Not only did my Buccaneers prove they’re in for another long season but I came in last place in the season long Pick ‘Em competition. Somebody do me a favor and remind me whose idea it was to embark on this project anyway.
I managed to correctly pick six out of sixteen games against the spread and that includes taking a charitable push in the Colts-Broncos game. Hey, my contest, my rules. I promise to try harder not to suck this week.
To make matters worse, I was bested by both my rival KP who nailed nine games correctly and our special guest Han who got eight right. Have I mentioned I’m not talking to either of them right now?
This week, we have invited J-Dub, creator of one of the best websites you’ll ever read: Dubsism. If you don’t immediately click on this link and subscribe, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.
So without further ado, here are our picks for the week.
SPORTSCHUMP’S WEEK TWO PICKS OF HUMBLING REDEMPTION
This just in! Ray Rice will not be playing this week nor will he be seen in any football game not played on PlayStation any time soon. On a lighter note, the best joke I’ve heard about the Ray Rice elevator predicament was that it was… wait for it, wrong on so many levels. Get it? It’s an elevator joke. But seriously, just when we thought the NFL’s reputation couldn’t get any worse, here comes word that a league executive had video of the incident all along. It just magically never made it to the Commissioner’s office, or so he says. One way or another, this will end badly for the NFL and its fearless leader but we still we have a game to discuss. This Rice stuff is just too distracting for the Ravens clubhouse. On a night when no other games are being played, the Rice incident will be the only question players are asked. Pittsburgh is coming off a squeaker against Cleveland and they know this game will be considerably more difficult. I’m taking the Steelers and the points just because I can’t possibly see how Baltimore can maintain focus with everything they have going on.
DETROIT +2.5 at CAROLINA
Remember last week when I said I didn’t think Detroit had all the parts to field a competitive team this year. Apparently the Giants read that preview because the Lions absolutely waxed them. Oh, and remember how I said Carolina would lose to the Buccaneers? Well, that didn’t happen either. Cam Newton is scheduled to return this week but the Lions looked like world-beaters against what I thought was a decent Giants team. How many times can I be wrong in one summary? Let me count the ways. I’ll take the Lions and the points.
MIAMI -1.5 at BUFFALO
I hate picking games like these. The Fish and Bills both surprisingly won their first week of play, Miami home to New England and Buffalo at Chicago. So what does that tell us? Are either of these two playoff teams? One would think not but one thing is certain. Barring a tie, one of them will start the season 2-0. I think that team is going to be the Bills. Give me them and the point-and-a-half.
JACKSONVILLE +6 at THAT TEAM FROM WASHINGTON
I was right about (that team from) Washington last week and also right about Jacksonville… in the first half, until they remembered they were Jacksonville playing in Philadelphia. Allowing 34 points in the second half after leading by 17? The Jags were getting ten in that game making that comeback the biggest back door cover in recent history. I still like Jax plus the six though as Washington was barely able to muster up any offense. That being said, if Jax loses another road heartbreaker like they did last week, I’ll be hard-pressed to take them and ANY points for the rest of the season.
Why would anybody possibly have confidence in the Cowboys at this point? Their team owner is being accused of sexual assault based on an ill-advised picture he took with some blonde one-third his age. Not that Jerry Jones isn’t a total douche but don’t you think that girl’s friend who snapped that photo has to feel at least a little douchey herself for framing some old rich fart for an extra buck? I mean, come on. It doesn’t exactly look like the girl in the picture is having a bad time. Either way, I guess Jerry’s next plastic surgery appointment will have to be postponed until after the next payoff. That being said, his absence this week could either be good or bad for the ‘Boys. Maybe he wasn’t around all week, keeping a low profile and allowing his players to actually practice without him breathing down their necks. Or perhaps he was in his office the entire time angrily barking orders at people. Either way, I’m gonna have to take the Titans and lay the three because, after Week One, they just look like the better team.
