road dogs in Cleveland. This particular New York team doesn’t inspire as much confidence as the Giants, but they’ll be facing a beatable team in the Browns, who were somewhat fortunate to defeat the Carolina Panthers 26-24 last week as 1.5-point home faves.
Yes, the Jets were the ones who coughed up the cash to Baltimore, losing 24-9 and not showing much life at all. But back-up QB Joe Flacco wasn’t that much worse in Week 1 than Cleveland’s back-up QB, Jacoby Brissett.
We’re not saying the Jets are going to the Super Bowl. All we’re saying is that on paper, they don’t look six points worse than the Browns. This is one of those spots where we’re trying to take advantage of casual bettors over-reacting to the Week 1 results. Fingers crossed.
NFL Pick: Jets +6 (-109) at Unibet
New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, September 18, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Acrisure Stadium
We did indeed find a betting edge last week by supporting Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers. They got off to a good start and had just enough left in the tank to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in overtime.
We should point out the Bengals were 7.5-point favorites at the close, up from –6.5 when we made our football picks. This was one of those classic cases where the betting public came in during the weekend and bet heavily on the favorites, causing the sportsbooks to move their odds and make Pittsburgh available at a better price.
Ideally, you’ll optimize your bets in these spots by waiting until closer to kick-off. Not every matchup will follow this dynamic; usually, the best time to place your bets is at the start of the week, when the NFL lines are at their softest. In any case, the picks we make here are based on the odds at press time, so be aware that you might get a better price at some other point during the week.
With that said, we’re not taking the Steelers this time around. They lost arguably their best player, LB T.J. Watt, to a torn pec. The Patriots also lost QB Mac Jones to back spasms, but if he can’t play in Week 2, veteran Brian Hoyer is a capable replacement.
NFL Pick: Patriots ML (-111) at SBK
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, September 18, 2022 – 04:25 PM EDT at AT&T Stadium
Speaking of injuries, the Cowboys will be without QB Dak Prescott (broken thumb) for the next 6-8 weeks. His replacement is Cooper Rush, who was signed out of Central Michigan in 2017 as an undrafted free agent, and has exactly one NFL start under his belt.
This is bad news for Dallas. And their offense already looked like it was stuck in the mud during their 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Under 49.5). There’s been a lot of turnover on America’s Team; taking Prescott out of the equation might be enough to ruin their season altogether.
As for the Bengals, their game against Pittsburgh went Under 44.5 even with the additional overtime frame. They lost WR Tee Higgins to a concussion, so he has to clear protocol before returning, but the more important injury – at least from a betting perspective – might be to long snapper Clark Harris, who suffered a torn bicep.
With Harris forced off the field, Mitchell Wilcox filled in on an emergency basis and was at least partly to blame for a blocked extra point and a missed field goal that would have won the game in overtime. Rookie Cal Adomitis has been promoted from the practice squad for Week 2; he should perform better than Wilcox, but will he be as good as the veteran Harris? Bet accordingly.
NFL Pick: Under 43.5 (–110) at BetMGM