After a semi-disastrous Week 1 showing, the sledding was kinder in Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season. It wasn’t a monumental showing but, in short, the principles came through for us as we got back to basis in handicapping the professional football ranks.
It would be unwise to rest on our laurels, though, and Week 3 presents some intriguing challenges, particularly with a couple of sky-high point spreads to tackle. Before diving into the slate, let’s check in on how we stand through two weeks and ten picks.
- Week 2: 3-2
- 2019 Season: 4-6
Come get these winners.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) over Tennessee Titans
It makes me uneasy that there has been so much unrest in Jacksonville this week, but it’s not enough to leave this home underdog off the slate. This is a “kitchen sink” game for Jacksonville after an 0-2 start and the line implies that the Titans are 4.5 points better than the Jaguars on a neutral field. Even with Gardner Minshew, I just don’t believe that’s true and the always entertaining youngster will lead us to victory. I’d take Jacksonville all the way up to pick’em.
Miami Dolphins (+21.5) over Dallas Cowboys
When this opened at 15.5, I was ready to avoid it. I really was. The Dolphins are bad enough that I was prepared to abandon my principles and simply leave this off the slate. Then, the line took off and crossed over 21. I’m sorry, folks, but we have to take this. We may not know where the bottom is for Miami just yet, but the Cowboys aren’t the Patriots and there is always a line to draw. This is it.
New York Jets (+23) over New England Patriots
Last week, we gave out two big underdogs and split them. We’re going back to the well… even with Luke Falk against the Patriots. It is abjectly terrifying to do this but the Jets, even with Falk under center, are better than the Dolphins and we’re getting more candy this time around. This is one of the biggest lines you’ll ever see and it’s just one of those times where I will take it blind and run.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+6.5) over San Francisco 49ers
I’m not going to tell you that Mason Rudolph is good. We certainly don’t know that. I do think, though, that the Steelers have a quality roster from top to bottom and the team’s decision to trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick signals that Pittsburgh has some level of confidence that they can compete. In fact, I’m not entirely sure that the 49ers are better than the Steelers, even as constructed, and that means I have to take Pittsburgh here. It would be better at a full seven points but, even at 6.5, the value is on the Steelers and we’ll fade a public that is backing Jimmy G and company at home.
Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns UNDER 24 points in the first half
We haven’t touched the total market yet this season but long-time readers might remember our love for first-half unders. That applies here, with frisky defenses on both sides (playing outdoors, no less) in what should be a bit more of a slug-fest than some may think. The full-game total has already dropped three points since the open but, provided you can get 24 in the first half, the value is there for this one. Pray for field goals and punts.