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Old 09-10-2014, 06:53 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 2 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 5-10-1. Season totals: 5-10-1, Pct. .344. Best Bets: 0-3, Pct. .000.

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



THURSDAY NIGHT

Pittsburgh
17 (+3), BALTIMORE 16 - "Elevatorgate" would have to come at a time when Baltimore's backs are firmly planted against the wall; you see, only one team in NFL history (the 2003 Eagles) has ever made the playoffs after beginning a season with two home losses in a non-strike year. And notice how some Pittsburgh players have gone out of their way to support Ray Rice. Could it be that they are endeavoring to do the exact opposite of giving a desperate arch-rival any bulletin-board material so to speak? The last five meetings have all been decided by three points or less, lending some logic to taking the number in this puzzler.


SUNDAY

N.Y. GIANTS
20, Arizona 14 (+1) - Should the NFL ever forgive Rice? But as a bettor you should try to forgive a team for one bad effort, especially if it came in Week 1; and bad efforts on artificial turf seem to be a long-term habit with the Cardinals, who are 15-39 straight up on rugs dating all the way back to 2002.

GREEN BAY 27, N.Y. Jets 24 (+8) - The National Wagering Service has issued a "Looking Ahead Advisory" for Green Bay this weekend, with games against each of their three NFC North rivals awaiting the Packers after this one (and winning the division is now pretty much the only game in town for them after Seattle rudely disabused them of any notions of securing the top playoff seed in the NFC last Thursday night). And the Jets have won and covered in four of their last five in Cheesehead Country (four at Lambeau and one at Milwaukee, where the Packers played some home games prior to 1995). Definitely taking the points in what otherwise shapes up as a favorite-friendly week.

BUFFALO 17, Miami 10 (+1) - E.J. Manuel might have overtaken Ryan Tannehill on the learning curve at this point, even though Manuel is only a second-year pro while Tannehill in in his third season - and you have to put the Dolphins on letdown watch in the wake of their upset of New England in the opener.

WASHINGTON 24, Jacksonville 14 (+6 1/2) - With the second-worst pass rush in the league a year ago, the Jags - who should be well-rested after the nap they took in the fourth quarter at Philadelphia - managed five mostly "coverage" sacks on Nick Foles last week; but facing DeSean Jackson here a repeat of that performance is most unlikely, and the Washingtons (is that what the self-professed guardians of social justice are calling them these days?) have won and covered in four of the five games played in the series thus far.

CAROLINA 27, Detroit 20 (+3) - Dead-game win by the Panthers on the road, snapping a five-game Kickoff Weekend (the league's official name for it) losing streak, without Cam Newton, who is expected to play in this one. And three points, at home, when five full games separated these teams in the standings of 2013 (in Carolina's favor) is an absolute bargain price.

New Orleans 23, CLEVELAND 10 (+6) - Saints defense disappointed in the opener - but doubt if the Browns, with all their issues on offense, can make them do so again, and the home team has taken an 0-for-4 collar both ways in games played between New Orleans and Cleveland 2.0.

CINCINNATI 35, Atlanta 31 (+5 1/2) - The Falcons are back, baby! Take the points despite their current seven-game outdoor losing streak that includes just two covers, especially since they also own a current streak of three straight wins and covers over the Bengals.

Dallas 34 (+3 1/2), TENNESSEE 27 - Why is it that every time the Cowboys lose a game it pushes everything else out of the sports headlines - and often, the headlines generally? And again, you have to forgive one bad game, especially in the opening week; and at least two of the early turnovers that doomed Dallas from the start came on freakishly unlucky bounces. Yet even if this weren't the case I'd still rather trust them than an AFC South team other than the Colts as a favorite in an out-of-division game.

New England 31, MINNESOTA 14 (+3) - An interesting sidelight here involves the quarterback matchup of Tom Brady vs. the man who spelled him after his entire 2008 season was aborted by a first-quarter, opening-game knee injury. But this is also Minnesota's first home game outdoors since 1981, so for all intents and purposes it might as well be a home game for the Patriots. And just a field goal to lay, under this set of circumstances?

TAMPA BAY 16, St. Louis 6 (+3 1/2) - In hockey, it's the St. Louis blues; in football, it's the September Blues, in that the Rams are a co-league-worst 9-26 straight up in that month since 2004. But if Mike Glennon is Lovie Smith's quarterback of the future, then why did Josh McCown start last week, and will start again this week? Guess the "future" hasn't arrived yet in Tampa.

Seattle 20, SAN DIEGO 12 (+5) - Have a feeling the Seahawks might win ugly this week - but they do have four more preparation days than the Chargers, whose fourth-quarter collapse on Monday night was as ugly as it gets, even if a late missed Arizona two-point conversion did allow San Diego to hang on grimly for the cover.

DENVER 38, Kansas City 17 (+12 1/2) - First the much tougher schedule, now casualties on defense (Achilles injuries to both defensive tackle Mike DeVito and linebacker Derrick Johnson in the Week 1 debacle against Tennessee) plague the Chiefs, who have dropped four in a row to Denver by a total of 60 points. This renewal should be no different.

OAKLAND 16 (+3), Houston 10 - I'm going to dismiss the 2-1 record hung up by the AFC South's "Little Three" in Week 1 as a mirage. Matt Schaub's revenge would have made for an interesting narrative, but in addition to signing Schaub, the Raiders drafted Derek Carr (the much-younger brother of David Carr, Houston's first-ever starting quarterback) in the second round (and the younger Carr will be starting here), while the Texans waited until the fourth round to attempt to upgrade their worst-in-the-league depth chart at the position, selecting Tom Savage, who had the unusual (to say the least) experience of playing for three different teams in college.

SAN FRANCISCO 34, Chicago 6 (+6 1/2) - Or should I have written Santa Clara 34, Chicago 6? The 49ers will be christening their new home in that South Bay suburb here - and will be doing it versus a team they trounced the last eight times they played them at Candlestick by a combined 271-49, also covering the spread on all eight occasions. All told, the home team in this series has won eleven in a row, covering in ten, by an aggregate margin of 348 to 112.


MONDAY NIGHT

INDIANAPOLIS
41, Philadelphia 16 (+3) - Blowouts are on the agenda for both of this weekend's prime-time games. If the Eagles don't get their claws on some kind of legitimate speed receiver (such as Devery Henderson, who is currently unemployed - as was fellow ex-Saint Donte' Stallworth when the Eagles snapped him up just before the start of the 2006 season, in which Stallworth would make a huge contribution to the last-to-first turnaround in the NFC East and Elite Eight appearance Philly registered in that year), Nick Foles is liable to get coverage-sacked onto the injured-reserve list, if not indeed, retirement a la Joe Theismann, before this season is even half over. Colts have covered five in a row vs. the Eagles, including 45-21 and 37-10 laughers in the two that were played at Indy - and come to think of it, both of those games were under the lights, as this one is.


BEST BETS: NEW ENGLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, INDIANAPOLIS
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