NFL Picks: Seahawks Stun Cowboys and Other Upsets in Week 2
In Week 1, the Washington Redskins upset the New Orleans Saints as nine-point underdogs for the biggest surprise of the early NFL season. The second week of the season will have its share of upsets as the schedule has plenty of potential close games.
Last week I finished 2-3 against the spread (ATS). The Bills failed to show up, the Steelers faded late and the Raiders lost their long snapper and the game, making up for my three losses. However, my two wins were decisive: Tampa Bay beat Carolina and Arizona defeated Seattle.
The Chicago Bears are a tempting underdog against Green Bay, but there are five more underdogs I selected for Week 2, starting in St. Louis.
St. Louis (+3) over Washington Redskins
There are many angles to consider when looking at this game, but the most important thing to know is that the odds on this game are driven by overreaction.
Robert Griffin III pulled off a stunning upset over the Saints and put on a show in his first game under center in the NFL. He is deserving of all the accolades that he is getting, however, it inflated the line in favor of the Redskins and overshadowed two important things.
First, the Rams played a great game against the Lions and slowed down one of the best offenses in football. If they can get to Stafford, they should handle RG3.
Second, the Redskins defense gave up a ton of yards and looked beatable.
The Rams play their first game at home under new coach Jeff Fisher and get the win against the over-hyped Redskins.
Carolina Panthers (+1) New Orleans Saints
The Saints looked miserable in Week 1 and it is quite evident that miss Sean Payton at the helm. Drew Brees is still one of the best signal callers in the league, but the Saints are playing undisciplined football and it will cause them to lose on the road in Week 2.
The Panthers will get a boost on offense as Jonathan Stewart will return to the backfield, providing the Panthers with the run-pass mix they need to be effective. Cam Newton will play a complete game, and the home-cooking will be what this young team needs to get in the win column.
Panic sets in for New Orleans as they start the season 0-2.
Tennessee Titans (+6) over San Diego Chargers
The Titans are coming off a loss against the New England Patriots and will attempt to get Chris Johnson started early. Johnson had an awful performance against the Patriots, but the Titans were forced to go to the pass after falling behind early to Tom Brady.
Tennessee will get a boost on offense as wideout Kenny Britt is practicing with the team and will see limited action.
The Chargers struggled in the red zone last week despite winning, and were out-gained by the Raiders 321-258 in total yardage.
The Titans are 20-7 against the spread (ATS) after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game and they are 3-1-1 ATS in the last five games on the NFL highway.
The Chargers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games in September and they will be vulnerable for the upset in Week 2 against the Titans.
Seattle Seahawks (+3) over Dallas Cowboys
Kevin Ogletree had a coming out party in the season opener as he put on a show against the New York Giants. The Cowboys' victory over the defending champions excited fans and the potential of this team is finally meeting expectations.
Not so fast Cowboy fans. Tony Romo had a great night, but he was going up against a Giants secondary decimated by injuries. The Cowboys also had issues with protection and allowed pressure on Romo.
There are plenty of reasons to believe the Cowboys are primed for an upset.
The Seahawks have a healthy Marshawn Lynch in the lineup, a respectable defense and a very strong home-field advantage. Leon Washington is the X-factor on special teams and will provide great field position for the home team.
The Cowboys are 1-6 against the spread (ATS) when facing a team with a losing record, 2-7 ATS in their last nine against the NFC and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall. The Seahawks are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games, and that home-field advantage will be the deciding factor in their win over the Cowboys.
This game will be closer than most people think and the Seahawks have a chance of getting the upset.
Detroit Lions (+6.5) over San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers had a very big win in Week 1 as they traveled to Green Bay and beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Detroit Lions, on the other hand, struggled against the lowly St. Louis Rams.
Because of the Week 1 performances, this spread is inflated with plenty of public action on the home team heading into this Sunday night game.
The Lions usually start fast as they are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games in September and they may have been looking past the Rams with one eye on this nationally televised tilt.
The 49ers have a quality defense, but no one on the planet can cover Calvin Johnson. Matthew Stafford will be focused on his top target and that could spell big trouble for the 49ers.
The Lions have a very good chance of stopping the 49ers' run game with their big defensive front and that will force Alex Smith to try and win the game. I still have no faith in Smith and I'll take a chance with the Lions and the upset.
2012 NFL Pick Record: 2-3 ATS (2 outright winners)