I have never had a season quite like this one. Week One and I go 8-8 on my picks. It’s the first week, and I think nothing of it. Week Two arrives, and oddly enough, I go 8-8 once again. What an odd beginning to the season, I think to myself. I count up my week three picks, and wouldn’t you know it, I go 8-8 yet again. This season is unchartered territory. I have never had a streak quite like this. Week Four is now upon us, and I vow to break the dreaded .500 streak!
PICK OF THE WEEK: Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5) (O/U 46)
There is no reason to overcomplicate things here on Thursday Night Football. The Jaguars have looked like an inept franchise trying to find its footing. The Bengals have improved with a balanced offensive philosophy and a defense that has caused issues for the opposition. A short week on the road–I dislike it for Jacksonville.
PREDICTION: Bengals 30 Jaguars 17
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-3) (O/U 42)
Admittedly, this is one of the tough games on the slate. The Lions should have won last weeks’ game against the Ravens but were gutted with a 66-yard field goal at the buzzer. The Bears looked like an incompetent franchise a week ago. I’m going to stick with the home team. I believe the Bears’ rushing game and defense can carry them to victory.
PREDICTION: Bears 24 Lions 20
Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (O/U 54.5)
Following week one, we would not have thought this would be a game between two 1-2 teams, but here we are. It feels like the Eagles are a team on the verge of unraveling. The Chiefs are poised to rebound. I don’t see how the Eagles can keep pace with the Chiefs’ offense.
PREDICTION: Chiefs 41 Eagles 24
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints (-8) (O/U 43.5)
I should have known better than to double down on the New York Giants a week ago. I picked the Giants to win, and I liked Daniel Jones as a fantasy play. The Giants couldn’t get it done against a putrid Falcons’ defense, there is no chance they get it done against a suffocating Saints’ defense.
PREDICTION: Saints 27 Giants 16
Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins (-2) (O/U 43)
A game between two desperate teams, the Colts on the verge of going winless in the first quarter of the season, and the Dolphins on the verge of losing their third straight. I was impressed with the Dolphins’ resiliency a week ago. I don’t like an injured Carson Wentz behind a banged-up offensive line.
PREDICTION: Dolphins 27 Colts 24
Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) (O/U 50.5)
A measuring stick game here between the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys. The Panthers’ defense has been dominant so far this season. Can they slow down the offensive juggernaut that is the Dallas Cowboys? I like the Cowboys’ defense to get after Sam Darnold. I will take the home Cowboys to cover.
PREDICTION: Cowboys 31 Panthers 24
Washington Football Team (-1.5) at Atlanta Falcons (O/u 47.5)
The spread here feels like an overreaction to me. Washington got blitzed by the Buffalo Bills in week three. Atlanta squeaked out a victory over the New York Giants. Washington is a far more complete team, and their defensive front seven should give Atlanta’s offense fits all afternoon.
PREDICTION: Football Team 27 Atlanta 13
Tennessee Titans (-7.5) at New York Jets (O/U 45.5)
The Tennessee Titans could be without AJ Brown and Julio Jones in this one. It doesn’t matter–they are playing the New York Jets. A new regime, same results, the Jets are awful. The Titans have settled down since week one and seem to be in control.
PREDICTION: Titans 30 Jets 20
Cleveland Browns (-2) at Minnesota Vikings (O/U 51.5)
The Browns/Vikings have a potential shootout feel to it–I love the ‘over’ in this spot. Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins are both playing well, spreading the ball out to their weapons. The difference in this one for me is the Cleveland Browns defense. I believe the Browns defense puts up more resistance than Minnesota. I will take the Browns on the road to cover and move to 3-1.
PREDICTION: Browns 34 Vikings 30
Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills (-16.5) (O/U 47)
I struggle to see how the Houston Texans’ defense can slow down the Buffalo Bills’ offense. Josh Allen and the weapons around him had it working last week, and there is no reason to expect that they will slow down at home against Houston. I still cannot give any team 16.5 points. Houston keeps it close enough to cover.
PREDICTION: Bills 34 Texans 20
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-3) (O/U 52)
The Seahawks/49ers game feels like a ‘law of averages’ contest. If it were not for the incredible Aaron Rodgers comeback a week ago, the 49ers would be 3-0. The Seahawks come in reeling following back-to-back losses. These teams know each other well. I’m taking Russell Wilson to play like an MVP in this one and lead Seattle to an outright road victory.
PREDICTION: Seahawks 30 49ers 27
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (-4.5) (O/U 54.5)
A week ago, the Rams put the entire league on notice with their dominant victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. The Cardinals are off to a 3-0, but their Achilles heel feels like it would be their defensive backfield. If any team in the league can exploit that weakness, it would be the Rams.
PREDICTION: Rams 34 Cardinals 27
Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers (-6.5) (O/U 45.5)
One team with an aging quarterback, aging like a fine wine. The other with a quarterback who looks washed up. The Packers are much more dynamic and explosive in every phase of the game. The Steelers get boat-raced in this one.
PREDICTION: Packers 34 Steelers 17
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-1) (O/U 44.5)
The Baltimore Ravens were fortunate to escape Detroit last week with a victory. The Denver Broncos have done whatever they have wanted to so far this season. The Broncos haven’t played anyone yet. The Ravens are step up, and Lamar Jackson poses his own set of problems. I will take the Ravens on the road to get the victory in a close one.
PREDICTION: Ravens 20 Broncos 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) at New England Patriots (O/U 49)
You may not have heard, but Tom Brady returns to New England this weekend. Football is romantic, and there is no way that this story ends with the Patriots beating the jilted lover in Tom Brady. Buccaneers rebound from last week’s defeat and win big.
PREDICTION: Buccaneers 34 Patriots 20
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) (O/U 52.5)
The Las Vegas Raiders have been the surprise of the short NFL season so far–off to a 3-0 start. The Los Angeles Chargers come off a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and are riding high. Expect a fireworks display in this one–take the over. I will take the Chargers to win at home and give the Raiders their first loss of the season.