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Old 09-13-2018, 10:27 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 2 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 8-7-1. Season totals: 8-7-1, Pct. .531. Best Bets: 2-1, Pct. .667.

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.



THURSDAY NIGHT

Baltimore
20, CINCINNATI 14 (+2) - The Ravens are 1-6 straight up and 2-5 against the spread on rugs since they re-converted their home surface to natural grass in 2016, but the lone win was a 20-0 shutout in the City of Satan in last season's opener, and they will be seeking to avenge a loss to the Bengals in the season finale that kept them out of the playoffs. Winner takes sole possession of first place in the AFC North thanks to the Steelers-Browns tie last week.


SUNDAY

N.Y. JETS
34, Miami 20 (+3 1/2) - The Jets looked far more impressive in their Week 1 win than the Dolphins did in theirs (Marcus Mariota and two other Titans offensive starters went out with injuries during the game), and the Jets are 8-1 against the spread in their last nine versus the Dolphins, and Miami is 6-15 both ways since 2013 as a visitor on the carpet.

WASHINGTON 27, Indianapolis 17 (+5) - Luck or no Luck, in their opener the Colts picked up right where they left off from last year, when they gassed late in games time and again to blow the win, the cover, or both. And speaking of gas, maybe Adrian Peterson still has some left in the tank after all.

L.A. Chargers 13, BUFFALO 7 (+7 1/2) - I'm not trying to kick up a political hornet's nest - but Nathan Peterman is drawing an NFL paycheck, while Colin Kaepernick, who threw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 2016, is not? Even so, no way should this number be this high, so long of course as Josh Allen starts at quarterback for Buffalo - and for their sake I hope the Bills ownership has Kaepernick on speed dial.

ATLANTA 34, Carolina 21 (+5 1/2) - The Falcons will have three extra days to prepare for this game, the home team has won and covered in five of the last six meetings, and since 2008 Carolina is 15-28-1 straight up and 15-29 against the line as a visitor on the carpet, and 11-20 straight up and 12-18-1 against the line as a visitor in domed stadiums.

Philadelphia 23, TAMPA BAY 14 (+3) - The Eagles will have the same preparation advantage as the Falcons - and I want to hear all week about how good a bet the Bucs are in this game, just because they murked the hideously overrated Saints defense. Let's see how Ryan Fitzpatrick does against the genuine article. Not too well, it says here.

PITTSBURGH 27, Kansas City 13 (+5) - For the Steelers, an interesting side effect of their tie at Cleveland is that it takes the playoff tie-breakers out of the equation, making this year's game against New England, again both at home and in Week 15, only a "two-point game" instead of a "three-point game" as they say in hockey. As for the matter at hand, the Chiefs have not won in Steeltown since 1986 - 0-6 straight up, 1-5 against the spread, and outscored 163-73.

TENNESSEE 24 (+2 1/2), Houston 17 - Deshaun Watson put up a 62.9 passer rating (on 17 for 34 for 176 yards, one touchdown and one interception) against what was last season the league's 30th-ranked pass defense, in his return from his catastrophic knee injury, while Marcus Mariota (elbow) is expected to play - and the home team in this series has won and covered in the last four, while since the surface at NRG Park was switched to artificial turf in 2016, Houston is 1-8 straight up and 1-7-1 against the line as a visitor on the grass. As 2 1/2-point favorites, the Texans are "priced to buy" - but don't buy them.

GREEN BAY 17 (+1), Minnesota 14 - I had to find an "offshore" line in order to make this pick, with the Vegas sports books keeping the game off the board due to the injury to Aaron Rodgers that didn't stop him from leading the Packers from a 20-0 deficit to win Sunday night. That notwithstanding, dating all the way back to 2001, Minnesota is 28-59-1 straight up and 40-46-2 against the line as a visitor on the grass, and 29-75-1 straight up and 43-59-3 against the line as a visitor outdoors.

NEW ORLEANS 31, Cleveland 27 (+7 1/2) - Instead of tying, last year's Browns would not only have lost the game, but would have blown the cover as well by letting the Steelers score a touchdown in the overtime. And not only is Cleveland 2.0 3-0 both ways lifetime at New Orleans, but the Browns were serious underdogs in all three games - and they're also 13-5 against the line indoors in franchise history. True, the Saints have their backs to the wall here, in that only one team (the 2003 Eagles) that has opened a season with two losses, both at home, has ever made the playoffs in a non-strike year - but still take the points.

L.A. RAMS 24, Arizona 14 (+13) - I'm not gonna lay this big a number this early in the season - and certainly not against a team that finished .500 last year, when they had the league's sixth-ranked defense. But Sam Bradford is gonna have to start doing better than he did in the opener against Washington - 20-for-34, 153 yards, one interception, 57.6 passer rating - otherwise he will get benched in favor of Josh Rosen.

SAN FRANCISCO 28, Detroit 13 (+5 1/2) - Like the Vikings, the Lions have struggled mightily on natural grass and in open-air stadiums since 2001 - as in 21-61 straight up and 33-46-3 against the spread on the former and 27-76 straight up and 45-54-4 against the spread in the latter. And Detroit has not won in San Francisco since 1975, going 0-12 straight up and 4-7-1 against the spread there and getting outscored 313-147. Best bet.

New England 30, JACKSONVILLE 14 (+2) - When Helmut Kohl visited Israel in 1984, an Israeli official remarked, "In spite of everything, Germany is still Germany." Well in spite of everything, Blake Bortles is still Blake Bortles - and playoff revenge-seekers dropped to 0-8 outright and 1-7 pointwise in 2017-18 when the Falcons lost both ways at Philadelphia last Thursday night, and the Patriots have thoroughly owned the Jags in the series, having beaten them in 11 out of 12 - and their somewhat more pedestrian 7-4-1 spread record in the dozen games is extremely unlikely to come into play at this price. New England is also 10-1 straight up and 9-2 against the line since 2016 as a visitor on the grass.

DENVER 31, Oakland 21 (+6) - Khalil Mack's departure puts a lot of pressure on Derek Carr and the Raider offense, which, if Monday night's game is any indication, Carr might not be equal to. Home team has won and covered in the last four meetings.

DALLAS 16, N.Y. Giants 10 (+3) - After winning and covering in their first four at Jerry World, the Giants are 1-4 straight up and 2-3 against the spread there since. The way both offenses are looking, you might be better off grabbing the under 43 or thereabouts than Dallas minus 3.


MONDAY NIGHT

CHICAGO
27, Seattle 20 (+3) - Blowing that 20-0 lead Sunday night must have been very painful for the Bears - but they still only lost by one point to a team that usually buries them - and the Seahawks have buried them three times in a row by a combined 87-31. But this is a different Seattle team - one that has been torn down by a gutless front office that has committed itself to so-called rebuilding.


BEST BETS: PITTSBURGH, SAN FRANCISCO, NEW ENGLAND
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