The first NFL game of the year, Pittsburgh at New England, was a push. It was a ‘backdoor push’, if that’s even a thing. Pittsburgh threw a meaningless touchdown in the final seconds to only lose by seven points. That could be a bad omen for the upcoming year.
I went 9-6-1 last week against the spread. I killed the early games, but the Monday night games got me.
Week 2 is usually full of landmines. You need to use what you saw last week, but also try not to overreact. If you thought a certain team was good coming into the season, but they lost by a touchdown in Week 1, don’t completely abandon the team.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 2 of the 2015 NFL season.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-3) – My pick is Kansas City Chiefs
The Broncos are already beat up. Peyton Manning and C.J. Anderson are both questionable (although I think Manning will play) and Demaryius Thomas is probable. Kansas City’s pass rushers should have a nice day. I expect a healthy dose of Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles from Kansas City.
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3) – My pick is San Diego Chargers
The Chargers has respectable road record with Philip Rivers. Their win against Detroit last week impressed me. I like pairing rookie Melvin Gordon with Danny Woodhead. They will make life a lot easier for Rivers. Andy Dalton also found out playing with a healthy Tyler Eifert is a lot of fun. This game will be close. I’m taking the points.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (+1) – My pick is Cleveland Browns
I’m a bit torn about my pick. I feel like the Browns are better than what they showed last week and the Titans aren’t nearly as good as they looked against Tampa Bay. This game opened up with Cleveland as a 3 1/2 point favorites. Titans are getting all the ‘overreaction’ money. The Browns will win their home opener.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (+1) – My pick is New England Patriots
The Bills did look really good against the Colts last week. I will need to see them do it against New England for me to believe in them. Coach Belichick will throw different looks at inexperienced quarterback Tyrod Taylor. It will be a defensive chess match between Rex Ryan and Belichick. I’m picking the defending champs on the road.
St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins (+3.5) – My pick is St. Louis Rams
Washington didn’t do anything to catch my attention last week. They also lost DeSean Jackson with a hamstring injury. The Rams are being quiet about their running back situation. Tre Mason and Todd Gurley both missed the first game and they could get some carries this Sunday. Nick Foles looks like a nice fit for the Rams. I’m taking the Rams to cover on the road.
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-2.5) – My pick is New York Giants
I was bullish on the Giants this offseason and their late-game collapse against Dallas was a disappointment. They have won their last five games against the spread in games after they gave up over 350 yards in the previous game (it’s a confusing stat, but it’s noteworthy). Tom Coughlin knows how to make defensive adjustments. I’m taking the Giants to cover at home.
Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers (-3) – My pick is Carolina Panthers
The Texans are being hush hush about who their starting quarterback will be this Sunday. I don’t think it matters. Carolina’s defense, even possibly without Luke Kuechly, will still have the advantage over either Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett. Also, the over/under is at 40.5 points…I’ll be taking the under.
San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) – My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers didn’t look bad in their loss against New England. Their kicker missed field goals and they just failed on important third downs. The Niners surprised me with their play against Minnesota. Carlos Hyde looked like a stud and made it so Colin Kaepernick didn’t have to take any risks. I still think the Steelers offense will be too much for the Niners.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-10) – My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I was dead wrong on the Bucs last week. Jameis Winston didn’t look like he was in the same league as fellow rookie Marcus Mariota. It looks like he will be without wide receiver Mike Evans again this week. Double-digit point spreads are hard to cover in the NFL. I don’t think New Orleans is THAT much better than Tampa Bay. This spread is at least a field goal too high. I’m taking the points.
Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears (+2.5) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
Jay Cutler didn’t look comfortable in Adam Gase’s offense. He only completed 50% of his passes. Arizona’s secondary will make it even harder this weekend. I don’t like the Bears this year. I’m going hard on Arizona to cover.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-3) – My pick is Detroit Lions
The Lions was one of my favorites in the NFC this preseason. I have a man crush on rookie running back Ameer Abdullah. I was also higher on the Vikings than most. Minnesota looked bad against San Francisco. Adrian Peterson was rusty as hell. I may lay a few jellybeans on the Detroit moneyline.
Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders (+7) – My pick is Oakland Raiders
This game is off the board at most sportsbooks until they find out the health of Derek Carr’s thumb. I have to admit, Matt McGloin didn’t look bad as his replacement. It’s too early to write off the Raiders. A home dog by a touchdown against a team traveling west in Week 2? I’m taking the points.
Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5) – My pick is Miami Dolphins
Blake Bortles looked really bad against Carolina last week. He didn’t look away defenders at all. He just stared at his first read and didn’t go through his progression. If he does that against Miami, expect a handful of interceptions. I’m loving the Dolphins to cover on the road.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-5) – My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
The Cowboys needed a perfect 4th quarter to beat the Giants last week. They shouldn’t have won that game, but a few balls fell in their favor. The Eagles secondary was really bad against Atlanta (I’m look at you, Byron Maxwell). DeMarco Murray will be extra motivated to give it to his old team. Also, I really like Sam Bradford. I’m taking the Eagles to cover at home.
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (-4) – My pick is Green Bay Packers
Will Seattle really start the season 0-2? Yes. The Packers are really good and need to shake off their Seattle curse. They haven’t beaten Seattle since the ‘Fail Mary’ play in 2012, but this is their first game in Green Bay since ’09. The Packers didn’t look like they missed a beat without Jordy Nelson. Picking up James Jones right before the season will pay huge dividends this year.
New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-7) – My pick is Indianapolis Colts
The Colts made a lot of people uneasy in Buffalo. They didn’t play well. The Jets did the exact opposite against Cleveland. The Colts will also be without T.Y. Hilton for an undisclosed amount of time. They have a lot of weapons at that position, so they shouldn’t be too damaged. This line feels a little high, but I’m going with the Colts to cover. Andrew Luck will want to make a statement in their home opener. It’s supposedly ‘Super Bowl or Bust’ in Indy.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
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