This article is part of our FanDuel Sportsbook series.
Week 1 was a mixed bag, though we were one overtime stop away from going 3-1, with the one futures bet obviously unable to be graded yet. Here's what transpired:
- Dalvin Cook over 15.5 fantasy points (-110) –> 25.0 fantasy points = win
- Cardinals to win and over 46.5 (+330) –> Cardinals 27 - Lions 27 in overtime = loss, and a tough one at that, with the Cardinals ahead 27-24 in overtime. Those who took the Cardinals +2.5 and the over at +300 were happy.
- Texans and Saints to both score 25+ (+260) –> Saints 30 - Texans 28 = win
- Eagles to win by 14+ (+110) –> Eagles 32 - Redskins 27 = loss
- Chiefs, Patriots, Saints, Rams all make playoffs (+160) = pending, though all four teams won their openers
There weren't many really fun odds this week, but that shouldn't stop us from finding good opportunities.
Washington under 20.5 points (-118)
Washington is a six-point home underdog against the Cowboys after an impressive first-half showing in Week 1 against the Eagles, going out to a 17-0 lead before eventually relinquishing it in a 32-27 loss. They were actually 10-point underdogs in that game with a 45-point total that is 1.5 points lower than this week's game, and they needed a touchdown with six seconds left to reach 27 points. The Cowboys' defense is stronger than the Eagles', and now that Washington isn't going to come out and surprise, reaching 21 points is going to be tougher in Week 2.
David Johnson under 54.5 rushing yards (-118)
The Cardinals are 12.5-point road underdogs against the Ravens, who are coming off a 49-point victory in Miami last week. The game total of 46.5 isn't overly high, with the Cardinals team total sitting at 16.5. Instead of deciding whether the Cardinals get to that level, or if the Ravens can cover that large spread against a team playing a 10:00 a.m. body clock game, let's focus on one of the Cardinals' top offensive options, who could struggle to get enough touches out of the backfield to hit 55 rushing yards. Given the spread, my initial inclination was to take under 14.5 fantasy points (-123), but Johnson's work in the passing game could be enough to get him there, especially if they are throwing while trying to come back. So instead of letting that happen, why not focus on the rushing yard total with the expectation he simply won't have enough carries against a good defense?
Sony Michel anytime second half TD scorer (+190)
There are a plethora of ways to attack this Patriots-Dolphins game, with the Patriots -18.5 the least exciting, though there have been enough people writing and talking about how that's simply too big of a spread for a road team, making them jump on the Dolphins +18.5. I considered the Patriots team total of 34.0 (-116), which is up from 33.5, and while I think that's a solid bet, the odds aren't overly exciting; in fact, they're worse that just taking them to cover or for the game to go over 48.5. Instead, let's once again focus on the players, with Michel having the best anytime touchdown scorer odds at -145, though those odds also pay less that the previous team ones because it's more likely to happen. Instead, let's rely on the Patriots running out the game in the second half and using Michel to put the nails in the coffin (since you know there will likely be more than one). Looking back at his previous rushing touchdowns, he scored in the second half of the Super Bowl last season, the first and second halves of the AFC Championship game, and three first-half touchdowns in the divisional round. A first-half touchdown for Michel sits at +165 and is a very reasonable bet in its own right, or you could really take it up a notch and hit the Michel first touchdown scorer at +500, with the last scorer paying +550.
JuJu Smith-Schuster over 14.5 fantasy points (-110)
A 47.5-point total isn't overly high for Sunday's Seahawks-Steelers game, but Pittsburgh is favored at home and Smith-Schuster is ready to break out against a defense that allowed more than 400 passing yards to Andy Dalton last weekend in Seattle. There are high expectations for the Steelers' passing game Sunday, with Smith-Schuster the clear top option ahead of Donte Moncrief, James Washington and Vance McDonald. His -120 odds for a touchdown are tied with James Conner for the best in the game, and his pedestrian stat line of six catches for 78 yards last week would breach 14.5 if he matched it against the Bengals and found the end zone. For additional reference, his receiving yards prop this week is 83.5 (-118 under, -108 over).
Saints and Rams to both score 25+ points (+215)
The Saints-Rams game has a total of 51.5, the third-highest total for Week 2, trailing only the Eagles vs. Falcons at 52.5 and Chiefs vs. Raiders at 53.5. However, the over for Saints-Rams is now at -120 (+100 for the under) whereas the overs in the other games are still at -110, showing some optimism from betters that this one is hitting at least 52. There are a number of ways to bet points in this one (as is the case for every game), but both scoring at least 25 seems like a reasonable play given the odds, especially with the Saints team total favoring over 26.5 (-108 versus -114 for under) and the Rams favoring over 27 (-108 versus -112 for under). The previous regular-season meeting between these teams was a 45-35 Saints victory in New Orleans, though the NFC Championship game rematch wasn't quite as prolific, with the Rams taking home a 26-23 win (that game had a 55-point total). Needless to say, this game is expected to be close – the Rams are two-point favorites – and both teams are likely going in thinking they need to put lots of points on the board. If you're feeling particularly wild, the odds of each team scoring at least one touchdown and at least one field goal in each half are +1300.