Thursday, Sept. 15
New York Jets (-1) at Buffalo Bills
NB: Buffalo Bills. This is a tough one. The Jets are the better team, but the Bills’ offense has to play better than it did in Week 1. I will cautiously take the home underdog who was 4-1-1 ATS in their division last season, but this is a stay away more than anything.
RH: Buffalo Bills. I don’t think the Bills will be as bad offensively the rest of the season as they were in Week 1. I also usually like going with the home team on a short week and the Bills were 5-3 at home ATS last season.
Sunday, Sept. 18
Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions (-5.5)
NB: Tennessee Titans. I don’t have a great feel for either of these teams because I don’t know how bad or good their opponents were last week. I could see the Colts just being a bad team this year, which makes the Lions’ road win last week less impressive. Tennessee was competitive against a good(?) Vikings’ team for most of the game before some costly turnovers. I think they avoid those mistakes this week and I like 5.5 points.
RH: Tennessee Titans. I don’t think the Lions are 5.5 points better than anyone yet and they have also been a below average team as a home favorite, 14-16 ATS since 2011. I actually like the idea of the Titans offense indoors, they averaged 111 yards rushing per game when playing indoors in 2015 and that was without Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry.
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (-2.5)
NB: Houston Texans. Since the start of last season, Houston has been 5-1 ATS as a home favorite, while Kansas City has been 1-4 ATS as a road underdog. All signs point to an improved Texans squad against a questionable Chiefs team that should be 0-1.
RH: Houston Texans. I really liked Kansas City coming into the season and I am not jumping off that bandwagon after one week. Having said that, the Chiefs did nothing to make me feel good about them in Week 1. Kansas City started off 1-5 last season before winning their final 10 games, I can see a similar start to 2016 happening.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-6.5)
NB: Miami Dolphins. I hate betting against the Patriots (Note that I was all in on them last week in Arizona), but I think the public enthusiasm has swayed too far for Jimmy G, and the Dolphins just played a really good Seattle team close. I expect the pass rush to get to Garoppolo and he will struggle a bit more than last week.
RH: New England Patriots. I stand by my preseason belief that the Dolphins are not a very good team and the Patriots showed last week against Arizona that they can beat anyone with Garoppolo. Miami is also the fourth worst team as a road dog ATS since the start of 2014.
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at Cleveland Browns
NB: Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens won zero(!) games (0-6-2) last year when they were favored, but they are already 1-0 this year as a the favorite after beating the Bills. McCown may be an upgrade over RGIII and 6.5 points is a lot on the road, but the Browns are about to be in full tank mode this season.
RH: Baltimore Ravens. This is a stay away. The Browns are on the fast track to the number one pick in the draft and looked terrible in all phases of the game last week. However 6.5 is a huge number for the Ravens to try and cover on the road. Once again, STAY AWAY!
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
NB: Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals will be looking for payback and everybody will be riding high on the Steelers after beating an overrated Washington team. I like Dalton to have a big game and will go with the Bengals, who were 4-2-1 ATS against AFC North teams last season.
RH: Cincinnati Bengals. Oh man I cannot wait for this one. What is the over/under on the amount of fights in this game? There is always bad blood between these two division rivals, but after last seasons playoff game tension is sure to be at an all time high. Take the points in this battle of two very evenly matched teams.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-2.5)
NB: Washington Redskins. This was a difficult pick, because I don’t have much confidence in either team. Kirk Cousins and Washington can’t play much worse than they did last week, and Dak Prescott looks severely limited as a passer. Washington better win this one if they want to stay in the division race.
RH: Washington Redskins. As an Eagles fan, I loved the way both of these teams lost last week, nothing could have been more fitting for each team. This might be the last division game for a long time that Kirk Cousins is the better of the two starting quarterbacks. Washington wins a surprisingly entertaining game.
New Orleans Saints at New York Giants (-4.5)
NB: New York Giants. This has all the makings of a let down game for the G Men, but the fact is that the Saints are going to be bad this year. Drew Brees struggles outdoors on the road in his career and the Giants are 7-4-1 ATS since 2014 following a win. The Giants keep rolling this weekend.
RH: New Orleans Saints. The Saints were 4-3 ATS as a road dog last season, where as the Giants were 2-3 ATS as a home favorite. Despite losing in Week 1, New Orleans looked better on offense against Oakland than the New York did on offense against Dallas who have one of the weaker defenses in the league. While you’re betting New Orleans, you should also bet the over in this one as it currently sits at 51.5.
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (-13.5)
NB: San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are bad, however this is just so many points to give up to take Carolina. San Francisco’s defense isn’t that bad, and I think Gabbert stays just frisky enough to keep this semi close.
