If you’re listening to your local radio show or a weekly podcast, you’ve probably heard either “I don’t want to overreact” or “I’m not trying to overreact” coming from your host(s) during their Week 1 recap.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself “You know, you could try not doing that,” then you have come to the right place.
Here at The BarnBurner we take our bets seriously. We are a big-picture group and we play the long game. We’re here to set you straight. In this light, I’m not going to something silly like, for example, betting on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their rag-tag group of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s to beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles, who will benefit from extra few days to prepare.
That being said, I’m also here to thank the Gambling Gods. By their grace, I found myself finishing the Sunday night craziness with a 6-2 record last week. I can count on one hand how many things in life are more nerve-racking than trying to establish credibility with a new blog audience. Without getting too morbid, read-em and weep:
1) Child Birth;
2) Proposal (or Proposals, if you’re into that sort of thing)/asking someone out on a first date;
3) Your first-round pick in any fantasy draft; and
4) Choosing your second pizza topping when you have the “up to two toppings” coupon.
I’m open to more suggestions if you can find them, but good luck. Now, on to the picks.
Week 2 Picks
As always, my picks will be listed from most to least confident. However, I must note that I won’t be finalizing most of the picks on my end until Sunday morning (unless I really feel good about the number I’m seeing, which does happen from time to time). You’ll probably sense a trend in my picks early on, but with the lines being as they are, I’ve been forced to bet on some bad football teams. For reference, I will have the team I’m picking in bold font next to the point spread.
Season Record: 6-2
Last Week: 6-2
1. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (+1.5)
The Bengals had me on the verge of driving my car into a ditch Sunday afternoon. They were listed as my best bet for a reason, and had me looking like an asshole in the first half.
But, they made up for it in earnest, as you know, and I’m betting on them again this week as a home dog. I like getting some extra cushion in a game that I expect the talented and (still) underrated Bengals squad to cover.
The Ravens are coming for blood, but I like this game and number too much to ignore it. I will bet on the Red Rocket until he fails me, which could easily be next week if I’m being honest.
2. Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears (-3)
I’m a little surprised this number is not higher, given the mighty Chicago Bears fan base and their tendency to bet their lines up to astronomical heights. It’s possible that they’re still shell shocked from last week, but I expect the Bears to come out strong against a VERY flawed Seattle team that struggled against an equally flawed Denver team last week. I expect this number to shoot up a little higher before kick-off, so it might be a good idea for you to jump on while you can if you’re on the Bears’ side.
3. Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
Last year, Pittsburgh had a short spread in Arrowhead and I jumped on it. Pittsburgh is 3-0 against Kansas City since 2016.
The Steelers turned the ball over six times last week, including a crucial fumble from running back and, fantasy sports hero, James Conner. I don’t care if you’re playing a high school team and you turn it over six times, you’re not winning that game. I’m expecting some regression for both teams in this game, and if the public continues to jump on Kansas City, I will be there to double-down on another Steelers bet at -3 (or better, of course).
4. Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Before the games were played last week, this number would have been much closer to a touchdown. Now, after the world watched Nick Foles repeatedly throw footballs at the dirt and Ryan Fitzpatrick light up a Super Bowl favorite, we’re getting the champs at a discount against one of the worst teams in the conference.
If you believe in the Buccaneers (dumb), or simply don’t like betting on short road favorites (not dumb), I don’t blame you for fading this pick. But this number won’t be three for long.
5. New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2)
I have not locked this game yet, but I would take it at +2 if I thought it was going to end that way. I think prior to kick-off we’re looking at a +2.5 or +3. I’m hoping to lock it in then and follow @JCNorth_ for my final verdict. This is a game you would typically see the public ride the Patriots as a short favorite, and I’m anticipating movement in that direction.
As I said last week, I believe in the Jaguars. Even if Fournette is unable to play (I think he will) I love this defense and could see a nice victory here. I will wait until Sunday though, unless I see action come in on Jacksonville.
6. Arizona Cardinals (+13) at Los Angeles Rams
This line is inflated. There is a good amount of value in taking a double digit underdog in the first few weeks of the season, as evidenced by the mighty Buccaneers last week in New Orleans. Now, we get Los Angeles on a short week against an Arizona team that looked like poopy poop last week at home against the Redskins.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, Los Angeles won both games against Arizona last season by a combined score of 65-16. But, we aren’t picking the Cardinals to win. We just need them to not get their doors blown off and we’re making some $$$$. I like the Cardinals, with David Johnson, to make the Rams look a little more human after a dominant victory in Oakland.
7. New York Giants (+3) at Dallas Cowboys
Last week, I was waiting for New York to take the lead against a fierce Jaguars’ defense (and I’m still waiting for it). As disappointing as last week was, I’m back on Giants +3, this time against a Dallas team that I do not like in the slightest. These games, especially in prime time, are always tight regardless of home field advantage. I like the underdog, especially given that I feel the Giants are the superior club.
8. Carolina Panthers (+6) at Atlanta Falcons
The Carolina Panthers lost Greg Olsen and Luke Kuechly is questionable with a hyper extended left knee. The Falcons, meanwhile, lost linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal for the season and have running back Devonta Freeman coming off a knee injury last week. Atlanta’s home field advantage is substantial, but I like getting six points (and possibly more before kick-off) for Carolina following Atlanta’s devastating Week 1.
Gun-to-my-head season record: 3-4-1
Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins (-5.5)
Minnesota Vikings (+1) at Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills (+7.5)
Cleveland Browns (+9) at New Orleans Saints
Houston Texans (pk) at Tennessee Titans
Miami Dolphins (+3) at New York Jets
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-5.5)
Detroit Lions (+5.5) at San Francisco 49ers
[banner image: CBS Sports]