We’re on to Week 2 in the NFL, with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals kicking off on Thursday. That means it’s time once again for our weekly look at the point spreads in order to help you win some money.
Last week, Steven Ruiz went 9-4-3 and Charles Curtis went 8-5-3.
We now go to each of them for comments before their picks.
Charles: Saved by the pushes! I’ll take it. A pretty good start in a very weird season.
Steven: When I saw those pushes, my first thought was, “Aw man, I could have won more games.” Charles, meanwhile, is just feeling lucky to avoid those losses. Telling.
(All bets courtesy of BetMGM)
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Bengals at Browns (-6)
I am not buying anything that the Browns are selling, even if it’s in a short week and it comes after losing to a very tough Ravens team. Joe Burrow looked pretty good in Week 1 and at the very least he’ll cover, if not win outright.
If this game were on Sunday, I would have picked the Bengals. But you have a short turnaround and the Bengals are banged up. Even if the Browns look like a total mess, they’re talented enough to beat an undermanned Cincinnati team with a rookie quarterback by a touchdown.
Rams at Eagles (+1.5)
Aaron Donald against a decimated offensive line that gave up EIGHT sacks last week? Yes please and thank you.
Yes, losing to a football team without a name is bad, but I think the mistakes that led to the loss are correctable. And getting Lane Johnson back from injury should help that offensive line. I’ll take the home underdog.
Panthers at Buccaneers (-9)
I dunno. The Panthers didn’t look half bad last week even though that was against the Raiders. The Bucs didn’t look half good, but that was against the Saints. I think Tampa’s got this one but not by that margin.
Carolina’s defense is a disaster but I was not encouraged by what I saw out of Tampa’s offense on Sunday. Not just Tom Brady’s washed-ness. The play-calling wasn’t great and it appears that there hasn’t been a lot of adjustments made to better suit Brady’s declining skill-set. I’ll take those points.
Broncos at Steelers (-7)
Pittsburgh took care of the Giants mostly with ease, and with the Broncos coming East and struggling against the Titans, I’ll take Pittsburgh.
The Steelers will win this game but that’s just too many points to give up. I can see them using a defensive gameplan similar to the one we saw on Monday night. In other words, a lot of blitzing. Drew Lock may have trouble with that, but the Broncos defense is well coached and will do a better job of containing the Steelers’ quick passing game than the Giants did. Pittsburgh wins a low-scoring game but fails to cover.
Falcons at Cowboys (-4)
There were some warning signs about Dallas last week, but if this becomes a shootout, I favor the team with the better defense at home with this small of a spread.
Nope. Not betting on the Falcons defense after what I saw on Sunday. Atlanta’s defense did not force Russell Wilson to make a single tight-window throw. Like that’s an actual statistic from NFL.com’s Next Gen Stats. I know the Cowboys offense didn’t look great against the Rams, but things should be a lot easier this weekend.
49ers at Jets (+7)
Normally, betting on home dawg is the right move here. But with no fans in the stands and the Niners wanting to bounce back from last week’s loss to the Cardinals, I think they put up the points here.
Is Adam Gase is still coaching the Jets? All right, that’s enough for me. But seriously, the Jets offensive line stands no chance against that 49ers pass rush. And who on the Jets receiving corps is getting open against that secondary?
Bills at Dolphins (+5.5)
I like what I saw last week out of Buffalo, and they’re going to run all over Miami all day.
Honestly, this one’s a toss-up for me. I’ll take the better team, but would not be surprised if the Dolphins covered here. Miami did have some trouble with the QB run game in Week 1 and would not be surprised if Buffalo tries (and succeeds) to exploit that.
Vikings at Colts (-3)
Can I say “push” here? No? Fine. The Colts’ loss last week gave me pause and I expect Minnesota’s defense to rebound.
If you go back and rewatch the Colts’ Week 1 loss, you’ll see they really had no business losing that game. They were the better team, and Philip Rivers was sharp aside from the picks. Indy will bounce back at home.
Lions at Packers (-6)
I’m still on the “Packers are overrated” train for now, even though Aaron Rodgers looked good last week. I think Detroit does just enough to lose by five.
I’m skeptical that Aaron Rodgers can put up another performance like that again, and Detroit gave Green Bay a lot of trouble last season. Give me the points.
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Giants at Bears (-5.5)
Mitchell Trubisky or Daniel Jones? Yeesh. I’ll put my money on the Bears’ D over the Giants’, though.
I don’t think that fourth-quarter comeback was a sign of things to come from Mitch Trubisky. He was bad the first three quarters and it was really the Chicago run game carrying the team through it. Well, the Giants have a pretty good run game. They’ll slow down the Bears offense just enough to cover.
Jaguars at Titans (-8)
Gardner Minshew is the reason I’ll take the points — the Titans will go up early and The Stache will throw a garbage-time TD to cover with seconds left.
That Jaguars win in Week 1 was a bit of a fluke, but an eight-point spread is a bit too high for me. If Minshew is just OK, Jacksonville will keep it close enough to cover.
Washington at Cardinals (-6.5)
WFT’s defense is feisty, and the Cardinals’ defense isn’t good enough yet to cover that large of a spread.
Kliff Kingsbury will scheme around the Washington pass rush and Kyler Murray is not going to turn the ball over a billion times like Carson Wentz did. That was really the only reason the Football Team was able to put points.
Ravens at Texans (+7)
Man, what a way to start the season for Houston — Patrick Mahomes and now Lamar Jackson. Ravens by ten.
The Texans offense was hard to watch on Thursday night. It just looked so hard for Deshaun Watson to get anything done because he had no support. Meanwhile, Baltimore’s offense looks even better than it did a year ago. This game was a blowout last year and the Ravens have only gotten better.
Chiefs at Chargers (+8.5)
I stupidly bet against Kansas City to open up the year, I won’t do it again.
I watched the Bengals-Chargers game so you didn’t have to. And let me tell you, the Chargers offense was a pain to watch. There is no chance they keep up with Patrick Mahomes.
Patriots at Seahawks (-4)
This is historical:
The Seahawks are currently favored by 4 points over the Patriots in Week 2. Presuming this holds (no reason to think it won’t), it will snap a streak of 64 straight regular season games that the Patriots have been favored, the longest ever streak in the Super Bowl era.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 15, 2020
Naturally, I’ll take the Pats to cover despite the visit West. Got to do it.
Bet against Bill Belichick on prime time? Not happening. And the Seahawks don’t have a real home-field advantage with no fans in the stands. Give me the Pats in a fairly low-scoring game.
Saints at Raiders (+5.5)
I don’t care that Michael Thomas is probably out for this game and that it’s at the super-cool Allegiant Stadium. The Saints will steamroll.
Um, why is this line so low? The Saints didn’t even play well and managed to blow out a good Bucs team. The Raiders barely beat a very bad Panthers team. This will be easy for New Orleans.
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