ARIZONA -2.5 at NY GIANTS
When would anyone have thought that the Arizona Cardinals would be road favorites against the Giants? Wow, the G-Men looked bad last week! Do you think the Giants have sent a letter to Michael Strahan asking him to come out of retirement? Or did that important NFL-related memo get lost in the mail as well? Too soon? Seriously, Strahan retired just in time as, other than the Seahawks winning their first ever Super Bowl last year, we haven’t had any positive news coming out of the league since the gap-toothed one trotted off the field a Super Bowl winner. Still though, as hard-hitting as the Cards were on Sunday night, I just can’t bring myself to believe they’re going to go into New York and win. But of course, I know nothing about football. I’ll take the G-Men at home and the points.
NEW ENGLAND -3 at MINNESOTA
Can you see Tom Brady starting this season 2-0? Here’s Bill Belichick’s post-game press conference if that happens. “We got beat.” Personality plus. Belichick rarely smiles and he might not find many more reasons to this season if the Pats keep this up. But if he were to ever crack a smile, this would have to be one of those weeks, don’t you think? Pats cover.
In light of the Ray Rice controversy, when I think of the Saints, all I can think about is the day I heard that Commissioner Goodell and his band of incompetent henchmen had dropped the hammer on the Saints for Bounty Gate. At least then, he did his due diligence to investigate exactly what happened, including releasing a pretty damning audio tape of Gregg Williams telling his team to knock people’s heads off, which was the first time in NFL history that has ever happened… with a cellphone in the locker room recording it. Perhaps Rice used that tape as motivation on date night. Either way, the Saints scandal is behind them. They’re a good team. Atlanta just got the better of them in Week One. Both the Saints and Browns are coming off Week One heartbreakers. I just feel New Orleans is the team better poised to bounce back. I’ll take the Saints and lay the 6.5.
ATLANTA +5 at CINCINNATI
These teams are probably both pretty good or at least they looked that way in Week One. This would probably also make for an interesting Super Bowl or at least the lowest rated one in television history. I have been wrong about Cincinnati for about three straight years, singlehandedly keeping Cincinnati bookies in business. But old habits die hard. For that reason, I’ll take the Falcons and the points just to be consistent.
The Bucs missed a golden opportunity against a Cam-less Panthers team last week. This week they go up against a Bradford-less Rams team and they’re laying five-and-a-half which has to be the most points they’ve laid in about four years. That being said, the Buccaneers will honor one of their greatest this week by inducting Derrick Brooks into their Ring of Honor. I’m assuming they’ll also suit his ass up so I’ll take the Buccaneers and lay the points.
SEATTLE -5.5 -at SAN DIEGO
I like Seattle. Not only are they the best team in the league, they’re also the most entertaining to watch. I think I’m going to take Seattle and lay the points every week until they fail to cover and see where that gets me. That seems like a sound strategy and Lord knows I need all the help I can get.
HOUSTON -3 at OAKLAND
Ryan Fitzpatrick versus Derek Carr? Just when I thought there were a ton of quality quarterbacks in the league. This is a game you’d literally have to pay me to watch and you better bring some big bills. Houston beat (that team from) Washington last week but I don’t know whether that makes them good or just mediocre. They just lost Jadeavon Clowney to arthroscopic knee surgery but more importantly, former Texans QB Matt Schaub is the Raiders back-up. I imagine he’ll be spending a lot of time working with the Oakland scouting staff this week. I’ll take the Raiders and the points.
Green Bay was supposed to be good this year and they probably will be. But they proved last Thursday night that they’re not in the same class as Seattle. If the Packers were six point dogs to the Seahawks and they’re laying just shy of nine to the Jets, can you imagine the point spread if the Jets were to travel to the Pacific Northwest? I like the Pack to score some points in this game but can their defense keep the Jets from doing the same? New York had three different players carry the ball ten times last week. Is a sub-par Green Bay defense ready for that? I think New York might have enough to keep this one close so I’ll go ahead and take the eight-and-a-half. And if not, at least we have the Rex Ryan post-game rant to look forward to.
