Regular Season Sunday NFL Week 2 Picks and Predictions (for 9/15)

San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on CBS
Game Line: Philadelphia Eagles -9 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 54.5
Preview: The Eagles are the beneficiary of having the whole world watch the Chip Kelley offense succeed in week one on Monday Night Football.  The Chargers are getting undervalued because of their fourth quarter collapse on Monday Night Football’s second game.  The Washington Redskins offense looked inept in the first half against Philadelphia, which boosted the hurry up offense of the Eagles and put them in a good position.  The media and public are eating this Chip Kelley system up, but we are not buying it.  Now that defensive coordinators have had a chance to see it, they will adapt to stop it and San Diego will be better prepared than Washington was last week.  The Chargers are a mediocre team, but don’t forget they were 7-9 last year, losing to a playoff team in Houston.  Philadelphia was 4-12 and beat a hobbled Robert Griffith III.  Teams that win as an underdog on Monday Night Football then lay more than a TD the following week do not have a good track record of success.  Phillip Rivers is still as trust worthy as Mike Vick, who already has a backward lateral pick six on his resume this year.  The Chargers will give Philadelphia all they can handle here and while the public and the media are eating this Eagles team up, we are going to need to see some proven long term success before we’re willing to lay more than a touchdown with them.

Chargers vs Eagles Free NFL Pick: Chargers +9 and under 54.5
Chargers vs Eagles Score Prediction: 24-23 Eagles
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: Can the Eagles offense sustain success after teams start to get tape on their up tempo offense?  We think the Chargers have the players on defense to at least slow them down and force a few quick drives.  The Chargers offense should be much more successful than the Redskins were a week ago with a healthy quarterback and Ryan Matthews healthy.  This game could play out much like the Chargers week 1 contest with the Texans, holding the lead for much of the game only to choke it away late.


Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on CBS
Game Line: Baltimore Ravens -7 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 43.5
Preview: Cleveland is an improving team.  They are one of the teams that are going to surprise some people by knocking off a team or two that most people think are out of their league.  With that being said, this isn’t that week.  The defending Super Bowl Champions got burnt by Peyton Manning in the NFL season’s kickoff game and have had ten days to let that soak in.  Baltimore’s defense is not nearly as good this year as they were when they won it all a season ago, but even a mediocre defense can stop Brandon Weeden.  Trent Richardson will have some success against a depleted Raven defensive front but that isn’t going to be enough.  Cleveland’s defense is one of the 5 or 6 best in the league, but their offense is so bad they can’t score enough to win a game like this.  It’s just a bad matchup for a Cleveland team that will watch the Ravens hoist their championship banner, coming home after an embarrassing loss, playing one of the worst QBs in the league. 

Browns vs Ravens Free NFL Pick: Ravens -7 and over 43.5
Browns vs Ravens Score Prediction: 27-17 Ravens
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: Baltimore’s defense will force a few turnovers against the Browns offense while Ray Rice will break out a big play or two and Torrey Smith will continue to thrive.  Trent Richardson will grind out a good game and a score but Brandon Weeden can’t keep his team in this game long enough for it to be close in the fourth quarter.


Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on CBS
Game Line: Houston Texans -10.5 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 43
Preview: These two defenses couldn’t have looked more different than expected in week one.  Tennessee, an average defense at best, went into Pittsburgh and held them to nine points.  Houston who many believe to be one of the best defenses in the league, went to San Diego and got manhandled for three quarters by Phillip Rivers.  The Titans defense might have sold us to some extent, but the problem for Tennessee is they still have one of the worst offenses in the league.  Chris Johnson is their lone bright spot which also happens to be what Houston does best.  Houston’s secondary was exposed by the Chargers but Jake Locker isn’t going to be enough to threaten that.  The Texans always seem to manhandle the Titans and while they are a lot better this year, Houston should still be able to take care of business at home.  Houston knows they have to come out and play four quarters here and showing the intestinal fortitude to make a big comeback on Monday Night on the road is enough for us to believe they take care of Tennessee here.

Titans vs Texans Free NFL Pick: Texans -10.5 and over 43
Titans vs Texans Game Prediction: 30-17 Texans
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup:  Tennessee’s defense gets brought back to Earth after shutting down a sad Pittsburgh offense.  Chris Johnson will be maintained by Houston’s front seven, they will fall behind early and be forced to rely on Jake Locker’s arm for success in the second half which is going to be a recipe for disaster for Tennessee all year.  Arian Foster wasn’t a big factor in week 1 but that will change this week as he will get the ball early and often to control the clock with the lead.


Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on CBS
Game Line: Indianapolis Colts -2.5 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 42.5
Preview: These two teams played very ugly wins in week 1.  The Colts were projected to beat down the Raiders, but they couldn’t stop quarterback Terelle Pryor from running all over them.  On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins couldn’t get the running game going and relied on Brian Hartline to beat the Browns in Cleveland.  These two teams faced one another in week 12 of the regular season last year and played to a 23-20 Colts victory and that is much how we see this game playing out.  The Colts defense is nothing to write home about, but neither is the Miami offense.  Look for Miami to try to run the ball more this week and keep Andrew Luck off the field, while Indianapolis will spread it around and try to keep Luck upright against Miami’s good defensive front.  This will be a close, competitive game between two up and coming teams and when that is the case and the home team is laying less than a field goal, we will usually side with home field advantage.

Dolphins at Colts Free NFL Pick: Colts -2.5 and under 42.5
Dolphins at Colts Game Prediction: 20-16 Colts
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: Miami will blitz Luck a lot and try to make him uncomfortable in the pocket.  If they’re going to be successful it could be a long day for the Indianapolis offensive line.  Luck should try to spread the ball around between Hylton, Wayne, Ballard and Bradshaw and get it to them quickly while they’re in one-on-one coverage.  Miami has to get the ground game going this week if they’re going to be successful.  Their offense should get down the field but their lack of redzone production without any big targets or power backs will lead to a heavy dose of the field goal unit, which won’t be enough to beat the Colts at home.


Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on FOX
Game Line: Carolina Panthers -2.5 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 43
Preview: The Panthers and Bills both suffered gut wrenching losses to Super Bowl hopefuls in week one, which might mean positive things for them going forward.  Buffalo QB EJ Manuel had a good first start against a New England defense that should be much improved this year while Cam Newton couldn’t get anything going against one of the best defenses in football in Seattle.  The real standout from week one was the way the Carolina defense held the Seattle offense out of the end zone in a tight low scoring game.  Their front seven brings a lot of big guys who can stuff the run and get to the quarterback and should contain CJ Spiller and EJ Manuel.  Buffalo will have a much harder time containing the option looks from Carolina, who like to move the ball laterally more than New England and might pose problems for their defense.  If Cam Newton is going to prove himself, he can’t start 0-2 this year and we think they will have the experience to get it done here.

Panthers at Bills Free NFL Pick: Carolina -2.5 and over 43
Panthers at Bills Score Prediction: 27-20 Carolina
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup:  Carolina should force more bad decisions and turnovers from EJ Manuel, while their ground game should see some success.  Cam Newton will play much better against Buffalo, who has no answer for the big tightend Greg Olsen, one of Newton’s favorite targets.  CJ Spiller will see limited success and an untimely turnover from Buffalo in the fourth quarter from an inexperienced quarterback will make the difference in this one.


St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on FOX
Game Line: Atlanta Falcons -7.5 (from 5Dimes
Over/Under: 47.5
Preview: The St. Louis Rams will get to play against a cornerstone of their past in Steven Jackson when they visit the Falcons this week.  St. Louis hasn’t started 1-0 since 2006 but a comeback win against Arizona got the over that hump.  Atlanta suffered a tough fourth quarter loss to division rivals New Orleans and are looking to bounce back if they want to stay in the playoff picture again this season.  The Rams have not allowed a sack in three straight games, while Matt Ryan was knocked down six times in week one.  The Rams also have a few young and coming offensive weapons in Tayvon Austin, who wasn’t a major factor in week one and looks to be more involved going forward and tightend Jarred Cook who was outstanding in their week one win.  Don’t sleep on the Rams this year, Jeff Fisher is a great coach and they are a team with a lot of promise this year.  While they might not have the offensive weapons of a Julio Jones or Roddy White, they are strong in the trenches and will give Atlanta everything they can handle up front.  This is too large of a number for two teams who appear to be trending in opposite directions. 

Rams at Falcons Free NFL Pick: Rams +7.5 and under 47.5
Rams at Falcons Score Prediction: 24-21 Falcons
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: End of game heroics will save the Falcons in a game that will be largely dominated by the Rams.  Their pass rush and RB committee will keep the Falcons out of the endzone for much of the game and while Steven Jackson will get his yards, it will be a last minute drive from Atlanta ending in a game winning field goal that will seal the deal.  We really like the Rams plus the points in this contest.


Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on FOX
Game Line: Green Bay Packers -9 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 49.5
Preview: Both of these teams suffered losses in week one.  Washington hurt themselves more often than not with QB Robert Griffith III looking tentative and afraid to be hit.  Thankfully for Redskins fans, he looked much improved in the second half and almost lead his team back to beat the Eagles.  Their defense did not impress in week one either, but that was largely because of the fast paced Eagles offense and the fact that their offense couldn’t sustain a drive to let them recover on the sidelines.  Green Bay played a very tough, hard fought game in San Francisco but fell short to Aaron Rodgers kryptonite team in the 49ers.  Their run game looked much improved with Eddie Lacy and their defense was able to keep Kaepernick in the pocket, where he still lit them up to the tune of 300+ yards.  Thankfully for Green Bay they won’t be facing such an elite passer this week and should have an easier time slowing Washington down.  The option attack from the Redskins will look better this week and Alfred Morris should find a few big gainers against a mediocre Green Bay front.  Nine points is a lot for two playoff teams and RGIII looked good enough in the second half against Philadelphia that we will take the points here.

Redskins at Packers Free NFL Pick: Redskins +9 and over 49.5
Redskins at Packers Game Prediction: 31-27 Packers
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: If Green Bay can continue to improve the running game that showed flashes in week 1, they will be a Super Bowl favorite again this season.  Aaron Rodgers is the best in the business and they should have no problem against a Redskins secondary that doesn’t scare anyone.  Robert Griffith III looked much better in the second half of their first game and should continue to get more comfortable as the season goes on.  These teams both have problems in their defensive backfield, which will lead to plenty of points but Aaron Rodgers is the best in the game at capitalizing.


Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on FOX
Game Line: Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 46.5
Preview: At first glance, this line really jumped off the page.  Kansas City has had the talent for a few years now and with Andy Reid and Alex Smith added to this mix apparently Vegas is respecting this team as much as we are.  They were just 2-14 a season ago and now they are favorites at home vs America’s team.  Kansas City’s week one win over Jacksonville wasn’t as pretty as the 28-2 final score.  They scored 21 points in a hurry and stalled for much of the second half, and while holding any NFL team to only two points is impressive it is least impressive to do it against the Jaguars.  Dallas opened up a big lead at home against the Giants and stalled themselves, letting Eli Manning and Victor Cruz burn them for a few big plays and almost squeaked out the victory in the end.  The story in this game is going to be the Dallas defense against the Chiefs offense.  The strength of the Dallas defense is run stopping, and the strength of the Kansas City offense is Jamaal Charles.  Alex Smith is nothing more than a game manager who hopes to minimize his mistakes and let others make the big plays.  It will be interesting to see how effective they are against the Dallas front seven.   On the other side of the ball, Kansas City has the secondary to match up with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant but running backs that can catch balls out of the backfield have caused problems for KC in the past and Demarco Murray can definitely do that.  We think Kansas City will be a very unpopular pick this week, but we like them laying the small number at home against Tony Romo who always finds a way to make a few mistakes.

Cowboys at Chiefs Free NFL Pick: Chiefs -2.5 and over 46.5
Cowboys at Chiefs Score Prediction: 29-21 Chiefs
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: This game will be decided by big plays and turnovers.  Both offenses have weapons who can bust a big gainer out at any time, and both have defenses prone to giving them up.  At the same time both teams are prone to untimely turnovers and we like Romo to make a few more of them on the road.  This Chiefs team is for real and they prove it against Dallas this weekend.


Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 1:00pm on FOX
Game Line: Chicago Bears -7 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 42
Preview: If the Minnesota Vikings are going to end their early season struggles against the Bears they’re going to need to take care of the football against a Bears defense that doesn’t look like it’s missing anything without LB Brian Urlacher.  The Bears have historically beat up on Minnesota at home, winning 11 of their last 12 and there’s no reason they can’t do it here.  They have the defensive line to contain Adrian Peterson and QB Christian Ponder doesn’t scare any defense.  Unfortunately for Minnesota, the weakness of the Chicago defense is the backfield but the Vikings don’t have the talent to capitalize.  The combination of the Bears notoriously forcing turnovers and the Vikings notoriously committing them explains their lack of success.  The Chicago offense struggled last year because their offensive line couldn’t keep Jay Cutler upright, but they revamped it and didn’t allow a sack in week one against Cincinnati which they’re going to need to contain Jarod Allen and company.  This matchup has never been a good one for Minnesota, especially on the road.  Chicago is good at stopping what Minnesota wants to do offensively and Chicago finds away to capitalize on Minnesota’s defensive mistakes.

