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Cook’s 2022 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 2

It is Week 2 of the NFL season, meaning that the prognosticator himself, Steve Cook, is back with your gambling picks!



Patrick Mahomes NFL

It is Week 2 of the NFL season, meaning that the prognosticator himself, Steve Cook, is back with your gambling picks! After going 8-8 the first week, will he find success in Week 2?

Hi, hello & welcome to Week 2 of the National Football League! I’m Steve Cook, and I’m here to tell you the same thing I say every single year in Week 2. I know it’s easy to over-react to what happened in Week 1. It’s the first football we’ve seen in months, and we love jumping to conclusions as soon as possible. Perhaps some of the things we thought before the season were completely wrong due to one result we weren’t expecting.

Trust yourself.

One week isn’t enough to throw out your ideas of what’s going to happen in 2022, unless you were really counting on that Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl run. (Honestly, if you’re one of those people that think that’s going to happen every year, you deserve what you get.) Keep an eye on things, but don’t resort to drastic measures in Week 2.

Let’s jump right into the picks, as there’s a lot to unpack with some of these upcoming games. Odds are provided by Vegas Insider!

Thursday, September 15

LA Chargers at Kansas City (-4)

One of my goals for this year was to avoid talking about all the sports media nonsense, but this is one of those moments where we need to discuss it. (Another of those moments will be coming later on.) If you want to see the two top teams in the AFC West go at it on a Thursday night, you’ll need to have an Amazon Prime membership or live in one of those media markets. Expect much complaining about this on Thursday night. All I can say for sure is that my Amazon Prime membership is worth it for Christmas/birthday shopping with free shipping. If they want to give me football games too I won’t complain too much.

I will tell you not to over-react based off of Week 1 results, but one thing you can believe in is Patrick Mahomes. People were actually trying to tell us that the lack of Tyreek Hill would hurt his performance…those people are fools and can not be trusted. Mahomes is one of those guys that can make wide receivers. As long as somebody with a pulse can get out there and catch those passes, there’s nothing to worry about. The Chargers had a fine showing last week, but I still see them losing by a touchdown to the Chiefs.

Sunday, September 18

Miami at Baltimore (-3.5)

These two teams had a pretty solid Week 1. Miami had an easy time with New England while Baltimore handled franchise hero Joe Flacco and the Jets. Its shaping up to be one of the more interesting matchups of Week 2, pitting two teams seemingly on their way up the pecking order with newly exciting offenses. Should one of these teams make a push this season, this game could serve as a good launching pad for them.

I’m picking the Ravens to win this game, but wouldn’t be shocked if the Dolphins made things interesting. I think Lamar Jackson & the boys hold Tua off by a touchdown, but this could be one of the more exciting games of the day.

NY Jets at Cleveland (-6.5)

The good news for Jets fans: Joe Flacco has been better against the Cleveland Browns than against any other NFL team. His teams have gone 17-3 against the Browns. He’s thrown more touchdown passes against the Browns than any other team. Granted, he spent most of his career on a team that was constantly in the mix for AFC North supremacy while the Browns were almost always fourth place in the division. Things have changed a bit since then, but perhaps Jets fans can hope that the ol’ gunslinger still has some mojo left?

Eh, probably not. I do think the Jets have enough talent on defense to keep it close against Jacoby Brissett and the Browns, though they’ll need to work on that rushing defense to have a chance of pulling the upset.

Washington at Detroit (-2)

Maybe this is me doing what I’m telling people not to do and over-reacting to something. But take a look at the Commanders’ schedule. Pretty easy starting stretch with Jacksonville, Detroit, hosting Philly and then playing a Cowboys team without its starting quarterback. Things get a little tougher afterward, but there’s a lot of games against teams like the Bears, Texans & Browns where you could see Washington accumulating enough wins to be a threat in the NFC East. Granted, I mis-typed “East” as “Easy” and had a thought for a second not to change it. I’m just saying that if this whole Carson Wentz thing actually works out and Jahan Dotson is the real deal, this team could be a threat in that division.

