Week 1 of the NFL season had five underdogs win their respective games outright, with the biggest two being the Buffalo Bills dominating the Indianapolis Colts and the St. Louis Rams pulling off an overtime victory against the defending NFL champion Seattle Seahawks. Many betting experts already had their eyes on these two matchup as possible underdog value, along with San Francisco's matchup as a home underdog against the Minnesota Vikings. Heading into Week 2, there are a few underdog situations that stand out for either being very good or very bad.
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Let's zero in on the underdogs this week and figure out which games are good bets and which are bad bets for finding upsets during the second game of the 2015 NFL season. All odds come from Bovada.
Good Bet : Denver Broncos +3 at Kansas City Chiefs
You could easily make the case that Denver +3 is a bad bet, depending on your thoughts about Peyton Manning. The Broncos won and covered their Week 1 matchup against Baltimore, but Manning himself struggled to make deep throws and looked every bit his 39 years of age for most of the game. Historically, Denver has owned Kansas City during the Manning era and is a perfect 6-0 SU over three seasons, and the team has won each matchup by no fewer than seven points.
Overall, Denver is 29-23-1 ATS during Manning's tenure with the team, but the squad is also only 2-5 ATS as an underdog during that span. Kansas City did look fantastic last week. However, is anyone ready to write Peyton Manning off during the second game of the season? Expect the Broncos' domination of the Chiefs to continue for another game.
Bad Bet : Washington Redskins +3 versus St. Louis Rams
The general public is still probably ignoring St. Louis even after the team's magnificent win over Seattle last week. The Rams are well-coached, play lights-out defense, and are suddenly looking quite impressive on offense with the addition of Nick Foles-a few experts are expecting an excellent and possibly even playoff year for the team. Washington, on the other hand, looks like an absolute mess. Kirk Cousins is starting, Robert Griffin is now the third-string quarterback, and running back DeSean Jackson is expected to miss three to four weeks with a strained hamstring. St. Louis has an elite defense and will probably end up with a double-digit win on Sunday. Any bet on the Redskins over the next few weeks will probably be a "bad bet".
Good Bet : San Francisco 49ers +6 at Pittsburgh Steelers
San Francisco probably shocked quite a few people during its Monday Night Football performance against a solid Minnesota team. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick played well, showed an improve accuracy and once again remaindered everyone how great he can be on his feet. The 49ers may not be a Super Bowl contender (according to most experts), but they are still a very good team that will cover spreads throughout the year. The team was a two-point home underdog and the value pick of the week in the minds of most sports bettors.
Pittsburgh has been a trendy pick to improve drastically in the minds of most experts. And while you cannot fault the team for a road loss against the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, the Steelers still have many issues to figure out on the defensive end and could struggle to gain any sort of separation during their matchup against San Francisco. Taking the 49ers plus the points and even throwing a moneyline wager to win the game outright feels like a solid wager to make.
Bad Bet : Chicago Bears +2.5 versus Arizona Cardinals
Chicago is a team that you can never really trust. They did not look horrible against Green Bay during Week 1, but is anyone ready to wager on the Bears against an elite Arizona defense and a team that could be a legitimate Super Bowl contender come January? Last week Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer racked up over 300 passing yards with three touchdowns and an 82.6 QBR during his first game back after a terrible ACL injury sided line him during the middle of the previous season. Arizona's recovered a fumble, held New Orleans to only 54 yards rushing and quarterback Drew Brees to a 51.7 QBR.
In 2014 Arizona started the year 10-1 before Palmer's injury, and while the general public may not have notice yet, the Cardinals are an actual contender and may be the best team in football. Now is not the time to jump on the Bears bandwagon. Chicago could go on to have a solid 8-8 or 9-7 season, but that transformation probably won't happened next week against Arizona. Stay away from this underdog bet.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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