Week 3 was a good week for the Sportscolumn staff. Now we hope to extend it to week 4. Week 4 is a great week in the NFL season. At the quarter pole, we should have a much better idea of which teams can be considered legitimate playoff threads.
The featured games this week are Baltimore @ Pittsburgh, Washington @ Philadelphia, Chicago @ NY Giants, and New England @ Miami.
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NFL Week 4 2010 Picks
|Panthers @ Saints||Saints||Saints||Saints||Saints|
|Jets @ Bills||Jets||Jets||Jets||Bills|
|Niners @ Falcons||Falcons||Falcons||Falcons||Falcons|
|Seahawks @ Rams||Rams||Seahawks||Seahawks||Rams|
|Bengals @ Browns||Bengals||Browns||Browns||Bengals|
|Ravens @ Steelers||Ravens||Steelers||Steelers||Ravens|
|Broncos @ Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans|
|Lions @ Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers|
|Texans @ Raiders||Raiders||Texans||Raiders||Texans|
|Colts @ Jaguars||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts|
|Cards @ Chargers||Chargers||Chargers||Chargers||Chargers|
|Redskins @ Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Redskins|
|Bears @ Giants||Bears||Bears||Giants||Bears|
|Patriots @ Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins|
|Prev Week||11-5 (.688)||10-6 (.625)||10-6 (.625)||9-7 (.563)|
|Overall||29-19 (.604)||30-18 (.625)||25-23 (.521)||28-20 (.583)|
Against the Spread
|Panthers @ Saints (-14)||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers||Saints|
|Jets @ Bills (+5)||Jets||Jets||Bills||Bills|
|Niners @ Falcons (-7)||Niners||Niners||Niners||Falcons|
|Seahawks @ Rams (+1)||Rams||Seahawks||Seahawks||Rams|
|Bengals @ Browns (+3)||Bengals||Browns||Browns||Bengals|
|Ravens @ Steelers (-1.5)||Ravens||Steelers||Steelers||Ravens|
|Broncos @ Titans (-6.5)||Titans||Broncos||Titans||Titans|
|Lions @ Packers (-15)||Packers||Lions||Packers||Packers|
|Texans @ Raiders (+3.5)||Raiders||Texans||Raiders||Texans|
|Colts @ Jaguars (+7.5)||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts|
|Cards @ Chargers (-9)||Cards||Chargers||Cards||Cards|
|Redskins @ Eagles (-6)||Eagles||Redskins||Eagles||Redskins|
|Bears @ Giants (-3.5)||Bears||Bears||Giants||Bears|
|Patriots @ Dolphins (NL)||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins|
|Prev Week||11-5 (.688)||10-6 (.625)||10-6 (.625)||9-7 (.563)|
|Overall||22-23 (.489)||22-23 (.489)||22-23 (.489)||18-27 (.400)|
* The peso is a coin flip of an old peso to pick the game.
Locks of the Week
Vegas Vinny: (0-3, Balance =$780). Well, this isn’t good. 0-fer to start the season. I’m going to attempt a lock that is something only a desperate man would do. I’m putting money on my favorite team. Don’t try this at home, kids. At the bar last week, I had a view of two tvs and they happened to show the Eagles-Jaguars game and the Redskins-Rams games. While the Eagles smacking down Jacksonville was expected, the Redskins getting beaten handily by the Rams was not.
If you took away all the hype surrounding McNabb’s return to Philly, and you evaluated these two teams based on the merit of their season play, it’s hard to imagine how the Redskins can even stay in the ballpark with the Eagles. In the beginning of the year I picked the Eagles to win this game, obviously with Kolb at QB. So how can I pick against them when Vick, a much better quarter for this situation is at the helm? A lot has been said about how well McNabb knows the defense and how he can exploit the Eagles D with his knowledge. That’s great but the flip side is also true. The coaching staff of the Eagles knows McNabb better than he knows himself. If the Eagles can keep Chris Cooley in check by rotating coverage his way and not let the Redskins running game hurt them (as if the 28th ranked Redskins running game has hurt anyone but the Redskins), then this should be a relatively easy game for Philly. It’s only because of McNabb’s emotional ties that this is even a 6 point line. McNabb is not longer the take over a game QB he was a few years ago. He needed a good defense and a good running game to succeed in Washington. So far he’s gotten neither. Based on the play of the porous Redskins defense, this should have been a double digit spread. I never like to bet on the Eagles but I’ll put $55 to win $50 and give the 6 points.
