2014 Quick Hitters (Week 2 NFL Picks)
Overreaction week is upon us and it’s time for us to get ahead of the public with Week 2 NFL Picks. Week one was a moderate success in my opinion as I hit on two of my four upset picks and nailed my Lock of the Week. My favorite part about overreaction week is that most people will expect teams to look just like they did in week one which is the wrong way to go about it.
*Remember that my picks are straight up and Vegas lines are merely used to determine whether I’m choosing an upset, favorite or even pick.
Here’s my results on the year:
Overall Record: 10-6
Last Week’s Record: 10-6
Record in Thursday Games: 0-1
Record in Sunday Games: 7-5
Record in Sunday Night Games: 1-0
Record in Monday Games: 2-0
Record in Upset Picks: 2-2
Record in Even Picks: 1-1
Record in Favorite Picks: 7-3
Record in “Toss-Up” Picks: 4-3
Record in “Moderate Confidence” Picks: 5-3
Record in “Lock of the Week” Picks: 1-0
*Even picks are classified as opening lines under 2.5 points.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (Thursday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Baltimore (-3)
The Pick: Baltimore as a FAVORITE
Reason: Rice-Gate may be a distraction for the team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes them even more motivated to defend their home-turf after losing to the Bengals last week. The Ravens’ defense is legit and won’t be as easy a test as Cleveland was for Pittsburgh.
Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals
Vegas Odds: Cincinnati (-4)
The Pick: Cincinnati as a FAVORITE
Reason: I’m really tempted to take the Falcons because Matt Ryan was that awesome in beating the Saints. However, the Bengals have a much more balanced team and are playing in front of the home crowd.
Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans
Vegas Odds: Tennessee (-1)
The Pick: Dallas at EVEN
Reason: It would be more fun if I could get the Cowboys as an upset because the Titans have climbed to 3.5 point favorites in most books, but I use opening lines. This is your typical overreaction game and I think the Cowboys are actually the better team.
Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders
Vegas Odds: Opened with Even line
The Pick: Houston at EVEN
Reason: I don’t really like either of these teams, but J.J. Watt versus Derek Carr is a pretty one-sided match. I also don’t like the fact that the Raiders couldn’t beat the Jets when they had all the opportunities to do so because of Geno Smith’s recurring turnover problem.
Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers
Vegas Odds: Seattle (-4)
The Pick: Seattle as a FAVORITE
Reason: The public has the perfect fantasy about the Seahawks right now and considers them somehow better than the Super Bowl winning team than a year ago. I don’t agree with that and think they will drop a few games this year. I just don’t think it will be to San Diego because they should have figured out a way to beat the Cardinals and didn’t get it done.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins
Vegas Odds: Washington (-7)
The Pick: Washington as a FAVORITE
Reason: I can definitely see the case to pick the Jaguars in an upset, but their meltdown in the second half against the Eagles was concerning. Meanwhile, Washington battled with Houston for the majority of their game and should come out with a win against a Jacksonville squad who will slowly get better on the year.
Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers
Vegas Odds: Carolina (-1)
The Pick: Detroit at EVEN
Reason: Here’s another example of a game that would be an upset at the current line (Carolina -3), but I have to stay consistent and use the opening line. Detroit wasn’t perfect against New York, yet I think they are a well-coached team who knows how to play to their strengths. If Cam Newton was completely healthy, I might consider the Panthers a bit more.
Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts (Monday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Indianapolis (-3)
The Pick: Philadelphia in the UPSET
Reason: Here’s my lone upset of the week when using the Vegas opening lines. The Eagles extremely slow start against the Jaguars paired with the Colts late effort against the Broncos sets up everyone for the wrong perspective on this game. I’m not sure why, but Denver put on cruise control and covered up what was a disappointing debut for the Colts in my opinion. I’ll take Chip Kelly’s offensive genius with minimum confidence this week.
MODERATE CONFIDENCE PICKS
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Vegas Odds: Buffalo (-1)
The Pick: Miami at EVEN
Reason: The Bills and Dolphins were Week 1’s darlings with two surprising upsets. While it’s entirely possible both of them are riding a peak of public perception, I’m more willing to guess that Miami is more the real deal than is Buffalo.
New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns
Vegas Odds: New Orleans (-6)
The Pick: New Orleans as a FAVORITE
Reason: Cleveland’s offensive power can’t even be close to what the Atlanta Falcons have. Additionally, Rob Ryan and the Saints defense need to make a statement after the embarrassing showing against the Falcons. The Browns need a lot more than a Johnny Manziel package to make the Saints 0-2 on the year.
New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings
Vegas Odds: New England (-5)
The Pick: New England as a FAVORITE
Reason: Bill Belichick doesn’t lose two games in a row very often and there’s no way Minnesota is as good as they looked against St. Louis. If the Patriots do drop this game, they could be in trouble for the division, but I don’t see that happening.
New York Jets at Green Bay Packers
Vegas Odds: Green Bay (-10)
The Pick: Green Bay as a FAVORITE
Reason: This line is way too high and my rule of thumb is to always take the dog in a double digit spread. However, there’s not much of a chance the Packers lose this game. The Jets will give the Packers trouble up front, but the Packers seemingly have been trying to figure out how to deal with their troublesome offensive line.
Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: San Francisco (-7)
The Pick: San Francisco as a FAVORITE
Reason: The 49ers get to open up their new and beautiful Levi’s Stadium. There’s potential for the Bears to pull the upset, but I still don’t like their defense one bit. For that reason, I’ll take the patched up 49ers defense to be the lesser of two evils when these two good offenses collide.
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
Vegas Odds: New York (-2)
The Pick: Arizona at EVEN
Reason: The Giants played so badly in the opener versus Detroit, it’s hard to imagine them opening as a slight favorite in any Vegas Book. Most places have Arizona as two point favorites now, but they weren’t particularly impressive in their opener either. I’ll take Arizona’s solid defense to give the Cardinals the best shot at winning straight up.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
Vegas Odds: Denver (-9)
The Picks: Denver as a FAVORITE
Reason: I won’t waste much of your time with this one. Kansas City was downright terrible at home in week one and lost key defensive starters. Denver has arguably the best offense in the league which should mean some nice fantasy points for them this week.
LOCK OF THE WEEK PICK
St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Bucs
Vegas Odds: Tampa Bay (-4)
The Pick: Tampa Bay as a FAVORITE
Reason: Like I mentioned with my Lions pick last week, I’m not here to pick the biggest spread. While the Broncos would be an excellent pick, I want to be a little riskier. We don’t know a ton after just one week, but I think we do know that St. Louis is going to have a bad year. Ride the Bucs to rebound from last week’s loss.
Week Two Pick Summary: 10 Favorites, 1 Upset and 5 Even Picks
Let me know where you agree and disagree in week two. Good luck and most importantly enjoy the games!