Friday, 29 September 2006

NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 4

The column that I'm sure everyone waits in anticipation for... my picks for the week against the spread for Week 4. I don't want the suspense to build, so let's just start!

Chargers (-2) over Ravens - I love the Ravens D, and I loved the Ravens picking up Steve McNair at the time... but, McNair has just not played well so far. He's skipping a lot of passes to open receivers and has just generally been inaccurate. He's like a less mobile Michael Vick with a little better arm, and Jamal Lewis isn't good enough right now to carry the entire offense. Even in Baltimore, I'll take the Chargers to win and cover.

Saints (+7) over Panthers - I do like the Panthers to win this game, but the spread seems a little high. The Saints were awesome last week. Great defense, solid offense, and good special teams. Deuce and Bush are going to win them a lot of weeks... for Carolina, they almost blew a 17-0 lead against Chris Simms and his ruptured spleen... I think they're the best in the West now with Steve Smith back, but I'll take the Saints to cover.

Texans (+3.5) over Dolphins - The Dolphins struggled mightily in beating the Titans last week. The Texans are an awful club, but I like David Carr to find Andre Johnson enough to pick the Texans to win the game outright. Something's rotten in Miami, and it's not just Daunte Culpepper.

Colts (-9) over Jets - There's lots of reasons to pick the Jets to cover... it's in NY, the Jets are playing very well right now, Chad Pennington is back, and the Colts can't stop the run or run the ball themselves... but I just have a feeling the Colts will come out and whomp the Jets.

Cowboys (-9.5) over Titans - I think TO will wind up playing and have a nice game. That, combined with the Cowboys 2-headed RB situation, and the fact that the Cowboys D should eat up Kerry Collins + whatever RB Tennessee starts this week, and I'll take Dallas to cover. I still maintain that Tennessee is the only team that will be able to challenge Oakland for the #1 pick in the draft.

Falcons (-7.5) over Cardinals - This is one I have a tough time picking. The Falcons looked so bad on Monday night, and the Cardinals have all that talent on offense. But, I think Atlanta should be able to run all over the Cardinals defense, and they should be able to put pressure on Warner, and, well, let's just say that I think Matt Leinart will be starting next week.

Vikings (+1) over Bills - So the Vikings were a fumble away from beating one of the top 2 teams in the NFC, and the Bills lost by 8 to the Jets... and the Bills are favored? Maybe in past years, when the Vikings could never win on the road, I could understand more. But the Vikings have already notched a road win, and so this shouldn't faze them. I think Pat Williams & Co. can shut down Willis McGahee, causing Losman to pass, and regardless of how decent Losman looked last week, I'll take the Vikings here.

Chiefs (-7) over 49ers - I'm not a big Damon Huard guy (but then, who is?), but I think he should be able to sufficiently hand the ball of to Larry Johnson. A lot. And that should be enough to cover the spread at home.

Rams (-6) over Lions - The Packers just beat the Lions by 7 at Ford Field. The Rams are traditionally a very good home team. Yeah, I'll take the Rams to cover.

Browns (-3) over Raiders - This is a vow from me... until the Raiders actually cover once, I will not pick them. Bad coach, bad QB, bad line, yada yada yada... Plus, I do like the Browns. Charlie Frye gets the job done, and he has some emerging targets. Browns are the pick.

Redskins (+3) over Jaguars - The Jags defense is great, but I think the Skins are a little underrated. They came in and lots of people were predicting Super Bowl, and then they played 2 poor games in a very complicated offense basically without their All-Pro running back, and now people are writing them off. At home, with a healthy Clinton Portis, I think they can beat the Jaguars. The Jags offense isn't that good right now either (well, unless Maurice Jones-Drew has something to say about it).

Bengals (-6) over Patriots - I'm sorry, but in Cincy, I don't see how New England can compete. I think they'll be ok by the end of the year when the receivers are more in sink with Brady, but right now the offense is not clicking. After 3 games, Ben Watson leads the team with 11 receptions, followed by Troy Brown and his 10. I think the Bengals will be able to bottle up the run a little bit, and then that great offense should be able to score enough to cover the spread.

Seahawks (+3.5) over Bears - This is tough without Shaun Alexander playing, but I think the Seahawks have enough weapons with Hasselbeck and the 4-WR sets. Offensively for Chicago, Rex Grossman showed he can be rattled some when pressure is put on. Plus, the running game has been non-existent for the Bears. I think the Seahawks win a pretty low-scoring game.

Eagles (-11) over Packers - The spread is pretty high, but I see a HUGE game for Donovan McNabb. Rex Grossman, Drew Brees, and Jon Kitna have passed all over Green Bay in the first 3 weeks, and McNabb is looking better than he ever has in his career. Big day for McNabb, big day for the Eagles, and a MNF win over Green Bay.

Last Week: 6-7-1
Season: 25-20-1