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NFL Week 2 picks: Patrick Mahomes, KC beat Baltimore again; Patriots top Jets, Browns lock of week

Patrick Mahomes is 3-0 head-to-head against Lamar Jackson

Patrick Mahomes is 3-0 head-to-head against Lamar Jackson and Baltimore, but the more remarkable stat is this: The Kansas City quarterback is 11-0 in September, with 35 TDs and 0 INTs.  Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel

Week 2 is all about one word: Overreaction. Don’t fall into the trap. The Eagles probably won’t play as good a game as they did in Week 1 the rest of the season. The Titans won’t look that bad again, either. And so on and so on for a bunch of other teams and individual players. Don’t put too much stock into one game.

Underdogs went 11-5 against the spread (ATS) in Week 1. They always bark loudest early in the season, though this week there are some favorable lines for favorites.

My most confident picks ATS this week are Cleveland, Kansas City and Tennessee. There aren’t any true "stay away" games, but be careful with Jets-Pats, Broncos-Jaguars and Bengals-Bears.

GAME OF THE WEEK

 

SUNDAY NIGHT

KANSAS CITY (1-0) AT BALTIMORE (0-1)

TV: NBC, 8:20 p.m.

Kansas City by 3.5; O/U: 55.5

Picking NFL games is all about not overthinking things. Sometimes, the obvious choice is the right choice, and that’s the case here: Lamar Jackson has shown he can’t beat Kansas City, and Patrick Mahomes has shown that, well, nobody can beat him in September. The most electrifying quarterback in the game saves his best for first: He is 11-0 in September with 35 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. No, that was not a typo. Throw in the fact that Mahomes is 3-0 head-to-head against Jackson and this is an easy pick. How is Baltimore going to stop this high-octane offense, especially on short rest? The Ravens just put a ton of effort into a flattening OT loss at Las Vegas on MNF. They are also missing key players, and if KC jumps out to a lead as it did in last year’s 34-20 win at Baltimore, it’ll be over early.

The pick: Kansas City

1 p.m. Games

NEW ENGLAND (0-1) AT JETS (0-1)

TV: CBS

Patriots by 6; O/U: 42.5

Rookie QB vs. rookie QB. Rookie coach vs. . . . greatest coach in NFL history. Neither offense looked great in Week 1 losses, but the Jets have bigger question marks and Bill Belichick has shown he has the answers to solving first-year quarterbacks. Belichick is 21-6 when facing them. Zach Wilson took a pounding in his NFL debut, and Belichick will throw a ton of different looks to confuse him. Mac Jones has an easier matchup against a young Jets secondary. It’s hard to imagine the Pats starting 0-2 with both losses in the division. The under could be a good play in what feels like a 20-13 kind of game.

The pick: New England

BUFFALO (0-1) AT MIAMI (1-0)

Buffalo by 3.5; O/U: 47.5

Maybe a loss in its home opener was the best thing for Buffalo, a popular pick to win the Super Bowl. Buffalo has won five in a row against Miami. Josh Allen is 5-1 against the AFC East rival, with 17 TDs to just four INTs. Expect the Bills to remind people why they were a preseason favorite.

The pick: Buffalo

LAS VEGAS (1-0) AT PITTSBURGH (1-0)

Pittsburgh by 5.5; O/U: 47

This line feels a bit inflated because of Pittsburgh’s win at Buffalo, in which it scored 23 points after a scoreless first half. The "letdown factor" is in play here for the Raiders after a thrilling overtime win on MNF, but Gruden’s Grinders should stay inside the number.

The pick: Las Vegas

L.A. RAMS (1-0) AT INDIANAPOLIS (0-1)

L.A. by 3; O/U: 47.5

Matthew Stafford’s debut with his new team went a lot smoother than Carson Wentz’s did. This might be closer than you think, but the Rams are a complete team and the Stafford-Sean McVay QB-coach duo is going to be tough to stop this season.

The pick: Rams

SAN FRANCISCO (1-0) AT PHILADELPHIA (1-0)

San Francisco by 3.5; O/U: 50.5

Good news, Eagles fans: 32-6 win in Week 1. Bad news, Eagles fans: 32-6 win in Week 1. With a performance like that comes greater expectations. They shouldn’t overreact after one game, and the well-balanced 49ers are a step up in competition from Atlanta. This will be close in the fourth quarter before San Francisco pulls away.

