Week 1 of the NFL season didn’t produce a ton of upsets. The biggest underdog to win outright was Tennessee, which was a five-point ‘dog at Cleveland, but wound up stomping the much-hyped Browns, 43-13.
Buffalo, Oakland, and Green Bay also won as underdogs, but none of them were getting more than a field goal.
This week’s schedule offers a handful of opportunities for truly significant upsets as five teams are getting 6.5 points or more in the Week 2 NFL odds. They are, in order of point spread …
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6.5 at Carolina Panthers
- Oakland Raiders +8.0 vs. Kansas City Chiefs
- Jacksonville Jaguars +8.5 at Houston Texans
- Arizona Cardinals +13.5 at Baltimore Ravens
- Miami Dolphins +18.5 vs. New England Patriots
Which Big Underdog has the Best Chance?
Throw out the Cardinals and Dolphins.
Miami is in full-on tank mode and lost by 49 points in Week 1 at home (59-10 vs Baltimore). Now they host the Super Bowl favorites. Pass.
The Cardinals showed spunk, coming back to tie the Lions (27-27), but were incredibly lucky to escape without a loss. They trailed 24-6 in the fourth quarter, looked hopeless for about 45 minutes, and do not have the horses on defense to slow down the Ravens.
Among the other three, the Raiders actually look like the liveliest ‘dog, something that would have been shocking to say just 48 hours ago.
Oakland played with an Antonio Brown-shaped chip on its shoulder in Week 1, beating the Broncos 24-16 in a game they controlled from start to finish.
In Week 2, they face the best offense in the league in the form of Kansas City. But they are also getting the prolific Chiefs at the right time. KC just lost dynamic playmaker Tyreek Hill for the foreseeable future and will be flying across the country for a second straight road game after visiting Jacksonville in Week 1.
Just like last year, the Chiefs’ defense looked suspect against the Jaguars, giving up 26 points and 428 total yards to an offense that was being piloted by sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew for the majority of the game.
The Raiders defense, meanwhile, looked much improved against the Broncos. The unit held Denver to just 344 total yards and pitched a first-half shutout despite the team committing nine penalties for 62 yards and generating zero takeaways.
Even last season, which marked a low point for the Raider franchise, they were able to play division-rival Kansas City close at home. The Raiders trailed by just a field goal late in the fourth before ultimately falling 40-33.
No one is saying that the Raiders are likely to beat the Chiefs on Sunday. But among the big Week 2 underdogs, they are the best chance for a big payday.