On behalf of Pub Sports Radio, I ventured out to Las Vegas last Friday to enter into the Westgate Supercontest. The conditions stipulate that each contestant must pick five NFL games against the spread each week. Let’s just say Week 1 in the NFL season did not go as well as it should have. Coming off a 1-4 week thanks to the Jags, Panthers, Steelers and Seahawks, where we just went too sharp and could not get a win to save our lives besides the Ravens, we come back with our week 2 selections. We are down but not out and I did not go to Las Vegas back-to-back weekends just to lose and finish outside the money in the Supercontest. With that out of the way, here are our consensus picks for Pub Sports Radio.
Cowboys -5 over Redskins
Some may call this a homer pick, but I’m not a Dallas Cowboy fan and what I saw out on the field Sunday wasn’t just the same old Cowboys. Kellen Moore took the training wheels off Dak and said, “Go crazy,” and that is precisely what he did to the tune of 405 yards and 4 touchdowns. It’s not just that either; the defense settled down nicely after a rough first drive where Saquon could not be stopped. After that drive, it was relatively smooth sailing resulting in a comfortable win. The defense played well and one has to think Zeke will eat against this Skins’ defense. Speaking of the Redskins, Washington put up a valiant effort in a 32-27 loss in Philly. Case Keenum was launching that ball left and right over the Eagles’ secondary and they looked fairly formidable until the second half happened and the Eagles pulled away. I see a similar type of game in this one where Washington hangs tough for a quarter, hell maybe even a half before Dallas just bowls them over with that line and cruises to a 31-20 win to cover the spread for our selection.
Bears -2.5 over Broncos
Yikes! That was the general thought watching both of these teams in their opening week games on primetime national television. Trubisky and the Bears’ offense just could not get going against a much improved Packer defense to the tune of 3 points in a 10-3 defeat at home. The Broncos arguably were worse scoring 16 on the road against perhaps the most dysfunctional team in the NFL being the Oakland Raiders. No AB, no problem. It was the Josh Jacobs and Derek Carr show in an impressive 24-16 home win for the Raiders. Why the Bears then? Chicago has more talent on both sides of the ball. This is a classic overreaction to how bad they looked against Green Bay, who I hate to say it, generally beats them whenever Rodgers is under center for Green Bay. Chicago’s defense looked fantastic barring one deep bomb and made life miserable for Rodgers, what are they going to do to the human statue Joe Flacco? Forced fumbles, interceptions and intentional grounding penalties are all at play in this game. I get it, Mitch didn’t look good either, but he can rely on Tarik Cohen out of the backfield and please use David Montgomery, Nagy. Run the clock out. Bears win and cover 23-10 for our second pick this week.
Browns -2.5 over Jets
Sam Darnold is not playing in this game and Le’veon Bell may also be out. The Jets just lost 17-16 to the Bills at home in an absolutely demoralizing loss. The Browns are not the team to play against when not at full strength. However, the Browns lost 43-13. The preseason public Super Bowl favorite Cleveland Browns lost by 30 at home to the Tennessee Titans and I have to back them here. Listen, I’m not high on the Browns. Baker and OBJ are great talents and the defense is coming together, but this team is not winning the Super Bowl this year. Baker has to clean up the turnovers and use Nick Chubb a lot more in the rushing department. Contrary to some, I don’t think this game will be a blowout, the Jets have pride and a very stout defense, but defense can only get you so far. Eventually, there’s going to be at least one “Baker Bomb” to OBJ and they’ll nae-nae their hearts out to finally get up 7 in the 3rd quarter and close the show with another score while running the clock out to win this game 27-13 to cover the number for our third selection.
Saints +2.5 over Rams
Payback’s a son of a gun. New Orleans is off a tough opening night win at home against the Texans and go on the road to Los Angeles to exact revenge following that despicable no-call in the NFC Championship game. The Rams are off a 30-27 win against the Panthers where they utilized their points off of turnovers to get some easy touchdowns. As long as New Orleans can protect the ball and feed Kamara at least 20/25 touches this game, I see New Orleans leaving the City of Angels a winner outright and getting 2.5 points is a gift. Cam Jordan and the Saints’ line just has to pressure Goff and New Orleans wins 31-23.
Titans -3 over Colts
Tennessee looked great defensively against a very solid Browns squad. At home, I see them using a lot of Derrick Henry and having a healthy Delanie Walker is huge for Marcus Mariota, who looked very good last week to get after the Colts. Also, Jacoby Brissett, while he had a good second half vs the Chargers, did struggle at the beginning of the game and relied heavily on TY Hilton to get some last second touchdowns to push the game in to overtime where they eventually lost. In a defensive battle, I’ll take the home squad with a couple more weapons and the better QB to win a huge home divisional game early in the season and lock in another winner for the Supercontest.