It was a fantastic week if you only counted the early and late Sunday games during which we went 9-3. Unfortunately, the Wednesday, Sunday and Monday night games count, too. This week, we took a lot of dogs, but that's to be expected given that there's still so much uncertainty.
Our best bets are the Seahawks, 49ers and Falcons.
Bears +6 at Packers
Normally, I'd buy low on the Packers and sell high on the Bears, but I suspect the public still thinks Green Bay will flex its muscles this week. And they might. But I'm not giving them credit for last year's performance until I see it. The Bears are stout on both sides of the ball, and they usually play the Packers tough. Six points should be enough in a tight game. Back the Bears.
Packers 24 - 23
Buccaneers +9 at Giants
The Giants under Tom Coughlin are 36-22 in the underdog role, but only 25-27 as a three-plus-point favorites (h/t Scott Pianowski for the link and data). While cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Michael Coe are likely to play, New York still has weaknesses on the offensive line and depth issues at defensive tackle. I think the Bucs win the battle of the trenches and move the ball, forcing Eli and the wideouts to win the game. Which they will, but not by nine. Back the Bucs.
Giants 24 - 20
Saints -2 at Panthers
This is similar to the Packers-Bears game in that normally I'd bet on the Saints after they lost, but as was the case with the Packers, the public still believes in last year's juggernaut. Moreover, the Saints aren't the same team outside the dome, assuming they're even the same team at all. Back the Panthers.
Panthers 26 - 24
Cardinals +14 at Patriots
These double-digit spreads are coin flips in my opinion, and this one is no different. The Pats could win by 60, or the Cards could backdoor the cover. When in doubt, I usually take the points, especially early in the year. Back Arizona.
Patriots 27 - 16
Vikings -1 at Colts
The Vikings were a nice story last week, tying the game on a 55-yard field goal and getting Adrian Peterson back apparently at full strength. But I'm not ready to lay points on the road with them just yet. Back the Colts.
Colts 21 - 20
Ravens +1.5 at Eagles
The Ravens looked awfully impressive at home Monday night dismantling the Bengals, while the Eagles barely survived a game against the hapless Browns. As a result this line is only 1.5 instead of three and presents a buying opportunity. Back Philly.
Eagles 27 - 21
Chiefs +3.5 at Bills
Two teams coming off disappointing Week 1 showings. The Bills defense was supposed to be better, while the Chiefs might be missing Brandon Flowers again this week. Still, these strike me as roughly equal teams until we discover otherwise, and I'll take the half-point hook. Back Kansas City.
Bills 19 - 16
Browns +7 at Bengals
Normally, we'd buy the Browns low off their ugly showing, but despite the wider margin of defeat, the Bengals looked like the far better team. Back Cincy at home.
Bengals 23 - 6
Texans -8.5 at Jaguars
The Texans were actually struggling with the Dolphins at home before Ryan Tannehill turned the ball over a few times, and I don't like laying more than a touchdown in Jacksonville against a seemingly improved Blaine Gabbert. Back the Jaguars.
Texans 20 - 16
Raiders -1.5 at Dolphins
Carson Palmer played decently despite a disastrous showing by his offensive line, while the Dolphins played decently despite the disastrous showing by their quarterback. We're on the fence about this one, but think we'll fade Ryan Tannehill one more time. Back the Raiders.
Raiders 24 - 17`
Cowboys -3 at Seahawks
The Cowboys looked good against the Giants on opening night, but New York's secondary was in shambles, and its offensive line was at less than full strength. The Seahawks laid an egg in Arizona last week, but they're a much tougher team at home, and now Russell Wilson has a game under his belt. Back Seattle who wins outright.
Seahawks 20 - 17
Redskins -3 at Rams
RGIII looked great in New Orleans, but he and the Redskins are a sell-high against a Rams team that showed up in Detroit last week. Back St. Louis.
Redskins 20 - 19
Jets +6 at Steelers
Damon and I both had a Steelers feeling, but it's crazy to lay six against that elite pass defense, especially with James Harrison questionable. Back the Jets.
Steelers 17 - 16
Titans +6 at Chargers
It's hard to know what to make of either team given that the Patriots were so polished and the Raiders were such a joke. I still trust Philip Rivers, but the Chargers have been so Jekyll and Hyde the last couple years, we're taking the points. Back the Titans who get Kenny Britt back.
Titans 27 - 24
Lions +7 at 49ers
The Niners strike us as the obvious play, and perhaps the Lions are a good buy-low after a near-loss to the Rams at home. But San Francisco not only has the far better defense, but a quarterback who takes care of the ball and some new weapons of its own on offense. Back the 49ers who roll.
49ers 33 - 16
Broncos +3 at Falcons
As much as I think Vanilla Ice has been overrated since he set foot in the league, the Falcons are far better at home, and the stock to sell even higher is the Peyton Manning-led Broncos. Back the Falcons in the Georgia Dome on Monday night.
Falcons 34 - 27
We were 9-7 last week and 124-125-7 last year. From 1999-2011 we've gone 1,689-1,512 (52.8%), not including ties.