Handicapping NFL Week 4: Picks of the Week
After the first three weeks of the NFL season, there is nothing better to point to than 3 teams records to show how difficult it is to predict weekly and season records.
Pittsburgh – as soon as Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for whatever lascivious act he committed, I automatically picked Baltimore to take the AFC North. I figured the Steelers would still be good defensively, but every team would load up against the run and they’d be in trouble. Now they’re 3-0 with a dominating defense and getting a SuperBowl QB back. Baltimore better beat them this week, or they’ll find themselves fighting for the Wild Card again. Sure – you picked them to be 3-0.
Kansas City – I picked SanFran to beat them last week because I felt they didn’t deserve to be 2-0 and San Fran was not an 0-2 team. As I wrote, I don’t like picking against KC at Arrowhead, but I didn’t use my brain and picked against them anyway. Here they sit at 3-0 and looking pretty darn good. The first week looked like a weather fluke. 3-0 now is not. Sure – you picked them to be 3-0.
Chicago– Bull! Bull! Whoever is reading this, you did not pick them to be 3-0. I don’t think anyone in the country did. I predicted them to start 1-3 and then go on a tear in the softer part of their schedule. Granted, the 3 Ws still unbelievably leave room for doubt. However, all Ws in the NFL now are good Ws no matter how ugly or how you got them. I’ve fought with people all week about blaming the penalties. Good teams and good players force penalties on the other team, so Packers – you suck, deal with it. Sure – you picked them to be 3-0.
Last week recap: As mentioned, oops on SanFran, but my 3 picks overall did well (2-1). My other road warriors, Pittsburgh and Cinci took care of business. I got my first upset special with my dead-on call of the Oakland near win. I predicted the game would be within a field goal and Oakland could beat them outright….I of course, didn’t predict a Janikowski blown field goal to lose it. Lastly, I’ll gladly admit error picking the Packers to beat the Bears. The Bears have always had me as a fan, however, with that win, they’ve made me a confident one. On to Week 4:
WEEK 4 PICKS:
Chargers -8 (vs Cardinals) – I don’t think I’d ever take the Chargers in a survival pool because of their inconsistency, but at home vs an overmatched Cardinals team, I’ll take ’em to win and cover. As I reminded everyone last week, this is not the same Cardinals team. The 8 points is meant to scare away the bettors who typically take home favorites for 7 or under. I like the home favorite for about 10-13 in this one, so I’m comfortable with giving 8. I just have to hope that the real Charger team shows up.
Colts -7 @ Jacksonville – Manning will dissect this Jacksonville Defense. Period. I’ll give 7 – even on the road. It would be 10-11 points if it were INDY.
Texans -3 @ Oakland – Tough one, and if I were in Vegas, I’d probably only bet a little on this one. It’s not easy going into Oakland and Houston’s Defense have been letting up way too many points this season. Then, Andre Johnson may be out impacting the game a little more. With all of that, I’ll still take Houston giving three at Oakland. Somewhere, in this game, Oakland’s coach will have to decide to pass up on a field goal (Janikowski’s miss will be fresh in his mind), he won’t convert, and Houston will cover as a result.
Upset Special of the Week:
Baltimore +1.5 at Pittsburgh –Baltimore is not the Tampa Defense. Baltimore is not the Tampa Offense. Pittsburgh’s Offense disappears again for the week as Baltimore delivers an important division road win. If you like Defensive football and intensity, this is the game for you. I’m making it the game for me by taking the dog +1.5.
Bears +4 @ New York – The Bears might have been my upset special if I didn’t like Baltimore so much. With 2 of their Defensive Lineman hurting, Cutler may find some time to even complete more passes. The Giants will try to unsuccessfully run on the Bears to slow the Bears offense (did I just write that?). Martz’ offense will be on full-display again on another nationally televised game and the Bears will shock the country again with another close win.
Last Week: 3 Picks: 2 -1 Upset Special: 1-0 Bears Pick: 0-1
Season: 3 Picks: 5-3-1 Upset Special: 1-2 Bears Pick: 1-2