Friday, October 02, 2009

NFL picks, Week 4

Picks for week 4 of the 2009 NFL season...

Detroit (+10) at Chicago - Yes, I really did pick the Lions last week. No, I don't really think that they're going to follow that win by going in to Chicago and beating the Bears. But I think that they'll lose competitively.

Cincinnati at Cleveland (+6) - I have to pick one of these teams? Ugh. Going with the desperate home Browns. ("What's that?" I hear you cry. "Didn't the Bengals beat the Steelers just last week?" Yes. They did. Do you want to bet on the Bengals playing well two weeks in a row?)

Oakland at Houston (-9.5) - 9 1/2 is an awful lot for Houston to be giving. But one of the fundamental rules for betting the NFL for the past few years is "always bet against Oakland." It's a wise rule.

Tennessee (-3) at Jacksonville - I could never figure out how Tennessee got to 10-0 or 13-3 last year, and their 0-3 start doesn't really surprise me, but they're better than the Jaguars.

N.Y. Giants (-9) at Kansas City - If this were Sabathia vs. Greinke, the Royals would have a chance.

Baltimore at New England (-2) - The Ravens have looked like a dominant team thus far, outscoring their opposition by 50 points in three games. This is mitigated somewhat by the opposition, as the Chiefs and Browns are two of them teams that look to be in the running for the first overall draft pick next year. The win in San Diego is a good win, but based on the Chargers have done otherwise, it doesn't look like a great win. The Patriots have been a little bit rusty, the offense has had big trouble in the red zone, but they've moved the ball and dominated time-of-possession thus far. The defense isn't what it's going to be, but it's been OK. This should be a very good game. I could certainly see New England losing this. If the defense gives up a couple of big plays and the offense fails to get into the end zone, they could be playing from behind, and that's a tough situation against a good team. On the whole, I think that they're getting better, and I think that, playing at home, they take this one.

Tampa Bay at Washington (-7) - No, the Redskins aren't good, but the Buccaneers are a very bad team, and if Washington loses this one, Jim Zorn is likely to be unemployed on Sunday night.

Seattle at Indianapolis (-10) - I don't know who's playing QB for the Seahawks. I don't care who's playing QB for the Seahawks. This one's not competitive.

Buffalo (-2) at Miami - This gives me pause, but I was already down on Miami, and with Pennington done, I really believe that Buffalo is the better team right now.

N.Y. Jets at New Orleans (-7) - The Jets have played over their heads so far. The Patriots weren't ready to handle the Jets defense the way they will be when next they meet, but the Saints are.

Dallas (-3) at Denver - Yes, the Broncos are 3-0. Possibly the flukiest, luckiest 3-0 in NFL history. They won't get to the luckiest 4-0 in NFL history, because they're either going to lose this week, or demonstrate that they haven't been quite as lucky as I think. I'm going with the former.

St. Louis at San Francisco (-10) - We used to think it impossible for a team to go 0-16. Now we wonder whether it is possible for it to happen two years in a row.

San Diego at Pittsburgh (-6.5) - Three weeks in, the re-evaluation process started. Before the season started, this looked like a clash of the Titans, an early season meeting between two AFC powerhouses. But when it's over, we're either going to have two 2-2 teams, or a 3-1 Chargers team and a 1-3 Steelers team. Neither of them has looked as good as I expected them to. The Steelers look to have problems, with or without Polamalu, but at home, against a San Diego team that has looked anything but dominant, I expect them to win by a TD.

Green Bay at Minnesota (-3.5) - I don't like either of these teams, but obviously I'm rooting for Green Bay. I won't be watching, of course, because anything involving Brett Favre (and as I type this, he's on ESPN, lying about this being just another game, and according to the scroll, the next four stories are going to be about him as well, which I won't see because I'm changing the channel) is unwatchable1 , but I'm rooting - very hard - for the Packers. I just don't think that they're going to win.

1 - Not because of Favre, but because of the announcers' coverage of Favre. There will actually be more than one player on the field on Monday night, but the coverage won't reveal that...

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