If you are new around here, weekly NFL picks is something I personally have been doing since I was a kid. My parents were all about that competitive nature. Fantasy Football tends to be more fun, but there’s nothing like good old fashion pick’em.
Our own Pete Baron covered last week and went a respectable 10-6 to start the season. The first week is always the hardest to predict. I’ll be using the current odds as of Thursday for the picks against the spread.
Week 2 NFL Picks
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (+1)
Rex Ryan seems to have Ryan Fitzpatrick’s number and though the Jets want to see that turned around, I don’t see it happening until they are in front of their own home crowd later this season.
Pick: Bills 17, Jets 13
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-2.5)
Nothing like a good old fashioned NFC East rival game. I liked what I saw from Dak Prescott in his first game, but Ezekiel Elliot will need a better showing in week 2. The Redskins were ho hum in their home opener, so they could come out plenty motivated against the Cowboys.
Pick: Redskins 21, Cowboys 20
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (-13.5)
Cam Newton and the Panthers should come out and curb stomp the 49ers, but something in my gut tells me the 49ers are going to cover this massive spread. If only by the slimmest of margins.
Pick: Panthers 34, 49ers 21
Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions (-6)
The Titans coaching staff is a massive letdown and that will make this team incredibly hard to predict all year long. I feel like they will overcome the shortcomings of their head coach at times, while others they will fall flat on their faces. Same goes for the Lions, actually.
Pick: Lions 27, Titans 24
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-6.5)
My gut tells me the Patriots shocked the Cardinals and if Arizona had another chance they would hammer the beleaguered Patriots. The Dolphins will almost do the same to the Patriots that they did last week to the Cardinals: steal one away on the road.
Pick: Patriots 16, Dolphins 13
New Orleans Saints at New York Giants (-4.5)
It wouldn’t be a new NFL season without the Saints defense being torched for touchdown after touchdown in a game. Drew Brees is the only reason this team could win any game they play, but he’ll end up losing more than he wins again in 2016.
Pick: Giants 34, Saints 31
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (-2.5)
Ode to the letdown. The Chiefs needed a furious fourth quarter comeback against a divisional foe last week and could be riding a bit too high heading into Week 2. The Texans are good on defense and now good on offense. Not the team the Chiefs faced in the playoffs last year.
Pick: Texans 24, Chiefs 16
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (+7)
The Browns are bad, but always be wary of a touchdown or more spread on a division game. These two teams know each other well and tend to play tight games. The Ravens should still come out on top, but I’d be surprised if its by a touchdown or more.
Pick: Ravens 20, Browns 16
Speaking of division games, these two teams tend to have some good games. A.J. Green vs. Antonio Brown and there is reason to like the Bengals in this game. At least when picking against the spread.
Think about that: Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger have connected for an average of SIXTY fewer yards in games vs the Bengals— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 15, 2016
Pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 23
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals (-7)
The Cardinals came out flat in their home opener and likely overconfident that they could handle the Patriots without Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski. The result was a shocking loss at home. It won’t happen this week.
Pick: Cardinals 30, Buccaneers 24
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (+3.5)
Jeff Fisher is a terrible football coach, but he has a knack for getting his teams to respond to humiliating defeats the following week. Plus he seems to know how to frustrate the Seahawks every year.
Pick: Seahawks 16, Rams 13
Great. The worst about pick’em is when you have two teams that entirely impossible to trust. Will the Chargers rebound after a second half collapse against a hated rival? Are the Jaguars really as good as their tight home loss to the Packers? Who friggin’ knows. Let’s flip a coin...
Pick: Chargers 24, Jaguars 21
Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders (-4.5)
The Raiders win last week came off quite a gutsy call from Jack Del Rio. It’s the kind of call that can kick the tires under a young team trying to figure out how to be winners. They should be fired up in their home opener, but that defense should help the Falcons at least cover.
Pick: Raiders 28, Falcons 27
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (-6)
I love that the Broncos are favored to beat the Colts, but with the history of Andrew Luck frustrating this defense the line seems absurdly high. The Broncos never blow out teams anymore, but they do tend to win close, hard fought games.
Pick: Broncos 24, Colts 20
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+2)
It looks like the Vikings might be looking to start Sam Bradford next week, but he’ll need several more weeks in the offense before Adrian Peterson stops seeing 10-man boxes. The Packers will win this game and cover the spread.
Pick: Packers 23, Vikings 20
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-3)
Somehow the NFL has set themselves up with two terrible Monday Night Football games out of their first three. Are they trying to kill their ratings? Anyway, this one figures to be a snoozefest.
Pick: Bears 20, Eagles 17