Thursday, September 17, 2009

Picking Week 2

Ah, if I'd only been terrible in Week 1, I could have quit in disgust. But with an 11-5 record, I'm compelled to continue. Lines are taken from ESPN, and are current as of today.

  • Carolina at Atlanta -6: I was really tempted to pick Carolina for a bounceback game here...usually veteran teams who were embarrassed the week before come out with a good game the next week. And Atlanta doesn't have nearly the defensive horses that the Eagles have, either with the pass rush or secondary, even though they played well against Miami. But Atlanta was undefeated at home last year against division opponents, and are quite simply the better team. Also, the line started at 7 and has moved to 6, which means there's a lot of people buying that bounceback theory for Carolina, and it's usually wise to bet against the crowd.
  • Minnesota -10 at Detroit: Detroit gave up 150 yards rushing to Mike Bell, and now have to face Adrian Peterson. Their rookie QB plays his first home game against one of best three defenses in the NFL. This is a recipe for disaster.
  • Cincinnati at Green Bay -9.5: Green Bay is better at pretty much every position, other than QB (which is a wash.)
  • Houston at Tennessee -6.5: It's still September, which means Houston sucks. I could see them playing well and keeping this game close, but Tennessee is a much better team that is tough to beat at home.
  • Oakland at Kansas City -3: I was planning to take Oakland until I saw the line has moved from 4.5 to 3. Both of these teams looked better than expected in a loss, so I'll stick with the home team. KC plays well in Arrowhead, especially against division opponents.
  • New England -4 at NYJets: The Jets are a hot pick this week, with the line moving from 6.5 to 4. There's nothing the Pats love more than putting the smackdown on the hot team that everyone thinks will replace them. I don't love the Pats defense this year, but they'll be more than enough for a rookie QB.
  • New Orleans even at Philadelphia: I don't want either side of this line, to be honest. New Orleans has played the Eagles tough recently, but all those games were in New Orleans. The Saints don't travel well and don't play well on grass, but the Eagles are historically lousy in September, especially at home. I'm picking against my Eagles twice in a row, because I trust Drew Brees a lot more than Kevin Kolb.
  • St. Louis +10 at Washington: Yeah, the Rams are bad. But they were bad last year and still beat the Skins. I think Washington has a good chance of winning, but the Rams should keep it close.
  • Arizona +3 at Jacksonville: Arizona's terrible on the road and are due for a down year, but I can't bring myself to give points with the Jags. I see the Cards squeaking out a close victory with a drive by Warner at the end.
  • Seattle at San Francisco +1: The 49ers play the Seahawks very tough, and should win this game at home, even though I like Seattle's chances to win the division.
  • Tampa Bay at Buffalo -5: This will be an interesting game, to see how the Bills respond to their calamitous Monday Night loss. It wouldn't surprise me if Buffalo started slow, with a bit of a hangover from the previous game. But Tampa's terrible on defense and will end up losing by a TD.
  • Pittsburgh -3 at Chicago: The Bears OL couldn't block Green Bay's 3-4 defense, and Cutler responded by throwing 4 picks. The best 3-4 defense in the business is rolling into town, and will take the Bears apart.
  • Baltimore +3 at San Diego: Should be a close game, so I'll take the points.
  • Cleveland +3 at Denver: Possibly the two worst head coaches in the league face off in a game that neither team deserves to win. I don't want to take either team.
  • NY Giants +3 at Dallas: I can't figure out why Dallas is a 3-point favorite. The Giants are a complete team, while the Cowboys still have no defense (450 yards allowed vs. Tampa.) After watching Cadillac Williams run all over the 'Boys, I have to like the chances of Brandon Jacobs.
  • Indianapolis -4 at Miami: The Dolphins are taking a step back this season and will finish with 6 or 7 wins. They have nothing on offense, and won't outscore Peyton Manning.


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