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NFL Week 2 picks: Jets, Giants win; Jags beat Pats; Bears lock of the week

Underdogs went 9-6-1 against the spread to start the season, with seven winning outright. 

Sam Darnold had an impressive NFL debut in

Sam Darnold had an impressive NFL debut in a win over Detroit Monday night, and that should carry over in his home opener as the Jets take on the Dolphins.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/Joe Robbins

Two words you have to always say to yourself after Week 1: Don't overreact. The Jets and Bucs aren't going to score 48 points in a game again all season. The Browns aren't going to go 0-0-16 (well, if any team could do it, it's them).

Underdogs went 9-6-1 against the spread to start the season. There are a number of tricky spreads this week, and with teams already dealing with injuries, be careful. Remember, I pick every game so that you don't have to.

My favorite picks ATS this week are the Bears, Chiefs, Broncos, Rams and Texans. Three games to avoid: Patriots-Jaguars, Cowboys-Giants and Eagles-Bucs.

DOLPHINS (1-0) AT JETS (1-0)

Jets by 3; O/U: 43.5

TV: Ch. 2, 1 p.m.

Of all the eye-opening stats from a wild Week 1, here's one that made me blink the most: The Jets scored 31 points in the third quarter,  more than 25 other teams scored . . . in their entire games! Before Monday night's mauling in Detroit, the Jets actually were getting a point from Miami when the lines were first set. Twenty four hours after a 48-point outburst, the Jets were a 3-point favorite. The Jets have a real shot at a 3-0 start -- Cleveland is up next on Thursday night -- but this will be a close game. Miami is fresh off a nice win of its own, a seven-hour affair against the Titans. Division matchups tend to be close, and the Jets lead the series, 54-50-1. Sam Darnold looked so impressive in his debut, picking himself up after a pick-6 on his very first throw. Expect a more relaxed rookie in his home debut and another solid performance from Jamal Allen and the defense. No Jetdown letdown here as the Jets start 2-0. Call it 20-13.

The pick: Jets

GIANTS (0-1) AT COWBOYS (0-1)

Cowboys by 3; O/U: 42

TV: Ch. 4, 8:20 p.m.

Seven NFL teams hired new head coaches in the offseason. By now, you probably know those teams went 0-7 in Week 1. One of them was Pat Shurmur's Giants. By Sunday night, it's not far-fetched to think new coaches could be 0-12. Shurmur has a good shot to get the club its first 'W'. The Giants and Cowboys always produce some wild finishes in prime time, but it's hard to see this being a barnburner after both offenses struggled in the opener. If the Giants can make Dak Prescott beat them, I like their chances. This is a tricky game to analyze, so let's keep it simple: The Giants have more playmakers on offense, and a long touchdown by Odell Beckham Jr. or Saquon Barkley could very well be the difference.

The pick: Giants

SUNDAY'S 1 P.M. GAMES

CHIEFS (1-0) AT STEELERS (0-0-1)

Steelers by 4.5; O/U: 53

If you like to bet overs, then this is your game. Neither defense will be able to stop the offenses, so expect a "first to 30 wins" type of contest. The Steelers are coming off a tie against the Browns, and are still dealing with drama inside the locker room. The Chiefs' big-play ability was on full display in a Week 1 win at the Chargers, with Tyreek Hill returning a punt for a 91-yard score and catching two of Patrick Mahomes' four TD passes. The Chiefs' offense is too explosive to be getting this many points. One of the golden rules of picking NFL games against the spread is that when you think the underdog has a strong shot at winning outright, take those points in a hurry.

The pick: Chiefs

CHARGERS (0-1) AT BILLS (0-1)

Chargers by 7; O/U: 42.5

Nathan Peterman won't throw five interceptions against the Chargers as he did last season. That's because the Bills are going with rookie Josh Allen. This is a ton of points to lay in a team's home opener. Also, L.A. is flying cross country for an early start. The last two years, the Bills have pulled off the home upset early in the season (Cardinals in 2016, Broncos in 2017). They're not going to do it here, but they can earn a cover.

The pick: Bills

VIKINGS (1-0) AT PACKERS (1-0)

Line: OFF (Rodgers status)

Aaron Rodgers said he plans to play, and you have to think it's extra motivation to face a division rival that cut short his season last year. (If he plays, the Packers figure to be 1 to 2-point favorite. If not, Minnesota by 3-plus). Minnesota's defense is one of the best in the NFL, and they have a strong-armed quarterback of their own who will be able to generate points. Vikings win a fun one.

The pick: Vikings

PANTHERS (1-0) AT FALCONS (0-1)

Falcons by 6; O/U: 44.5

At first glance, this feels like too many points for a division contest between evenly-matched teams. But the Falcons will have had 10 days to stew over their opening-night miscues, and the Panthers lost tight end Greg Olsen and are hurting in other key spots, too. Julio Jones has put up some big numbers against the Panthers. Lay the points and hope that Matt Ryan and Jones finally get it going in the red zone. 

The pick: Falcons

TEXANS (0-1) AT TITANS (0-1)

Texans by 2; O/U: 44.5

Normally, the Titans would be the play here as a home underdog. But they lost tight end Delanie Walker to an injury and Marcus Mariota is also banged-up. Deshaun Watson was off in Week 1, but expect a big improvement. He had five total TDs in a 57-14 win over Tennessee last season.

The pick: Texans

EAGLES (1-0) AT BUCS (1-0)

Eagles by 3; O/U: 44

I'm calling an audible at the line on this game. At first, the thought was the Bucs could build off last week's stunning 48-40 win at New Orleans and keep this close in their home opener. But a Google search told me the Bucs might have to start two rookie cornerbacks because of injuries. Nick Foles likely won't have Alshon Jeffery, but the Eagles still have plenty of playmakers. With 10 days of rest, expect Philly's pass rushers to get after Ryan Fitzpatrick early and often.

The pick: Eagles

BROWNS (0-0-1) AT SAINTS (0-1)

Saints by 9; O/U: 49

New Orleans will be a popular survivor pool pick, but it isn't a slam dunk vs. the spread. Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon should have success the way the Bucs receivers did in Week 1. Take the points as the Browns could be feeling good about themselves after their tie: Hey, they can't go 0-16 this year!

The pick: Browns

COLTS (0-1) AT REDSKINS (1-0)

Redskins by 6; O/U: 48

The Redskins, albeit the smallest of underdogs, were one of seven to win outright in Week 1. Alex Smith looked fantastic in a 24-6 win at Arizona and should follow it up in his home debut. Andrew Luck can keep this close, but once again his O-line will be overmatched.

The pick: Redskins

4 P.M. GAMES

PATRIOTS (1-0) AT JAGUARS (1-0)

Pick 'em; O/U: 45.5

Not only is this the game of the week, it's also the toughest to pick. You can never go wrong backing Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, but the slight edge goes to the Jaguars in their home opener. For starters, you have to think this Jacksonville team will be super-pumped to get a second shot at New England after coughing up a 20-10 fourth-quarter lead in the AFC Championship Game. Second, that Jags' pass rush should frustrate Brady. With the Pats hurting at running back and Julian Edelman still serving his suspension, look for the Jags' defense to be the difference.

The pick: Jaguars

RAIDERS (0-1) AT BRONCOS (1-0)

Broncos by 6; O/U: 45.5

The Broncos have held the Raiders to 10 and six points the last two meetings in Denver. The Raiders hung tough with the Rams for a half-plus, but were outscored 23-0 after intermission. Von Miller wreaks havoc on Derek Carr (3-4 vs. Denver) and Case Keenum starts 2-0.

The pick: Broncos

LIONS (0-1) AT 49ERS (0-1)

49ERS by 6; O/U: 47.5

The Lions looked so bad in a 48-17 loss to the Jets on Monday night that it wouldn't be a shock if the 49ers dropped 49 on them. Matthew Stafford is hurting, there are reports that Detroit veterans think new coach Matt Patricia is a stickler and now the Lions have to fly to San Francisco on a short week. Jimmy Garoppolo bounces back from his first NFL loss as a starter with at least three TD passes.

The pick: 49ers

CARDINALS (0-1) AT RAMS (1-0)

Rams by 13; O/U: 45

This is one of those games where you don't even think twice about circling the big favorite. The Rams beat the Cardinals, 33-0 and 32-16 last season, and this should be another rout. Arizona scored six points in its home opener.

The pick: Rams

MONDAY NIGHT

LOCK OF THE WEEK

SEAHAWKS (0-1) AT BEARS (0-1)

Bears by 3.5; O/U: 43

Chicago was on its way to being one of the best stories of Week 1, up 20-0 at Lambeau Field in prime time. Then Aaron Rodgers returned from an injury, torched them in the second half and yada, yada, yada, people want to quote Dennis Green. But hold off on those "The Bears are who we thought they were" GIFs. Chicago's offense has the potential to be special, as it showed early at Green Bay, and Khalil Mack and that pass rush should dominate an overpowered offensive line and chase Russell Wilson all night. Look for Matt Nagy to dial up some creative plays as Mitch Trubisky & Co. rebound with a sound win.

The pick: Bears

STAFF STANDINGS AND PICKS

(best bets in bold)

JOE MANNIELLO (7-8-1 record, 0-1 best bets)

Jets Giants Chiefs Bills

Vikings Falcons Texans Eagles

Browns Redskins Jaguars Broncos

49ers Rams Bears 

BOB GLAUBER (8-7-1, 1-0)

Jets Giants Steelers Chargers

Vikings Falcons Texans Eagles

Saints Redskins Patriots Cardinals

49ers Broncos Seahawks

TOM ROCK (8-7-1, 1-0)

Jets Giants Chiefs Chargers

Vikings Panthers Texans Bucs

Saints Redskins Patriots Rams

49ers Raiders Seahawks

AL IANNAZZONE (6-9-1, 1-0)

Jets Giants Steelers Bills

Packers Falcons Texans Eagles

Saints Redskins Patriots Rams

49ers Broncos Seahawks

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