KANSAS CITY +12.5 at DENVER
Alex Smith looked absolutely horrible last week. He threw for three interceptions and only one touchdown which came late in the game right around the time the Titans started feeling sorry for him. Like I mentioned in last week’s dumpster fire of a prediction post, Kansas City is one of those “Were they for real last year” teams. They’re not going to do much better this week against Peyton Manning’s crew. Laying 12.5 when you’re taking Denver really isn’t that much of a stretch considering they score about two touchdowns a quarter, which is why that’s what I’m doing this week.
CHICAGO +7- at SAN FRANCISCO
Chicago lost their home opener to Buffalo. I repeat. The Chicago Bears lost their home opener to the Buffalo Bills. I’m pissed because I had Chicago in one of my eliminator pools so excuse me if I sound a bit perturbed. Jay Cutler, sir, you owe me $20. I thought San Fran would be distracted by all their off-season problems but Jim Harbaugh’s khakis were never ruffled. The Niners cover the seven against the Bears leading to a mopey Jay Cutler press conference everyone will want to watch.
PHILADELPHIA +3 at INDIANAPOLIS
This should be a great Monday night game. For some reason, I just see Andrew Luck and his neck beard giving a post-game interview about how well his team played. Philly had their fifth pre-season scrimmage last week against Jacksonville but unfortunately for the Jags, that one counted. At least the Colts played a good team. I’ll take Indy and lay the three.
J-DUB’S MOST LIKELY DREADFULLY RIGHT AND WELL-INFORMED PICKS
If gamblers had something like the “Batman” signal, SportsChump officially shined it over Gotham today. The message he sent me was at once a compliment and a plaintive cry for help. You have to understand a while back, The Chump came to me asking if I would be willing to write a piece like this for a series he was doing this season. But I had no idea he would be this desperate this early. Read for yourself.
“Wanna help us out this week? I got shellacked in week one so now’s your chance to kick me when I’m down.”
The fact he’s using the royal “We” is just the start. What you don’t know about me is that I’m a retired bookie; but one who specialized in college football. To me gambling on the NFL is like sticking your dick in a pencil sharpener, and each bet is just arguing about how many times you are going to crank the handle. In other words, asking me for NFL betting advice is like trusting a dentist who sells miniature ivory statues. But the Chump is a friend, and I would never turn my back on a friend and his pencil-sharpening needs.
1) Pittsburgh at Baltimore (-3), O/U 44
Last week, both these teams looked flatter than Janay Rice on the floor of that elevator (Oh, stop…like you didn’t know that was coming…) The Ravens were like a car only firing on three cylinders against the Bengals at home, and the Steelers weren’t much better against the Browns. Both of these teams are struggling to adjust to new offenses; the Steelers have gone to a quick-paced attack, while the Ravens need to embrace the permanent loss of Uncle Ray’s Felonious Rice. Take the Ravens, but hedge your bet with a short-week under play.
2) Dallas at Tennessee (-4), O/U 49
So here’s the bet…Is Tony Romo really that bad, or could Jake Locker be that good? While you try not to let your brain explode pondering that, what this really means is which quarterback will help out the other teams defense the least? Tennessee was the beneficiary of three Alex Smith picks last week, so you know that defense is salivating at the idea of getting a Romo-filled Sunday. Regardless of the wager, I just can’t bring myself to bet on (or tell anybody to bet on) Tony Romo. You’ve been warned.
3) Miami at Buffalo (Pick), O/U 43
Here’s two teams that beat potential playoff squads last week, but Buffalo did it on the road. Now they get to host the Dolphins. A big part of the Dolphins’ win against New England was Tom Brady’s inability to connect with deep receivers, and the Patriots’ inability to block a straight-on pass rush. Buffalo doesn’t even pretend to have deep plays; and the best way to beat a pass rush is to run the ball right past it. Take the Bills all the way. This marks the first time since Jim Kelly still had his own jawbone that any gambler anywhere has uttered that sentence.
