NFL Week 2 SportsGrid Model Picks
After a Week 1 filled with twists, turns, and surprises at every corner, Week 2 looms with some enticing matchups on the schedule. You will often see the second week of the NFL season mentioned as the most profitable due to the intense line movements based on wild overreaction from Week 1 by both the bookmakers and their customers.
We’ll be using the SportsGrid betting model to help weed out some inaccurate lines and give us some winners this weekend as the action continues on the gridiron.
The SportsGrid betting model provides a projected winning percentage for each team in each matchup and gives its top-rated picks for every game based on a 1-5 star rating system. Let’s look at some of the model’s favorite plays this week and discuss where it sees the biggest value in the sides and totals:
Vikings-Colts – Under 48.5
This is one of the top picks when looking at sides and totals that the model is suggesting. This number opened originally at 46 and was likely bet up to 48.5 after both teams were involved in games that went over the total in Week 1. As part of the Week 1 overreaction narrative train, the number looks far too juiced for these offenses, and it didn’t slip past the model’s projections as a total for this weekend.
The Vikings will likely be looking to keep the ball on the ground after Kirk Cousins attempted just 25 passes in their loss on Sunday. Twenty of these passing attempts came in the second half, most in the fourth quarter playing catch up to the 18-point lead surmounted by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. If the Vikings can get in front, expect an offense that will ultimately take the air out of the ball.
As for Phillip Rivers and the Colts, a 27-20 defeat on Sunday would have gone under this number and was just 3.5 points over their total of 44 set by the books.
The loss of Marlon Mack for the season does take some sting out of this backfield and may cause problems by throwing rookie Jonathan Taylor into a more prominent role earlier than expected. If Minnesota can dominate time of possession with their run game, I’d be surprised if Philip Rivers comes remotely close to his 46 passing attempts in last week’s defeat.
Ravens-Texans – Texans +7
Another five-star backing from the model finds us at NRG Stadium, where the Houston Texans will be hosting Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Even with 72% of incoming bets backing the Ravens, the books refuse to budge from that key number of seven which is telling as to what the books and/or sharps expect from a Houston team that was easily handled on opening night by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans have won their last six matchups at home following a loss, all with Deshaun Watson under center.
Houston’s loss to the league’s best on their home turf should not be looked at as a game that drops them very far down the league’s ranks. According to the model, if you can catch this game at this key number or better for the Texans, it’s certainly worth the look.
Patriots-Seahawks – Seahawks -4
Our SportsGrid betting model gave this pick a four-star rating in a game that may be the most intriguing one on the slate this weekend. Bill Belichick and his shiny new toy in Cam Newton take one of the longest road trips in the league over to Seattle to take on Russell Wilson and the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.
It seems obvious that this number has the “Bill Belichick fear factor” baked into it, which is the respect a coach deserves after he’s accumulated 17 AFC East titles and six Super Bowls in just 19 seasons.
That being said, the projection and separation in this week’s matchup come not only after the loss of Tom Brady from this roster, but the sheer lack of talent on the offensive side of the football.
Newton is not surrounded by much. His ten-point win at home over the lowly Miami Dolphins shouldn’t instill fear into the Seattle Seahawks at home after dominating in what many felt was a trap game against Atlanta?
It’s hard to make a case that this number is less than seven with any other football coach at this roster’s helm. Bill Belichick is the closest thing in football to a miracle worker, but the model doesn’t see him suiting up any time soon. The Seahawks -4 is the play here.
Vikings-Colts – Vikings +3
The model has brought us back to Indianapolis! A three-star rated pick comes in the form of the field goal underdog Vikings in this inter-conference battle. As previously mentioned, Minnesota’s pure ability to slow a game down and manipulate the time of possession could play an important role in this game’s outcome when looking at which side to back.
If the Vikings can get off to any solid start and manage a lead in the second half, I’d prefer my money to be out of the hands of Philip Rivers after two late costly interceptions last week when trailing the Jaguars.
When losing with less than four minutes left, Rivers had an abysmal passer rating of 46.4 last season. Any Vikings lead should make backers feel quite comfortable based on their ability to run the ball and drain the clock as well as Rivers’ inability to produce successful comeback efforts in the clutch.