Need Someone to Weigh in On Your Latest Football Bet? Just Ask Joe!
Welcome back, folks! Week 1 was all any serious football fan could hope for. We had some major upsets, exciting games that went down to the wire, and amazing performances (especially by stud WRs). But how did you gamblers fare I wonder?
As for my Week 1 picks, I went 9-7 against the spread and 10-6 straight up. Although these picks stacked up well against the experts (i.e., for instance, only 6 of 8 experts at CBS had a winning record against the spread last week, and only one of them eclipsed my 9-7 mark), I can’t help but feel that I should have done better.
The Pick(s) I Am Most Proud Of
Fortunately, most of the picks that I felt strongly about came through for me. For instance, I felt confident that the Bills, Ravens, and Vikings would win and cover the spreads, and that came to fruition.
I also felt confident that the Texans and Bears tough would cover the spreads in their respective games, and they certainly did.
The Pick(s) I Am Most Ashamed Of
I missed on several games, of course, but, besides the Seahawks upsetting the Broncos, most of them were tough ones that I agonized over. So, I can accept getting those ones wrong.
But one game that has caused me to lose sleep was the Jags versus Commanders. Why on earth did I pick the Jags to win that?
I knew it would be close, but I envisioned that the Jags D would come to play, and that Wentz would implode at the end with the game on the line. There is plenty of evidence to support those outcomes.
It was all going according to plan until the middle of the fourth when Wentz suddenly turned into Dan Marino for a brief stretch, and the Jags wilted in crunch time.
And granted that QB Trevor Lawrence was under duress most of the day, he did little to show me that he is ready to lead his team to victories.
For this team, I am going to have to see them win some games before I can pick them again.
Record Against the Spread: 9-7; Record Straight Up: 10-6
So, with Week 1 in the books, it is time to start thinking about Week 2’s slate of games. Without further ado, here are my picks for Week 2 of the 2022 season.
All odds courtesy of bet365 (as of September 14, 2022).
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5)
These teams always seem to play close and exciting games that are decided at the very end. Thus, I could definitely understand anyone taking the Chargers and the points.
Having said that, however, Mahomes just feels like he is in another stratosphere right now. If you throw in the fact that their defense looks much improved and that they are home, I have to go with Kansas City in this one.
Pick: Chiefs to win and cover.
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (-4)
I keep going back and forth on this one. Both teams are coming off relatively easy wins last week. The Ravens are at home here, and that is why I will take them to edge the Dolphins.
Dolphins could win, but even if they do not, I think it will be a close game decided by a field goal at the end. So, I am taking the Dolphins to cover the spread here.
Pick: Ravens to win but Dolphins against the spread.
New York Jets at Cleveland Browns (-6)
Similar to my last pick, I like the home team to win. But I am not very confident that they will win by a lot. I will take the Jets against the spread.
Pick: Browns to win but Jets against the spread.
Washington Commanders (-2.5) at Detroit Lions
I feel like this is one that could go either way. After a great deal of contemplation and consternation, I am taking the Lions to win this one at home.
The Commanders were fortunate last week. They gave the Jags every chance to beat them, but the Jags’ offense was simply not up to the task. I think the Lions’ offense will be.
Pick: Lions to win.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4)
The Colts did not look impressive in barely beating the Texans last week. And the Colts are playing consecutive road games to start off the season.
Normally, such things would cause me to take the home team, especially when the road team is favored by more than a field goal.
However, if you read my deconstruction of the Jags’ Week 1 performance above, you know that I simply cannot trust them.
Thus, if I were a gambling man, I would stay away from this game altogether. However, in this column, I am taking the Colts to win and cover. Prove me wrong Jacksonville!
Pick: Colts to win and cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) at New Orleans Saints
I was surprised to see the Bucs are favored by a full 3 points here. It doesn’t make sense to me. The Saints always give Brady and the Bucs fits. And they are at home.
Perhaps the oddsmakers are giving the Bucs’ defense too much credit for stifling the Cowboys’ offense. I felt that had more to do with how badly Dallas played than anything the Bucs did.
Pick: Saints to win and cover.
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (-2.5)
This is a tricky one. The Giants are coming off a big road win, while the Panthers are coming off a heartbreaking home loss.
With the game being in New York, you would think they would have the upper hand. Even so, this is just the kind of game they would lose in years past.
I am going to go with the more desperate team to take it. Give me the Panthers and the points.
