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Against the Odds (2011) – Week 2

Let’s begin by reviewing how accurate Vinnie has been against the spread, through one week:


  picks were 2-1

  picks were 2-1

On to Week 2, for which Vinnie likes three home teams and three road teams. Time to make some more reliable picks against the odds.

Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers (+3):  Dallas’ defense limited the Jets to 45 rushing yards Sunday night and will hold up well versus Frank Gore. Good passing teams will hold an advantage over the Cowboys, but San Francisco certainly won’t be mistaken for one of those anytime soon. The 49ers have a solid defense in their own right. Following his 4th quarter antics against the Jets, though, Tony Romo will acquit himself just fine at Bill Walsh Field on Sunday.



   
Gimme the Cowboys minus the points.

Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans (+5.5):  Conversation around Tennessee’s offensive strengths begin and end with Chris Johnson, he of nine carries for 24 rushing yards in Week 1. Whether the Ravens have been taking some notes on how Jacksonville shut Johnson down, or just happen to possess one of the better run stopping units league wide – why not both? – it will be a nigh fruitless day for the Titans speedster. On top of this, Terrell Suggs and his fellow Ravens defenders will apply a wealth of pressure on Matt Hasselbeck. As for when Baltimore has the ball, pencil Ray Rice and Joe Flacco each in for a big game.



   
Gimme the Ravens minus the points.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings (-3):  The Bucs defense was pretty well dismantled by visiting Detroit a week ago, but will take it to Minnesota in Week 2. Adrian Peterson will get his, no doubt. The real question, for Minnesota, is whether Donovan McNabb can offer a whole lot of something more, after the way he played against San Diego. Though the suspension of defensive tackle Kevin Williams lasts one more game, the Vikings defense is no pushover. Regardless, LeGarrette Blount and Josh Freeman will come through for Tampa Bay.


   
Gimme the Buccaneers plus the points.

Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Redskins (-4)Cam Newton deserves a lot of credit for connecting with Steve Smith for those touchdowns and setting the NFL record for passing yards in a rookie debut, but just as notable was the poor play of Arizona’s pass defense. Rex Grossman, throwing to some combination of Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney, and Fred Davis, is in line for perhaps some really nice numbers. Arizona could potentially keep up in the early going, Larry Fitzgerald the beneficiary of many of Kevin Kolb‘s passes, but it won’t be enough.


   
Gimme the Redskins minus the points.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons (+2):  Unpredictable to some extent, this game features the return of Michael Vick to Atlanta and pits the explosive combination of Vick, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson against the underrated Falcons defense. The Bears had their way with Atlanta’s defense and then some, a week ago, but Mike Smith’s team is as balanced and well-stocked with talent as any in the NFL. Speaking of which, Michael Turner and the Falcons running game match up extremely well against the Eagles defense.

   
Gimme the Falcons plus the points.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets (-9.5)Maurice Jones-Drew blowing up the Titans defense had as much to do with Jacksonville’s opening victory as anything. The Jets possess a disruptive enough front seven, however, that MJD will have his work cut out for him. Luke McCown will have to rely on Marcedes Lewis more than he did last week, if Jacksonville is to have a chance in this contest; Darrelle Revis will all but erase Mike Thomas‘ effectiveness. Oh, and expect Mark Sanchez to once again get the job done.

   
Gimme the Jets minus the points.

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