Record After Week # 4 is: 15-7-2 *note: first 5 picks were all college picks
Raiders (+6.5) over Texans, Result: Win
So I’ve been up and down on the Raiders this year, but I do respect their talent. They are getting 6 ½ points at Houston. Now with the Raiders, some things never change – they still lead the NFL in penalty minutes by a mile. But, they are a tough out! They’ve got an explosive running game and Jason Campbell is on pace to throw for more than 3700 yards. Now the Texans are coming off that huge huge win over Pittsburgh and they feel great about it. They’ve got Baltimore next week…uh oh! This is a flat spot for them. Andre Johnson is out, which is a huge break for the Raiders’ secondary that’s banged up and finally getting healthy. The reality here is that if you can protect your quarterback and Oakland has only given up 2 sacks this year on the offensive line, you can beat Houston because they have a suspect secondary. I’m going to take the 6 ½ points, I say Houston wins but I’m taking the points 27-26 Houston.
Bengals (+2.5) over Jaguars, Result: Win
So I got the Bengals at 2 ½, so folks…let me figure this out! The Bengals have the better offense and unquestionably the better defense…yet the Jaguars are favoured? Andy Dalton has built up a nice chemistry with these young Cincinnati receivers, AJ Green and Jermaine Greshen. They’ve already scored between them 4 TD’s and have 35 catches. Blaine Gabbort is not nearly as advanced as Jacksonville’s quarterback; they have the worst receiving core in the league. They’re receiving core after a month has a total of 57 catches. Cincinnati has the #1 ranked defense in the league – they held Buffalo, pretty good offensive team, to five 3 and outs! In a passing league, that is tough to do. I like Cincinnati, the better team to win the game straight out. Other than running back, I think the Bengals have an edge at every position, maybe even head coach. I say the Bengals, 23-20…take the points.
Panthers (+6.5) over Saints, Result: Win
This is my upset of the week! If you thought I was nuts when I picked Tennessee to beat Baltimore – Carolina at + 6 ½ . The Saints’ defense has huge holes and here is what’s surprising. You think the Saints’ offense is great, 450 yards a game. Carolina’s offense is averaging 440 yards a game and Cam Newton is the real deal and he has recharged Steve Smith on the outside. I read one of those insider reports that I subscribe to earlier this week, and an NFL scout was talking about how Cam Newton made 2 throw’s against Chicago that he believes only one other quarterback in the league could’ve made, Aaron Rodgers. The Saints are a -3 in turnover differential….why? Because they don’t play fast and they don’t play hard on defense and they don’t create havic. I’m going to go with the upset on this one, I’m going to take the 6 ½ points with the confidence of a man pretty much the same age as me….Carolina wins it, 26-24.
Eagles (-3) over Bills, Result: Loss
I’m going to take Philadelphia over Buffalo – and I know right now the Eagles are a mess! But the Bills are not as good as the 3-1; the Eagles are not as bad as the 1-3. In the NFL, if you are better at quarterback, wide receiver, defensive line and coach…if you do that, 4 for 4, you’re going to win the game! Philadelphia is better at quarterback, receiver, defensive line and head coach. Don’t forget this, that Buffalo is really really weak defensively. Forget the Kansas City game, since that point; the Bills are giving up 89 points and 11 TD’s. Philadelphia, I’ll swallow the 3 points, wins by 10, 33-23.
Lions (-5.5) over Bears, Result: Win
Okay, I don’t like taking favourites very often in the NFL because it’s a parity driven league, I’m going to lay the 5 points, I’m going to take Detroit at -5 ½ , they’ve won 8 straight games, are the best in the NFL, Matthew Stafford is 17 to 14 picks to TD ratio, Calvin Johnson’s already got 8 TD’s. The Lions, if you go back to the beginning of last year, are tremendous against the spread against NFC competition. The Bears by the way, you think great defense? They’re getting gashed on the ground!! Their tackling has been horrible…why? Have you noticed these powerful defenses? The Steelers, Jets and Bears…are not as good this year? Along with lousy tackling…why? Beat up rosters, coaches are limiting hits in practice…great defenses are not tackling well and it will continue. I’m going to take Detroit –as long as Deven Hester doesn’t burn the Lions – cause they can be shaky on special teams, I’ll swallow the points. Detroit 24-14.