There were some positives for the Lions to take away from their narrow defeat. Mostly D’Andre Swift. Swift’s performance against the Eagles made those of us who stayed away from drafting him in fantasy because LOL Lions second-guess ourselves. We laugh at the Lions, but they do manage to play teams close and are usually a good team to bet on for that reason. Now that they’re favorites…eh, I’m not sure about that. I’ll roll with the Lions’ typical bad luck in close games and pick the Commanders here.

Indianapolis (-3.5) at Jacksonville

It’s somewhat amazing that the Colts haven’t managed to win a game in Jacksonville for this long. The Jaguars have mustered up one winning season in the years since Andrew Luck led the Colts to a 44-17 win over the Jags on September 21, 2014. The Jags haven’t been particularly good in Jacksonville either. Beating them hasn’t been difficult for a decent NFL team for a long time. Yet, Indianapolis can’t seem to get the job done. This came back to bite them at the end of last season, when all they needed to do to clinch a playoff berth was to beat a 2-14 team in Week 17. It didn’t happen. A shame.

Can they make it happen in 2022? I would say maybe they’ll still be PISSED OFF about the loss last season, but Matt Ryan wasn’t there for all that. I’m expecting a close game that’ll be tough to watch, so ride with the Jaguars and those points.

Tampa Bay (-2.5) at New Orleans

OK, that might sound daunting to some of you, but this is Tom Brady we’re talking about. Do we really think he’s going to go the entirety of his time in Tampa without defeating the Saints during the regular season? Of course not. Take the Buccaneers and don’t think twice about it.

Carolina at NY Giants (-2)

Saquon Barkley looked like the guy we remember from a few years ago when he was healthy. If he can keep that up, the Giants just might be able to compete in that NFC East we keep making fun of. Their schedule looks just as easy as the Commanders’. The Panthers don’t seem ready to compete for much of anything, so we’ll stick with the Giants at home.

New England (-2) at Pittsburgh

The Steelers got a big win on Week 1 over the Bengals, but it didn’t seem to impress too many people. Their route to success in 2022 involved a dominant defense, which took a blow when T.J. Watt got hurt. Could be an issue going forward, but I don’t see it hurting too much against a Patriots team that didn’t seem to be awake for their game with the Dolphins. If you give me the Steelers as underdogs at home, I’ll take them every time. I don’t care who the quarterback is.

Atlanta at LA Rams (-10.5)

So Week 1 didn’t make me feel great about my pick of the Rams returning to the Super Bowl. They pretty much got their butts handed to them by the Buffalo Bills for four quarters. Not the most impressive showing. Vegas doesn’t seem worried about this, as they still favor the Rams handily in Week 2 against a Falcons team that nobody’s expecting much from this season.

I’m not expecting much from the Falcons either, except to keep this game closer than expected. I’ll need to see more out of Matthew Stafford before I can trust the Rams to put up a ton of points. The Falcons might blow another big lead, but they’ll still get you the money here.

Seattle at San Francisco (-9)

Vegas is not overreacting to the problems San Francisco had Week 1. They still believe that the 49ers will be Super Bowl contenders & easily handle teams like the Seahawks. I do think the 49ers will win, but we’re stuck with another point spread that I think is a little too high. I’ll go with the Seahawks and the points.

Cincinnati (-7.5) at Dallas

The Bengals & Cowboys couldn’t have had worse Week 1 results. Even though Joe Burrow had a game where he looked like somebody that hadn’t played in months and recently had his appendix removed, he managed to turn things around in the second half and almost led the Bengals to victory over the hated Steelers. Ja’Marr Chase did Ja’Marr Chase things. It was almost enough to overcome a Steelers team that was great on defense and pedestrian on offense…but then the long snapper got hurt and Money McPherson’s exchange rate sunk like a rock. Pretty much everything that could go wrong for the Bengals in Week 1 did…and they still took the darn game to overtime. Frustrating, but one can see the silver lining.

