Here’s where to place your money in Week 2.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (-6)
Neither Carolina’s nor Atlanta’s offense lit up the scoreboard in Week 1; the Panthers beat the Cowboys but scored just 16, while the Falcons mustered just 12 points against the Eagles in an opening-night defeat.
Atlanta’s failures on offense, in particular, have caused an alarming trend, as the Falcons have now gone under in each of their last eight games. Due to Matt Ryan and company’s lack of production, it’s hard to want to lay six points with them, even at home.
Cam Newton will be without tight end Greg Olsen again, but he can still lean on Christian McCaffrey, who was sharp against Atlanta in his two matchups with them last season (21 carries, 80 yards, 10 catches, 68 yards).
Throw money down on Panthers versus Falcons at SugarHouse right now!
The Panthers have trended favorably, going 7-3 ATS in their last 10, with an identical road record. They’ve also covered in six of their last eight as underdogs. Expect Carolina to keep things close and perhaps win in a fairly low-scoring tilt.
The pick: Panthers +6
Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
The Chiefs and Steelers could not be trending more differently right now, as Kansas City has covered in five of their last six. That includes their Week 1 win, which was Patrick Mahomes’ first start under center. Pittsburgh, clearly distracted by the Le’Veon Bell saga, embarrassingly tied with Cleveland in Week 1 to run their ATS record to 1-7 in their last eight. Returning to Heinz Field may not help, as they’ve dropped their last five ATS there. Ben Roethlisberger must pull himself together after a five-turnover performance last week and match strides with Mahomes to have a shot at this one.
Mahomes looked very sharp in picking apart the Chargers’ capable secondary and wide out Tyreek Hill had a career day last Sunday. If cornerback Joe Haden is at less than 100 percent for Pittsburgh (left last week’s game early due to a hamstring pull), Hill could get loose once more.
Kansas City has been a great bet on the road under Andy Reid, going 11-4 ATS in their last 15, so lean on the Chiefs in Week 2.
The pick: Chiefs +4
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams (-13)
The Cardinals produced one of the worst Week 1 efforts of any team, dropping a one-sided 24-6 decision at home to the mediocre Redskins. It’s usually unwise to put so much weight on one game, but that loss by Arizona looks like a sign of things to come under first-year head coach Steven Wilks. The degree of difficulty is raised significantly as they travel to L.A. to take on the Rams, who beat Oakland 33-13 in the Black Hole last Monday.
Sam Bradford, who looked uneasy in Week 1, will have his work cut out for him against the Rams’ defense, particularly their fearsome pass rush. Expect Arizona’s road woes (2-6 ATS) to continue as Jared Goff and Todd Gurley pile on the yardage against the Cardinals’ stripped-down defense.
The pick: Rams -13