Week 2
CHARLOTTE, NC – AUGUST 09: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans rolls out against the Carolina Panthers during the preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on August 9, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The first week of the NFL season is in the books. In the history of the NFL, only 12 percent of NFL teams have made the playoffs after a 0-2 start. For many teams, this is almost a do or do so early in the 2017 season. Unlike other sports, every game counts in the NFL. Cashing in on your week two bets often times involves not panicking over rapid hot take reactions from the opener. Make sure to tweet at me @treydaubert if you agree or disagree with my picks. Now let’s go win some money! Last week I went 10-5 in my picks against the spread so you know I’m reliable. The Raiders, Eagles, and Ravens were my locks of the week in week 1. This week it’s the Steelers and Redskins

Houston At Cincinnati: Thursday Night (HOU +6)

Welcome to the Deshaun Watson era. The Texans finally named him the starter and likely saved their season by benching the disaster Tom Savage who’s never thrown a touchdown pass in three years. Watson is a winner, that’s all he does. Why should this be any different against a reeling Bengals team?

Andy Dalton turned the ball over five times against the Ravens in a 20-0 loss. He clearly hasn’t been the same since Jay Gruden left town. Now he gets to face the number one defense in the league from a year ago. By the way, Dalton also stinks in prime time games. Good luck Cincy. Take the 6 points with Houston.

Cleveland At Baltimore: Sunday 1 P.M. ET (CLE +8)

DeShone Kizer was a little better than expected against the Steelers, but let’s be serious. There’s no chance he goes to Baltimore and wins. The Ravens pitched a 20-0 shutout win over the Bengals last week where I’m thinking a similar result will take place here.

Kizer posted a QBR of 27.5 last week which tells you all you need to know. This Baltimore defense is serious forcing 5 turnovers and 5 sacks against Andy Dalton. 8 points seem like a lot but the Ravens tend to play a lot better at home. Take the Purple guys here.

Buffalo At Carolina: Sunday 1 P.M. ET (BUF +7.5)

The Bills could have the secret sauce for keeping this game close. Buffalo’s coach Sean McDermott was the former orchestrator for the Panthers defense and might know more about how to stop Cam Newton than the pundits tend to project. Carolina has also limited Cam’s running plays this season which leads to a mediocre pocket passer. He only completed 56 percent of his throws vs. a poor 49ers team.

Even if Carolina wins, will it be by more than a touchdown? I’m not so sure. At the very least, Shady McCoy should be able to run the football and chew up some clock. I’ll take Carolina here but Buffalo covers the spread.

Arizona At Indianapolis: Sunday 1 P.M. ET (IND +7)

There’s no way I would actually bet this game but if you must I’m leaning towards Indy. Yes, they just got blown out 46-9 by the Rams. Yes, Chuck Pagano is probably the worst head coach in football. This is still the NFL, teams usually don’t get whooped two games in a row. Jacoby Brissett looks like he’s getting the nod at quarterback which is obviously the right call after watching that train wreck Scott Tolzien.

Carson Palmer also looked really old against the Lions. I’m not sure they’re beating anyone by more than a touchdown. Oh yeah, David Johnson’s out for the year so it could take them some time to figure out how to get first downs. Taking the points seems like the right move.

Bruce.Lipsky@jacksonville.com–04/21/15–Blake Bortles answers questions from sports writers. On the first day of Jacksonville Jaguar OTAs, Head Coach Gus Bradley, quarterback Blake Bortles, center Stefan Wisniewski and tight end Julius Thomas talked about off season, the new season and free agency on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at EverBank Field. (Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky)

Tennessee At Jacksonville: Sunday 1 P.M. ET (JAX +2)

While I’m encouraged by the Jaguars efforts last week, I’m not sure their success is sustainable. While I’m not high on Marcus Mariota, he’s at least an upgrade over Blake Bortles. The Titans also can match the Fournette X-Factor with Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray. Frankly, this is about trusting Dick LeBeau to right the ship in Tennessee. Look at Bortles face up there. Don’t let him fool you, they stink.

The Titans should be able to win this game by at least a field goal. Tennessee also has a dynamic offensive line that won’t allow Jacksonville to get the kind of pass rush they did against Houston. I have the Titans here.

Philadelphia At Kansas City: Sunday 1 P.M. ET (PHI +5.5)

I’m going to take the Chiefs to win but by just a field goal. The Eagles are my pick to win the NFC East and are going to be a heck of a lot better than people realize. The only reason I have the Chiefs is that Andy Reid has extra time to prepare and it’s at the noisy Chiefs Stadium.

Carson Wentz will do enough to keep this game close. KC also isn’t nearly as dynamic without Eric Berry in the backend. Philly was number one in time of possession a year ago. They will grind with the best of them. Just don’t expect Andy Reid to lose to his former stomping grounds.

New England At New Orleans: Sunday 1 P.M. ET (NO +6.5)

This game will go one of two ways. Either New England blows out the Saints for the sole reason of being embarrassed by the Chiefs in the opener. The other scenario is the Saints get the Super Dome roaring early and Drew Brees puts on a show with no Dont’a Hightower in action.

The more likely is the Pats bounce back. New England never loses back to back games, especially against a poor defense in New Orleans. Expect Brandin Cooks to make his presence felt after the Saints dealt him to the Champs this offseason. Brady and the Pats win big.

