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CBS Local Predictions: Week Two

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cbs local predictions CBS Local Predictions:  Week Two
With Week 1 behind them, NFL teams are revving up for Week 2.  Here’s how CBS Local’s analyst @Fantasource thinks the games will shake out.

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants (-7 1/2, O/U 44)

The Giants were handed a bad loss last Wednesday at home against Dallas. The Super Bowl champs can’t lose two in a row, can they? Nah. But can they cover the touchdown and a half? I think they will. The bumbling Bucs are bumbling no more, with a nice win over Carolina last week. But Cam Newton put up 300 yards passing last week on the Bucs defense, and I think Eli can do it, too. Bucs QB Josh Freeman is about to get up close and personal with Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. And he’s not going to like it.

I’ll lay the points and say the Giants bounce back big.

Pick: N.Y. Giants -7 1/2

Arizona at New England (-13 1/2, O/U 48)

Sometimes you just have to look at the game and say, “why would I want to bet the Cardinals?” And I don’t have a reason. Even catching almost two touchdowns, I still can’t think of a reason they will be in this one. The Pats are playing in their home opener and they are looking to bounce back from the Super Bowl loss last year. Tom Brady has so many weapons to throw to. Gronkowski, Welker, Aaron Hernandez and, then to top it off this Stevan Ridley kid puts up 125 yards rushing last week.

C’mon, that doesn’t seem fair. Arizona only managed 43 yards rushing last week at home against Seattle. New England only surrendered 20 rushing yards to Tennessee (Chris Johnson!) last week. So, you’re basically putting your money on Kevin Kolb to keep it close. No thanks. 

Pick: Patriots -13 1/2

Minnesota at Indianapolis (+1 1/2, O/U 44 1/2)

Colts get another NFC North opponent this week. They opened the season in Chicago and lost big, 41-21. They also gave up 114 yards and three touchdowns rushing to Chicago. And Colts LB Dwight Freeney might not be playing. And Adrian Petersen is coming to town. And I think the Colts are in trouble. So Andrew Luck’s home debut might get spoiled by the men in purple. Jared Allen led the league in sacks last season, and he was probably licking his lips when he heard the Colts signed two guys off the street to help with their offensive line this week.

I think Adrian Petersen (and Toby Gerhart if AP needs a rest), plus Percy Harvin, plus (Game Manager!) Christian Ponder will be enough for the Vikings to get a win this week in Indy. 

Pick: Vikings -1 1/2

New Orleans at Carolina (+2 1/2, O/U 51)

I guess if the Saints want their players to show up for games they better start paying them for big hits. Oh wait, that’s what got them into this mess to begin with. That was an ugly loss to RGIII and the Redskins last week at home for New Orleans.  Maybe finally getting a game out of the way will take off some of the pressure. This line makes me hesitate, (why is New Orleans laying only two and a half points?) but I think Brees steps up to get a division win.

Laying less than a field goal? Yeah, I’ll go with the Saints.

Pick: Saints -2 1/2 

Kansas City at Buffalo (-3, O/U 45)

I came into this season pretty high on Buffalo. I thought they would be able to get themselves into the playoffs with Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the way. They upgraded their defense, signing Mario Williams away from the Texans, and last week I had them pinpointed as an upset special when they visited the Jets. Well, you all saw what happened. The Bills got rolled.  At one point in the 3rd quarter they were losing 41-7. Ouch. I also had KC as a sleeper team in the AFC West, and last week it was the same story for them, the Falcons went into Arrowhead and won big.

So which team will bounce back? For me this is a tossup, but I like the Bills to do it at home this week. I’ll lay the points.

Pick: Bills -3 

Baltimore at Philadelphia (-2 1/2, O/U 46 1/2)

This game wins the ‘Fishy Pointspread of the Week’ award. The Eagles barely escaped Cleveland with a win (an ugly win, at that) and the Ravens demolished the Bengals on Monday Night. But the Ravens are the underdog? And the line is going up? It opened at Eagles -1 and was quickly bet up to -2 1/2.

The Ravens are on the road, off of a Monday Night game, so that contributes to the line. But the Eagles defense really stepped up last week, only allowing 210 total yards to the Browns, and the lone Cleveland touchdown was an interception returned for a touchdown. BenJarvus Green-Ellis got 95 yards rushing against the Ravens last week, and if the Eagles expect to win this they have to let Lesean McCoy run the ball, alot. 56 pass attempts for Mike Vick last week, I don’t expect that to happen again.

Expect the Eagles to keep it on the ground. The Ravens are tough on both sides of the ball, there’s no question about that, but this is a spot where I’ll go against conventional wisdom and say the Eagles win and cover at home. 

Pick: Eagles -2 1/2 

Oakland at Miami (+2 1/2, O/U 39)

How bad are the Dolphins? Well, the Raiders haven’t been a road favorite since 2005 (vs. QB Brooks Bollinger and the Jets!) but this week they are laying two and a half in South Beach. The Dolphins got smashed by the Texans in Week 1, and the Raiders, well they were pretty much the Raiders. Dumb penalties, some bad special teams play and they got beat at home by the Chargers. But I think Carson Palmer and Darren McFadden have enough offense between them to get the Raiders the win and the cover on the road this week.  

Miami rookie QB Ryan Tannehill is a work-in-progress (3 INTs vs. Houston in Week 1), and Oakland held the Chargers to 32 yards rushing, so Tannehill will need to step up if the Dolphins are going to be in this one. Miami has lost six straight home openers, I’ll say it becomes seven this week.

Pick: Raiders -2 1/2

Cleveland at Cincinnati (-7, O/U 38 1/2)

I can keep this one simple.  If Brandon Weeden is the quarterback then I’m not betting on the Browns. Ever. Weeden was totally outclassed last week at home against the Eagles. He went out in his debut and threw four interceptions, got sacked twice and looked flustered most of the game.  He ended the game with a 5.1 QB rating. That’s not a typo, five point one. That’s bad. The Bengals have offensive weapons (Andy Dalton, AJ Green, BenJarvus Green-Ellis) and should be able to move the ball against a Browns defense that gave up 456 yards of total offense (5.2 yards per play) to the Eagles in Week 1.

I think the Bengals win the battle of Ohio by double digits.

Pick: Cincinnati -7 

Houston at Jacksonville (+7 1/2, O/U 41 1/2)

Houston is the best team in the AFC. There, I said it. Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster plus a defense that shut down the Dolphins last week. (I know, I know it was the Dolphins, but still it was a nice effort)

The Jaguars were coming into this season with a defense that was their lone bright spot last season. And then they go up to Minnesota last week and give up 389 yards to the Vikings. That doesn’t make me feel good about them facing the Texans. I know the Jags defense is better than they showed, but I’m still laying the points with Houston on the road.

Pick: Texans -71/2

Dallas at Seattle (+3, O/U 41 1/2)

Seattle at home, getting points. I’ll take it. Seattle has a definite homefield advantage at CenturyLink Stadium (formerly Qwest Field, formerly Seahawks Stadium), they were 4-1-1 ATS (against the spread) last season as a home dog, and Dallas is 1-4-1 ATS as a road favorite since 2010. 

I know the Cowboys beat the Giants last week on the road, and yes Dallas is a good team, but Seattle is where good teams go to die. Last year the Seahawks took out Baltimore and Philly as a home dog, and Dallas is playing their 2nd straight road game to open the season. Russell Wilson couldn’t pull off the 4th quarter magic last week at Arizona, but at home I think he can get it done here. A healthy dose of Marshawn Lynch running should keep the game under control for Seattle.

SportsbookSpy.com shows that 88% of the public is on the Cowboys, so yeah, I’m going the other way. I like Seattle to pull the upset. 

Pick: Seattle +3

Washington at St. Louis (+3, O/U 45 1/2)

Hey, have you heard about the new QB in Washington? Robert Griffin III? Oh, you have? I wasn’t sure if you were living in a cave and missed the three million stories about him since last Sunday. RGIII had a great debut down on the Bayou, 320 passing yards in the win over the Saints, including an 88 yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon.

But this week they go on the road as favorites, and the Rams will be ready for them. No sneak attack like last week in New Orleans. In this spot, I like the Rams. Both defenses gave up 330+ yard passing in Week 1.  So expect alot of throwing in this one. In a high scoring game between two evenly matched teams, I’ll take the home team getting points. 

Pick: Rams +3

N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh (-5 1/2, O/U 41 1/2)

What is going on with the Jets? They looked terrible in the preseason, they couldn’t score any points, they had a QB controversy (at least the media thought they did) and everyone thought they would have a tough time in the opener against Buffalo. So what did they do? They went out and blew out Buffalo and shut everyone up. Maybe they can make a run at New England in the AFC East.

Pittsburgh had a tough loss last week at Denver. High altitude, the no-huddle offense and Peyton Manning seemed to be too much for the Steel Curtain. Maybe the Steelers defense is showing it’s age?

I think the Jets d-backs can contain the Pittsburgh passing game (although CB Darelle Revis is questionable with a concussion) and Sanchez should be able to move the ball enough to keep this one close.

Pick: N.Y Jets +5 1/2 

Tennessee at San Diego (-6, O/U 43)

The Chargers got a nice win as a road dog on Monday Night, but was it really a nice win? Yeah, Rivers played well, but they got a W mainly because the Raiders couldn’t keep it together. Lots of penalties, then an injury to their long snapper caused problems in the punting game.

So the perception is the Chargers got it done, but the reality is the Raiders fell apart. Now the Titans on the other hand, perception and reality were the same; they got blasted by the Patriots at home. QB Jake Locker was injured in the game, but should be ready for Sunday. If not, Matt Hasselbeck is the man. And Tennessee WR Kenny Britt is back after a one game suspension for a DUI.The Chargers got 5 field goals last week, and as horribly as the Raiders punting game was they weren’t really able to punch the ball in despite favorable field position.

I think this will be a low scoring game, and I’ll take the six points with the Titans.

Pick: Titans +6

Detroit at San Francisco (-6, O/U 46)

Coming into the season people were asking if the 49ers wee fluke last year, and could they keep it up this season. Well, I can tell you the 49ers are for real. They went in Lambeau last week and beat a very good Packers team. Now they come home and lay less than a TD to the Lions, who had a struggle last week against a not-so-good Rams team. St. Louis escaped with a 27-23 win on a last second TD. I’m on San Francisco in this one. 

Lions QB Matt Stafford threw 3 INT’s last week and he can expect the 49ers D to bring the pressure this week. And with no real rushing game to take the pressure off Stafford the Lions could be in for a long day.

I think Alex Smith will be able to move the ball against a banged up Lions secondary and get the 49ers to 2-0.

Pick: 49ers -6 1/2 

Monday Night

Denver at Atlanta (-3, O/U 51)

If you like points, this game will be for you. Two high powered offenses, in the Georgia Dome on Monday night. This one will be fun to watch. But who is gonna win? I liked what I saw from both teams last week. Peyton looks like he is back to his old form, and the Falcons offense looked sharp in a blowout win at Kansas City.

I’m going with the Falcons at home, I just think Michael Turner will be the difference. Being able to mix it up, with Julio Jones and Roddy White causing problems for the Denver d-backs, that should create more opportunity for Michael Turner to run. Turner was pretty limited last week at KC (only 32 yards rushing), but they really didn’t need him. This week they should look to him more to open up the offense.

Should be a good one to watch. 

Pick: Atlanta -3

Some Trends to Impress Your Friends

Panthers/Saints: road team is 17-4 ATS in the last 21 meetings

Texans: 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games as a favorite

Raiders: 3-16-1 ATS in their last 20 games as a favorite (even so, I still like the Raiders)

Cowboys: 1-4-1 ATS since 2010 as a road favorite

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