After an understandably mediocre 7-8 record Week 1, I’m back for more punishment. This time should be better, because … well … I’m just grasping here.
On to this week’s games (picks in bold):
Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5) — I’m not a believer in the Vikings yet, mainly because I don’t think Sam Bradford has what it takes to go on the road and win a big game, albeit in Week 2. Pittsburgh’s defense is far better than it was last year and Bradford may not have the clean pocket he had against New Orleans. Expect Pittsburgh to win big.
Arizona Cardinals at Indianapolis Colts (+7.5) — Jacoby Brissett may be starting, but the Colts are still horrible. Until they show they can compete, keep picking against them.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5) — This is a classic trap game enticing fans to pick the Browns. The smart money would be on the Ravens… unless you believe the Browns to be half-decent, which I do. Cleveland will keep this close, as they will a lot of games this year.
Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs (-4) — After an impressive opening day win, the Chiefs come back home without Eric Berry against a Carson Wentz-led offense, which looked pretty good against the Redskins. However, that was the Redskins, not the Chiefs. Kansas City looks like a contender.
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5) — This game is going to be sloppy and for a team, trying to find its footing in its first game of the year, it’s going to be tough sledding for the Bucs. The Bears rushing attack seems to be in place with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, but the Buccaneers should still win… only by less than 5.5 points.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) — Tennessee is going to be that team that was expected to make a big jump, but ends up not being as good as people think, and have their coach fired. The offense is just not as explosive as it needs to be and the Jaguars’ defense isn’t one to mess around.
Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers (-4.5) — I’m not sure Mike Shula has figured out how to use Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel yet, but there’s no better week to do this than against the Bills. Sean McDermott loses in his return to Charlotte.
New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints (+4) — The Patriots cover in New Orleans and probably win the game, but I think New England has a few more problems than people are willing to admit. That defense may end up being abysmal.
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) — A week after being a blocked kick away from one of the most insane rallies in recent league history, the Chargers who seemed to have figured out who they are as last weeks’ game progressed, come out and put on a stomping on the Dolphins. I think Jay Cutler’s first game back goes badly… very badly.
New York Jets at Oakland Raiders (-10) — Don’t really need an explanation here other than this: if the Jets managed to lose by nine against the Bills, how are they going to fare against the Raiders?
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos (+1.5) — Many people will point to the Cowboys’ win last week and point out how good the defense looked. The flipside of that is, the offense didn’t look like anything great. Going into Denver is hard for anyone.
Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Rams (+1.5) — I think last week was a bit of an aberration as the Rams probably scored about three weeks-worth of points. Sean McVay is a hell of a coach, but his team isn’t ready to compete yet.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-13) — This game will either be 30-3 or 17-9 in favor of the Seahawks. I’m going with the latter.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-1) — Pick the Falcons with the new stadium opening. Nothing more than that.
Detroit Lions at New York Giants (-5) — Why are the Giants favored by 5 points? I don’t get it. Odell Beckham Jr. may be out for another 4-5 weeks and the Giants have shown diddly without him.