The Wife Hates SportsChump Annual Weekend Pick ‘Em: NFL Week Two

Most of us are still recovering from a frenetic Week One. 

Mine was exhausting.  All I did was move from the bed (for the 1 o’clock games) to the sofa (for the 4 o’clock games) and back to bed for the Bucs beatdown of the Cowboys in prime time.  I recently read that Americans consumed 370 billion minutes of NFL content last season.  I damn well did my part on Sunday.

Week One wasn’t all fun and blankets for everyone, however.  Dak Prescott tore his thumb, TJ Watt tore his pec and two out of three of us in this contest lost money.  While the three weekly pickers all started off 2-3 against the spread, I wagered wisely on the Bears +7 and the Fish -3 to put me in the black for the week, unlike my counterparts.  Here are your updated standings after Week One.

Which leads us back to football. 

We witnessed two ties in Week One for the first time since the 1970s.  I’ll spare you any jokes about bell bottoms and disco, considering that’s what I’m wearing and listening as I write this.  In a nutshell, the Giants upset the Titans, the Vikings beat the Packers, the Jets still suck, and we saw so many fourth-quarter lead changes on Sunday, the NFL Red Zone crew could hardly keep up.

This week looks even trickier, for if Las Vegas has proven anything over the years, it’s that none of us know what we’re talking about.

So instead of going for a sixty-yard field goal on fourth and short, here are my weekly picks…

$50 on Seattle Seahawks (+10) at San Francisco 49ers

I’m going to ride the Trey ain’t ready to play train until it comes backs a loser.  Last week, I questioned why the 49ers were touchdown favorites going into Chicago.  It turns out they shouldn’t have been.  They lost the game outright.  They can make all the weather excuses they want, the typhoon in the Windy City had little to do with the Niners ineptitude.  I’m not as big a believer in these Niners as the oddsmakers in Vegas.  Yet they are at it again, making San Fran a huge home favorite against Seattle.  The ‘Hawks looked like they have moved on their former quarterback.  In fact, they beat him relatively convincingly on Monday night.  Now they’re going against a worse team and getting over a touchdown in a divisional rivalry where they’re already one game up?  I need to see a lot more out of Lance before I’m willing to bet a team he’s leading can beat anyone, never mind by ten points.  This line has moved down to 8 ½ which means I’m not the only disbeliever.  I spotted it at ten when the lines came out so I’ll take Seattle plus which is something you should have done early until Trey proves he’s ready for prime time.

$40 on Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City (-3)

Something’s gotten into Patrick Mahomes.  The guy we already knew was the most talented player in the league… is getting better.  That’s a frightening thought.  He’s like Neo when he finally figures out the Matrix.  No Tyreke Hill?  No problem.  All the kid did was throw five touchdowns in Week One and I don’t think he played the fourth quarter.  It looks as if he and Travis Kelce had been throwing the ball to each other all offseason.  Either that or they speak telepathically.  Either way, the Chiefs already look like they’ll be late contenders again, which surprises absolutely nobody.  The Los Angeles Chargers are no slouch, yet they may suffer from a little Chiefs envy.  Looking for a piece of what Kansas City has, the Justin Herbert-led Bolts will try to keep up on Thursday’s prime time.  I just don’t know that they’ll be able to.  Kansas City has obviously made some defensive adjustments in the off-season.  Last season, their defense was their demise.  In Week One, they stifled Arizona and put that game to bed early.  They’ll have their work cut out for them against a Chargers team that can put up some points… but not as many as KC.  The line opened at three and has since moved to four.  I like it at four, I love it at three.  KC minus the opening spread at three.    

