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Free NFL Bets Week 2

We split our free bets last week, so we head to Week 2 with a 1-1 record. Prop bets released on Twitter are now 4-1 on the year, after going 3-1 in Week 1 and 1-0 on Thursday night thanks to Tyler Boyd. Some trends from last week to keep an eye on moving forward:

  • Games, where the spread was 5.5-points-and-below, averaged 50.1 combined points per game, 26.7 coming in the second half. Overs in those games went 6-3, covering by nearly five points per game. Conversely, games with a spread of 6-points-or-larger averaged 43.9 points per game, and just 19.9 in the second half. Overs went just 3-4. More evenly-matched teams produce more back-and-forth scoring.
  • Favorites went 9-7 against the spread. Of the seven underdogs that covered, six – Green Bay, Chicago, Jacksonville, Washington, Seattle, and Arizona – won the game outright.
  • Overs went just 1-3 in primetime games, averaging nearly nine points per game lower than the Sunday afternoon slate, where overs went 8-4.

It’s important not to overreact to Week 1, so keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s slate of free bets:

Cardinals (-6.5) vs. Washington

Arizona was impressive last week, beating San Francisco outright as a 6.5-point underdog. Washington also won outright as a heavy, 5.5-point underdog, scoring 27 unanswered points to beat Philadelphia 27-17, but I didn’t come away nearly as impressed with them as I did with Arizona.

The Cardinals totaled over 400 yards against one of the best defenses in the NFL and will face a similar defensive scheme this week, so they’ll be prepared right out of the gate. Washington, like San Francisco, has a dominant defensive line but they don’t have as much talent at linebacker or defensive back as the 49ers do. Kyler Murray’s legs are the perfect kryptonite to a strong d-line, and he proved it last week, running for 91 yards. Washington just doesn’t have the talent to slow Murray down when he’s scampering around in the open field.

And who’s going to cover DeAndre Hopkins? Hopkins proved last week that it doesn’t matter how new he is to an offense or how limited his offseason work was. He’ll produce no matter what. He reeled in 14 catches for 151 yards against a much better 49ers secondary than he’ll face this week.

As mentioned previously, I wasn’t as impressed with Washington as you’d expect after a 10-point win as an underdog. They absolutely beat up on Philadelphia’s injured and out-of-tune offensive line, sacking Carson Wentz eight times. It won’t be that easy against a much more mobile Murray and a much stronger Arizona offensive line, and the 239 yards Washington totaled last week on just 3.4 yards per play won’t be nearly enough to keep pace with the Cardinals’ high-flying offense.

This is a potential letdown spot for Washington coming off a win and now being forced to travel into the West Coast time zone. And Kliff Kingsbury’s offense isn’t designed to slow down and sit on a lead, so we’ve got some protection against a back-door cover as well. Non-divisional favorites were also 5-2 last week, and I like that trend to continue here.

Raiders (+6) vs. Saints

This is a typical letdown spot for the Saints, sandwiched between two huge games. They’re coming off an emotional win over the division-rival Buccaneers in one of the most hyped games of Week 1, and next week have to prepare to host the Packers in New Orleans.

Derek Carr FantasyNew Orleans wasn’t overly impressive last week against an extremely overrated Tampa Bay team that was totally out of sync. They scored 34 points but were gifted three Buccaneers turnovers, including a pick-six and a muffed kickoff inside the 20. The Saints’ scoring drives were just 40.8 yards long, on average. They also had just 271 total yards, Drew Brees threw for just 160 yards, and they averaged a paltry 2.4 yards per carry and 4.1 yards per play.

The Raiders, on the other hand, are opening a brand new palace of a stadium in their new home of Las Vegas. They’ll have extra motivation and energy, even without a sellout crowd. I expect them to come out confident after a nice win on the road in Carolina.

The Saints will also be without their top receiver in Michael Thomas, leaving them with just Tre’Quan Smith and Deonte Harris – who combined for just 2 targets last week – behind Emmanuel Sanders. That’s a huge boost for the Raiders’ biggest weakness: their defense. I expect a good amount of running from both teams, skewing this one towards a closer game where neither team pulls away with explosive plays.

This is a typical letdown spot for the Saints, sandwiched between two huge games. They’re coming off an emotional win over the division-rival Buccaneers in one of the most hyped games of Week 1, and next week have to prepare to host the Packers in New Orleans.

New Orleans wasn’t overly impressive last week against an extremely overrated Tampa Bay team that was totally out of sync. They scored 34 points but were gifted three Buccaneers turnovers, including a pick-six and a muffed kickoff inside the 20. The Saints’ scoring drives were just 40.8 yards long, on average. They also had just 271 total yards, Drew Brees threw for just 160 yards, and they averaged a paltry 2.4 yards per carry and 4.1 yards per play.

The Raiders, on the other hand, are opening a brand new palace of a stadium in their new home of Las Vegas. They’ll have extra motivation and energy, even without a sellout crowd. I expect them to come out confident after a nice win on the road in Carolina.

The Saints will also be without their top receiver in Michael Thomas, leaving them with just Tre’Quan Smith and Deonte Harris – who combined for just 2 targets last week – behind Emmanuel Sanders. That’s a huge boost for the Raiders’ biggest weakness: their defense. I expect a good amount of running from both teams, skewing this one towards a closer game where neither team pulls away with explosive plays.


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