Don’t get sucked into overreacting on Week 1 results while making your Week 2 NFL picks. Some of the results of games that we saw in Week 1 were continuing trends and some were flukes.
St. Louis (-3, BetOnline) at Washington
The St. Louis Rams beat the Washington Redskins last December 24-0, and nothing has changed enough for me to think the outcome will be any different on Sunday. That was with Shaun Hill playing QB for the Rams as well, instead of Nick Foles who will be starting Sunday. The Rams front seven on defense is one of the best in the league, except this week they are facing a more immobile QB as opposed to Russell Wilson last week. Expect Kirk Cousins to be running for his life most of the day, and for the Rams to establish the run game with Benny Cunningham with a little Tavon Austin in the mix.
Baltimore (-6) at Oakland
I’m not sold on Derek Carr yet, but I am sold on Joe Flacco. With two starters likely out in Oakland’s defensive secondary expect Flacco and Co. to have a better day than they had in Denver. The Ravens spent the week in San Jose so they should be well rested for this game and I expect that they will handle business and get out of O.Co Coliseum with a convincing win over the lowly Raiders. The Raiders are on the Fade Train with my NFL picks until further notice.
New England (PK) at Buffalo
The basis of this pick is the preparation time that Bill Bellichick has had to prepare for Rex Ryan’s new look Buffalo Bills, as they have been off since starting the NFL season on a Thursday. Last year the New England Patriots took two from Ryan’s Jets, and split against Buffalo with the one loss being at home. In an even matchup, I’ll take the coaching edge and the extra rest to make this pick a little easier. I’ll also take Tom Brady over Tyrod Taylor regardless of which teams they are playing for every day. Buffalo is going to be good this year, but the old guard won’t die easily.
Miami at Jacksonville (Under 41.5)
Both of these teams struggled on offense in their openers, and I expect that trend to continue. The only concern would be turnovers leading to easy points, but then you’d probably be looking at a blowout and a lot of eating time of possession with the run game. With the mental errors by Miami in their first game, I’m tempted to take Jacksonville as a live dog in this one if the line gets up to 7.5. It’s not there yet, however, so I feel comfortable that this will be a low enough scoring affair for it to come in under 41.5 easily.
Teaser of the Week: St. Louis (+3.5, Over 47.5) at Washington
Including the preseason, Washington hasn’t been in a game that has exceeded 44 points this year. Teasing this game across the 0-line and adding the hook also buys insurance should the Redskins find a way to score against the Rams tough defense. Given that St. Louis is a road favorite, the true NFL odds on a neutral field suggest giving the Rams over a field goal improve their chances of covering quite considerably.