There are no guarantees when you’re picking NFL games. But what is 100% guaranteed is after one week of the 2021 season we are in the money. That’s right, the picks went 8-7 last week. That’s not an impressive winning record, but it’s not a losing record either.
For Week 2, we have seven home underdogs, five divisional matchups, three double-digit spreads and one game with a coach who looks ticketed to leave for USC by the winter.
Let’s not overthink this.
Week 2 of the 2021 NFL Season
Cincinnati Bengals @ Chicago Bears (-2.5)
It’s my belief Andy Dalton wanted the chance to get revenge on the Bengals. The Bears offered the best option for him to be able to remain the starter long enough to face Cincy. I think that might have even been part of his deal. I like Dalton following through and having to win by less than a field goal to cover is a nice bonus.
The Pick = Chicago
Houston Texans @ Cleveland Browns (-12.5)
The Browns are the better team, and they are going to win this game. Winning by 13 points is asking for too much though. Just like the previous game we have a QB going against a team who moved on from him. Tyrod Taylor is going to make enough plays where this won’t be a blowout.
The Pick = Houston
Los Angeles Rams @ Indianapolis Colts (+4)
This in-season Hard Knocks just seems like a bad idea for the Colts. Like, a very bad idea. The Rams are likely giddy to show off their offense under Matthew Stafford in a dome setting.
The Pick = Los Angeles
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (+3.5)
A divisional game where both teams are looking like playoff contenders, at the very least. I will take that extra .5 points.
The Pick = Miami
New England Patriots @ New York Jets (+5.5)
We are fine. Everything is fine. The dog is drinking coffee, but there is not one flame in the room.
I don’t like the potential for the Jets to cover with a garbage-time score (like they did vs. Carolina last week). But I think the Pats let Mac Jones loose a bit more and this team wants to make a statement, winning by no less than a TD.
The Pick = New England
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5)
I’m no fan of Philadelphia. And yet I admit I think the Eagles are good. They might not be Super Bowl contenders but getting over 3 points at home seems like an easy win.
I should also confess I felt just as confident with the Titans vs. Arizona last week….
The Pick = Philadelphia
Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)
Doesn’t it feel like the Big Ben Steelers have a habit of losing games they 100% should win? Huge statement win at Buffalo last week and now they get to play in front of their home crowd. Add in the Raiders announcing Josh Jacobs is out for the game and it looks like an easy road for a Steelers’ victory.
Then again, this is a team that lost playoff games to Tim Tebow and Blake Bortles.
The Pick = Las Vegas
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers (+3)
I’m glad Sam Darnold could get a win vs. his old team last week. A divisional matchup vs. the 2021 MVP front-runner Jameis Winston is another story. The Saints seem rejuvenated under their new QB and even potentially playing without Marshon Lattimore (and SEVEN assistant coaches who are on the COVID list) should not keep them from covering.
The Pick = New Orleans
Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+6)
I don’t care.
The Pick = Denver
Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals (-4)
This comes down to “Are the Vikings really this bad?” vs. “Are the Cardinals really this good?”. I like the Cardinals defense to actually be good and I think Kyler Murray can outperform what Joe Burrow did vs. Minnesota last week.
The Pick = Arizona
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-12.5)
The Falcons aren’t good. I feel strongly about this.
Divisional games are just a different breed though. I don’t love the karma of what Brady did with the clock in his interview. It’s time for some karmic payback, then again how often has that happened to Brady?
Dallas showed you can throw on the Tampa defense last week, and I think Atlanta can too.
The Pick = Atlanta
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers (-3)
Dallas barely lost on the road to the defending champs and the Chargers were in a close game vs. Washington until Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt. Chris Harris will be missing this game for LA so I like Dak Prescott to continue his comeback season.
The Pick = Dallas
Tennessee Titans @ Seattle Seahawks (-5.5)
I don’t want to pick this game. I wish I had set up a rule last week where I could opt-out of a game. Life is full of missed opportunities.
The Titans missed an opportunity to legitimately improve their defense this off-season.
The Pick = Seattle
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens (+3.5)
After last week I expect the Chiefs to come out hot and not force Patrick Mahomes to engineer another 4th quarter comeback. If this happens, the Ravens have no chance as their offense of 3rd string skill players won’t be able to hang.
The Pick = Kansas City
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-11)
I don’t like Green Bay this season.
But as they say, “You’re not picking for the season, you’re picking for the week.”
Detroit’s “comeback” vs. San Francisco seemed like a fluke, and their performance the rest of the game is more of who this team is.
Rodgers and the GB bounce back under the bright lights of MNF and cover.
The Pick = Green Bay
Ok, we’re all set for week 2 (of 18!) and to keep this money train rolling. Good luck and enjoy the games!
Week 1 Record = 8-7
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