NFL Week 4 Picks Against the Spread

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIIOctober 2, 2010

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 12:  Wide receiver Reggie Wayne #87 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates his touchdown against the Houston Texans during the NFL season opener at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

When picking three NFL games per week, it is my weekly goal to finish 2-1 (or better) against the spread (ATS). Last week, I fell short (1-2) of my stated goal to even my season record to 4-4-1 ATS through three weeks.

That was unacceptable.

So, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is.

That's right, folks. If I don't pick at least two winners this week, all future picks from The Weekly Blitz will be free and (yes, there's more) I will allow the first 100,000 members to sign up for our fantasy football contest for free.

Ok, both the weekly picks and the fantasy football contest have been and will remain free. But I felt the need to let you know that I know you were my disappointed with my performance last week. And it won't happen again. Unless, of course, it does.

Here are my three guaranteed (unless they lose) picks for Week 4:

Colts -7 (over Jaguars): Out of the 126 passes thrown by Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning this season, nine have gone for touchdowns while none have been intercepted. This week, the league's 29th-ranked pass defense (289 yards per game allowed) will try to slow down the machine-like Manning.

Meanwhile, the Jags have lost their past two games by 25 points each and scored a combined 16 points. Typically, Jaguars quarterback David Garrard plays better at home, but that didn't happen last week (13-30, 105 yards, one interception). I'm not sure this week will be any different with the newly acquired Trent Edwards.

Chargers -8.5 (over Cardinals): The Cardinals have struggled to stop the run as only the Detroit Lions have allowed more rushing yards. Meanwhile, Arizona's offense is scoring, on average, 7.4 points per game less this year. Considering two of their three games were against the Rams and Raiders (not exactly elite defenses), there is little reason to have faith in quarterback Derek Anderson.

Despite playing without receiver Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill, the Chargers have averaged 24.0 points per game (tied for eighth in the NFL). The Cardinals will be without their No. 2 receiver, Steve Breaston, and the Chargers get back running back Ryan Mathews, their first-round pick.

If the Chargers establish an early lead, it will put more pressure on D.A. to make plays. That doesn't scare me. Does it scare you?

49ers +6.5 (over Falcons): Are the Falcons good? Really good? Yes and yes. They've scored the sixth-most points (77). They've allowed the sixth-fewest points (46). And many of the sites that release NFL Power Rankings have the Falcons in their top five.

On the flip side, the 49ers have arguably played as badly as any other team in the NFL and no team has been a bigger disappointment thus far. The Niners have allowed the most points (87) and scored the second-fewest (38). The 49ers have made a change at offensive coordinator, one day after coach Mike Singletary gave Jimmy Raye a "vote of confidence."

Perhaps it's a leap of faith, but I expect the offense to get a spark under new coordinator Mike Johnson's stewardship as San Francisco will use the spread offense more to benefit quarterback Alex Smith and don't-call-me-a-diva-receiver Michael Crabtree. At a minimum, I expect the Niners to keep it close.

See the picks from the other two "handicappers" at

Here are some of our Week 4 Fantasy Football resources: Top 25 QBs | Top 40 RBs | Top 50 WRs | our Week 4 contest

In addition, feel free to send start/sit questions to me via Twitter @EDSFootball or post your questions in our free Fantasy Football forum.