Vikings at Bears Free NFL Pick: Bears -7 and over 42
Vikings at Bears Score Prediction: 28-17 Bears
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: Adrian Peterson will get his 100 yards and a touchdown, but that’s about all to expect from the Vikings offensively.  Greg Jennings will be no more effective in week two than he was in week one and Christian Palmer will have a few timely turnovers.  Chicago will continue to use the short passing game, keep Cutler out of trouble and have much more success offensively.  This will be the last week people will believe Minnesota has any hope of returning to the playoffs in 2013.


New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 4:05pm on FOX
Game Line: New Orleans Saints -3.5 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 47
Preview: The New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons in week 1 with their defense and that is bad news for the rest of the NFL.  Everyone knows the Saints offense is explosive, it has been their defense that has proven a liability in the past.  If they can hold Atlanta to 17 points they should have no problem containing the Tampa Bay offense.  It is clear the Tampa Bay defense helped its cause with the addition of Darelle Revis and Dashon Goldson to try to contain the New Orleans and Atlanta offenses in their division.  If Tampa Bay can keep the penalties to a minimum, they had a league high 105 penalty yards in week one, they should keep this game close into the second half.  However, we hesitate to bet against Drew Brees and Sean Payton in a game where the spread is so small whether they are on the road or not.  This line smells fishy, considering Tampa lost as a road favorite to the Jets in week 1 but we will take the bait here.

Saints at Buccaneers Free NFL Pick: Saints -3.5 and under 47
Saints at Buccaneers Score Prediction: 30-23 Saints
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: Tampa Bay will try to run the ball effectively to keep the Saints offense off the field, and they will have some success.  If the Bucs can limit Freeman’s turnovers this game will be close into the fourth quarter.  The Saints will dink and dunk with short passes to Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles to help isolate the solid Tampa secondary.  Tampa will be better this year, but we aren’t ready to predict victories against teams like the Saints, who have playoff aspirations just yet.


Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 4:05pm on FOX
Game Line: Arizona Cardinals pk (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 47.5
Preview: If the Detroit Lions can limit their mental mistakes, turnovers and stupid penalties they would be a playoff team.  This has been their mantra under coach Jim Schwartz and we haven’t see it from them yet.  They were able to beat Minnesota despite 11 penalties, two touchdowns called back, two turnovers and a 77-yard touchdown run from Adrian Peterson.  With that being said, there were many bright spots for the Lions in week one, the biggest being Reggie Bush, who looked young again.  Will he have this much success all season?  Unlikely.  But having a legitimate running attack to pair with Calvin Johnson is something that has been lacking for years in Detroit.  Meanwhile Arizona also looked much improved in a heartbreaking loss to St. Louis in week one.  The addition of Carson Palmer made all the difference and they looked like a whole new team offensively.  They should continue to have success with the aerial attack against a very suspect Detroit secondary.  The problem facing Arizona in this game is their lack of a running game.  After Detroit allowed the big play to Adrian Peterson in their first game they essentially shut him down, and if they can do this against the best back in the game they should have no problem with Rashard Mendenhall.  The Arizona defense will have their hands full with Calvin Johnson, who will be looking to break out after a sub-par opening campaign and Reggie Bush, who will be looking to prove that week one wasn’t a flash in the pan.

Lions at Cardinals NFL Free Pick: Lions pk and over 47.5
Lions at Cardinals Score Prediction: 27-24 Lions
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: The Detroit defensive line will force the Cardinals to be one dimensional for most of the game.  They will have little success running between the tackles and will rely on Larry Fitzgerald and company to move the ball.  This will be a classic showdown between two of the best receivers in the last ten years as neither team has the shut down corner to contain them.  The difference in this game will be Reggie Bush, who should have some success with the screen game against a suspect Cardinal linebacking core. 


Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 4:25pm on CBS
Game Line: Oakland Raiders -5.5 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 39
Preview: Every week during the NFL season there is one game that nobody really cares to see, and this is it.  The Oakland Raiders outplayed their ability level in week one against a mediocre Colts defense.  They were successful because they turned the game into a school yard free for all, Terelle Pryor was running around finding receivers who had long since completed their route.  This strategy won’t work against the Jaguars, but they still have Darren McFadden who will find success like all running backs do against the Jaguars.  This game is most lopsided on the other side of the ball.  Jacksonville has literally no offense to speak of.  Blaine Gabbert will not be playing this week, instead backup Chad Henne will get the nod, which is addition by subtraction as far as we are concerned.  Without anybody to throw to, it doesn’t really matter who the Jaguars quarterback is.  The Raiders won’t win very many games this season, but we really like their chances in this contest between the two most inept offenses in the league.  If this game were played at the end of the season, when Darren McFadden is inevitably hurt, we would give the nod to Jacksonville based on defense alone, but with McFadden the Raiders have one more playmaker than Jacksonville, and all they will need is one big play to win this one.

