I’m not going to get too excited about going 5-3 in Week 4 but clearly, it’s a big step up from where I was a few weeks ago. I’m just hoping that I didn’t just jinx myself right there. It’s time to move on to Week 5 and try to keep the momentum going.
Saints, Pats find friendly confines of home
I had the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this week but I’m reversing course because I picked the Saints and the Patriots to go to the Super Bowl in the first place. I’d be ashamed of myself if I decided to jump off of my Super Bowl picks this early in the season. The Saints line actually moved to -10.5 from -11 earlier this week, which suggests that the public’s tired of losing out on New Orleans. With action on Tampa Bay, I’m going to the other way and picking the Saints to resemble the trendy pick it was earlier this season.
I’m a little more worried about the Patriots-Bengals game because the line has swung dramatically since New England got punked at Kansas City against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football. It opened with the Pats at -3 but that has shifted to Cincinnati at -1. If the Pats are still as good as I think they are, this is the perfect game for Tom Brady to make a statement game.
Prediction: Saints 31, Bucs 14
Prediction Patriots 27, Bengals 21
Movement in the Meadowlands
The New York Giants didn’t take a long time to get the public’s trust back. That’s what two straight wins will do to you. Its game against the Atlanta Falcons has had its own significant movement with the public betting up the spread to -4.5 from the opening line of -1.5. I’ve never been a fan of the Falcons playing on the road but it does look like the public’s putting more faith in Eli than they should. I think New York wins a close game, putting the Falcons in a position to cover.
Prediction: Giants 24, Falcons 21
Depending on what your books’ line is, the spread for the Houston Texans-Dallas Cowboys game has ranged from -3.5 to -4.5 for the home team, right around where I saw it moving to earlier this week. Sentiment is hot on the Cowboys these days after their impressive win against the Saints this week, which is a reason why the spread has been bumped up in a lot of books. I love the Texans in this spot, largely because they have the defensive line that can contain DeMarco Murray and harass Tony Romo.
Prediction: Texans 23, Cowboys 20
Ground the Jets this week
I love how the public has seen some value on the Jets being touchdown underdogs. I don’t think they know who the starting quarterback is at New York. Equally important, I don’t think they’ve given enough credit to the Chargers defense. I’m not even concerned about the San Diego’s unbeaten spread record this season. I think that continues for at least another week in a big way.
Prediction: Chargers 31, Jets 14
Other games to look forward to
The public’s running away with the Seattle Seahawks, apparently not concerned with Seattle being -6.5 road favorites against Washington. I’ll be the contrarian here and I’m even going so far as to pick the Redskins pulling off an improbable upset against the defending champs. I may have just lost my mind.
Prediction: Redskins 28, Seahawks 24
Pittsburgh smarts over giving away last week’s game to Tampa Bay. I think Big Ben and that offense comes out swinging with the defense doing its part to hold of the Jaguars late in the game. The spread hasn’t moved much from the opening line of -6.5, suggesting that there’s action on both sides of the ball. I’m riding with Pittsburgh as the road favorites here.
Prediction: Steelers 30, Jaguars 20
Tough game to get a hold of but I like the Colts to take this one in a nail biter. Some books have Indy as -3 favorites whereas others have moved the spread up to -3.5. This game’s probably going to go down to a Joe Flacco and Andrew Luck shoot-out and if that happens, I’m riding with the home team to make the last big play of the game.
Prediction: Colts 24, Ravens 20
Week 4: 5-3