After a thrilling week 3 that featured countless crazy finishes and very unexpected results, we returned to normal with a predictable Packers blowout of the Bears in Lambeau, where I think the Bears are 0 for their last 1,000. Was that just typical Aaron Rodgers destruction or a sign of things to come for this week. Sure hope it’s the former, but now that the NFL has captured everyone’s imagination again, I’m thinking this week is gonna STINK. Either way, it’s my responsibility to give you the most reliable, accurate picks you can find anywhere on the Internet. I didn’t keep track of what my record was last week, because like any good quarterback or defensive back, I’ve got a short memory. All line from Bovada.
New Orleans Saints (-3) vs. Miami Dolphins
Just when you thought London’s NFL fever couldn’t burn any hotter, Jay Cutler comes riding into town to really whip everyone into a frenzy. Don’t tell me it’s impossible to grow the game internationally. All we have to do is show them as many bad QBs as possible, and all of a sudden Drew Brees shows up and looks like the second coming of George Best (a little footy reference for everyone. This game’s in England, where they prefer soccer to football, if you didn’t know). Brilliant strategy. This game actually might be kind of fun and high scoring, but that tantalizing potential alone ensures this will be a dud.
Pick: Saints -3
Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons (-8)
Can the Falcons threaten to blow a late lead against a team that can’t pass? We’ll soon find out. I really can’t wrap my mind around how everyone has the Falcons as their number one team. They could have lost every game they played because they can’t not gag in the fourth quarter. The demons are still there from last year. This team stinks and is gonna lose in the first round of the playoffs. You heard it here, first.
Pick: Bills +8
Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots (-9)
Much like last week, this line feels a little too high for my beloved Patriots. In a matchup of stoppable force and moveable offense, the Panthers are hoping the Pats’ swiss cheese defense can help jumpstart the worst offense in the history of football, but don’t get your hopes up. Panthers D is good enough to frustrate and harass Brady enough to keep this within 9.
Pick: Panthers +9
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) vs. Baltimore Ravens
I was tempted to put the Ravens name in blue, because then it’d be black and blue, and we all know how physical these games are, am I right? No love lost here, I’m told. If you’re looking for 2010 NFL thrills, you’ve come to the right place. I have no intention of watching any more of this game than what shows up on RedZone, because this thing is going to be a snoozefest. Stay away from this game if you like things like offense, completed passes, gains of more than three yards, aesthetically pleasing television, and saving record books, because everyone knows you have to throw them out when these two get together.
Pick: Ravens +3
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)
I know they’ve won two games, but the Rams still stink, I don’t care what anyone says. Cowboys look like they’re about to be Back, anyway.
Pick: Cowboys -6.5
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-2)
Until something changes, I fully expect every single Lions game to mirror last week’s game against the Falcons (and their last like 20 games)- the Lions will go down big early then come furiously storming back until the entire game comes down to one hectic, last second play that end controversially. With the Lions’ soft D, and the Vikings’ surprisingly strong offense (until the defense realizes Case Keenum is QB) and ferocious defense, it’s set up perfectly for a big first half lead that gets slowly eroded over the course of the second half.
Pick: Lions +2
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns
I just want everyone to know that I got a paper cut earlier today and that my laptop charger doesn’t really work anymore, so next time someone tells you Millennials never go through adversity set them straight.
Pick: Ideally no one, but I suppose Bengals -3.5
Tennessee Titans (-3) at Houston Texans
Titans showed they could handle elite defenses on the road last week they they kind of took it to Seattle, and I think the Texans offensive outburst last week was more a product of the Pats’ inability to stop a nose bleed than any real prowess from Houston. If the Titans really want to keep the hype train rolling, they need to win this game, and they need to win it solidly.
Pick: Titans -3
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) at New York Jets
I know this is going to really dampen your expectations for this game, but I regret to report Matt Forte won’t play in this game. I know, I’m disappointed, too. Here I was, thinking I’d get the privilege to watch Matt Forte run into non-existent holes and get stuffed for no gain for three hours on Sunday, but now someone else is going to take his place. I think I understand the people who cry about NBA players resting, now.
Pick: Jags -3.5
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers (-2)
The Chargers are like the Lions, expect they never actually succeed and something always goes wrong at the worst time. Until that changes, I’m not sure how you could bet on such cosmically bad luck in good faith.
Pick: Eagles +2
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-7)
Maybe next week I’ll start with the late games, because I’m already running out of steam. Guess someone had to pick up the slack now that Rick Pitino’s gone. OOOOOOHHHHHHH! Anyway, this game is gonna stink. Don’t expect anyone’s interest to last longer than 15 seconds.
Pick: 49ers +7
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
Who’s ready for another weather delay? I am!!! Gotta love the logic. “September/early October the weather in Florida is terrible, so rather than not schedule games in Florida, let’s just put them on late so every game happens during a hurricane. That’ll fix everything!” Actually brilliant by the NFL, because since this game will be delayed by an hour or so, it’ll fill the gap between the 4 o’clock games and the Sunday Night game. It’ll also inch the NFL closer to their goal of having the Giants on National TV every single week.
Pick: Bucs -3
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3)
In theory, this should be a good, close game, but the Raiders just got completely housed by the Redskins. I’m pretty sure the Broncos are a better team, regardless of how limited Siemian is, and Denver is the most impossible place to play in the league. By the Cosmic Law of NFL stupidiy this is going to be a Raiders rout.
Pick: Raiders +3
Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks (-13)
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Who the hell thought this was a good game? Even if Luck was playing, he always plays terribly against good teams. Someone put me in charge of NBC. Al Michaels would never have to look at games like this.
Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)
People who dislike Native American team names, look away! People who like to root for bugs to beat windshields, also look away!
Pick: Chiefs -7
Bonus College Picks:
- Washington State +5 vs USC
- Vanderbilt +9 at Florida
- UConn at SMU Under 76
- Clemson -7.5 at Virginia Tech
- Oklahoma State -10.5 at Texas Tech