When it comes to last week’s top picks at The Wife Hates Sports, it was a bit of an up-and-down rollercoaster – and one that left me feeling green. Just not Packer green. For whatever reason, Green Bay failed to show up against the Saints. Apparently, offseason drama and a lack of preseason work on timing can lead to an ugly performance. Who knew? In the college game, Sark fooled me. That will stick as a “fool me once” situation. To quote the great Dennis Green, the Longhorns “are who we thought they were”. Uh, welcome to the SEC, Texas? It may not be too late to stay in the Big 12. Oh well, onward and upward – and now it’s time for my top College Football picks and Week 2 NFL Best Bets.
As a reminder, Chris Humpherys (the SportsChump) – a good friend of mine through years and years of blogging – has a pick ‘em contest rolling with me for the duration of the football season. We pick our top five games by confidence (against the spread). The wrinkle is this: top selections can be from either the NFL or College Football slate.
Oh and by the way, the SportsChump and I are giving away prizes if you can defeat both of us over the course of the season. So, join in and submit selections here or at his site. We are also looking for guest pickers, so if you are interested, drop us a line.
The Chump outlines the contest here: The Wife Hates SportsChump Football Wagering Challenge
Here are my TOP FIVE Best Bets for the week, which includes my Week 2 NFL Best Bets and Week 3 College Football Best Bets. The list is ranked in order of confidence, from 50 points down to 10 (or fictional dollars, as the SportsChump prefers).
As you’ll soon see, I went very NFL heavy this time around.
The Wife Hates SportsChump: Week 3 College Picks and Week 2 NFL Best Bets
KP’s Picks: The Wife Hates Sports
50 – NFL: New England Patriots (-6) at New York Jets
Zach Wilson had an up-and-down first career NFL start at Carolina, finishing with 258 yards passing, two TD’s and an INT. The majority of those yards came in the second half. This week, Wilson faces mastermind Bill Belichick, who tends to feast on rookie quarterbacks (then haunt their dreams later). Expect Belichick and the Pats to confuse Wilson and force multiple turnovers. New England covers.
40 – NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-11.5)
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers laid an egg last week against the Saints. A very large egg. So, why take Green Bay this week? The Lions did show some fire in a furious comeback attempt versus the Niners last week. Despite that, CB Jeff Okudah (ruptured achilles) is out for the year. Rodgers and the Packers have had a week to work on last week’s issues. The game is in front of a wild Lambeau crowd. So while three of the last four games in this series have been decided by a TD or less, my gut says the Packers will be ready by the time Monday night arrives. Packers win by two TD’s.
30 – NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-12.5)
The last six games in this series have resulted in 50 or more points scored. Atlanta looked abysmal against the Eagles in Week 1. Brady and the Bucs survived Dak and the Cowboys. Matt Ryan was hit nine times last week and sacked three times. He failed to come close to the 200-yard passing mark, despite still having the likes of Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts to throw to. Now he faces an extremely talented Tampa Bay defense on the road. Oh, and that Brady guy… with all the weapons he gets to throw to. My gut says the Falcons will need to score 38 to win. Yeah, not happening. Bucs cover.
20 – College: Auburn Tigers at Penn State Nittany Lions (-5.5)
Maybe I’ll regret being aggressive with this one. Still, the Penn State defense has been impressive in the first two weeks, while Auburn has yet to be battle tested, facing Akron and Alabama State. Enter Beaver Stadium and the Penn State White Out. While the Nittany Lions are near the .500 mark in White Out games, this is still a difficult atmosphere for a first year SEC coach to play in. Finally, per Phil Steele, “Auburn is 3-7 straight up / against the spread in true road openers”. Give me the Nits at home.
10 – NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals (-4)
Did you see what the Cardinals did to an extremely talented Titans team last week? It was a beatdown. Chandler Jones alone had five sacks in the game, including an NFL record three in the first quarter. Kyler Murray played very well and clearly enjoyed all the weapons he has at his disposal. Meanwhile, Minnesota was erratic and struggled against a lesser Bengals team. Expect Kirk Cousins to struggle, especially if the Cardinals can piece together a defensive performance similar to last week. Cards cover.