Tougher to see it for the Cowboys. Dak Prescott got his thumb injured during Dallas’s humbling defeat against Tampa Bay and underwent surgery afterward. Dr. Jerry Jones assures us that Dak will be good to go in a couple of weeks and doesn’t need to be put on IR, but we can at least count on him missing this game. The Bengals can make backup QBs look good, but Cooper Rush will be a tough task.

Houston at Denver (-10)

I’ve never claimed to be the best football analyst of all time. After all, if I was, I’d actually have done something in the sport during my lifetime. I try to cut coaches some slack due to this fact. However, I have to say that everything that happened at the end of the Broncos/Seahawks game completely befuddled me. What comes to mind for me in the aftermath is an old quote from Jerry Glanville that just might apply to Nathaniel Hackett:

“You know what NFL stands for? Not For Long, with calls like that!”

Hackett is a new coach, so I’m willing to cut the guy more slack than the average coach. That said, if he keeps making calls like he did on Monday night, Not For Long will describe his head coaching career. It might also describe the Broncos’ anointed status as AFC contenders.

We don’t overreact to Week 1 here. It might be tempting to get cute and pick the Texans here. They played the Colts to a tie and seemed generally competent except for the part where they chose to punt rather than try to win. Going to Denver’s a horse of a different color. If Russell Wilson & the Broncos are going to live up to the hype, it’ll happen this week.

Arizona at Las Vegas (-5.5)

The Cardinals are typically a first-half of the season kind of team, so their performance against Kansas City last week really doesn’t bode well for them. If this is them now, how will they look in the second half of the season when they typically stink? Won’t be good!

Feels like six points is a lot to trust the Raiders with, even though I think they’ll be in the mix in the AFC wild card. We’ll give the Cardinals a chance to do their usual thing here and quell the doubters.

Chicago at Green Bay (-10)

Week 2 and we already have to deal with the Bears in prime time? I’m sorry, I know a lot of Bears fans due to my status as a pro wrestling fan. Apparently most pro wrestling fans live in Chicago these days. I should be walking on eggshells around these people considering the general state of things in AEW, where their hometown guy seems to have blown up the locker room of the wrestling promotion that grew up in their backyard and runs many, many shows there. There’s also the fact that the Bears did win in Week 1, and since we overreact to everything in Week 1, we should take the Bears seriously as a Super Bowl contender.

Then I remember that Aaron Rodgers still owns the Bears. So we R-E-L-A-X and don’t get all off-kilter just because the Bears won and the Packers got run over by the Vikings. Until proven otherwise, I will trust in Aaron Rodgers & the Packers in Green Bay against the Bears. Sorry.

Monday, September 19

Tennessee at Buffalo (-10)

That’s the thing about the Titans. Just when you think you know the answers, they change the questions. You think they’re good, they lose at home to a lowly regarded team. You think they’re bad, they go out on the road and stomp one of the top teams in the league. They’ve been doing this for years now, it’s nothing new.

It might be different this week. The Bills went out in the first game of Week 1 and showed us why everybody was hyping them up so much. Maybe they will win the next five or six Super Bowls. who knows? They can put up some points on the Titans and probably end up winning this one, but 10 points is too high a line for my blood. I’ll roll with those road dogg Titans.

Minnesota at Philadelphia (-2)

So let’s talk about Monday Night Football. Along with the critically-acclaimed ManningCast, ESPN decided to hire Joe Buck & Troy Aikman away from Fox to call the Monday night games. Then there’s some Monday doubleheaders like this week, where Joe & Troy will be on ABC while the early game will be on ESPN with Steve Levy, Louis Riddick & Dan Orlovsky. Peyton & Eli are taking this week off.