$30 on Nevada Wolfpack (+23) at Iowa Hawkeyes

Are we really doing this again?  Iowa is at home and they’re laying 23 points.  This is a team that, in two games this season, hasn’t combined to score that many.  That’s because they cannot score the football.  They couldn’t last season and so far, they can’t this season.  While it’s easy to suggest that losing at home to instate rival Iowa State would spark a fire under their ass when, you can’t spark an ass when you have none.  Dating back to last December, Iowa has scored 34 points in its last four games.  Meanwhile, Nevada can move the football and most certainly score it.  To suggest Iowa fans are over Kirk Ferentz is like suggesting we’re over this period of inflation but at least inflation keeps going up, which cannot be said for the scoreboard in Iowa City.  Ferentz may try to open things up this week, which would be to the delight of their fans, but I’m not quite sure they know how.  And the more they can’t, the more the pressure builds.  I’m taking Nevada plus 23, until Iowa proves they can score 23, never mind cover the number. 

$20 on Florida State Seminoles (-1 ½) at Louisville Cardinals

As a Gator fan, I hate to write this.  In fact, I think I’m even throwing up in my mouth a little bit as I do.  But the Florida State Seminoles appear to have their football program back on track.  Last week, they were one of the only non-conference teams to beat an SEC school.  While the best pound for pound conference in college football was running roughshod through its non-conference schedule, Florida State handed Brian Kelly his first Louisiana State loss.  While this game was technically played at a neutral site, the Louisiana Superdome, which is only a few hours away from Tallahassee, it’s less than an hour from Baton Rouge.  Seminoles travel to big games and represent.  They’ll do so again this Friday night in Louisville.  The Cardinals two openers weren’t nearly as impressive as what the ‘Noles just pulled off.  This will be their first home game of the season having beaten UCF on the road and losing handily to Syracuse.  Florida State hasn’t played since Labor Day weekend, so they’ll be chomping at the bit to get back on the field.  Either way, it looks like Mike Norvell has his team ready to run through a wall for him.  They will Friday night in Louisville, avoiding the let-down game and covering the point-and-a-half on the road.

$10 on Atlanta Falcons (+13) at Los Angeles Rams

Am I the only one who thinks there’s something wrong with the Rams?  We heard all preseason how Matt Stafford’s elbow wasn’t right.  He and his head coach nixed those rumors at pregame press conferences, yet they got manhandled by the Bills on opening night.  This weekend, they try it again, their Super Bowl banner already showing signs of wear.  They face what appears to be a pesky, flying under the radar Atlanta Falcons team.  Sure, Atlanta ended up losing a game to New Orleans that they should have won but they looked way better than they have in the past.  The immobile Matt Ryan has been replaced by the fleet-of-foot, new-lease-on-life Marcus Mariota, who is accompanied by the one-man wrecking crew, Cordarelle Patterson.  A Rams defense that looked a year older will have a fun time chasing those two around SoFi, not to mention Atlanta’s nasty young rookie in Drake London.  By all accounts, the Rams should win this ball game, but two touchdowns are a lot to lay against a feisty young team with nothing to lose.  That’s why I’m taking the Falcons plus the thirteen.


50: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) at New Orleans Saints

Bucs: Godwin is injured again, leaving players like Julio Jones to step up in the passing game.  The Bucs didn’t blow the doors off last week but did manage to hold the Cowboys to three points.

Saints: Statistically, Winston had a good line last week.  However, New Orleans needed a feverish fourth quarter comeback to top the Falcons.  The Saints also allowed four sacks in the game and now face a more talented and aggressive defense.  Oh, and Alvin Kamara is banged up, too.

The Game: The Saints have actually won seven of eight in the series.  New head coaches are here, but the rivalry remains.  Each team has talent, but this line is a bit too juicy to me, despite the recent history.  It’s tough to play in New Orleans, but Brady and the Bucs have the depth to leave “The Big Easy” with a not so easy win.  Tampa Bay wins the turnover battle, and the Bucs cover on the road.

40: Seattle Seahawks (+8.5) at San Francisco 49ers

Seahawks: Seattle wins the revenge game against Russell Wilson and the Broncos.  While a big win, let’s not forget that the Seahawks forced two Denver turnovers inside the five yard line.  This could have easily been a double-digit win for the Broncos.

