Happy Saturday, folks. Time for another round of lines and picks. Week 1 was a mixed bag, with a total mark of 3-3. I was right on Miami winning comfortably, but I was under .500 on the rest of the slate. The Ravens over the Jets seemed like an easy mark, given the Jets’ QB situation and the overall superiority of the Ravens - and it absolutely was. The Niners also struggled with Trey Lance at QB, with the Bears pulling away and winning by two scores. Had Cade York not drilled an insane 58-yard field goal in the final seconds, it would have been a winning week. Oh well. Them’s the breaks sometimes.
On with Week 2 picks...
Overall season mark (3-3)
Miami Dolphins picks (1-0 on season)
MIAMI (+3.5) at Baltimore
Miami having injury problems at tackle worries me. The Ravens’ pass rush could eat on Sunday, as this line is starting to more resemble the disaster of last year without their bookends. That being said, the Ravens have their own injury concerns in the secondary, so big plays could be there in the passing game if Tua has time to get the ball off. I do like the receiving skill set of Chase Edmonds here, as a quick catch-and-run passing game involving him, Jaylen Waddle, and Tyreek Hill could help ease problems with an aggressive rush.
Defensively, the Dolphins are in position to make life tough for the Ravens offense. The Fins’ secondary should be more than a match to stay with the Ravens’ pass catchers, and the Ravens will be without tackle Ronnie Stanley. But Lamar Jackson is the MVP for a reason and will still find a way to make some big plays.
Close game that could swing either way, but I’ll take the Dolphins with three points and the all important hook here.
Rest of the league (2-3 on season)
Tampa Bay at NEW ORLEANS (+2.5)
This game is a who’s who of injuries, and the Bucs have some significant ones on offense. They don’t have a healthy receiver among their top four, and both tackles are ailing, with Donovan Smith doubtful. The Saints are also significantly banged up, but at home in front of a wild Superdome crowd, getting points seems like a bit of a gift here, and I’ll take them.
CINCINNATI (-7) at Dallas
This has 35-10 vibes to it, with the Dallas offense being absolutely abysmal with Dak Prescott out and teams keying on CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys don’t have anyone who can stay with JaMarr Chase, and the Bengals offense should thrive. This might be the easiest call of the week.
TENNESSEE (+10) at Buffalo
I mean, look. Buffalo had a very impressive win at the defending champion Rams and the Titans just lost a squeaker to the putrid Giants. But spotting a team as talented as the Titans 10 points? I’ll take that and run. Bills win, but the Titans make a game of it.
SEATTLE (+9) at San Francisco
Yes, I’m taking another big road dog again. And that’s because, no, I’m really not a believer in Trey Lance. Asking the Niners to be favored over anyone by double digits, especially with George Kittle likely out again, is asking a lot. I’ll take 9 points here all day.
NY Jets at CLEVELAND (-6.5)
Calls this a lack of faith as much as anything else. In my suicide pool, I’m running against the Jets for as long as they’re rolling out Floe Jacco at QB. Defensively the Jets were sound against the Baltimore run game last week (63 yards allowed on 21 rushes), but the Browns went for 217 on the ground at Carolina and should be able to rely on their two-headed rushing attack to control the pace of the game and keep the Jets’ attack grounded. Browns by double digits.