4) New England (-3.5) at Minnesota, O/U 49
The Vikings are one of four home underdogs this week, and I’m really not sure why. On the one hand, I get why there would be no faith in the Vikings; why would there ever be faith in the Vikings? Specifically, no smart money is buying the Purple after their performance against the sorry-ass St. Louis Rams. But the fact the Pats are only a field-goal favorite could mean people are starting to see the cracks in New England’s facade. Tom Brady rarely has two bad weeks in a row, but I’m not really sure what the Vikings are, other than a team with a defense much weaker than Miami’s. Taking the Patriots and giving the points should be safer than watching a “Cheers” marathon on MeTV, and doubling-up on the over isn’t any more dangerous.
5) Arizona (-2) at New York Giants, O/U 43
This line proves that spreads are not about which team is better; they are about where the money is. Naturally, this also means there are a shitload of delusional Giants’ fans in this world. This line HAS to move before Sunday; the Giants might be the worst team in the league not named Jacksonville.
6) Detroit at Carolina (-2.5), O/U 43.5
Here’s your head-scratcher of the week. How can a team that can score more than Wilt Chamberlain and Ron Jeremy chain-gunning Viagra be a dog to a team that could be out scored by “Screech” from “Saved By The Bell?” Sure, Carolina has a hell of a defense, but did you see what Calvin Johnson did to the Giants the other night? There hasn’t been that much damage done to New York since King Kong and Rich Kotite combined.
In what will prove to be Episode Two in the “How Long Until Manziel Is The Starter” series, expect the Saints to crush Cleveland. New Orleans will be looking to re-establish themselves as a championship contender after dropping a game to Atlanta they really had no excuse for losing. Otherwise, this is a battle of cities where one has a river that burns to the bottom every few years, and the other has giant detergent trucks to wash the pee-smell off the streets.
8) Atlanta at Cincinnati (-4), O/U 45
There’s not much love for the Falcons, even after Matt Ryan’s big performance against the Saints. This is because Matty Ice loves to go flatter in games that matter than warm beer on a hot day. Even though it is only Week 2, this would be a huge win on the road for a Falcon team which has so much to prove after last year’s debacle. In other words, all signs point to Atlanta pulling a bigger choke-job than Mama Cass.
That’s the one word for this game…Meh. The obvious advice I would have about betting this game is DON’T. But since this is all about providing a service for you, the gambling public, the best thing I can say is that if you really feel the need to gamble on this game, get professional help. Seriously.
10) St. Louis at Tampa Bay (-4), O/U 37
I had one word for the last game, and I have two for this one…Double Meh. Betting this game is slightly safer and less-indicative of your status as a degenerate gambler, but anybody who feels the need to get some action on this game really should take a a hard look at their life. Think about it; you are about to place a bet on a Rams team that played multiple quarterbacks in Week 1 and sucked harder than Shyla Stylez at her first audition. They are playing a Buccaneer team that really isn’t as bad as they look, but Vegas is only thinking they are four points better than St. Louis.
11) Kansas City at Denver (-13), O/U 51
The guy on the hot seat in this game is Alex Smith. The Chiefs just gave a Alex Smith a dump truck full of money, and after last week’s performance against the Titans, the numbers of people questioning that will grow quickly. After throwing three picks against Tennessee, and now having to go into Denver, it is very possible that Alex Smith and the Chiefs may be regressing toward 2012. Denver may actually cover the over in this one by themselves, especially if Smith has another Romo-esque performance.
12) Houston (-3) at Oakland, O/U 39
Oakland is another of four home underdogs this week, and deservedly so. Maurice Jones-Drew obviously has nothing left, Darren McFadden is one injury away from being served in an Oscar Meyer wrapper, and Derek Carr has as much chance of being effective as Roger Goodell’s public relations staff.
