We are back on the picks again. We went a modest 3-3 that included a heartbreaking last minute field goal by LSU rookie Cade York for Cleveland. We had some duds betting the Cardinals and Cowboys. A really interesting Week 1.
This week is overreaction week. We really have to trust our preseason guts, when lines are swaying like the winds in a hurricane. There aren't many spots I personally love this week. I will preview some of the feature games of this weekend and tell you who I would bet on.
Here are my plays and lessons, with the picks presented by our presenting sponsor Betfred Sportsbook!
Washington at Detroit
Spread: Detroit (-1.5)
It’s been 24 games and nearly three years since Detroit has opened up as a favorite. Yet here we are. The oddsmakers give a lot of respect to Dan Campbell’s Lions. Detroit is 12-6 against the spread in their last 18 games.
This is an absolute banger of a spot to back them.
The public does not like this team, but the sharps do. Detroit’s offensive line is elite. They showed that in their second half assault against Philly where they allowed an adjusted sack rate of just 4.9 percent. Jared Goff doesn’t scare anyone. But this Washington defense is bad. They gave up over 6.5 yards per play against Jacksonville. That’s bad.
My main reasoning is backing Detroit's O-Line to hold up against Washington’s pass rush on the other side. Detroit has weapons to exploit the Washington secondary. While Washington improved their weapons, I just don’t trust the passing game with Wentz at the helm. Give me Detroit in this one.
The Pick: Detroit (-1.5)
New England at Pittsburgh
Spread: New England (-2)
This is a situation where we leverage overreaction from Week 1. On the positive end, Pittsburgh upset the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals on the road as a 6.5 point favorite.
Yet despite the huge victory, Pittsburgh did not look impressive. The offense averaged 4.4 yards per play, QB Mitch Trubisky completed 21 of 38 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown and struggled to move the ball. Pittsburgh minimally capitalized on four Bengals turnovers. They needed multiple missed field goals in overtime to secure the win.
On the other side, New England looked plain horrible. The offense turned the ball over three times in the first half and the defense struggled to get stops. They were playing in a bad spot playing in the blazing Miami heat in early September.
I expect major improvement from New England in this one. The Patriots haven’t started 0-2 in two decades. Why should it start now? Bill Belichick has owned the head to head matchup with Mike Tomlin. The Pats defense feast on young limited quarterbacks. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a sufficient run game to carry them. Pittsburgh is missing their team MVP TJ Watt. I’m betting on the coaching difference and the market over correction. Give me the Pats.
The Pick: New England (-2)
Cincinnati at Dallas
Spread: Cincinnati (-7)
Before the season, this game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys could have been deemed a Super Bowl preview. Circumstances have changed, and both teams enter the contest 0-1, although the Cowboys' future is much bleaker with the loss of quarterback Dak Prescott for an extended period. It seems at this point, the coaching staff in Dallas is game planning for their jobs.
I’m not ditching the Cowboys just yet. Remember Cooper Rush won a big game on the road against Minnesota on Sunday night football last season. This Dallas defense is for real. They got washed 19-3, but the defense ranked in the top five in DVOA. This Cincy offensive line worries me. Joe Burrow threw four interceptions but he was pressured on over 40 percent of his drop backs. This Dallas defense can bring the pressure.
Also, isn’t there always a drop off for the Super Bowl loser? I don’t expect Dallas to win, but the score should be somewhat respectable. Expect a low scoring game where Cincy squeaks out a 17-13 win.
The Pick: Dallas (+7)
Tennessee at Buffalo
Spread: Buffalo (-10)
Buffalo looked the part as the Super Bowl favorites after slaughtering the Rams on the night they hung their championship banner. The Bills remain the No. 1 team in my power rankings. Tennessee is nowhere near the Top 10.
Which will make your head turn - I’m taking Tennessee here.
It’s all about market over reactions.
Tennessee lost to the dismal Giants at home. They couldn’t move the ball in the second half and Saquon Barkley ran all over them.
So why Tennessee?
To start, Titans have reigning Coach of the Year in Mike Vrabel, who helped the Titans reach the playoffs even when they were one of the most injured teams in recent memory. If any coach is built to overcome a challenge, it’s Vrabel. Tennessee is 8-2 in Monday night games under Vrabel. In 28 games as an underdog of a field goal or more; the Titans are 19-9 SU and 20-8 ATS.
Schematically, the Titans have the recipe to keep this game close, running the football and chewing the clock. Buffalo allowed teams to run for 4.4 yards per attempt last season, the main weak point of the defense. Derrick Henry ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns during last year’s matchup. Tennessee runs a slow tempo and they can control the clock in this one. On the defensive side, they know how to get after the Quarterback. In the loss against the Giants.
Tennessee had five sacks, eight quarterback hits and two forced fumbles. They will need a similar effort against Buffalo.
The Pick: Tennessee (+10)
Follow Austin on Twitter - @AMontgomeryLive
For more on the entire Week 1 slate visit Betfredsports.com