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I am the Gridiron Great, and I have been handicapping the NFL for a number of years. I've learned the ins and outs of what it takes to beat the bookies at this game, and I know just how difficult it can be. Do you think you can beat me at my own game? Every week that you do, you'll be entered into a grand prize drawing at the end of the season for a $1,000 Oddsmaker Sportsbook account. Even if you don't beat me though, you can still collect a $100 account from Oddsmaker just by having the most picks correct amongst Cappers Info readers.
There is no greater time to try to get into this competition than right now, as every week you beat me gives you another opportunity at that big cash prize at the end of the year. Let's get started right now with my Week 2 picks…
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5) @ Carolina Panthers – Did anyone else watch that Carolina game last week against the G-Men and cringe? The Panthers just don't stand a chance this year once they are forced to throw the football. Jimmy Clausen could be making his debut this week, meaning the Bucs should be in for their first 2-0 start to the season in years. No one wants to watch this game, but Tampa Bay +2.5 is the pick even though the Bucs have been dominated in this series.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+5) @ Tennessee Titans – Woo, are the oddsmakers sipping the Kool Aid in this one! Who cares if the Titans beat the holy crap out of the Raiders last week? They're the freaking Raiders! Pittsburgh's defense looks scary, scary good right now. Troy Polamalu might be more valuable than Ben Roethlisberger. This could be a potential playoff battle this year, and these are the types of games that the men in black and gold just tend to find a way to win. Pittsburgh +5 for me, though I'm not so sure I need the points.
Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers (-13) – Congrats to the Bills for finding a way to score a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins. If all they do this week is score one touchdown, this spread won't be close. Ryan Grant or not, the Packers -13 are the way to go in this one. Green Bay isn't struggling in its home opener against the worst team in the league.
Baltimore Ravens (-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals – Last year, it was considered an upset when the Ravens were beaten by the Bengals. This year, the oddsmakers are still drinking the Cincinnati Kool Aid as well. C'mon, we just saw these guys get trashed by the Pats. They're just not that good. Baltimore would love to get off to a 2-0 start on the road against potential postseason suitors, and it will do just that. Quoth the Ravens -1, covers galore!
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns (-2) – Let me just pull out my super duper ultra high tech supernatural Magic 8-Ball here… Ah, yes… Here we go. Cleveland -2 it is. It already hurt that much to put myself through typing this game, let alone actually trying to sort out which one of these two crappy teams are better.
Philadelphia Eagles (-4) @ Detroit Lions – Look, I love the Lions this year. They got screwed last week and should be 1-0 coming home. I know that the Eagles are going to be a super donkey play, and this totally goes against my natural way of thinking. But did anyone else realize just how good Michael Vick looked last week? Assuming Andy Reid lets him start over the concussed Kevin Kolb, I like the visitors to get back on track. Philly -4 is my NFL pick for this one.
Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys (-8.5) – The Cowboys looked like poo last week, but so did the Bears. There's one difference. One of these teams actually is poo, while the other one is a legitimate playoff contender. Is it just me, or does something stink in the Windy City right now? The Odorless Cowboys -8.5 for me on Sunday.
Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons (-7) – Speaking of teams that smell a little funny, what about the Cardinals? C'mon guys… You did everything you could last week to lose to the Rams, and now you think you're coming across the country and beating the Falcons? I don't think so. Atlanta could've beaten Pittsburgh last week very easily. The Falcons -7 says that they take care of business this week.
Miami Dolphins (+5.5) @ Minnesota Vikings – The ghost of Brett Favre isn't going to save the Vikes in this one. Sure, good ol' No. 4 might be able to pull off a ridiculous play or two in this one, but we like the way the Fins looked, even at their worst last week in the narrow escape of Buffalo. This is a winnable game for them, just as it was for the 49ers last year in virtually this exact same spot. It won't walk out with a win, but Miami +5.5 shows that the Dolphins can stick around in this one.
St. Louis Rams @ Oakland Raiders (-3.5) – The Raiders might've looked worse than just about any other team in the NFL last week, but let's stay realistic here. This is still the first ever start on the road for Sam Bradford. Generally speaking, that's not something that works out well for teams that are still really, really bad. I hate doing it, but I have to go with Oakland -3.5.
Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos (-3.5) – Those of you that really think that the Seahawks are for real, say "Ay!"… *Crickets Chirping*… Hmm… You don't buy in either, do you? Pete Carroll will get a taste of what it's like to go on the road again in this league in the much anticipated home debut of Tim Tebow. Timmy makes his grand entrance, and the Broncos -3.5 proves to be the winning play against a team that was god awful on the road last season.
Houston Texans @ Washington Redskins (+3) – All together now: Who the hell is Arian Foster? He's the man that just ran the ball 33 times for 231 yards and three scores on the team that was favored to win the Super Bowl. Had the Texans lost last week, my perception of this game would be totally different. This is a long roadie for them, and going against a Redskins team that looks like it has a pulse this year could prove to be a real challenge. Go with Washington +3 and hope for the upset.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers (-9) – Once I saw the Chargers lose to the Chiefs on Monday night, I immediately said that I didn't care what the spread was. The Jags are terrible. They barely beat another terrible team last week. Though they are historically a thorn in the sides of the best teams in the NFL, they aren't going to be able to challenge the Bolts if this one. As long as it wants to, San Diego -9 is the play to make.
New England Patriots (-1) @ New York Jets – Here we go again… Rex Ryan is going to run his yap about how his Jets are being disrespected at home, being an underdog to this overrated punk of Patriots. He's going to mention how New York won this game last year and beat the holy crap out of Tom Brady and that his newly improved secondary will shut this team down and how his running game is that great and… oh wait… by the time he's done yapping, New England will have already walked out of the New Meadowlands with a 'W'. Screw the Jets. Go with the Patriots -1.
New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts (-5.5) – Remember to make your tiebreaker picks in this game!!! The Colts are coming off of that bad loss to the Texans, and though I tend to believe that the Giants do have the ability to hang in this one, something tells me that they won't. You just know that Peyton is sitting there in practice every day this week and telling his team about the struggles of the G-Men against the Panthers. Note to New York: This isn't the Carolina offense you're trying to take advantage of anymore… I'll wrap up the week with Indianapolis -5.5.
Official Week 2 NFL Lines Courtesy of Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5) @ Carolina Panthers
Pittsburgh Steelers (+5) @ Tennessee Titans
Green Bay Packers (-13) vs. Buffalo Bills
Baltimore Ravens (-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns (-2) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Philadelphia Eagles (-4) @ Detroit Lions
Dallas Cowboys (-8.5) vs. Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons (-7) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Miami Dolphins (+5.5) @ Minnesota Vikings
Oakland Raiders (-3.5) vs. St. Louis Rams
Denver Broncos (-3.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Washington Redskins (+3) vs. Houston Texans
San Diego Chargers (-9) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
New England Patriots (-1) @ New York Jets
Indianapolis Colts (-5.5) vs. New York Giants