Week 1 - FML.
If you are a Rounders fan you may call me Teddy KGB because that was very unsatisfying. I hadn't gone 0-3 the entire year last year in any week and the first week of the season this time around, I put up a big donut. Luckily the picks came a bit late in the week so hopefully you didn't even read that rubbish of a column last week. So with that off my chest let's move forward to the Week 2 games. I like two Bay Area teams this week so must be reliving my SCU college days...let's get to it.
Atlanta @ Oakland
3pts back Oakland -4.5 pts @ 2.0421/20 on the Exchange
Oakland showed lots of heart and gut against the NO Saints last week. The defense, which was supposed to much improved, was very flat and not explosive in that game, giving up several long plays for touchdowns. The Raiders spent too much on defense and also Ken Norton has two of the best pass rushers in Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack. I would expect the defense to come out on all cylinders and get to Matt Ryan early and often. Why? Because he is slow and his line is awful and they are on the road in Oakland. Oakland probably only have to score 21 points in this game to cover the spread and tallies at least four QB sacks.
San Francisco @ Carolina
2pts Back San Fran + 13.5 on Exchange at 2.021/1
Is SF for real or are the LA Rams just that bad? 28-0 whipping last Monday night but the Niners are now doing a long trip out east with limited rest. Cam Newton and the Panthers took a beating last Thursday, and should be well-rested and prepared to win this game, but I see lots of additional protection for Cam, with maybe some more conservative play-calling to protect him, turning this into more of a ground game from both teams.
That slower pace favors the underdogs, especially ones getting 13.5 points. I think Chip Kelly will have the defense fired up enough to keep the game close, but watch for the sneaky back door cover in the fourth quarter.
Tennessee @ Detroit
1pts Back Titans +5.5 on the Exchange at 2.021/1
Tennessee's offense played reasonably well last time out, but gave up 14 points on two turnover plays. Look for the coaching staff to emphasise protecting the ball and going more conservative with play-calling. They have the running attack to control the clock and keep the Detroit running back attack off the field. Detroit's base defense was not really tested as they had a lead to protect all game against Indy (and almost lost it). My models say that the Titans actually have a good chance to win the game outright so if you want an additional punt go with the Titans on the Moneyline at 3.39/4.