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Without further ado, Here are our best bets and picks for Week 2 of the NFL season.
Jen Piacenti (1-0): Raiders +9.5
I’ll take the 9.5 points for Las Vegas, which is the largest spread on the slate. The Bills did not look sharp last weekend, losing in overtime to a Zach WIlson-led Jets team. Yes, I know the Jets defense is elite, but I expect more from a team that has been a Super Bowl contender for the past three years. I do expect Buffato to bounce back at home and for Josh Allen to take better care of the ball, but the Raiders could easily keep this closer than 9.5. After all, Las Vegas just upset the Broncos, who had won 20 of their last 23 home openers before Las Vegas made it 20-4.
Kyle Wood (1-0): Buccaneers -2.5
Justin Fields played the Buccaneers once before. It did not go well. As a rookie in 2021, he coughed up five turnovers in a 38-3 loss. No, this Tampa Bay team is not the same one that caused so much havoc for the first-year pro, but there are plenty of holdovers. Devin White, Shaquil Barrett, Vita Vea and Antoine Winfield Jr. are all still there, giving Todd Bowles’s defense disruptors at every level. Kirk Cousins had three giveaways last week in an upset loss to the Buccaneers, who shut down the run on the road. Baker Mayfield is more than capable of moving this offense up and down the field against a Bears defense that allowed 38 points in the opener. What’s more, Chicago has lost 11 games in a row and is 2–9 against the spread during that stretch. Back the Bucs at home.
Michael Fabiano (0-1): Chiefs -2.5 over Jaguars
It’s hard for me to fathom the Chiefs starting the regular season 0-2, and I think they’ll cover a small spread in a road game against the Jaguars. In his career, Mahomes has been the Chiefs starting quarterback 11 times when they’ve been a 2.5-point favorite or less (K.C. has only been an underdog eight times with Mahomes under center). In those games, the Chiefs are 7-4 ATS. I’d be out on this wager if Travis Kelce were inactive, but I’ll take Kansas City -2.5 if their superstar tight end is back in action.
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Craig Ellenport (1-0): Packers -0.5
In the Packers’ rout of Chicago last week, they showed that Jordan Love can be a winning quarterback while also reminding us that they have a very good defense. Green Bay sacked Justin Fields four times and forced two turnovers. The Falcons, while they’re coming off a Week 1 win, did not look all that impressive against a mediocre team with a rookie quarterback. The Panthers were within one score of Atlanta until late in the game – and they outgained the Falcons. When this game opened with Green Bay favored by half a point, smart money came in on the Packers and the line quickly jumped to 1.5. Green Bay will win by much more than that.
Gilberto Manzano (1-0): Ravens +3.5
Lamar Jackson had a subpar performance in his first game with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, but he stayed committed to the pass-heavy system, despite not having tight end Mark Andrews, who practiced Wednesday. Look for Jackson to find a comfort zone with his wideout trio of Zay Flowers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman against the Bengals, and for Monken to unleash his full playbook, something he didn’t need to do vs. the Texans.
Matt Verderame (1-0): Titans +2.5
Give me the Titans all day. Tennessee may not have the better quarterback in its matchup with the Chargers, but it has a much better coach. The Titans are also at home, drawing a team coming from the West Coast and playing in the early window on Sunday. While Los Angeles is more talented, it also gave up 536 yards to the Dolphins and could be without star edge rusher Joey Bosa as he deals with a balky hamstring. Look for Derrick Henry to pound the ball, Treylon Burks to feast on the outside, and Tennessee’s defensive line to pressure Justin Herbert into a mistake or two.
Conor Orr (0-1): Rams +6.5
Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay will always produce sparks when they come together. Historically, Shanahan has gotten the best of McVay in the regular season. I’m not going to talk up the winning streak more than I need to, but I do think this is a good opportunity for the Rams to show that Week 1’s victory over Seattle wasn’t just a fluke. Will they beat the best team in football? No. Will they come close enough to make you some money? Yes. Trust the guy who is 0-1 this season!
Bill Enright (1-0): 49ers -6.5
The 49ers’ dominance in 2022 carried over into Week 1 of the ’23 season when San Francisco looked every bit like the best team in the NFL thanks to a 30-7 drubbing against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Their defense is ferocious and their offense plays mistake-free football/ What more can a sports bettor ask for? The 49ers are on the road again but this time stay on the West Coast with a trip down south to Los Angeles. Sure, the Rams had an impressive outing in Week 1 as well, but Matthew Stafford and crew will quickly snap back into reality when they take the field against their NFC West rivals in Week 2. Take the 49ers to win by at least a touchdown!
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