The pick: San Francisco

NEW ORLEANS (1-0) AT CAROLINA (1-0)

New Orleans by 4.5; O/U: 44.5

Raise your hand if you had Jameis Winston throwing five TD passes in a 35-point win over the Packers. Anyone? Anyone? What an impressive performance. The Saints are a big step up in competition from the Jets.

The pick: New Orleans

LOCK OF THE WEEK

HOUSTON (1-0) AT CLEVELAND (0-1)

Cleveland by 12.5; O/U: 48.5

This will be the last time all season Houston has a better record than Cleveland, which had a 22-10 halftime lead at Kansas City in Week 1 before losing 33-29. Don’t be scared by the big number – there’s a reason it’s that high. Baker Mayfield & Co. could put up 40 in this one.

The pick: Cleveland

CINCINNATI (1-0) AT CHICAGO (0-1)

Chicago by 1; O/U: 45.5

Welcome to the Andy Dalton Bowl. If he loses to his former team in the Bears’ home opener, that will make it one step closer to Justin Fields taking over. Joe Burrow's Bengals have been in most games since he took over, and just like last week, they are a live 'dog in this one.

The pick: Cincinnati

DENVER (1-0) AT JACKSONVILLE (0-1)

Denver by 5.5; O/U: 45.5

The Jaguars had no business being road favorites in Week 1. Now, they’re a big home ‘dog, but how can you back them? There are reports that Urban Meyer is not having a fun time, and neither will Trevor Lawrence as Von Miller introduces himself.

The pick: Denver

4 p.m. Games

DALLAS (0-1) AT L.A. CHARGERS (1-0)

TV: CBS

L.A. by 2.5; O/U: 55.5

This could be another thriller like Dallas’ 31-29 loss at Tampa Bay in the NFL opener. Dak Prescott looked phenomenal in his first game back and the well-rested Cowboys will be in this one down to the wire.

The pick: Dallas

ATLANTA (0-1) AT TAMPA BAY (1-0)

TV: FOX

Tampa Bay by 11.5; O/U: 51.5

There’s no doubt Tampa Bay will win, but this is a big number against a division rival. As bad as Atlanta looked in a 32-6 loss at home against Philadelphia, Matt Ryan has weapons and can put up 20-24 points to cover.

The pick: Atlanta

TENNESSEE (0-1) AT SEATTLE (1-0)

Seattle by 5.5; O/U: 53.5

Tennessee is better than it looked in a 38-13, never-in-it loss at home to Arizona. It’ll be surprising to see the Titans win with Seattle getting its "12th Man" back, but for whatever reason, the Seahawks tend to play close games at home early on: They’ve won five home openers in a row, but four of them were by 1, 2, 3 and 5 points. This will be another down-to-the-wire opener.

The pick: Tennessee

MINNESOTA (0-1) AT ARIZONA (1-0)

Arizona by 4.5; O/U: 51

The way Kyler Murray (4 total TDs) led the offense and Chandler Jones (5 sacks) anchored the defense last week, there’s no reason not to be all-in on the Cards in their home opener.

The pick: Arizona

MONDAY NIGHT

DETROIT (0-1) AT GREEN BAY (0-1)

TV: ESPN, 8:15 p.m.

Packers by 11.5; O/U: 48.5

The only thing more shocking than the Packers’ 38-3 loss in Week 1 was that I somehow went 12-4 ATS. Expect Aaron Rodgers (17-5 all-time vs. Lions) and Green Bay to rebound in a big way.

The pick: Green Bay

STAFF STANDINGS AND PICKS

(all picks against the spread; best bets in bold)

JOE MANNIELLO

Record: 12-4, 0-1 best bets

Giants New England Buffalo Las Vegas

L.A. Rams San Francisco New Orleans Cleveland

Cincinnati Denver Dallas Atlanta

Tennessee Arizona Kansas City Green Bay

BOB GLAUBER

Record: 8-8, 0-1

Giants Buffalo New England Pittsburgh

L.A. Rams San Francisco New Orleans Cleveland

Cincinnati Denver L.A. Chargers Tampa Bay

Seattle Arizona Kansas City Green Bay

TOM ROCK

Record: 8-8, 0-1

Giants New England Buffalo Pittsburgh

L.A. Rams San Francisco New Orleans Houston

Cincinnati Denver Dallas Tampa Bay

Seattle Minnesota Kansas City Green Bay

AL IANNAZZONE

Record: 4-12, 0-1

Washington Jets Buffalo Pittsburgh

L.A. Rams San Francisco New Orleans Houston

Chicago Denver L.A. Chargers Atlanta

Seattle Arizona Kansas City Detroit

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