Nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL, not even when your name is Ryan Fitzpatrick and you are coming off your best career season, hoping that your exploits will land you a speedy deal with the Jets. The same story is true for NFL odds, which change quickly and favorites can easily turn to underdogs (like we’ve seen with the Week 1 NFL lines for the Patriots @ Cardinals since the announcement of Tom Brady’s suspension was made). Even with all that, our focus on analyzing early NFL lines for the 2016 will never change. Wanna join us in looking at the early online sportsbooks previews and predictions for the upcoming NFL season? Hope you do because we have some sumptuous 2016 NFL Week 2 Free picks prepared for you below.
Analyzing The Winning Predictions For 2016 NFL Week 2
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-2)
NFL Week 2 Free Pick: NY Jets (+2)
The New York Jets and Bills are two teams that have been hard to talk about in this offseason, given the nature of their yet-to-be-solved contract situations, especially at starting QB. Things, are, however, starting to move in the right direction for the Jets, who awarded Jets Pro Bowl defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson a record five-year, $86 million contract, with reports suggesting that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will soon be getting his deal completed soon. Rex Ryan and the Bills, meanwhile, don’t appear to be making much headway with Tyrod Taylor’s contract; something that is likely to continue dragging late into the offseason hence affecting Buffalo’s preparation for the new season. So, while I am fully aware that the Jets have lost their last five straight overall meetings against the Bills (including replica losses of 22-17 in their two meetings last season); I’d be willing to punch my ticket on New York’s better preparation for the new season to prove as a key difference in this game, allowing Wilkerson and Co. to deliver an upset win in this early-season clash.
Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Cleveland
NFL Week 2 Free Pick: Baltimore (-3)
The $132.5 million spent by Baltimore since Super Bowl 50—fourth highest guaranteed money in the league–is an indication that the Ravens mean business in 2016. After all, the majority of that money spent on filling up the holes in Baltimore’s troubled O and D lines from last year. Obviously, it remains to be seen how the offseason investments will indeed translate into value on the field, but on paper, the expectation is that Baltimore will be playing much better than it did in its dismal 5-11 campaign in 2015. The same cannot be said for the in-transition Cleveland, who still have plenty of holes to plug in the team. In this Week 2 fixture, the Ravens—winners of 3 of their last 5 games against Cleveland, including a 33-27 win at the FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland, OH) last season—should be your preferred NFL pick.
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (-11.5)
NFL Week 2 Free Pick: Carolina (-11.5)
The last time the Panthers played the Niners in the 2014 NFL playoffs, a game the 49ers won 23-10, Colin Kaepernick was a household name while Cam Newton was an error-laden quarterback. Fast forward to the start of the 2016 season, Kaepernick is fighting for a starting QB job after a pathetic show in 2015 while Newton is the reigning MVP in the league coming off a season for the record books. That’s the life in the NFL, and you gotta know your study the flow and roll with the tide. With that in mind, and the fact that the Panthers are in another stratosphere compared the rebuilding Niners; you’d be a fool not to pick Newton and Carolina for the win and points in this clash over Kaep and San Francisco. FYI, the Niners had lost their four straight previous games against Carolina prior to the win in the 2014 playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals
NFL Week 2 Free Pick: Tampa Bay (+9)
Since the 23-7 win by Tampa Bay over the Cardinals in 1992, these two teams have played 7 times (with Tampa Bay owning a 4-3 edge in those meetings). More notably, though, none of the winning team in the seven-game stretch has won a game by more than 7 points. Given their last meeting came in 2013, one may disapprove of these statistics, calling them stale, but in reality, they point towards an important trend—which is that the meetings between these two teams tend to be tight affairs. Granted, 2002 Heisman winner Carson Palmer and the Cardinals are a more formidable unit, if the past couple of seasons are anything to go by, so it is no surprise that Arizona is favored highly here. Nonetheless, Tampa Bay proved it could play tough under 2013 (and youngest-ever) Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, so the Bucs could should be able to play even better in 2016 now that the team surrounded the QB with better weapons to work with in his second year. Therefore, even though I have no doubts about Arizona’s capacity to get the win here, I expect Winston and the Bucs to be a handful, playing their absolute best to at least cover the huge 9-point spread.