$50 on Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-12)
Did you see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys last week? Of course, you did. Sure, the Bucs almost lost the game had it not been for the eight-millionth, fourth-quarter drive of Tom Brady’s career. As well as the Cowboys played that night, most watching knew the Bucs would find a way to pull it out. On a related note, did you see the Falcons play host to the Eagles last week? No disrespect to the Eagles but the Falcons looked like they might be the worst team in the league. They still can’t score in the red zone and they can’t protect Matt Ryan who has to be wondering how Matt Stafford was lucky enough to get out of Detroit. Twelve points isn’t much to lay with a team like the Bucs that can score at will, especially when they play against a team like Atlanta that can’t score at all. Tampa Bay’s pass rush is better than Philly’s and the Eagles had Matt Ryan running for his life. Add to the fact that Atlanta can’t run the football unless they run it backwards and you have all the makings of a blowout. Bucs cover the twelve.
$40 on Kansas City (-3 ½) at Baltimore
It’s a short week for Baltimore who lost a heartbreaker in Oakland, er… Las Vegas Monday night. One friend joked that the Ravens technically lost that game twice, which makes perfect sense if you watched the game. With so many injuries, I feared the Ravens would be off to a rough start and they are. Now they stare a Chiefs team in the face that looks determined to pee in everyone’s Wheaties all season long. The Chiefs are only laying 3.5 in Baltimore. That’s a sneeze for the Chiefs offense. It looks an awful lot like the Ravens are going to start the season 0-2 as the Chiefs cover.
$30 on Alabama at My Beloved Alma Mater, the Florida Fightin’ Gators (+15)
Okay, I’ll take a stab at some college. The #1 team in the galaxy, the Alabama Crimson Tide, roll into Gainesville this weekend to face the Gators who are getting a whopping fifteen points at home. Of course, ‘Bama can beat anyone by fifteen in a single quarter but the Swamp should be pretty rowdy on Saturday afternoon. While Bama brings Bryce Young, the Florida Gators have a young phenom of their own. While he pulled up lame with a grade one hamstring strain against USF, all signs point to the one they call AR-15 suiting up on Saturday. Redshirt freshman Anthony Richardson is already turning heads in Gainesville and has the orange-and-blue faithful wondering how soon he’ll steal the starting quarterbacking job from Emory Jones. All Richardson’s done in two games so far, coming off the bench mind you, is rush for 275 yards and compile a passer rating of 261.2.
One of two things will happen on Saturday. Either Richardson meets the NFL talent that is Alabama and is brought back to a stark reality or he breaks open a few plays and shows everyone he’s of the most exciting young talents in college football. I’m a homer hoping for the latter so I’m taking Florida plus the fifteen.
$20 on Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks (-5 ½)
Remember how I was super high on the Titans last week? How I gushed about how them running away with the AFC South? Did you see what the Cardinals did to them? Did you hear the name Chandler Jones mentioned a few times this week? That’s because Jones sacked Ryan Tannehill five times on Sunday, marking only the 18th time in NFL history a player has recorded that many sacks or more in a game. I’m not suggesting Seattle will do to Tennessee’s offensive line what Arizona did. That’d get somebody fired. Clearly, the Titans will shore things up. But the Seahawks continue to go about their business unnoticed until someone finally realizes they remain one of the best teams in the league. They’re only laying five and change at home in front of the 12th man, who’s been waiting a long time to lay eyes on their beloved Russell Wilson. Titans play hard but limp out of Seattle 0-2 as the ‘Hawks cover the five-and-a-half.
$10 on Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5 ½)
So, the Steelers go into Buffalo, who every last prognosticator in America had already ushered into the Super Bowl, and beat them… and the Steelers still get no respect. Don’t believe me? ESPN had the Bills ahead of Pittsburgh in their latest power rankings!!! They’re back home in Week Two hosting the Raiders on a short week. The Raiders, as you may recall, won a game they had no business winning, against a Ravens team has a healthy Lamar Jackson and that’s about it. Meanwhile, the Steelers will continue to fly under the radar until people give them the respect they deserve. Big Ben has his three healthy receivers in Johnson, Claypool and Smith-Schuster and are only kicking the tires on rookie Najee Harris who should score his first NFL touchdown this Sunday. The Steelers are a far more balanced team offensively than Baltimore and it will show on Sunday. I’ll take the Steelers at home to cover the five-and-a-half.
Week 1: (50 – WIN), (40 – LOSS), (30 – LOSS), (20 – WIN), (10 – LOSS) = 2-3 (-10 points)
Overall: Record: 2-3 (-10 points) | College: 1-1 (-20 points) | NFL: 1-2 (+10 points)
Add your picks in the comments section below and as always, thanks for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
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