Week 2 Cold Hard Locks
No pictures this week, just like there were no pictures from my bachelor weekend I’m currently returning from. My body has felt better by my mind is locked in, just like these picks.
San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5)
I talked the 49ers up for opening weekend and I am sticking with them here. Jimmy G will be without Tevin Coleman but it appears Andy Dalton won’t be handing it off to Joe Mixon and I trust Matt Breida more than Gio Bernard. If the Bengals do have to air it out, the 49ers pass rush is legit and their secondary can force Dalton into some mistakes. Taking the 49ers in the upset.
49ers over Bengals – 20 to 17
Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions (+2.5)
Strange line early in this game. I understand that the Chargers are on the road but they came out and battled for a victory over an underrated Colts team. The Lions absolutely blew it against the upstart Cardinals in a game that ended up in a tie. I expect Philip Rivers and Co to hammer away at an undermanned Lions secondary and easily cover.
Chargers over Lions – 31 to 17
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3)
This is an early titanic divisional showdown with both teams coming off of good wins to kick off the year. The Vikings pounded a disappointing Falcons defense on the ground last week while the Packers showed off their new defense in their takedown of the Bears. Both teams have plenty of talent so the edge goes to the guy under center and the Vikings don’t have that Aaron Rodgers guy. Green Bay edges the Vikings at home in a very entertaining game.
Packers over Vikings – 24 to 20
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3)
What’s your reward for obliterating the league’s new darlings Week 1? How about being favored against the rival Colts. The Titans leaned heavily on an opportunistic defense and a heavy dose of Derrick Henry as they ran over the Browns. Rookie receiver AJ Brown also looked sharp. This Colts team though showed real fight to start the Jacoby Brissett era against the Superbowl contender Chargers and would have won if it wasn’t for Adam Vinatieri shockingly struggling. I may have been wrong about this Colts team in a post-Andrew Luck world. I like the “upset” here in a low scoring affair.
Colts over Titans – 16 to 10
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (+18.5)
Yikes what a line. I understand the logic after the Patriots smoked the Steelers and the Dolphins looked like a high school JV team against the Lamar Show. But they are still professionals and something tells me the proud veterans at home will put up more of a fight. Plus New England historically has struggled against Miami in the Brady years. New England wins but Miami covers this huge Week 2 spread. The bigger story – does AB play after his most recent off-the-field issue?
Patriots over Dolphins – 28 to 16
Buffalo Bills at New York Giants (+2)
Back-to-back weeks have the Bills playing another New York team. That is good news for Josh Allen and a young Buffalo team. The positive is that the Giants have a worse defense than the Jets and the Bills will do enough to stop the only offense the G-Men have, Saquon Barkley. Please for the sake of good football, start Daniel Jones!
Bills over Giants – 24 to 13
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
Boy to the Steelers need to win this game. They got shelled by the defending champs and did little to disprove the losses of Bell and Brown somehow would make them better. There is still a good team here somewhere and the defense will be better. The Seahawks struggled to pull out a W against the Bengals which doesn’t bode well for this road visit to a revengeful Big Ben. Seattle needs more offensive firepower and a better secondary.
Steelers over Seahawks – 31 to 24
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (+5)
Lucky Dallas eh? After mopping the floor with the Giants in Week 1, they get to visit a banged-up Redskins team that collapsed offensively in the second half of their loss to the Eagles. No Derrius Guice means a disgruntled Adrian Peterson will have to show up and I don’t see that happening against the excellent Cowboys’ front seven. Great start for Jerry’s boys as they get the Dolphins next week before finally getting a test Week 4 when they face the Saints. The Redskins can start looking to the draft to find a receiver to help Dwayne Haskins although Terry McLaurin showed he has some promise. Dallas covers in a blowout.
Cowboys over Redskins – 31 to 16
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-13.5)
The second biggest line of the week comes in this one as the Ravens host the Cardinals in an intriguing matchup. Is Lamar Jackson that good or are the Dolphins that bad? Is Kyler Murray that good or are the Lions that bad? I think in both cases its somewhere in the middle which is why I like the Cardinals to cover in this one. The Ravens have weapons though as the Jackson-Hollywood connection opens this offense up to new levels.
Ravens over Cardinals – 35 to 24
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-8)
Remember the name, Gardner Minshew. This guy tore it up last year at Washington State and looked better than expected replacing the injured Nick Foles. Get better soon, Nick! Minshew has the bravado and the stauche to make some noise and the Jacksonville defense looks poised to bounce back after meeting the buzzsaw that is Patrick Mahomes. But anyone that tuned into Monday Night Football was treated to an absolute show with Watson, Hopkins, and Co giving all they got in their heartbreaking defeat to the Saints. The major difference maker is JJ Watt, who didn’t record a tackle or QB hit for the first time in his entire career Monday. He’ll storm back with 3 sacks and the Texans cover at home.
Texans over Jaguars – 31 to 20
4 O’Clock Showdowns
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (+8)
I find this line to be disrespectful to Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Yes the Raiders won an emotional game in the nightcap on Monday but they played a vanilla offense. Even without Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs are anything but vanilla. Mahomes rampages the Raiders and doesn’t attempt a no-look pass as he connects with Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce for multiple scores. Shady McCoy adds one on the ground. No Cinderella story for Gruden’s guys in this one.
Chiefs over Raiders – 38 to 16
Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos (+3)
Another line predicated solely on last week. Did anyone actually see how inept the Broncos offense was against the Raiders’ below-average defense? Free Emmanuel Sanders may be my new 2019 campaign. Will relook next week. The Bears are poised for a bounce back, even against a good Broncos defense. Matt Nagy is too good of an offense coach.
Bears over Broncos – 20 to 6
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-2.5)
The game of the week, no question. Revenge is in the air as the Saints head west to attempt to right the wrong of the NFC Championship Game. Both teams eked out wins over playoff caliber teams last week and this game should be decided by a field goal at best. The Rams bubble wrapped Todd Gurley last week but Malcolm Brown was fine in relief. Jared Goff didn’t exactly light the world on fire either throwing for under 200 yards. Drew Brees found his rhythm late and Alvin Kamara was good, very good. So many weapons and storylines but I’m more bullish on the Saints even on the road as the Rams have had little in terms of home field advantage since their move.
Saints over Rams – 31 to 28
Sunday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (+1.5)
Hard game to pick here. On one hand the Eagles looked lethargic and out of sync in the first half against the less talented Redskins and the Falcons clearly got blitzed on the road by an underrated Vikings team. On the other hand, the Eagles woke up and demolished Washington in the second half while the Falcons got exposed with their defensive weaknesses and a lack of an offensive line. Yes Atlanta is back home and hoping to prove the doubters wrong but Philadelphia has a plethora of offensive weapons and a deep defensive line that will disrupt Matt Ryan and shutdown Devonta Freeman.
Eagles over Falcons – 34 to 24
Monday Night Football
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (+2.5)
The circus heads to New York. Wait, isn’t that backwards? Cleveland will get its chance at redemption in front of a national audience as Baker and the boys square off against a Jets team still wondering what happened Week 1. To note, the Cleveland defense did not play poorly last week. It hurts when your quarterback throws 3 interceptions (1 for a touchdown) and has a safety called against him. Baker will be better, he must be. If not a dumpster fire could be brewing. Also, Odell take off the watch and help your team win football games.
Browns over Jets – 28 to 20