Not a bad start (8-8) for week one, all things considered. As we said, the first week is always a total crapshoot, so coming out right at 50% isn’t worthy of complaint.
Week 2 features another mixed bag, though some of the lines have jumped pretty high. Resisting the temptation to jump to early conclusions on the basis of one game, we move forward with the following selections:
Houston +6.5 over CAROLINA
Have you ever noticed that every year a team or teams starts out 2-0, and suddenly everyone sits up and says “Whoa, these guys are 2-0?”. Not sure if the Texans can do that, but they should be competitive enough to cover this number.
Carolina 20 Houston 17
Cincinnati -6.5 over CLEVELAND
Remember what we said two paragraphs ago about not jumping to conclusions after one game? This is the exception. The Browns are awful, and the explosive Bengals should take this one going away.
Cincinnati 31 Cleveland 10
JACKSONVILLE -10.5 over Atlanta
Jags smarting after losing to Titans, and Falcs defense won’t be able to slow down Maurice Jones-Drew.
Jacksonville 27 Atlanta 10
NY GIANTS +3.5 over Green Bay
A lot depends on the status of Eli Manning, who looked very comfortable in Big D last week. G-Men defense can’t be much worse, and an extra full week of practice for Michael Strahan should help.
NY Giants 24 Green Bay 14
Buffalo +9.5 over PITTSBURGH
Heavy hearted Bills go into the blast furnace in Steeltown. Still not sold on Pitt just yet, and playing-with-a-purpose Bills should keep this one tight.
Pittsburgh 20 Buffalo 14
San Francisco +3.5 over ST. LOUIS
Niners, who really should stick with those Walsh-era unis [link], were lucky to escape over inept Cards last week. Rams loss of Orlando Pace is a huge blow, and the feeling here is the Niners can win this one outright, in an ugly one.
San Francisco 24 St. Louis 20
New Orleans -3.5 over TAMPA BAY
Vegas obviously knows something we don’t. Saints have had 10 days to stew over blowout loss at Indy, and though this could be a back-to-the-pack year, can’t see them stumbling here.
New Orleans 27 Tampa Bay 10
Indianapolis -7.5 TENNESSEE
Warning signs abound here. Titans always give Indy fits, Colts due for a letdown. Can’t underestimate the value of the extra off days for Indy, even this early. We can see this one being tight but opening up late.
Indianapolis 30 Tennessee 17
ARIZONA +2.5 Seattle
Another wacky line, at least at first glance. Redbirds are always a trendy early season pick, while Hawks are seemingly flying under the radar a bit. Against our better judgement, we’ll go with (gulp) ‘zona…
Arizona 21 Seattle 20
Minnesota +3.5 over DETROIT
This one is actually an interesting matchup. Vikes offense essentially sputtered in Week 1 win, while Lions put up 36 against a decent Raider D. Can the Lions join the ranks of surprising 2-0 teams? Why not?
Detroit 27 Minnesota 24
Dallas -3.5 over MIAMI
Cowboy D has holes, which were exploited last week, but can’t see Dolphins doing the same. Look for Pokes to tighten things up and take care of business in sticky Miami.
Dallas 23 Miami 10
NY Jets +7.5 over BALTIMORE
Just cannot see Ravens being 8 points better than anyone right now. Steve McNair has not looked good for awhile now, and the stellar Baltimore defense should give Jets problems no matter who is behind center. Low scoring games usually mean close games, so we’ll take the Jets.
Baltimore 13 NY Jets 10
Kansas City +12.5 over CHICAGO
Our beloved Chiefs are an apparent mess right now. The O-Line has yet to come together and the receiver corps lost another starter, not to mention they had to cut the rookie kicker. However, Larry Johnson should be more involved this week, and even though Bears shut down LT last week, LJ might be able to pop one or two. Bears offense is a mess with issues at QB (the erratic Rex Grossman) and RB (enigmatic Cedric Benson), so it’s not unlikely each defense could outscore the offenses here.
Chicago 20 Kansas City 10
DENVER -9.5 over Oakland
Doesn’t matter who starts at QB for Oakland, we will not pick against Denver in a home opener. Broncs fortunate to escape Buffalo with a W last week, but will have no need for such theatrics this week.
Denver 31 Oakland 13
San Diego +3.5 over NEW ENGLAND
Pats lose edge with video clampdown (perhaps you’ve heard about that little flare-up?). Too bad that this match-up is being somewhat overshadowed by the video controversy, as it should be the best game of the week. Pats could adopt bunker mentality and ride that all season, but Chargers (despite Norv Turner, who we feel will doom this team at some point this season) have too much firepower on both sides of the ball to not hang tough, while NBC thanks their lucky stars this one dropped in their lap.
New England 30 San Diego 28
PHILADELPHIA -6.5 over Washington
Classic bounceback game for Iggles, who were embarrassed in Green Bay last week. Skins can keep it close, but the play here says Philly will pull away in the second half in front of the rowdy home crowd.
Philadelphia 24 Washginton 14
Last week: 8-8
Season total: 8-8 (50.0%)