NFL Week 2 best bets: Brady, Bucs to rebound vs. Panthers



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We kicked off the NFL season going 1-1-1, pushing the Los Angeles Chargers -3, and losing the Eagles/Washington Football Team under 43.5 by half a point. But those all even out over the year, so I’ll take that record in the opening week of NFL action during a pandemic.

Here are our best bets for Week 2:

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5, 48)

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers had a tough opener against the New Orleans Saints. Keep in mind though, the Saints are arguably the NFC’s best team. Things get significantly easier in Week 2 for Tom Terrific and Co. The Panthers‘ retooled defense played as advertised in Week 1 and gave up 34 points and 372 total yards to the Las Vegas Raiders. A matchup with Carolina is just what the doctor ordered for Tampa Bay’s offense to get on track.

This is obviously a huge public play, but square bets don’t always lose. Brady is legendary for having big games after poor outings, and everything lines up for a Buccaneers blowout victory on Sunday. I got Tampa Bay -7.5 early but would play it at anything under -10.

Pick: Buccaneers -8.5

Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (PK, 46)

I took Washington +6.5 against Philadelphia last week, which resulted in an easy win. The Eagles were dealing with multiple key injuries and had no business being close to a touchdown favorite. However, this week Philadelphia expects to get running back Miles Sanders and tackle Lane Johnson back, giving the offense a big boost. The Rams are also in a bad situation, having to travel across the country following a prime time opener.

The Rams were lucky to edge out the Dallas Cowboys, but it wasn’t all that impressive. Dallas managed just 20 points against a weak defense and did very little offensively in the second half – they scored just 7 points. Philadelphia presents a much tougher challenge for Jared Goff, who got cold late in last week’s contest after a hot start.

More than 70% of the money and bets are backing Los Angeles this week, but I’m going against the grain and calling for the Eagles to rebound at home.

Pick: Eagles PK

San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets (+7, 42.5)

Who is crazy enough to bet the Jets after their dismal Week 1 performance? That insane person is me. Listen, there wasn’t much good to say about Gang Green other than they actually fought in the second half last week against the Buffalo Bills after they fell behind 21-0. New York outscored Buffalo 17-6 the rest of the way, but the offense was still bad and the defense allowed over 400 total yards.

So, why the Jets? San Francisco is in an awful spot – the 49ers are coming off a Week 1 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals and now have to fly to the East Coast to face what currently looks like the league’s worst team. Not to mention San Fran is dealing with injuries to its secondary and stud tight end George Kittle. The club was down to just two healthy cornerbacks on Wednesday.

Unsurprisingly, 80% of bets here are on the road favorite, but I think the 49ers have more issues heading into this game than most people realize. They shouldn’t be laying a touchdown on the road right now, even to the lowly Jets. I may regret it, but I’m riding with New York +7. Please pray for me and my family.

Pick: Jets +7

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

(Betting percentages source: Sports Insights)

Thomas Casale is theScore’s supervising editor of sports betting. He’s been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.





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