Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season was pretty wild, capped by an insane, back-and-forth contest on Monday Night Football. In the handicapping space, underdogs were gold with a 12-4 record against the spread and, given the overall ethos of this particular column, that paved the way to overall success. It is always nice to get off to a nice start at 4-1 but, as is the beauty of the NFL, the schedule keeps rolling and Week 2 is here in earnest.
Before we get to this week’s five-pack of picks, let’s take stock.
- Last Week: 4-1
- 2021 Season: 4-1
Come get these winners.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6) over Denver Broncos
Apparently we’re just going to be gross right out of the gate this week. By no means do I believe in the Jags. In fact, I might’ve been higher on the Broncos than the consensus coming into the season. This is a class perception spot, though, as the Broncos rolled in Week 1 and the Jags looked ghastly. As such, the lookahead line of three is now up to six. Six is too many for the Jags at home here. Hold your nose.
Indianapolis Colts (+3.5) over Los Angeles Rams
This is another ugly spot where we’re looking to buy low and sell high. The Colts didn’t exactly light the world on fire a week ago, and the Rams breezed in a primetime, standalone game. That gives us a line that moved through the key number of three, and I’m buying the extra bit of value on the home underdog.
Philadelphia Eagles (+3) over San Francisco 49ers
I’m kicking myself on the timing here, as this number was 3.5 or even 4 just a few hours/days ago. Alas, the current number will have to do, and I still think it’s the value side. There is sharp money all over Philadelphia, and there was a lot to like in the modern approach the Eagles deployed under a new staff last week. Combine that with some volatility in San Francisco’s skill position groups and an early kick on the East Coast… sign me up.
Carolina Panthers (+3.5) over New Orleans Saints
New Orleans should still be pretty good, but I’m betting that Week 1 won’t be representative of their true performance level. This is also a division game and Carolina is catching a bit of extra value at home after the way the Saints drubbed the Packers. It’s not my favorite play of the week, but it’s the only side.
Atlanta Falcons (+13) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Our first double-digit dog of the season! Nobody wants to play the Falcons this week. They were horrible in Week 1 while the Bucs haven’t lost a football game in almost a calendar year. The thing is that this line was eight a week ago. Yes, it moved five points. Atlanta might actually be this bad, but they’re going to have to prove it to me.