BostonMac: (1-2, Balance =$885) The Patriots, for years, couldn’t win in Miami. Screwy things happen there. Even under Belichick and Brady, a trip to South Florida is never a gimme for even the best Patriots teams, of which the 2010 version is not one. The last time I can remember a Pats-Dolphins Monday night game, Tom Brady had a god awful night, throwing a pass from his back which was returned for a pick-six and a Dolphins win over the eventual Super Bowl champs from Foxborough. And with the way the Pats defense (especially secondary) is playing now, with Darius Butler disappearing like Natalee Holloway and Brandon Meriwether not reminding anyone of Euclid with his pursuit angles, they couldn’t stop anybody right now, least of all a Miami team that probably should be 3-0 right now. After being let down by the Pats last week, I’ll bet against them this week and put $55 to win $50 on MIAMI (E), though I am also putting $1.10 to win $1.00 on NOTRE DAME (-3) to beat the hapless BOSTON COLLEGE Eagles in Chestnut Hill on Saturday night.
RJ: (1-1-1, Balance =$1045) I said last week that a lot of teams “beat” the Saints, but very few win the game. This is by no means a knock on New Orleans, but how many recent games have you watched where an opponent played amazing, it looked like the Saints were cooked, and the next thing you know, Drew Brees or the most opportunistic defense ever won the game? Atlanta pulled a rare feat last Sunday by doing both: not only beating the Saints up and down the field but on the scoreboard, too! I expect the Saints to be in full pissed-off mode, with the poor 0-3 Carolina Panthers and the green Jimmy Clausen as the next victims. But to blatantly and lamely steal from Lee Corso, not so fast, my friend.
This is not something I usually do; I like to take the team that I’m most confident in not only covering, but winning. Carolina is a turrible (Charles Barkley approved sic) team that hasn’t done anything right this year. That includes handing over the keys to a rookie quaterback who hasn’t quite mastered the old catch-the-ball-when-it’s-hiked routine. It’s crazy to take the rookie quarterback making only his second start on the road against the defending Super Bowl champs whose def. coordinator is reknowned for attacking and confusing quarterbacks who haven’t seen them before (Brady, Manning and Favre to name a few). Of course, I’m not taking Clausen to beat the Saints outright in the Superdome, but I’m taking John Fox (7-1 all-time in N.O.), the running game waking up like it did there last year and the trends (road team is on 14-2 ATS run in this series) to keep the score reasonable. The Saints haven’t covered a number all year and were only 2-6 ATS last year as double-digit favorites. These division rivalry games are funny business, so while the Saints win, Carolina (+14) keeps it mildly close on This Particular Given Sunday. $55 to win $50.
Burton: (1-2, Balance =$925) This is, by definition, easy money. Tennessee’s only loss came to the best team in football, while the Titans have looked impressive in dismantling Oakland and the New York Giants. Meanwhile, the Broncos lost to Jacksonville, which is as plain as daylight one of the worst teams in football, while struggling to move the ball against the aging Colts. Their only win came over Seattle. Nonetheless, Seattle averaged over five YPC in the game. This has mismatch all over it. Expect Chris Johnson to go Kobe over the Broncos defense, rushing for somewhere in the vicinity of 150-200 yards, and the Titans will never look back. The Broncos might keep it respectable, but as the spread is only Tennessee -6.5, it can still be respectable without this bet ever being in jeopardy. Expect something like 27-10 late, so you won’t have to worry when Orton gets his garbage-time TD pass. Time to make some real money. $275 to win $250.