Baltimore -1 @ Bengals
What this line represents to me is that Vegas wants the public side to be the Bengals. They have been hyped up all offseason and people believe they have a good enough roster to win the AFC North. I am not so sold on the Bengals, and I think the Ravens have a much more talented team and seem to be much more poised to win the AFC North. They blew out the Bills in week 1 47-3 so unfortunately there is not much to take from that game as the Bills looked terrible. The Bengals struggled keeping the Colts offense contained. The final score is not indicative of how close the game actually was. As the Colts were driving for a possible game winning touchdown, they fumbled the ball an the Bengals took it the other way to extend their lead. Thursday night games are usually won by the team with the better coach. I am taking John Harbaugh and the Ravens over Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. I am not sold on the Bengals and I think the Ravens win this game easily. The Bengals will have to prove to me they are good before I can take them.
Colts @ Redskins -6
The Colts come into this game after squandering a fourth quarter lead against the Bengals last week. They are facing a Redskins team that looked to have a very efficient offense highlighted by their running game. Their offensive line was able to create a lot of running room for newly signed RB Adrian Peterson who is out to prove he can still play. He looked good in week 1 rushing for 96 yards on 26 attempts while also getting 2 catches for 70 yards. The Redskins should be able to get their running game going again this week, when they face the Colts defense who gave up 5.1 yards per carry to the Bengals in week 1. I like the Redskins to win at home but not sure they can cover the spread. I would rather use them as a teaser leg.
Chiefs @ Steelers -5
This line says to me that the Chiefs are getting no respect. They were heavy 3 point underdogs last week against the Chargers and now find themselves 5 point underdogs against the Steelers. The Steelers are coming off a sloppy game with the Browns that finished in a tie. Both teams had a chance to win but were not able to take advantage of them. One thing the Chiefs did last week that will be hard to replicate is their fast start. Tyreek Hill took their first punt return back for a 91 yard touchdown and then With their fast start they were able to force the Chargers into throwing situations where they are unable to utilize RB Melvin Gordon as well as they would like. The Steelers have a much better pass rush and running game than the Chargers do. Ben Roethlisberger also plays notably better at home than on the road. I think the Steelers have the potential to roll in this game but I think the safer pick is going with them as a teaser leg.
Browns @ Saints -9
This is a game I have been looking forward to since I had been looking at the schedule. I think everything is lining up for the Browns to upset the Saints here and not only cover the spread but win the game outright. The Browns defense played very well forcing 6 turnovers. Myles Garrett led the pass rush getting 2 sacks and 2 QB hits with 3 tackles for loss as well. They were able to move the ball in less than ideal conditions getting 177 yards on the ground. The Saints defense did not look like the same shut down unit they had last year against the Bucs. Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to throw for 417 yards with 4 TDs and 0 INTs. Out of his 4 TDs, 3 of them were passes of 36 yards or more. The Browns talented receiving core should be able to take advantage of this Saints secondary that looked mediocre last week. The Browns seem to have much more talent defensively than the Bucs do. Denzel Ward looks like stud at CB and should be able to match up well with Saints WR Michael Thomas. This is the game where nobody is giving the Browns a shot. Even before the season people thought they may pull the upset over their division rival Steelers but no chance they go into the Superdome and beat the New Orleans Saints. Right? Wrong. This is the week the futility ends. I love the Browns against the spread and moneyline.
Eagles -3 @ Bucs
The defending champs come into this week after a sloppy opening night game to take on the Bucs in Tampa. The Bucs as previously mentioned looked amazing last week against the Saints. The reason this line is not bigger is because of how well the Bucs played last week. That is fresh in the public betters mind as they will be looking for a repeat performance against an Eagles team that did not look very intimidating in prime time. The Eagles are a much better coached team than the Bucs are and come into this game with extra time to prepare after their season started on Thursday. Although the Bucs offense looked explosive last week that came against a Saints defense that up until last year had a reputation for giving up a lot of points. I am not sold that they will still be great after one great year. Lost in this game is the fact that the Bucs defense was just as bad. I can see the Eagles winning this game just like they won last week, with their run defense and pass rush. The Eagles should make it tough on Ryan Fitzpatrick not giving him as much time to throw as he had against the Saints. I see the Eagles covering this game, I will also bet them moneyline.
Panthers @ Falcons -6
I can’t decide if the Panthers are more or less underrated than the Falcons are overrated. I was on the Panthers win total over and Falcons win total under to start the season and I think this game will help both of those. The Panthers have been getting no love from the public because of their offensive line troubles. They also lost TE Greg Olsen for a considerable amount of time. I think these factors are a bit overblown. Cam Newton is able to mask some of the issues on the offensive line with his mobility. The Panthers still ran for 147 yards and 4.6 yards per carry last week against a Cowboys defensive line that is more talented overall than the Falcons. The Falcons had issues stopping the run against Philadelphia and I see that continuing to be a problem. Their defense also lost LB Deion Jones and DB Keanu Neal to season ending injuries. Similar to the Eagles, the Panthers also have a great pass rush. They were able to get behind a highly touted Cowboys offensive line and get 6 sacks on Dak Prescott. The Falcons offense still does not look good with Steve Sarkisian calling plays. Matt Ryan looked has looked very average ever since former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan moved on. I think they Falcons will have trouble stopping the Panthers. The Panthers efficient running offense should keep the Falcons offense on the sidelines for most of this game. The Panthers should not only cover the spread, but also win this game outright.
