NFL Picks Week 4—The Coach's Quick Picks

Lion's Den U's TheCoach@@LDUtheCoachCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2010

Did anyone see the Chicago Bears going 3-0 to start the season?

What about the Chiefs? Or Pittsburgh, who has the largest difference of net points after three games? (at +39) without Big Ben?

Personally, Pittsburgh is most impressive.

Who thought the 49ers would not have a win yet, pitting themselves at the bottom of their division, similar to those of the NFC favorite (before the season), Dallas Cowboys.

Needless to say, for the average better, it's been tough. Vegas/OLG cashed in for the third week in a row, by the Chiefs, Bills, Falcons, Browns, Rams, and Bears all covering the spread.

Only four one-sided games (the Steelers, Bengals, Eagles and Colts) beat the number and went against the house. So much for Week 3 being an easy week…

TheCoach’s Record Through Week 323-23-2 (link to TheCoachs blog)

BYE: Cowboys, Chiefs, Vikings, Buccaneers

New York Jets (2-1) @ Buffalo Bills (0-3)

LINE: New York -6.5

Mark Sanchez was horrible against the Bills last year, going a combined 17-of-42 for 223 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions.

Personally, I don’t think the Bills have his number. I think, since the Bills are horrible, the Jets and Sanchez played risky football, and it showed in the stat column.

Not only do I think the Jets, Rex Ryan, and Mark Sanchez are smarter than they were last year, but they have L.T. playing like the running back he was five years ago. The Bills are facing a hot New York team coming off beating the Patriots and Dolphins in back-to-back weeks.

New York will be looking to take a 3-0 strangle hold in divisional games.

*Bills are 7-18 ATS in their last 25 home games vs. a team with a winning record.*

New York 19, Buffalo 10.


Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) @ Cleveland Browns (0-3)

LINE: Cincinnati -3.5

Cedric Benson, who has just 3.1 yards per carry this year, is playing horribly. The problem is that teams are keying on him because Carson Palmer is playing worse (completion percentage 56.6, and his yards per attempt is an abysmal 5.8).

The Browns aren’t great against the pass, but their run defense is good, which will make for an interesting matchup. The Browns offence and Seneca Wallace won’t be able to do anything against the Bengals' stout defensive squad, and that will be the deciding factor. The Bengals move to 3-1, and can thank their defense for it.

Cincinnati 20, Cleveland 6.


Baltimore Ravens (2-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)

LINE: Pittsburgh -1.5

Wow. Not confident in this pick at all, but I am going ahead with it anyways.

I wouldn’t recommend betting on this game. Most people had the Steelers going 2-2 without Big Ben, and they are already 3-0.

In three games, their defense has allowed 33 points and the Steel Curtain is back and better than ever. The Steelers are proof that games can be won solely by defense and a backup quarterback not making too many mistakes.

Every player has given 110 percent in every game, and I expect it again, at home, against Baltimore…4-0 without their starting QB is phenomenal. Peter King did pick the Steelers to win the Super Bowl…hmm.

* Home Team has won 14 of the last 16 meetings *

Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 17.


Denver Broncos (1-2) @ Tennessee Titans (2-1)

LINE: Tennessee -6.5

Don’t let the Broncos' run defense last week fool you (41 yards on 20 carries) because they were facing Joseph Addai, not phenom Chris Johnson.

Fortunately for Denver, they’ll battle Vince Young instead of Peyton Manning, but I expect Johnson to put his QB in favorable situations and fantasy owners in a guaranteed win this week.

Kyle Orton has been playing great, Brandon Lloyd has stepped up. But evident last week, Denver has no running attack and it will be their Achilles' tendent this week (and year).

Knowshon Moreno is like out, and Laurence Maroney is not good enough to be an elite back in the NFL.

* The Titans are historically underrated. Vince Young is 28-13 as a starter (26-15 ATS). *

Tennessee 30, Denver 17.


