So you think this is easy? Here’s what Pro Picks was up against on opening weekend: road teams going 9-7, nine teams trailing in the fourth quarter before winning.
We’ll take our 13-3 straight up, not publicize barely breaking .500 against the spread, and look to Thursday night’s Jets vs. Rex, Part 3.
Rex Ryan’s current club, the Bills, swept his former team, the Jets, in 2015, including keeping New York from making the playoffs with a victory in the season finale.
“I think when you put everything you had into a place, and then you leave it, it was more emotional,” Ryan said of being fired after the 2014 season, then landing immediately in Western New York.
“But now it’s been a year away, and I’m firmly, well, firmly, maybe some people don’t think I’m firmly situated here. But I feel that I’m firmly grounded here, and this is my new team and my new home in Buffalo. All the other stuff I think is not in play as much as it probably was last year.”
While Buffalo’s offense was invisible in a 13-7 defeat at Baltimore, New York fell 23-22 to Cincinnati in part because its always-reliable placekicker, Nick Folk, missed a field goal and, for the first time in his nine-plus NFL seasons, an extra point.
The Jets (No. 16 in AP Pro32) are 3-point underdogs at Buffalo (No. 25). That’s the value of a Folk field goal. He’ll actually make more than one — and all his extra points
KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP
We’re not very prescient when it comes to these picks, as our choice of the Chiefs last week showed. But they survived in overtime, which leads us to selecting CAROLINA this week.
No. 27 Atlanta (plus 4 1-2) at No. 12 Oakland
Jack Del Rio won’t need to go for the 2-point conversion to win at the end of this one.
BEST BET: RAIDERS, 30-21
No. 9 Kansas City (plus 2) at No. 11 Houston
KC nearly burned us in knockout pool last week. We didn’t learn.
UPSET SPECIAL: CHIEFS, 24-23
No. 22 (tie) Indianapolis (plus 6) at No. 2 Denver
Tempting to make this the best bet.
No. 4 Green Bay (minus 2 1-2) at No. 10 Minnesota
New stadium, but Vikings need some old-fashioned Adrian Peterson, which wasn’t there vs. Titans.
No. 26 San Francisco (plus 13) at No. 5 Carolina
A huge spread, but Niners come off Monday nighter for cross-country journey.
No. 20 Miami (plus 6 1-2) at No. 1 New England
Dolphins will give Patriots a good test.
No. 6 (tie) Seattle (minus 3 1-2) at No. 31 Los Angeles
If the Rams play in their return to L.A. like they did at the 49ers, SoCal might boot them back to St. Louis.
No. 24 Dallas (plus 3) at No. 21 Washington
If the Redskins play in their second home game like they did vs. Pittsburgh …
No. 15 Tampa Bay (plus 6 1-2) at No. 8 Arizona
After winning at Atlanta, the Bucs could make a real statement here.
No. 6 Cincinnati (plus 3 1-2) at No. 3 Pittsburgh
Both teams are 1-0 despite being short-handed. Both have plenty left.
No. 19 Philadelphia (plus 3) at No. 30 Chicago, Monday night
These aren’t the Browns that Philly is facing.
No. 22 (tie) New Orleans (plus 5) at No. 14 New York Giants
Drew Brees will pile up more yards, TDs, points — and another loss.
No. 29 Tennessee (plus 6) at No. 17 Detroit
Titans showed little at home against Minnesota. Lions showed plenty at Indy.
No. 13 (tie) Baltimore (minus 6 1-2) at No. 32 Cleveland
Ravens used to call Cleveland home. It will feel comfy Sunday.
No. 18 Jacksonville (plus 3) at No. 28 San Diego
Each team performed decently in opening defeat.
2016 RECORD: Against spread (8-7-1). Straight up:(13-3)
Best Bet: 0-1 against spread, 1-0 straight up.
Upset special: 1-0 against spread, 1-0 straight up.