Pick: Panthers to win and cover.
New England Patriots (-1.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
I picked Miami to beat New England last week. But out of respect for Bill Belichick, I expected New England to give them all they could handle. Shame on me. Sometimes you just have to go with what you see.
The problems that plagued the Patriots in the preseason continued in Week 1. And it is still not clear who is running the offense and how that is going to get better. With Mac Jones now nursing a sore back and the game being in Pittsburgh, I will take the Steelers in this one.
But am I confident? Not at all. The Steelers have injury concerns of their own, and their offensive line remains a problem. Serious bettors should stay away from this game.
Pick: Steelers to win and cover.
Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (-10.5)
I expect the Rams to rebound from a miserable Week 1 performance and get the W here. However, 10.5 points are a lot to have to cover.
Thus, while Mariota is still healthy, I like the Falcons to remain competitive in most games. I am going with the Rams to win but the Falcons to cover.
Pick: Rams to win but Falcons against the spread.
Seattle Seahawks (-10) at San Francisco 49ers
I just don’t see how anyone can confidently pick the Niners after last week’s debacle. Trey Lance has yet to prove he can win games, let alone cover double-digit points spreads.
I like the Niners to beat the Hawks but not by much.
Pick: Niners to win but Hawks against the spread.
Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5) at Dallas Cowboys
If I had any faith at all in the Dallas offense, I would take the Cowboys as a home underdog to cover this exorbitantly high point spread.
But we all saw how bad they looked. And that was with Dak at the helm. I shudder to think how bad it will be with Cooper Rush.
Something tells me we will see Will Grier in this one at some point. I like the Cowboys’ defense to keep them in the game for a while, but eventually, the Bengals will break away and win convincingly.
Pick: Bengals to win and cover.
Houston Texans (-10) at Denver Broncos
After losing to the lowly Seahawks last week, the Broncos will take out their frustrations on the Texans at home. There is not much more to it than that.
The only thing that really bothers me here is the huge point spread. If the Broncos are the team we think they are, they should show us this week.
Pick: Broncos to win and cover.
Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders (-6)
Most of the point spreads just seem so right this week (those oddsmakers really know what they are doing; no wonder they get paid the big bucks).
This is a game in which I like the favored Raiders to win at home. But I am just not sure they will cover the spread.
If I had to pick, I would take Arizona against the spread.
Pick: Raiders to win but Cards against the spread.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-10)
Perhaps I got ahead of myself by complimenting the oddsmakers. In my humble opinion, this 10-point spread seems too high. To me, this is a pick’em kind of game. I think Chicago can even win, but they don’t have to for you to win, which is truly a beautiful thing.
Under normal circumstances, I would like the Packers to bounce back at home after suffering such a humiliating loss.
But these are just not the same Packers as last year. They just do not have enough proven playmakers on the outside. Hence, similar to last week versus the Vikes, I expect the Packers to have trouble consistently moving the ball.
Since the Bears themselves are not world-beaters on offense, I expect this to be a closely contested affair. I will take the Pack to win straight up but the Bears to cover.
Pick: Packers to win but Bears against the spread.
Tennessee Titans (-10) at Buffalo Bills
This huge spread scares me a bit. But sometimes you just have to believe your eyes. The Bills look dominant this year. They turned the ball over 4 times last week and still crushed the Rams. That speaks volumes to me.
And after losing a fluky game to the Titans last year, the Bills should be plenty motivated to return the favor in spades. Additionally, the Bills are at home, and the Titans just do not have the offensive firepower to keep pace with them.
Pick: Bills to win and cover.
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (-2)
This should be a great game. I would not be surprised to see these two teams be in contention for the number one seed in the NFC all year. In such games between two solid and evenly matched clubs, I tend to lean towards the home team.
But I just have a hunch that this is going to be a special year for the Vikings. They just look like a more complete team to me. And I am still not sold on Hurts to win these kinds of big games. Having said that, Cousins’ career is defined by not showing up in big spots.
This is a tough one. But I am taking the Vikings to pull off the upset.
Pick: Vikings to win and cover.
Thank you for reading “NFL Week 2 Picks Against the Spread: Just Ask Joe!” I really enjoyed speculating about these games, and hope I was able to shed a little light.
Make sure to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook with any comments and/or to simply tell me how wrong I was. For more analyses, check out our website (and especially the part that deals with betting) and/or join us on Discord.