This week has been nuts at work. Waking up at 5am, working late, barely seeing my son ... all sorts of crap. Busy, busy week. Never been so glad that it's Friday. Haven't had any time to even think about football. So these picks will probably be short and concise with limited research. My apologies. I'll do much better next time.
Here we go...
49ers @ Falcons
Predicted Line: Atlanta by 5
Actual Line: Atlanta by 7
Not sure if they'll win or not, but San Fran is going to be all kinds of desperate. And Atlanta's strength (running with Michael Turner) clashes with San Francisco's strength (Patrick Willis in the middle.) Looks like a low-scoring game and I think the line's too high. I'll take San Fran.
Jets @ Bills
Predicted Line: Jets by 9
Actual Line: Jets by 6
Revis is out. Doesn't matter. I'll still take the Jets.
Bengals @ Browns
Predicted Line: Cincy by 5.5
Actual Line: Cincy by 3
I thought the line would be higher, but this is fair. Carson Palmer is secretly terrible. But if Cleveland can't score, they can't win. I'll take the Bengals.
Lions @ Packers
Predicted Line: GB by 14
Actual Line: Pack by 14.5
Lock of the Week - Green Bay and the over. I could go on and on about how unstoppable Rodgers is and how dominant the Packers 3-4 defense is and how injured the already talent-deprived Lions are and how Detroit hasn't won in Lambeau in 20 years, but really, what's the point ... ??
Green Bay will have this spread covered by the end of the 1st quarter. Final score - 48-10.
Broncos @ Titans
Predicted Line: Titans by 4.5
Actual Line: Titans by 6.5
This line is quite high considering how dynamic the Denver passing offense has been lately. I'm serious. I think people forget that Denver's best player (LT Ryan Clady) is actually playing. He was supposed to be out for the season. I think people still think he is. They'll be surprised when he makes the Pro Bowl I guess. He keeps Orton protected and gives him tons of time. If Denver can keep up with Indy, they can probably keep up with the Titans. I just think the line's too high. I'll say Titans win by 5, but Denver is the pick against the spread.
Seahawks @ Rams
Predicted Line: Seattle by 4
Actual Line: Seattle by just 1
I don't really want to waste my time talking about the NFC West. I'll actually go with the Rams. Seattle is terrible on the road and Sam Bradford is playing better than people realize.
Carolina @ Saints
Predicted Line: Saints by 10
Actual Line: Saints by 13.5
Toughest game to call.
On one hand, you've got Drew Brees against a bad defense, while Jimmy Claussen plays a good defense in his first road game. Could be total demolition.
But on the other hand, Sean Peyton is only 2-7 ATS (against-the-spread) when favored by double digits. He's not a run-up-the-score type. And the Panthers are super-duper desperate for a win. You've got to think they can at least keep within 13 points. I'll take Carolina.
Ravens @ Steelers
Predicted Line: Pitt by 1
Actual Line: Pitt by 1.5
Final score of this game might be 3-2.
But I gotta take Pittsburgh. They're home and only need to win by 2 to cover. Plus, before the season began I said Pittsburgh would go 4-0 without Ben and 5-7 with him. Going to stick with that prediction. Steelers win 13-6.
Colts @ Jaguars
Predicted Line: Indy by 8.5
Actual Line: Indy by 8
Jacksonville always rises to the occasion when they play the Colts, and Jones-Drew is due for a big game. Indy can't stop the run. This is Jacksonville's Super Bowl. So yes, I will take the Jags, for the third straight week, even though I vowed to stop picking them. If they lose this game by more than 8, I swear I'll never pick them again.
Texans @ Raiders
Predicted Line: Houston by 5.5
Actual Line: Houston by 3.5
Classic too-low line. No wonder 92% of the action in Vegas is on the Texans. This looks like easy money. But hang on ... Oakland is pretty good at home, they're running the ball well lately, and Houston's secondary is ranked dead last in the NFL. Plus Houston is missing their starting LT and might be without Andre Johnson,; even if Johnson plays he'll be blanketed by Nnamdi Asomugha. For Houston to win, they're going to have to run the ball effectively. This game should be more competitive than people think. But like I said, too-low line. I'll take Houston, in a bounce-back game. Big game for Jacoby Jones maybe.
Cardinals @ Chargers
Predicted Line: San Diego by 8.5
Actual Line: Chargers by 8.5
I'm getting pretty good at predicting these lines.
Too bad I already used my Lock of the Week. Because Arizona is just sad. And San Diego is going to be pissed after last week's debacle. This is going to be a bloodbath. 31-3 at halftime.
Redskins @ Eagles
Predicted Line: Philly by 2
Actual Line: Philly by 6!
Whoa, that line is much higher than I anticipated, considering the enormous stakes of this game. Not only are both teams battling for NFC East supremacy, but Donovan McNabb is returning to the city where he played 11 seasons, scored 200 touchdowns, threw for 33,000 passing yards and endured this famous incident. He knows the defense, the fans, the stadium, and oh by the way ... the Philly defense isn't very good. Remember what Jahvid Best did to them?
I think McNabb gets cheered in this game, not booed, and goes for over 400 yards in a comeback victory. I think Mike Vick has another stellar fantasy game, but has a crucial turnover or two and continues to remind me of the football version of Allen Iverson. I think this is an instant classic, a back-and-forth game with emotions and hugs and tears and I think Philly fans will be cheering when the Redskins win. This is must-watch football.
I was leaning towards taking the Redskins with a line of 2, so a line of 6 makes this easy. In fact, I'll make it the Upset of the Week.
Chicago @ Giants
Predicted Line: Giants by 2.5
Actual Line: Giants by 4
Giants win big. Bears suck. This one is easy.
Patriots @ Dolphins
Predicted Line: Pats by 2
Actual Line: Pats by 1
The Patriot defense stinks, but it's hard to pick against Tom Brady on a Monday night with a 1 point spread. I'll take New England in a high-scoring game, 38-34.
That's it. Enjoy week 4. Go Lions - we can win week 5 against St. Louis!