Week 2 NFL picks and best bets for the Sun’s handicapping contest


Ben Margot / AP

Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict celebrates after a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif.

Sun, Sep 15, 2019 (2 a.m.)

That didn’t take long.

In only the second week since the Sun’s handicapping contest implemented a two-point best bet, two of the four competitors are lining up on opposite sides. The cause of the week 2 dissension is an AFC West division showdown between the Oakland Raiders and visiting Kansas City Chiefs.

A similar push-and-pull has played out in sports books on the same game all week.

The Chiefs opened as high as a 9-point favorite, but big, early action on the Raiders pushed the spread down to 7. That’s where it stands now, and in the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook’s Supercontest, the official odds provider of our handicapping contest between four sports writers.

The majority of bettors are currently backing the Chiefs, with 71% of the midweek action at William Hill sports books on last year’s divisional champions.

Best bets went 3-1 in week 1 of our contest. Thanks to the disagreement, three wins is the best they can possibly perform in week 2.

Full picks for the contest, which requires six selections per week including a best bet, are available below.

Ray Brewer

Points: 4 (3-3)

Titans minus-3 vs. Colts

Cardinals plus-13 at Ravens

Bengals minus-2 vs. 49ers

Bears minus-2.5 at Broncos

Falcons plus-1.5 at Eagles

Two-point best bet: Redskins plus-5 vs. Cowboys. The Dallas offense isn’t this good. The Dallas defense isn’t that quick. Let’s not overact after last week’s great Cowboys performance. They will come back down to earth, especially when facing the rival Redskins.

Case Keefer

Points: 3 (3-3)

Titans minus-3 vs. Colts

Lions plus-2.5 vs. Chargers

Steelers minus-4 vs. Seahawks

Packers minus-3 vs. Vikings

Broncos plus-2.5 vs. Bears

Two-point best bet: Browns minus-2.5 at Jets. I tried to take advantage of a slightly stale line with my first two-pointer last week and failed. This is an extremely stale line — the Browns moved to a 6.5-point favorite after Sam Darnold was ruled out with mono — so I like my chances better this week.

Mike Grimala

Points: 3 (2-4)

Titans minus-3 vs. Colts

Chargers minus-2.5 at Lions

Patriots minus-18.5 at Dolphins

Steelers minus-4 vs. Seahawks

Falcons plus-1.5 vs. Eagles

Two-point best bet: Raiders plus-7 vs. Chiefs. The Raiders rallied around the Antonio Brown situation and played surprisingly well in Week 1, especially the defense. Look for that to continue this week when the Chiefs come to town minus top wideout Tyreek Hill.

Justin Emerson

Points: 3 (2-4)

Chargers minus-2.5 at Lions

Jaguars plus-9 at Texans

Steelers minus-4 vs. Seahawks

49ers plus-2 at Bengals

Rams minus-2.5 vs. Saints

Two-point best bet: Chiefs minus-7 at Raiders. The Raiders picked up a nice home win in week 1, but that was against the Broncos. The Chiefs are a powerhouse on a level the Raiders hope to match by the time they’re well established in Las Vegas. Maybe the Raiders keep it close, or shock the world and win, but the smart money is on a Chiefs cover, probably by a lot, even on the road.

Past Winners: 2012 — Case Keefer; 2013 — Case Keefer, Ray Brewer (tie); 2014 — Case Keefer; 2015 — Case Keefer; 2016 — Ray Brewer; 2017 — Case Keefer, Jesse Granger (tie); 2018 — Case Keefer

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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