It's Week 2 of the NFL season, and therefore Week 2 of the Westgate SuperContest.
I went 3-2 in the opening week, thanks partially to the Giants winning but not covering the hook in "one and a hook." Gah. The other loss was Washington on Monday Night Football, which was an every-phase-of-the-game disaster for the home team.
We lick our wounds, we soldier on, we go again.
Detroit Lions (-6) over Tennessee Titans
The Titans almost beat a completely punchless Minnesota Vikings team in Week 1, only losing because they surrendered tow defensive touchdowns. The Lions, even without DeAndre Levy, are aggressive and athletic enough to wreak similar havoc in the Titans backfield. Even if the Titans are able to connect on a few deep passes against the Lions' suspect back seven, the Lions scored a league-high 39 points in Week 1; they're sure to do better than the four lousy field goals the Vikings put up (especially at home).
Also, this is a homer pick.
Houston Texans (+3) over Kansas City Chiefs
I like the Chiefs! I like the Chiefs a lot. I have been driving the Chiefs bus for quite a while now. But the Texans offense was impressive in Week 1, and the Chiefs' total lack of pass rush will be a major liability. I was pretty sure I was going to pick the Texans here even before the Chiefs' injury report surprisingly included a lot of important dudes.
San Francisco 49ers (+13.5) over Carolina Panthers
Lost in all the hullabaloo over how brutally terrible the Los Angeles Rams looked on offense, was how good the 49ers looked on defense. Given what Trevor Siemian was able to do to Carolina's inexperienced secondary, it's hard to believe the 49ers won't score at least a little--and blowing people out has never been Carolina's thing, even when they've got a decided upper hand.
No matter how the game goes, just don't see the Panthers covering this big a number.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7) over Arizona Cardinals
Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels deserve all the credit in the world for an incredible offensive gameplan against the Cardinals in Week 1. But Jameis Winston is blossoming into a special quarterback, and he's got far more dangerous weapons than Jimmy Garoppolo had in Week 1.
I fully expect the Cardinals to answer the Week 1 wake-up call and be much stouter in Week 1, but I don't see them holding a two-score lead through the end of the game. Even if Carson Palmer and company are up by more than seven in the fourth quarter, I expect Jameis and company will tighten it up by the end.
Green Bay Packers (-2.5) over Minnesota Vikings
It's risky to pick a road favorite when the home team is opening up a brand-new billion-dollar football palace (I mean, did you see this crazy faux-Viking faux-ship?!). But the Vikings are decimated with injuries, and will either be starting totally ineffective Shaun Hill, or bewildered new starter Sam Bradford, and even the Vikings might not know who it'll be until game time.
Can't see them losing to the Packers by any less than a field goal, let alone winning.