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Here’s our 2021 NFL Week 2 best bets for the regular season.
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Anthony Cervino’s Best Bets for Week 1 in the NFL predictions and picks series went 3-3.
Week 2 of the 2021 NFL Preseason is right around the corner now that Week 1 is officially in the books. From the week that was, here are a few trends I have identified:
- The point total went under in 13 of 16 games.
- Road teams went 10-6 on the moneyline.
- Favorites went 9-7 on the moneyline.
Now, on to NFL Preseason Week 2.
Since the vast majority of teams will only play in three preseason contests, the second week is when we should expect to see the starters play a tad more.
When previewing these games from a betting tips perspective, we must consider that some teams will play their starters more than others. We must also assume that some injured starters — especially players coming off of significant injures like Dak Prescott and Joe Burrow — won’t play at all in exhibition games.
All that being said, let’s get into the action with my 2021 NFL Preseason Week 2 Best Bets and Predictions.
2021 NFL Preseason Week 2 Best Bet: Baltimore Ravens -3 (-120) at DraftKings Sportsbook
For in-depth analysis, read on…
2021 NFL Preseason Week 2 Best Bets
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Football Team
Under regular circumstances, the Football Team and the Bengals would likely be a mismatch. The Bengals would cede the defensive edge as well as the offensive line edge to the Football Team.
Where the Bengals have the edge is on offense. With Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, and a trio of talented wide receivers, they will be difficult to stop.
However, this is the preseason. Burrow is not going to play. And like I said, the Cincinnati offensive line will be an issue. Washington’s defense will keep them in and win them a lot of games this season — preseason included.
While Washington saw a healthy dose of Mac Jones and some Cam Newton last week, the former is a first-round pick in this year’s draft. Jones played well facing a good chunk of backups. Against the Bengals however, the Football Team’s menacing defense will instead get a combination of Brandon Allen and Kyle Shurmer — not the same.
I will give the edge to Washington. They should dominate and win this game with their defense.
Prediction: Washington 20, Bengals 13
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Bengals vs Football Team Best Bets
Best Bet: Washington Football Team Moneyline (-175) at DraftKings Sportsbook
This game will be a defensive struggle. However, not one of those good defensive outings like we used to see from the Steelers and Ravens over the years. Instead, it will be because of poor quarterback play, mostly by the Bengals — which is reflected in the NFL gameday odds.
If Washington’s defensive starters get a solid run, they will overpower Cincinnati’s front five and force turnovers, which will put the Football Team’s offense in favorable scoring scenarios and in a position to win this game at home.
- The Bengals are 3-7 in their last 10 games outright.
- The Football Team is 5-3 in their last eight games outright.
Best Bet: Under 34 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Unders went 13-3 last week. While I do see a world in which the over is met more often in Week 2 due to the fact that we should see more run out of starters, a game with underwhelming backup quarterbacks on either side should still trend toward the under when the clock strikes zero.
I struggle to see a scenario in which Brandon Allen and Kyle Shurmer score the football against the Football Team’s defense, which packs depth behind the starters along with elite defensive coaching.
- The under is 6-1 in Washington’s last seven games at home.
- The under is 5-2-1 in the Bengals’ last eight games played overall.
Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears
It’s a Mitchell Trubisky revenge game. Yes, that is the narrative, but that won’t be the difference. The difference-maker in this Bills-Bears matchup will come in the form of Trubisky’s eventual heir-apparent: Justin Fields.
Although Andy Dalton is expected to start in Week 1 of the regular season, needless to say, his leash will be short, especially if Fields plays the way he did in the preseason opener in his upcoming Week 2 encounter with the Bills. Fields threw for 142 yards and a touchdown as a passer while adding another 33 yards and a score as a rusher.
Look for Fields to get a lot of action this week. If Fields gets hot as he did last week, the Bills’ No. 2 defense won’t be able to stop him. I also don’t think the Bills have competent enough quarterback play behind Josh Allen to be able to keep up with Fields.
The Bears will open the preseason 2-0 at the conclusion of this game, making this my pick of the day.
Prediction: Bears 23, Bills 16
Bills vs Bears Best Bets
Best Bet: Chicago Bears -4.5 (-110) at BetMGM
The Bills are one of the best teams in the NFL. They are a locked and loaded Super Bowl contender. HC Sean McDermott also knows what he has on both sides of the ball.
This game will be close, but Fields and the Bears’ offense will eventually blow this game open enough to cover the spread. I don’t see McDermott playing his starters very long and risking injury ahead of what could be a special year.
- The Bills are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games.
- The Bears are 3-2 ATS in their past five games.
Best Bet: Over 37.5 (-115) at BetMGM
This Bears-Bills matchup should be one of the higher scoring affairs on the Preseason Week 2 slate. Again, this is because Fields getting a ton of run. Fields managed to play really well against a talented Miami defense which will continue against Buffalo.
On the other side, the Bills should come out the gate firing while their starters are in there, albeit for a short period of time. They will score early and then fade, which bodes well for this over.
- The over is 5-0 in Buffalo’s last five games as an underdog. They are the road dogs in Week 2.
- The over is 4-1 in Chicago’s last five games as a favorite.
Baltimore Ravens at Carolina Panthers
Ravens backup QB Trace McSorley will miss the duration of the preseason with a back injury, which means we’ll see a lot of Tyler Huntley against the Panthers.
Huntley was a serviceable 12-of-16 for 79 yards as a passer while leading the Ravens in rushing with his 43 yards and a touchdown on seven carries in Week 1. He’s proving that he is a dual-threat quarterback that can run this offense.
Although we will see Huntley for the majority of the game, I will err on the side of the Ravens to win it. The Ravens have not lost a preseason game since 2015, an 18-game win streak that was extended last week against the Saints.
The P.J. Walker-led Panthers will pack a punch. We may see Sam Darnold early, but ultimately, Walker will be the primary signal-caller for the Panthers.
Walker played well in last week’s loss to the Colts. He posted 161 passing yards with a touchdown despite only completing an inefficient 10-of-21 passes. However, it won’t be enough to beat a Ravens team whose head coach really likes winning in the preseason.
Prediction: Ravens 20, Panthers 13
Ravens vs Panthers Best Bets
Best Bet: Baltimore Ravens -3 (-120) at DraftKings Sportsbook
I will take the Ravens to cover here. While the Panthers played the Colts close last week, losing by three points, the Ravens are the superior team, even in exhibition play.
The difference in this game will be defense. Baltimore’s defense has depth at all levels which means their No. 2 unit should dominate Carolina’s B-Team offense.
I found this game with Baltimore giving (-3,5) points at other sportsbooks. Get them at 3 in case of a push.
- The Ravens are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games.
- The Panthers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games at home.
- The Panthers are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games.
- The Ravens are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite.
Best Bet: Baltimore Ravens Moneyline (-165) at DraftKings Sportsbook
If you like the Ravens to win outright but don’t think they will cover or it will push, then take the moneyline. You will lose a little with your return — (-165) compared to (-120) — but it won’t be enough to make a drastic difference in your pocket.
The Ravens are 18-0 in their last 18 preseason games. I will continue to bet on this trend, especially when Baltimore has one of the deepest rosters in the NFL on a yearly basis. I am also intrigued by Ravens QB Tyler Huntley, who is in line for a big outing facing a suspect Panthers’ defense.