I am back with my second week of NFL picks against the spread. I was not great last week. I was just 6-9-1. I hit on a few outright upsets, and missed some others. I was handed a tie when the Giants were made a one point favorite just before kickoff in Dallas. The game had been a pick ‘em. The crazy thing is 6-9-1 won my weekly pool. Again, the spreads I use are from rtsports.com. My picks are in bold and outright upsets have an asterisk next to them. The minus sign denotes the favorite. Let’s see how I do in week two. I was all over Buffalo Thursday. So, I am already 0-1.
Ravens (-7) at Browns- RGIII’s injury was a massive gut punch to the Browns, as if they needed another one. Despite what the “experts” and fans are saying now, they had a shot to at least be competitive with him. Josh McCown is what he is, a career journeyman who needs a perfect situation to succeed, this isn’t it. The Ravens have not found their sea legs yet, but I still really like them. They are catching Cleveland at a great time. Bal 20 Cle 9
Bengals* at Steelers (-3) – I am setting the over under for ejections at three. I am still not buying the Steelers’ defense, mainly the secondary. Also, this is not the Redskins. Big Ben and his supporting cast are not putting up 38 points on this defense. I was really impressed with Cincy last week. They made a ton of mistakes and still beat a decent opponent on the road. The Steelers were flawless Monday. Look for them to start making a few mistakes and the Bengals to clean up theirs. Cin 24 Pit 20
Chiefs* at Texans (-2.5) – This line is a classic overreaction from opening week. Am I really supposed to believe that Brock Osweiler makes Houston so much better that they can now beat a team that beat them by 30 in a playoff game in January? Well I don’t. KC 27 Hou 16
Cowboys* at Redskins (-2.5) – Dak Prescott gave the Cowboys a chance to win last week. He made some really nice in game adjustments. The rest of the team could not close the deal. I think Dez Bryant rebounds from a lackluster opener and makes a big late against a Redskins secondary that was torched last week. Dal 23 Was 20
Dolphins at Patriots (-6.5) – Dolphins fans should punch whoever decided that their team would open against Seattle and New England back to back. Another home divisional game another route for the Pats, even without Tom Brady. NE 31 Mia 13
Saints at Giants (-4.5) – The scoreboard may burn out in this one. These kind of games seem to come down to field goals by whoever has the ball last. We have two fantastic offenses and God awful defenses. The Giants will make what may be literally the only stop in this game. NYG 41 NO 38
49ers at Panthers (-13.5) – This is just too many points in the NFL. The 49ers showed that they may have more punch on offense than we all thought Monday night. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has never looked better. Due to his injuries, I forgot how effective running back Carlos Hyde can be. Despite all that Cam Newton and company have much more horsepower and will be anxious to rebound from a mistake filled opening night loss. Car 21 SF 13
Titans at Lions (-5.5) – Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford looked rejuvenated last week under new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. Okay, maybe I was just looking for a way to work that name in there, but it is the truth. Tennessee is running too much options stuff with Marcus Mariota. Given his mobility, I understand it. However, is caused too many turnovers last year and a pair of game changers last week. Det 34 Ten 21
Falcons* at Raiders (-4.5) – Atl 27 Oak 24- What a great comeback win for Oakland last week. However, the 141 penalty yards mean there are still the Raiders. They need to clean that up before I start putting faith in them. Atlanta’s comeback fell just short last week, but I expect their strong finish to carry over into this one. Atl 28 Oak 24
Seahawks (-7) at Rams- Most sites have taken this game off the board due to questions about Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s ankle. This was the only line I could find. Considering the Rams barely crossed the 50 in San Francisco Monday night, Seattle is the likely the last opponent embattled head coach Jeff Fisher wants to see right now. No matter who is playing quarterback for Seattle, the Rams offense will continue to struggle in a big way. Sea 17 LA 6.
Bucs at Cardinals (-6.5) – The half point is key here from a betting perspective. I really like both teams this year, even with Arizona’s Sunday night stumble against New England’s preseason all-star squad. They will be just desperate enough to avoid a 0-2 start, but Jameis Winston will make them sweat. The Bucs are a feisty bunch. Ari 26 TB 20
Colts at Broncos (-6) – I told anyone who would listen that Denver would win a lot of games with a run game defense this year. The opening night game was a perfect showcase of that. Trevor Siemian can make all the throws this offense requires of him. Andrew Luck and the Colts have been a tough matchup for Denver in recent years, but a slow start doomed them last week at home. This week, the competition steps up in a big way and they are on the road. A slow start may make this game ugly. Den 24 Ind 12.
Jaguars* at Chargers (-3) – This line is strange. Jacksonville played Green Bay right to the wire last week. This was enough to get me to buy into them. Meanwhile, the Chargers suffered the kind of loss that can ruin a season before it even gets going, blowing a three score lead in Kansas City. Whatever faint hopes the Chargers had of surprising people this year died last week. Keep an eye the Jags and their young offense going forward. Jac 31 SD 24
Packers (-2) at Vikings- I think this is almost too good to be true. It makes me wonder what Vegas knows that I do not. The Vikings needed two defensive scores to get by the Titans last week. Assuming that does not happen again this week, all you have to do is look at the quarterback match-up. Aaron Rodgers vs. Sam Bradford and/or Shaun Hill. Enough said. GB 31 Min 17
MNF: Eagles at Bears (-3) – I was pleasantly surprised with Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz last week. On the other hand, the Bears let me down last week, but the defense did show improvement. I will go with the theory that the Bears will keep getting better and the Eagles will come back down to earth a bit. Chi 21 Phi 14