I’m off to an early lead.
In Week One, MDS and I disagreed on four games. I went 3-1. That’s an early two game lead.
This week, we differ on five of the 16 games.
I went 9-6-1. He was 7-8-1. Against the spread, I went 7-9. MDS was 4-12.
Scroll through this week’s picks. And if you’re betting against the spread, do the opposite of what we recommend.
Chargers (+4) at Chiefs
MDS’s take: The Chiefs were my preseason pick to win the Super Bowl, and nothing I saw in Week One changed my mind.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Chargers 17.
Florio’s take: The Chargers are good. The Chiefs are better. And the Chiefs are extra motivated. While L.A. may not blitz quarterback Patrick Mahomes nearly as much as the Cardinals did (54 percent of drop backs), Mahomes and the Chiefs are ready to run the offense to perfection.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 31, Chargers 20.
Jets (+6) at Browns
MDS’s take: The Browns are poised to start 2-0 for the first time since 1993, and they’ll do it against a Jets team that looks like it’s heading for a disastrous season.
MDS’s pick: Browns 27, Jets 17.
Florio’s take: The Brownie the Elf logo is good for 10 points on its own. It also helps to have a great running game and a suffocating defense. The Browns just need to be able to close teams out in the second half.
Florio’s pick: Browns 24, Jets 10.
Commanders (+2) at Lions
MDS’s take: The Lions are favored for the first time in more than a year, but I like Carson Wentz to outplay Jared Goff and the Commanders to pull the road upset.
MDS’s pick: Commanders 21, Lions 20.
Florio’s take: The top two picks from 2016 get together, with the first pick on his second team and the second on his third. This is a toss up at best. Given that the Lions don’t have many obvious opportunities to win this season, I’ll take them in a close one.
Florio’s pick: Lions 23, Commanders 20.
Buccaneers (-3) at Saints
MDS’s take: The Buccaneers’ defense looked outstanding in the opener against the Cowboys, and I think they’ll largely shut down Jameis Winston on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Saints 10.
Florio’s take: I keep picking the Bucs in this series, and they keep losing. The Saints seemingly have figured out how to slow down the Byron Leftwich offense. With five Tampa Bay receivers injured, that task becomes even easier.
Florio’s pick: Saints 27, Bucs 21.
Panthers (+2.5) at Giants
MDS’s take: Can the Giants really start this season 2-0? I don’t think so. Baker Mayfield and the Panthers pull the upset.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 27, Giants 17.
Florio’s take: Ben McAdoo revenge game! That won’t be enough, not with running back Saquon Barkley back to his 2018 form.
Florio’s pick: Giants 24, Panthers 20.
Patriots (-1.5) at Steelers
MDS’s take: The Patriots’ Matt Patricia/Joe Judge-led offense looks terrible, and the Steelers’ defense looks great. T.J. Watt‘s injury hurts, but I still see the Steelers pulling off a home upset.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 19, Patriots 16.
Florio’s take: Maybe Bill Belichick will accidentally text Brian Daboll congratulations after the Steelers, Mike Tomlin, and Brian Flores shut down the Patriots.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 20, Patriots 13.
Colts (-4) at Jaguars
MDS’s take: The Colts have had bad luck in Jacksonville historically, but this time I like them to shut down Trevor Lawrence and earn a low-scoring win.
MDS’s pick: Colts 17, Jaguars 14.
Florio’s take: If the Colts blow this one, Jim Irsay may fire Frank Reich in the locker room.
Florio’s pick: Colts 24, Jaguars 17.
Dolphins (+3.5) at Ravens
MDS’s take: Both teams looked good in Week One, but I’m more sold on Lamar Jackson having a big year than I am on Tua Tagovailoa. I like the Ravens to win this one comfortably.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Dolphins 14.
Florio’s take: Last year, the Dolphins flummoxed the Ravens offense by crowding the line. The Ravens will be ready for it this time.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Dolphins 20.
Falcons (+10.5) at Rams
MDS’s take: The Rams got this season off to an ugly start, and I have serious doubts about whether they can repeat as Super Bowl champions, but I’ll pick them to win against a Falcons team that collapsed in Week One.
MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Falcons 20.
Florio’s take: The Rams may have more work to do to get back to what they were a year ago, but they’ll be ready in Week Two to reverse the perception that they’ve fallen and can’t get up.
Florio’s pick: Rams 34, Falcons 20.
Seahawks (+10) at 49ers
MDS’s take: I think the 49ers are better than they looked on Sunday and the Seahawks are worse than they looked on Monday. A correction is due.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 24, Seahawks 17.
Florio’s take: Sometimes, I wonder about the sanity and sobriety of those who set the lines. (Those who set the lines routinely wonder about the sanity and sobriety of me, when picking games.) The Seahawks typically do well against the 49ers, and Trey Lance continues to be a huge question mark.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 20, 49ers 17.
Bengals (-7.5) at Cowboys
MDS’s take: Tough to see the Cowboys winning many games with Cooper Rush at quarterback. The Bengals should cruise to an easy win after a frustrating Week One loss.
MDS’s pick: Bengals 30, Cowboys 13.
Florio’s take: This one could be even worse than a 17-point margin. The best chance for Dallas comes from Micah Parsons harassing Joe Burrow even more than Aaron Donald did in the Super Bowl.
Florio’s pick: Bengals 30, Cowboys 13.
Texans (+10) at Broncos
MDS’s take: The Broncos’ Week One loss wasn’t as bad as it might seem. They’re not going to have the kind of bad luck they had on Monday night, when they lost two fumbles on the 1-yard line. They should beat the Texans easily.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, Texans 10.
Florio’s take: The Broncos have plenty of work to do, including getting the plays in faster. But they should be able to hold serve at home — even if Houston keeps it fairly close. If, however, Nathaniel Hackett loses to the Texans, he’ll have to deal with some angry Arkansans.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 20, Texans 13.
Cardinals (+5.5) at Raiders
MDS’s take: The Cardinals looked awful in Week One, and coach Kliff Kingsbury didn’t help matters afterward by criticizing the team’s practice habits. It’s easy to see this thing going south in a hurry.
MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Cardinals 21.
Florio’s take: The Cardinals may be on the verge of a calamity this year. After starting 10-2 last year, 0-2 is coming this year.
Florio’s pick: Raiders 34, Cardinals 21.
Bears (+10) at Packers
MDS’s take: The Packers will bounce back from an ugly Week One, just as they did last year.
MDS’s pick: Packers 27, Bears 20.
Florio’s take: There’s cause for concern in Green Bay. They should be good enough to handle a Bears team that got the ultimate talent equalizer last week in the form of a Noah-worthy rain event.
Florio’s pick: Packers 31, Bears 17.
Titans (+10) at Bills
MDS’s take: The Titans aren’t as bad as they looked in Week One and the Bills aren’t as unstoppable as they looked in Week One. The Bills will win, but closer than people think.
MDS’s pick: Bills 28, Titans 24.
Florio’s take: The Buffalo Bills are the Blues Brothers. They’re on a mission from God.
Florio’s pick: Bills 38, Titans 24.
Vikings (+2) at Eagles
MDS’s take: Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown looked like the two best receivers in football in Week One, and I think they’ll both have big games in Week Two. A late Jefferson touchdown wins it for the road team.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 28, Eagles 21.
Florio’s take: The Vikings are improved, but beating Philly in their home opener is too much to expect this early in the season.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Vikings 21.