Sunday Scaries: The NFL Week 2 Bets You Should Avoid

Gambling is a risk. And with risk comes reward… or bankruptcy.

Part of gambling is knowing when to step away from the table, or fold your cards or cash out. Take whatever metaphor suits you, I don’t care.

Every weekend this fall, sports betting “prognosticators” will GUARANTEE the games you need to wager on, their locks.

We think there should be a list of games to avoid.

Welcome to another installment of the Sunday Scaries, where Deadspin gives you four bets to stay the hell away from.

We’ve made it to Week 2, thankfully without a COVID outbreak on any team. One Chiefs fan, however, did test positive after being surveilled through stadium contract tracing.

But Week 2, like Week 1, can be wildly unpredictable. A smart bettor would stay away from the NFL for the month of September, but I dont think such a person exists.

If you plan to bet today, here are a few spreads you should not touch.

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Giants @ Bears (-5.5)

Giants @ Bears (-5.5)

Illustration for article titled Sunday Scaries: The NFL Week 2 Bets You Should Avoid
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You’re not going to want to bet or watch this game. These teams are… terrible and are a risky bet on either side of the spread.

The Giants offensive line was so atrocious against the Steelers defense that they should be repealed and replaced with something — anything — else. The big guys up front left no space for Saquon Barkley to move. The Pro Bowl running back rushed for six yards on Monday night. That’s not a typo. Six yards for the game. You don’t think Khalil Mack (questionable) and the Bears D will run through the Giants line again? You’re wrong.

The Giants suck. But Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense do n’ot look good either. Chicago beat a bad Lions team that fell apart last week. Even if the Bears win this week, they’ll be the worst 2-0 team in the league.

This is going to be a clusterfuck of a game. You shouldn’t have confidence in either pick.

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Washington @ Cardinals (-6.5)

Washington @ Cardinals (-6.5)

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Are either of these teams legit yet? Both upset division favorites last week but slow your roll on wondering if these teams are actually any good. We’ll know in a few weeks.

Second year QBs Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins looked better than expected last Sunday. But every September, one or two teams win a couple of games and are proclaimed as a “surprise” or “unexpected favorite.” Remember Minshew Mania last September? That team went 6-10. And three weeks into last season, the Lions were undefeated. By the end of the year, Detroit was 3-12-1.

Both Washington and Arizona can come back to earth today. With so much uncertainty, enjoy what could be a wild game but don’t bet it.

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Jaguars @ Titans (-7.5)

Jaguars @ Titans (-7.5)

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Another week, another Jacksonville game that scares me. The Jags surprised everyone (including yours truly) last week when they beat the heavily-favored Colts. Can they do it again to another division foe? Not sure. Will Minshew mania become a thing again? God, I hope not. But the line in this one scares the shit out of me. Tennessee’s Monday night game wouldn’t have been so close if their new kicker, Stephan Gostkowski, didn’t miss four kicks. Can he and the Tennessee offense, led by Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry, run up a score on a, dare I say, confident Jacksonville team on a short week?

The Titans should be able to handle it. Still, I’d stay away.

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Panthers @ Bucs (-8.5)

Panthers @ Bucs (-8.5)

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The Panthers, and RB Christian McCaffrey, are one of the biggest underdogs heading into Week 2 and for good reason. Unfortunately, Tom Brady-led teams rarely lose back-to-back games. But 8.5 points is a lot to cough up. Do you have confidence that a newly formed Bucs team can find their stride in Week 2? Bucs’ll win, sure. But the touchdown-plus point spread is too intimidating to touch.

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If you can’t resist…

If you can’t resist…

Last week I went 1-2 in my scaries picks. I was close to having a winning week then the Lions gave their game away.

Also I was wrong about the Jets, as usual. They look bad, as usual.

Like I told you, stay away from these games! You do not want to touch them.

But If you REALLY can’t resist here’s who I like in Week 2.

  • The native New Yorker in me really wants to take the Giants… and I will only because I think the game will be close between two truly terrible teams.
  • I took the Jags last week (+8) when the rest of the country didn’t give a shit about this game. I’m rolling with Jacksonville again. Bad kickers don’t just get better in less than a week. I like Gostkowski to have the yips and the Jags to keep it close enough to cover.
  • One of these teams will be humbled today. I think it will be Washington. Cardinals cover and win by a touchdown.
  • Brady tends to struggle in September. But this is definitely a winnable game for Tom and Co., and a blowout wouldn’t surprise me.

The line in this game has gone down from 9.5 since Thursday. 8.5 is still a lot of points but a better value if you can get it. Clearly, I don’t love this bet but — if I had to — i’d out my money on the Bucs to win big.

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