Pick 1: Houston vs. Tampa Bay and Arizona vs. San Francisco

Pick 1: Houston vs. Tampa Bay and Arizona vs. San Francisco

The Teaser: Pair Houston and Arizona

Game 1: Houston vs. Tampa Bay

The Initial Line (5Dimes):

Houston -7 home vs Tampa Bay

The Take:

Add 6.5 points to Houston’s line

The Final Line:

Houston -0.5

The Breakdown:

Ryan Mallett took over the reins for Brian Hoyer after week 1, but they still lost once again to drop them to 0-2. Tampa Bay was able to take advantage of a struggling Drew Brees on the road and beat their division rival to move to 1-1 on the season. Both of these defenses have been solid to start the year, as TB and Houston rank 8th and 12th in yards allowed early on. They also have the 2 top sack leaders in the NFl with Jacquies Smith (4) for TB and JJ Watt (3) for Houston. Both Mallett and Winston have struggled to start the season, but the 2 have combined for less than 10 career starts in the NFL. I still give the edge to Mallett or Hoyer, and they both had some time to study behind Tom Brady while Winston is still getting a feeling for the NFL. Houston’s defense has not yet become the dominant force it was last season, but I think this 2nd home game against a weak opponent will finally allow them to show their true colors especially against a rookie QB. Take Houston’s defense to lead them to victory in this one.

Final Stat: Houston was 1st in overall takeaways in 2014 with 34. Winston has only faced 2 defenses in the NFL thus far, and those teams combined only had 33 turnovers last season.

Game 2: Arizona vs. San Francisco

The Initial Line (5Dimes):

Arizona -7 home vs San Francisco

The Take:

Add 6.5 points to Arizona’s line

The Final Line:

Arizona -0.5

The Breakdown:

Arizona is 2-0 and arguably has been the best team in football so far, with a league-leading +37 point differential. San Francisco struggled last week against a potent Pittsburgh offense, and was handed a 43-18 loss on the road to move to 1-1. Carson Palmer seems to be fully recovered from his torn ACL, as he has a 7-1 TD-INT ratio thus far and the 3rd best QB rating at 124.4. The SF defense was torched for 369 pass yds last week on the road, and they may struggle once again against their divisional foes. Carlos Hyde has been a bright spot for the SF running game, but Arizona’s 10th rank defense should be able to keep him in check. Bottom line is that Arizona is the better team, and they are a tough team to beat at home. Pick Arizona to move to 3-0 by the end of week 3.

Final Stat: Carson Palmer has won his last 5 home games, with a 9-1 TD-INT ratio in that stretch.

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