After going 6-0 on his Week 1 picks, Nick Ballistreri previews his Week 2 picks, and gives his 5 Best Bets!
Welcome to Week 2 guys. After going 6-0 last week, I’m looking to keep my hot streak going, and I have a pretty good feeling about some of these games. Get these picks in ASAP!
Bills at Giants
Week 1 was a tale of two halves for the Bills. At halftime, the Bills offense did nothing and went into half down 6-0 to the Jets. In the 2nd half they came alive, coming out on top with a come from behind win, 17-16. For the Giants, Week 1 was ugly…just as I expected. They actually got off to a hot start, but in the end couldn’t keep up with the Cowboys, losing 35-17.
Week 2 is big for both teams. The Giants must avoid the dreaded 0-2 start if they want to compete in their division, while the Bills are aiming to go 2-0 to keep up with Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Bills are a 1.5 point favorite in this game, even though they are on the road. I like that value. The Giants defense has proven they cannot stop anybody, and the Bills defense has shown the ability to be dominant this season. I don’t see a scenario in which the Giants can score enough points to win this game.
Cowboys at Redskins
Oh how Week 1 could’ve been so sweet for the Redskins. They went into Philadelphia and made an early statement, taking a 17-0 lead and looking for more. Then…the wheels came off. The Eagles stormed back to win this game 32-27. For the Cowboys, it was business as expected in Week 1. They took care of business early and often against the Giants, eventually winning it 35-17.
For the Redskins, you could argue that things started going south when star DT Jonathan Allen went down with a knee injury. After that, Philly got anything they wanted. Things got worse when Allen was diagnosed with a Sprained MCL, making him doubtful to play Sunday. They are also banged up in the secondary, with 2 of their top 3 corners looking like they’ll miss this game.
Now traditionally against Dallas, having a banged-up secondary wasn’t exactly a death toll, as they were a much more run-heavy team in the past. After Week 1 though, things look like they have changed. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore brought some juice to the Cowboys offense, making them look like the LA Rams last week. Granted it was against the Giants, but they looked impressive. With the Redskins defense banged up, I don’t see a way they can go score for score with Dallas. I don’t like divisional favorites on the road, but whatever, give me Dallas.
Chargers at Lions
A good old-fashioned early season interconference game. That was a mouthful. But when you get NFC vs AFC early on, it’s hard to get a feel for each team. Anyways, the Chargers are coming off an OT win against the Colts, 30-24, a game that was closer than most Chargers fans would’ve expected with the Colts missing Andrew Luck. For the Lions, they are coming off an absolutely heartbreaking performance, blowing a 24-6 4th quarter lead, only to end up in a tie, 27-27. Nobody likes to end up in a tie, but especially not after blowing a late lead.
With the game being in Detroit, the Chargers are only a 2.5 point favorite. Now, most would argue that the Chargers are the far superior team, and should easily handle the Lions. But the Lions are going to be playing with an extra sense of urgency knowing that one of the Vikings/Packers will be 2-0 after this week, barring a tie. However, the same can be said for the Chargers, knowing that the Chiefs just don’t lose. Give me the Chargers in a relatively close game, but covering 2.5.
Saints at Rams
Ah, the game of the week, and a rematch of the controversial NFC Championship Game in which the refs took matters into their own hands. Remember that Saints fans?
Both of these teams are coming off close Week 1 victories, with neither looking particularly dominant. That being said, there is a lot riding on this game, and I know it’s only Week 2, but this game could very well decide home field in the playoffs. Yeah, it’s that big.
Because of that, I think the game is too close to call. The Rams are a 2.5 point favorite, but I’m not touching the line. The total is set at 52.5, and while that is a VERY high number, it is nothing for these two teams. Remember last regular season? The Saints defeated the Rams 45-35, for a total of 80 points. 52.5 still seem high? Didn’t think so. I expect a lot of fireworks, and a high scoring game. Give me the OVER.
Colts at Titans
The Colts are still dealing with the aftershocks of Andrew Luck’s retirement. That being said, they put up a valiant effort in Week 1, going into Los Angeles and losing by 6 in OT to the Chargers. Nobody is knocking them for that performance. The Titans looked outstanding in Week 1, shutting up the Browns players who have been talking big game all offseason. The Titans embarrassed the Browns, winning this one 43-13. Maybe they’ll stop talking now?
The Titans are 3.5 point favorites in this game. Now, the game is in Tennessee, and based off of these two teams Week 1 performances, I think the line is set very fairly. However, I expect the Colts to come out strong in this one, and you can expect Jacoby Brissett to be much more cautious with the ball than Baker Mayfield was last week. Expect a close, tightly contested divisional affair, but expect the Colts to cover 3.5.