Detroit Lions (0-3) @ Green Bay Packers (2-1)

LINE: Packers -14.5

I am not even going to talk about the problems Green Bay had on Monday Night.

It was pathetic.

The Packers' O-line had problems with Julius Peppers, and considering the Lions' massive defensive front is led by Ndamukong Suh…Green Bay’s front could pick up where they left off.

Luckily for Rodgers, the Lions are 30th very the pass, so he will light it up if given protection. And he has, too, because Brandon Jackson is horrible (Green Bay, trade for Lynch).

The Packers' defense is simply too good for the Lions, but is -14.5 too many points to lay? I think so.

I guarantee the Packers got their ass kicked after embarrassing themselves in primetime, but these teams are divisional rivals, and -14.5 is too many points to touch.

Green Bay 30, Detroit 17.


San Francisco 49ers (0-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

LINE: Atlanta -7.0

The way Atlanta beat the Super Bowl-champion Saints was by controlling the clock and the time-of-possession by more than 18 minutes by pounding the rock 44 times.

The 49ers' run defense (other than last week) is less susceptible to the run than New Orleans, but they’re currently 27th versus the pass. Expect Matt Ryan to be more involved this week.

The 49ers have fired their offensive coordinator, and you can’t blame them, but they have to rebound quickly. A loss this week against Atlanta, followed by a battle at the Eagles next week, could see San Fran at 0-5 and Singletary getting the axe.

Frank Gore will be established early, but fortunately for Alex Smith, the Falcons' D ranks 29th in terms of yards per attempt, despite the fact that two of the quarterbacks they’ve played against have been Dennis Dixon and Derek Anderson.

* Teams that have beaten the Super Bowl champs as dogs are 16-24 ATS the following week since 2000*

Atlanta 23, San Francisco 17.


Carolina Panthers (0-3) @ New Orleans Saints (2-1)

LINE: New Orleans -14.5

The Saints have certainly not looked like the team they were last season, who put up 40+ points a game.

But if you look at the defenses they’ve facedMinnesota, San Francisco and Atlantaall have pretty impressive units. As for the Panthers, they’re good as well.

Carolina is fifth versus the run and 14th against the pass. The Saints' defense will win this game because they’re amazing at crushing rookie QB’s.

Plain and simple.

Three rookie quarterbacks in four games last year (Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman twice) went a combined 68-of-128 for 740 yards, one touchdown and 11 interceptions…Jimmy Clausen is screwed.

Luckily for the average better, the Saints just aren’t playing good enough to be favored by more than two TD’s.

New Orleans 27, Carolina 13


Seattle Seahawks (2-1) @ St. Louis Rams (1-2)

LINE: Seattle -1.5

Just because Steven Jackson is day-to-day with a sore groin doesn’t mean the Rams are shot this week.

In past years, it would have meant a guaranteed loss for St. Louis, but in 2010, things are different. Sam Bradford is the real deal…I really like this kid, and expect big things in his career.

I am also extremely impressed with the way the Rams have rebuilt their team thus far. Jackson should play, and even if he’s not 100 percent, Bradford will be able to move the chains via Mark Clayton, and backup running back Kenneth Darby will help out.

The Seahawks have looked HORRIBLE since the first game, when Pete Carroll was running around like a kid on Christmas Day, like the idiot he is.

* Seahawks have won the last 10 meetings — Expect a change. *

St Louis 23, Seattle 20.


Indianapolis Colts (2-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

LINE: Indianapolis -6.5

Jacksonville’s defense is ranked 22nd versus the rush and dead last against the pass, so you can expect Peyton to have a big day, and Joseph Addai to rebound back.

Fortunately for Jacksonville, they can get back to their bread-and-butter on offence by pounding the rock with Maurice Jones-Drew. The Colts allowed Kyle Orton to pass for 476 yards last week, so with Jones-Drew putting Garrard in third-and-short, the Jaguars will move the ball better than one would think.

