The Atlanta Falcons could already be in ‘desperation mode’ when they host Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in their NFC South divisional matchup on Sunday. The Green Bay Packers avoided a big scare when Aaron Rodgers went down with a minor knee injury on Sunday night, but can they avoid the express train that the Super Bowl-hopeful Minnesota Vikings and their vaunted defense now are?
Last but not least, can the Pittsburgh Steelers rebound for their surprising Week 1 tie against Cleveland to deal with strong-armed Patrick Mahomes and a clearly explosive Kansas City Chiefs offense? If you’re an NFL betting enthusiast that is looking for some Week 2 underdogs that look like they are offering great value against their favored opponents, then consider your ticket punched. Here are my top three underdogs you should be betting on in Week 2.
Running to work on Victory Monday 😺 pic.twitter.com/6LX2zgmnXI
— Sir Purr (@SirPurr) September 10, 2018
Carolina at Atlanta -4.5
You might not think Carolina was all that impressive in their 16-8 Week 1 win against Dallas, but I say don’t underestimate the Panthers. Carolina’s defense limited Dallas to 232 yards of total offense by shutting down Ezekiel Elliott and forcing them to use their anemic passing attack to beat them. Offensively, I think Cam Newton and company were solid as they try to find them, not completely new, but slightly altered, identity. I think the Panthers will get better moving forward, particularly as they incorporate Christian McCaffrey into the offense more.
Atlanta looked completely clueless on offense in the preseason but no one really thought much of it because, well, it was only the scrimmage season and Matt Ryan didn’t play a ton. Unfortunately, the Falcons continued their pitiful play on offense by getting limited to 12 points in their season-opening loss to Philadelphia, including a failed red zone attempt that ended the game. Atlanta’s defense has been solid and is not the reason the Falcons lose games these days. If Matt Ryan and company don’t get it together soon, Steve Sarkisian will be history by mid-season. I like Carolina for the road outright upset to cover the spread as 4.5-point underdog when it could be closer to field goal line!
Predicted Score: Panthers 23 Falcons 21
Minnesota at Green Bay -2.5
I know the Green Bay Packers came roaring back from a 20-0 deficit against the Chicago Bears on Sunday night when Aaron Rodgers returned from a scary knee injury in the first half, but the fact of the matter s that the Minnesota Vikings are now the better team in this NFC North division rivalry.
The Vikings have the game’s best defense and showed it by picking off San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo three times in their season-opening win over the Niners. In addition to that, I believe their offense is going to be increasingly dangerous as Kirk Cousins continues to get acclimated in Minnesota. The Vikings have Pro Bowl talent, they’ve got youth and experience and a respected head coach. Minnesota gets it done on the road at Lambeau as a 2.5-point road dog!
Predicted Score: Vikings 28 Packers 17
Kansas City at Pittsburgh -4.5
My third and final underdog pick is on the Kansas City Chiefs to cover the chalk the spread as a 4.5-point road dog against Pittsburgh.
First and foremost, just based on one game, it’s clear that Andy Reid can evaluate talent at the quarterback position. His drafting of former Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes now looks like a stroke of genius. The strong-armed Mahomes casually tossed four TD passes in Kansas City’s stunning season-opening road win over the division rival Chargers.
Fleet-Footed wide receiver Tyreek Hill is a monster weapon for the Chiefs, plus they are a team with elite talent on both sides of the ball. Pittsburgh looked a bit lethargic in their 21-21 tie against Cleveland and I think they’re going to have trouble on both sides of the ball against Kansas City.
While the Steelers have gone an uninspiring 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall, the Chiefs have gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games and an even more impressive 10-4 ATS in their last 14 road games. I love the value that Kansas City is offering as a 4.5-point road dog and I like them to cover it by winning outright!
Predicted Score: Chiefs 30 Steelers 24