We got through the first week of the 2020 NFL season without any issues and now we’re primed for Week 2. We’ll soon find out what we over- and under-reacted to from the opening week now that we’ll have twice the amount of data to work with.
Some teams come into the week hoping to avoid that dreaded 0-2 record, which spells doom for about 90% of teams, while others hope to build on the momentum gained from an opening week victory. Week 2 is one of the hardest weeks to bet in the NFL because it’s so early to overreact to what we saw in Week 1, but let’s get into the picks.
If you’ve followed along over the last two seasons of the TDN Fantasy Podcast, you know my and Jake Arians’ “Locks of the Week” have paid out. We’re doing them again this season and adding this written component. Let’s dive in, with all odds being supplied by our friends over at BetOnline.
Jaime’s Lock No. 1: Vikings/Colts O48 (-115)
I’ve had a sneaky feeling all week that this is going to be a bit of a shootout. You’ve got two completely untrustworthy secondaries facing a pair of quarterbacks with a lot to prove this week. Philip Rivers’ Colts debut left a lot to be desired, but I expect him to bounce back in his first home game. Rivers threw three picks against this defense last season but Minnesota isn’t as stout as they were in 2019—he also threw for more than 300 yards in the loss. The Vikings just got pulverized by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and don’t have the speed at corner to keep up with both T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell. I’m also looking forward to the Jonathan Taylor show after Minnesota allowed nearly five yards per carry (4.96) to Packers running backs last week.
On the other side of the ball, after throwing only five first-half passes, Cousins ended up leading a 24-point charge in the fourth quarter in garbage time. No team in the NFL averaged more yards per play in Week 1 than Minnesota. Cousins will have a much easier task getting going early this week against a secondary that allowed Gardner Minshew to complete 95% of his passes, three of which went for touchdowns. The over is 4-1 in Minnesota’s last five games following an against the spread loss and 5-2 in Vikings’ last seven road games.
Both teams desperately need to get into the win column and this game should have plenty of fireworks.
Jaime’s Lock No. 2: MIN/IND O42, Buccaneers -2.5, Chiefs -2.5 [6-point teaser] (+151)
You already know why I like the first leg of this teaser, so let’s talk about the other two parts. The Buccaneers may be without star wide receiver Chris Godwin for this game—I’m assuming he’s out—but other star receiver Mike Evans is healthier going into this week and we saw some early chemistry between Tom Brady and Scotty Miller in Week 1. With those two players, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, etc., the Buccaneers will be fine on the playmaker front. The Panthers have one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL and got blasted by Josh Jacobs in Week 1. Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, and Co. should have a field day against this young Panthers defense.
On the other side of the ball, Christian McCaffrey goes up against the best run defense in the NFL that held him to just 68 rushing yards on 38 carries (1.79 YPC) in two games last season. After holding Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders in check on the road last week, I don’t like Teddy Bridgewater, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson’s chances this week with Tampa Bay at home. Oh, and Brady simply doesn’t go 0-2. The last time Brady lost in Week 1, he responded with a 447-yard, three-touchdown performance.
As for the Chiefs, they get a mini bye week in advance of facing a Chargers team that looked completely anemic on offense against the Bengals. Only mustering 16 points against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, this game could get ugly real quick. Kansas City swept the season series last year when Los Angeles had more firepower. I almost locked in Chiefs -8.5, but I decided to throw them in here instead.
Eisner’s Locks 2020: 2-0-1 (100%)
Eisner’s Locks 2019: 16-11-0 (59%)
Eisner’s Locks 2018: 25-13-2 (66%)
Jake’s Lock No. 1: Ravens -7 (-112)
The Texans and Deshaun Watson didn't look great in their season-opening performance on Thursday night and get another brutal matchup by having to face the Ravens in Week 2. Baltimore's defense should swarm and confuse Watson and the Lamar Jackson train should keep on rolling, Jake says. Lock it up.
Jake’s Lock No. 2: Seahawks -4 (-107)
Jake locked in this pick instantly, saying the Patriots and Cam Newton will be exposed by a much more prepared Seahawks defense compared to what Miami had on the field in Week 1. Jake expects Russell Wilson to continue to cook and for many on the east coast to turn the game off before the fourth quarter because it's out of hand in Seattle's favor.
Arians’ Locks 2020: 0-2-1 (0%)
Arians’ Locks 2018: 16-14-1 (53%)
Double Lock: Chiefs -8.5 (-110)
Both Jaime and Jake love the Chiefs to cover despite the large spread on the road. The logic here is simple. After watching that Chargers offense struggle to score 16 points against the same Bengals that were carved up by Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt, how are they going to keep up with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Co.? They're not. The only way the Chiefs don't cover is if the Chargers score 30 or the Chiefs only score 20. It's tough figuring out which is more unlikely to happen. Oh, and Chiefs coach Andy Reid got a mini-bye before this game and we all know what happens when Reid gets extra time to prepare.
To wager on these games and more, head over to BetOnline.