Houston +5.5 @ CINCINNATI
Houston is in complete disarray. QB controversy, 4 players out with concussions including all 3 TEs, Brian Cushing just got suspended for 10 games (maybe on purpose because they asked him to play TE), and JJ Watt's back is held together with tape and gorilla glue.
Take Houston and the points.
That's how bad Andy Dalton looks right now.
We Swear We Made this Pick Before the Game: Houston + 5.5
Arizona - 7.5 @ INDIANAPOLIS
Not much can be said about this game. AZ looked terrible against DET and lost RB David Johnson for perhaps the entire season with a dislocated wrist (ouch!). Palmer - 3 INTs, 1 Pick Six and 1 garbage time TD - looks to be in his final season. AZ D looked good early with a Pick Six of their own, but is too opportunistic to sustain the poor performance from the offense. Stafford torched them late in the game for an easy win. IND went with Scott Tolzien in week #1 and all 10K fans in LA enjoyed the show. Two pick sixes and a saftey - great fantasy day for the Rams D. This week AZ D will again be a good choice in fantasy with either Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett leading the Colts. Stay far away from this as AZ is giving 7.5 on the road. We don't trust either offense, but think AZ D makes the difference. Take AZ and give the points and if you're in a confidence pool make this the 1 pt game. PICK: Arizona -7.5
KANSAS CITY -4.5 vs. Philadelphia
Don't sleep on Andy Reid with extended time for preparation. KC may be the fastest team on the planet. Both Hill and Wilson can take a kickoff, punt, catch, reverse, direct snap, etc. to the house at any time. Philly D looked good but they played a Redskin's team that did everything they could this summer to get worse. Injury to Eric Berry definitely hurts KC D but the other key guys will step up. Take the Chiefs at Arrowhead. One of the only true home field advantages left in the NFL. PICK: KANSAS CITY - 4.5
TAMPA BAY - 7.5 vs. Chicago
Tampa finally gets to open its season in week #2 vs. Mike Glennon and the Bears. Glennon spent 4 seasons in Tampa so he should be very familiar with TB's D and best strip clubs in Tampa where the Bears can celebrate this upset win. Tampa is still getting the benefit of the "Hard Knocks" hype and this line is way too inflated. Based on Chicago's week #1 performance, this line should be +4.5. Take the +7.5, the hook makes it a no-brainer. PICK: Chicago +7.5
PITTSBURGH -6.5 vs. Minnesota
Pittsburgh is great at home. No doubt. But did they show anything against the Browns? Minnesota looked great dismantling the Saints on Monday. For some reason, Vegas is giving no love to the Vikings opening this game at 7.5 and only adjusting to 6.5 after the Monday night games. Everyone has quickly forgotten that Minnesota opened up 2016 with 5 straight. An unbelievable amount of injuries and Mike Zimmer nearly losing his right eye led the Vikes to limp through the rest of the season. Since then they replaced the corpse of AP with Dalvin Cook, retooled the O-line and Zimmer made it through multiple surgeries to save his right eye. This team is being significantly under valued and might just be playing a home game in Super Bowl 52. Pitt looked ok vs. the Browns opening the game with special teams TD on a blocked punt. Antonio Brown continues to accumulate catches and yards but Big Ben threw both his TDs to TE Jesse James. Not sure we have seen enough from LeVeon Bell to justify this big number. We're taking MINN and the 6.5 and might throw some dollars at the ML as well. PICK: Minnesota +6.5
CAROLINA -7.5 vs. Buffalo
BUF escaped a trap game with the Jets with an easy 9 pt. victory (did not cover the 9.5 though). That game could have been a lot closer if the Jets D hadn't tackled their own DB on an early INT return that should have gone all the way. CAR looked pedestrian in SF but got a convincing W. This is an early statement game for these two teams; is BUF actually better having traded away some of it's best players to accumulate all the picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 draft and is CAR going to be closer to the 15-1 team of 2015 or the 6-10 team of 2016. We think it's more likely that CAR is a good team and BUF is a bad team that opened vs a worse team. The 7.5 makes this game a stay away but if forced to pick between these two, we'd take CAR and give the 7.5 assuming BUF has some key turnovers in the 2nd half. PICK: CAROLINA -7.5
New England -6.5 @ NEW ORLEANS
2017 GATE BOWL: Deflate-gate vs. Bounty-gate. Pats seem to have recovered quicker than the Saints from the aforementioned "'-gates". Both Brady (40 yrs.) and Bree's (38 yrs.) looked their ages in week #1 loses. Pats suffered without Edelman, Brady's security blanket. Shockingly, Danny "Mr. Glass" Amendola was injured during the game further depleting the Pats WR corps. Brady can still launch the ball 50+ yds. downfield and seems to do this when the Pats are struggling. Against a weak Saints D, he is likely to pick up multiple PI penalties on downfield passes and Belichick (how is this pronounced Bell-e-check and not Belly Chick???) will give the short yardage TDs to a RB not named Gilleslie as an FU to fantasy owners. NO is at home which usually bodes well for the Saints. But this team is just not good and NE is coming off an embarrassing loss. Much to the dismay of everyone at The Ringer, NE is not going to go 16-0. But they will definitely not start the season 0-2. Take the Pats even though the Saints are getting 6.5 as a home dog. PICK: New England -6.5
BALTIMORE -7.5 vs. Cleveland
So, Baltimore, at last we meet again for the first time for the last time. The Ravens humiliated the Bengals last week forcing Dalton into 5 turnovers - 4 picks and a fumble and sacking him 5 times for an unbelievable QBR of 0.7. Danny Woodhead looked like Marshall Faulk for one drive before suffering an "unexpected" (nah, we all knew it was coming) injury forcing him out of the game and likely the season (actually it's 4-6 weeks but we all know he'll get hurt within 5 plays upon returning. CLE played hard at home vs. PITT losing by a FG and covering the 8.5. This will be a tough division battle. We are taking CLE +7.5 but based on history due the opposite of what we do when BAL is involved. PICK: Cleveland +7.5
On a side note, good to hear that Josh Gordon will be up for re-instatement later this month. Sounds like he is on the right track finally and the NFL will hopefully agree. It is an absolute disgrace that the NFL has been so tough on Gordon keeping him out of football since 2014. Does recreational marijuana usage and drinking warrant taking away the prime years of Gordon's career? No domestic abuse (Zeke Elliott - 6 games, currently on hold?), no animal cruelty (Prince Shembo - 2 games), cheating (NE Patriots, multiple times - 4 games), shooting yourself in the leg (Plaxico Burress - 4 games), rape (Ben Roethlisberger - 4 games), vehicular manslaughter (Donte Stallworth - 1 year). Maybe it's time the NFL revisits this case.
Tennessee -1.5 @ JACKSONVILLE
JAX off-season pros: added Tom Coughlin to front office, drafted Fournette, signed every available good FA on the defensive side of the ball, fired Gus Bradley
JAX off-season cons: Bortles, Bortles, Bortles (said in Jan Brady voice)
That being said, JAX came out strong and ground its heel into the Houston community already devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Will karma come calling on Sunday when JAX returns home to a city greatly affected by Hurricane Irma? We don't think so. TEN looked terrible at home vs. Oakland and Marriotta will be running for his life vs. the Jags front 7. We love JAX as a home dog here assuming Bortles doesn't hit us in the nose with an errant pass (last Brady Bunch reference - we promise). PICK: JACKSONVILLE +1.5