The NFL's Week 2 slate of games features teams looking to reinforce what went well in the first week, while at the same time, shaking off whatever issues they had. The same can be said of my against-the-spread-picks for Week 1, where I finished the week 9-7. Coming out on the winning side of .500 is always great, but there were definitely a couple more games in which the spread was just barely wrong for my picks (e.g., Green Bay beat Chicago by eight points, with my pick of the Bears +7 coming in one point on the wrong side.)
Can I improve on the 9-7 performance? Let's see where the picks this week fall.
New England Patriots (-2) at Buffalo Bills
This just seems strange. New England is not getting their normal big numbers, which means Vegas either is beginning to fall in love with Buffalo. Rex Ryan's typical blustery talk seems to have had an effect here. I know Buffalo looked good in Week 1 and has a string defense, but can you trust Tyrod Taylor yet? I don't.
Pick: New England (-2)
Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers (-3)
I picked this game as one of my write-ups because I am surprised this line is this small. Essentially, this is a pick-em line, with Carolina only receiving the home-field advantage points. Carolina is not exactly a dominating team, and the NFC South is not the top conference in the league, but Carolina is only getting home-field advantage points against a team that is already making a quarterback change? I'll give those points.
Pick: Carolina -3
Miami Dolphins (-6.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Miami has a lot to prove after not looking impressive in Week 1. Jacksonville is looking to avoid an 0-2 start. The Miami defense is angry, and they will be looking to take it out on Blake Bortles. Jacksonville has allowed at least 4 sacks in eight straight games (H/T Armando Salguero), and now face an angry Ndamukong Suh and (if his hamstring allows him to play) Cameron Wake. This game could go multiple ways, but I think in most of them Miami wins this by at least a touchdown.
Pick: Miami -6.5
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at Chicago Bears
Pick: Chicago +2.5
Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-10)
Pick: New Orleans -10