The Dolphins are Awful, the Ravens odds are Tricky, and the Browns are the Browns
The Spread Doesn’t Even Matter; You Take The Patriots Against The Dolphins.
There is no shortage of gas in the Miami Dolphins efforts to tank throughout the 2019 NFL season. Before Game 1, I felt as though it was just too difficult to stay away from taking the over on the 4.5 win total for 2019 and, while the team could still cover that bet, I do not believe that Week 2 will be the start of any sort of turnaround.
It is almost as if no point spread would be enough to cause me to believe that the Dolphins will cover against the New England Patriots in Week 2. That is particularly true when learning that the line is only 18.5 points.
The Patriots looked extremely fluid on offense and very stingy on defense against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. Surely, the Steelers are a bit depleted, losing their best wide receiver in Antonio Brown and receiving a lackluster performance from Donte Moncrief in his first true performance as a Steeler. That said, the Patriots seem to have somehow gotten stronger from last year, when the team won yet another Super Bowl. Phillip Dorsett had an excellent game, and he will most likely drop to the fourth slot on the depth chart with Brown joining Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon going into Week 2.
The Baltimore Ravens put up 59 points against the Dolphins in Week 1. The Patriots could certainly come close to that point total. Where will the Dolphins offense come from? The team could not even stick with the same quarterback through the entirety of the first game. Patriots must be the pick.
In The Battle Of The Birds, Do Not Fall Too In Love With The Ravens
Are the Dolphins that bad? Probably. Are the Ravens that good? That is a bit harder to discern after Week 1. Before the game, everyone was questioning whether Lamar Jackson was the franchise quarterback for the Ravens for the foreseeable future. After a beat down of the Dolphins, everyone is ready to crown Jackson MVP.
Take a step back and do not overreact. Give Jackson his praise for completing 17 of his 20 passes, racking up 324 yards and 5 touchdowns, but do not expect those same stats in Week 2. And do not forget that his primary wideouts are a rookie (Marquise Brown) and a decent 26-year-old veteran (Willie Snead IV).
The Ravens go from the Dolphins to the Cardinals, which is a team that seems to have outperformed expectations during Week 1, coming back to tie the Detroit Lions. The Ravens should absolutely start the season 2-0, but should they be giving up 11.5 points to the Cardinals? That is a lot of points to lay unless you are playing the Dolphins. The Cardinals should keep it close, and they get my pick during Week 2.
Jump Back On Board The Browns Bandwagon, At Least For Week 2
The Dallas Cowboys were pushed aside for the Cleveland Browns as America’s Team going into the 2019 NFL season. A few people may have fallen off the Browns bandwagon after a sad 30-point loss to the Tennessee Titans at home.
Realistically, the expectations were not high enough for the Titans (strong defense and solid offense) going into the regular season and there were too many people riding high on the Browns without the organization proving anything other than an ability to group together a bunch of interesting names.
That said, the Browns should learn from their defeat and go into a very high-profile Monday Night Football matchup against the Jets refocused and with a chip on their shoulders. Expect Baker Mayfield to bounce back against a Jets team that looked like it just did not want to win an important first week AFC East matchup against its rival Buffalo Bills. The Jets will not be able to do on defense what the Titans did to the Browns and the Browns defense seemed unready for what turned out to be an explosive Titans offense. Giving up only one point (Update: Line is now -2.5), even though it is a game at the Jets, I would absolutely go with the Browns.
The Patriots should beat the Dolphins by more than 18.5 points;
The Ravens will probably win against the Cardinals, but not cover the 11.5 point spread; and
It is more likely that the Jets start the season 0-2 than the Browns, so go with Cleveland.
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Darren Heitner is the Founder of HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C., where he serves as legal counsel to some of the most successful athletes, sports agents and other individuals and companies. He is the founder of Sports Agent Blog, a niche publication that covers the entirety of the sports agency industry. Darren contributed to Forbes for 6 years and Inc. Magazine for 4 years, covering the business of sports. He wrote published 2 sports law treatises published by the American Bar Association.