NFL Betting Odds: Week 2 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
We undoubtedly will talk about how rare it is for 0-2 teams to make the playoffs next week, but how about those who lose their season openers? I almost said that obviously 16 of the league's 32 teams opened 0-1 … but the Steelers and Browns tied. Anyways. Since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1978, but not including the strike-shortened 1982 season, 306 of 587 teams to win their season opener made the playoffs. A total of 185 of those won division titles. That includes last year's Patriots and Saints.
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Of the 586 teams that lost their season opener in that span (there used to be 31 teams in the league so that's why the numbers don't match), 140 made the playoffs and only 81 won division titles. Another interesting statistic from Week 1 was that eight teams won that didn't make the playoffs last year: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami, Tampa Bay, Denver, Washington, Green Bay and the New York Jets.
There were also 10 games decided by eight points or fewer, and those are the ones to watch. The NFL is that close - if you are above .500 in one-score games then you probably are a playoff team. If you aren't, you aren't. The 2016 Raiders were impossibly good in one-score games and went 12-4. They were awful in them last year and crashed to six wins.
Here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 2.
Dolphins at Jets (-3, 43.5): This has had the largest line move as it opened at pick'em. The Jets are taking a big lean, and I think we all know why: Those quarterback-starved fans are jumping heavy on Gang Green's bandwagon because of how good rookie quarterback Sam Darnold looked in Monday night's stunning blowout in Detroit. The Jets' 48 points set a franchise record for most in a road game, and Darnold was the first QB to win his first start by 31 or more points since Tom Brady. New York did get out of that game pretty healthy as well. Miami was without starting WR DeVante Parker in last week's seven-plus hour win over Tennessee with a fractured finger but is looking like he will play in this one. Guard Josh Sitton is in question, however. This is one of eight divisional matchups in Week 2.
Chiefs at Steelers (-4.5, 53.5): Boy, did Patrick Mahomes look good in last week's win over the Chargers. That dude has a cannon, and Kansas City is going to be incredibly exciting with all his deep throws and perhaps the best collection of open-field skill position talent in the NFL. However, that defense is a huge problem as the Chargers rung up nearly 550 yards. Kansas City was without star safety Eric Berry in Week 1 due to his heel injury, and it's not looking great for him here. The Steelers will again be without Le'Veon Bell, but Ben Roethlisberger said he'll be fine. He suffered a bruised elbow in Sunday's tie against Cleveland. With 76 passing yards Sunday, Big Ben will surpass John Elway (51,475) for the seventh-most passing yards in NFL history. Roethlisberger is a lock Hall of Famer, but he's no Elway. This has the highest total on the board. As it should.
Eagles at Bucs (+3, 44): This line and total have stayed steady - I'm sure many are hoping for it to get off that 3. Never bet a game sitting on 3 - buy the hook in whichever direction. I was tempted to pick Tampa Bay for the upset here because I think the magic Nick Foles found in last year's playoff run is gone. He was terrible this preseason and not much better in last Thursday's win over Atlanta. Think I'm back on Philly here now (especially at 2.5) because Tampa Bay is battered. Starting cornerback Vernon Hargreaves was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He hasn't lived up to his No. 11 selection in the 2016 draft but played well vs. the Saints last week with seven tackles, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. WR DeSean Jackson (concussion) and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) are both in question. A couple of offensive linemen also are 50-50. Philly again will be without No. 1 WR Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) and RB Darren Sproles (hamstring) is iffy.
Texans at Tians (+2, 44.5): I touched on this game Monday, but there was no line then because we weren't sure if Marcus Mariota (elbow) would play. He will, but his blindside protector Taylor Lewan surely isn't going to due to a concussion and outside linebacker Harold Landry also is likely out. Receiver Corey Davis (hamstring), right tackle Jack Conklin (knee) and pass rusher Derrick Morgan (knee) were all limited this week. Houston has a ton of guys on the injured list, led by WRs DeAndre Hopkins (foot) and Will Fuller (hamstring) and DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney. I'd probably just avoid this game.
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