Carolina @ Atlanta: Carolina +6 – 5/6
It was Groundhog Day for the Falcons in the opener, marching up and down the field and stalling in the red zone.
Despite the extra rest, they are starting Week 2 with some injuries hanging around on offence and defence. Freeman isn’t practicing and Levitre is carrying a bit of a knock. The core of the Falcons defence is on IR with Deion Jones and Keanu Neal going down in the opening week.
In the past, these two have had the pace to keep a scrambling Cam Newton in check – I’m not sure they have the depth to get it done without them.
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Carolina have their offensive line issues but the Falcons pass rush will be lacking and probably playing a more containing role anyway so that Newton will stay between the hash marks.
Greg Olsen is a big blow for the Panthers but Christian McCaffrey will be a matchup nightmare for Atlanta. I have some confidence in Cam being a lot better in the red zone this week (2-for-5 Week 1) playing in a dome after the adverse weather impacting their Week 1 matchup.
Indianapolis @ Washington: Indianapolis +5.5 – 10/11
Washington put me in my place last week with a vintage showing from Adrian Peterson and Alex Smith to double Arizona’s offensive yardage. They caught the Cards napping and dropped 21 points in one quarter without looking back.
It’s a lot easier to play defence nursing a three touchdown lead for the second half and the ‘Skins wreaked havoc on Sam Bradford. Anthony Castonzo probably won’t play for the Colts again this week but I expect Andrew Luck to be more competent than Bradford, though the 53 pass attempts in Week 1 isn’t an ideal gameplan.
Still, Indy were probably a Jack Doyle fumble away from winning last week against what is looking like a very solid Bengals outfit.
Oakland @ Denver: Oakland +6 – 20/21
Short rest into a Denver trip is never ideal. I actually agreed with the opening line of -4.5 and wouldn’t have touched this game until the market moved.
The Rams upped the pace in the second half against the Raiders on Monday night and ran riot over their defence. Football Outsiders clocked them at a league leading 22.42 seconds-per-play with a +7 point lead.
The silver-and-black’s aging defence couldn’t cope and the Rams went on to a 20 point win. On other side of the coin, Denver were eight seconds slower per play with a lead and played slower in the second half instead of the first.
Maybe things will change in Week 2 as it is the smallest possible sample size, but I’m happy to get involved when getting 1.5-2 points off my ratings. Despite all their trouble, Seattle still posted 6.2 yds per pass with Will Dissly, Tyler Lockett & Brandon Marshall as their trio of weapons.
I think Derek Carr can do better and keep this close.
*All odds Correct at time of posting