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Week Two Picks

September 20th, 2020

Hey, look at that. I got the Thursday night game right straight up and against the spread.

Let’s see how much of a mess I can make of a solid start.

NY Giants (+5.5) at Chicago
I don’t think the Bears are quite in regular season form yet. But that’s mostly because I don’t think any team is really in regular form yet. Except maybe the Giants. It’s possible that what we saw Monday night against the Steelers is about what the 2020 Giants are going to be able to bring to the field. Chicago by a touchdown.

Atlanta (+3.5) at Dallas
This matchup at this point in this season goes to the home team. Cowboys by a point.

Detroit (+6) at Green Bay
Division games are often closer than the relative strengths of the teams would otherwise suggest they should be. And still six doesn’t strike me as half enough. Packers by 13.

Jacksonville (+7.5) at Tennessee
The Jaguars might not be so bad after all. Then again, they might. In any event, the division rivalry factor keeps this one closer than it ought to be. Titans by six.

Minnesota (+3) at Indianapolis
One of these teams has to be better than it looked in its opener. Maybe. Vikings by three.

Buffalo (-5.5) at Miami
The Bills are the better team. But Miami isn’t an easy place to play, particularly early in the season when it’s 90 degrees at game time. Buffalo by a field goal.

San Francisco (-7) at NY Jets
Hold on a second. I just need to check on something real quick. … Yeah, works out the Jets are still the Jets. Niners by four.

LA Rams (+1.5) at Philadelphia
I don’t think there’s any way any NFL team’s defense is playing its best football after a single game in a pre-seasonless season. But the Rams D certainly appears to have come strong out of the gate. I like what that says about the team. Los Angeles by three.

Denver (+7) at Pittsburgh
Both of these teams are playing on short rest. The better of the two — and, one suspects, by no small margin — is hosting. Steelers by 10.

Carolina (+8.5) at Tampa Bay
I think we might see a more typical game from the Bucs’ new quarterback this week. Three TDs and 350-ish passing yards, maybe. Something like that. Enough to fuel a comfortable win by the home team. Tampa by two touchdowns.

Washington (+7) at Arizona
Brand X looked better than expected last week at home. I’m not counting on them to keep it up. Cardinals by five.

Kansas City (-8.5) at LA Chargers
I can’t imagine anyone needs me to say anything about this game. Since it’s in Los Angeles, maybe the Chiefs only win by, like, 10.

Baltimore (-7) at Houston
The 2020 Texans can’t catch a break, can they? Ravens by three touchdowns.

New England (+4) at Seattle
It’s not that I don’t think the Patriots can win this game. They can. If it were in Foxborough, they probably would. (And if they meet again on a neutral field in early February, when the Patriots offense has had more time to come together, I suspect they will.) But in Seattle, even without the usual noise conditions, I just think it’s a lot to ask. Seahawks by a field goal.

New Orleans (-5) at Las Vegas
New Orleans by 14. I don’t know what else there could be to say.

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