See, when I heard that “Awful Announcing” was a thing, I assumed they were talking abour Joe Buck. This dude was born on third and thought he hit a triple, since his father was a legendary announcer and Fox decided that Jack Buck’s son needed to call every sport they aired except NASCAR. As far as I can tell, the only difference between Joe Buck & Thom Brennaman is that Joe’s most embarrassing TV moment was over-reacting to Randy Moss acting like he mooned fans, while Thom’s was using a homosexual slur and apologizing to his bosses about it. Other than that, basically the same type of announcer. Instead, we’ve got that website and their disciples trying to tell me that Joe Buck is an amazing announcer, which anybody that actually tried to watch a baseball game on Fox over the past 25 years would know is a lie. Buck & Tim McCarver made the World Series unlistenable for two decades, and John Smoltz didn’t make it an upgrade. Buck’s co-hort on NFL games is a guy that had to retire due to concussion issues. This, somehow, is allegedly one of the best NFL announce teams of the 21st century.

I feel like the same people telling me about the greatness of Joe Buck would also tell me that Michael Cole is a great wrestling announcer. Maybe I’m just too old. I remember the likes of Pat Summerall, Dick Enberg, Gordon Solie & Lance Russell while these kids grew up on lesser folks and accept them as the GOATs. I’d try to tell them better, but they won’t listen. Just like the old folks won’t listen. Not listening is no longer a generational issue.

As for this game, I’m liking the Vikings. Not just because it rhymes, but I like what I saw out of their offense in Week 1 and they should be able to keep it up against a team that gave up 35 points to the Lions.

Last Week’s Results: 8-8

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Cook’s 2022 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 13

It’s lucky week 13 as Steve Cook’s path to a winning record continues! Can Cook keep the streak going with his NFL Week 13 Gambling Picks?



Josh Allen Buffalo Bills Away Jersey

It’s lucky week 13 as Steve Cook’s path to a winning record continues! Can Cook keep the streak going with his NFL Week 13 Gambling Picks?

Hi, hello and welcome to Week 13 of the National Football League! I’m Steve Cook, and I can’t believe it’s already December. Time flies when you’re having fun, and I think most of us have had a good amount of fun so far this season. There’s still plenty to come, and we’re at the point where the cream rises to the top and we find out just who is for real around here.

We had another successful week in the picks, continuing our streak of going above .500. Could use a really big week to get the record looking good, and hopefully that’ll happen in the following words. Spreads are via Vegas Insider Consensus on Wednesday afternoon and are subject to change.

Thursday, December 1

Buffalo (-4) at New England

It’s one of those rare weeks where the Thursday game doesn’t feature two teams still banged up from Sunday. Both the Bills & Patriots played on Thanksgiving, so they’ll have the typical rest period to get ready for an AFC East clash. I’m expecting a defensive, low scoring game here, but at the end of the day the choice is between Josh Allen & Mac Jones. I can’t see Mac keeping up with the Bills’ offense, even if the Patriots have one of the better defenses in the league. I’ll take the Bills to keep their position on top of the division, and figure that certain things will happen to knock them ahead of Miami.

Sunday, December 4

Cleveland (-7) vs. Houston

There wouldn’t be much reason to care about this game if it didn’t involve the return of every massage therapist’s least favorite customer. The NFL knows how to book these things…it wasn’t going to be enough to have Deshaun Watson’s comeback game be in some random NFL city, it needed to happen in Houston. Otherwise, nobody’s talking about a game featuring the hapless Texans hosting a Browns team that people probably still think are going to make a run here in December.

I don’t have much faith in the Browns to do much other than beat the Texans.

Denver at Baltimore (-8.5)

The Ravens have the advantage of having one of the easiest schedules in the history of the NFL at the end of this season. They should be able to coast to an AFC North title and a good seed in the AFC. So far, they haven’t exactly taken advantage of that schedule. They barely took care of Carolina, then they found a way to lose to the Jaguars. It’s nothing new, as the Ravens have spent most of this season finding ways to lose games they have in control. They should be 9-2 or even better than that, instead they’re 7-4 & tied with the Bengals at the top of the AFC North. Tons of missed opportunities for the Ravens here in 2022.

