Here are point spreads, totals and betting insight for three key games on Sunday’s NFL Week 2 card:
New England Patriots (-6.5, 57) at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Both the Patriots and Saints come into Sunday having lost their first game, elevating the importance of this contest. That’s more surprising for New England, which looked un-Patriot like in their 42-27 Week 1 loss to the Chiefs last Thursday. The Saints lost 29-19 at Minnesota on Monday night.
From a scheduling perspective, the Pats get a big, fat checkmark. If you were paying attention while reading the last paragraph, you noticed New England had 10 days to rest for the Saints, while New Orleans is playing on a short week.
The Patriots, though, are dealing with a plethora of injuries, most notably to their wide receiving corps. Already without Julian Edelman, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, Danny Amendola has been ruled out for Sunday because of a concussion.
If you’re nervous about laying points on the road with the Pats, don’t be. They were 6-1 against the spread as road favorites last season. On the other hand, the spread here feels inflated, as it jumped from 4.5 to 6.5 after the Saints’ loss to the Vikings.
The total of this game was bet up from 54 to the rarified air of 57, 57.5. A number like that is almost begging you to bet ‘under.’
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5, 42.5) vs. Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
Another road favorite situation in this nationally-televised afternoon tilt, but since the Wynn Las Vegas opened Dallas -3, the line has hovered below the key number all week. Don’t be surprised if it gets pushed back to a field goal before kickoff as public money on the Cowboys flows through betting windows.
Dallas is coming off an impressive 19-3 showing against the Giants last Sunday, while the Broncos barely held onto their 24-21 win over the Chargers.
This is not an easy spot for Dallas, though, laying points on the road against one of the league’s best defenses.
A wise handicapper once said when you have the opportunity to take the points with the better defense at home, you should usually take it.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-3, 55), 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC
The Falcons were bet up from the opening line of -2.5, which makes sense to us since they were far bigger favorites (-6.5) when they rolled over the Packers 44-21 in last season’s NFC Championship Game. That larger number, though, was influenced by Green Bay’s injury situation, as they were depleted at wide receiver and in the secondary last January.
Still, the number seems light to us, as the Falcons thoroughly dominated the Pack that day, taking a 24-0 lead into halftime and tacking on another touchdown just over a minute into the third quarter before Green Bay even got on the board.
Sunday night marks the Falcons’ regular-season debut in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It’s new, it’s spectacular, and perhaps it will be a bit of salve should Atlanta still be feeling hungover from its Super Bowl heartbreak.
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