I can hardly claim even mild satisfaction over Week 1s 11-5 mark straight-up, in that one of the losses was my thinking the Browns would beat Miami. I should be tarred, flogged or, worse, made to watch a Big Bang Theory marathon of scenes only involving the insufferable Sheldon character. Wait, it gets worse. My opening-week record against the betting line was so bad I cant bring myself to type it here because the Herald has rules against publishing obscenities. I knew I was doomed when Upset of the Week pick Carolina was looking good and looking and then you know. But am I a quitter? Rhetorical question, but, no. No I am not. Note: Thursday-game pick was Patriots (-12) over Jets, 27-13.
Line: IND by 2.5.
Cotes pick: MIA 24-23.
TV: 1 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
Miami is a marginally better all-round team and the betting line which shrank to 1 point in some books indicates as much. Indys clear advantage is in the passing game, if you recall how Andy Luck (why be so formal, Andrew?) shredded the Dolphs for 433 yards last season and FIUs T.Y. Hilton danced twice into the end zone. Colts have flaws, though. Miamis pass rush will bother Luck, whose protection is nothing special, and the ground game should get untracked after running in quicksand last week. Also, Ryan Tannehill could have a big day against a so-so Nags secondary. (You, too, Mike Wallace. Join us, wont you?) These are two teams that figure to be in the AFC wild-card hunt so this result could be big down the road. By the way, the Miami-market 18.1 TV rating for last weeks opener in Cleveland , though modest, marked a 20 percent spike over a year earlier. There is fragile optimism/excitement for this Dolphins season, and a 2-0 start would solidify it. With Falcons/Saints/Ravens on deck, a 2-0 start looks like just what this season needs, too. So: Upset.
Line: DEN by 4.5.
Cotes pick: DEN 30-27.
TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
Its the Manning Bowl. Its Peyton vs. Eli. How could it not be the Game of the Week! Although I must say the GOTW committee nearly came to blows as one faction lobbied hard for Niners-Seahawks. (No, wiseguy, the tiebreaker vote was not made by Archie Manning.) Peyton (462 yards, seven TDs) is coming off a phenomenal opener even for him. Elis lot in life is to throw for 450 yards and four TDs and be the other guy. Big Bro is 2-0 in Manning Bowls and should make it three here, especially with extra time to prepare after playing last Thursday. The line seems a bit fat, though. An outright upset would not shock; Ill take Biggies with the points. After all, I hear Archie has ordered a close game.
Line: SEA by 3.
Cotes pick: SF 27-24.
TV: 8:30 p.m., NBC (airing in South Florida).
AAAWWWK! shouts the Upset Bird. It pains me to pick against a team called Seahaaawwwks! Picking a defending Super Bowl finalist might not even seem an upset to many of you, but consider that Seattle was 8-0 at home last season and won the most recent meeting with the Niners 42-13. Plus some SF scrub Tweetingly referred to the opponent as She-hawks, only adding to the homies fire. The Sunday night stage might not be filled bigger than this all season, and Im riding Tats Kaepernick. This game could only be better if you put a Manning in it, notes U-Bird. Manning! Mannaawwk!