When you're making picks against the spread for an entire season, sometimes it's not about making up all of your ground in one week, but rather getting back to your winning ways.
In Week 2, I did just that.
After a rough Week 1 in which I amassed a 5-10-1 record, I bounced back to go 9-7 in my Week 2 picks. That brings my total record for the season to 14-17-1, which puts me within striking distance to get my head back above water.
Of course, doing just that is contingent on me keeping my winning streak going. Fortunately, I feel even better about my Week 3 picks than I did in Week 2.
Let's keep the momentum rolling.
All lines via Bovada:
Jacksonville Jaguars (+2) vs. Tennessee Titans
Pick: Titans -2
I don't love picking against a home underdog on Thursday night football. But between starting an unproven rookie quarterback on a short week and the distraction of Jalen Ramsey's trade demand, two points just aren't enough for me to have faith in picking Jacksonville to cover.
Indianapolis Colts (-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Colts -1
I'm not buying the Andrew Luck-less Colts' hype train as much as some, but this pick is more about Atlanta than it is Indianapolis. Even after last week's win over the Eagles, I just don't trust this Falcons team to show up on a weekly basis. I'll take the Colts to win outright at home.
Kansas City Chiefs (-7) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Pick Chiefs -7
Considering Lamar Jackson's early success this season, I'm expecting the Ravens +7 to be a popular pick, but I think it's worth noting that Baltimore's resume has been inflated by wins over two of the NFL's five worst teams (Miami and Arizona). While the opponents the Chiefs have beaten (Jacksonville and Oakland) may not be much more impressive, both of those victories have come on the road, which means that Baltimore won't only have to overcome Patrick Mahomes, but a rabid Kansas City home opener crowd.
Buffalo Bills (-6) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Bengals +6
I really don't love this pick considering I think Cincinnati might be the second-worst team in the league, but even at 2-0, Buffalo hasn't shown me enough to prove its worth of being a near-touchdown favorite. Plus, could we really live in a world where the Bills start the season 3-0? I'll take the Bengals and the points just in case they don't.
Green Bay Packers (-7.5) vs. Denver Broncos
Pick: Broncos +7.5
Much like the Bengals, I don't feel great picking the Broncos, but 7.5 points are just too many to pass on against a Green Bay team that's been more inconsistent this season than its 2-0 record indicates.
Philadelphia Eagles (-6) vs. Detroit Lions
Pick: Eagles -6
The Eagles at home in a bounce-back spot vs. a Lions team coming off an overachieving win vs the Chargers? And all I have to lay are six points? Where do I sign up?
Dallas Cowboys (-23) vs. Miami Dolphins
Pick: Dolphins +23
It's the Gambler's Fallacy to assume the Dolphins are going to cover one of these massive spreads at some point. But even for as bad as they are (and as good as the Cowboys are), they can't keep getting blown out like this on a weekly basis -- can they?
New England Patriots (-23) vs. New York Jets
Pick: Patriots -23
The Jets are:
- Coming off a short week with a third-string rookie quarterback
- Decimated by injuries elsewhere
- Facing the best team in football on the road
You could set this line at New England -40 and I'd still have to think about it.
Minnesota Vikings (-9) vs. Oakland Raiders
Pick: Vikings -9
This feels like a classic "good team beats bad team and does so handily" type of game. I don't know what the Vikings' ceiling is yet, but I'm confident it can handle a team like the Raiders at home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) vs. New York Giants
Pick: Giants +7
If Daniel Jones is going to be an upgrade over Eli Manning -- and clearly the Giants think he will be -- this line seems way too high. Tampa Bay's win over Carolina last Thursday said more to me about the Panthers than it did the Bucs. And let's not forget, this is the same Tampa Bay team that got blown out at home by the 49ers in Week 1.
Los Angeles Chargers (-3) vs. Houston Texans
Pick: Chargers -3
That the Chargers are still favored by 3 points against a 2-0 team after last week's loss to the Lions tells me oddsmakers aren't overreacting and I won't either. Los Angeles isn't perfect, but still has enough overall talent on defense to keep the Texans' high ceiling offense in check.
Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) vs. New Orleans Saints
Pick: Seahawks -4.5
I've been wary of this Saints team this season and that was before Drew Brees went down last week. At this point in his career, Teddy Bridgewater feels more valuable as a name than he does as an actual backup. I'll take a Seahawks team coming off an impressive road win at Pittsburgh to cover by at least five points at home.
San Francisco 49ers (-7) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Steelers +7
This is one of my favorite picks this week, which is scary considering how little we know about Mason Rudolph. But at 0-2, the Steelers are in a must-win spot and as this week's acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick showed, they aren't ready to pack it in just yet. Between JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner, Pittsburgh still has more than enough offensive firepower to cover a 7-point spread against a 49ers team whose resume has been inflated by big wins over the Bucs and Bengals.
Cleveland Browns (+3) vs. Los Angeles Rams
Pick: Rams -3
I think the Browns will play up to their competition this week, so this is a spot I could very well be wrong. But I just haven't seen enough from Cleveland through the first two weeks for me to trust the Browns in primetime against the Rams, who are still one of the most talented teams in the entire league.
Washington Redskins (+4) vs. Chicago Bears
Pick: Redskins +4
Sometimes in life, the best thing we can do is admit our biases. So with that in mind, I'm not afraid to say I'm still scarred from betting on the Bears in primetime in Week 1, only to watch the Mitchell Trubisky-led offense let me down -- and then some.