2015 NFL Picks: Week 2 Odds and Predictions
The most important part of NFL betting is winning. No arguments? Great. The second most important part, of course, is having a good resource to lean on when finalizing your weekly NFL picks.
Consider week one our a testing period. We weren’t atrocious, but some of our upset bids (Jags over Panthers and Saints over Cards) didn’t go according to plan. It didn’t put us completely in the red, but we ended up going 9-7 straight up and 6-10 against the spread. It was a forgettable week, as the Vikings didn’t even come close against the Niners, the Buccaneers and Browns were total wastes and the Rams beat the Seahawks.
But we should have known. This is the NFL, and this is what it does. We’ll be on the lookout for a big bowl of crazy as we prepare for week two. Let’s dive in:
Broncos @ Chiefs (Favorite: -3, Total: 42)
The times, they are a changing. Bob Dylan said it best and it rings true in week two, when we get started with a potential passing of the torch in the AFC West. Denver exhibited a very good defense in a week one win, but now they had to Arrowhead for a tough game against an equally strong Chiefs defense. If Peyton Manning’s arm is really as dead as it looked in week one, Denver is in major trouble – both for week two and in life.
Pick: Chiefs 20, Broncos 17
Texans @ Panthers (-3, 40.5)
Ryan Mallett gets the start at quarterback over Brian Hoyer (thank goodness), but week two doesn’t bring the easiest game. The Panthers can be tough on the road, but both Star Lotulelei and Luke Kuechley are likely out. Two massive absences on their defense could give Mallett just the slightest of edges in his debut. I’ll take the Texans straight up, and I’d go with the under on the Total.
Pick: Texans 17, Panthers 13
49ers @ Steelers (-5.5, 45)
San Francisco looked plenty good defensively in week one, while their running game appeared as strong as ever, too. Their passing game could enjoy week two, when they go up against a pretty weak Steelers defense. This could be our funnest upset pick of the week, as we really like the Niners to keep this tight and probably even win. We’ll take the 49ers straight up, which means they’ll at least cover the spread. I oddly like the over on the Total, too.
Pick: 49ers 27, Steelers 23
Buccaneers @ Saints (-9.5, 47)
Tampa Bay looked awful in all regards last week, while the Saints kept things pretty tight on the road against a good Cardinals team. Drew Brees and co. are a different beast in the Superdome, so it’s fair to anticipate the Bucs getting blown out for the second week in a row. I’ll take the Saints with the points and the over on the Total.
Pick: Saints 34, Buccaneers 17
Lions @ Vikings (-3, 43.5)
Adrian Peterson and co. looked lethargic in a week one loss, and I’m sure the Vikes can muster up more than a field goal at home. Detroit’s defense looks like a shell of its former self, so there’s a chance this turns into a bit of a shootout. Minnesota only gets the edge because they’re at home and have a visibly better defense at the moment. Matthew Stafford also is horrid away from home. I’ll ta the Vikings, but not to cover (push), and I’ll take the under on the Total.
Pick: Vikings 23, Lions 20
Cardinals (-1.5, 45) @ Bears
Arizona looked great across the board in a win last week and now they head to Soldier Field to battle Jay Cutler and the Bears. This is not a good matchup for Chicago on either side of the ball, and they’re looking at an 0-2 start. The line is really nice, so picking Arizona straight up works and picking them to cover feels like robbery. I’ll take the Total, too, since there is enough offense on both sides to see this game turning into a mild shootout.
Pick: Cardinals 30, Bears 21
Patriots (-1, 45) @ Bills
The big story is the Bills working the Colts last week, but let’s keep things in perspective: Indy has a shaky offensive line, was on the road, can’t stop the run and never established the run. Tom Brady is not Andrew Luck and the Pats will be just as eager to dish out a big loss to the Bills. The Pats are on a mission, and cheaters or not, dismantling Buffalo is definitely part of their plan. I Like the Pats, but I do think this will be a low scoring game. Chasing the Total isn’t encouraged.
