The picks cooled off a bit last week, but I did go 8-7 against the spread and 10-5 straight up. That brings my season record against the spread to 37-25-1 and 43-19-1 straight up.

That’s a good quarter to open the season.

Now it gets interesting.

As we move to the second quarter, you have to wonder if defenses will start to show up. The offenses have been dominant so far, and, to be honest, I don’t see that changing much in the coming week. They aren’t calling holding, the tackling is bad and the defenses are at a disadvantage without many fans — all leading to a a lot of points being scored.  

So let’s ready for the second quarter of the season and hope it’s just as good as the first for me picking games. Anytime I can be over .500 ATS, it’s a reason to celebrate. 

All odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4.5) at Chicago Bears

Playing on a short week on the road is always tough, but Tampa Bay should be ready for it. The Bears aren’t good on offense, even with Nick Foles now at quarterback, and Tampa Bay should be able to limit them. The Bucs have some injury issues on offense, but they will do enough to win this one. 

Pick: Bucs 28, Bears 20

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Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) at Washington Football Team

This is the third trip east for the Rams, which is never easy. The good news is they play a Washington team that isn’t very good and struggles on offense. Look for the Rams offense to get back on track after a so-so game last week and win this one easily. 

Pick: Rams 28, Washington Football Team 10

Buffalo Bills (-1) at Tennessee Titans 

This is a second straight road game for the Bills, which is always a challenge. The Titans are essentially coming off their bye after the COVID-19 postponement of their game last week. I think the Bills are rolling on offense and the Titans have defensive issues. That plays out as Josh Allen keeps it rolling. 

Pick: Bills 30, Titans 27

Philadelphia Eagles (-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Eagles got their first victory on the road last week, but that was against a decimated 49ers team. This Steelers team didn’t play last week, so they are rested. Look for the Steelers defense to limit Carson Wentz as the Steelers stay undefeated. 

Pick: Steelers 31, Eagles 21

Arizona Cardinals (-7) at New York Jets

The Cardinals are playing consecutive road games on the on the opposite coast, which is tough to do. Unless it’s against the Jets. The Jets are awful and Arizona lost a game they shouldn’t have last week in Carolina. They get back on track here. The Jets stay winless. 

Pick: Cardinals 31, Jets 20

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5) 

The Chiefs are playing on a short week, but the offense didn’t look good Monday night against the Patriots. It will here. The Raiders have defensive issues, so look for Patrick Mahomes to get back on track in a big way. The Raiders won’t keep up. 

Pick: Chiefs 36, Raiders 19

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6)

The Texans fired coach Bill O’Brien this week, so does that give them some life? Romeo Crennel takes over as interim coach. The Jaguars are a mess on defense, so this looks like a game for Deshaun Watson to get it right. I think he lights up Jacksonville. Blowout. 

Pick: Texans 36, Jaguars 24

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-13)

This will be Joe Burrow against that attacking, blitzing defense of the Ravens. He’s been good so far, but can he and his line hold up here? I don’t think they can. Lamar Jackson will have a field day against the Bengals defense. This won’t be pretty. 

Pick: Ravens 37, Bengals 21

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)

The Falcons season is on the line here after the 0-4 start. They are so banged up on defense that it’s hard to imagine them beating anybody. But I think they play like their season is on the line and pull out a division game to get their first victory. The offense clicks.

Pick: Falcons 30, Panthers 23

Miami Dolphins (+8) at San Francisco 49ers

This is a long trip for Miami against a beat-up 49ers team. San Francisco might have Jimmy Garoppolo back in this one. That will be good enough to get a victory they have to have. Miami won’t keep up with Ryan Fitzpatrick this week, but they will hang around. 

Pick: 49ers 28, Dolphins 23

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-9.5)

Is this the week the Cowboys get it going. They have the perfect tonic in a Giants team that hasn’t won yet and is playing out on the road for a second straight week. The Cowboys offense has been good, but the defense is a disaster. I think they pick it up here after being called out all week. It’s a big number, but I will lay it. 

Pick: Cowboys 35, Giants 20

Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) at Cleveland Browns 

This is one of the better games of the week. The Colts defense has played well so far, but this will be the toughest challenge they have faced. I think the Browns running game without Nick Chubb will be fine with Kareem Hunt. Even so, I think the Colts come into Cleveland and beat the Browns with their defense getting it done. 

Pick: Colts 21, Browns 17

Denver Broncos (+11.5) at New England Patriots

The Patriots could have Cam Newton back here, which would be huge. The quarterbacks weren’t good in the loss to the Chiefs without him. Denver won at the Jets last Thursday, but struggled to do so. They will struggle here as well — no matter who plays quarterback for the Patriots. 

Pick: Patriots 30, Broncos 20

Minnesota Vikings (+7) at Seattle Seahawks

The Vikings salvaged their season for the time being by beating the Texans on the road. This Seattle offense is much better than that one and Russell Wilson will have big day against the Minnesota defense. But Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook will keep up against a bad Seattle defense. It will be tight.

Pick: Seahawks 31, Vikings 27

Los Angeles Chargers (+7.5) at New Orleans Saints 

Justin Herbert has impressed in his first three games. He almost helped the Chargers pull off an upset in Tampa last week. Now he has to play back out on the road this week. The Saints came alive on offense against the Lions last week, and the Chargers were shredded by Tom Brady in their game. This will be high-scoring, with the Saints winning a tight one. 

Pick: Saints 33, Chargers 31 

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