RH: Carolina Panthers. I don’t think they could’ve made the number high enough in this one. The Panthers are coming in with extra rest after playing last Thursday where as the Niners will get one less day of rest than normal after playing Monday. Carolina was also 7-2 ATS as a home favorite last season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals (-7)
NB: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While I do not think Arizona will start 0-2, they are just 3-7 ATS as a home favorite since the start of last season. Winston and the young Bucs keep it within a touchdown on Sunday.
RH: Arizona Cardinals. After a statement win on the road against Atlanta last week, the Bucs are flying high. This will be a real test to see how they stack up against the NFC’s elite. Arizona knows the importance of not starting 0-2 and I think they come out firing here in what should be a fun game.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) at Los Angeles Rams
NB: Seattle Seahawks. As bad as the Rams are, they always seem to play Seattle close. This game scares me the most, but with stories out there that Case Keenum is telegraphing all of us his passes, I think the LOB feasts on turnovers and spoils the Rams return to LA.
RH: Seattle Seahawks. If Seattle plays like it did in Week 1 here, this could be one of the uglier games you’ll see all season. I believe they will be the Seattle we know they can be and spoil the Rams return to Los Angeles. The Rams punted 10 times on Monday night, how many times will they punt in this one?
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (-6)
NB: Indianapolis Colts. Since Andrew Luck entered the NFL, the Colts are a juicy 17-6 ATS after a loss. I think the Colts bounce back against what I think is a slightly overrated Broncos team and keep it close enough to cover at the very least. (Reader Note: Mr. Haines changed his pick after reading my pick reasoning. I don’t know if that is a good or bad sign for the Colts)
RH: Indianapolis Colts. I predicted the Broncos would be a disappointment this year and I still stand by that. Trevor Semien looked competent in his first start, but overall appears to be nothing special. The Colts depleted secondary holds up just enough to keep this game close.
Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders (-4.5)
NB: Atlanta Falcons. Everyone and their mother will be hopping on the Raiders bandwagon, while the Falcons may garner the least enthusiasm out of any team in the league. Still, Matt Ryan usually starts the season hot and the Raiders pass defense looks quite porous last week against the Saints. Watch out for a letdown in Oakland.
RH: Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are for real!!! That was a huge win for a young team that could potentially jump start a playoff run. The Falcons on the other hand have lost 9 of their last 12 games dating back to last season and didn’t look that good in week 1. The Falcons were 3-5 ATS on the road last season. Give me the Raiders big in this one.
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers (-3)
NB: Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags have to win a game like this to show that they are playoff contenders this year. Jacksonville looked good last week and I think they will use Allen Robinson more successfully this week to get a win. The San Diego stadium might be ¼ full on Sunday as the team threatens to leave town and the Chargers might be reeling after their choke job last week.
RH: Jacksonville Jaguars. Are the Jags finally out of the cellar of the league? Despite losing in Week 1, they played Green Bay as tough as you could ask for. The Chargers have to feel deflated after blowing a 21 point second half lead against Kansas City as well as losing top wideout Keenan Allen for the season. San Diego has also lost any home field advantage over the last year as the team seems destined to leave for another city sooner rather than later.
Green Bay Packers (-2.5) at Minnesota Vikings
NB: Minnesota Vikings. Give me the Vikings as the home underdog on the night they unveil their new stadium. The crowd will be rocking and their fantastic defense will be getting to Rodgers all night. Minnesota was 7-2 ATS at home last year and I think that carries over into this year no matter if Shaun Hill or Sammy Sleeves is under center.
RH: Green Bay Packers. I do not like this spot for Minnesota at all. Their offense struggled to keep up with Tennessee in Week 1, and now Aaron Rodgers and company come to town. Whether it’s Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford, points would appear to be a at a premium for the Vikings this season. They were the best team ATS last season and covered last week, but I can’t get behind them in this matchup.
Monday, Sept. 19
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-3)
NB: Chicago Bears. I have to admit that Wentz looks pretty good against that Division I-AA team from Ohio he played last week, but I think he will make more rookie mistakes this week against the Bears on the road. Neither of these teams will be playing in January this year, but Chicago shows some early season pride in primetime at Soldier Field.
RH: Philadelphia Eagles. All aboard the Wentz Wagon! The Eagles rookie managed to make two franchises (Browns and Rams) look like fools for at least one week for passing on him in the draft. As for this game, the Eagles have the better offensive line and the better defense. With a rookie QB there’s always a chance for a clunker game, but the Eagles will keep this one close and have a decent shot at pulling out a win here.
-Nick Bair & Randy Haines
Odds according to Westgate Las Vegas
Photo Credit: sportingnews.com