Saturday, September 18, 2010
The NFL Week 2 Preview/ Picks
Week 1, as I've said, has given us a pretty muddled view of the NFL, but there are still some conclusions to be drawn, and the picture is at least a little clearer than right before the season started. Still, I find myself confused by some lines. Well, here goes with the picks. I did pretty well last week, besides missing the Texans, Chiefs, and the Seahawks COMPLETELY. You live and you learn.
Kansas City at Cleveland (-3)
Wait, how is Cleveland favored again? They completely choked away a game against the Buccaneers, and Jake Delhomme was his normal, erratic self. Meanwhile, the Chiefs looked like they had an explosive offense and pretty good defense in a Monday Night win over the Chargers. I find it pretty easy to say that KC will win this game. Unless the oddsmakers know something everyone else doesn't, I don't think the Browns home field will make that much of a difference.
Buffalo at Green Bay (-13)
Now this is a spread I can go with! The Bills are going to have inappropriate things done to them by the Packers on both side of the ball. If you own Packers on your fantasy team, start them. If you have Bills on your team, you're dumb (like me). If the Bills cover this spread I will be amazed. The only bet I felt comfortable making with my Packers fan friend was a 21 point spread. And I'm pretty sure I'll lose 5 dollars on that. The Buffalo Bills- we've been rebuilding since 1999!
Cincinnati at Baltimore (-2.5)
Interesting game here. The Bengals got shut down in the first half against the Patriots, and then started scoring in the 2nd half when it didn't quite matter as much. The Ravens played a rough, defensive battle against the Jets and came out on top. I'd like to see how the Ravens defense plays against a better offense, and if the Bengals can put up points when they're not in garbage time. The Ravens offense looks like it could be Patriots-esque, so the normally good Bengals defense will need to step up. I like the Ravens to win by more than a field goal, and cover that spread at home.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee (-5)
Sure, Pittsburgh barley beat Atlanta in a defensive, overtime clash, but how are they giving up 5 points, even on the road? Tennessee just beat up on the Raiders, who are still terrible. This is Tennessee's first real test, and I think they won't do quite as well against a competent defense. I think Pittsburgh covers the spread and Tennessee wins (hey, Chris Johnson is still really good against any defense).
Philadelphia (-6.5) at Detroit
The triumphant return of Michael Vick! It sure has been a long time, and last week we got to see a little slice of classic Vick, rushing and passing for over 100 yards. The Eagles have enough weapons surrounding Vick so that they can beat the Lions and cover the spread. (Another note: I think the Lions D, having a week to prepare, will be able to stop Vick from running. But still, he's a decent passer, and the Eagles D is good enough to beat up a Matt Stafford-less Lions.)
Chicago at Dallas (-7.5)
The Bears are terrible, and got away with a cheap victory. Now Bears fans begin their "apocalypse" phase, where they start predicting 4-12 seasons and calling for Lovie Smith's head. The Bears offensive line was bad enough to not get a touchdown with four chances from the 1 yard line. I do see them putting up some points though behind the Mike Martz offense (just not with the running game). The Cowboys shot themselves in the foot enough to lose to a not great Redskins team on Sunday Night, and now return home pissed off. I see them winning but the Bears cover the spread with some garbage time points.
Tampa Bay at Carolina (-3.5)
A stunning lack of interest is suddenly taking me over. The Panthers are probably better than the Buccaneers, but neither team is going to do anything special this season, not with Matt Moore and Josh Freeman as the quarterbacks. The Panthers will run the ball a lot and win this game, and Tampa won't cover. Snoooooooze.
Arizona at Atlanta (-6.5)
Arizona looked wholly decent last week, and Atlanta took Pittsburgh to overtime. The Falcons should have more offense in this game, and they are at home. If the Falcons are really a playoff caliber team, they'll win this game handily. I don't think they are, but I do still think they'll win and Arizona won't cover in the 2nd game of the Derek Anderson era.
Miami at Minnesota (-5.5)
These teams both played pretty badly last week. The Vikings, though, did keep it close versus the defending Super Bowl champions, while the Dolphins couldn't shake the Bills and kept them in the game. The Vikings will be able to move the ball against the Dolphins and should win this game. Miami is going to have trouble running the ball against the Vikings Defense, so it will come down to Chad Henne. And when you put the game in his hand... oy. I'll take the Vikings to win and cover.
St. Louis at Oakland (-3.5)
Welcome to this week's "hell game". If you have to watch this game, may God have mercy on your soul. Both teams are shaping up to have pretty atrocious seasons (and that's not what was expected for the Raiders). However, I was impressed that the Rams kept it close with the Cardinals, and I think they'll do the same against the Raiders, covering the spread. And I guess the Raiders will actually win it (but I'm feeling iffy on that).
Seattle at Denver (-3.5)
Never thought I'd say this, but intriguing match up here. The Seahawks ran over the 49ers last week, and Denver had a close loss to the Jaguars. Now we can see each teams "relative quality"- i.e. how good the Seahawks are (as opposed to the 49ers being very bad) and how good the Broncos are (if they played a good game against a decent team in the Jaguars). The Broncos have the home field advantage, so I'll take them to win and to cover, but it will hardly be an easy game for them.
Washington at Houston (-3)
Wait. Wait. A team that just beat the Colts by 10 points is only getting 3 at home against the Redskins? The Redskins snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last week. Not convincing. The Texans made a statement last week that they should be considered playoff caliber. I take them to win and cover, no problem.
Jacksonville at San Diego (-7)
This is a high spread for a team that lost last week against a team that looked pretty good last weekend. I think the Jaguars will be a competitive team, and San Diego is not going to be quite as good as previous years. The Jaguars cover the spread here, and San Diego wins, but it won't be impressive.
New England (-3) at NY Jets
It's come to the point where I actually like the Patriots slightly more than the Jets. Until I see evidence that Mark Sanchez has improved at all, I can't trust the Jets against quality opponents. Their defense is still pretty good, but not impenetrable. The Patriots looked really, really good last week. The Patriots will further shut up the Jets with a win and they'll cover the spread. (Yes, there is still Jets hate clouding these picks).
NY Giants at Indianapolis (-5)
The Colts are going into this game with a lot to prove. They are going to want to show the nation that they're not done yet. The Giants are no slouch, but I don't know if they are on the Colts level. Peyton will be able to outduel his younger brother on offense, and hopefully the Colts D has fixed some of it's holes. I see the Colts winning and covering- it's Monday Night, and Peyton is unstoppable on Sunday Nights.
New Orleans (-5) at San Francisco
Alex Smith is not an NFL Quarterback and the Defense can't stop the Seahawks. How does that bode well at all against the Saints? The Saints win pretty easily, cover the spread. Another "great" Monday Night game after ESPN trusts that SF hype.