Opening week of the NFL season was a winning one for "over" bettors as 9 of the 16 matchups sailed past the over, a profitable 56.3 percent. We're looking for a change in fortunes this week.
Below are four select NFL totals plays for Week 2 with analysis and betting strategies. As you will note, three of the four plays are "under", with the lone exception being the big AFC North showdown between the Bengals and Steelers in Pittsburgh. Also, if you are interested in more free pro football picks click here.
Let's get started. We will use Doc's Sports Unit Betting System for all picks.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (48.5)
The "over" cashed in the Week 1 wins of both the Steelers and the Bengals. Pittsburgh rolled for 437 yards of total offense in a 38-16 (49 O/U) win over the Redskins in D.C., while the Bengals went on the road and knocked off the Jets 23-22 (42) thanks to 12 catches and a touchdown from Pro Bowl WR A.J. Green and a last-second field goal by Mike Nugent.
Both of these offenses are polished, veteran units that figure to move the ball against anyone. In fact, this writer is penciling in at least 30 points a game for the explosive Steelers. It was quite the offensive performance put on by Antonio Brown and company in the opener, and now the Steelers could get a significant boost with WR Markus Wheaton possible to return with a shoulder injury.
Often, matchups between two divisional heavyweights turn into physical, low-scoring defensive struggles. That won't be the case here as both teams are loaded with offensive firepower
Pick: Under, 3 Units
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (45.5)
Both of these NFC East rivals showed little offensively in season-opening losses. Cowboys' rookie QB Dak Prescott (25-of-45, 227 yards) didn't play bad against the Giants in Week 1, but he's yet to any ability to drive the ball down the field. That's a major concern and a big reason why Pro Bowl deep threat Dez Bryant was held to just one catch for eight yards against the Giants.
As for the Redskins, they didn't offer much resistance in a 38-16 pummeling at the hands of the Steelers in Week 1 in D.C. Kirk Cousins--who the Redskins wisely refused to sign to a long-term deal this offseason-failed to throw a touchdown pass and finished 30-of-43 for 329 yards with two interceptions.
So, neither of these teams figures to pile up the points. Instead, it seems more likely to be one of those tight divisional games mentioned above. Also note, in the last 10 matchups between these teams in D.C., the "under" is 7-2-1.
Pick: Under, 4 Units
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (43.5)
Last week's stunning second-half comeback win against the Chargers featured Alex Smith throwing for 363 yards and two touchdowns and then running for a score in overtime. Kansas City had 413 yards of total offense in the 33-27 win, which was the fourth-most of Week 1.
Meanwhile, the Texans used an efficient effort from QB Brock Osweiler and sparkling debut performance from first-round pick Will Fuller (5 catches, 107 yards, 1 TD) to help knock off the Bears, 23-14.
Houston's defense, which allowed the fourth-fewest yards in the NFL last season, showed no signs of slippage in the opener. The Texans sacked Jay Cutler five times and held the Bears to just 258 total yards.
Houston undoubtedly has one of the best defenses in the NFL, and the Chiefs monster second half was as much a Chargers collapse as anything Kansas City did. In reality, these are two ball control offenses squaring off against tough defensive units. Scoring could be at a premium.
Pick: Under, 3 Units
Best Bet for Week 2 NFL Totals
Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions (47.5)
Titans second-year QB Marcus Mariota was 25-of-41 for 271 yards with two TDs and an interception in Tennessee's 25-16 home loss to the Viking in the opener. Unfortunately for Titans fans, the former No. 2 pick has yet to show much progress in 13 career games.
As for the Lions, they went on the road and knocked off the Colts 39-35 as a 2.5-point underdog in Week 1. QB Matthew Stafford played one of the best games of his career, finishing 31-of-39 for 340 yards and three TDs. It was certainly a promising start for Detroit. But the issue is who it came against. The Colts were a team absolutely ravaged by injuries in the defensive backfield last week. And it wasn't a very strong unit to begin with. Perhaps there was an element of fool's gold with last week's performance from the Lions. Add to that the Titans anemic offense, and this one could be lower scoring than many expect.
Pick: Under, 5 Units
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