13) Seattle (-6) at San Diego, O/U 44.5
Some say the whole point of gambling is to increase the excitement involved in watching the games by having something riding on the outcome. That rule does not apply to this game; this is an easier spread for Seattle than melted Cheez Whiz.
14) New York Jets at Green Bay (-8), O/U 46
This line has been bouncing around more than Dick Cheney’s EKG, and it’s not going to get better anytime soon, because betting on this game means taking on too many intangibles. Can the Packers offensive line keep Aaron Rodgers on his feet; can Bryan Bulaga’s twice damaged left knee still be the foundation of that line? Can the Jets’ defense overcome its weak secondary and emphasize its’ pass rush? Either way, eight is too fat of a line on this one, which is precisely why this reeks of a trap game.
15) Chicago at San Francisco (-7), O/U 48.5
Last Sunday, the Bears almost literally left their balls on the field in an embarrassing loss to the Bills. Now they have to go on the road and face a non-mediocre team. San Francisco were nothing short of impressive in all facets last week, and Chicago presents a defensive squad weaker than the Polish Cavalry in 1939. The Niners will roll through it just like the Wehrmacht.
16) Philadelphia at Indianapolis (-3), O/U 53.5
If you like defense, you will hate this game more than rancid yogurt and toothaches combined. Reggie White and Bubba Smith will be spinning in their graves at a game that may see the over completely destroyed in the first half. But this also may be a game in which the team who has the ball last wins, and if this line moves north of 5 for the Colts, put your house payment on the Eagles and the over. I’ll meet you at the plasma center on Tuesday morning.
Editor’s note: J-Dub’s opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of SportsChump, WordPress or anybody else to whom you might want to write a nasty letter. J-Dub and SportsChump take no responsibility for your ending up living in an appliance box under a freeway overpass for actually taking any of this seriously. After all, gambling is illegal at Bushwood, sir.
KEVIN’S LATE AS USUAL BUT I HAVE TO BE NICE TO HIM SINCE HE WON THE FIRST WEEK PICKS
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)
It’s one of the more entertaining rivalries in all of sports, let alone football. These two teams hate each other, and often battle it out to a close, low-scoring affair. Baltimore fell short last week versus the Bengals, while the Steelers squandered a large lead to the Browns, only to win with a late field goal. Both teams have talent and are fairly evenly matched. Last week, I went with my gut and picked the Ravens. Playing at home, I’m going with my gut again, and taking the Ravens. If Baltimore falls to 0-2, my gut will be taking a long walk off a short pier. Ravens by a field goal.
Against the Spread: Baltimore Ravens
Straight Up: Baltimore Ravens
Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Yes, the Lions opened strong against the Giants, but this New York team – and its hot mess offense – make Lindsay Lohan’s career look as smooth as silk. Carolina, on the other side, will have Cam Newton back under center, along with a much stronger defense. Matthew Stafford was very impressive in Week 1, and while it was against New York’s weaker ‘D’, this looks like a QB that is not only in great game shape, but also playing with a lot of confidence. The Lions have plenty of weapons – from Megatron to Bush to Tate – all of which, will give Carolina headaches. Carolina’s lack of offensive support for Cam scares me. Kelvin Benjamin is still just a rookie. Detroit wins this one outright.
Against the Spread: Detroit Lions
Straight Up: Detroit Lions
Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5)
The Falcons put up the best offensive performance of Week 1, with 445 total yards in its overtime victory over the Saints. Clearly, Matt Ryan is in a happier place, with Roddy White and Julio Jones back on the field. This week, however, Atlanta is on the road, taking on a very sound Cincinnati team, especially on defense. Over the course of the season, the concern in Atlanta will be with its defense and run game. But for now, “Matty Ice” and Atlanta’s passing attack is potent enough to keep this one close.
