Fat Chance: Week 4 NFL Picks

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    In week three, I went 9-7 for the second straight week. For the first time, I picked the Bengals incorrectly against the spread. I picked them wrong straight up, too, but I always do that. Going forward, I’ve decided to completely give up on them and stop letting Ben cloud my judgment, so I foresee correctly picking them to lose several times in the coming weeks.

    From a hurried look through the scores from last week, it appears that there was only one close call. I picked it correctly, with Arizona losing by three as a 3.5-point underdog. This week, I am going to try to figure out a couple of the teams that I have picked incorrectly every week—the Ravens and Chiefs. It’s too bad they aren’t playing each other. Then my inability to figure them out would only cost me one game, instead of two.

    As always, pick against me in the comments if you dare.

    Saints (-6.5) over Jaguars — The Saints score 30 every week, and I can’t imagine a scenario in which the Jaguars crack 20. Against anyone. Like, ever.

    Lions (+1.5) over Cowboys — I know the past two weeks have taken Tony Romo from the LeBron James of football to the Mateen Cleaves of football. (And it probably says something about our obsession with winning that we look at that as an upgrade.) Still, we’re one Ndamukong Suh body shot away from Jon Kitna.

    49ers (+10.5) over Eagles — The 49ers defense has looked good enough that I think they can hang in. God help me if they end up down two touchdowns and need a late drive from Alex Smith to cover.

    Redskins (-0.5) over Rams — I want to like Bradford’s Rams, but they stink. I want to be down on Grossman’s Redskins, but they keep competing. I’ll take the Redskins because they didn’t lose by 30 last week.

    Titans (+0.5) over Browns — Chris Johnson may be on the verge of a breakout, but the Titans have lost Kenny Britt for the year, Peyton Hillis should return for the Browns this week, and Cleveland is tough at home. Wait, what am I talking about? The Browns lost to the Bengals. Titans it is.

    Vikings (-1.5) over Chiefs — The Vikings may be better at blowing huge leads than any team in NFL history. I just don’t think the Chiefs have a comeback in them. Then again, I clearly don’t know anything about the Chiefs. Either way, I’m probably picking too many road favorites here.

    Bears (-6.5) over Panthers — This will be the biggest test yet for Cam Newton, playing against the Bears’ competent defense in a hostile environment. It’s worth remembering that despite his heroics, the Panthers are 1-2.

    Steelers (+3.5) over Texans — The Steelers have been struggling on the road (or to put it another way, against anyone other than the Seahawks). But for some reason I have a hunch they’re going to win this game. Please, don’t take that to the bank.

    Giants (-1.5) over Cardinals — The Cardinals three games have been decided by a total of 11 points, but they have played three mediocre teams and are 1-2. Coming off a convincing win in Philadelphia, the Giants should be able to handle Arizona.

    Falcons (-4.5) over Seahawks — Seattle is tough at home, and I’ve got too many favorites this week, so I wanted to pick the Seahawks. Then I realized that the Falcons beat them 34-18 last season.

    Patriots (-4.5) over Raiders — I originally read this line wrong, thinking the Patriots were underdogs and happily picking them without a second thought. They’re actually the favorites, but I’ll stick with them anyway.

    Broncos (+13.5) over Packers — Denver’s games this season have been decided by three, two, and three points. I think they can stay within two touchdowns in this one. Kyle Orton is better than you think. Still, the Packers will win this game.

    Chargers (-7.5) over Dolphins — There are only three teams that are 0-3 against the spread. These are two of them; the Rams are the other. (The Rams and Dolphins are 0-3 for real, too, but the Chargers are 2-1. This all probably means nothing.)

    Ravens (-3.5) over Jets — I seem to come up with a new way to say this every week, so let’s just put it out there: I don’t like the Jets.

    Colts (+10.5) over Buccaneers — The Colts will be without linebacker Gary Brackett and safety Melvin Bullitt for the rest of the season, so their defense is now totally doomed, too. Tampa doesn’t score a ton of points though, so I think Indy can hang around.

    Bills (-2.5) over Bengals — Benson or no Benson, the Bengals won’t be able to keep up with the Bills and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Oh, the irony. The only thing more painfully hilarious would be Jordan Palmer catching on with the Colts and leading them back to prominence. I’ll say Bills 31, Bengals 9.

    Record last week: 9-7
    Record overall: 26-22
    Record picking Bengals games against the spread: 2-1
    Record picking Bengals games straight up: 0-3

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