LAS VEGAS – There is a theory that the SuperContest is often won by the player that can handle the roller coaster ride of a 17-week NFL season. You can’t get too high or too low after each week because you aren’t going to be perfect. You are going to have a rough patch, and you are going to have to survive it when it happens.

The harder I fall, the higher I bounce.

Reading quotes like that is how I’m keeping myself hopeful that I will be able to turn my start to the contest around – because it’s not pretty for me right now. I need wins and I didn’t get one on Thursday Night.

After a dreadful performance by the Bengals, a team that I was extremely confident would win and cover against a rookie QB making his first start on the road, I’m now 1-4-1. I should have known – the Bengals were 2-6 ATS in their last eight against Houston – but I didn’t think QB Andy Dalton would play horribly in back-to-back home games to start the year. Boy, was I wrong, and I submitted my picks early this week just so I could pick the Bengals to cover.

As Dennis Eckersley would say – "Yuck".

In 2016, the consensus picks in the SuperContest opened the first four weeks with a horrendous record of 4-16. We will find out on Saturday at noon (Pacific) what the top five picks are for this week, but as a group, we have to hope that the record isn’t going to repeat week two and three of the consensus picks last year. That’s when popular picks went a gorgeous 0 for 10.

So I wasn’t alone in taking the Bengals, but I start Week 2 with an 0-1 record, and the pressure is on. A ton of people are taking the Titans to win, so I might be in trouble there, but let’s hope the field gets a few right this week.

Here are my picks:

Patriots -6.5 at Saints

When you need a W desperately, and you are a Patriots fan who took his honeymoon in New Orleans, you roll with Tom Brady to bounce back from a nasty Week 1 loss to rock the scoreboard. It also doesn’t hurt that the Patriots are 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games, and they simply do not start seasons 0-2. WR Brandin Cooks goes back to where he started his career, and I think he has a big game for the Pats against a bad Saints defense. Yes, I know the Pats have some big injuries, but this where Bill Belichick works his magic.

Titans -2 at Jaguars

Tennessee came into the season with a ton of hype but did nothing with it by getting worked over at home against the Raiders. The thing is, the Titans play in the worst division in football, and starting 0-2 wouldn’t really hurt their chances of getting to the playoffs. However, if Jacksonsville opens 2-0, it will shock many observers around the league who expected a rough season for the Jags. The Titans’ record at Jacksonville isn’t good. Tennesse is 0-5-1 ATS over their last six road games against the Jags in Florida. Still, I can’t see a power running game working against the Titans’ front that allowed just 88 yards on the ground last week. With WR Allen Robinson out for the year and QB Blake Bortles being forced to pass this week, the Titans win and cover.

Broncos +2 vs. Cowboys

Here’s a game without much data for these two teams matching up against each other in Denver. The last time the Cowboys played at Mile High was in 2009 as -1.5 point favorite. The Broncos won that game 17-10, but that was a long time ago. Dallas will take on a Broncos team that played on MNF and nearly blew a 17-point lead to the Chargers. The Cowboys’ defense played well against the Giants in their first game, but the offense didn’t do much against a very good defense. Dallas will see another good D on Sunday, but Denver’s offense will be a lot harder to handle than what the ‘Boys saw on SNF. I like QB Trevor Sieman to play well and start 2-0 on the year.

Falcons -3 vs. Packers

This is a rematch of one of the best regular season games of 2016 and one of the biggest blowouts of the postseason. In the October match-up, the Falcons scored a touchdown with 33 seconds left to beat the Pack 33-32. Atlanta won but did not cover the -3 line. However, in the NFC Championship game, the Falcons ripped Green Bay 44-21 to easily cover the -6 spread. The Falcons are opening up a brand new stadium on Sunday after escaping Chicago with a hard-fought win. Atlanta will look to use the emotion of a new building and last year’s Super Bowl appearace to again take down one of the best quarterbacks in the league. I like the Birds.

For our two other teams in the contest, Team Bet The Process (2-2-1) and Team Sports Action (1-3-1) look to get over .500 for the contest.

Bet The Process is rolling this week with the Jags (+2.5), the Saints (+6.5), the Vikings (-5.5), the Dolphins (+4) and the Jets (+14).

Team Sports Action has also selected the Jags (+2.5), the Jets (+14) and Saints (+6.5) but will also take the Bucs (-7) and the Redskins (+2.5)

Stuckey’s Team Beatrix Kiddo (3-1-1) is still finalizing their selections, but I will update this piece once they have made a decision.

Tomorrow: Fade Or Follow Podcast with myself and Vegas Matty of www.Footballcontest.com Episode 2 will drop at around 7 p.m. Eastern. Look for me at 3 p.m. Eastern Time at www.VSIN.com or SiriusXM Channel 204 talking about the SuperContest!


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