Week 2 NFL Picks Against The Spread
Week 2 NFL Picks Against The Spread
Last week was a week that was nearly impossible to pick. Week 1 is notorious for some teams who win and get people excited, only to eventually show that it wasn't for real. The other side is also true. There are plenty of losing teams who aren't as bad as they looked.
Just to put it into perspective, the Arizona Cardinals beat the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 last season. This year has Philadelphia Eagles fans and Tennessee Titans fans thinking they have a shot at a good season. There needs to be more to have this writer convinced. There is still plenty of season left, and there is a ton of overreaction coming from Week 1's games.
Last week, there were four games that were won by more than one score. That makes 75 percent of games that were decided by a touchdown or less. Last season, it was only 50 percent in week one. That means that every game came down to one or two breaks throughout the game. If Matt Ryan makes a play in the red zone at the end of his game, that changes the way the line pays out. Eli Manning's last-minute interception was the difference in the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys game.
This week is when I try to be better. Last week started terribly as I finished 3-7-1 after the 1 p.m. games were done. The week ended a little better, but it still wasn't anything to be happy about.
Last Week: 6-9-1
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also contributes to NFL and MLB content for the site. Make sure you follow him on Twitter to catch all of the updates.
New York Jets @ New England Patriots (-12.5)
Rob Gronkowski is out for this game. Shane Vereen is out. Danny Amendola is likely to be out. Zach Sudfeld could end up missing the game. Who is Tom Brady going to throw to? The defense is much improved for the New England Patriots, but that can only get them so far. The New York Jets pulled out a last-second field goal to beat Darrell Revis in his return to New Jersey. They are going to ride momentum, while the Patriots are wiping the sweat off their brow for sneaking out of a tough game with the Buffalo Bills. The Jets won't win, but this sure won't be the blowout that Vegas is suggesting. There'll be no butt fumbles in this year's Thursday game between these clubs. Final Score: Jets 14 Patriots 21
San Diego Chargers @ Philadelphia Eagles (-7)
The Eagles' new uptempo offense caught the Washington Redskins off guard. They seemed like they were out of gas by the second quarter. Luckily for them, they seemed to run a watered-down version of it in the second half. Will the San Diego Chargers be so lucky? The Chargers themselves got a nice lead in the first half on Monday night against the Houston Texans, only they weren't able to hold on. This game depends on the quarterbacks. Are we getting the new, rejuvenated Michael Vick? Is Philip Rivers going to continue to stink in the second half of games? Originally, the prognosis on the Chargers was that they were bad. That should let you know that the Eagles' bandwagon will get a whole lot heavier. Chargers 17 Eagles 35
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens (-6.5)
Both these teams looked surprisingly awful in Week 1. The Baltimore Ravens were embarrassed by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on the opening night of the season. Brandon Weeden seemed to throw the Cleveland Browns out of their game against Miami. The line seems to be pretty high for two teams that were unimpressive in Week 1. The extra rest will really help the Ravens. They had three extra days to figure out where they went wrong and where their holes were. That will end up winning it for the Ravens this week. Final Score: Browns 13 Ravens 23
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans (-8.5)
The Texans stole a victory in the late game on Monday night. The Titans stole a victory from a Pittsburgh Steelers team that could barely walk. When push comes to shove, the Texans are head and shoulders the better team. They struggled to start on Monday, but it is the first game of the season. The Titans may not be as bad as we all thought, but they sure aren't good. The Texans will have to see what is up with Arian Foster and have to try to get him going, or have a heavy dose of Ben Tate. The Titans need their running game to fuel them, or they're toast. No fan should have to hope that Jake Locker can throw them to victory. A blowout is expected here. Final Score: Titans 7 Texans 31
Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts (-3)
The Indianapolis Colts were lucky to escape a feisty Oakland Raider team. The Raiders and Pryor were knocking on the Colts' doorstep with very little time on the clock until he took a terrible sack that put them on their heels. So did we underestimate the Raiders or overrate the Colts? This game should be a better litmus test as the up-and-coming Dolphins come to town hot off their win over the Browns. The Colts have been mired with good luck since acquiring Luck. It seems that they aren't always going to be so lucky and will lose these games. Expect that to happen here. Also, expect Mike Wallace to get some extra targets. Final Score: Dolphins 27 Colts 24
Carolina Panthers (-3) @ Buffalo Bills
The Bills went toe to toe with the Patriots in Week 1. E.J. Manuel looked like he had zero first-game jitters. The defense was in Brady's face all game long. They didn't allow and big plays through the air. Now they are still getting three points on the road. Vegas still has no love for Buffalo. That's because we have been here before. The Bills always seem to trick us into thinking they are better than they are. The Carolina Panthers, on the other hand, really looked good against quite possibly the NFL's best team, the Seattle Seahawks. The defense of the Panthers looked especially good. I expect Luke Kuechly and company to really take it to this young offense and to rattle Manuel. Final Score: Panthers 33 Bills 20
St. Louis Rams @ Atlanta Falcons (-7)
The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a deflating loss to their division rival New Orleans Saints. The St. Louis Rams are coming off an exhilarating win against the division rival Arizona Cardinals. Usually that would mean something, but it won't here. The Falcons are still part of the cream of the crop when it comes to the NFC. The Rams just aren't there yet. Even with what seems like a 40 percent Roddy White, this team is still stacked offensively. Tony Gonzalez is ageless. Julio Jones may be the fastest guy in the NFL, although the Rams' Tavon Austin will beg to differ. The Falcons will win and cover. Final Score: Rams 13 Falcons 30
