After the first week of NFL The season has had tons of surprises in store for us in terms of games of chance, we are in week 2.
If you read last week’s article, you could have benefited from a ton of winning trends. The Under hit in 12 of 16 games, Sean McVay improved to 6-1 ATS (against the spread) and SU (straight) in Week 1 games of his career, and four of five underdogs by 5 to 10. points covered – with three outright victories.
This week, FOX Sports Research is back with some big trends from Week 2 to hopefully help you make some money this weekend. We’ve dissected general trends and more coach- and player-specific trends.
Here is an overview of the major trends that stood out:
Big underdogs cover week 2
Since 1966, 7-9 point underdogs have covered at a rate of 53.3%, with a record of 64-56-4 ATS.
Three teams currently correspond to this ranking as of Sunday:
Las Vegas Raiders (+8.5 against Buffalo Bills)
Los Angeles Rams (+7.5 against San Francisco 49ers)
New York Jets (+9 vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Home underdogs cover Week 2
Since 2010, home underdogs are 42-23-2 ATS (64.6%) in Week 2, with the Over hitting in 36 of those games (53.7%).
Seven teams are in this situation this weekend:
Jacksonville Jaguars (+.3.5 vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
Tennessee Titans (+3 vs. Los Angeles Chargers)
Los Angeles Rams (+7.5 against San Francisco 49ers)
Arizona Cardinals (+4 vs. New York Giants)
New England Patriots (+3 vs. Miami Dolphins)
Carolina Panthers (+3 vs. New Orleans Saints)
Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5 against Cleveland Browns)
The Under arrives in week 2
The Under has historically hit in Week 2. Since 1986, the Under has hit in 305 of 575 games with 16 pushes in that span (54.6%). If you go back to 2000, the percentage drops to 51.5%, but rises to 54.8% if you look at Week 2 games since 2015.
Reminder: The Under struck out in 12 of 16 games last week.
Mike Tomlin takes over (again)
We said it last week, and we’ll say it again despite a dominant performance from the 49ers: Mike Tomlin covers as an underdog. This will be the second week in a row that he has been a local underdog. During his coaching career, he is 13-6-2 ATS (68.4%) and 12-9 SU (57.1%) as a home underdog in the season regular.
Additionally, Tomlin and the Steelers will play on Monday Night Football. For his career, the 16th year head coach is 13-11 ATS (54.2%) and an astonishing 20-4 SU (83.3%) in games Monday through during his career.
If you want more data showing Tomlin’s dominance, he is 17-15 ATS (53.1%) and 25-6-1 SU (80.6%) against the Browns in the regular season for his career.
Sean McDermott thrives as heavy favorite
While we said the big underdogs would cover Week 2, Sean McDermott and the Bills are the exceptions. Since his first season in Buffalo in 2017, McDermott is 8-2 ATS (80%) and 9-1 SU (90%) as a 7-9 point favorite in the regular season. Josh Allen has been the starting quarterback in nine of those 10 matchups, and the Bills are an 8.5-point favorite against Las Vegas on Sunday.
Bryce Young could bounce back
No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young struggled in his NFL debut last week, but that was to be expected. Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, quarterbacks drafted with the first overall pick are 5-13 ATS (27.8%) and 3-14-1 SU (17.6%) when starting the season. week 1.
However, recent data has shown that there could be some upside for these quarterbacks in Week 2. Since 2010, rookie quarterbacks drafted first overall are 7-2 against the spread (77.8%) and 3-6 SU (33.3%) in their second career start. Below are the nine signal-callers who fit that bill during this period, along with their respective performances.
2021: Trevor Lawrence, 0-1 ATS and SU (lost 23-10 to Denver Broncos, didn’t cover +6)
2020: Joe Burrow, 1-0 ATS and 0-1 SU (lost 35-30 to the Browns, covered +5.5)
2019: Kyler Murray, 1-0 ATS and 0-1 SU (lost 23-17 to Baltimore Ravens, covered +13)
2018: Baker Mayfield, 1-0 ATS and 1-0 SU (won 12-9 vs. Ravens, covered +3)
2016: Jared Goff, 0-1 ATS and 0-1 SU (lost 49-21 to Saints, didn’t cover +7.5)
2015: Jameis Winston, 1-0 ATS and 1-0 SU (won 26-19 vs. Saints, covered +9.5)
2012: Andrew Luck, 1-0 ATS and 1-0 SU (won 23-20 against the Minnesota Vikings, covered +3)
2011: Cam Newton, 1-0 ATS and 1-0 SU (lost 30-23 to the Green Bay Packers, covered +10)
2010: Sam Bradford, 1-0 ATS and 0-1 SU (lost 16-14 to Raiders, covered +3.5)
Matt LaFleur dominates as underdog
Despite Green Bay’s dominant win over the Chicago Bears last week, the Packers are underdogs for the second week in a row. Matt LaFleur’s team finished with one point last week and currently receives 1.5 points against the Atlanta Falcons this week.
We found that LaFleur has held this spot 18 times before in the regular season and went a whopping 14-4 ATS (77.8%) and 12-6 SU (66.7%) as a ‘oppressed. That being said, a guy named Aaron Rodgers was at center for 16 of those 18 starts – but Jordan Love is now 2-0 ATS for his career.
Love recorded the highest passer rating of any quarterback in Week 1 at 123.2 and was also the only player to throw three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Tua Tagovailoa is perfect against the Patriots
The title says it all, as Tua Tagovailoa is a perfect 4-0 ATS and SU against the New England Patriots. After his stellar performance last week, he also climbed to +700 to win the MVP award – behind Patrick Mahomes.
Against the Chargers, he threw for a Week 1 best total of 466 yards and was one of three quarterbacks to throw for three touchdowns. His passer rating of 111.8 was also the second-best among all players in Week 1.