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NFL Week 2 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on September 15th, 2011 | Comment »

NFL Week 2 Picks Against the SpreadLast week my picks went 9-5-2 ATS (click the link to see the pick ’em leaderboard — feel free to join our league!). I hit both 4/5 star picks (Patriots and Cardinals), but missed on my 3/5 star picks (Falcons and Chiefs). After doing more due diligence into the Chiefs vs. Bills game, I smelled trouble, and was lucky enough to change my week 1 survivor pool pick from the Chiefs to the Cardinals before kick off. This is a tough week with a lot of high spreads, but there are a few games I like. I have two  star 4/5 picks (Lions and Ravens) and two 3/5 star picks (Cowboys and Packers).


I incorporate herein by reference all comments regarding the Lions from my Week 2 Survivor Pool pick. I love the Lions this year. I have one fantasy team where I drafted Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Jahvid Best, Brandon Pettigrew, and the Lions defense. I shit you not. Every single one of them. I should take Nate Burleson just for the hell of it.

The Chiefs offense was pathetic. Cassel threw 36 passes for 119 yards. That’s 3.3 yards-per-attempt. How are the Chiefs going to get their running game going with Cassel’s awful quarterback play with a much-improved Lions front seven with Suh, Tulloch, Vanden Bosch, and Fairley. The Chiefs should struggle to find points.

The Lions were awesome on offense last week and could be the greatest show on turf in 2011. The Bills scored at will on the Chiefs last week and the Chiefs lost their best defensive player, Eric Berry. There is a 10% chance the Chiefs rebound and we have a “WTF just happened” moment, but I am extremely confident in the Lions winning by 10 or more. The one issue I have with this pick is that the Lions have never been a 7+ point favorite in over a decade. Let’s see how they respond. I’m willing to take a shot on them with a 4/5 star pick because that’s how much I believe in their team this year.

Prediction: Lions 31 – Chiefs 17

Free Pick Against the Spread: Lions -7.5 (Confidence: 4/5)


Is this a suckers pick just like the Falcons at the Bears last week? I’m going to say no. The Ravens absolutely manhandled the Steelers last week. The Titans struggled against a weak Jaguars team. There’s no reason to think that the Ravens won’t dominate this game. The Titans 14 points last week were thanks mostly in part due to a lucky/fluky 80-yard play to Kenny Britt. The Jaguars secondary is dismal and those type of plays just wouldn’t happen against the Ravens. The Titans couldn’t sustain drives and  move the chains (4-for-11 on 3rd-down conversions). The Titans really struggled against the run last week as well, giving up 163 rushing yards. Ray Rice should have a huge day against the Titans. Covering the 6 points should be an easy task.

Prediction: Ravens 27 – Titans 13

Free Pick Against the Spread: Ravens -5.5 (Confidence: 4/5)


The Cowboys will need to rebound after their tough loss to the Jets, a game they should have won. Sloppy turnovers by Romo in the 4th quarter as well as a blocked punt that led to a Jets TD in the 4th quarter cost them the game. They should have and almost beat the Jets, a much tougher team on the road than the 49ers. If the Cowboys protect the football, the Cowboys clearly have the offense top the 49ers. The 49ers offense was dismal against the Seahawks. It was 2 special teams touchdowns from Ted Ginn in the last two minutes that helped the 49ers put up 33 points. Otherwise, the 49ers offense production was just 19 points. Tony Romo threw for 342 yards. Alex Smith threw for 124 yards. The Cowboys are a team expected to make the playoffs. They can’t fall to 0-2 this early in the season against an easy opponent like the 49ers.

Prediction: Cowboys 27 – 49ers 17

Free Pick Against the Spread: Cowboys -3 (Confidence: 3/5)


Everyone saw Cam Newton’s 400+ yard debut and may want to stay away from this game, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Cardinals secondary is terrible. Cam Newton will be tested this week against one of the best defenses in the NFL. I’m willing to guarantee that Cam Newton throws under 250 yards, is held to just 1 TD, and that he throws at least one interception. Let’s see if that holds true. Charles Woodson should prevent Steve Smith from having another monster game. Rodgers should throw darts all day just like he did against the Saints defense. The loss of LB Jon Beason is also a huge blow to the Panthers defense.

Prediction: Packers 31 – Panthers 17

Free Pick Against the Spread: Packers -9.5 (Confidence: 3/5)


* I don’t like betting on any of these games, but will pick them for entertainment value.

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS (-3.5) — Rex “F–k it, I’m gonna throw it deep” Grossman is back. He threw 2 TDs and 300 yards last week. I had a side bet with a Giants friend of mine that Sexy Rexy would throw over 1.5 TDs so it was good to take the idiot Giants fan’s money. I thought Redskins +3 at home was a great play and recommended taking that game at home. The Giants are sorely overrated and had their key pass rushers (Tuck and Unemyiora) inactive. The Cardinals have questions in the passing game so expect Sexy Rexy to throw for another 300 yards. Slants? Gay. Flares? Gay. Button hook? Gay. Screen pass? Kevin Spacy Gay. F–k it, Grossman is throwing it deep this game. The west-coast team playing a 1:00 game on the east coast also gives the Redskins the edge. Redskins 24 – Cardinals 17.

