Picking the winners of NFL football games isn’t as easy as it seems.
At 3-7 through two weeks, Team NESN is off to a slow start in this season’s NFL SuperContest, which is the obvious bad news. But we’re choosing to take a positive look at things, and harp on the fact that we actually improved from Week 1 to Week 2 — by picking two winners instead of one.
At this rate, we’ll be throwing out perfect weeks by Week 5.
NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle are representing Team NESN this season, with help from our friends at Team OddsShark, and they’re looking for even more improvement after a 2-3 showing in Week 2 of the sports gambling world’s premier football prediction contest.
If they’re able to improve again this week, that should shoot them up the OddsShark standings, which can’t come a moment too soon. Here are Team NESN’s picks.
Denver Broncos (+3.5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
The Bengals haven’t hit their stride on offense yet, except when they’re throwing the ball to A.J. Green. But the vaunted Denver secondary could neutralize Green and frustrate the Cincinnati offense. If that happens, we feel great about getting more than a field goal here.
New York Giants (-4.5) vs. Washington Redskins, 1 p.m.
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
It’s hard to know what you’re getting from the Giants, who looked great in Week 1 before struggling to dispatch the Saints last week. The Redskins, on the other hand, are a hot mess. They’re in the bottom third in just about every defensive category and are especially miserable on third down, making for a potentially disastrous matchup against a Giants team in the top 10 on offensive third-down percentage.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
OK, so this is where the Carson Wentz hype train ends, at least for now, right? The Eagles are 2-0, and you can’t take that away from them, but their two wins came against arguably the worst teams in football — Cleveland and Chicago. We’re skeptical about whether Philly can hang with its in-state rival.
New York Jets (+3.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
The Jets have done two things really well this season: run the football and get after the passer. Conversely, K.C. has struggled against the run (allowing 126 yards per game) and protecting quarterback Alex Smith, who’s already been sacked seven times and hit 15 times.
San Diego Chargers (+3.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
We’re weary of overreaction after the Chargers punked the Jaguars and the Broncos leveled the Colts, but we like the matchup here in a game of two banged-up clubs. The Colts can’t stop the run, which might be bad given Melvin Gordon’s two-week breakout, and if the Colts’ best secondary players remain on the sideline with injuries, Philip Rivers has the ability to pick them apart, even if he had Mike and Ricky on the outside.
Thumbnail photo via Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images