(4-1 against the spread this season)
By Danny Picard
BOSTON — I went 4-1 against the spread in Week 1. My only loss was the New England Patriots (+3.5). The Pats almost covered against the Eagles to give me a perfect week, but almost isn’t good enough.
Let’s keep it rolling. Here are my picks for Week 2:
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (+4.5) over Detroit Lions
-This game will be a perfect reminder that one week in the NFL is not a trend, especially the opening week of the season. Detroit is coming off a huge win in Kansas City. Seattle is coming off a bad loss at home to the Rams. But don’t look at those two games and think the Lions are just going to smash Geno Smith and the Seahawks in Detroit on Sunday. The Seahawks haven’t lost to the Lions since 2012. Last October, Smith threw for 320 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions in a 48-45 win in Detroit. Sure, the 2023 Lions are more than capable of winning this one at home, but I’ll take Seattle to at least keep it close against a Detroit team that seems to be a little overrated at the moment. Give me the points all day long here.
BUFFALO BILLS (-8.5) over Las Vegas Raiders
-If not for the Aaron Rodgers injury, more people would probably be talking about Josh Allen’s four-turnover performance in Monday night’s overtime loss to the New York Jets at MetLife. Allen threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in that season-opening loss. Now, the Bills head home to host a Raiders team that beat the Broncos in Denver in Week 1. Las Vegas might end up being pretty good this season with Jimmy Garoppolo under center, but are they good enough to start the season with two straight road wins? There’s no way I’m putting my money on a West Coast team coming to Buffalo for a 1 p.m. start, especially against a Bills offense that’ll be hungry to bounce back from a horrible Week 1. Allen goes off and Buffalo wins big at home on Sunday.
DENVER BRONCOS (-3.5) over Washington Commanders
-Raise your hand if you had to google who Washington’s quarterback was entering Week 1. I know I’m not the only one with his hand raised. Second-year quarterback Sam Howell and the Commanders beat an Arizona Cardinals team last Sunday in D.C. that had Joshua Dobbs as their quarterback. The most alarming stat for Washington was that Howell was sacked six times. And this Sunday, he’ll be in Denver, where it’ll be much louder for him than it was in Week 1. The Broncos are coming off a loss at home to the Raiders. Russell Wilson will have his hands full with the Commanders’ defense, and so, this figures to be a low-scoring affair with an over/under of 38.5. The half-point makes this pick a lot tougher than it should be, but I like the Broncos’ defense to dominate this matchup at Mile High. Denver wins by a touchdown.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (-2.5) over New England Patriots
-This will be a controversial pick with my hometown audience. But I don’t bet with my heart. I bet with my brain. And my brain tells me that Tua Tagovailoa is on a mission this season. I took Miami to cover on the road against the Chargers last week, and it played out exactly how I told you it would. The Dolphins are a problem this year. And Tua is 4-0 against the Patriots in his career. The Pats are coming off a hard-fought loss to the Eagles in Foxboro. And suddenly, New England is a “silver lining” football region. All week, it’s been, “Yeah, the Patriots lost, but did you see how much better Mac Jones and the offense looked?” Well, a “better” Mac didn’t produce a win in Week 1. Miami always plays the Patriots tough. And on Sunday Night Football at Gillette Stadium, Tua and the Dolphins are going to send another message to the rest of the league. It’s one of those “I hope I’m wrong” picks, but I’m taking Miami to win by a field goal.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (-2.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
-Much like I just told you the Dolphins are a problem this year, so are the Browns. Cleveland opened its season in Cincinnati and held Joe Burrow to just 82 yards passing in a 24-3 win over the Bengals. Now, Deshaun Watson — who threw for a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown in Week 1 — leads the Browns into Pittsburgh against a Steelers team that got slapped around at home by the 49ers last Sunday. Many were high on Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett entering the year, but San Francisco and Cleveland are two tough matchups for him out of the gate. Watson and the Browns are deservedly the favorite on the road in this one. Give me Cleveland to win by a touchdown on Monday Night Football.
Follow Danny on instagram @DannyPicard.