Mac's Machinations Opinion

Mac’s Machinations: NFL Week 2 Picks

The first week saw me go 8-8 ATS and 8-8 straight up. There were a couple of shockers, e.g. Jacksonville and Washington winning and Atlanta tanking that hurt my chances of a major profitable weekend. We hit 3 out of 4 on our teaser of the week and Washington blew up our lock of the week. We did manage to cash with our underdog of the week as Cincinnati barely covered the +3.5 against the Chargers and should have won outright if not for a bogus offensive PI call against AJ Green that negated a game-winning touchdown. Now with a week of actual play under our belts, let’s dive into week 2.

Thursday, Sept. 17 8:20 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Line: Browns -6 O/U: 43.5

This installment of the Battle of Ohio sees two franchises possibly heading in different directions. Mayfield has been regressing since last year, the defense has been shaky, and the offensive talent underachieving. Cincy, on the other hand, seems to be trending upward. As stated previously, the Bengals should have beat the Chargers last week but the Chargers got a questionable PI call and Randy Bullock missed a chip shot field goal that would have sent the game into OT.

The dangerous part when handicapping this matchup is determining if the talent on the Browns shows up. They were completely dismantled by the Ravens last week but that was to be expected. My hunch is that the Browns show up at home and cover the spread. OBJ has a huge game.

Cleveland 24, Cincinnati 13

Sunday, September 20 1 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles Line: Rams -1.5 O/U: 46.5

The Eagles got off to a great start last week in taking a double-digit lead over Washington but then the wheels fell off. The Rams looked great against the Cowboys, especially on the defensive side. We all know about the alleged west coast team playing at an east coast team with a 1 pm start time disadvantage, but will it really matter if the same two teams from last week show up?

The Eagles showed much promise before completely imploding against Washington. I’m not ready to panic on Philly yet as I think they bounce back here. Going with the home dog to play a full four quarters this week.

Philadelphia 24, Los Angeles Rams 21

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Line: Buccaneers -9.5 O/U: 48.5

Who would have thought we would see the ghost of Jameis possess the GOAT last week? Even Bruce Arians said after the New Orleans loss that he was surprised to see Brady struggle so much in the game. Interceptions aside, the Buccaneers offense was actually good against the Saints.

On the other side you have a Carolina squad coming off a tough home loss against the Raiders. The key to this game will be whether the Panthers can control the clock with a methodical ground game led by CMAC and keep the Buccaneers offense to limited possessions. I don’t think they will be able to. However, 9.5 points usually is a lot for a spread featuring two winless teams. In the end, though, talent wins out. Brady bounces back with a three TD game and the Tampa train starts gaining momentum.

Tampa Bay 34, Carolina 14

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers Line: Steelers -7.5 O/U: 41.5

Oh, Vic Fangio. To those who stayed up past midnight in the EST and CST zones to watch the nightcap of the MNF doubleheader, bravo for you. If you did then you saw a master performance in clock management stupidity by Vic Fangio.

Fangio’s inability to use his timeouts during the Titans final drive gave Andy Reid flashbacks to his own blunders in CM. Fangio allowed the Titans to run down the clock and kick the game winning field goal while saving his timeouts. Tennessee went on a 13-play, 90-yard drive that began with 3:05 left on the clock. When the first third-down attempt arrived, less than 30 seconds remained on the game clock.

Fangio calmly set back and watched the Titans make a chip shot field goal to win the game. Absolutely mind boggling. The roar from Bronco fans on twitter was spectacular. Many fans wanted Fangio to commit seppuku right there on the field.

On the flip side, the Steelers took care of business against an overmatched Giants team in the MNF appetizer. The baffling thing about the Broncos/Steelers matchup is that the line is only -7.5 (via the MGM grand). Granted the Broncos defense is stout, as they made Derek Henry earn every yard and kept him out of the end zone. The Denver offense might be without Phillip Lindsay as he left Monday’s game with turf toe. For the Pitt offense, Big Ben is a much better QB than Ryan Tannehill and has better receivers to work with. I’m taking Pittsburgh by at least 10. I’d take the under as well.

Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Denver Fightin’ Fangios 10

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys Line: Cowboys -5 O/U: 52.5

Atlanta ruined our 4 team teaser last week as we hit the other 3. What to make of that loss? Is Seattle really that good or is Atlanta really that bad? The Falcons moved the ball well and had 506 total yards against the Seahawks but 2 turnovers killed them. What to make of Dallas? This is yet another example of a team on paper who has the talent to mop the floor with their opponent this week.

The Dallas defense will not give up 506 yards to the Falcon offense. In the past, the reason for the Cowboys underachieving was blamed on the redheaded stepchild Jason Garrett. It’s only been one game under Mike McCarthy so common sense tells us that the kinks will be worked out in due course. Russell Wilson had a huge day against the Falcon defense and I look for Dak to do the same.

Dallas 35, Atlanta 21

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets Line: 49ers -7 O/U: 42.5

Throw the west coast team playing at an east coast team at 1 pm EST disadvantage out the window for this one. The 49ers are ticked off, letting a game they should have won against Arizona get away from them by surrendering 14 points in the 4th quarter. Oh, and Deandre Hopkins is a freakin stud. Bill O’Brien’s decision to trade him for David Johnson makes the Chargers selection of Ryan Leaf look like sheer genius. O’Brien is a complete tool. Anyway back to this game. Keep it simple: 49ers are angry and the Jets are led by Sam Darnold and coached by Adam Gase. ‘Nuff said.

