In a shocking turn of events, I went 3-0 in my Thursday Night Football picks, so I’m going to label these picks as must-read since I’m hot, and you might as well cash-in while you can!
Week 2 Record: 3-0
Week 2 Units: +2.19
YTD Record: 23-23-2
*All picks based on Bovada (bovada.lv) 9/18*
ATLANTA FALCONS @ DALLAS COWBOYS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Cowboys -4.5 (-105), Falcons +4.5 (-115)
Money line: Cowboys (-210), Falcons (+175)
The only pick I’m confident in this game is the under. Dallas looked off in Week 1, and the Falcons’ point totals were skewed with a lot of garbage-time scoring. I’m leaning toward the Falcons in this game, both with the points and the win. I think the Cowboys losing Leighton Vander Esch is a huge blow, and I think it’s going to take Dak Prescott a bit to pick up Mike McCarthy’s new offense. I look for a bounce-back performance by the Falcons defense, and the offense doing just enough to win the game outright.
PICKS: Falcons +4.5, Falcons ML, Under 54
BUFFALO BILLS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Bills -6
Money line: Bills (-250), Dolphins (+210)
I think I bought into “Fitzmagic” a bit too much in Week 1. The Dolphins made a ton of changes in the offseason, and they just didn’t seem to mesh on the offensive side of the ball. Miami kept it close with the Patriots for a half, but they ended up falling short. Although it was the Jets, the Bills look like they’re on their way to another playoff berth. With relative confidence, I can say the Bills are going to win, and going to win big.
PICKS: Bills -6, Bills ML, Over 41
CAROLINA PANTHERS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Bucs -8.5
Money line: Bucs (-380), Panthers (+290)
I enjoyed watching Tom Brady and Gronk suck it up last Sunday. It would be easy to say they’re washed and Brady is done, but you have to remember, the Saints won 13 games last year and they’re a good team. Also, there is nothing more dangerous than a Tom Brady who feels like he’s being disrespected and an underdog. I think the Bucs are going to have a big-time bounce-back against a first-year head coach who is still installing a new system with a new QB.
PICKS: Bucs -8.5, Bucs ML (-380), Over 48
DENVER BRONCOS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Steelers -7.5 (-105), Broncos +7.5 (-115)
Money line: Steelers (-330), Broncos (+265)
The Steelers looked decent last Monday, and the Broncos looked terrible. I went into the season with high hopes for Denver, but they just didn’t seem to have it on Monday. I think this is a good opportunity to make some money, as Vegas tends to overreact to current trends. The reality is, I think the Steelers played just well enough to win against a pretty bad Giants team, and the Broncos played an ugly game against a team who routinely wins ugly.
PICKS: Broncos +7.5, Broncos ML, Over 40.5
DETROIT LIONS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Packers -6.5
Money line: Packers (-290), Lions (+240)
The Aaron Rodgers revenge tour started last Sunday against the Vikings, and the next stop will be Detroit. The Packers looked great Sunday, and the Lions put together a decent three quarters against the Bears, but ultimately, got destroyed by Mitch Trubisky in the fourth. If they struggled with Mitch, they will 100% struggle with Aaron, and this is a very easy pick in my book.
PICKS: Packers -6.5, Packers ML, Over 49.5
LOS ANGELES RAMS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Rams -1 (-105), Eagles +1 (-115)
Money line: Rams (-115), Eagles (-105)
Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles are coming off an absolute meltdown against the Washington Football Team. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams are coming off of a win gifted by the Cowboys, who inexplicably went for it on fourth-down in FG range, down by three. That being said, the smart play is the Rams. I think the reason the Vegas views this game as a toss-up is because it’s in Philly, but the Rams are actually the best road team in the NFL since Sean McVay took over in 2017 (18-7, including playoffs). Both offenses struggled in Week 1, as well, making me think the under is the smart play here.
PICKS: Rams -1, Rams ML, Under 45.5
MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Colts -3
Money line: Colts (-165), Vikings (+145)
We have another interesting game here. The Vikings got embarrassed by Green Bay, the Colts got upset by the Jags and both have something to prove. I think we have another gift from Vegas on our hands, and I’m counting on Kirk Cousins to deliver.
