Ramblin’ Fan’s NFL Picks and Predictions: Week 4


Week 4 brings with it a bye for the Rams, but not for much of the NFL. 12 game are on the slate for this week for football action highlighted by three intra-divisional clashes. After Week 3, straight-up picks continue to look good for me while I’m slowing digging myself out of a terrible Week 1 that saw the dogs burn plenty of handicappers.

What is the spread? In the gambling world, a “spread’ is a term used to handicap games by allowing a team to lose or win by a certain number of points while still winning for a bettor. If the Rams are +3 against the Seahawks, that means that the Rams could win outright or they could lose by two points and still be a victory for a bettor. In the same situation as above, the spread could also read as the Seahawks -3 which again would mean they have to win by three or more points to cover the spread.


New York Giants at Washington Redskins (-3.5)

The New York Football Giants can thank their lone win this season on a bad defense. Eli Manning managed to throw zero interceptions and Rashad Jennings rushed for 176 yards against a Texans defense that was barely existent. On the other end of the 1-2 spectrum, we have the Redskins. Washington has done amazing things offensively (ranking third in passing yards and ninth in rushing yards), but their defense has allowed them to get outscored. Even though last week’s snapshot may make this look like a close game, the Redskins offense is too good (with Kirk Cousins) for the interceptions-waiting-to-happen Eli Manning. Redskins win 17-13 (Redskins cover)


Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (+1)

No performance was more shocking than the Packers in Week 3. Aaron Rodgers threw for only 162 yards and three RB’s combined for a 3.5 average. Their opposition will be the Chicago Bears who, despite some rocky points, look like a team that can put it together if they can overcome the injury bug. These two teams are allowing a combined 732 yards of offense allowed, so don’t expect a defensive masterpiece. Even though the Bears are going into Sunday on a short week, the Packers have not shown enough to see my support. Bears win 28-21 (Bears cover)

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (-3.5)

The Bills could be a playoff team, but we witnessed why they are likely not against the Chargers last week. Buffalo has a strong defense and run game that can support EJ Manuel, but once the sophomore QB has to try and lead the team from behind they fall apart. The Texans could be a playoff team, but we witnessed why they are not. Houston has managed to hold teams to a combined 50 points through three games (16 ppg), but the offense looks limited. Ryan Fitzpatrick is solid, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes Ryan Mallett’s show and that’s probably for the best. I believe the Bills can easily top the Texans and usher in what could be a new era in Houston. Bills win 24-16 (Bills cover)

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-7.5)

I have been a huge advocate for Jake Locker since he was drafted by the Titans, but I’ve reached my limits. Locker has proven to be a turnover waiting to happen, with two interceptions and two fumbles in Week 3. Sure the offensive line needs to play better, but there is enough offensive talent on the team to no longer give the Washington product the benefit of the doubt. The Colts will likely make the playoffs due to the competition in the AFC South, but you need to wonder how good this team is. Andrew Luck has been great (912 yards and nine TD’s), but there is still no run game. Defensively, Indy has allowed a combined 78 points through three games. This should be a cakewalk for the Colts and I don’t see this line moving enough to expect a dog cover. Colts win 35-28 (Titans cover)

Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)

When the season began, seemingly the entire world had given up on the Panthers offense this season. But Cam Newton has developed a rapport with the young receivers, especially Kelvin Benjamin. The offensive line has been bad though and has led to an abysmal running game. The Ravens may be a mess off the field, but on the grass they have been playing well. Steve Smith has found the fountain of youth and the defense has been solid. But the Ravens defense was tested by Brian Hoyer and Andrew Hawkins in Week 3. The Panthers have all the keys to capitalize on the Ravens weaknesses and I see them leaving with a huge division win. Panthers win 28-13 (Panthers cover)

Detroit Lions at New York Jets (+1.5)

The Lions have been impressive this season, but for once it has not been their offense. Detroit has only allowed a total of 15 points per game (second in NFL) and a mere 733 yards against (least in NFL). Interestingly, the Jets have only 805 total yards against (second least in NFL) despite allowing 24 points per game. This game should be a surprisingly defensive game and I’m not expecting a lot of offense. Lions win 18-13 (Lions cover)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5)

The Buccaneers were a trendy pick to be a darkhorse this season, but after three weeks of play they have been outscored a whopping 95-45. The supposedly steady Josh McCown had four interceptions before being replaced with Mike Glennon in the Bucs embarrassing showing against the Falcons. Will the real Pittsburgh Steelers please stand up? Is it the team that got trounced by a reeling Ravens or the team that dominated the Panthers in Week 3? I think the Steelers win this one because the Bucs are just not good, but that spread is too huge for a Pittsburgh team that is this inconsistent. Steelers win 21-16 (Buccaneers cover)

Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders (+4)

Remember when the Dolphins beat the Patriots in Week 1? Yeah, neither do I. This is a team that has allowed 212 yards on the ground and four touchdowns through the air. Defensively the team looks confused and offensively the lack of commitment to Ryan Tannehill is concerning. And speaking of the Patriots, the Raiders almost beat them last week. Not really due to their own skill, but rather New England’s downward trend. The Raiders are dead last in both offensive yards and points. This game is interesting because both teams have something to prove, but I’m staying away from the Fins because of their lack of organizational direction. Raiders win 32-21 (Raiders cover)

Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers (-13.5)

The future is here in Jacksonville. Blake Bortles will get his first career start throwing to three rookie receivers with a career long back-up running back behind him. I don’t want to be pessimistic, but that is not exactly a tried and true method of immediate success. The Chargers have been looking great so far this season. They average 23 points per game, hold opponents to 16.3 ppg and have one turnover (which was in Week 1. This team is nothing like the Norv Turner Chargers and they seem like a team that can go far. Chargers win 38-14 (Chargers cover)

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers (-5.5)

The Eagles are the epitome of a team that needs to outscore opponents to win. They are 3-0, but have done so with the 26th overall defense and the 30th passing defense. I don’t see this team proving a real threat in the playoffs because we know what a purely offensive team gets you. There is really only one stat you need to know about the 49ers; San Francisco has scored 76 points in the first half of games and three in the second. Eagles win 38-24 (Eagles Cover)

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (+2.5)

The Falcons high-octant offense has been nearly unstoppable through three games. Matt Ryan looks good statistically, but has feasted on below average defenses for the most part. And the Vikings enter the Teddy Bridgewater era. But the first round QB will be running for his life without improved offensive line play and the lack of a credible running back. Falcons win 28-13 (Falcons cover)

New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys (+3)

Consistency has been the Saints biggest problem this season. When the defensive front is able to be aggressive and get pressure it allows their safeties and outside linebackers to really shine, but that has not been happening very often. A win is a win, but the Cowboys got the ‘W’ because of a Rams collapse and not necessarily their own merit. Dallas has seven turnovers on the season and the best thing i can say for their defense it’s that it has been adequate. Saints win 28-27 (Cowboys cover)


New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5)

As much as many want to say the Patriots are on the down swing, the team is still playing impressive football. The team has only given up two turnovers while only giving up 272 yards per game. The Chiefs can be a good team, but several things need to fall into place. The offensive line needs to step up its game, Knile Davis needs to prove to be able to sustain his play from Week 3 and the defense will need to develop all-around. Patriots win 35-14