Dolphins @ Jets -3
The Jets come into this week with the standard 3 points for home field advantage. After their blowout on Monday night I see the public coming in heavy on the Jets. The Dolphins game was easy to forget about as they played through two separate weather delays but got the win over the Titans. The Dolphins offense had an effective running game to compliment QB Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins were able to get the ground game going which opened up big plays for speedy WR Kenny Stills. This is a game I could see going either way. I’m leaning towards taking the Dolphins but I will probably stay away from this game.
Chargers -7.5 @ Bills
This line appears to have more to do with how bad the Bills looked last week than how the Chargers looked. The Bills could not get anything going against the Ravens. They started QB Nathan Peterman but went to Josh Allen mid-game. Honestly Nathan Peterman appears to be one of the worst QBs I have seen in an NFL uniform and Josh Allen is not a much better option. The Bills offense lacks explosiveness and their defense is not very talented either. I like the Chargers to win here but the spread will be tough. The Chargers are traveling east for an early game which is a spot that west coast teams traditionally do not do well in. I will probably take the Chargers as a teaser or maybe sprinkle some on the moneyline. Nathan Peterman threw 5 INTs against the Chargers in one half last year. Granted that game was in LA but I can not see them losing to the Bills this year either.
Lions @ 49ers -6
This is a classic case of a team being undervalued after losing by a large margin in a prime time game. There are also reports coming out the Lions coach Matt Patricia has lost the locker room. These combined factors have the public running to take the 49ers. The public better is of the mindset that the 49ers lost on the road to a superior Vikings defense, so they should roll at home playing the Lions who just got smoked by the Jets. I am not sold on that theory. The Vikings are darlings of the media this year after their run last year. Their defense was near the top of the league last year and lived up to their billing in week 1 against the 49ers. Although their defense looked great it was at the expense of 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo. The public and the media have high expectations for the 49ers and Garoppolo after he won his first 5 starts in the final 5 games last year. The wins masked the fact his TD to INT ratio was 7:5. He started week 1 with 3 INTs against the Vikings. This raises questions to me that the Vikings defense may not have been that great and Garoppolo may not be as great as people think. Both Garoppolo and Lions coach Matt Patricia were in New England last year so there is some familiarity with each other. Usually when there are reports this early of a head coach losing the locker room they are baseless. I think this is the media trying to stir up controversy and looking for someone to blame for the Lions embarrassment on Monday night. I think the Lions can get the upset and win outright here. This is a game where I think the Lions put the rumors of not liking their coach to rest and people instead start to question if Jimmy Garoppolo is as good as advertised.
Cardinals @ Rams -13
The Rams come into this game huge public favorites after their 20 point victory on Monday night. Also the Cardinals looked atrocious and could not get anything going last week against the Redskins. This is a case where you have a team in the Rams that has very high expectations and has been popular with the public since pre-season. They also played a prime time game where they won and covered the spread and looked good doing it. These factors combined with the Cardinals poor showing last week and low expectations is why the line is currently at -13. If I had to choose a team I would go with the Cardinals. I do not think they are as bad as people think and they should be able to keep the game close. It will be tough on the road however and that is why I will be off this game entirely.
Patriots -2 @ Jaguars
A rematch of last year’s AFC Championship being played in Jacksonville rather than New England. This will be a tough game for New England to come into Jacksonville and win. Temperatures and humidity look to be very high at kickoff which will be an advantage for Jacksonville. Also being at home will get the team energized as well. Although it is early in the season, this is almost like Jacksonville’s Super Bowl. This is the biggest regular season game for their franchise in quite some time. They should be prepared and the stadium will be rowdy as well. The Patriots will also be prepared as they always are. It will be difficult for them to find ways to move the ball against the Jaguar’s exceptional defense. This game is split right down the middle to me. Sometimes passing on a game you do not have enough information on can be the best move to make. That is why I will not be taking anyone in this game.
Raiders @ Broncos -5.5
The Raiders looked very disappointing on Monday night and now travel to Denver to play their divisional rival Broncos. The Broncos came out with a win last week against the Seahawks which has fueled the public into thinking they are back. The Broncos win combined with the Raiders loss on Monday night has stretched this spread out to 5.5. I like the Broncos here for the same reason I liked them last week. The altitude is too hard to make up for early in the year. Since the new CBA was signed offseason practices have been limited and players are not in ass good of shape as they had been in the past. This has given the Broncos a huge home field advantage early in the season. The Raiders started the game on Monday night very well but wore down over the course of the game. I see this being exacerbated by the altitude in Denver. I like the Broncos here to cover the spread and I like them also as a teaser leg.
Giants @ Cowboys -3
I have no idea why the Cowboys are favored in this game. They are getting the standard 3 points for home field but I have this game more at a pick than the Cowboys favored by 3. The Giants played a very good defense last week when they faced off against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Cowboys looked like trash against the Carolina Panthers. Granted the Panthers defense is also good, the Cowboys did not look good at all. They failed to move the ball in the air or on the ground and I am not sure if they will be able to do so against the Giants defense either. The Giants offense should do much better against a Cowboys defense that is not as talented as the Jaguars. I like the Giants in this game and I like them to win outright.
Seahawks @ Bears -3.5
The Bears looked awesome on Sunday night for the first half. Khalil Mack looks to be a great addition to that defense and already was making plays in his first game. I see this continuing as the Seahawks have a terrible offensive line. Von Miller led the Broncos with 2 of their 6 sacks and 4 hits on the QB. I can see Khalil Mack able to get a similar stat line. It is tough for me to take them -3.5 as the Bears have not proven themselves to be a winning team yet. I would be interested in betting the Bears if the line came down to 3 otherwise I like the Bears as a teaser leg or a moneyline bet.