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NFL Week 2 survivor pool picks, predictions: Packers will bounce back vs. Bears

Green Bay is a sizable favorite over division rival Chicago and has won six straight against the Bears as home chalk after a loss.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes under pressure from the Chicago Bears' Robert Quinn (94) and Eddie Goldman (91) at Soldier Field on Oct. 17, 2021, in Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/TNS)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes under pressure from the Chicago Bears' Robert Quinn (94) and Eddie Goldman (91) at Soldier Field on Oct. 17, 2021, in Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/TNS)Read moreJonathan Daniel / MCT

So much for surviving Week 1, huh?

Yes, we picked a loser in our first survivor column of the year. Fittingly, our backup pick lost, too. It was that kind of weekend in the NFL, with four teams winning outright as underdogs of at least five points — tied for the most in a single Week 1 since at least 1989, the earliest year for available betting data. That doesn’t even count the Colts (-7), who tied with the Texans in a result that counted as a loss in most survivor pools.

Roughly 60% of you are eliminated, too, after a Week 1 bloodbath unlike any we’ve maybe ever seen. For the lucky few to survive the carnage, we’re back from the grave to help you navigate a treacherous final 16 weeks of the season. Here’s how we’d attack Week 2 of your survivor pool:

Rank Betting Site Bonus States Claim
BetMGM Logo
INQUIRERMGM$1,000 Risk-Free Bet
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Caesars Sportsbook
$1,250Risk-Free Bet + 1000 Tier Credits + 1000 Reward Credits®
  • NY, NJ, WV, IA, CO, IN, MI, VA, TN, AZ, LA, IL Only.
  • New users only, 21 or older. Full T&Cs apply.
Caesars Sportsbook
$150 in Free Bets
  • AZ, CT, IA, IL, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, WV, WY Only.
  • New users only, 21 or older. Full T&Cs apply.
$4002nd chance bet with code SPORTS
  • AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, MI, NY, PA, VA only.
  • 21+. New customers only. T&C apply

Top play

Green Bay Packers

What seems like a gentler week to choose from is once again full of landmines. Five of the six favorites of a touchdown or more — usually a good barometer for survivor picks — lost last week, and the lone exception is the Bills. If you want to use them in Week 2 against last year’s top seed in the AFC, be my guest.

With that said, I just don’t see the Packers losing on Sunday night at home against a Bears team that, if we’re being honest, was fortunate to win last week’s opener over the 49ers. Quarterback Justin Fields had 19 passing yards and a 2.8 passer rating at halftime before Chicago ripped off 19 straight points in what was essentially a monsoon.

Conversely, the Packers couldn’t get going against a sneaky Vikings squad, but we’ve seen this story before. Since Aaron Rodgers took over as the starter in 2008, Green Bay is 30-9-1 as a home favorite following a loss, including a 15-2 record in divisional games and a perfect 6-0 mark against the Bears. This one shouldn’t be close.

» READ MORE: Eagles Super Bowl odds among latest futures to drop after Week 1

Sleeper pick

Cincinnati Bengals

In theory, this one has “trap game” written all over it for the Bengals, who are coming off a sloppy loss as home favorites and would have to beat the Cowboys on the road. Still, Cincinnati is easily one of the 16 best teams in the league, so you’ll likely have to use this group eventually — and I can’t think of a better time to do so than on Sunday.

The Cowboys looked utterly hopeless on offense even before the injury to Dak Prescott, which will force backup Cooper Rush into just the second start of his career. His receiving corps is far less talented than it was in that previous start, and this offensive line is shaky, too. Even if Dallas’ defense steps up in this one, its offense could struggle to score even 20 points.

It’ll almost certainly take more than that to keep pace with the Bengals, who committed five turnovers last week and still almost won the game on multiple occasions. We should see a sharper performance on Sunday from Joe Burrow and his supporting cast — especially with a new long snapper in place of emergency fill-in Mitchell Wilcox.

» READ MORE: Check out more sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Team to avoid

San Francisco 49ers

We rightfully avoided the 49ers a week ago in what felt like a gimme spot against the Bears. And there’s something about this game that gives me bad vibes, too.

Seattle looked inspired in Monday’s epic win over the Broncos. Some of that was undoubtedly because of Russell Wilson’s return, but some of it might just be what these post-Wilson Seahawks look like under Pete Carroll, whose defense looked as stout and opportunistic as those early 2010s units. No, the talent level isn’t the same, but that doesn’t mean they can’t steal a win or two like they did in Week 1.

And who better to spring another upset upon than the 49ers, who looked lost in Trey Lance’s much-anticipated debut as the franchise guy? The second-year QB clearly needs a little seasoning after completing fewer than 50% of his passes on Sunday, even if the conditions didn’t help. San Francisco should win this game, but I wouldn’t stake my survivor pool on it.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.