After a 3-2 start in week one, I regressed to a 2-3 record last week. We’ll take the .500 record into week 3, with these 5 best picks of the NFL week:
– Denver Broncos +3 over Cincinnati Bengals (1pmET): The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl, but they’re a vastly different team this year and have overperformed against expectations. The Bengals have gotten off to a particularly slow start, on both sides of the ball. Time for a regression to the mean? Not quite. The Broncos defense is fantastic. And Trevor Siemian has been more than decent as possibly the most surprising quarterback of the year. It’ll be close, but the Broncos should pull it out (or maybe lose by one and still cover).
– Arizona Cardinals -3.5 over Buffalo Bills (1pmET): The Bills have struggled defensively, and have underperformed offensively. Many see the opportunity for a bounce-back game and their first win against a Cardinals team that has looked shaky in two weeks and has to travel across the country – the line has fallen 1.5 points so far in the Cardinals favor. This is the right direction, and the better team should prevail by enough points to take Arizona on the road. Expect a high-scoring shoot-out and a big win for Carson Palmer and the Bruce Arians-led offense.
– Green Bay Packers -7 over Detroit Lions (1pmET): The Packers have looked terrible, and are totally out of sync on offense. So why take them giving seven points against a division rival? Aaron Rodgers. He always seems to come through, and usually when the sports world starts counting him out. Matthew Stafford has played well, but missing Ameer Abdullah will hurt the Lions, and the Packers defense has actually been a highlight when compared to the offensive offense. I see the Packers winning by double digits.
– Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (4:30pmET): The Eagles have surprised everyone with their first two weeks of wins and the strong play of rookie Carson Wentz. But the Steelers are in another league, and the magic start for the Eagles should come to an end this week. The Steelers are practically at full-strength, and going on the road shouldn’t be a problem for Ben Roethlisberger and a well-coached defense. Many saw the Eagles as a contender for worst team in the league going into this year, and two weeks shouldn’t change the perspective too much. If the Steelers win by 3 and this pick loses I’m going to be sorely disappointed.
– Dallas Cowboys -7 over Chicago Bears (8:30pmET): Sunday night’s game features a young, talented Dallas Cowboys team playing at home against a beat up Chicago Bears team. Jay Cutler is out (ok, that won’t hurt them too much) and star wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is now questionable with yet another injury. I like the Cowboys to win by seven exactly, and the line opened at a much more favorable 5.5. Still, the smarter pick are the ‘boys to pull it off, and potentially take control in a tougher-than-expected NFC East division.