Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 4 Picks

Last week:
10-6 ATS
9-7 straight up
8-8 over/unders

19-29 ATS
24-24 straight up
28-20 over/unders

Manning, Rodgers, Brees, and Brady are now a combined 2-10 against the spread.  In my preseason preview, I said that Andrew Luck would take his place among those top 4 elite QBs sometime around week 9 of this season.   Apparently I was 6 weeks off.  Andrew Luck is the #2 quarterback in football right now, behind only Peyton Manning.

Brees, Brady and Rodgers haven't exactly played in such a way to stay atop that list, but Luck has earned his way among the elite with consistently elite play.  The formerly elite are just regressing: Brees because of age; Rodgers because of the curse of the celebrity-chick-girlfriend; Brady because of both.    (Seriously, that curse was a real thing even before Justin Verlander completely fell apart.  Aaron Rodgers is this year's marquee victim.  Man, he looked ordinary against Detroit.)

Giants (1-2) @ Redskins (1-2)
Predicted Line:  WAS by 6.5
Actual Line:  WAS by 3 

Front row seat on the Kirk Cousins Bandwagon!  Redskins 31-14.
(Under 45.5)

Oops ...

Packers (1-2) @ Bears (2-1)
Predicted Line:  CHI by 3

Actual Line: GB by 2 

If I'm picking based on common sense and what I think I know in the core of my being, I'm taking the Packers.

If I'm picking solely based on what I've seen this year, I have to take the Bears.   No question.

Ugh. I don't know.  I guess I'll say Bears 26-24.
(Under 51)

Bills (2-1) @ Texans (2-1)
Predicted Line:  HOU by 2

Actual Line: HOU by 3

Both of these teams had a legitimate opportunity to jump out to a 3-0 start and they both flopped.  Houston proved that without Arian Foster their offense is absolutely morbid, while Buffalo I guess re-proved that they don't know how to utilize a RB-committee for the millionth time.

With Foster questionable, I guess I'll play it safe and say Ryan Fitzpatrick probably shouldn't be trusted as a favorite of any number when he doesn't have a running game.  Bills 17-16.
(Under 42)
*If Foster definitely plays I'll change the pick to Texans 23-16; stay tuned.

Titans (1-2) @ Colts (2-1)
Predicted Line: IND by 8

Actual Line: IND by 8 

I generally like to take the points in a divisonal matchup with a high spread.  However, with Jake Locker unlikely to play, that means it's the heralded Charlie Whitehurst versus the second best QB in the NFL.  In Indy.  Let's say Colts 31-13.
(Under 46.5)

Panthers (2-1) @ Ravens (2-1)
Predicted Line: BAL by 1.5
Actual Line: BAL by 3.5 

Ravens 16-13.
(Under 41)

Lions (2-1) @ Jets (1-2)
Predicted Line:  DET by 1.5
Actual Line: DET by 2 

With these two teams currently occupying the #1 and #2 spots in total defense, most pundits are calling for a low-scoring defensive battle.  To me, that's just sloppy, lazy analysis.

To argue that these are the best two defenses in football is beyond asinine; it's ridiculous.  Neither of these defenses is even a top ten unit; in fact I would say both are below the line of average.  Not to say they don't have playmakers and solid run stuffers - they both do.  But neither of these teams has an NFL-caliber secondary, and the Lions just lost their best linebacker for the season due to a sack dance.  The cost of losing Tulloch can't go underestimated.

What this game comes down to should be simple:

Lions offense - B+
Lions defense - C+
Jets offense - D
Jets defense - C+

Detroit's offense has Calvin Johnson- the best damn player in the NFL - along with Reggie Bush, Golden Tate, Joique Bell, a very good offensive line (it's true!) and a QB who can get the ball to them. Oh, and a couple of worthless 1st round pick tight ends.

The Jets offense has no one to be afraid of.

With both defenses good but not great, and the Lions having a massive advantage in offensive personnel, the only way this game could go in favor of the Jets would be if Rex Ryan coaches the pants of Jim Caldwell.

Oh, wait.


Let's say Jets 27-25.
(Over 44.5)

Bucs (0-3) @ Steelers (2-1)
Predicted Line: PIT by 7.5
Actual Line: PIT by 9

I know Tampa is abysmal and McCown is hurt, but I don't think Pittsburgh is good enough on either side of the ball to be favored by 9.  Couldn't Mike Glennon play the garbage-time game of his life and complete the backdoor cover easily?  He's playing for a job and a future contract, after all. Let's go Steelers 27-20.
(Over 45.5)

Dolphins (1-2) @ Raiders (0-3)
Predicted Line:  MIA by 3
Actual Line:  MIA by 4 

Stupid London games.  Dolphins 20-10.
(Under 40.5)

Jags (0-3) @ Chargers (2-1)
Predicted Line:  SD by 14.5
Actual Line:  SD by 13.5 

Jacksonville has lost by margins of 17, 31, and 27.   They rank dead last in both passing defense and rushing defense thus far.  All Blake Bortles has to do in his debut is not poop his pants and it'll be a success. Eh, what the heck, let's say Jacksonville covers.  Bolts 31-24.
(Over 45)

Falcons (2-1) @ Vikings (1-2)
Predicted Line: ATL by 4.5
Actual Line: ATL by 3 

Speaking of rookie debuts, Teddy Bridgewater gets his first start against an Atlanta team that just scored 95 points last Thursday.  And he likely never gets to play a game with Adrian Peterson in his backfield.  That guy's luck turned from incredible to horrible in a hurry.  Yikes. Falcons 26-6.
(Under 47)

Eagles (3-0) @ 49ers (1-2)Predicted Line:  SF by 3
Actual Line:  SF by 4.5

My upset special: Philly 27-17.
(Under 51)

Saints (1-2) @ Cowboys (2-1)Predicted Line:  NO by 3
Actual Line:  NO by 3

Some things are way too obvious.  Like Drew Brees against the Cowboys defense.  Saints 35-24.
(Over 54.5)

Pats (2-1) @ Chiefs (1-2)Predicted Line:  NE by 4.5
Actual Line: NE by 3

Upset Special part two.  Charles comes back in the big way, New England kicks lots of field goals.  KC 24-19.
(Under 46)

That's it for this week, Go Lions!!


  1. Boy, I'm sure glad I listened to you on Kirk Cousins and started him last night against Jeremiah. At least Jeremiah's random tight end didn't go off for 30 points or anything.