Anyone who says they make a living off betting on NFL games is a dirty liar. With a record of 7-8, it was another rough week for me as I dropped down to 62nd in the overall rankings of BRB's Unofficial Pick 'Em League. A lesson I'm learning is that few teams can be defined by just one week. Circumstances, motivations and game plans can vary wildly week to week, and sometimes you have to predict something that's unlikely.
Or maybe I'm just bad at this. But no matter how many Corzo jerseys you people burn, I won't let it get me down. This week is the first week of the rest of my Pick 'Em season-- a chance for me to be a new man.
Enough about me, though, let's take a look at the studs sitting atop the rankings this week.
|Rank||Pick Set Name||Total||Dropped||W-L|
STEELBLUE continues his reign of terror for the fourth straight week, but his two point lead has been cut in half. My hopes of catching up are waning. At least I can cheer on "Blow Schaubs for everybody."
Onward to the picks! I've included the spread for your convenience but I'm not picking against it.
Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns (-4)
We live in a world where the Cleveland Browns have the same record as the Houston Texans through four weeks. Crazy, huh? The Browns have a pretty stout defense and I'm betting they'll make things tough for rookie E.J. Manuel on the road in the Dawg Pound. Hopefully Jordan Cameron puts up another two touchdowns for my fantasy team. Winner: Browns
New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears (0.0)
Pocket passers are reasserting themselves as the dominant quarterbacks in the NFL this year, with Drew Brees near the front of that movement. He's as accurate and deadly as he's ever been. For the first time in a long time, the Saints have a defense that can at least keep up with their high-powered offense. Look for Sean Payton to get his first ever win at Soldier Field. Winner: Saints
New England Patriots @ Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5)
Another toss-up. The Bengals must feel a bit embarrassed to lose against the possibly resurging Browns, but Tom Brady and the Patriots make for a tough redemption opponent. I was hesitant to pick the Bengals against the Packers and they made me look foolish. I'm not one to learn from my mistakes. Winner: Patriots
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-7)
My girlfriend is a big Detroit Lions fan, so I get an earful whenever I don't choose them. I really want to believe in them on the road against the Green Bay Packers. Reggie Bush has been everything they could have hoped for and more while the defensive line has been fearsome. If the Lions win, they will have broken a Wisconsin road losing streak that goes back to 1991. They already broke a long road losing streak at Washington, D.C. Can they do it again?
My heart says yes, but my mind says no, so another earful is on the way. Winner: Packers
I'm wondering how much drop off there is between Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Titans were smart to nab another backup quarterback with a good amount of experience to replace Matt Hasselbeck, but can Fitzpatrick continue the Titans' streak of zero (ZERO) turnovers through four games? I'm thinking no, and the Chiefs will capitalize. Winner: Chiefs
Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts (+2.5)
After laying a beatdown on San Francisco, I'm confident that Indy can replicate at least some of that success against a similarly built Seattle squad. The Legion of Boom is a tough nut to crack, but if Schaub can do it for three quarters, so can Andrew Luck. Winner: Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars @ St. Louis Rams (-11.5)
Blaine Gabbert is still a starting quarterback in this league, and he just lost his starting left tackle via trade. Winner: Rams
Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins (-3)
Speaking of that trade, newly-acquired Eugene Monroe will try to help revitalize an offensive line that's allowed Joe Flacco to be sacked 12 times so far. They've also paved the way for just 64 rushing yards per game. Monroe should alleviate some of those ills right away. Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 18 times so far, and he's going up against a very stout Ravens defensive line.
Have the Dolphins made any trades for a starting left tackle? No? I expect Coach Harbaugh to get the Ravens back on track after a tough loss last week. Winner: Ravens
Two NFC East turds square off in a game neither seems capable of winning. The Giants have totaled just four sacks all season despite the reputation of their defensive line. Their entire offense seems broken, short of Victor Cruz. The Eagles' defense is terrible as well, but at least the offense is humming along to the tune of 480 yards per game, including the league's leading rusher with LeSean McCoy.
I'm torn on this. I'll go with the team that has at least something going for it. Winner: Eagles
Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals (+1.5)
Carolina is dumping 150+ yards per game on the ground. Arizona is limiting teams to half of that per game, which ranks 2nd in the league. At this point in their careers, I'll trust Cam Newton more than Carson Palmer. Winner: Panthers
Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys (+7.5)
You might as well make the line +17.5. No one has even slowed down Peyton Manning through four games, and I don't think Dallas will be the first. Winner: Broncos
Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers (-7)
If only to preserve my sanity, I strongly believe the Houston Texans will pick themselves up and show a national audience that they're still somebody in the NFL. Matt Schaub and his teammates have been saying the right things after a devastating loss and the subsequent fallout from fans and the media. They're mentally tough and they'll be angry on Sunday night.
I'm not crazy, right? RIGHT?! Winner: Texans
San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders (+4.5)
DAAAA RAIDAHZ aren't so good and Philip Rivers is a born-again quarterback. Oakland will possibly miss its starting center (Steve Wisniewski), fullback (Marcel Reece) and running back (Darren McFadden), leaving San Diego primed to beat their rival on the road. Winner: Chargers
New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons (-10)
There's no reason the Atlanta shouldn't protect its home turf and come away with a victory. They have to be desperate for a victory with rival New Orleans undefeated so far. Winner: Falcons
Survival Leage Pick: St. Louis Rams
They're playing the Jaguars. Too easy, right? And it's an opportunity to not use an elite team this early in the season.
Hasta luego to everyone who chose Cincinnati over Cleveland last week. Division games like that can be quite dangerous. There's just 29 of us left after starting with 100 (I think) to begin the season. Keep it up!
These are my humble picks, so let me know what you think of them or give us a peak of yours in the Comments.
Texans vs 49ers coverage