Week 2 NFL Lines - The Afternoon Slate

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TwinSpires Staff

September 14th, 2018

by BetAmerica Staff
The late game slate is a messy, confusing group of games, so the BetAmerica handicapping team smashed their heads together to figure out how to make sense of the Week 2 NFL lines. Read on to find out where the best action is this coming Sunday afternoon, which will be highlighted by an AFC Championship rematch between the Patriots and Jaguars. San Francisco 49ers -6.0 over Detroit Lions (4:05pm ET) New Detroit coach Mike Patricia was hired in part to improve the Lions running game and defense. Both flopped opening week as the Lions were out-rushed 169-39 and allowed the Jets and their rookie QB to gain 349 yards at 5.9 yards per play. Tough spot this week traveling West on a short week against a 49ers team off a loss that should bounce back with more than 400 yards offense against Detroit.

Both QB’s Matthew Stafford (4 INTs) and Jimmy Garoppolo (3 INTs) were off their game last week, but expect improved play and plenty of passing success in this contest. An adjustment in price already has bettors reacting poorly towards the Lions, but a 5-1-1 ATS contrary situation favors Detroit off a loss as favorite after allowing more than 40 points.

Still, the Lions have never won in San Francisco, going 0-12 since 1975. Prefer the 49ers to bounce back in a better spot in a high-scoring game. This is an East vs West match-up, and since 2012, Western time zone favorites have gone over the total 33-of-48 games with a posted total of 49 or less points. Last season this situation was 8-3 OVER and those 11 games averaged 52 points per game.

San Francisco ran just 61 plays at Minnesota last week as turnovers were a problem against the Vikings elite defense. The 49ers still averaged 5.4 yards per play (league average) and Jimmy G. and creative coach Kyle Shanahan will take advantage of a deficient Detroit defense.

It might not be that simple overall, especially since Matthew Stafford can be every bit as effective as Kirk Cousins was despite his porous effort last week. The best bet facing this game in Week 2 NFL lines is the OVER at 48.0.

Los Angeles Rams -13.0 over Arizona Cardinals (4:05pm ET) Sometimes bets seem too obvious, and most of the time they appear that way for a very good reason. After stumbling their way through a weird first half against the Raiders, the Rams surgically dismantled their opponents with constant scoring position, a gorgeous touchdown pass to Connor Kupp and a pick-six by Marcus Peters. The Rams are facing the biggest spread in Week 2 NFL lines, but that hasn't forced too much action the other way.

The Cardinals - in short - look terrible. They were a mess defensively while trying to keep up with a relatively average Washington offense, and Sam Bradford presented like a lost lamb. There's almost no way around tagging the Cardinals as the worst team in the NFC. Until they show some spark they're a prohibitive play in the sportsbook. If the Rams were able to feast on Derek Carr, there's no hope for a wayward journeyman like Bradford.

Denver Broncos -6.5 over Oakland Raiders (4:25pm ET) Easily one of the toughest games to gauge in Week 2 NFL lines is the matchup between the Broncos and Raiders. Denver played a very sloppy game against the Seahawks last Sunday, and don't exactly ignite confidence down the road. Truthfully, this is one of those stay away games. It has all the hallmarks of one - two shaky quarterbacks, two defenses that we can't really trust, not a lot of superstar potential, and shifty trends. You think Denver is a great home bet? They're just 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 home stands. Wanna take Oakland on the road? They're 1-5-1 ATS when traveling. The only thing steering us towards Denver is the fact that they're 6-3-1 ATS historically in the last five seasons when matched up against this division rival. We can talk ourselves in to Denver scoring enough to cover the -6.5 points, but can't do the same with the Raiders.

Jacksonville Jaguars +1.0 over New England Patriots (4:25pm ET) AFC Championship game rematch from last season where the Jaguars had every chance to take down the Patriots before yielding to Brady and his comeback, 24-20. We like the Jaguars chances in redemption this week led by a top defense and strong secondary. The Patriots offense was balanced last week with 389 yards (5.4 YPPL) in a 27-20 home win over Houston. New England gave Brady a breather with a lead running the ball 31 times. That’s good, but a red flag was the Patriots run defense, which allowed the Texans 169 rushing yards on 34 carries.

Poor QB play by the Texans DeShaun Watson was part of the problem, and the Jaguars will need QB Blake Bortles to play better after a 17/33 for 176 yards passing performance in a 20-15 road win at NY Giants last week. The Jaguars did run the ball 28 times for 137 yards against a solid and underrated Giants front seven, and that was without star RB Leonard Fournette, who missed more than half the game with a hamstring injury. Fournette has not practiced all week, but coach Doug Marrone says the injury is ‘minor’, so expect the big back to play. His presence makes the Jaguars a very strong play in Week 2 NFL lines because he disrupts the major weakness of New England's defense.

Scattered thunderstorms could develop later in the afternoon on a hot and humid day in Jacksonville, and we like the Jaguars to pounce on the Patriots as tight home favorites in the Week 2 NFL lines. This is one game you won't want to miss, both in the sportsbook and on the field.