Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Sunday Blitz - Week 2
GAMES TO WATCH
Seahawks at Steelers (-3 ½, 47) – 1:00 PM EST
Seattle (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) faces its second consecutive AFC North squad after holding off Cincinnati in Week 1 as 9 ½-point favorites, 21-20. The Seahawks kept the Bengals out of the end zone in the second half, while Russell Wilson connected with Tyler Lockett on a 44-yard strike to start the fourth quarter to put Seattle in front for good. Seattle led the NFL in rushing last season by averaging 160 yards on the ground per game, but the Bengals limited the Seahawks to only 72 yards on 25 carries.
Pittsburgh (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) had an opener to forget as the Steelers were routed by the Patriots, 33-3 as 5 ½-point underdogs. The Steelers were last held without a touchdown against the Jaguars in Week 5 of the 2017 season in a 30-9 defeat, as New England stymied Pittsburgh’s running game to the tune of 32 yards rushing on 13 carries. Pittsburgh enters this week in the favorite role as Mike Tomlin’s team posted a subpar 3-7-1 ATS mark as chalk in 2018.
The Seahawks have struggled in September over the years by losing their last five road openers, while failing to cover in their past five Week 2 contests. To make matters worse, Seattle owns a dreadful 1-8 SU and 0-8-1 ATS mark away from CenturyLink Field in the opening month. The Steelers have fared well against the NFC at Heinz Field by winning seven of the past eight games in this situation.
Best Bet: Steelers 21, Seahawks 20
Vikings at Packers (-3, 43) – 1:00 PM EST
One of the more impressive efforts in Week 1 came by Minnesota (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), who blasted Atlanta, 28-12 as 3 ½-point home favorites. Although Kirk Cousins attempted 10 passes and threw for under 100 yards, the Vikings’ offense was carried by running back Dalvin Cook, who racked up 111 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Minnesota led 28-0 in the fourth quarter as the Vikings improved to 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight home contests.
The Packers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) lost their first seven road games last season before defeating the Jets in overtime in Week 16. Green Bay started 2019 on a strong note with an away victory at Chicago by defeating the defending NFC North champions, 10-3 as 3 ½-point underdogs. Aaron Rodgers hooked up with Jimmy Graham for the only touchdown of the game, while the Packers’ defense limited the Bears to 46 yards rushing.
Last season, the Vikings and Packers finished in a 29-29 tie in Week 2 at Lambeau Field as Minnesota overcame a 13-point deficit to force overtime. Minnesota knocked off Green Bay at home, 24-17 in November to improve to 5-1-1 in the last seven matchups. The Packers struggled off a win last season by compiling an 0-5-1 mark in this situation, while last winning consecutive games in 2017.
Best Bet: Vikings 24, Packers 17
Saints at Rams (-2, 52) – 4:25 PM EST
The last time these two teams hooked up in January at the Superdome, all hell broke loose due to one no-call on an obvious pass interference in the NFC championship. Instead of the Saints trying to run the clock out for the game-winning field goal, New Orleans kicked the go-ahead field goal and Los Angeles still had time to tie the game and force overtime. The Rams picked off Drew Brees and kicked a long field goal to win, 26-23 and head to the Super Bowl, while New Orleans remained at home with what-if’s and an eventual rule change in which teams can challenge pass interference calls this season.
The Saints (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) rallied past the Texans on Monday night, 30-28, as New Orleans erased a pair of 11-point deficits. After Houston took back the lead in the final minute, Brees marched the Saints down the field to set up a 58-yard game-winning field goal by Wil Lutz, but New Orleans failed to cash as 6 ½-point favorites. Brees threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Alvin Kamara racked up 169 yards from scrimmage.
The Rams (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) held off the Panthers, 30-27 to cash as slight 1 ½-point road favorites. Carolina certainly looked better in Week 1 than its Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay, but the Rams led from start to finish and put together a stronger offensive performance than its showing in the Super Bowl against New England. Running back Malcolm Brown had one rushing touchdown in his career entering Week 1, but the former University of Texas standout scored two touchdowns against the Panthers.
New Orleans won seven of eight games away from the Superdome last season and defeated Los Angeles in the regular season, 45-35 as 1 ½-point underdogs to hand the Rams their first loss of 2018. The Rams won eight of nine home games last season, as this is their shortest number to lay the Coliseum since a 54-51 triumph against the Chiefs as three-point favorites.
Best Bet: Saints 31, Rams 28
Kevin Rogers (2-3 last week)
Chargers -2 ½
Chris David (3-2 last week)
Kevin Rogers (Philadelphia winner – Week 1)
Baltimore over Arizona
Chris David (Seattle winner – Week 1)
New England over Miami
BEST TOTAL PLAY (0-1 last week)
Over 46 ½ - Cowboys at Redskins
These two teams hit the OVER last week against division foes as Dallas scored 35 points and Washington put up 27 in its loss at Philadelphia. This series has seen the OVER hit in six of the past seven matchups, while the Cowboys have scored at least 31 points in four of the last five meetings. This number opened at 45 and has jumped nearly two points throughout the week.
TRAP OF THE WEEK
Although San Francisco posted an 0-8 road record in 2018, the 49ers broke through with an opening week away victory at Tampa Bay. The Niners hit the highway for a second straight week and the expectation is the Bengals are better than they are following their one-point loss at Seattle. Cincinnati has covered five straight games dating back to last season, but four of those ATS wins came as an underdog of 9 ½ or more. It will be tough to see Andy Dalton throw for over 400 yards for a second straight week, while A.J. Green remains sidelined for Cincinnati.
BIGGEST LINE MOVE
The Patriots opened up as hefty 14 ½-point road favorites against the Dolphins at the Westgate Superbook last Sunday, but that number jumped as high as 19 before settling at 18 ½. New England ripped Pittsburgh in Week 1, while Miami allowed 59 points in an embarrassing home loss to Baltimore. The Dolphins have won four of the last five home meetings with the Patriots, while New England is 0-5 ATS in its previous five opportunities as a favorite of 18 or more since 2007.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW
Since 2014, there have been six ties in the NFL, including last week’s 27-27 deadlock between the Lions and Cardinals. Teams off a tie in this span have not fared well in the following game by losing in nine of 10 opportunities. The Lions welcome in the Chargers on Sunday, while the Cardinals travel to Baltimore as nearly two-touchdown underdogs.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.