While the Intelligence Index may still need a couple weeks to gather conclusive data, we can already see a few trends starting to appear that will help us find smart bets for the weekend.
Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans (+7.5)
The Ravens top the Intelligence Index after Week 1 while Houston languishes in 27th. While Houston's opponent was much tougher than Baltimore's, their respective performances still make the Index rankings feel relevant. Baltimore has simply steamrolled everyone (at least in the regular season) for nearly a full year and there's no reason to think Bill O'Brien can scheme something up to even comes close to containing Lamar Jackson.
It's really that simple. One always has to be careful with putting too much stock in the Intelligence Index so early int he season, but a 26-slot delta between the two teams should be too much for the Texans to overcome, even with some fans in the stands.
THE SMART PICK: Ravens -330
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers (+8.5)
The Chiefs showed no signs of a hangover as they cruised to victory in their opener. With 10 days off and Los Angeles coming off of a physical road opener, the Chiefs should have all the advantages in this one, Patrick Mahomes III paramount among them. Within the Intelligence Index, the Chiefs sit in fifth compared to the Chargers' 15th-place spot.
That's not overwhelming, but Kansas City's Scoreability number feels likely to drop lower and their Bendability is already at a strong 18.00, a combination that the Chargers shouldn't be able to keep up with. Look for Kansas City to grab an early lead and never look back, just as they did against the overwhelmed Texans.
THE SMART PICK: Chiefs -380
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (+5.5)
Let's not mince words: the Dolphins looked pathetic as the new look Patriots rolled to victory. Ryan Fitzpatrick was at his over-impulsive worst, the defense struggled to contain an admittedly versatile Patriots rushing attack, and Miami looked overwhelmed virtually throughout. Meanwhile, the Bills played a solid if not dominant game at home against the Jets. Yes, Josh Allen's continued problems with fumbilitis bring reason for concern, but even they should be able to undercut the Bills this week.
Brighter days are ahead for Miami, but Buffalo's continuity — and their 12-slot advantage in the Intelligence Index — should overwhelm Miami's youth, at least for the time being.
THE SMART PICK: Bills -239