Week 1 was a nice way to start the season with my underdogs.
Road teams were the name of the game in week 1 with underdogs and they didn't disappoint. With overreactions at a fever pitch after week 1, it would seem likely that underdogs would once again be a primary pick.
Like always, follow along on my journey through the Las Vegas SuperContest. I'll showcase some of my picks on my blog, with the final results being highlighted on Twitter on Saturdays @AgainstTheChalk.
I couldn’t have entered the SuperContest without the help of Vegas Football Proxy. Tom Carroll is the best in the business at being a proxy.
Follow my journey through this blog and on Twitter to see my final SuperContest picks and how well I’m doing throughout the season.
Here's my favorite three underdogs to cover the spread in the week 2 NFL picks.
Overall: 3-2-1 ATS
SuperContest: 2-2-1 ATS (2.5 points)
Underdogs: 2-0-1 ATS
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (+1.5)
Normally, I don't like to put my neck out there for Thursday night games, but it's early in the season, and what do I have to lose?
Baltimore is being crowned as Super Bowl contenders after the week 1 dismantling of Buffalo. I wouldn't go that far just yet. Take those results with a grain of salt, considering bad quarterback play and a driving rain that didn't let up during that game.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, had to square off against Andrew Luck, so that is a much better barometer for how good the Bengals can be this season. The defense was pretty good for the most part, giving up just 5.8 yards per pass attempt against Luck. Offensively, I liked what I saw from the Bengals, especially running the ball at 5 yards per carry.
Baltimore's defense has been susceptible to the run in the past, so if Cincinnati can keep that momentum going, they can control the ball and force this Ravens team to be more efficient. I like the Bengals to win this outright. — Go Against The Chalk with Cincinnati
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills (+7.5)
This could be a death sentence. I get that.
But the Bills can't possibly be as bad as they showed in week 1. Buffalo requires a certain game flow, and that game went sideways early. The Bills wouldn't be the first team to have that happen to them in the NFL.
This is still a team that went to the playoffs a year ago with a quarterback that is marginal. If Buffalo can just get marginal play out of the quarterback position, this defense can keep up. Even in a blowout, the Bills still allowed just 5 yards per play against Baltimore in week 1.
The Ravens weren't slicing through the defense. It was turnovers that did in the Bills.
The Chargers are well known to be slow starters and this is a nice spot considering I get the Chargers having to cross the country in the early game window. It also doesn't hurt that Buffalo does have a true home-field advantage.
Los Angeles will have a more difficult time moving the ball against Buffalo, and the Bills won't fall into the turnover trap as much in week 2. I'm not calling for a straight up victory, but this should be a cover for the Bills. — Go Against The Chalk with Buffalo
Arizona Cardinals (+13) at Los Angeles Rams
This will be an unpopular pick, but I'm not going to join the overreaction brigade from week 1.
The most improvement happens from weeks 1 to 2 in the NFL, and I'd have to believe the Cardinals will be better in week 2. The Cardinals couldn't get anything going offensively in week 1, and couldn't get off the field on defense.
And now, they must square off against a Rams team that appears poised to be a Super Bowl contender. However, I'm not jumping all in on the Rams just yet.
Oakland pushed the Rams around in the first half in week 1, and thanks to turnovers, the Rams were able to take control of that game. Sam Bradford is a lot of things, but turnover-prone is not one of them. I also get this matchup on a short week, which matters in the early going.
The Rams are a better team, but the Cardinals are better than what we saw last week. Watch for the Cardinals to establish a running game and try to keep the ball away from this Rams offense. — Go Against The Chalk with Arizona
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH