One week into the season and the headlines are aplenty. Viewership is down and that’s potentially due to a combination of political unrest and pandemic-related drama. Elsewhere, Joe Burrow looks the part (so far). The negative energy surrounding Tom Brady is present following a poor debut with the Bucs. Cam Newton is running the ball a ton in New England and you can’t help but wonder if his body will remain in one piece. Then, there’s the Washington Football Team, the no-named bunch that under new leadership was able to fight its way back from an early 17-point deficit. Now, it’s time to move forward with my Week 2 NFL Best Bets.
Despite all the new NFL headlines, 2020 is still 2020. The pandemic is still here. Masks are still planted on thousands of faces. We don’t know when this nightmare will end. For now, everything just feels like Groundhog Day.
As in the movie, not the holiday.
As in the movie, not the holiday.
Only fans of the flick will get that one.
The following are my Week 2 NFL Best Bets against the spread, with all lines pulled from Bovada. Here’s hoping these picks are like Groundhog Day in that they are followed by a win… a win… yes, a win… another win… and yet another win.
Oh, and as you may have guessed, each game will tie in a reference to the movie Groundhog Day, the 1993 creative (and repetitive) comedy starring Bill Murray.
Let’s get on with the Week 2 NFL Best Bets, shall we?
KP’s Week 2 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread: Don’t Pick Angry!
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5)
Tom Brady doesn’t stay down for long. Criticism usually leads to a superhero performance the following week. That may not even be required in Week 2. Sure, Brady needs more time to get in sync with his teammates in Tampa Bay. We expected this. Now Brady and the Bucs get a Panthers defense that allowed 34 points at home to the Raiders in Week 1. That’s not even the serious part.
Phil: Can I be serious with you for a minute?
Rita: I don’t know. Can you?
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina’s biggest weapon – was shut down by the Bucs last season. As in, 38 total carries for 68 yards and 6 catches for 42 yards (plus 2 TD’s). That’s it in two games. So, it’s not hard to see Brady taking it to a Panthers D that will be short a few players. It’s also easy to see the Bucs D taking it to CMC and the Panthers again. Tampa Bay bounces back in a big way. Bucs cover at home.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-6.5)
When will the Lions get out of their own way? The 2020 season opened in ugly fashion for Detroit, allowing three fourth quarter TD’s to Mitch Trubisky and the Bears. The 27-23 loss to Chicago no doubt left fans feeling salty, but at least it wasn’t in front of a packed stadium. That would have required a statement on the Jumbotron – something along the lines of… “Don’t drive angry!”
The ageless Adrian Peterson had a solid debut for the Lions last week, rushing for 93 yards on 14 carries. Detroit will likely force feed the Packers a dose of Peterson and its other backs, in hopes to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. Sure, we won’t have a raucous Lambeau crowd to back the Pack, but it won’t be necessary. This doesn’t have the feel of 2019, when Green Bay won two close games after losing the previous four games to Detroit. Aaron Rodgers was on his game in Week 1, Detroit’s secondary is decimated and Green Bay’s balance will power the Packers to a win. Packers cover.
Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (+1.0)
The Eagles have some issues on its O-line. Either that or Washington has the best defensive line in the league. Philly allowed eight sacks last week and this week get Aaron Donald and the Rams. That alone is a major concern for the Eagles. It could wind up a repeat of the opening week.
Phil: Something is… different.
Rita: Good or bad?
Phil: Anything different is good.
That will be the desire for the Eagles. Anything different than blowing a big lead and failing to protect Carson Wentz for the majority of the game. Meanwhile, as compared to Washington, the Rams add in more talent in its secondary and a running game that performed well in its first game of the post-Todd Gurley era. If Jared Goff can limit mistakes and spread the ball around, the Eagles could easily be staring 0-2 in the face. Count on it. Rams cover on the road.
San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets (+7.0)
Big name absences are the biggest headline here.
Rita: Where were you?
Phil: [referring to Ned] It was awful. A giant leech got me.
OK, so not exactly, but these teams will say the injury bug sucks (tip your wait staff). Richard Sherman (calf injury) is on the IR for the Niners and out until next month. Other corners Ahkello Witherspoon and Jason Verrett have also missed practice this week. George Kittle (knee sprain) has also recently been downgraded to out. As for the Jets, Le’Veon Bell landed on the IR and other backs also landed on the injury list. Jamison Crowder is also limited. With all the injuries, a deeper San Francisco team benefits more. That and the run-heavy Niners will throw its depth at a Jets defense that lost key players either in offseason trades or opt-out situations. Sam Darnold will have his hands full. 49ers cover.
Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals (-7.0)
For this game, it starts with coaching, leadership and career choices.
Phil: I think people place too much emphasis on their careers. I wish we could all live in the mountains at high altitude. That’s where I see myself in five years. How about you?
Rita: Oh, I agree. I just like to go with the flow. See where it leads me.
Phil: Well, it’s led you here.
Rita: Mm hmm. Of course it’s about a million miles from where I started out in college.
Phil: You weren’t in broadcasting or journalism?
Rita: Uh unh. Believe it or not, I studied 19th-century French poetry.
Phil: [laughs] What a waste of time! I mean, for someone else that would be an incredible waste of time. It’s so bold of you to choose that. It’s incredible; you must have been a very very strong person.
Ron Rivera is that “very very strong person”. He was the hottest coaching candidate and many wondered why he would take the WFT job with Dan Snyder. The WFT is already taking on the identity created by Rivera, Jack Del Rio and Co. Last season, this team would have been destroyed after falling behind 17 points to the Eagles. Not this group. More so, look at the defensive front, which had eight – count ‘em, EIGHT – sacks against Philadelphia.
As for the game, the Cards allowed just two sacks against a talented Niners front. Expect the WFT and Del Rio to provide plenty of pressure against Kyler Murray. That could lead to forced throws. The WFT will also do its best to be methodical and eat clock. They’ll just need more from the run game. In the end, while I think the Cards win, it’ll be close Give me the Football Team and the points.
KP’s Week 1 Best Bets Against the spread
- PITTSBURGH STEELERS at New York Giants (+6.0) – WIN
- INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5) – LOSS
- ARIZONA CARDINALS at San Francisco 49ers (-7.0) – WIN
- GREEN BAY PACKERS at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) – WIN
2020 Season: 3-1
As in the movie, not the holiday.
Fine, fine… I’ll stop.
If you’re playing Fantasy or making picks this week, best of luck to you! Let’s hear your Week 2 NFL Best Bets or your thoughts on the movie Groundhog Day. I know that movie drives some people crazy. Oh and as always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Image and Movie Credit: Groundhog Day