Winning Ugly: My Week 2 NFL Picks

So I keep mentioning that nobody really knows what to expect yet even in week 2. Even me who went 13-4 last week. A lot of the lines are the result of an overreaction from week 1’s results. As a result there’s a lot of lines that are just plain ugly. I’m going to lightly touch on each game like I did las week. As the week goes on and we get to know these teams better I will be more confident and be able to better analyze each team and game.

Colts @ Titans -3
This game will be very interesting to me to see how the Titans follow up their early success last week. The Colts could also easily be 1-0 and this line would probably be even lower than it is. You have to factor in familiarity when you talk about division rivals. The Colts went 2-0 last year with two very convincing wins. The last of which kept the Titans out of the playoffs and put the Colts into the playoffs. I think ultimately the Colts do a better job of playing the style of football the Titans are trying to play. Running the ball to chew up clock and playing good defense. The Titans were also helped out a lot by turnovers last week. I don’t think that will be the case as much this week. I trust Jacoby Brissett more than I do Baker Mayfield to put keep his team in position to win. I will probably stay away personally but if I had to pick I like the Colts +3.

49ers @ Bengals -1
This line has bounced around from each team being favored by 1 or a pick. Not any real significant movement on each side shows that nobody really has a clue on what is going on with this game. The Bengals looked surprisingly competent last week on the road against the Seahawks. They were ultimately done in by their turnovers. The 49ers took advantage of two defensive touchdowns to win in Tampa Bay and followed up the win going straight to Ohio to practice. As much as this may help them this week and I’m not sure it will, it will most likely be to their detriment next week. I’m not sure if I can trust Kyle Shanahan to keep his team fully engaged for a full week away from home. Shanahan has shown he is a great offensive playcaller but they were out-gained last week by the Bucs who after two games haven’t looked very impressive. Which also makes me not very impressed with the 49ers defense after one good performance against the aforementioned Bucs offense that is not impressive. I like the Bengals here and I like the over in this game. For as much as Zac Taylor was made fun of all off-season as someone who had a beer with Sean McVay and got a head coaching job, the lack of film on his play-calling style will take people by surprise. So I’m taking the Bengals and I like the over here too.

Jaguars @ Texans -7.5
This line has come down from 8.5 to 7.5 and I’m on that same side of thinking. The last drive by the Texans is fresh in everyone’s mind after being on Monday night. 2 plays, 75 yards and a TD. Showed the kind of potential the Texans offense could have. It also erases the memory of them going up 14-3 at halftime then falling behind 27-21, along with giving up 6 sacks. They’re going up against a Jaguars defense that is better than the Saints defense and has one of the more talented defensive lines in the league. It’s tough to judge the Jaguars after one week against the Chiefs offense that is on another level. For as much potential the Texans offense has they are nowhere near as good as the Chiefs. Plus Gardener Minshew was actually pretty solid. Now with a full week to prepare with the starters I think the Jaguars keep this one close if not win it outright. Not to mention they will be trying to run the ball and the Saints top two running backs both averaged over 7 yards per carry last week. I like the Jaguars here and it is going to be a lock for me.

Chiefs @ Raiders +7
As much as I loved the Raiders last week, that is how much I will love to bet against them this week. Everything I loved about the Raiders last week does not apply here. Having extra time to prepare against a team who isn’t going to be able to score quickly. In fact this week is the complete opposite. Coming off an extra short week after playing the late Monday night game playing against a team that can probably score quicker than anybody. The Raiders were able to use their quick start to cruise to an easy win last week (in a game I handicapped perfectly NBD). But they will need a lot more than that this week and I don’t see it. The Chiefs scored more than the Raiders and Broncos combined last week. I think the Chiefs win big and cover this one easily. This will be one of my locks as well.

Bears @ Broncos +2
So the stat about Denver being basically unstoppable in the first two weeks of the season has gotten out to the public. So the line on this game is a lot closer than it would be otherwise. Not only do the Broncos have that on their side but they also have Fangio’s familiarity with his old team the Bears. Not only does he probably know Nagy’s offense well after going against them in practice but he’s also very familiar with the defensive personnel. I don’t think there is anybody better to attack the lackluster Bears offense than their former defensive coordinator. For as good as the Bears defense is, and they are very good. The altitude comes for everybody and nothing makes a team realize they aren’t in shape as much as a game in Denver. I think this game will be ugly for the Bears but it won’t mean the end of their season. I see the Broncos winning this one outright and thus covering the spread as well.

Eagles @ Falcons +1
I like the Falcons in their home opener. I don’t think last week was the true representation for this team. They started out with two quick turnovers and a blocked punt that turned into an early 21-0 lead for the Vikings. The Falcons did a lot more to lose that game than the Vikings did to win. I don’t see that happening this week as I see the Falcons being a team that gets better as the season goes along. The Eagles on the other hand I think are more likely to repeat last week’s first half performance which found them down 20-7 going into halftime. Had it not been for two big plays to DeSean Jackson the Eagles would find themselves in an even worse position. Not to mention the Eagles played a team that is far less talented than them in the Redskins. I think the loss of Malik Jackson will be huge. Especially after Chris Long’s retirement and Michael Bennett joining the Patriots. I like the Falcons offense to really step up here and win the game to cover the spread.

The Picks:
Colts +3
Bengals -1
49ers Bengals Over 46
Jaguars +7.5 (LOCK)
Chiefs -7 (LOCK)
Broncos +2
Falcons +1

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