Washington Redskins @ Green Bay Packers (-8)
The Packers sure do have a rough go at it to start the season. The favorite to win it all, the 49ers, were their week one opponent. This week they take on the reigning NFC East champions, the Washington Redskins. Vegas obviously did not like what they saw from the Skins on Monday Night Football, giving the Packers eight points in this one. It will be a closer game than they are given credit for. The Redskins seemed to finally find a way for their offense to click. On top of that, the Packers pass defense is swiss cheese. Expect a big game from Robert Griffin III and an upset in Lambeau Field. Final Score: Redskins 38 Packers 30
Dallas Cowboys @ Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5)
The Dallas Cowboys finally got the monkey off their back and beat the New York Giants in their home stadium. Now they are set to face an old foe in a new home. Andy Reid welcomes a team he should know quite well as his Kansas City Chiefs take on the Cowboys. The Chiefs are coming off a dismantling of the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. The offense looked much better than it has in a long time. Alex Smith already looks comfortable in the Chiefs' offense. It has to be taken into account that the team did play possibly the worst team in the league. The Cowboys need to show their true colors this game. They caused the Giants to turn the ball over six times and still almost lost. This week will be telling. Final Score: Cowboys 21 Chiefs 20
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears (-6.5)
The Minnesota Vikings did not look like a team that made the playoffs last week. Besides one long touchdown run, Adrian Peterson was completely taken out of the game (as much as a guy who scored three touchdowns could). The Detroit Lions defense did a masterful job against the Vikings. Now they have to travel to Soldier Field to take on a Chicago Bears team that just had a come-from-behind win against the Bengals. The defense looked great for the Bears in their first game without Brian Urlacher. The Vikings need to come out much better for them to beat this team on the road. Final Score: Vikings 24 Bears 27
New Orleans Saints (-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Saints saw the return of their head coach Sean Payton last week, and say hello with a nail-biter win against the Falcons. Now they go to take on a Buccaneers team that was just upset by the Jets. The Buccaneers will be looking for a little bit of redemption against a team many feel is far superior to them. Something about the fact that Josh Freeman lost his captaincy this week really irks me. I don't see how your quarterback will come back from that when he was already fighting for confidence. The Saints will smell blood in the water early with this team. Drew Brees will welcome Revis to a division with more than one good quarterback. Final Score: Saints 30 Buccaneers 20
Detroit Lions (-1) @ Arizona Cardinals
A team that went 4-12 last season wins one game, and now they are getting points on the road. This game has beaten me up. I am high on the Cardinals even after their Week 1 loss. They have a competent quarterback who will get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. They have an underrated defense that can be ball hawks. The Lions showed that their defense can be capable of great things. The problem is, the Lions aren't the most disciplined team in the NFL. In fact, quite the opposite. They are playing a dangerous game. Final Score: Lions 27 Cardinals 28
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders (-6)
The Raiders went from one of the worst teams in the NFL to a six-point favorite in one week, all because of Terrell Pryor and the fact that he did his best RGIII/Mike Vick impression. For a time, Pryor was the NFL's leading rusher. He is taking on an awful team in the Jaguars. They look like they may not score a touchdown all season. The Raiders will look good once again, but win this time. Unfortunately, that may be the last time they will win all season. Final Score: Jaguars 6 Raiders 26
Denver Broncos (-5) @ New York Giants
The battle of the Manning brothers happens for only the third time ever. The last time they met, Peyton won the matchup by a landslide, 38-14 back in 2010. This season, Peyton Manning may have the best array of weapons he has ever had. Eli Manning does have his fair share as well with Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle and Hakeem Nicks. Both teams have severe questions at the running back position. It will surprisingly come down to which defense can make stops. This is where the Broncos will win it for Peyton. It will be close, but not close enough. Peyton wins again and scores one for big brothers everywhere. Final Score: Broncos 41 Giants 35
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks (-3)
Even with the Manning Bowl, Patriots-Jets, and a slew of other good games this weekend, this is the main course for Sunday: the battle of NFC West powerhouses, featuring two young quarterbacks who are looking to ride great defenses to a championship. The first installment will take place in San Francisco. Home field advantage will be key in this matchup. After just getting by the Panthers' defense, the Seahawks won't be able to produce against a healthy 49ers defense. It will be a low-scoring affair that ends with San Fran on top of the NFC West, where they could stay all season long. Final Score: Seahawks 13 49ers 17
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-7)
This Monday night matchup doesn't seem as satisfying after both teams were upset by inferior teams this weekend. The Bengals blew an opportunity to take an early division lead when they lost the lead late to the Bears. The Steelers looked anemic on offense after center Maurkice Pouncey left the game with a knee injury. Pouncey will miss the rest of the season, which is the worst news Mike Tomlin could have received. It may be a transition year in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will fight on national television, but the Bengals will be too much in the end. Final Score: Steelers 13 Bengals 21