Against the Spread: Atlanta Falcons
Straight Up: Cincinnati Bengals
New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (+3.5)
Everybody hit the panic button, the Pats lost game one! Oh, the humanity! As I said last week, the Dolphins play New England tough at home, and clearly, the Patriots have some work to do on its offensive line (allowed four sacks in Week 1). Minnesota had five sacks last week, but not while facing Tom Brady. An additional week on the practice field, and the Patriots should get some of the kinks out. While I love what Norv Turner can do with Adrian Peterson and Cordarelle Patterson as his offensive toys, I don’t see Brady and Belichick starting 0-2. I mean, the Sports Chump has a better shot at coming back in this pick ‘em. New England rebounds.
Against the Spread: New England Patriots
Straight Up: New England Patriots
Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans (-3.5)
It’s “Panic Button: Part Deux”, this time, starring Tony Romo! Hey, we all knew that Dallas would be a mess defensively, but last week, the offense was terrible, too (especially Romo). Ken Whisenhunt has talent in Tennessee, but it doesn’t compare to the players in San Francisco. Still, the Titans had four sacks last week, so expect Romo to be under some pressure. Last week, Dallas was such a train wreck, that even Jerry Jones didn’t pick up on the fact that his stadium was a sea of 49er-red. More likely, he was lying through his teeth. I won’t lie to you, and that’s why I’m admitting that I might regret this. Yes, you guessed it, I’m going with Romo. It hurts typing it.
Against the Spread: Dallas Cowboys
Straight Up: Dallas Cowboys
Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins (-6.5)
The Jags managed five sacks in the first half against the Eagles last week. Philly adjusted, rattling off 34 unanswered. How will the Redskins respond, while playing at home? Like Philly did? In Week 1, Washington struggled, scoring just once, and managing six points against the Texans. RGIII was being used as a pocket passer, and while his completion percentage was solid, he failed to make any impact plays. The Redskins have the offensive weapons to blow this one open, but it starts with its QB, a guy that I personally have zero faith in. D.C. will celebrate its first victory, but it will be a nail-biter.
Against the Spread: Jacksonville Jaguars
Straight Up: Washington Redskins
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants (-1.5)
Talk about underestimating the Cards after an impressive comeback victory versus the Chargers! Carson Palmer is questionable heading into the weekend and Andre Ellington is still battling a foot injury. If I were Arizona, I’d rest Ellington for a few weeks, until he’s 100% healthy – and then boom, watch out! But that’s clearly not happening, so the Cards could be hindered offensively. No wait, this is the Giants. You saw them play last week, right? It was ‘The Benny Hill Show’ set to football. I’m confidently taking the Cardinals, injuries or not.
Against the Spread: Arizona Cardinals
Straight Up: Arizona Cardinals
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (+1.5)
Both teams were a a surprise in Week 1, with the Dolphins ousting the Patriots at home and the Bills upsetting the Bears in OT. With a tossup line, this comes down to a pick ‘em, so who should we trust more? It’s September, so the Bills will not have the bitter cold weather advantage. Miami’s aggressive defense forced four sacks on Tom Brady and the Patriots last week. That’s enough for me.
Against the Spread: Miami Dolphins
Straight Up: Miami Dolphins
New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns (+6.5)
The quick take on the Saints is that 1) We aren’t worried about the offense and 2) perhaps we should question the defense a bit. But that was a loaded Falcons offense, and this is the Browns. Sure, Cleveland managed a second half comeback in Week 1, only to fall short against the Steelers. You can admire the fight of the Browns, but with Ben Tate out and Brian Hoyer still under center, the clear bet is to assume that Drew Brees and the Saints have way too weapons for Cleveland to hang around. Saints cover easily.
