Andrew Luck and the Colts burned me once again last week, so it is safe to say I will be taking a couple weeks off from trusting them. Arizona and Baltimore both snuck out wins, even though they were both nail biters with Baltimore winning by 8 in a 6.5 spread and Arizona scoring late and coming up big on defense. This week features some pretty large spreads which can make for some intriguing 4th quarters, and with that lets get started.
1. Green Bay (-3) at Cincinnati
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers really impressed me last week after San Francisco beat them on week 1. Although the Redskins defense is not comparable to the 49ers, it was still refreshing to see that Rodgers has not lost any confidence. I believe that confidence rolls right into Cincinnati this week and the Packers come up with the win. The Bengals are no sleeper however and if this spread sneaks up to 3.5 or 4 I would use caution seeing as how the game is being played in Cincinnati. The Bengals defense is better than the Redskins but not as good as San Francisco so I am expecting Green Bay to win by a touchdown even without Eddie Lacy.
2. San Diego (+3) at Tennessee
This game has all the makings of being a sloppy game with Tennessee’s anemic offence and Phillip River’s potential for turnovers. If Rivers can hold on to the ball the Charger’s offense should be able to put some points on the board and pull this game out. Jake Locker has not shown much at all this year for me to believe that they can hang with the Chargers when they are playing at their best. My biggest concern is that this is San Diego’s second straight east coast 1:00 game and fatigue may be a factor. In the end, I still see the Chargers taking this in a close, low scoring game.
3. Carolina (+1.5) vs NY Giants
I am going against my gut this time picking the Panthers to beat the Giants at home. Everything is telling me that the Giants should win this game and that there is no way that they should go 0-3. However, the NFC East is winless so far against teams not in their division and Carolina is also desperate for a win since they are at 0-2 as well. Cam Newton has not played up to his potential so far this year so expect a break out game this week at home. The Giants have not been able to run the ball at all with David Wilson’s issues in week one and it did not seem like he had their full trust last week which leads to Eli Manning throwing the ball way too often. The deciding factor for me was that this line opened up with Carolina being 3 point favorite and now they are 1.5 point underdogs which means that the public is heavy on the Giants. Research shows that when this happens go the opposite way since the people that set the lines in Vegas know more than the public masses.
4. Chicago (-2) at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh may be 0-2 and desperate for a win but they have not looked good at all. They are also coming off of a short week and facing a Chicago team that has over achieved in the public eye through two weeks. Mark Trestman has been getting all sorts of praise from the fans, media, and even the players. When players like their coach and have confidence in what they are doing the players will play harder and better and I believe that Chicago wins this game by at least 10 on Sunday night. Cutler just has to minimize the mistakes, get Matt Forte his share of touches and they should have no problem with the Steelers.
5. Jacksonville (+19.5) at Seattle
Personally, I am not touching this game but this spread is just too big to not talk about. Getting almost three touchdowns in an NFL games does not happen too often. This is the 10th largest spread in NFL history and in the previous nine only two have covered. Also, coming off a big win against San Francisco they might let their guards down a little and this game could only be a two touchdown game. Another factor that leans toward Jacksonville covering is that their new head coach is Gus Bradley, who was Seattle’s defensive coordinator the last four years, so Pete Carroll probably will not try to embarrass him. Finally, if the Seahawks get up too much in the 4th quarter they may bench some of their starters and Jacksonville could get a couple garbage time touchdowns to keep it within 20.