NFL Week 2 Additional Special Betting Props and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/14/2012
Did you know that the 32 teams in the NFL combined for 791 points in Week 1, the second-most points in a week in league history? The record is 837 in Week 12 of 2008. Five clubs – the Jets, Ravens, Bears, Falcons and Redskins topped the 40-point mark. Never on an opening week has that many teams scored at least 40. Atlanta doing so wasn’t a huge shocker with all that skill position talent. But the Jets, Ravens and Bears used to be defensive teams and the Redskins started a rookie quarterback. Yeah, the NFL is now an offensively-driven league.
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With that said, let’s look at a Sportsbook.ag prop on which team will score the most points in Week 2 – the Jets’ 48 vs. was the high last week. The Bears and Packers, having played Thursday night and combining for just 33 points, obviously aren’t options. The overwhelming favorite is New England at +350 vs. Arizona. The Pats put up 34 at Tennessee last week despite next to nothing from Wes Welker. Frankly, Welker is probably Tom Brady’s fourth option now behind Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Lloyd.
New England used to be a lock for 30 points at home but reached that number in just five of eight regular season games in 2011, which might surprise some people. Arizona’s defense isn’t all bad, having allowed 21.8 points per game in 2011 and 16 to the Seahawks in Week 1, although Seattle was starting rookie Russell Wilson at QB.
Normally I would love the Saints on any scoring prop and they are the second-favorites at +600 with San Francisco. But that New Orleans offense isn’t the same outdoors and the Saints are at Carolina. I am stunned the Niners are this high. Yeah, that offense looked pretty good last week in Green Bay and faces a lousy Detroit defense, but I will never bet on an Alex Smith team to lead the league in points.
I would probably take Atlanta vs. Denver, but the Monday night game isn’t included on the prop. Go with San Diego (+1000) in its home opener vs. Tennessee if Chargers running back Ryan Mathews plays. If he doesn’t, and he missed Week 1, roll the dice on the Rams (+2000) at home vs. Washington. I think that game will be a shootout and St. Louis edges the Skins.
Bovada has a total points in Week 2 prop, with the “over/under” set at 715.5. That’s approximately 22.4 points per team so obviously around 44.8 per game. In Week 1, games averaged slightly more than 49 points. I do think Week 1 was a fluke – look at how awful the Bears were offensively on Thursday in Green Bay. The Ravens won’t come close to hitting the 40-point mark in Philadelphia, and the Jets could easily go from 48 to 0 this week in Pittsburgh. Chiefs-Bills, Browns-Bengals, Vikings-Colts, Bucs-Giants and especially Raiders-Dolphins all smell like relatively low-scoring games. The defenses will adjust, so take the under.
Also at Bovada are props on how many rushing yards Tennessee’s Chris Johnson has this week (62.5, with the over a -125 favorite) and how many rushing yards and rushing touchdowns Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson finishes the season with: 1,000 yards (both -115) and 10.5 scores (both -115).
Johnson, the guy who once proclaimed he would rush for 2,500 yards in a season, had 11 carries for 4 yards last week vs. New England. He hasn’t rushed for more than 62.5 yards since the Titans’ 12th game of last season. The Chargers held Raiders star running back Darren McFadden to 32 yards on 15 carries Monday night. And San Diego will stack the box to stop Johnson and dare Jake Locker to win the game. Take Johnson on the under.
As for Peterson, his was a feel-good story of Week 1 off a serious knee injury suffered late last season. He wasn’t even a sure thing to play against the Jaguars last Sunday (a game-time call), yet had 84 yards and two scores on 17 carries. The over on both of Peterson’s props are a lock – if he stays healthy. That’s really what you are betting on.
Peterson and Cincinnati’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis are the +400 favorites on Sportsbook.ag to have the most rushing yards in Week 2. Peterson’s Vikings are in Indianapolis, and the Colts played solid run defense last week in a loss to Chicago, holding the Bears to 114 yards on 33 carries. Green-Ellis had 91 yards on 18 carries in a loss to Baltimore. The Bengals face the Browns, who allowed 150 yards on 30 carries to the Eagles last week.
I like the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray (+600) at Seattle. Murray rushed for 131 yards on 20 carries in Week 1 vs. the Giants and had 139 yards on 23 carries in a home game vs. Seattle last year. The Seahawks allowed only 43 yards last week to Arizona, but the Cardinals never can run the ball.
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