Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals
Start-time: Sunday, 18:00
TV: Live on SS2
Sky Sports' live card opens at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium. The Falcons may have won the last three meetings between these teams but that counts for little when those games have been spread over 11 years and the last encounter was back in 2010.
Still, after an awesome opening weekend performance against their divisional rivals in New Orleans, the Falcons appear the more reliable proposition. Trust is the key word here, though, considering Matt Ryan and his wider Atlanta crew went AWOL last term. One game does not complete a rehabilitation.
That said, Ryan rallied his charges with the panache of old (448 yards and three touchdowns) - first from an early 13-point deficit, and then for a game-winning drive in overtime. Matt Bryant's trusty boot was also unswerving in its eleventh-hour delivery. The Falcons even managed to run the ball a little (their quartet of RBs posted a combined 200 yards), so Cincy's defense will have to be on song to slow them, never mind stop them.
While the Bengals have arguably the more balanced unit on both sides of the ball, they look set to be without both Tyler Eifert (elbow damage) and Vontaze Burfict (making the right noises but that would be reckoning without the league's stringent recovery rules for head-injuries). All of which means quarterback Andy Dalton and his go-to wideout AJ Green are going to have to produce a big day to keep pace.
Green makes Dalton look good, but with limited options at receiver the 26-year-old may try to force the ball in there to Cincinnati's star attraction. Interceptions, or at the very least comfortable coverage, should be up for grabs for Atlanta's secondary.
So it's "Matty Ice" - now back in cold, calculating form after his embarrassing 2013 thaw to mortal status - who gets the nod in what could prove a bit of a shootout.
Back Atlanta Falcons (+4.5) to win on the Match Points Spread @ 2.111/10 or better
Back Atlanta Falcons (+2.5) to win on the First Half Points Spread @ 2.56/4 or better
Back Over 22.5 Total Atlanta Points @ 2.111/10 or better
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
Start-time: Sunday, 21:30
TV: Live on SS2
The Denver Broncos have prevailed in their past four games against the Kansas City Chiefs. I wonder why? Five matches ago, Ted Tebow held back the Broncos' reigns. Since then Peyton Manning has released them.
As with every passing solar cycle, Manning is another year older but also another year wiser. And when you're the greatest QB of your generation in charge of perhaps the best receiving corps in the NFL, it's hard to see the wisdom in applying the breaks.
The Twin Terrors of Thomas (more commonly referred to as Demaryius and Julius - three TDs) took up where they left off last season (JT is the key-down man, DT is the downfield dude) and with Montee Ball rushing for a few more when Manning wants to mix it up, there appears little Kansas can do to halt this juggernaut.
After all, they were whopped 26-10 at Arrowhead last Sunday by a visiting Tennessee troop that didn't fancy their chances. True, some knocks and suspensions (WR Dwayne Bowe) depleted their line-up. Yet a paltry 202 yards for Alex Smith only emphasized the fact that this is a side running out of attacking ideas. Now throw in the fact that the Denver D showed glimpses of brutish bruising against Indy (with two goal-line stands) and it all sounds pretty ominous.
The Chiefs shipped 23 unanswered points last week, so Manning (who only lost once at home last year) won't be troubled to extend that dominance.
Back Denver Broncos (-11.5) to win on the Match Points Spread @ 2.01/1 or better
Back Denver Broncos (-6.5) to win on the First Half Points Spread @ 2.01/1 or better
Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts
Start-time: Tuesday, 01:30
TV: Live on SS1
These two outfits each undertook tasks at opposite ends of the handicapping spectrum in Week One. And although the respective scorelines broadly tracked the Vegas line, neither team got to the anticipated outcome in the expected manner.
The Philadelphia Eagles were on upset alert to lowly Jacksonville before Nick Foles applied his thrusters and a crack receiving crew to register 322 yards though the air and 34 unrequited points. With foot soldiers like LeSean McCoy (himself a dual-threat back) and Darren Sproles also capable of finding the crease at any moment, it's only a wonder it took them so long.
Meanwhile, over at Mile High, the Colts were being overrun by Denver. Andrew Luck succumbed totally against his hero Manning. That he rebounded with two touchdowns and 24 points for second-half respectability is to his credit, but he can't afford to let matches get away from him like that. His offense - led by the ageing Reggie Wayne and that plodder Trent Richardson - simply don't posses the elasticity with which to spring back on a consistent basis.
Elsewhere on defense, Indy have blown a major tyre with the news that crucial OLB Robert Mathis has been ruled out for the current campaign after a torn Achilles tendon. So for all Luck's promise, Philly outrank them collectively on each side of the scrimmage line.
Put succinctly, the Eagles are soaring with eight wins in their past nine regular-season ties. While the Colts are short on confidence and didn't even chalk up a victory in preseason.
A team filed under "Work In Progress" seldom beats one that's in the "Already There" cabinet, even at home. And so it should go late on Monday night. The Eagles rate my bet of the weekend.
Back Philadelphia Eagles (+3) to win on the Match Points Spread @ 2.111/10 or better
Back Philadelphia Eagles to win on the Match Moneyline @ 2.68/5 or better
Back Over 25.5 Total Philadelphia Eagles @ 2.111/10 or better
Back L. McCoy to score First / Anytime Touchdown 8.07/1 or better