Before I give you my picks, I have to make a little announcement here. I’ve signed a new deal with PodcastOne, and part of that deal includes an upgrade for my weekly “Pic’s Picks” segment throughout the NFL season.
Every Thursday on the podcast, you’re accustomed to hearing me pick five NFL games with the spread. Well, with my new PodcastOne deal, “Pic’s Picks” will now be part of the “PodcastOne SportsNet Challenge.” I will be competing against other PodcastOne personalities like Shaquille O’Neal, Adam Carolla, Rob Riggle, Ross Tucker, and Chael Sonnen, just to name a few. Every week, we’ll each pick five NFL winners, and it’ll be presented by BetOnline.
Not much changes for me, except, we aren’t using the spread. We’re just picking straight up winners. But that’s fine, because that makes it easier for me to win. The contest will have a point-based system. We’ll each pick four winners and a “lock of the week.” You get one point for a regular win, minus one point for a regular loss, two points for a “lock of the week” win, and minus two points for a “lock of the week” loss. You can check out the updated season standings at PodcastOneSportsNet.com.
After Week 1, I’m in a tie for second place with four points. I went 4-1 with my picks, getting my “lock of the week” correct with Green Bay on Sunday night. The only pick I got wrong was New Orleans. They allowed 48 points at home in losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ouch.
But 4-1 isn’t a bad way for me to start the season. So, let’s keep it rolling. Here are my picks for Week 2:
HOUSTON TEXANS over Tennessee Titans
-As I make this pick on Tuesday night, this game is off the board in Vegas, most likely because of the elbow injury that Marcus Mariota suffered in the Titans’ Week 1 loss in Miami. But I’m taking Houston under the mindset that Mariota is playing. The Texans are coming off a Week 1 loss in New England, but when the regular season is over, they might look back and call that the toughest game on their schedule. So, Houston is already battle tested. And Deshaun Watson is ready to go off in Tennessee Sunday at 1 p.m. and pick up his first win of the season.
ATLANTA FALCONS over Carolina Panthers
-The Falcons opened the NFL season by losing an ugly one in Philadelphia last Thursday night. Carolina is coming off an unimpressive 16-8 win over the Cowboys. This divisional showdown could easily be a coin flip, so I do think Atlanta as a (-6) favorite is a little high. Maybe the Falcons should be favored by only three points here. Still, I’m putting my money on Matt Ryan to be more locked in at home Sunday at 1 p.m. than he was in Philly in the opener.
LOS ANGELES RAMS over Arizona Cardinals
-The Rams are a 12-point favorite in this one, and rightfully so, especially in LA Sunday at 4:05 p.m. They are coming off a big win on Monday night in Oakland. LA just has too many weapons, and their defense is dominant. I told you last week that I have the Rams going to the Super Bowl this year, and that Jared Goff will be an MVP candidate. They’ll host a Cardinals team that’s coming off a Week 1 loss to the Washington Redskins. Arizona has no shot in this one, and it’s only a matter of time until we start hearing Larry Fitzgerald trade rumors again.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS over Jacksonville Jaguars
-The Pats are a 2-point favorite in Jacksonville Sunday at 4:25 p.m. The Jaguars could be without running back Leonard Fournette, who suffered a hamstring injury in the Jaguars’ 20-15 win over the Giants in Week 1. I’m making this pick as if Fournette is playing. It’s a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship, but I just think that Jacksonville is going to come back down to Earth a bit this year. New England is coming off a big win at home over Houston, the team that I believe will overtake Jacksonville for the AFC South crown. The Patriots aren’t losing this one.
LOCK OF THE WEEK: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS over Cleveland Browns
-As I told you, New Orleans was my only loss in Week 1. Well, now the 0-1 Saints are my lock of the week as they host the 0-0-1 Browns Sunday at 1 p.m. New Orleans is a 9-point favorite, and I expect the Saints to win by at least 10. Regardless of the score, there’s no way that Drew Brees loses two in a row to Tampa Bay and then Cleveland, both at home. Give me the Saints all day.