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NFL Week 2 picks against the spread: High on the NFC North

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Is the NFC North for real? Like, for REAL, real?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

I’ve only been giving my picks for one week and I already feel like I’ve got the hang of it. Sure, I only went 8-6, but against the spread in Week 1, that feels like an accomplishment. Especially when I could have gone 9-5 if I just went for the homer pick with the Detroit Lions.

Either way, I’m in a comfortable spot in the Pride of Detroit pick’em league. But I’m no Snow Lion:

This week, I’m coming for you, Snow Lion.

Thursday

BENGALS -6 vs. Texans

It feels dirty giving six points in this game, when the Bengals have scored exactly zero on the year, but I got burned badly by the Texans last week and I’m taking it personally. With half the roster inactive already due to a concussion and Brian Cushing being suspended for what we all knew was true anyways, I have no reason to believe the Texans will pull out of their early tailspin. Deshaun Watson is not your Week 2 savior, Houston.

Sunday

Vikings +5.5 vs. STEELERS

I’ve been admittedly high on the Vikings all offseason, and even though they faced a likely horrible Saints defense last week, they finally looked like a well-balanced team on offense and defense.

But the main reason I’m picking them to beat the cover—and possibly win outright—is because this defense is swarming. I doubt this game ever has a lead higher than seven points, and I think this game is won by a field goal.

Cardinals -7.5 vs. COLTS

The Colts could very well be the worst team in the NFL right now. The Rams beat them by 37 points. Without Andrew Luck to carry this team, there is literally no reason for optimism in Inday. The Rams defense scored 16 points against the Colts and I bet the Cardinals will score defensively at least once on Sunday.

Browns +9 vs. RAVENS

The Browns aren’t going to win the division or accomplish anything substantial in 2017, but it’s clear they are headed in the right direction. Unfortunately for them, they’re facing the two best division foes in back-to-back weeks.

They’ll keep this one close for a while, only to have the Ravens pull away at the end. But Cleveland will add some garbage time touchdown to make the score look a little better than it should.

CHIEFS -6 vs. Eagles

This isn’t me just drinking the Chiefs Kool-Aid after they took down the 2016 Super Bowl champs last week. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest spots to play in the NFL.

That being said, the Chiefs have really been one of the best teams in the NFL over the past three years, and if Alex Smith can even play 80 percent as efficiently as he did in the season opener, this teams could finally make some noise in the postseason.

Bears +7 vs. BUCCANEERS

This is a tough one, since we still have no idea who the Bucs are, but I think the hype around them is a little overplayed. I like Jameis Winston, but I still see him as someone who tends to make too many mistakes. Like a young Matthew Stafford, he’s a bit reckless, trying to make too many plays.

I think the Bucs still win this game, but the Bears are going to scare a lot of teams this year.

Titans -3 vs. JAGUARS

I’m not ready to believe in the Jaguars, after they demolished the Texans 29-7 last week. That defense is for real, don’t get me wrong. A team doesn’t just get 10 sacks in a game on a fluke. But this is a team that still has Blake Bortles as a quarterback and the Titans can ball out on defense, too.

The Jaguars are going to fall back to reality this week, but at least it should result in some good Cole Hartley videos.

PANTHERS -7 vs. Bills

The Panthers are still trying to figure things out on offense, but I trust that will come in time. The Bills, however, are still trying to figure things out everywhere. They took down the lowly Jets last week, but if that was a measuring stick game, all the Bills can conclude is that they need a bigger measuring stick.

Patriots -7 vs. SAINTS

Angry Brady will consume us all. He’s going to throw for at least five touchdowns this week.

Dolphins +4.5 vs. CHARGERS

I have no idea who either of these teams truly are, so I’ll just assume the final score is within a field goal. But something tells me Jay Cutler is going to have a much better season than most people think.

Raiders -14 vs. JETS

I hate giving two touchdowns in any game, but the Raiders were my AFC Super Bowl pick this year, and the Jets are clearly a bottom three team in the NFL. If that doesn’t result in a three-touchdown win, then nothing will.

BRONCOS +2 vs. Cowboys

Betting with my heart more than my head here. I want the Cowboys to regress this year, even if I have no real reason to think they will. The Broncos barely held on against the Chargers last week, but were in control of that game for most of it. I have a hard time betting on a guy like Trevor Siemian, which is why I never actually put money on any of this crap. But since I have no actual stakes in this, GO BRONCOS.

Washington +3 vs. RAMS

Rams hype is a lot like a Roomba: I want to believe in it, but I’m never going to buy it. That defense is going to be pretty good, but the offensive line is still bad and it’s going to cost Jared Goober Goff and Todd Gurley an arm and a leg.

I’m not particularly fond of Washington, either. Their offense struggled against the Eagles last week, but they had themselves a chance to win last week before the officials royally screwed them:

Worst call of the week: fumble or incomplete pass?

The worst call in the NFL this week happened in Washington.

Posted by Pride of Detroit on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SEAHAWKS -14 vs. 49ers

I know I said I hate it, but I have to take the Seahawks as a two-touchdown favorite. I don’t see how the 49ers score a single point in this game, unless Russell Wilson gets distracted by a fan in the first row pitching a new healing beverage and runs out of his own endzone.

FALCONS -3 vs. Packers

The Falcons offense looked a little disjointed against a good Bears team on a really bad field. At home, indoors in their new fancy stadium, the 2017 Falcons will look a lot more like the 2016 Falcons.

Green Bay had an impressive defensive performance against the Seahawks last week, but the Falcons offensive line is nowhere near as bad as Seattle’s. Matt Ryan will test the flimsy Packers secondary, and he will score. Aaron Rodgers can obviously keep pace with a guy like Ryan, but his offensive line has questions to answer too, after allowing four sacks in Week 1.

Lions (+3) at Giants

Explanation here.