At least we’re still wondering if they’re frauds or not. We know that the Denver Broncos are frauds. They were a quarterback away after last season, and everybody thought that Russell Wilson would fill that void. He hasn’t. One of the most disappointing teams in recent memory. Not only are they worse than we thought they would be, they’re so boring to watch that they got the Chiefs flexed out of a Sunday Night Football slot. Imagine how un-entertaining a team has to be that NBC is like “Well, we can’t air them against Patrick Mahomes”. Amazing.

As much as the Broncos offend me as a fan of entertaining football, I still have to tell you to take them at this number. The Ravens haven’t shown the ability to blow teams out, and will let the sorry, no-account Broncos hang around in a low-scoring affair.

Pittsburgh at Atlanta (-1.5)

Due to the ineptitude of the NFC South, the Falcons are still in the playoff picture. The Steelers aren’t, but they do have the look of a team headed in the right direction. They also do a good job of stopping the run, as Jonathan Taylor could attest to after that Week 12 game. I like the Steelers here, even if Najee Harris doesn’t end up playing. As long as those defense studs are healthy, they have a chance against most teams.

Tennessee at Philadelphia (-5.5)

Derrick Henry got shut down in Week 12 by the Bengals defense, but I like him to have a strong rebound game against an Eagles defense that’s prone to giving up big runs. The Eagles have a high-powered offense, but Tennessee’s defense has managed to hold their opponents under 21 points in eight straight games. Something tells me this is going to be a tight one, so I’ll take the Titans to keep things close.

Jacksonville (-1.5) at Detroit

The Jaguars showed some spunk last week against the Ravens, defeating Lamar Jackson & company in dramatic fashion. Now they get a Lions team that has a knack for bring involved in games that end in dramatic fashion, including a narrow loss to the Bills on Thanksgiving. Should be a high-scoring game.

Vegas is showing quite a bit of faith in the Jags here. I know they had the good win last week & Detroit has a knack for losing close games, but I don’t mind riding with the home dogg Lions this week. They should be ready to go and well-rested.

Washington (-2.5) at NY Giants

These two NFC East teams seem headed in opposite directions lately. The Giants got all of the buzz early on but are starting to tail off due to injuries to their offensive line & wide receivers. Meanwhile, Taylor Heinicke is making things interesting in Washington while the defense is holding teams in check. It’ll likely be a low-scoring game, but I like the Commanders to keep things rolling while the Giants keep looking for answers.

NY Jets at Minnesota (-3)

Do the Jets have a quarterback now? Mike White had himself a day on Sunday against the Bears. If the team can find some consistency on offense, they have a defense that might be able to take this team farther than one would expect. The only issue here? The Minnesota Vikings are a harder out than a Bears team missing Justin Fields.

As good as the Jets defense is, I see them having problems stopping the likes of Justin Jefferson. Dalvin Cook had a weak showing against the Patriots, but I think he gets things back on track this week. The Vikings have struggled against the best teams in the NFL, but I think they get it done this week.

Green Bay (-4.5) at Chicago

Aaron Rodgers says he’s going to play this week after missing the last quarter of the Packers’ game with the Eagles due to injury. Most years, this would be considered a good thing. In 2022, it’s tough to blame Packers fans if they wonder that the team might be better off letting Jordan Love have a crack at things. Love looked good in that fourth quarter against the Eagles.

The good news for Green Bay? They’re playing the Bears, which almost always ends well for them. Lots of questions surround the Bears, most importantly the health status of Justin Fields. Apparently he’ll be a game time decision this week. Tough to like the Bears under those circumstances, so I’ll do what I usually do and pick the Packers over them.

