(Home team in CAPS)
Jets (Pick) over BILLS
I’m as excited as anyone to bring the Thursday Night Dumpster Fire back, but for the time being, 2-0 ATS will have to suffice.
Titans (+6) over LIONS
Detroit +3.5 last week was all too obvious a pick by the time kickoff had rolled around. I’m expecting a similar opinion about the Titans’ line by Sunday morning. While Detroit’s offense has kept that same uptempo pace that made them such a fascinating watch in the second half of last season, their defense was quietly torched for four passes of 25-plus yards in Week 1. Darius Slay, who allowed no receptions in coverage against the Colts, will likely shadow Tajae Sharp. Unfortunately for the Lions, that leaves the rest of their defense scrambling to cover Delanie Walker.
TEXANS (-2.5) over Chiefs
Prior to Keenan Allen suffering a torn ACL in Week 1, Rivers had averaged 8.1 yards per attempt against Kansas City. He averaged 6.0 YPA once Allen went down. Don’t let his 243 yards on the day fool you. His middling results were simply a byproduct of losing his No. 1 receiver mid-game. The Chiefs’ defense is in disarray and, quite frankly, an overrated unit without Justin Houston. Have yourself a day, Will Fuller.
Dolphins (+6.5) over PATRIOTS
New England’s victory over Arizona was more a testament to the brilliance of Bill Belichick rather than any sorta arrival for Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense. The Patriots are 6-10-2 ATS against the AFC East over the last three seasons.
RAMS (+6.5) over Seahawks
Any time you can take Case Keenum getting points at home, you have to do it.
(Actually, this line opened as Rams +4 in April. I’m just gravitating towards the value. Also, I’m an idiot.)
BROWNS (+6) over Ravens
15 of Baltimore’s last 17 games have been decided by a one-score margin. I was much more confident in Josh McCown’s play while he was under Marc Trestman’s tutelage in Chicago, but the Ravens clearly haven’t shown anything that warrants them being six-point road favorites in a division game. This spread is also inflated since Cleveland looked atrocious in Week 1. In April, for instance, the Ravens opened as three-point road favorites.
Bengals (+3.5) over STEELERS
A.J. Green has averaged 13.5 targets, nine receptions, 139 yards, and 0.75 touchdowns in his last four games against the Steelers. Did I mention he plays the Steelers this week?
Cowboys (+3) over WASHINGTON
Dallas just allowed their rookie quarterback to throw the ball 45 times in Week 1, all the while handing their rookie running back 20 carries. The results clearly weren’t there, but the opportunities were promising. This week, the Cowboys won’t have to worry about Johnathan Hankins, Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and Jason Pierre-Paul — all graded between 72.1 and 80.4 at Pro Football Focus — staring across from them in the trenches.
GIANTS (-5) over Saints
Last season, opposing quarterbacks averaged 8.5 YPA and a 124.7 passer rating at home against New Orleans’ secondary. If Eli Manning threw for three scores in only 54 plays against Dallas, just imagine what he’ll do versus the Saints.
PANTHERS (-13.5) over 49ers
Count the red flags: A well-rested Carolina offense (ding) coming off a loss (ding) now faces the 49ers (ding) on a short week (ding) at home (ding). San Francisco’s pace (second-highest in Week 1) also allows for more mistakes. The Rams weren’t able to capitalize, but at the end of the day, the same won’t be said about Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense.
CARDINALS (-7) over Buccaneers
As stated earlier, Belichick game-planned for the Cardinals’ offense perfectly. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, allowed Matt Ryan to pass for 334 yards and two scores in Week 1. Jameis Winston admittedly looked spectacular against the Falcons, but Arizona’s defense is slightly better. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman also combined for 157 yards. If David Johnson continues playing in 84 percent of the Cardinals’ offensive snaps and receives 94 percent of their carries, it should be smooth sailing for the home team.
BRONCOS (-6) over Colts
For what it’s worth, you couldn’t make me touch this spread at a book this week. I can see a scenario in which the Colts lose by two touchdowns, but also a Bizarro Jerry-like one in which they (miraculously) win outright. Don’t let that ruin the offensive outlook for either side, though. Sharps have apparently unloaded on the Over (46.5), assuring fireworks from both teams. (Trevor Siemian on DraftKings, anyone?)
RAIDERS (-4.5) over Falcons
Should the Falcons take Deshaun Watson or DeShone Kizer with the first overall pick?
CHARGERS (-3) over Jaguars
San Diego’s offense is going to be a disaster without Allen, but it should be able to stave off a torrential plummet against Jacksonville. Expect another week in which Danny Woodhead commands a majority of snaps and touches against a Jags defense that’s traveling East to West.
VIKINGS (+2.5) over Packers
I would feel much better about this line if it were Shaun Hill starting over Sam Bradford, but the fact of the matter is that Mike Zimmer is 25-9 ATS as Minnesota’s head coach, including 12-5 ATS at home.
BEARS (-3) over Eagles
Carson Wentz looked great last week (278-2-0), but that performance also came at home against a hapless Browns defense. His first road game in the NFL, let alone one that occurs in primetime at Solder Field, won’t be so pretty. Expect a big night from Jeremy Langford, who commanded 96.4 percent of the Bears’ backfield snaps last week. Philadelphia notably allowed a league-high seven runs of 10-plus yards to the Browns in Week 1.
Last Week: 11-5
This Week: 1-0