Ira’s Week 2 Picks Against The Spread

September 16th, 2017

Welcome to a new feature on Joe has challenged Ira Kaufman, Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter, to pick against the spread this season for a $500 prize. Every Friday, Ira will type out his picks for each Friday-through-Monday game. If he hits at 53 percent or better for the regular season, then Ira gets $500 in gift cards to Abe’s Place in Clearwater, home of historically amazing food and 44 craft beers on tap. Feel free to send Ira your stone cold locks on Twitter, @ikaufman76. The sage of Tampa Bay sports could always use some help.


Not exactly an auspicious opening week for your supposed NFL guru.

I picked 14 games against the spread last week and managed to get only four of ’em correct. A 4-10 record makes me the 49ers of prognosticators, but hey, it’s only Week 1.

There were a few squeakers like Denver and Buffalo winning but not covering, but close doesn’t count on this rapidly growing web site.

It’s a long season and I remain confident things will balance out in the long run. Of course, I also thought Hurricane Irma was going straight up I-95, so there’s that.

Nevertheless, here we go in Week 2 as the Bucs and Dolphins make their 2017 debuts:

BEARS plus-7 vs.BUCS. The rust will show in Tampa Bay’s season opener and Chicago will run the ball well enough to stay close before the Bucs close it out with a fourth-quarter takeaway.

TITANS minus-2 at JAGUARS. I can’t believe how many people are already jumping on the Jacksonville bandwagon. Yes, the Jags defense has playmakers, but Tennessee figures to rebound after a subpar effort vs. Oakland.

RAVENS minus-8 vs. BROWNS. In case you haven’t noticed, Baltimore’s defense is rather stout. Mr. Kizer will be under pressure all afternoon and Joe Flacco will hit some throws downfield.

BILLS plus-7 at PANTHERS. Buffalo’s ground game is productive enough to keep the Bills close and I’m still not sold on Cam Newton’s bum shoulder.

PATRIOTS minus-6 1/2 at SAINTS. New Orleans faces the wrath of Tom Brady and there isn’t enough jambalaya in the Big Easy to spice up an upset.

CARDINALS minus-7 at COLTS. Even with David Johnson on the shelf, Arizona has enough firepower to whip up on a woeful franchise.

EAGLES plus-5 1/2 at CHIEFS. KC had it all going at Gillette Stadium, but I’m not betting on Alex Smith to look like Dan Marino again. Carson Wentz will have some success against a secondary missing Eric Berry.

VIKINGS plus-6 at STEELERS. Dalvin Cook, fresh off a dynamic pro debut, faces a daunting road test. Pittsburgh has its share of big-time weapons, but don’t sleep on Minnesota’s solid defense.

DOLPHINS plus-4 at CHARGERS. Miami has had an extra week to prepare and the Dolphins were wise to head to the West Coast early. Not sure how much of a home-field advantage the Chargers will enjoy this fall.

RAIDERS minus-13 1/2 vs. JETS. It’s an ugly stain on the NFL to watch the Jets playing to lose every week. Members of the Black Hole should enjoy a heck of a party.

RAMS minus 2 1/2 vs. REDSKINS. It’s already looking like a long year in the nation’s capital. The great Aaron Donald has returned to fortify the Rams defense.

COWBOYS minus-2 at BRONCOS. Dallas looked poised and confident against the Giants and the presence of Ezekiel Elliott takes a lot of pressure off Dak Prescott.

SEAHAWKS minus-14 vs. 49ERS. Russell Wilson seeks to rebound from an erratic effort at Green Bay as the proud Seattle defense swarms over Kyle Shanahan’s popgun attack.

PACKERS plus-3 at FALCONS. In the end, it will be Aaron Rodgers who outshines reigning MVP Matt Ryan in this juicy prime-time matchup.

LIONS plus-3 1/2 vs. GIANTS. When Matt Stafford has time, he can carve up any secondary. Eli Manning rarely has time.

Season Record: 4-10

14 Responses to “Ira’s Week 2 Picks Against The Spread”

  1. Brian Says:

    So for the bucs “the rust will show” but for the Dolphins “extra week to prepare”? Hmmm, wth?

  2. Patrick1 Says:

    I agree. Hmm.

  3. darin Says:

    It will balance out ira. I ended up going 10-5 last week. Won my pool. But just like you, I know it will balance out. Diff from you Im taking den, tb, jax, cle, kc, and den. I was on jax bandwagon before week 1, tough call tho. Also think cleveland can keep it close. Their expensive oline improves this week. We shall see. Go Bucs

  4. Dreambig Says:

    Ira, I don’t know how your prognosticating is lately, but I know back in the day when we use to depend newspapers and Raheem was the coach, you had a weekly segment in the paper with two other journalists To pick winners. You picked against the Bucs almost every week while your cohorts picked them to win. I remember bucause as a Bucs fan it made me mad every week. If memory severs, you didn’t pick the Bucs to win until they had won 7 games or so. I sure hope you have gotten better because I like your pick this week! Lol.

  5. Buc50 Says:

    Betting on the first few weeks is for suckers. There is no way you can predict anything.

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “BEARS plus-7 vs.BUCS. The rust will show in Tampa Bay’s season opener and Chicago will run the ball well enough to stay close before the Bucs close it out with a fourth-quarter takeaway.”

    Everyone is saying this will be a close game.

    I’m not.

    I say the Bears score no more than 10 points and the Bucs score at least…at least 20+.

    The Bears have a rookie running back who had a good first game…hardly proving anything at all. They have little else. Sure they can bring pressure on Jameis, but our QB plays best when under pressure.

    This is going to most likely be a slaughter.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And there will be no rust.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    To be fair, Ira was right most of the time in those instances. His job wasn’t to blindly support the team, it was to give his HONEST opinion…right or wrong, but usually right.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Buc50 Says
    “Betting on the first few weeks is for suckers. There is no way you can predict anything.”

    Well, there is a 50-50 shot though. Some people like those odds.

    I personally do not gamble, so I’m no expert.

  10. Buc50 Says:

    I don’t gamble either but it seems to me that the first few weeks is literally a crap shoot (pun intended).

  11. martinii Says:

    Agree with Bonzai. Team chemistry, injuries, strengths and weaknesses will be more predictable after a few weeks, and of course play calling tendencies will be more obvious. Just can’t tell what you have until you can measure consistency and that takes a few to several games.

  12. martinii Says:

    Just another quick comment, and please don’t interpret this as petty. The league solution to move game to Bye week was understandable, convenient, necessary I suppose. However Buc’s won’t have advantage of correcting first game mistakes in preparation for 2nd game. There are 16 games. If you spend 2 adjusting to training camp issues, which don’t include game planning than I believe missing your first game is a disadvantage even though the coaches will spine-up and say there are no excuses. You like to get that first shot under your belt so you can make adjustments for your 2nd. Just saying……..

  13. Bucthis Says:

    And don’t forget the Bucs coaches have a week of film on the bears to game plan to. Thr bears don’t have a clue what is coming at them except what MG tells them.

  14. SOFIERCE Says:

    We are simply on another level. Let’s play the game and see us skin some bears.