The Green Bay Packers were destroying the Detroit Lions, with Aaron Rodgers throwing four touchdowns in the first half. Then, they went into the locker room, came out, and decided to coast the rest of the game, letting the Lions get ALL the way back into the game before falling just short and losing by seven. Who cares, right? The Packers still won. Well…they Packers were favored to win by seven, so for those who took the Packers at -7 (like me, here, last week), the game ended in a push.
That push meant a 2-2-1 week, and an overall record of 7-7-1. So completely even through three weeks, let’s take a look at the five picks for week four.
– Jacksonville Jaguars +2.5 over Indianapolis Colts (9:30amET): Yes, you read that start time correctly, as the first NFL game of the year in London will be featuring these two AFC South bottom-dwellers. Both have vastly underperformed through the beginning of the year, but the Jaguars high-powered offense has shown flashes, and should tear up the awful Colts defense. These London games are wonky, and never really seem to go how they were predicted to, but I like the Jaguars to win a shootout against Andrew Luck and the Colts.
– Cleveland Browns +7.5 over Washington Redskins (1pmET): Here’s the bottom line – the Washington Redskins should never be favored by more than a touchdown against anyone this season. The Browns have been saddled with injuries, mainly on offense, and are practically tanking this season in the hopes of getting a good draft pick. But they performed admirably last week and almost pulled out a win over the Dolphins, eventually losing in overtime. Even if the Redskins can get themselves together to pull out a win, it shouldn’t be by more than seven.
– Carolina Panthers -3 over Atlanta Falcons (1pmET): The Falcons played really well on Monday night, and the Panthers couldn’t get anything going last week against an excellent Minnesota Vikings defense. But the Panthers were 15-1 last year, and made the Super Bowl fairly easily, tearing through the NFC. Now they’re currently 1-2, and if they drop this one they’re in bad shape to even make the playoffs. That’s unfathomable, and expect them to get back on track against a Falcons defense that can certainly be exploited. I see this as a 20+ Panthers win, but they’ll at least take a 4-point victory.
– Arizona Cardinals -8 over Los Angeles Rams (4:30pmET): The Cardinals are another 1-2 team that was expected to be a major contender for the Super Bowl before the season started. Like the Panthers, the thought of the Cardinals at 1-3 and missing the playoffs is shocking, so expect them to beat a much worse Rams team. In order to cover though, they need an eight-point victory, which will be tougher. Still, this line dropped down from 9.5 to just 8, and it’s worth taking the Cardinals to take out the Rams and get back on track.
– Pittsburgh Steelers -5 over Kansas City Chiefs (8:30pmET): I’m 2-1 on Sunday night games so far, but this one isn’t easy. Both teams are great, but last week they were pointed in opposite directions, with the Chiefs destroying the Jets (largely thanks to their defense and a quarterback who kept giving it away) and the Steelers unable to do anything against rival Eagles. This week, the Steelers are back home, and facing a team they match up well with. I like the Steelers by a late touchdown in a nail-biter.