PICKS: Vikings +3, Vikings ML, Over 49
NEW YORK GIANTS @ CHICAGO BEARS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Bears -5.5
Money line: Bears (-240), NYG (+200)
I underestimated Mitch Trubisky in Week 1: I still think he is a mediocre-at-best QB, and taking him over Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes was a major miss by Bears GM Ryan Pace, but I underestimated his desire to get paid. Mitch’s fifth-year option was declined, making him an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season — and nothing motivates someone more than money. The Giants looked okay on Monday Night Football against the Steelers, but they’re clearly an offense driven by Saquon Barkley, who was out-gained on the ground by Big Ben. The Bears still have a top-tier defense, and I think their front-seven is going to massacre the Giants’ depleted offensive line. Look for the Bears to win very easily here, and look for Trubisky to put up another solid performance against a weak secondary.
PICKS: Bears -5.5, Bears ML, Over 42
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ NEW YORK JETS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: 49ers -7
Money line: 49ers (-320), NYJ (+260)
One of my few correct upset picks in Week 1 was the Cardinals getting the better of the 49ers, but I still think it is a no-brainer to take them this week against the Jets. The Jets are a mess from top-to-bottom: their defense is a nightmare, Sam Darnold calls “hike” and is running for his life immediately, and they just put Le’Veon Bell on IR. The only real question here is, will the Jets put up some garbage-time offense and possibly help hit the over? (Spoiler alert: they won’t.)
PICKS: 49ers -7, 49ers ML, Under 41.5
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ TENNESSEE TITANS (Sunday 1:00pm)
Spread: Titans -7.5
Money line: Titans (-350), Jags (+275)
I severely underestimated the Jags in Week 1, as they had an incredibly impressive showing against the Colts. That being said, the Titans are clearly a better team than the Colts, and although I think the Jags can cover the 7.5 point spread, I just can’t see them pulling back-to-back upsets against AFC South opponents. Look for a steady dose of Derrick Henry in a lower-scoring game.
PICKS: Jags +7.5, Titans ML, Under 44
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM @ ARIZONA CARDINALS (Sunday 4:05pm)
Spread: Cardinals -7
Money Line: Cardinals (-310), WAS (+255)
Week 1 just affirmed my beliefs that the Cardinals are a dark-horse team to win the NFC West. Even though Washington had a solid showing against Philly, I just don’t think they’re good enough to compete with a revamped Cardinals team. I picked Drew Lock as my dark-horse MVP before the season, but I may have hitched my wagon to the wrong second-year QB, as Kyler Murray looked very good against an elite 49ers defense.
PICKS: Cardinals -7, Cardinals ML, Over 46.5
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ HOUSTON TEXANS (Sunday 4:25pm)
Spread: Ravens -7
Money line: Ravens (-330), Texans (+265)
Will Deshaun Watson vs. Lamar Jackson prove to be better than Deshaun Watson vs. Patrick Mahomes? In short, it will absolutely not. The Ravens looked great on both sides of the ball last Sunday against Cleveland, and the Texans just couldn’t seem to get it going on either side of the ball. Baltimore destroyed Houston last year, and I think we’re in for a repeat performance this week. Look for the Ravens to score early, often, and continuously throughout the game while Bill O’Brien continues to do his best to make Deshaun Watson regret signing an extension.
PICKS: Ravens -7, Ravens ML, Over 50
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (Sunday 4:25pm)
Spread: Chiefs -9
Money line: Chiefs (-420), Chargers (+310)
Kansas City sputtered a little bit out of the gate in Week 1 against the Texans, but as the game went on, they seemed to regain midseason form. The Chargers are in a weird spot; they have a very solid defense, but Tyrod Taylor is going to limit them offensively. I don’t think you see a QB change to Justin Herbert this week, which spells an easy win for the Chiefs. Again, the question really comes down to if the Chargers are going to be able to score enough to hit the over, and I just don’t see that happening.
PICKS: Chiefs -9, Chiefs ML, Under 47.5
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (Sunday 8:20pm)
Spread: Seahawks -4
Money line: Seahawks (-200), Pats (+170)
We get to our final Sunday matchup here. The Pats did enough to win against a weak Miami team, and the Seahawks got out to an early lead and coasted against the Falcons. It’s hard to bet against Bill Belichick, but I think this game may end up being one of those losses that ends up improving New England in the long run. The Pats defense is still relatively unproven, and Cam Newton wasn’t really asked to do much to beat the Dolphins. I think we see a convincing win from Seattle here.
PICKS: Seahawks -4, Seahawks ML, Over 44.5