Against the Spread: New Orleans Saints
Straight Up: New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5)
Lovie Smith had a brutal debut in Tampa Bay, losing to a Cam-less Carolina team. The Rams struggled on offense, as most of us expected. Perhaps the bigger surprise is that the Rams managed zero sacks in week one. The Bucs already have question marks in its run game, leaving an unbalanced offense to face a defense that could force a lot of pressure on Josh McCown. On paper, this looks like it will be a sloppy, mistake-filled, low-scoring mess. Bucs win this barn burner by a field goal.
Against the Spread: St. Louis Rams
Straight Up: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers (+5.5)
The Seahawks dominated the Pack in Week 1, and therefore, this game will likely come off as a no-brainer for a lot of prognosticators. San Diego is a solid team, and Seattle will not have the 12th man for support. Of course, does that mean I’m picking against the Super Bowl champs right now? I’m not as dumb as I look. With a balanced offense and an aggressive defense, I’m sticking with the ‘Hawks.
Against the Spread: Seattle Seahawks
Straight Up: Seattle Seahawks
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-13.5)
Alex Smith skirted away from league-wide criticism, thanks to awful performances from guys like Tony Romo. But don’t mistake it, Smith was horrible, and so were the Chiefs. The losses on the offensive line have clearly hurt Kansas City. The Week 1 bright spot for K.C. was its four sacks, but we shouldn’t expect such an output against Peyton Manning and a stronger offensive unit. Divisional rivalries can often be closer affairs, but this doesn’t look like one of them, especially with the Broncos playing at home. Look for Peyton and the Broncos to keep rolling.
Against the Spread: Denver Broncos
Straight Up: Denver Broncos
New York Jets at Green Bay Packers (-8.5)
Rex Ryan continues to run his mouth, as his Jets find ways to get ugly wins against “bottom of the totem pole” teams like the Raiders. But KP, New York is number one in both pass defense (133 ypg) and run defense (25 ypg)! Friend, it was the Raiders. Oh, and by the way, Derek Carr still managed a 94.7 QB rating in Week 1. This is Aaron Rodgers and the Packers playing in the 2014 Lambeau Field home opener. It’ll be ugly alright, but not an ugly victory, Rex. Go Pack, go… and go big.
Against the Spread: Green Bay Packers
Straight Up: Green Bay Packers
Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders (+2.5)
Bill O’Brien won his head coaching debut, but it wasn’t always pretty against the Redskins. Sitting and thinking about the players on each roster, J.J. Watt stands out the most, likely to put plenty of pressure on Derek Carr and Oakland’s offensive line. O’Brien is an offensive mind that worked under Bill Belichick, so it won’t be long before Houston starts to improve on that side of the ball, too. The Texans go into Oakland win this one, moving to 2-0.
Against the Spread: Houston Texans
Straight Up: Houston Texans
Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)
The Bears faltered at home in Week 1, losing to the Bills in OT, while the Niners took it to Romo and the Cowboys on the road. Jay Cutler is very similar to Romo, likely to post numbers in bunches, while also forcing plenty of throws, and tossing multiple picks. Matt Forte is a beast in the trenches, and expect the Bears to try and force him down San Francisco’s throat, especially after DeMarco Murray had a productive day against the Niners in Week 1. This game looks to be more of a slugfest in the trenches, and a lower-scoring affair. That’s why I’m taking the Bears and the points.
Against the Spread: Chicago Bears
Straight Up: San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts (-3.5)
This should be a fun Monday night game, with two teams capable of putting up points in bunches. If you like offense, then you should love this one. Last week, Luck and the Colts made a late surge against the Broncos, but couldn’t handle Peyton and Denver’s ‘O’. Philly, meanwhile, rattled off 34 unanswered against the Jags, after allowing five sacks and trailing 17-0 in the first half. Nick Foles will need to have a more consistent performance. If the Eagles fall behind, it won’t be so easy to come back. Luck and the Colts are tough to top at home, and I’m giving the edge to Indy. Colts by a TD, 31-24.
Against the Spread: Indianapolis Colts
Straight Up: Indianapolis Colts