Jaguars at Raiders Free NFL Pick: Raiders -5.5 and under 39
Jaguars at Raiders Score Prediction: 24-13 Raiders
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: You’d have to have a fantasy player in this game to turn it on.  These two teams won’t win five games between the two of them.  Terelle Pryor had a little success in week one, but it won’t hold up long term.  Jacksonville will contain the Raiders passing game, but McFadden will bust a big play or two.  The Raiders defense will have a field day with the Jacksonville offense.  Maurice Jones-Drew can see the writing on the wall and is starting to lose his will to try in a Jacksonville uniform and won’t break out here.


Denver Broncos at New York Giants

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 4:25pm on CBS
Game Line: Denver Broncos -4.5 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 55
Preview: The annual “Manning Bowl” pits the two brothers against one another, but they are coming into this game after two very different performances in week one.  Peyton threw for an NFL record tying seven touchdowns and looked unstoppable against the Ravens defense.  Eli really struggled in Dallas, throwing 3 interceptions and turning the ball over six times as a team.  With that being said, he showed the intestinal fortitude he has been known for, leading his team back in the second half and almost pulling the come from behind victory.  Before the season started this game was a pick, and we aren’t buying the 5.5 points of over reaction by lines makers.  The Giants haven’t been 5.5 point home dogs in years, and they shouldn’t be here.  David Wilson won’t turn the ball over twice, Eli will play under control and they will keep Peyton off the field as much as possible.  Denver is still pretty one dimensional and the Giants defensive line is much better at getting to the QB than stopping the run.  This is a classic over reaction line and we will risk looking foolish and roll with the home dog.

Broncos at Giants Free NFL Pick: Giants +5.5 and over 55
Broncos at Giants Score Prediction: 38-34 Broncos
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: Neither quarterback will be stopped by the opposing teams mediocre secondary.  We might see 10 passing touchdowns and 900 passing yards in this game.  The Broncos will be a much stronger team when they get Bailey, Dumerville and Von Miller back but until then there’s no reason Victor Cruz and Hakim Nix won’t have a strong showing.  The Giants will get up for this game at home, like they always do for big games, and stay within the number.


San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Date and Time: Sunday 9/15/13 at 8:35pm on NBC
Game Line: Seattle Seahawks -2.5 (from 5Dimes)
Over/Under: 44

Preview: The two best looking teams in week one were Denver and San Francisco.  They scored almost at will against Green Bay and did it in a variety of ways.  The combination of Frank Gore pounding the ball, Vernon Davis in the redzone and newly acquired Anquan Boldin catching deep balls makes them an offense to fear this season.  They are the most complete team in the league right now top to bottom.  Seattle looked rusty in a low scoring, grind it out win against Carolina, but they have the playmakers to compete here, especially at home.  They torched the 49ers at home last season and I am sure San Fran has been waiting to get another chance to play in the biggest home field advantage in the NFL.  If Seattle is going to win this game it’s going to be in the trenches.  Their offensive line was manhandled by Carolina and the 49ers defensive front is a whole different animal.  While this is one of the most intriguing games to watch this weekend, it is one of the hardest to predict.  On paper San Francisco looks like the better team, but Seattle always finds a way to play better at home and they love to get inspired by that home crowd.  From a betting perspective, this game is nothing better than a coin-flip.  The biggest thing San Francisco has going for them is the motivation factor, attempting to avenge the spanking Seattle handed them at home last season.

49ers at Seahawks Free NFL Pick: 49ers +2.5 and over 44
49ers at Seahawks Score Prediction: 27-26 49ers
What to watch for in this week 2 NFL matchup: The winner in this game will be the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  While San Francisco had success getting to the ball to Boldin in week 1 against Green Bay, he will be shadowed by Richard Sherman, a shut down corner, and will have limited success.  Jim Harbaugh will have his team motivated and ready for the volume in Seattle.  They should use a heavy dose of Frank Gore and Vernon Davis to keep away from the Seattle secondary.  Seattle’s best offensive weapon is their ability to score any way possible but San Francisco’s defense can stop teams in any way possible as well.  This will assuredly be the NFL’s game of the week.

Davis Wagner has been a long time contributer at the Handicapping community and is a major assett to our establishment. He is solid handicapper and has a keen understanding value sports betting. Davis has been avidly posting on the Cappersinfo forums for almost a decade and is one of the most tenured members of this community. Davis is a major contributor and it's safe to say this sit wouldn't be where it is today without him.

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