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Greg Cote's Week 2 NFL picks

Greg Cote, Miami Herald on

Published in Football

Rams (1-0, -3 1/2) over @Colts (0-1), 27-20: Indy tempts here as a home dog ... but did last week, too, and fizzled against Seattle. I’m not a slave to trends but that was Colts’ eighth consecutive loss straight-up as an underdog, and Rams are thinking Super Bowl with a top-tier defense and now Matthew Stafford.

Patriots (0-1, -6) over @Jets (0-1), 23-10: Rookie QBs Mac Jones and Zach Wilson give a fresh feel to an AFC East rivalry that sees Pats on a 10-game winning streak. New England got unlucky losing to Miami in opener and will be in bounce-back-big mode. Jets’ Wilson got sacked six times by Carolina last week and now will be missing injured left tackle Mekhi Becton. Ouch.

@Eagles (1-0, +3) over 49ers (1-0), 31-28: Home ‘dog upset! (“Aawwk!”) Niners nearly blew it against Detroit last week while Phils were thumping Atlanta impressively. Now Frans have lost RB Raheem Mostert and top CB Jason Verrett to injury as they try to figure out how to work in in Trey Lance for Jimmy Garoppolo. Birds on an 8-1 series run and solid hunch-play in home opener.

@Steelers (1-0, -5 1/2) over Raiders (1-0), 24-16: Pittsburgh off a really big win over Buffalo and opening at home is a tall ask of a Vegas squad on a short week after winning in OT on Monday night. Big Ben and that defense are not to be dismissed even as the AFC North hype funnels to just about everybody else.

@Panthers (1-0, +3) over Saints (1-0), 23-21: Home dog upset! (“Aawwk!”) Jameis Winston tossed five TDs in upset of Green Bay last week and Sam Darnold looked really good, too. Somebody gonna regress to the mean here with a couple of turnovers. Saints travel party is missing eight members due to COVID-19 including most of the offensive coaching staff. Panthers on an 8-2 run covering as dogs.

Broncos (1-0, -6) over @Jaguars (0-1), 24-13: It’s home opener of the Urban Meyer/Trevor Lawrence era, but hardly an ideal setting. Lawrence is coming off a three-pick debut, and Urban spent the week denying he would be bolting for the Southern Cal job. Jax’s defense gave up 37 points to a bad Houston team last week. Now Denver’s pass rush won’t make things any easier for Lawrence.

 

@Cardinals (1-0, -3 1/2) over Vikings (0-1), 34-31: Minnesota let one slip to Cincy in OT last week, while Arizona impressed against Tennessee in making a road upset not seem like one. Vikes have beaten Cacti in five of past six meetings. Like Zona in its home opener but hunch Purples keep this one close so we’ll saddle up that extra half point on the bet line.

@Buccaneers (1-0, -12 1/2) over Falcons (0-1), 34-23: Will this game cause Matt Ryan to flash back to the 2015 Super Bowl and watching Tom Brady erase a huge deficit to beat his Falcons? Even if not, Tampa and Brady at home with extra rest is a mountain to scale. Brady swept Ryan last year but Falcs had won previous four trips to Tampa. Crazy hunch ATL covers.

@Seahawks (1-0, -5 1/2) over Titans (0-1), 28-24: Pete Carroll turned 70 this week, only the fourth NFL head coach ever to that milestone. Russell Wilson is keeping him young. Seattle in its home opener makes for a tough visit, but I see Tennessee bouncing back from last week’s disappointing opener to at least keep it within the bet line.

@Packers (0-1, -11) over Lions (0-1), 30-21: Pack’s Lambeau debut feels like Monday night medicine for Aaron Rodgers and company. Gee Bees are on a 14-2 run at home and also have won 17 of past 20 at home vs. division rival Detroit. But Lions on a 7-1 run against the spread vs. Pack and 11 is a bunch to give. See a comfy home win, but not a rout.

[Note: Betting lines are courtesy Caesars Sportsbook as of midday Thursday] .

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