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Red Zone Returns – Week 2

One of the worst performances of Josh Allen’s season and a bitter bad beat cost us in Week 1 but we’re back for Week 2 of the NFL season with five more bets.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen is better than what he dished up in Week 1 of the NFL season. He had a shocker. The sort of game that a player of his calibre can chalk up as a bad day at the office before moving on to the next. Back home and no doubt desperate to right the wrongs of his horror three-interception performance against the New York Jets, expect Allen to take control of this one.

The Las Vegas Raiders picked up a nice win over the Denver Broncos without being great. Jimmy Garoppolo played the most Garoppolo-like of games. A repeat of that against a smarting Bills outfit won’t be enough.

Las Vegas will hang in a lot of games but Buffalo, even with what happened last week, is a different story. The Raiders offence needs to go up a gear to keep up with what is expected from the Bills. The Bills, after all, are playing with the most expensive roster in the NFL. We know better than to assume that will translate into Super Bowl LVIII success, but can be confident that it will translate into a much-improved performance on what we saw in Week 1.

Best Bet Buffalo Bills -8.5 - $1.90*

San Francisco 49ers @ LA Rams

Boy did the San Francisco 49ers look good last week…

San Franciso at one stage had 199 yards against their name to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ one yard.

Doubts around Brock Purdy are already starting to quiet down. Just this week he has been labelled a Top 15 quarterback in the NFL and like a ‘young Russell Wilson.’

He moves well, extends the play and gives time for his menu of options to reveal themselves before making the right decision. The 23-year-old threw for 220 yards with two touchdowns. Importantly, he didn’t throw an interception. Given how quiet Deebo Samuel was in all of this, the expectation is for the 49ers to improve and the defence – with a match-fit Nick Bosa – to do the same.

Kyle Shanahan already has the wood over Sean McVay to be 7-0 against the spread since 2020 and there is no question that he comes into this one with the better team still getting better.

The Rams will give the 49ers a lot more trouble than the Steelers. Aaron Donald will put pressure on Purdy and give us a good idea of how he’s really progressed through an injury-impacted off-season. But the 49ers will cause trouble of their own in defence. They can dominate both sides of the ball and should do here to win a relatively tight one.

Best Bet San Francisco 49ers by 1-13 Points - $2.20*

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals

It can’t get much worse for Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. With starters dragged early such was the deficit they faced, the Bengals will be rested and ready to host the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 of the NFL season.

Embarrassing against the Cleveland Browns, Burrow completed only 14 of 31 passes for 82 yards. He missed the preseason with an injury. In hindsight, some rust isn’t a surprise. With another week on the field and Ja’Marr Chase sure to improve on his 39 yards on five catches, we can anticipate a much better performance from Cinccy’s leading men.

Meanwhile, the Ravens should welcome back Mark Andrews for this one. He is the final piece to their new-look offence which had its moments last week. Lamar Jackson somewhat struggled but, again, he didn’t play throughout the preseason. Seeing him struggle in his first game since November commanding a new offence wasn’t a shock.

It’s difficult to write either team off in this divisional matchup. Both have Super Bowl LVII aspirations and a win this week against a divisional rival will be a big step in that journey. We can, however, rely on Chase. He has been a target monster in his four games against the Ravens. Given his struggles last week and the concerns around Baltimore’s secondary, there is a good chance Burrow has a keen eye on Chase as he looks to throw himself back into form.

Best Bet Ja Marr Chase Anytime Touchdown Scorer - $2.20*

Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars

This is a big game for the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes knows it. After losing in Week 1 and facing the prospect of an 0-2 start and the pressures that come with that for Super Bowl champions, it’s important the Cheifs leave Jacksonville with a win.

They almost got the job done last week despite playing poorly. Playing without Travis Kelce and Chris Jones, Mahomes still found 11 different receivers while the Chiefs defence had some fine moments of their own. Both seem to be trending well to play this week.

Mahomes finds a way. Only a handful of incredibly frustrating drops stopped him from doing so last week and he’s 10-1 straight up on the road following a loss. Trevor Lawrence, on the other hand, is without a win over Mahomes. The Jaguars haven’t beaten the Chiefs since 2010. While the Jags are improved and Lawrence is well on his way to being an MVP candidate, this looks a step too far for them given Mahomes motivation and the potential for Kelce and Jones to both be out there. If the two influential Chiefs join Mahomes on Monday, the -3.5 looks like the play.

Best Bet Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 - $1.90*

Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions

Falling painstakingly short of the Under 44.5 last week as Mac Jones threw a pick-six to make it 45 points, we’re going back to the well in this one.

The Miami Dolphins are one of the most popular teams in the NFL at the moment. Their potential is sky-high and they well and truly started playing towards it last week. However, we’re considering how much we can trust two things here:

Can Tua Tagovailoa repeat his 466 yards while Tyreek Hill finds 215 of his own with two touchdowns on 11 catches?

Or, will the New England Patriots perform well again after making things awfully difficult for an elite Philadelphia Eagles offence?

I’ll take Belichick and the Patriots defence to repeat their Week 1 performance. They held the Eagles to just 251 yards on 13 drives and the expectation is for them to control the clock and limit the number of opportunities Tagovailoa and company have with the ball. Mac Jones threw the ball relatively well but Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott should provide more production on the ground – again chewing up the clock.

It’s not the most exciting of plays for one of the most exciting teams in the league, but the Dolphins are unlikely to have the same success as last week against a tough Patriots defence.

Best Bet Under 46.5 Points - $1.92*

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