Well, class…what did we learn last week? Betting on Week 1 is a gamble. I guess they all are, but betting on week one is even more of a gamble than usual. It’s risky. As we said last week, entering the season it’s hard to understand the identity of every team. They may have a new coach, a new coordinator, new QB, rookies, anything can change for better or for worse from one season to another. That’s why week one is always the hardest to bet on. We’re betting on impulse. We’re betting on feelings. That’s not where we want to be! Thankfully, week one is now behind us. Now, we can start betting on patterns. We have a better idea of identity and matchups. That’s what we want! Never again (this season) will we see a week like we did last week. This is my Tim Tebow speech. I won’t let it happen.
Last week was simply unpredictable. Joe Burrow and the defending AFC champions couldn’t beat the Mitch Trubisky led Steelers. Russell Wilson couldn’t beat his old team. The Titans earned the number one seed in the AFC last season and lost to the *checks notes* Giants. Packers did nothing. Bears beat the 49ers. Colts and Texans tie. Cowboys couldn’t put up more than 3 (three) points. Who could have seen all of that coming? Not a kind week. This week is going to be much different, however. We’re running the table!
Every week, we provide six alleged locks and a Dog Of The Week. Let’s see what’s in store for this week. For starters, all of the early games are tough to predict. Lions or Wentz? Can’t trust either of those. Jets or Browns? Yikes. Panthers and Giants? Blah. Patriots and Steelers? Would have been fun to watch 10 years ago. Today? Not so much. We got an incredible lame early slate this week. So, I suggest using that time to study the later games and make the right picks. Here’s my card for this week. They are all going to win, so I suggest you follow suit.
Atlanta Falcons @ Los Angeles Rams Line: Los Angeles -10
The Rams had an ugly debut to follow up their Super Bowl victory. The offensive line looked terrible, Stafford looked like a Lion again, and the defense didn’t scare anybody. That’s not the Rams we have grown to know. On the other hand, the Falcons, as they are known to do, coughed up a big lead to end up losing. Deja vu. They aren’t a good time. They know it. Aren’t they pretty much quietly tanking? I think a loss this week to the Rams will help that. LA wins big this week. Safe pick for your pick ’em or survivor leagues.
Pick: LA -10 Rams 30 Falcons 13
Cincinatti Bengals @ Dallas Cowboys Line: Cincinatti -7
The other team to appear in the Big Game last year also had a very disappointing start to the season. The Bengals had 5 turnovers and couldn’t beat the Steelers. Major ouch. Thankfully for them, Dak won’t be available this week and the Cowboys looked even worse than the Bengals did last week. Burrow and the offense are going to put up points this week, even against one of the better defenses in the league. Without Dak and with a Zeke who is a shell of his former self, the Bengals should roll in this one.
Pick: CIN -7 Bengals 24 Cowboys 14
Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos Line: Denver -9
Last week was embarrassing for Russ. If you’re going to demand a trade and then face your former team in week one the following year, it’s a must win. The fact that they didn’t let him go for it is sad on its own, but what a let down. He has to rebound this week. He simply has to. There are no excuses. Let’s Ride.
Pick: DEN -9 Broncos 27 Texans 17
Arizona Cardinals @ Las Vegas Raiders Line: Las Vegas -5.5
The Raiders held their own against the Chargers in week one. Too many turnovers. You fix that problem and everything looks good. The Carr to Adams connection is already working. The Raiders running game looks solid. The Cardinals look all over the place. After that strange offseason I have a hard time trusting Kyler, now too. I expect the Raiders to bounce back after that loss and enter week 3 1-1. The Cardinals will slip to 0-2 which is a major problem because they are famous for starting seasons hot and then slipping once week 7 or so comes around. Sound the alarm for the Cardinals.
Pick: LV -5.5 Raiders 28 Cardinals 21
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers Line: Green Bay -10
Aaron Rodgers owns the Chicago Bears. Have we forgotten? Yes, he played horrible last week while the Bears somehow beat the 49ers. However, history repeats itself. Rodgers started last year the same exact way before going on to win a back-to-back MVP. I am worried about the Packers in the long run. I don’t think they are as good as they were last year. However, you don’t have to be great, or even good, to beat the Chicago Bears. Oh yeah I’m worried about Trey Lance. Rodgers should have this. Especially at home. They can and will win by 10. I’m taking Mike Martz’s side and rolling with the Pack this week, because I don’t trust Justin Fields, yet. Yet. We will see.
Pick: GB -10 Packers 33 Bears 17
Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles Line: Philadelphia -2.5
I think after week one, the Vikings look like the team who could be representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. Note: that’s not necessarily a good thing. I think the conference is just horrible this year. They have a strong offense and a defense capable of making big stops. It just needs to be more consistent. I think the Vikings should win this one despite being underdogs. I have no trust in Jalen Hurts. I think he’s athletic, but not quite there yet. The Vikings beat the Packers last week, they should be able to beat the Eagles this week. It’s logic. Plus, the Eagles barely beat the Lions last week. They let Goff and company put up 35 points. Imagine what Cousins, Jefferson, and Cook can do. I’m calling upset!
Pick: MIN ML Vikings 24 Eagles 20
Dog Of The Week: Minnesota Vikings over Philadelphia Eagles