San Francisco 27, New York Jets 7

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Line: Bills -5.5 O/U: 41

The wait for Tua continues. Miami didn’t play awful at New England last week but this team is still nowhere near contending status. The only intriguing thing about Miami is when will Tua take over the helm. The only thing I want to see Ryan Fitzpatrick compete in is an interception loser leaves town match against Jameis. The person with the fewest interceptions in a standard 60-minute game must leave immediately. Only then will the true interception king of the league be established and the debate will be settled.

For the Bills, the pieces are in place to win the division as long as Josh Allen doesn’t force passes as he sometimes is prone to do. The Bills need to keep running the ball, throw to Stefan, and rely on defense. This formula should give them the AFC East this year. The only way the Bills lose this game is if Josh Allen tries to be better than Josh Allen. Know your role kid.

Buffalo 23, Miami 14 (The under is the play here)

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts Line: Colts -3 O/U: 48

This smells of an upset. The Colts, with Mr. Rivers in charge, lost badly to the lowly Jaguars last week while the Vikings were beaten by a dominant Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings are the better team on paper and in execution. I don’t trust the shell of Phillip Rivers going up against a Viking defense that is better than what they showed last week, but again that was against a pissed off Aaron Rodgers who is turning his 2020 season into a big middle finger to the Packers front office for drafting Jordan Love. I like the Vikings outright and getting +3 is just a bonus. If you are able to buy a 1/2 point to make it +3.5 then do it.

Minnesota 28, Indianapolis 21

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers Line: Packers -6 O/U: 49

This sounds too good to be true. Mitchell Trubisky threw 3 touchdowns in the 4th quarter to beat Detroit last week. Let that sink in. MITCHELL TRUBISKY threw 3 TDS against Detroit in one quarter. Now the Lions go to Green Bay and face off against evil, possessed Aaron Rodgers. May God have mercy on Detroit’s poor souls. Get on this line while it is still -6 as it will undoubtedly change. Lock of the Week.

Green Bay 38, Detroit 10

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

N.Y. Giants at Chicago Bears Line: Bears -4.5 O/U: 42

Get ready for a slow-paced, run-oriented battle between two teams that don’t fully trust their QBs. Saquon obviously is the star for the Giants but how will he stack up against a Bears defense that isn’t afraid of the Giant pass attack and so will play eight in the box most of the time? The best play here is the under as I anticipate a lot of running and clock chewing. As for who wins, I’m going to say the Bears win but don’t cover. The sooner the Bears switch to Foles the better.

Chicago 17, N.Y. Giants 14

Sunday, Sept. 20 1 p.m. ET

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans Line: Titans -10.5 O/U: 43

See the above synopsis but switch out Derrick Henry in place of Saquon and Titans in place of Giants. The main difference between the teams is that the Titans have decent WR threats and a beast of a back in Henry. The Broncos were tough on Henry Monday night but he still managed 116 yards on 31 carries. I think 9 points is too many considering that Tennessee plays a ball controlled offense that is predicated on controlling the clock and usually winning games by a TD or less. I’ll take Minshew Mania and the points. The Titans win but don’t cover.

Tennesse 20, Jacksonville 14

Sunday, Sept. 20 4:05 ET

Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals Line: Cardinals -6.5 O/U: 47.5

This seems too good to be true as well. Despite beating Philadelphia last week, I am not ready to jump on the WFT bandwagon. On the other hand, Arizona is the real deal. Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins are going to become a top duo in the league for years to come. Throw in the offensive mind of Ryan Gosling, aka Kliff Kingsbury, and you have a legit NFC contender for years to come. Arizona wins this game BIG.

Arizona 38, Washington 10

Sunday, Sept. 20 4:25 ET

Kansas City Chiefs at LA Chargers Lines: Chiefs -8.5 O/U: 47.5

It almost doesn’t seem fair that KC now also has the league’s leading rusher in CEH. The only concern I have is the Chiefs run defense which had some trouble at times in corralling David Johnson last Thursday. However, I don’t see the Charger defense containing Mahomes and the stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that Andy Reid gets to toy with on a weekly basis. Chiefs big.

Kansas City 31, LA Chargers 14

Quick Hits

Baltimore at Houston: Baltimore 28 Houston 7 The line here is only Baltimore -7. That seems too good to be true as well. Bill O’Brien is an idiot as mentioned previously and Lamar Jackson and Co. can dictate how much they want to win this game by.

Sunday Night: New England at Seattle: Seattle 24 New England 16 First I must apologize to the amazing Mina Kimes for doubting Seattle last week. While Matt Ryan had a field day passing on Seattle last week, I don’t see Cam Newton doing the same. Plus when you have both Ciara and Mina rooting for you that is worth at least a field goal.

Monday Night: New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders: Las Vegas 31, New Orleans 24 Lost in the hype of the Tampa win last week was the fact that New Orleans only had 271 total yards in offense. Drew Brees looked average in going 18 for 30 with 160 yards. The Saints were helped by Tampa miscues rather than dominating on the offensive side. Vegas is going to surprise some people this year and it starts here on MNF. Oh, and Henry Ruggs is going to be a STAR and household name very soon.

Lock of the week: Packers -6 over Lions

Parlay of the week: Packers -6, Cardinals -6.5

Teaser of the week: +6 points: Chiefs, Ravens, Cardinals, Packers, Steelers, Cowboys

Underdog of the week: Vikings +3

Last week: 8-8 ATS, 8-8 Straight up, Teaser: lost by 1 team, Underdog of the week: Won

From the prestigious Welshly Arms Hotel, Spa, and Sportsbook: Good luck and make some (hypothetical) money!

Mac

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