49ers: The Niners faltered in the second half last week.  Let’s not forget the weather conditions were brutal.  Despite that, San Francisco and Trey Lance struggled often.  On top of that, the Niners are already losing running backs to injury.

The Game: No weather issues this week.  The Niners also have home field advantage.  How will Lance play, considering the home crowd and better weather?  How about Geno Smith, who had a strong opening game for the Seahawks?  In a rivalry game, I’m banking on Seattle to keep it close throughout.  That’s if Geno can have another steady performance.  Give me the Seahawks and the points.

30: Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5) at Dallas Cowboys

Bengals: Joe Burrow had arguably his worst game as a pro, with five turnovers.  Despite that, he nearly led the Bengals to a comeback win over the rival Steelers.  Now that he has his back against the wall, it’s time for this offense to really shine.

Cowboys: With Dak Prescott out for many weeks, Cooper Rush will start.  Dallas also has clear holes in its receiving game.

The Game: Dallas still has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball.  Micah Parsons can spark a momentum change on his own.  Still, this isn’t the second opponent that Dallas needed.  Not with Joe Burrow angry and Dak Prescott injured.  Give me the Bengals to cover on the road.

20: SMU Mustangs at Maryland Terrapins (-2.5)

Mustangs: QB Tanner Mordecai is a talented player that will give the Maryland defense fits.

Terps: For Maryland, all eyes are also on the quarterback position (Hello, Taulia Tagovailoa).  In addition, this is arguably Mike Locksley’s most talented team since taking over as head coach at Maryland.

The Game: Per Phil Steele and heading into the season, SMU is 11-1 straight up and 9-3 against the spread in non-conference games since 2019.  That’s a pretty impressive stat to be ignoring, considering I’m going with the Big Ten team.  Taulia comes up big.  Terps cover at home.

10: Oklahoma Sooners (-11) at Nebraska Cornhuskers

Sooners: I’m not sure what we’ll get from first year head coach Brett Venables and the Sooners as the season progresses.  Returning just ten starters heading into the season, there are question marks.  Still, this team is talented and off to a strong start.

Huskers: With Nebraska, it’s the opposite.  What an absolute mess.  Scott Frost was officially relieved of his head coaching duties.  The final straw being a 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern.  Mickey Joseph now leads the team and the question remains how the Huskers will respond.

The Game: Talk about two teams headed in opposite directions.  Frost was a legend at Nebraska and there was so much hype around his hiring.  Now, Nebraska is picking up the pieces.  They have home field and a chance to turnaround their season under a different head coach.  An old rivalry renewed, as well.  Despite all that, I just don’t buy a bounce back.  The Huskers have a long way to go.  I bet many of the players are thinking about the transfer portal.  Sooners cover on the road.

CELEBRITY GUEST WEEK TWO: J-DUB (last season’s record 1-4, -$70)

I don’t always bet on the NFL, but when I do, it’s because once a year the Chump asks me to.  Usually, I stick to the college game on my blog, but I’m not one to pass up a challenge… so here goes.

$50 – Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (Over 54.5): One of these team might score 40 on their own. Take the over to the bank.

$40 – Cincinnati Bengals (-8) at Dallas Cowboys: The Queen City Kitties are going to be out to prove last week’s crap performance was a fluke.  Meanwhile, the Chump’s Uncle Herschel ids on the Cowboys depth chart at quarterback. Bengals cover with room to spare.

$30 – Washington Commanders at Detroit Lions (-2.5): The Motor City Kittens shouldn’t be favored over anybody, except maybe the road company of “Cats.” Take the Washington Generals unless the ghost of Meadowlark Lemon suits up for Detroit.

$20 – Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-10): Geno Smith vs. Trey Lance. I’m betting this one so you don’t have to. Call it a public service. Niner’s defense carries the day.

$10 – Indianapolis Colts (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars: Colts never win this game…never.

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