NFL Gridiron Guide Week 2: Eli's Giants will find a way to cover spread against Peyton's Broncos
John BoellJohn Boell
Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various
BRONCOS (1-0) at GIANTS (0-1), 4:25 p.m.
Broncos by 4 1/2; O/U: 55 1/2
TV: Ch. 2; Radio: WCBS (101.1), WFAN (660), JIP
Manning Bowl III. That's what NFL fans see as Eli and Peyton Manning meet for the third time. But Giants fans are more concerned about the running game after David Wilson's two fumbles led to the team signing ex-Giant RB Brandon Jacobs. The defense will have a tough test against Eli's big bro, the guy who makes you laugh during his commercials, then makes you cry as he slices up your secondary. I've seen games like this many times with Tom Coughlin's Giants: they appear to be a bit overmatched, but find a way to win. The G-Men are 10-4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 15 vs. teams with a winning record. Works for me.
The pick: Giants
1 P.M. GAMES
CHARGERS (0-1) at EAGLES (1-0)
Eagles by 7 1/2; O/U: 54 1/2
TV: Ch. 2
I was impressed with the Eagles'
fast -- and I mean fast! -- start in Monday night's win over RG3 and the Redskins. The cynic in me just wonders how long all of Philly's key offensive cogs, especially QB Michael Vick, can stay healthy running such a fast-paced, no-huddle offense? Still, the "Linc" should be rocking for Chip Kelly's regular-season home debut.
The pick: Eagles
REDSKINS (0-1) at PACKERS (0-1)
TV: Ch. 5
Packers by 7 1/2; O/U: 49 1/2
The Redskins sleepwalked through the first half vs. Philly as RG3 looked rusty. The Packers very well could have won vs. the 49ers last week. This is a tough one to call. Tread lightly here.
The pick: Packers
VIKINGS (0-1) at BEARS (1-0)
Bears by 6; O/U: 42
Radio: ESPN (98.7)
The Bears have won five straight and eight of their last nine against the Vikings with an average margin of victory of 14.9 points.
The pick: Bears
PANTHERS (0-1) at BILLS (0-1)
Panthers by 3; O/U: 43 1/2
I was impressed by the Bills, who almost pulled off upset of Pats in Week 1. Carolina is 3-6 ATS in its last nine games as a favorite of four or fewer points.
The pick: Bills
DOLPHINS (1-0) at COLTS (1-0)
Colts by 2 1/2; O/U: 42 1/2
Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted that his team must do a better job of protecting QB Andrew Luck after he was sacked four times in Week 1. "I DEMAND better," he said. Lots of Luck, guys. The Colts are 8-1 overall at home with Luck.
The pick: Colts
COWBOYS (1-0) at CHIEFS (1-0)
Chiefs by 3; O/U: 46 1/2
Say whatever you want about Dallas QB Tony Romo -- just don't forget how tough he is. I know Alex Smith looked good for the Chiefs in Week 1, but they were playing the lowly Jaguars. Andy Reid's new team already has half as many wins as they had last year. This might be a trap game for the Cowboys, but I'm still biting.
The pick: Cowboys
RAMS (1-0) at FALCONS (0-1)
Falcons by 7; O/U: 47 1/2
Steven Jackson gets to face his old team as Atlanta will be amped up for this one after a close loss to the Saints. I love the way Jeff Fisher coaches, so I'll take a shot with the Rams, who covered their last six road games last season.
The pick: Rams
BROWNS (0-1) at RAVENS (0-1)
Ravens by 6 1/2; O/U: 43 1/2
How about the AFC North going winless in Week 1? The defending Super Bowl champ Ravens are at home -- where they should have been in Week 1. Wait, did Peyton Manning just throw another TD pass while you were reading this? Baltimore looks for its 11th straight 'W' vs. the Brownies, the NFL's longest current divisional win streak.
The pick: Ravens
TITANS (1-0) at TEXANS (1-0)
Texans by 9; O/U: 43
I fell asleep late Monday night -- kind of how Houston did in the first half -- and didn't see the Texans score 24 straight to stun the Chargers after trailing 28-7. The Titans are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine vs. the AFC South, but I'll ride them for another week.
The pick: Titans
4 P.M. GAMES AND LATER
SAINTS (1-0) at BUCS (0-1), 4:05 p.m.
Saints by 3 1/2; O/U: 47 1/2
Can't imagine how the Bucs felt after last week's crushing finish against the Jets. Now there are reports that coach Greg Schiano made sure QB Josh Freeman wasn't voted team captain this season. It gets stickier: Freeman overslept and missed the team picture last week. Hmm, Freeman not in the picture? That, my friends, is called foreshadowing.
The pick: Saints
LIONS (1-0) at CARDINALS (0-1), 4:05 p.m.
Lions by 1; O/U: 48
The Lions are just one of four road favorites this week (favorites went 12-4 overall last week, but just 7-8-1 ATS). Hey Ndamukong Suh, can I borrow some money until payday? I'll take a shot with the Cardinals at home.
The pick: Cardinals
JAGUARS (0-1) at RAIDERS (0-1), 4:25 p.m.
Raiders by 5 1/2; O/U: 39 1/2
I saw that there were 8,143 net passing yards and 63 TD passes in Week 1, the highest total of any week in NFL history. It wasn't like the Jags had much to do with those incredible numbers! How about a safety on defense and a measly 107 yards passing. They didn't cross midfield until midway through the fourth quarter vs. KC. Yikes!
The pick: Raiders
49ers (1-0) at SEAHAWKS (1-0), 8:30 p.m.
Seahawks by 3; O/U: 441/2
TV: Ch. 4
Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)
Did you hear that QBs Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson have a wager on the game, and the loser has to shave one of his eyebrows? Talk about point shaving! Let's see if they really go through with it. Seattle was 8-0 at home last season and has covered four straight times at home vs. San Francisco.
The pick: Seahawks
STEELERS (0-1) at BENGALS (0-1), 8:40 p.m.
Bengals by 7; O/U: 41
This could be a changing-of-the-guard game in the AFC North. The Bengals are an abysmal 1-10-1 ATS vs. the Steelers in the two teams' last 12 meetings at Paul Brown Stadium. But I think that trend turns here against a declining Pittsburgh team, which opened as a 3-point underdog.
The pick: Bengals