September 17, 2009

NFL Picks Week 2

So none of us got off to such a great start in Week 1 and all have some ground to make up to get back to respectability. Off we go to Week 2, where the tendency is to be too heavily influenced by Week 1 outcomes and not focus on long-term predictions for a team's likelihood of success.

Brien (1-4-0):
Not a good start to the year, let's hope this week is better.

Baltimore (+3) over SAN DIEGO - The Ravens will be pissed about their poor defensive showing last week.

New Orleans (pk) over PHILADELPHIA - Brees won't put up 6 TDs again, but the Saints will win, especially with McNabb hurt.

GREEN BAY (-9) over Cincinnati - The Packers looked great, and the Bengals looked awful last week.

KANSAS CITY (-3) over Oakland - The Chiefs looked like they have some life playing against the Ravens last week.

Tampa Bay (+5) over BUFFALO - I'm inclined to think that the Bills' performance on Monday was a fluke.

Jason (3-2-0):
I ran an against-the-spread office pool with 17 entries. All entries had between 5 and 10 correct picks (in 16 games). While the distribution should center around 8-9 wins, the curve was especially concentrated. Basically, every game was a coin flip. Week 2 is no different, and even possibly worse. Now we THINK we now something.

Oakland (+3) over KANSAS CITY - Oakland has some pride on defense, especially after Monday night. I saw the Kansas City @ Baltimore game, and they cannot score. The 24 they scored against the Ravens included 14 off a blocked punt and deeply return pick.

Arizona (+3) over JACKSONVILLE - I think San Francisco might the surprise (9-win) team this year, so I discount the loss at home last week.

SAN FRANCISCO (-1.5) over Seattle - This is basically being treated as a pick 'em. I like the Niners' attitude behind Shaun Hill.

Baltimore (+3) over SAN DIEGO - No home field advantage (other than the time zone) in San Diego. I think the Ravens were still in preseason mode against Kansas City. They have been waiting for this game since February.

DALLAS (-2.5) over New York Giants - They're opening that behemoth in Dallas. They didn't do such a good job closing out the old place (thanks to LeRon McClain and the Ravens), but Romo seems to have some confidence back.

Jeremy (1-4-0):
Damn garbage touchdown from the Redskins last week killed my pick, beat the spread, and made many degenerates want to kneecap Jason Campbell. Searching for teams this week who might have a little bit of desperation to avoid an 0-2 start......

Carolina (+6) over ATLANTA - I don't see two horrifying weeks from Delhomme in a row. And never underestimate the desperate need of a team to get a bitter taste out of its mouth.

BUFFALO (-5) over Tampa Bay - For 58 minutes, the Bills looked
pretty damn respectable against what we can all agree is a terrific
Pats offense. Leftwich is no Brady.

WASHINGTON (-9.5) over St. Louis - I'm not quite sure where the
'Skins are going to get their points from to cover this spread, but I'm
not sure where the Rams will get any points from whatsoever. I think
the Rams have an excellent chance of giving us this year's
suspense-filled Weeks 15, 16, and 17 as to whether or not another team
will finish winless.

And for two other picks of teams who did get a win in Week 1...

Pittsburgh (-2.5) over CHICAGO - This is not an overreaction
pick as to Jay Cutler's performance as much as it is a pick of respect
for the Steelers after their manhandling of the Titans. The loss of
Polamalu could make Cutler's day much easier though and probably keeps
this line down.

New England (-3.5) over NEW YORK JETS - This is always a bitterly fought game. I think the Jets keep it respectable but do end up losing by more than a field goal.

Magic 8 Ball (2-3-0):

ATLANTA (-6) over Carolina - "My sources say yes." (Falcons will beat the spread)
WASHINGTON (-9.5) over St. Louis - "My sources say yes." (Redskins will beat the spread)
Tampa Bay (+5) over BUFFALO - "Don't count on it." (Bills won't beat the spread)
Pittsburgh (-2.5) over CHICAGO - "No" (Bears won't beat the spread)
NEW YORK JETS (+3.5) over New England - "Yes." (Jets will beat the spread)

Russell (3-2-0):

GREEN BAY (-9) over Cincinnati - The Bungles just find ways to lose, and the Pack is better than the Broncos.

Minnesota (-9.5) over DETROIT - I think Calvin Johnson is the only player for the Lions who is better than his counterpart on the Vikings. Plus the Lions are 0-17 recently.

Baltimore (+3.5) over SAN DIEGO - Multiple injured linemen, LT gimpy, PhiLLLLip taunting, slow starts under Norville, it all adds up to a Ravens victory.

Pittsburgh (-2.5) over CHICAGO - Even if the Bears are turnover-free, I see the Steelers being better by a field goal or more.

WASHINGTON (-9.5) over St Louis - What's to like about the Rams?


Brien: BAL, NO, GB, KC, TB

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