NFL Confidence Pool Picks Week 2
What a crazy way to start the 2023 NFL season! We started and ended the week with upsets. In between those bookends, six other dogs won outright. If you're counting, favorites went 8-8 SU. Anytime almost half the league is upset, it proves for an exciting week. Sadly, the biggest preseason move of Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets ended quickly on a potentially career-ending injury on just the Jets' fourth play from scrimmage.
Unfortunately, that didn't translate well for our Week 1 picks. We went 9-7 overall, registering 59 points. Judging by the early lines, there are no double-digit favorites (the Bills are popping up as 10-point favorites against the Raiders in some books) as we had in Week 1. We have a great battle between an up-and-coming AFC power Jacksonville against the AFC king, Kansas City. We also have a battle of rookie QB's.
I could have been slightly more aggressive in picking some of the dogs, although that Chiefs loss came out of nowhere. I expect a bit of regression in the dogs, but I'll also be a bit braver.
From a gambling perspective, hitting the road was the way to go. Road teams went a stellar 12-4 ATS (75%). This hasn't happened in Week 1 since 2006. When bettors are a bit unsure about a matchup, they invariably take the favorite, the seemingly safer side. This tends to make dogs much more valuable.
Let's get down to it! Just to remind the veterans and inform any newcomers to the series, I list the point value with the game, so there is no confusion. All picks are straight up and do not involve the point spread, making these plays potential NFL Survivor Pools as well.
Doc's Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
16 points- Dallas over NY Jets: To be fair, I had already made this selection before Rodgers' injury. Dallas looked like the most complete team in their dismantling of the Giants.
15 points- Philadelphia over Minnesota (Thur. night): While the Eagles have plenty to work on, the "Link" is a tough place to try and get a road win. Minnesota's QB Kirk Cousins' trouble with playing in prime time is well documented and repeated here.
14 points- San Francisco over Los Angeles Rams: In addition to looking like a powerhouse in Pittsburgh on Sunday, the 49ers practically own Los Angeles, going 7-1 SU since the Rams moved to LA.
13 points- Buffalo over Las Vegas: Playing on a short week is slightly concerning, but Las Vegas traveling cross-country negates that. The Bills will be plenty mad after their OT loss to the Jets.
12 points- Tampa Bay over Chicago: I trust Tampa Bay's new QB Baker Mayfield much more than the 1-7 SU Bears led by Justin Fields. I think Tampa's going to gain a lot of momentum with that win in Minnesota.
11 points- New York Giants over Arizona: If New York's defense plays like it did on Sunday (holding Dallas to 265 yards), they'll have a start of a good road trip. If the offense does the same (171 total yards and 3 TOs), it'll be a disaster.
10 points- Miami over New England: Fresh off their thriller against the Chargers, Miami heads New England. History is most definitely against the Dolphins, going just 4-16 over the past decade. Miami is looking to start reducing that deficit.
9 points- Green Bay over Atlanta: Packers QB Jordan Love had 2 years sitting behind Rodgers. Looks like he was taking notes, with a QB Rating of 123.2, 245 yards and 3 TDs.
8 points- Pittsburgh over Cleveland: After being embarrassed by San Francisco, the Steelers find themselves home dogs to a team that has not beaten them in the Steel City in the last 10 years. Talk about disrespect! Pittsburgh will be motivated.
7 points- Kansas City over Jacksonville: One thing Andy Reid has done in Kansas City is win on the road. Over the last 20 games, the Chiefs are 15-5. This looks like it will be one of the marque matchups of the weekend.
6 points- Baltimore over Cincinnati: Maybe QB Joe Burrow's injury isn't fully healed, because when you go 14-31 for 82 yards something is wrong. Pop Warner QBs throw for more yardage. Each week, I think the Ravens offense is going to improve, once Lamar learns how to use his new toy (Odell Beckham Jr.).
5 points- Denver over Washington: The altitude must bother Washington, as they're just 1-6 SU in their last 7 visits to the Mile High City. That dates back to 1980, so it wasn't just one player or system.
4 points- New Orleans over Carolina: We look to fade rookie QBs as much as possible. Saints wide receiver Chris Olave probably hasn't been this happy with his QB since his Buckeye days.
3 points- Seattle over Detroit: We think that the Lions might have a bit of a letdown after their hard-fought victory of K.C. to kick off the 2023 NFL Season. Seattle's defense looks to make amends for a lackluster effort against the Rams.
2 points- LA Chargers over Tennessee: Nothing like a road trip to wash away a gut-wrenching defeat. Luckily for the Chargers, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill has seemed to have fallen in love with interceptions. He threw three of them against the Saints. LA's QB, Justin Herbert, threw none.
1 point- Houston over Indianapolis: My model has this being a tie, 15-15. What do you do when it's rookie QB vs. rookie QB? You go with the QB who has a former Pro Bowl running back to hand off to. In all reality, this crop of first-year QBs has looked pretty decent, which bodes well for the future of the NFL as a changing of the guard is starting to take place.
Season Results: 9-7, 59 points
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