NFL ODDS: Irascible Ira’s NFL Picks (Week 2)

With Week 2 of the NFL season upon us in a 17-game regular season, is kicking off its inaugural NFL betting column authored by award-winning sports writer Ira Kaufman. A former columnist at the Tampa Tribune and currently the co-host of an NFL-themed podcast, columnist for a website covering the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and a weekly contributor on Sirius XM Mad Dog Sports Radio, Ira is known for his irascible personality, and as you read on, you’ll see why. For decades Ira has been picking winners – and losers – and you can look it up! We plan to keep score each week.

By Ira Kaufman

Week 1 of the NFL season provided some frantic finishes that left bettors in suspense until the last snap.

When the final gun sounded, supposed powers like Green Bay and Tennessee were looking for mulligans, while young gunslingers Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow were eager to carve up defenses once again this weekend.

Here’s the Week 2 slate, with odds from

REDSKINS minus 3 vs. GIANTS (Thursday night)

Washington’s talented defensive line takes its frustrations out on New York’s flimsy front at the Meadowlands. Redskins 21-17.

PANTHERS plus 3 1/2 vs. SAINTS

New Orleans is dealing with a major COVID issue and Christian McCaffrey wasted little time showing he’s back – as good as ever. Saints 31-30.

BROWNS minus 12 1/2 vs. TEXANS

 Cleveland’s powerful ground game will wear down a Houston team that showed surprising life in the opener. Browns 30-14.

BEARS minus 2 1/2 vs. BENGALS

David Montgomery puts on a show at Soldier Field while Andy Dalton does just enough to keep his starting job. Bears 20-16.

STEELERS minus 5 1/2 vs. RAIDERS

A furious pass rush will force some giveaways by Derek Carr as the NFL’s premier defense focuses on containing stud TE Darren Waller. Steelers 27-16.

BILLS minus 3 1/2 vs. DOLPHINS

Led by Josh Allen, Buffalo bounces back in a big way following a disappointing home effort against the Steelers. Bills 23-17.

COLTS plus 4 vs. RAMS

Carson Wentz needs a solid game to avoid an 0-2 start at home, but Aaron Donald is lurking in his way. Rams 23-20.

49ERS minus 3 1/2 at EAGLES

Before easing up in Week 1 at Detroit, San Francisco had the look of a formidable NFC power. 49ers 34-24.


Rookie Trevor Lawrence suffered some growing pains in Houston, but he has enough juice in that right arm to wear Denver down in the Florida heat. Broncos 23-21.

PATRIOTS minus 6 at JETS

Bill Belichick isn’t about to open the Mac Jones era 0-2 and the Jets lack the weapons to scare a solid defense. Patriots 23-6.


Knowing Chandler Jones can wreck any game plan, Minnesota will wisely place its offense in the hands and quick feet of Dalvin Cook. Vikings 34-31.

BUCS minus 12 1/2 vs. FALCONS

Bruce Arians wasn’t happy with Tampa Bay’s sloppy play against Dallas, so the defenseless Falcons will pay the price. Buccaneers 38-21.


The Titans are too talented and determined to allow an embarrassing performance against Arizona to define their season. Seahawks 31-27.


This looks like a Dak Prescott-Justin Herbert shootout, with the Cowboys suffering another heartbreaking setback. Chargers 38-27.

CHIEFS minus 3 1/2 vs. RAVENS (Sunday night)

KC has had Lamar Jackson’s number for several years and Tyreek Hill just reinforced his reputation as the NFL’s premier deep threat. Chiefs 41-34.

LIONS plus 11 vs. PACKERS (Monday night)

These NFC North rivals have split the past eight meetings and Jared Goff will find some success downfield against a pedestrian secondary. Packers 30-20.