OAKLAND RAIDERS @ BUFFALO BILLS (-3) — The Bills impressed me last week for obvious reasons. Putting up 41 points against a defense that many expected to be a solid unit. Jason Campbell didn’t do anything last game and solely relied on Darren McFadden for offense. The Bills front seven is in much better shape this year than the Broncos. McFadden will have a big game, but not as big as last week. I don’t want to take this game since I cannot advise betting on the Bills just yet (or ever), but the one factor that I’m eying up that gives the Bills the edge is the west-coast team playing a 1:00 game. It’s huge. Bills 24 – Raiders 20.

HOUSTON TEXANS (-3) @ MIAMI DOLPHINS — The Dolphins passing defense was awful since they couldn’t generate any pressure on Tom Brady. Look for Schaub to have a huge day unless Cameron Wake and the rest of the Dolphins front seven can dial up the pressure. I was quite impressed with Chad Henne though. Although he couldn’t outduel Mr. Brady, he showed poise in the pocket, turned the football over just once, and threw for over 400 yards. This one could be a back-and-forth battle that comes down to the wire. Not a great game to bet on, but I have the Texans winning 27-24.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+10) @ NEW YORK JETS — I was liking the Jets in this one, but how often do the Jets beat opponents by more than 10 points? It happened three times last year, twice against Bills and once against the Bengals. The Jaguars defense did a nice job against Tennessee last week, particularly Chris Johnson. Luke McCown also managed the game well with a respectable 91.5 QB rating. The Jets win his one by a touchdown in my opinion, but I’m not taking the game. Jets 24 – Jaguars 17.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (+14.5) @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS — How many points can the Steelers put up against the Seahawks? I’ll say about 31. If the Seahawks can manage 17, they’ll get the cover. There’s no way I’m touching the Steelers with the high spread and I’m not going to put money on the Seahawks just to take 14.5 points. Sure the Steelers should and probably will blow out the Seahawks at home, but if the Seahawks manage one lucky play on offense, defense, or special teams, they could cover with getting 14.5 points. I don’t like giving up 3+ scores in the NFL. Plus, if the Steelers are up 31-10 with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Seahawks may score a TD in “garbage time” for the cover. Steelers 31 – Seahawks 17.

CHICAGO BEARS (+7) @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS — The Bears looked great on defense last week. Urlacher was a stud. I’m expecting the Bears defense to give the Saints fits on offense, which is why I favor the points. The Saints should win their home opener, but in the 3-4 point range. Think the Saints are a great team to bet on at home? Wrong. They’re just 14-12 ATS at home since 2008 and have struggled against high spreads. Unfortunately, Urclacher’s mother unexpectedly passed away and he is doubtful Sunday. Before taking the Bears, I would need to ensure that he’ll suit up since the Bears allow 5-6 less points on average when he’s playing.  With Urlacher, Bears allow 19 PPG, without Urlacher, Bears allow 25 PPG. He’s the leader of that defense and needs to play for me to take the points. Saints 27 – Bears 24.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (+3) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS — Other than the Percey Harvin kickoff return, the Vikings had just 10 points against the Chargers last week. Their offense did not look good. McNabb’s play was also terrible. 7/14, 39 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. That’s 2.9 yards-per-attempt. The Bucs can just stack the box and try to stop AP.  The Vikings offensive line is horrible. I think the Bucs can win this game outright, so I’ll take the 3 points if I have to pick this one. Bucs 20 – Vikings 17.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (+7) @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — Tom Brady was on fire last week and should continue to roll, but San Diego always plays the Patriots tough. I’ll favor taking the touchdown knowing that Philip Rivers can air it out against Brady. Patriots 31 – Chargers 27.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-1.5) @ ATLANTA FALCONS — I’m an Eagles fan so I have to go Eagles here. Eagles 27 – Falcons 24.

CLEVELAND BROWNS (-2.5) @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS — With the Colts best tackler in LB Larry Bracket out and a Colts from seven that gets dominated at the line, I’m looking for Peyton Hillis to have a big game. Expect a YPC average between 4-5 rather than the 3.4 YPC he put up against the Bengals. CBrowns 17 – Colts 13.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (+4.5) @ DENVER BRONCOS — I’ll favor the points and mostly due to the Bronco’s injury report. Knowshon Moreno, Brandon Lloyd, Elvis Dumervil, and Champ Bailey are all questionable. Broncos 24 – Bengals 20.

ST. LOUIS RAMS @ NEW YORK GIANTS (-5.5) — With Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola out, the Rams are without two key offensive players. The Rams offense came to a grinding halt right after Jackson scored a TD on the first play of the game. Look for the Giants to rebound and for Hakeem Nicks to have a big game. Giants 24 – Rams 17.

Good luck gentlemen.

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