NFL Week 2 ATS Picks – How ‘Bout Them Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys averaged 34 points per game against non-playoff teams in 2019. Can they rough up another non-contender in Week 2? Photo by Keith Allison (Wiki Commons).
  • Our Best Bets were 3-0 in Week 1 (+2.79 units)
  • The Atlanta Falcons allowed 38 points to the Seattle Seahawks last week
  • Read below for analysis on the Week 2 NFL slate and our favorite ATS picks

Week 2 in the NFL is one of the most intriguing weeks of the season because it’s ripe with overreaction from bettors and oddsmakers alike. Everyone thinks they know everything based on one week’s worth of action, but nothing could be further from the truth. Few teams are as good as you think, and even fewer are as bad as they looked last Sunday.

Case in point, the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones’ team was expected to take a big step forward this season, but they looked nothing like a Super Bowl contender against the LA Rams. Their Week 1 performance had a huge impact early this week in the NFL odds, as the Cowboys are now a much smaller favorite over the Atlanta Falcons than they were before the season began.

Pick #1: Cowboys Crush Falcons

Dallas was a 7-point favorite in the Week 2 lookahead line over Atlanta, but that number is now down to as low as -3.5, depending on the book, in the Falcons vs Cowboys odds.

Falcons vs Cowboys Odds

Team Spread at FanDuel Moneyline Total
Atlanta Falcons +4.5 (-115) +180 Over 54.0 (-110)
Dallas Cowboys -4.5 (-105) -215 Under 54.0 (-110)

All odds taken Sept. 18th.
Yes, Dallas was shredded by the Los Angeles offense, and yes the Cowboys only scored 17 points, but they were one questionable pass interference call away from forcing overtime at the very least.

Atlanta meanwhile, was steam rolled by Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. The Falcons gave up 38 points, the second most of the week, and allowed Wilson to complete 88.5% of his passes for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. Atlanta’s starting two corners, Isaiah Oliver and A.J. Terrell, were especially ineffective, allowing 12 of the 14 passes throw in their coverage to be completed.

That spells trouble against the Cowboys loaded wide receiver corps, led by Amari Cooper. The 26-year-old was targeted 14 times in Week 1, and crushes at Jerry’s World. In his first full season as a member of the Cowboys, Cooper averaged 6.5 catches and 108.6 receiving yards at home.

Dallas with Dak Prescott at the helm also has a history of beating up on bad teams. Last year, they averaged 34 points per game against non-playoff teams, compared to just 18.2 points per outing against postseason squads. No one is confusing Atlanta with a playoff contender this season, and if everyone is going to fade the Cowboys than I’m going to hop aboard their bandwagon.

Pick: Cowboys -4.5 (-105), 1 unit

Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker

Pick #2: Colts Cruise Past Vikings

Speaking of teams at the top of everyone’s hate list, look no further than the Indianapolis Colts. Indy was one of the most popular survivor picks in Week 1, but they blew a fourth quarter lead in Jacksonville before falling to the Jags. Now the Colts welcome a Minnesota team that was beaten soundly at home by Green Bay.

Vikings vs Colts Odds

Team Spread at FanDuel Moneyline Total
Minnesota Vikings +3.0 (-105) +154 Over 48.5 (-120)
Indianapolis Colts -3.0 (-125) -184 Under 48.5 (+100)

Indianapolis is currently a 3-point favorite in the Vikings vs Colts odds, in a game that features one of the highest totals on the slate. Minnesota gave up a league-high 43 points in Week 1, while Indy racked up 445 yards of offense and didn’t punt once.

Marlon Mack is done for the year with a torn Achilles, meaning the Colts backfield now belongs to Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines. The duo combined for 166 total yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, while Minnesota coughed up 177 yards to Packers running backs.

Phillip Rivers and the passing game is also set up for success, as the Vikings defense generated the least amount of pressure of any team last Sunday, and is still missing stud rusher Danielle Hunter.

Only Aaron Rodgers got the ball out quicker than Rivers in Week 1, and the Minnesota secondary is a mess. They earned Pro Football Focus’ eighth worst coverage grade and allowed 22 completions on 29 attempts.

On the other side of the ball, the Vikings are short on playmakers. Adam Thielen produced a huge box score versus Green Bay, but the majority came in garbage time. They want to run the ball, but holes will be hard to find against a stout Colts run defense. Indy surrendered just 91 yards on the ground in Week 1, and Minnesota will be missing its starting right tackle.

Pick: Colts -3 (-125), 1 unit

Pick #3: Eagles Over Rams

Our overreaction theme continues with our final pick as we find a good spot for the Philadelphia Eagles at home against the LA Rams. Philly looked out of sorts in Week 1, but are welcoming back a handful of key starters, something that isn’t reflected in the Rams vs Eagles odds.

Rams vs Eagles Odds

Team Spread at FanDuel Moneyline Total
Los Angeles Rams +1.0 (-120) -107 Over 45.5 (-110)
Philadelphia Eagles -1.0 (-103) -107 Under 45.5 (-110)

Philadelphia was a 3.5-point favorite in the Week 2 lookahead line, but that number is down -1, and you can actually find the Eagles catching a point if you shop around.

Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett are expected to return to a bolster a defense that produced 3 sacks against Washington, and allowed just 2.2 yards per carry.

LA’s Jared Goff was pressured on just 11.8% of his drop backs in Week 1, but expect a big change versus the league’s fifth pass best pass rush from a season ago. Goff’s completion rate dropped from 73.2% in a clean pocket, to 42.3% under pressure last season, and his yards per attempt fell from 8.2 to 5.7.

The Eagles offense meanwhile, will get a boost from the return of running back Miles Sanders and right tackle Lane Johnson. Carson Wentz was under siege all game versus Washington, but Sanders is upgrade over Boston Scott as both a runner and pass protector, and Johnson will help solidify the offensive line.

The Rams may have looked like the better team in Week 1, but all the value is now on Philadelphia.

Pick: Eagles -1 (-103), 1 unit

Week 2 Quick Hitters

  • 49ers (-7) vs Jets – Even without George Kittle, San Fran rolls over a New York team missing both Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder
  • Lions (+6.5) vs Packers – Another overreaction. Detroit should have easily won its opener while Green Bay isn’t the world beater it looked like versus Minnesota
  • Bills (-5.5) vs Dolphins – Josh Allen plus Stefon Diggs and John Brown will be nightmare trio for the Fins to try and contain
  • Steelers (-7) vs Broncos – The league’s best defense racked up four sacks and 12 QB hurries in Week 1 and will feast against the banged-up Broncos
  • Buccaneers (-8.5) vs Panthers – The Buccaneers don’t deserve to be this big a favorite over anyone. Carolina’s defense is atrocious but the offense will keep this game within one score.
  • Giants (+5.5) vs Bears – Danny Dimes held up pretty well against the vaunted Pittsburgh defense and should find success against this overrated Chicago squad
  • Titans (-7.5) vs Jaguars – Jacksonville comes crashing down to earth against Derrick Henry and Tennessee
  • Washington (+7) vs Cardinals – Washington’s front four will generate enough pressure to throw off Arizona’s air raid attack
  • Chiefs (-8.5) vs Chargers – Mahomes and the champs continue to roll against an LA team that simply cannot keep pace offensively
  • Ravens (-7.5) vs Texans – Lamar Jackson on the fast track indoors. Enough said.
  • Patriots (+4) vs Seahawks – Cam Newton looked great in Week 1 and New England is on the few squads that can neutralize Seattle’s big play threats
  • Raiders (+5.5) vs Saints – Las Vegas keeps it close in the first game at its new $2-billion dollar stadium.

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