Seattle (-7.5) at LA Rams

The Seahawks have been struggling a bit lately, losing close games to the Buccaneers & Raiders. This pales in comparison to the struggles the Rams have gone through, as the defending Super Bowl Champions have dropped their last five games & seen whatever playoff hopes they had go up in smoke. They could theoretically win their last six games and finish 9-8, but it seems more likely they’ll be trying to avoid setting the record for fewest wins in a season after winning the Super Bowl. The Broncos won six games in 1999, it wasn’t all that surprising since John Elway retired after winning his second straight Super Bowl. The Rams’ struggles are a bit more surprising.

The Rams’ struggles will likely continue this week, though one can make an argument in their favor against a Seahawks team that seems to have hit a wall in recent weeks after over-achieving to start the season. I think Geno Smith leads the Seahawks to victory, but the Rams keep things relatively close.

Miami at San Francisco (-3.5)

Two of the hottest teams in the NFL will meet up in Santa Clara on Sunday. The Dolphins have won every game that Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t injured for and are on a five game winning streak. The 49ers are on a four-game winning streak of their own that coincides with Christian McCaffrey meshing into the offense. The 49er defense has been top-notch, but is going to face one of their toughest tests of the season this week.

I’m not saying the Dolphin offense can’t be shut down, I’m just saying we haven’t seen it happen yet. If somebody can get it done it’s the 49ers. I think this will be a close game though, so I recommend taking the Dolphins as road doggs.

LA Chargers (-1.5) at Las Vegas

Both of these teams got much needed victories last week, the Chargers in the last seconds of regulation & the Raiders in overtime. Week 1 saw the Chargers defeat the Raiders by five points, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happened this time around. Justin Herbert should be able to score enough points on the Raiders’ defense to keep the Chargers in playoff contention.

Kansas City (-2.5) at Cincinnati

There’s a big difference between the Joe Burrow/Zac Taylor Bengals and the Carson Palmer/Andy Dalton/Marvin Lewis Bengals of the 2000s & 2010s. Elite teams were happy to see those Bengal teams of years past. They knew they could get over on those guys, even if those Bengals showed flashes of brilliance. When the lights were on bright, those Bengals would fade away. Their clutch gene was non-existent. These Bengals have shown more fortitude than their predecessors. They have a knack for beating AFC teams that are supposedly better than them. Ask the Tennessee Titans, who are 0-3 against the Bengals since Joe Burrow showed up. Ask the Kansas City Chiefs, who the Bengals beat to get into the playoffs last season, and who the Bengals beat in the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs were favored to win both of those games, and had a multiple touchdown lead in each game, but didn’t get the job done either time. The Bengals rose to the occasion and sent the Chiefs home without reason to chop tomahawks.

So we’ve got another week featuring an alleged “revenge” game that isn’t really one but we act like it is so we have something to talk about. Kansas City will have to do a lot more than win in Week 13 against Cincinnati to even the score here. Can they do it this week? I don’t see why not. As hot as the Bengals have been lately, the Chiefs just keep doing their thing and are still the team to beat in the AFC.

Indianapolis at Dallas (-10.5)

The Colts have shown more fire lately, but Jeff Saturday is finding out that this whole head coaching thing is a lot harder than it looks when you’re a pundit on TV talking about how dumb all the coaches are. You think you know all of the ins & outs of clock management, then you’re trying to do it yourself & failing miserably.

Sunday Night will be Football Night, and the Cowboys actually defied the odds and haven’t gone into the tank yet. There’s still time for that, but it won’t be this week. The Cowboys have a better offense & defense, and should handle anything Indy throws at them.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay (-3.5)

It’s Andy Dalton vs. Tom Brady in a prime time game. Is an explanation required? Take the Buccaneers.

Week 12 Results: 8-7-1
Overall Results: 86-89-6

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Down The Wire: NFL No Cap Recap Week 12

Tom and Dave are back, with no cap, to break down all the action from week 12 in the NFL.



Tom and Dave are back, with no cap, to break down all the action from week 12 in the NFL.

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