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Week Two Picks

September 12th, 2019

Not bad for pure guesswork. I suppose.

I got out of week one with records of 12-3-1 (.781) picking straight up and 8-7-1 (.531) picking against the spreads. It was pure luck that got me there, of course. No one knows what the hell to expect in week one. Or week two for that matter. My darts just happened to land on the right part of the board more often than not.

Let’s see if I can’t plunge toward mediocrity with this week’s wild and largely uninformed guesses. Which is to say, here’s what not to expect in week two.

Tampa Bay (+6.5) at Carolina
Jameis Winston is a turnover machine. And he’s extra fond of giving the ball to he Carolina defense. In seven career starts against the Panthers, Winston has thrown nine picks and lost five fumbles. You don’t need me to do this math for you, but I will anyhow: That’s an average of two giveaways a game. Not a hopeful sign for a team traveling on short rest. Panthers by nine.

Indianapolis (+3) at Tennessee
As if the Colts didn’t have enough obstacles to deal with this season, they get to start year with two straight road games. Who knows, maybe Marlon Mack goes off again this week. And maybe it makes a difference this time. But I’m not counting on either of those results. Titans by four.

LA Chargers (-2.5) at Detroit
Whichever team comes closest to playing all four quarters this week wins. I’m thinking that’s probably the Chargers. By a point.

Buffalo (-1.5) at NY Giants
The Bills wrap up their two-week residency in East Rutherford with a Super Bowl XXV rematch. How exciting! Better still, if the Bills win, they capture the title in the closely watched real New York vs. fake New York occasional football tournament. And all the rest of the league will be able to do is look on in envy. Buffalo by a field goal.

Arizona (+13.5) at Baltimore
On one hand, this week’s unimpressive Ravens opponent actually appears at least to be interested in playing to a tie. On the other, the Cardinals have to travel across the country to play an early game against a team that is probably a good bit better than they are. On the third hand, well, there is no third hand, of course. (Are you new here?) Ravens by 17.

New England (-18.5) at Miami
This year, it’ll be a miracle if Dolphins manage to put as much as three points on the board. Patriots by 28.

Dallas (-5) at Washington
In which the Cowboys continue to masquerade as an elite football team, a pageant that is scheduled to end two weeks from now in New Orleans. Dalls by a field goal.

Jacksonville (-9) at Houston
Can Gardner Minshew continue to complete 88% of his passes? Can he continue to throw TDs on eight percent of his passes? Can he maintain his 11 yards per attempt? His 122.5 passer rating? These are the big questions. … No they aren’t. They barely qualify as little questions. They do have a little answer, though. It’s no. Texans by six.

Seattle (+4) at Pittsburgh
The Seahawks barely got by the Bengals at home. They’re not traveling across the country and beating an angry, embarrassed and desperate Steelers squad. Pittsburgh by a touchdown.

San Francisco (+1.5) at Cincinnati
YepIn case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not particularly high on the 2019 Bengals. But they’ve got to be better than the Buccaneers. And playing a second straight game on the road is always a challenge. Cincinnati by a point.

Minnesota (+3) at Green Bay
Dear Vikings: Woody Hayes is 32 years dead. You may need to work out a passing attack at some point. Packers by four.

Kansas City (-7.5) at Oakland
Patrick Mahomes’ ankle might prove problematic at some point this season. But not this week. It’s a second straight road game for the Chiefs, and against a division rival no less, which makes seven and a half feel excessive to me. But only by a couple of points. Chiefs by six.

New Orleans (+2.5) at LA Rams
I’m not sure I’d pick the Saints in Los Angeles under any circumstances. But traveling on a short week after their nail-biter at home on Monday night? I just don’t see the ball bouncing their way this time. Should be a great one to watch, though. Rams by four.

Chicago (-2.5) at Denver
Am I crazy or is this the one of the easiest picks of the week? Bears by a touchdown.

Philadelphia (-1.5) at Atlanta
The Falcons kind of have to win this game. Which is a shame for them. Because they’re not going to. Eagles by six.

Cleveland (-2.5) at NY Jets
I’m not even sure the Jets are going to be able to field a complete team. Browns by seven.

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