5 betting takeaways from NFL Week 2
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How's that for an encore? After a wild Week 1 with three major upsets, this week brought us a historic comeback, a thrilling Sunday night finale, and a wave of injuries that could change the betting landscape.

Here are five NFL betting takeaways from Week 2.

Injuries steal spotlight

We saw several exciting finishes in the second week, but the headline was the sheer amount of star players who didn't finish their team's games.

Saquon Barkley and Courtland Sutton are likely out for the year. Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, Drew Lock, Tyrod Taylor, and others could miss significant time. But the hardest-hit group on Sunday was the 49ers, who saw star linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas carted off early in the first quarter and pulled Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, and Tevin Coleman before the end of the game.

Those five join an already star-studded injured list for the defending NFC champions, who are still +800 to win the Super Bowl but currently look like a risky bet. The other teams hurt the most have little chance at the title, but weekly bettors might want to steer clear of the Broncos and Giants until we see how they fare without key pieces.

Seahawks, Patriots shine in prime time

Some bettors may not have been thrilled with the Seahawks (-4.5) narrowly securing a 5-point victory, but those holding futures tickets on either side had to be impressed with what they saw on Sunday night.

Russell Wilson diced up New England's esteemed secondary for 288 yards and five touchdowns, seizing the lead in the MVP race and validating Seattle's decision to "let Russ cook" in 2020. Wilson was getting the keys to this offense eventually, and we now see the results - he has nine passing touchdowns to just 11 incompletions on the season, and the Seahawks own the second-most points per drive (3.8) and most points per play (0.62).

Don't overlook how potent the Patriots looked, too. Cam Newton threw for 397 yards - third-most in his career - and added 47 yards with two scores on the ground in a near-comeback effort. The defense's play was concerning, but if Newton fires like that all year, New England's 16-1 title price isn't as crazy as it sounds.

Cowboys stage historic comeback

If you bet on the Falcons (+3) this week, you might want to read past this one.

Atlanta collapsed down the stretch on Sunday after a 20-0 lead after the first quarter and a 16-point lead with just under five minutes left, allowing two touchdowns and an onside kick en route to the Cowboys' miraculous 1-point victory. Here's how epic the collapse was: Since 2012, teams with 20-point leads after the first quarter were 21-0 straight up and against the spread, and teams to score at least 39 points with zero turnovers were 440-0 all-time ... until Sunday, of course.

So what does this say about the Cowboys? They were impressive through the air to spark the comeback, which tracks with their wildly efficient first-down passing performance in Week 1 against the Rams. Still, falling behind early isn't a sustainable way to win, even if Dallas' upside matches our expectations entering the year.

Are Cardinals, Rams for real?

While the Seahawks and 49ers have stolen most of the headlines - good and bad - in the NFC West, the remaining teams in the division are catching bettors' eyes with undefeated starts.

Speaking of the Rams' Week 1 win over the Cowboys, Los Angeles is now a surprising 2-0 after beating the Eagles (-1.5) by 18 points in Week 2. Jared Goff showed flashes of his 2018 self behind an efficient run game and creative passing attack, while the defense made Carson Wentz's life difficult all day. It's still too early to pencil this team back into the playoffs, but Sean McVay may have rediscovered his magic in L.A.

And how about those Cardinals? Kyler Murray had no problem with Washington's star-studded front seven, rushing for two touchdowns and tossing another in an easy win as 7-point chalk. Arizona's defense has held up for a second straight game, assuaging concerns about that unit's ability to keep up with Murray and co. With an easy part of the schedule upcoming, now may be the best time to buy.

Favorites take care of business

After a tumultuous start for chalk bettors to in Week 1, this week was historically successful for favorites - and sportsbooks paid the price.

No, favorites weren't a collective winner against the number - their record was just 7-8 ATS on the week. But they rarely lost outright. With Monday's result still pending, favorites went 14-1 straight up this week - tied for the most wins in any week in NFL history - and only the Eagles lost outright. Philadelphia was also the only favorite that wouldn't have cashed on a 6-point tease, surely causing headaches for books on Sunday.

This week, seven of the early favorites are giving at least six points - just one fewer than the second week. That doesn't mean blindly teasing favorites in Week 3, but it could be worth watching to see if favorites can keep winning at a historic pace.

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.

5 betting takeaways from NFL Week 2
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