Historically, the Jags play the Colts in close battles. Whether they get pounded by every other team all season long, it seems if they do well against Indy, they’re season is a success…hence, why every one of their games is blacked out.

* 14 of the previous 16 meetings have been decided by 8 points or less.

Colts are 12-4 straight up in those contests. *

Indianpolis 27, Jacksonville 21.


Houston Texans (2-1) @ Oakland Raiders (1-2)

LINE: Houston -3.5

The Texans have been favorites on the road five times in their franchise history, and are 1-4 against the spread.

Don’t let that fool you.

That's the Texans of past, not the Texans of today. Houston will be looking to win this game to stay a top the AFC South.

A big day out of Arian Foster is needed because left tackle Duane Brown is still serving a suspension. Andre Johnson isn’t 100 percent (ankle), and will be blanketed by Asomugha, anyway. 

Houston’s defense has faced Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo in the past three weeks, and you can’t bet your ass they are salivating at the opportunity to face Bruce Gradkowski (Google’d him to make sure I spelt his name right…true story).

* Raiders are 14-33 ATS at home the previous 47 instances. *

Houston 20, Oakland 16.


Washington Redskins (1-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)

LINE: Philadelphia -6.5

Donovan McNabb will be looking for sweet revenge.

And I can guarantee you, last week’s loss to St. Louis was 100-percent due to Washington looking forward to this week. The rest of the Redskins want to help their new leader get the revenge he wants for the blind-side trade, and everyone in Washington will be playing balls-out on Sunday.

Philadelphia will be looking to show McNabb why they sent him packing. Seeing how the fans react will be interesting in itself, but a touchdown is way too much to lay in this rivalry.

Philadelphia 27, Washington 24.

Arizona Cardinals (2-1) @ San Diego Chargers (1-2)

LINE: San Diego -9.5

Start slow, finish strong…is anything new in San Diego?

Bruce Gradkowski looked good against the Cardinals, so Rivers should have a field day on Sunday afternoon. Ryan Mathews is pain-free and expected to play, so he should have a big day.

It’s about that time the Chargers start winning. So they will.

As for the Cardinals, Derek Anderson was just 12-of-26 for 122 yards against the Raiders last week…San Diego wins easily.

San Diego 27 Arizona 10.


Chicago Bears (3-0) @ New York Giants (1-2)

LINE: New York -3.0

Cutler will finally have protection since New York can’t seem to get to the quarterback, and the Giants are a pedestrian 19th against the pass.

Cutler should shine.

With that being said, I hate Jay Cuter, and on any given play, ANYTHING could happen. Completion, interception, touchdown, fumble, sack, a long QB scramble, pick six, injury, crying to the refs, you name it…anything can happen on any given play.

I pity Bears fans because of it. The Giants look just horrible so far this year, and going back to last year, New York is 3-10 against the spread in their last 13 games. They are an overrated team that the public LOVES, and Vegas/OLG is cashing in because of it.

How in the world are the Giants favored by three?

Chicago 21, New York 20.


New England Patriots (2-1) @ Miami Dolphins (2-1)

LINE: New England -1.5

So all Tom Brady has to do is pretty much win this game, and the Patriots will cover?

Well, Tom Brady is 110-37 as a starter (85-59 ATS), so this is easy money… right?

Not so fast!

The Patriots' defense has been on the decline in recent years, and this year they are horrible. They will be in shootouts with teams every week, all season long.

The Pats won’t have any trouble scoring, but neither will the Dolphins, at home, in primetime. Last week, the Bills scored 30 on New England.

The BILLS!! 30!!!

I was iffy on this pick, but check this out…Brady is just 3-5 against the spread in Miami. One of the covers came in the 2007 undefeated season (the Dolphins were 1-15), another came in 2005 when the Dolphins started 3-7, and the last was the 2003-04 New England team that won 22 straight games (or however many it was).

Miami 23, New England 20.


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