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    NFL Week 2 lines and odds: Making a case for underdogs to cover

    By Matt Verderame
    matthewstafford

    NFL Week 2 has potential for upset, such as when the Chargers face the Chiefs. Los Angeles ran Kansas close twice last year.

    Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-6)

    The Browns lost by 32 points in Week 1. Cincinnati appears to have a quality young quarterback in Joe Burrow, and ample weapons on the outside. The Bengals should hang close.

    Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5)

    Dallas is the better team and at home after losing to the Rams in Los Angeles, but the Falcons have a potent offense and the Cowboys are without linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee.

    Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at Miami Dolphins

    The Dolphins have more than enough talent to win this game. The corners are excellent in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, while the offense can be carried by Ryan Fitzpatrick when he’s avoiding interceptions.

    Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9)

    Tom Brady is going to bounce back, but the Panthers have a real offense led by Christian McCaffrey. Tampa Bay likely wins, but Carolina could score enough to cover.

     

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    Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5)

    Pittsburgh has an incredible defense, but the Broncos’ unit isn’t half-bad. Denver should keep the score down and while winning won’t be easy, staying within a touchdown is doable.

    Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-6)

    This is a tough ask. Detroit lost a 23-6 lead to the Bears in Week 1, and now gets Aaron Rodgers. The hope is Matthew Stafford throws the ball around and keeps things close, perhaps with a backdoor cover.

    Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-9)

    The Jaguars have a quarterback in Gardner Minshew. Nine points is a ton. It’s too large. Jacksonville not only should cover, but will.

    Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (EVEN)

    We’ll make L.A. the road underdog here. The Rams looked great in Week 1 and have Aaron Donald going against a bad Philadelphia line. This is a real chance for Los Angeles to be 2-0.

    Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts (-3)

    Minnesota is the better team here. Yes, it’s a road game, but the Vikings should be encouraged after seeing Minshew completed 95 percent of his attempts last week against Indianapolis.

    New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-5.5)

    The Giants have the better offense, led by the better quarterback. If the defense can force Mitchell Trubisky into a few mistakes, New York could come away with the win.

     

    Read: “Nobody Wants Us Here” – Denver Nuggets Defy Odds To Reach Conference Finals

     

    San Francisco 49ers (-7) at New York Jets

    The Jets have to pray for the element of surprise. Sometimes, an argument can only be stretched so far.

    Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)

    Washington has a terrific front seven led by a host of former first-round picks in Montez Sweat, Da’Ron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan, Chase Young and Jonathan Allen. They’ll cause problems for a porous Arizona front.

    Baltimore Ravens (-7) at Houston Texans

    Pass on this if you want to pick Houston. There’s no case.

    Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

    The Chargers have a very good defense. Winning is a tall order on Sunday, but Los Angeles could keep it within a score. Last year, the Chargers lost a pair of tight games to the Chiefs.

    New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks (-4)

    New England is going to come with a great gameplan, a healthy Cam Newton and a stout defense. It won’t be easy to beat the Patriots, let alone by four-plus points.

    New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at Las Vegas Raiders

    No Michael Thomas. Opening up the new stadium in Vegas. Monday night. The Raiders will be jacked up, and the Saints are hurting.