This is Week Two of our Suicide Pool suggestions. Last week we hit on our main selection (New Orleans over Detroit) and also gave three other winners (Baltimore, New England, and San Diego). We’re tracking our main selection for our record for the year.
Before we get to the picks, remember that you can join the Football Relativity group on ESPN’s Eliminator Challenge to test your suicide-pool skills.
This week is a tougher week, because power teams like New England, the Giants, and the Steelers are on the road against teams decent enough to make them worth staying away from. But we do have some good opportunities to pick a lesser team and save a power team for later.
1. Jacksonville over Arizona – I’m making this pick with gritted teeth, but the attraction of getting a win from a so-so team early in the season is too much for me to pass up at this point. Here’s why I think the Jaguars win the game:
*The Jaguars looked competitive against the Colts on the road in Week One
*Even last year, Arizona was not a great road team, especially on the East Coast for 1 p.m. starts
*Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston aren’t fully healthy, which makes the Cardinals offense less potent
It’s entirely possible that the Cardinals will bounce back from a disappointing first game to win, but a lot of cards are stacked against them. I think this call is worth the risk, especially on a week with few gimmes.
2. Washington over St. Louis – The Rams looked awful last week against Seattle, and now they have another road game on the other side of the country. I’m not sold on the Redskins long term, but they looked OK against the Giants, and they should win this game. But the thing that keeps me from making this game No. 1 on the board is the fact that St. Louis won 19-17 at FedEx Field last year. This pick makes sense, and it would be good strategy to use a middling team like the Redskins early in the year, but last year’s result gives me just enough hesitation that it’s not going to be my pick this week.
3. Tennessee over Houston or Green Bay over Cincinnati – The Titans and Packers are two good teams that seem to be a good pick at home. The Texans looked awful last week, but I don’t think the Texans are as bad as they showed last week, though. Cincinnati’s defense was game last week, and that’s not a bad team, but the Packers look to be a relatively safe win as well. But the bottom line is that there are going to be better chances to use the Titans (home vs. Buffalo or St. Louis) or the Packers (hello, Lions) in suicide pools later this year. These are safe Ws, but the wisest move is to save Tennessee and Green Bay for later.
Other options to consider: Denver at home over Cleveland, Buffalo at home over Tampa Bay, Atlanta at home over Carolina
The trap to avoid: Kansas City over Oakland. It may be tempting to use the Chiefs against the Raiders to get a win while saving good teams. But the Raiders went into K.C. and thumped the Chiefs 23-8 early last season, and that’s enough reason to stay away.
Last week: W (New Orleans 45, Detroit 27)