Mike Tomlin (Kelly L Cox USA Today)

Minnesota At Pittsburgh: Sunday 1 P.M. ET (MIN +5.5)

On the surface, this line seems odd but that’s exactly what Vegas wants you to think. The Vikings will have a short time to prepare coming off a Monday Night game. Pittsburgh will also be rearing to go after almost losing to the Browns. Expect Pittsburgh to light a fire at home where they always play better with the emotional rollercoaster that is Mike Tomlin.

Sam Bradford faced virtually no pass rush from the Saints last week despite having a poor offensive line in front of him. That’s not going to be the case with the Steelers where T.J. Watt, Cam Hayward, and others will be in the face of Bradford. Don’t fall for the cheese, Steelers win by more than 6.

Chicago At Tampa Bay: Sunday 1 P.M. ET (CHI +7)

We are going to find out how good Tampa is on Sunday. Chicago lost by six to the Falcons on a final drive where the Bears couldn’t punch it in the end zone. Expect Tampa to humiliate the Bears, after all, they are my pick to win the NFC South.

With the Bucs getting a bye to start the year, they essentially had two weeks to prep for this game. Jameis Winston will take a huge leap heading into year three where Chicago frankly has no answer for Mike Evans. Bucs win big.

Miami At Los Angeles: Sunday 4:05 P.M. ET (LAC -4)

This line literally makes no sense. LA is coming off a devasting loss late on Monday night where the game ended around 2 A.M. They also have a head coach who had no idea what he was doing calling up horrible play calls all night. That’s probably what we should expect from a guy who spent his whole career as a running back coach. Oh wait, they are also playing in a Soccer stadium with absolutely no home field advantage.

Say what you want about the Dolphins, Adam Gase has built a culture. He isn’t putting up with nonsense and Jay Cutler had a breakout year under Gase in Chicago. Miami will vie for a playoff spot this year while the Bolts remain as dysfunctional as ever. Dolphins easy winners here.

Derek Carr is on his way to another MVP type of season (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

New York Jets At Oakland: Sunday 4:05 ET (NYJ +13)

It’s going to be an ugly year for the Jets. If the Jets lose to the tanking Bills by 9, they have to lose by more to Super Bowl contending Oakland right? The Raiders defense was also better than expected after Marcus Mariota failed to throw a touchdown against them. Good luck Josh McCown.

Oakland averaged 5.7 yards per play against the Titans. Imagine what Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, and the Raiders are going to do to the Jets? Don’t over think this one. Take the Raiders and swallow the points.

Dallas At Denver: Sunday 4:25 ET (DEN +2.5)

I still believe the Chargers are going to be a disaster this year so I was not impressed at all with Denver winning on Monday night. Meanwhile, Dallas has the most flawless offense in the NFL. Best offensive line? Check. Dynamic running back? Check. Quarterback who makes smart decision? Check. Premier number one receiver? Check. Reliable tight end to convert third downs? Check. Denver literally doesn’t have any of those things I just mentioned.

Dallas converted 8 of 15 third down attempts which lead me to believe Denver’s defense won’t stifle the Cowboys considering what they did against the Giants tough unit. Also don’t forget, Sean Lee flys around the football. Good luck Trevor Siemian!

Washington At Los Angeles Rams: Sunday 4:25 P.M. ET (WAS +2.5)

This line is a joke. In fact, go right ahead a bet a hefty portion of your paycheck on the Redskins. A: Jay Gruden taught Sean McVay everything he knows. B: Kirk Cousins is a million times better than Jared Goff. C: A big win over the Colts in week one means nothing.

Washington seems to be overlooked for all the wrong reasons. That Philly team is darn good. The Redskins also showed a viable pass rush with Preston Smith, Ryan Kerrigan, and Junior Gallete. No free looks for Goff this week. Redskins win easy.

San Francisco At Seattle: Sunday 4:25 P.M. ET (SF +14)

Look I know San Fran is bad, but I’m not passing on a two touchdown spread, ever. Give me the 49ers here with a two touchdown lead. What could go wrong? Even if Seattle dominates, which they should, they can’t pass protect to save their lives. Cheeseburger Eddie Lacy is fresh off a 3-yard rushing game.

San Fran’s offensive roster is really bad, but I’m going to give Kyle Shanahan the benefit of the doubt he can hang in for a little. The 49ers have no chance to win this game in Seattle against that defense but isn’t it possible they lose by 10 instead of more than 14? Never pass on a spread that juicy.

Green Bay At Atlanta: Sunday Night (GB +3)

I don’t have a great feeling for this game. Atlanta didn’t look great on the road against the Bears but were able to come out with a close win. The Packers dominated the Seahawks at home. Playing the Falcons in Atlanta compared to Green Bay is an entirely different ball game. I expect this game to come down to the wire so I’ll take the points.

Atlanta’s defense looks improved from that 28th ranked unit in 2016. Green Bay still figures to put up points with the sheer number of weapons they have. The Packers have also been much more dynamic with Ty Montgomery in the backfield. Lean towards Green Bay and the points but this game is very much up in the air.

Detroit At New York Giants: Monday Night (DET+3)

I’m really down on the Giants but they will rebound and get the win over the Lions. The biggest reason I’m down on New York is because they can’t protect Eli Manning. Outside of Ziggy Ansah, who do the Lions have that scare you on the defensive side of the ball? Detroit doesn’t have a linebacker like Sean Lee that will cause havoc in coverage. Giants rebound big regardless of whether Odell Beckham plays or not.