Anyone can give you NFL Week 1 predictions! But we are going to do something different and provide our three top Week 2 picks with projected NFL odds — obviously, things can change with injury, etc.
Week 2 projected NFL odds 2021
NY Giants at Washington (-3)
This is the first Thursday night short turnaround game of the new season. Of course, the Kickoff Game in Week 1 is on a Thursday but obviously no quick turnaround there. Will the Giants have star running back Saquon Barkley? He has begun training camp on the PUP list coming off a torn ACL that cut his 2020 season short. Coach Joe Judge, Barkley and the Giants are taking a long-term view of Barkley’s recovery. So getting Barkley back for Week 1 of the regular season is no guarantee. The priority is to get him fully healthy and keep him that way for the long-term. We think he plays, though.
Washington has been hammered of late by the COVID bug with several players on the list – although obviously better now than in the regular season. Washington ranks next to last in terms of vaccination rate, having just climbed above 70% of players having at least one shot. One team remains below 70%. The overall player percentage in the NFL is 89.4, with 22 clubs over 90% and nine above 95%. Coach Ron River has said he is “beyond frustrated” with the team’s slow pace of vaccinations. He also said he was immune deficient because of cancer last fall.
New York won both matchups vs. Washington last year albeit by only a combined four points. The game in Maryland (where Washington plays) was 23-20. The triumph was secured when safeties Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan intercepted Alex Smith passes in the final 2:18. They were the last of the Giants’ five takeaways, their highest total since 2014. They did not have a turnover. Pick: Washington.
New England Patriots at NY Jets (+3)
This presumably will be the home debut of Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft. He was the last first-round pick to sign a contract but only missed one day of practice. The Jets probably have the youngest quarterback room in the NFL. The death of assistant Greg Knapp, 58, has left the Jets without an experienced quarterback coach. Behind Wilson are Mike White and James Morgan, none of whom has regular-season experience.
Cam Newton is expected to open the season as New England’s starting QB. However, coach Bill Belichick left open the possibility that No. 15 overall pick rookie Mac Jones could still steal the job if Newton struggles in camp. Both have had their issues so far.
Jones has had several passes batted at the line through the early portion of camp. He stands at 6-foot-2 and there are times where it looks as though he has to navigate the pocket a bit to find an opening between the long arms of defenders at the line. Newton, at 6-foot-5, doesn’t have that issue. And he’s much more mobile. Pick: Jets.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (pick’em)
Sunday night game in Week 2. This could be the only time either team is an underdog this season – obviously the spread will be affected by what happens in Week 1. This also could be crucial in terms of potential home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Last year, the Chiefs were 34-20 winners in Baltimore in Week 3. Chiefs star QB Patrick Mahomes went 31 for 42 for 385 yards and averaged 6.5 yards on his four rushing attempts. The Chiefs led 27-10 at halftime and held on to defeat Baltimore for the third year in a row. The Ravens had won 14 straight regular-season games. Baltimore star QB Lamar Jackson struggled, completing 15 of 28 passes for 97 yards and ran for 83 yards, 30 of them on one carry during the Ravens’ opening possession.
The Ravens signed former Chiefs wideout Sammy Watkins this offseason. The Ravens needed an outside receiver to help Jackson and provide another threat opposite Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Watkins has 321 catches for 4,665 yards and 33 touchdowns over his seven-year career, averaging 14.5 yards per catch. He caught 18 passes in three playoff games during the Chiefs’ run to a Super Bowl title during the 2019 season. Pick: Baltimore.
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