NFL Week 2 Odds: Best Spot Bets Include Browns Getting Clowned in Pittsburgh

The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint, and one of the best ways to attack the slate is to locate look-ahead lines to find an edge. Our NFL betting picks have found some of these situations, including a letdown spot for the Browns in Pittsburgh.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2023 11:02 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers NFL
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Do me a favor. Open your phone and look at your calendar for the next month.

If you’re like me, that sucker is packed with appointments, deadlines, birthdays, and other important dates and reminders, instantly sending a cold gush of anxiety to your amygdala.

The NFL schedule can have the same effect on teams, as they plod their way through 18 weeks of football. That’s why each week, I’ll be combing through NFL odds to find the best situational spots to consider when making your NFL betting picks.

Week 2 sets up well, with overreaction as the name of the game. Here are my favorite letdown, look-ahead, and schedule spots for the NFL Week 2 odds.

Letdown Spot: Cleveland Browns (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Battle of Ohio was an ugly one, with the Cleveland Browns shutting down the Cincinnati Bengals for three measly points, with an average of only 2.6 yards per play.

Offensively, the Browns weren’t anything to write home about, eventually breaking away late in the fourth quarter with Cincy waving the white flag from there on.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson was all over the place (16 of 29 for 154 yards) and salvaged a shit day with his legs. Yet, Watson and the Browns were celebrating on social media as if they’d just advanced to the Super Bowl.

That one-sided win over the rival Bengals sets up Cleveland for a potential letdown spot in Week 2.

The Browns leave town and travel to the Steel City for Monday Night Football, where the prideful Pittsburgh Steelers are licking their wounds after a Week 1 ass-waxing at the hands of San Francisco.

The Steelers were dropped 30-7 at home and that was enough to flip the look-ahead spread of Pittsburgh -1 to an official Week 2 opener of +1. Early money ran with that and has pushed this AFC North spread to as far as Cleveland -2.5.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has owned the Browns during his tenure, boasting a 25-6-1 straight up record and 17-14-1 against the spread mark against Cleveland since 2007. Put Pittsburgh on its own field for those matchups, and Tomlin is a perfect 16-0 SU and 10-5-1 ATS against the visiting Browns.

What’s more, Tomlin is one of best bounce-back coaches in the land with his Steelers going 57-33 SU and 50-39-1 ATS off a loss. The Browns, on the other hand, have gone 32-51 SU and 36-45-2 ATS when coming off a victory in that same span, including 1-6 SU and ATS off a win last season.

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Look-Ahead Spot: New York Giants (-4.5) at Arizona Cardinals

Forget looking ahead. The New York Giants don't know where to look after getting blasted from all angles in Sunday night’s 40-0 squash at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys.

New York was absolutely embarrassed at home, with a heavy downpour setting the scene for its depressing effort in Week 1. Luckily, the G-Men get to swap out that soggy setting for the dry desert air when they travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals in Week 2.

New York is a 4.5-point road favorite inside State Farm Stadium but must be careful not to look past the Cardinals and to a very challenging Week 3.

That sounds easier than it is, due to the fact the Giants have a short turnaround after Arizona and play the mighty San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football on September 21.

Focusing on the Cardinals could be extra challenging considering the Giants asked for this double dose of the West Coast before the schedule came out, planning to stay on the left side of the country for the next two weeks.

Arizona is projected to be a terrible team in 2023 but showed fight in its season opener, challenging another NFC East member, Washington, in a 20-16 loss in which the Cardinals covered as 7-point underdogs.

Big Blue had better focus on their Week 2 foe rather than juggle travel logistics and look ahead to a short-week showdown in San Francisco the following Thursday.

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Schedule Spot: Las Vegas Raiders (+9.5) at Buffalo Bills 

The schedule isn’t grinding too much in Week 2, but the Las Vegas Raiders do find themselves in a sticky spot when they head to Buffalo.

Las Vegas is playing its second straight road game after escaping the thin air of Mile High with a win over the Broncos in Week 1. The Raiders now head to Orchard Park, where they will hold a one-day rest advantage over the Buffalo Bills, who play a Monday opener.

That edge could be negated by a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, which is 10 a.m. ET back in Sin City. Those early starts haven’t been kind to the Silver and Black, going back to their time in Oakland. The Raiders are 6-13 ATS in 1 p.m. ET starts since 2017 with a 5-8 ATS mark (0-3 ATS last season) since moving to Vegas.

Mix in the potential for a letdown spot after that opening victory over the Broncos, and a sour situational sandwich is stacking up for the Raiders in Week 2 — despite Las Vegas getting almost double digits from the look-ahead line.

FYI: Buffalo is a 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS at home in the first three weeks of the schedule under Sean McDermott (since 2017). That includes covering as 10-point chalk vs. Tennessee in Week 2 last season (41-7 win).

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