2010 NFL Game Predictions: Week 4 Point Spreads and Picks

Christopher SchmidtContributor IOctober 2, 2010

Pittsburgh Steelers 3-0 record is not really a surprise.
Pittsburgh Steelers 3-0 record is not really a surprise.J. Meric/Getty Images

There are as many pleasant surprises–the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears–in the early NFL season, as there are disturbing disappointments–San Diego Chargers. Unfortunately, in sports it is the disappointments that stand out, especially if your team is one of those underachieving.

One way to get a handle on the surprising and disturbing results, and start picking games correctly, is to stop picking your favorite team to cover, and start picking the 49ers to lose big.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons -6.5
The 9er’s defense is good.  Frank Gore is awesome.  Unfortunately the D has trouble scoring, and Gore can’t do it on his own, though he is trying.  The Falcons are a complete team with the talent to beat the Super Bowl Champs in New Orleans. The 9ers are going to have to wait a while for that first win. Pick: Atlanta -6.5

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills +5.5
Are all these early season AFC East match ups designed to drum up some enthusiasm for this Division?  Are you looking back at the AFC East’s early season games to remember who they played because you haven’t any enthusiasm for that Division?  Be hopeful that some other game is showing in your area, or suffer one more AFC East contest between a team you don’t like and another you don’t care about. Pick: New York Jets (the team you don’t like) -5.5

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns +3.5
In deference to the above, be hopeful that this is not the game showing in your area.  The Bengals new high-profile offense is averaging 19-points per game.  The Browns customary highly-disappointing misfits are worse than that (45-points in 3 games).  Cincinnati may need a defensive touchdown to win by 3.5.  The Browns should be happy to oblige. Pick: Cincinnati -3.5

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers -14.5
We don’t keep very good records, but it is doubtful we have recently taken the Lions to cover.  If this has ever happened, they were likely getting 14.5-points. Pick: Lions +14.5

Denver Broncos v Tennessee Titans -6.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers have an exceptional defense that managed to contain Chris Johnson.  Everyone else is going to lose badly when they face the Titans.  Pick: Titans -6.5

Seattle Seahawks v St. Louis Rams -1.5
Seattle needed two kick returns and five turnovers to beat the Chargers at home.  This is not promising going to face a St. Louis team that hasn’t given up a kick return touchdown in years, and has fumbled the ball only once. Pick: St. Louis -1.5

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints -13.5
We could easily take the commentary about last week’s Saints game, which said New Orleans is due to annihilate someone (which turned out to be completely wrong), and apply it to this week.  Anyway, New Orleans is due to annihilate someone.  Pick: Saints -13.5

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers -1.5
Both teams play wonderful defense.  Both teams play unpredictable offense.  The Steelers are unbeatable at home, but against the Ravens, Charlie Batch won’t get away with the throws he made last week in the Browns game.  1.5 is too much to give to either team. Pick: Baltimore +1.5

Houston Texans v Oakland Raiders +3.5
The Raiders aren’t winning, but they aren’t getting blown out either.  The good news is the Raiders aren’t winning.  Houston is the much better team here, and should win easily, but they also should have beaten the Cowboys last week. Pick: Oakland +3.5

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars +8.5
The Colts appear to have recovered from the season opening shocker against the Houston Texans and are now winning handily.  Jacksonville has one of the league’s best players in Maurice Jones-Drew.  He is having his worst year ever, as Jacksonville also has one of the league’s worst offensive lines and a wholly unreliable Quarterback. Pick: Indianapolis -8.5

Arizona Cardinals v San Diego Chargers -8.5
The Charger’s kick-return team is so dreadful, if they hope to win any games this season, they better not punt the ball at all.  Have you ever seen the home crowd imploring their team to go for it on 4th and 9?  It just might happen this week in San Diego. Pick: Cardinals +8.5

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles -6.5
With the movement of Donovan McNabb in the off season, this game was set up as must-see TV, and not simply because the networks said it was.  By losing to the Rams last week the Redskins have set themselves up for a long year.  Michael Vick appears to be taking his new starting job seriously.  This is bad news for the rest of the NFC East, which will be on network TV every week. Pick: Eagles -6.5

Chicago Bears v New York Giants -3.5
Even with concurrent victories over the Cowboys and Packers, it is hard to buy in to the Chicago Bears.  The main problem: it is hard to accept Jay Cutler.  Eli Manning is going to be on the other sideline this week, however, and we refuse to accept him. Pick: Chicago +3.5

Monday, October 4, 2010

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins +1.5
Yet another early-season game between AFC East teams about whom you are aggressively indifferent.  This one doesn’t have the Bills in it at least, and could be a well played game.  Randy Moss has started playing better, which is bad news for those who appreciate character. Pick: New England (the other AFC East team you don’t like) -1.5