Pick: Patriots 20, Bills 17
Chargers @ Bengals (-3, 46)
This is a total toss up, as both teams have very efficient offenses and bend but don’t break defenses. I’ll give a mild edge to Cincinnati since they’re at home, probably have the better defense and boast the better rushing attack. I see a potential shootout here, too, so I’ll take the Bengals (but a push) and chasing the over on the Total makes sense.
Pick: Bengals 31, Chargers 28
Titans (-1, 41.5) @ Browns
Tennessee ran into a total Buccaneers implosion last week and got an easy win, but I don’t see it going down that way in week two. Cleveland has a strong pass defense and I don’t know if Bishops Sankey is good enough to exploit their shaky run defense. Johnny Manziel starting is an odd x-factor that is tough to gauge, too. I’ll go out on a small limb and take the home-team Browns, but to do so they’ll have to run the ball and keep things one tight and low scoring. Chase the Total at your own risk.
Pick: Browns 16, Titans 14
Falcons @ Giants (-2, 51)
Probably one of the more explosive games of the week, neither the Falcons or Giants have shutdown defenses. Atlanta looks like the more impressive offense by far, but they’re on the road and the Giants do have weapons. I still like the Falcons a little more though and will take them with the spread and I’ll also go for the Total here.
Pick: Falcons 36, Giants 33
Rams (-3.5, 41) @ Redskins
Kirk Cousins could be in for another shaky day, as the Rams made the Seahawks look bad at times last week. Both teams have the ability to run the ball and defend, so with turnovers added to the equation, I don’t like a high-scoring affair. The Rams look like the better team, but I like the Redskins to beat the spread, while I’m leaning towards the under for the Total.
Pick: Rams 19, Redskins 16
Dolphins (-6, 41.5) @ Jaguars
Ryan Tannehill is in for another stiff test, as the Jaguars have a solid defense and play their best football at home. Jacksonville is a fun upset pick here, but I can’t go with them two weeks in a row. Miami isn’t impressive enough yet to take such a big spread on them, so I like them straight up but look for the Jags to keep it close and beat the spread. The Total is high for a likely defensive battle, too, so I’d shoot for the under.
Pick: Dolphins 17, Jaguars 13
Ravens (-6, 43) @ Raiders
Baltimore was held in check against the Broncos last week and they’ll be taking their anger out on the hapless Raiders. The Ravens have a strong defense and if they just air it out on offense, they could be looking at a huge blowout win. I’ll take the Ravens to cover the spread and the Total is worth going for with a blowout likely.
Pick: Ravens 40, Raiders 9
Cowboys @ Eagles (-5, 55.5)
Let’s forget about this Total right off the bat. Dallas doesn’t have Dez Bryant (broken foot) so they’re not looking to get into a passing war with the Eagles. This game should be about ball control and time of possession. I think the Eagles will find a way to gut it out at home, while DeMarco Murray should exact some revenge on his former team. Philly won’t cover the spread, though.
Pick: Eagles 27, Cowboys 24
Seahawks @ Packers (-3.5, 48.5)
This is going to be a nasty game, and after seeing these teams give up a whopping 57 combined points last week, I can see the Total being topped. It’s a Sunday Night Football rematch of last year’s NFC title game, and neither team wants to lose this one in front of the nation. Green Bay can’t stop Marshawn Lynch, but I’m not sure a Kam Chancellor-less Seattle pass defense can stop Aaron Rodgers, either. Both teams are a little under-manned but Green Bay gets the straight up edge at home. I do like this to be a very close game, though, so the Hawks should cover.
Pick: Packers 34, Seahawks 31
Jets @ Colts (-7, 46.5)
The final game of the week is easier to gauge that you’d think, as the Jets aren’t as good as they looked a week ago and the Colts aren’t that bad. Indy will be without T.Y. Hilton, but Andrew Luck isn’t about to cave against the Jets at home. Ultimately, I just can’t see the Colts dropping to 0-2. I don’t love the over for the Total due to New York’s defense, while Indy winning by a full touchdown seems a bit rich, as well. I like the Colts to win, but they won’t cover the spread.
Pick: Colts 23, Jets 17
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