Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season was a bit of a crapshoot from a gambling perspective, as the lack of a preseason prevented bettors from gaining knowledge on each team.
The jury still is out on the majority of clubs across the league, but at least we have a slate of NFL action under our belt as we navigate the Week 2 board.
If you’re in the marking for some value plays this weekend, consider putting action on these three underdogs.
(+7.5) Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger looked sharp in his first game since Week 2 of last season. Pittsburgh’s longtime starting signal-caller completed 21 of 32 pass attempts for 229 yards with three touchdowns in a win over the New York Giants. The Steelers’ defense also looked strong in Week 1, thus prompting the football world to label Mike Tomlin’s crew as an early Super Bowl LV contender.
The oddsmakers clearly are buying the Steelers hype, as they’re a fairly heavy favorite this Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Denver dropped its season opener at home, but it hung tough throughout a hard-fought tilt with the Tennessee Titans. It looks like Drew Lock and his sneaky loaded arsenal of weapons has a chance to make real noise this season.
Pittsburgh probably will win this one outright, but that’s a steep spread to cover. The Steelers didn’t exactly blow the Giants out, and the Broncos present much more of a challenge.
(+3) Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
The Vikings and Colts both will be searching for their first win of the 2020 season when they collide Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Minnesota is coming off a tip-your-cap loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, while Indianapolis, which was heavily favored in Week 1, was diced up by Gardner Minshew in Jacksonville.
There are no moral victories in the NFL, but the Vikings put up 34 points against a good Packers defense in their first game in the post-Stefon Diggs era. The Kirk Cousins-Adam Thielen connection was alive and well, and Dalvin Cook showcased his nose for the endzone.
To put it simply, we think the Vikings are a better team than the Colts. Indy also will be tasked with tweaking its rushing attack after losing feature back Marlon Mack to a season-ending Achilles injury against the Jaguars.
New Orleans Saints at (+6) Las Vegas Raiders
Everyone left the most anticipated Week 1 game talking about Tom Brady’s underwhelming Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut, and understandably so. But lost in all of that chatter was that the Saints didn’t look great either.
Drew Brees was pretty meh, completing 18 of 30 pass attempts for 160 yards against an OK Bucs defense. But far more concerning for New Orleans is the ankle injury to Michael Thomas, who’s expected to miss his team’s “Monday Night Football” showdown with the 1-0 Las Vegas Raiders.
With Thomas sidelined, this matchup actually could be pretty close. Between the bright lights and making their debut in Las Vegas, the Raiders should be all sorts of fired up as they look to make a statement against one of the league’s best. With a Week 3 matchup in New Orleans against the Packers looming, this also could be a trap game for the Saints.
Six points is a fair amount for a home dog, so roll with the Silver and Black.
Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images
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