Sunday's NFL Picks of the Day & a Little More

Darin Zank

Sunday, September 14, 2014 11:37 AM GMT

After a slow start to this NFL season we go looking for a little better fortune with our free NFL picks for Week 2. Here's what we've come up with.

Patriots -3 vs. Vikings (1 pm ET, CBS)
1-0 Minnesota, coming off a solid season-opening victory at St. Louis for new head coach Mike Zimmer, hosts 0-1 New England at the outdoor TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

New England lost its season opener for the first time in 10 years, falling at Miami last weekend 33-20. The Patriots led that game 20-10 at the half, but got outscored 23-0 in the second half. Minnesota, meanwhile, rolled through the Rams last week 34-6, but then again, it was the Rams. Now the Vikes come home but will be without RB Adrian Peterson because of in impending legal situation.

New England hasn't started a season 0-2 since 2001. And in expecting a bounce-back effort we don't think the Patriots will start this season 0-2.

The line on this game started at New England -3 at most NFL betting outlets, but since the Peterson news books have bumped the Patriots to -5 and even -6. But as of Sunday morning Heritage was offering New England at -4.5.

Free NFL Pick: Patriots  

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Cowboys +3.5 vs. Titans (1 pm ET, Fox)
1-0 Tennessee, after winning a road game in its debut under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt, heads home to host 0-1 Dallas.

The Titans dominated the Chiefs at Arrowhead last week winning 26-10 as three-points road dogs. The Cowboys, on the other hand, lost at home to San Francisco 28-17, whiffing on the spread as three-point home dogs.

Tennessee's victory last week came somewhat surprisingly, and against a Chiefs team we're dubious of. Dallas, meanwhile, lost to one of the best teams in the league. Also, yes, while the Cowboys have their problems, they seem to jump up and bite people occasionally on the road, like when they went into Philly last October and beat the rival Eagles.

The “reversal of fortune” factor is strong in the NFL, as teams bounce from victory to defeat and back on a weekly basis, often with little explanation. And that's our take on what will happen Sunday in Nashville.

Free NFL Pick: Cowboys at YouWager

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49ers -7 over Bears (8:30 pm ET, NBC)
1-0 San Francisco officially opens its new stadium in Santa Clara when it hosts 0-1 Chicago Sunday night.

The 49ers just demolished Dallas last week 28-10, jumping to a 28-3 lead, then coasting. Chicago, meanwhile, opened with a 23-20 home loss to Buffalo in overtime, giving up 193 yards on the ground.

The Bears are also a little beat up; two offensive linemen are out with ankle injuries, and the great WR combo of Marshall (ankle) and Jeffrey (hamstring) are both iffy. And if those guys can't go who will Smokin' Jay throw to when Chicago is trying to rally for a back-door cover?

This is just not a good match-up for Chicago. The Bears are finesse on offense, and a bit pathetic on defense. The Niners, on the other hand, will hit you in the mouth from either side of the ball.

To our surprise the NFL odds line on this game hasn't moved; it started with San Francisco favored by seven points, and has stayed there, into Sunday morning. We'll get down on the Niners early, before that number goes up.

Free NFL Pick: San Francisco

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Three-Pick Parlay
Each week we try to find three NFL games that look like they'll play over the totals, and hook 'em for a three-pick parlay. We prefer 'overs' to 'unders' because while every game is 'under' until it goes 'over,' once it goes 'over' it can never go back. Or something along those lines.

The Falcons looked good last week with their top two wide receivers back and healthy. And the Bengals can move the ball a little, too. The Atlanta-Cincy match-up looks like it has a chance to turn into a shootout, which would put it over 48.

The Packers couldn’t get much going in their season opener against Seattle, but they should find it a little easier to move the ball Sunday against the Jets. And Green Bay's defense isn't exactly stifling. We won't be a bit surprised if both teams score three touchdowns Sunday. Throw in a couple of field goals and this one goes over 46.

Finally, Monday night's game matches the high-flying Eagles against Andrew Luck and the Colts within the comfy confines of Lucas Oil Stadium. Philly got shut out in the first half last week against Jacksonville, then scored 34 points in the second half. They won't get shut out in either half Monday night. Indy, meanwhile, as it's done so many times before over the last couple of seasons, fell way behind last week against Denver, then rallied. And that's a good way to play an 'over.'

So our parlay consists of the Falcons-Bengals over 48, the Packers-Jets over 46 and the Eagles-Colts over 54.

Good luck, NFL bettors.