I cannot explain the euphoria I felt while watching NFL Sunday Ticket last weekend. I remembered why I pony up every month for DirecTV. I also went 9-7 against the spread and hit on a few underdog moneylines…so that was nice too.
I had a decent season betting against the spread in the NFL last season (133-95-10). Any year you hit nearly 60% of the NFL games against the spread is a damn good year. I hope to keep it going in 2014.
I went heavy on road teams this week. I usually try to avoid road team favorites this early in the year, but they just make sense. You definitely need to do your homework this week and don’t fall in love with a team after Week 1.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 2 of the 2014 NFL season.
New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns (+6.5) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
Who did the Saints piss off to get them back-to-back road games to begin the season? I watched both the Browns and Saints play last weekend. I loved how the Browns played in the second half (and not at all in the first half). Brian Hoyer and the Browns running game got going and they looked like they were going to beat Pittsburgh. If New Orleans gets a lead, they will not allow the Browns to comeback. I like the Saints to cover on the road.
Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals (-5) – My pick is Atlanta Falcons
It’s the HARD KNOCKS BOWL! I love the Falcons in this game. I’m even thinking about a possible moneyline play for Atlanta. Cincinnati did look great against Baltimore, but as I said earlier, Baltimore doesn’t impress me. If Steve Smith can get crazy open against your secondary, Julio Jones and Roddy White will have huge days. Give me Atlanta to cover and as a possible moneyline play.
New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) – My pick is New England Patriots
New England must have also pissed off the schedule maker as well. They did not play well in Miami, but the Patriots often have issues there. The Vikings definitely got a bump in the spread after dominating the Rams last week. I don’t know if they looked great because the Vikings are secretly good or if the Rams are just surprisingly bad. That is something you need to decide before betting on this game. I’m picking the Patriots because I believe the Rams are much worse than we all thought they would be.
Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers (-2.5) – My pick is Carolina Panthers
I changed my pick for this game twice while writing this post. I think the Lions are going to contend for the NFC North crown, but I don’t like this matchup for them. Luke Kuechly will single-handedly shut down the running game and the corners will double-team Calvin Johnson. I feel like those two actions will be the deciding factor. Also, if a team can make Derek Anderson look like a capable NFL quarterback, they are playoff-bound! They won’t have that issue this week with Cam Newton back (and acting weird), so give me Carolina to cover.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (+1) – My pick is Miami Dolphins
I was dead wrong about Buffalo last week. I actually thought the Bears were just too much offensively for the Bills. I should have remembered how bad of a year Chris Conte had last season. Fred Jackson made him look like a fifth grader out there. Miami’s win was less surprising, but I was actually more impressed by it. Signing Knowshon Moreno might be their best acquisition in a long time. They finally realized Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas weren’t cutting it. I like the Dolphins in this game, but it will be close.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins (-6) – My pick is Jacksonville Jaguars
The Redskins might be the worst team in the NFL. I believe talented players are on the team, but when your star quarterback plays confused, your team loses confidence. Robert Griffin III needs to either be himself or take a seat on the bench. He’s not a skilled pocket quarterback and needs his legs to open up the offense. Am I really picking the Jaguars? Absolutely. I believe in Gus Bradley. The Jags will no longer be the laughingstock of the league after this game.
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants (-2.5) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
“West coast team going to the East coast”…blah blah blah. Throw that logic out this week. Eli Manning played like he ate too many Pizza Rolls and needed to take a nap. I like Arizona a lot this year. Larry Fitzgerald didn’t do much last week, but Carson Palmer distributed the ball all over. When he does that, he’s at his best. Patrick Peterson is currently drooling at the prospect of facing Eli on Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans (-3.5) – My pick is Dallas Cowboys
This one is my upset special. The Dallas Cowboys bandwagon is nearly empty. It’s just Jerry Jones and a few fans who have been in prison since the 90’s (and don’t know they are now quite mediocre). DeMarco Murray had a good game against San Francisco and the Titans will now need to respect the run. That is huge for Tony Romo. If Murray can at least make them respect the run, Romo can keep the game close. The Cowboys may not win, but it will be close. I’m taking the points!
Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers (+6) – My pick is San Diego Chargers
Until Seattle loses a game, they have very little to no value. You are paying a premium to bet on them. San Diego is a decent team and the Seahawks are not the same team on the road. Don’t get me wrong, they are still very good, but are they a touchdown better than the Chargers? No. Give me the points!
St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6) – My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Rams got crushed last week and I see a lot of the same thing happening on Sunday. To rub more salt in their wound, Chris Long injured his ankle and will be out for a few months. I watched the entire Tampa Bay game last week and was impressed with Josh McCown. He was great as a fill-in for Jay Cutler last year, but I assumed it was just the system that made him look good. I may have been wrong. If Matt Cassel can make the Rams defense look bad, McCown should be just fine.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-13) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Denver covered both games against Kansas City last year and I don’t see a different outcome on Sunday. The Chiefs were just God awful last week. Alex Smith played like he was back in San Francisco. Not only that, but they lost two huge pieces on defense for the season (Derrick Johnson & Mike DeVito). Peyton Manning will have a nice, leisurely day at Mile High.
Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders (+3) – My pick is Houston Texans
J.J Watt will eat Derek Carr for dinner. That’s all.
New York Jets at Green Bay Packers (-8.5) – My pick is Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers against the New York Jets banged-up secondary? This one is easy. If the Jets were healthy at corner and safety, this game would be interesting. Since they are not, give me the Packers to win by double-digits.
Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers (-7) – My pick is San Francisco 49ers
Since the Bears still have Chris Conte, I’m picking the 49ers. I learned my mistake from last week. Colin Kaepernick will have fun with Conte and the Bears will go into Week 3 with an 0-2 record.
Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts (-3) – My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
The Colts have a bad habit of only showing up in the second half of games. It’s a habit that will not end well. They no longer have Robert Mathis (out with a suspension and torn Achilles) or Antoine Bethea (signed with 49ers). Their defense cannot do the things they’ve done in the past to keep them in games. The Eagles offense is fast-paced and the Colts don’t currently have the pass rush to keep consistent pressure on Nick Foles. The Colts don’t match up well against the Eagles and it could get ugly.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) – My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers
I want nothing to do with the Ravens this week and possibly the entire year. I didn’t like the team at the beginning of the year and with all the Ray Rice drama this week, I have no faith in them to cover. I actually think the Steelers may win this game outright.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob was 133-95-10 against the spread in NFL games last season.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob