Not a great start to the season last week for Vinnie’s picks but he looks to rebound with some winners in Week 2.
This week’s lines are from usatoday.com (as of Thursday night).
Houston @ Jacksonville (+7)
The Texans took care of the Dolphins pretty handily last week and they have another cupcake matchup this week against the Jaguars. The Jags gave up 120+ yards and two TD’s to the Vikings last week and things won’t get better this week against one of the best rushing teams in the league. I expect the Texans offense to have their way again this week. Look for Arian Foster and Ben Tate to combine for around 150 yards rushing and a couple more TDs.
Jags QB Blaine Gabbert seems to have improved this year and almost led the team to a win last week against the Vikings but the defense ended up giving it away in the last seconds of the game. After that heart breaking loss, I don’t expect them to put up much of a fight this week.
Gimme the Texans minus the points.
New Orleans @ Carolina (O/U 51)
The Saints simply didn’t show up last week against the Redskins. Rookie sensation Robert Griffin III had a field day, throwing for over 300 yards and two TDs. Drew Brees also threw for over 300 yards along with three TDs but he completed only 46% (24-for-52) of his passes and had two interceptions.
Look for Brees to bounce back to his normal self and cut down on the mistakes in Week 2.
The Panthers had one of the worst rushing defenses in the league last year and by the looks of it, they have not improved much this year.
They gave up 95 yards rushing to Tampa Bay rookie RB Doug Martin. Saints RBs Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles should put up good numbers.
The Saints should have no trouble scoring Sunday and the Panthers will be playing catch up all day. Coupled with two bad defenses, Vinnie expects a ton of points to be scored.
Gimme the over.
Baltimore @ Philadelphia (-2.5)
The Ravens looked great Monday night against the Bengals. The coaches have taken the training wheels off QB Joe Flacco and will let him run the show.
They ran a no huddle for part of the night and Flacco excelled. Look for the Ravens to continue this up tempo offense. The defense pressured Bengals QB Andy Dalton all night, sacking him four times. Safety Ed Reed also showed he has something left, taking an interception back for a TD.
The Eagles were a mess against the Browns last week. QB Michael Vick threw four interceptions and was continually forcing the ball into double coverage.
We all know Andy Reid loves to throw the ball but the Eagles need to feed the ball to their best player, RB LeSean McCoy. He ran for 110 yards on 20 carries and had a couple big plays called back on penalties.
The Eagles D played well, holding rookie QB Brandon Weeden to 118 yards passing, completing only 12-of-34 attempts with four interceptions.
They also stuffed the run, allowing only 39 rushing yards to ROY candidate Trent Richardson. WR’s Jeremy Maclin (hip) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) came up on this week’s injury report but are expected to play. Don’t expect them to be close to 100%.
Baltimore was very impressive last week and getting points in this spot seems like a gift. The Eagles will continue to be over-hyped. I like the Ravens to win this one straight up. Don’t get beat by the hook, consider buying an extra half point if possible.
Gimme the Ravens plus the points.
Arizona @ New England (-13.5)
The Cardinals offense is as bad as it can get. They have no real QB (is it too late to bring back Kurt Warner?), a hodge-podge of wide receivers and an underwhelming group of RBs. WR Larry Fitzgerald can’t be expected to do much when the quarterbacks can’t get the ball to him. QB John Skelton was knocked out of the game against the Seahawks last week and the disappointing Kevin Kolb took over. Kolb surprised everyone by having a decent game, completing 6-of-8 passes and throwing for a TD. It ended up being enough to win the game as the underrated Cardinals defense made a nice goal line stand to win the game.
The Patriots had an easy 34-13 win versus the Titans last week. QB Tom Brady was efficient, throwing for 236 yards and two TDs. They had a nice outing from RB Stevan Ridley who added 125 yards on the ground and a TD. He figures to be a big part of the offense this year and is an upgrade over departed free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Two touchdowns is a big number to cover in any NFL game but if I had to pick one team to do it, it’d be the Patriots, especially against one of the worst teams in the NFL. This one should be a laugher.
Gimme the Patriots minus the points.
4 Stars: 1-0
3 Stars: 0-2
2 Stars: 0-2
Total Record: 1-4