There’s this guy I know, he’s a lot like me.  He’s here to pitch in during NFL Week 4.

His name is Darrell.

No, not “my brother Darryl or my other brother Darryl”.

For those of you window-reading, that may be the only Newhart reference you’ll read all year.

This Darrell has many brother-like qualities and we’ve bonded over the similarities in our lives.

You see, he has a WIFE that HATES sports, too – and her clever personality is making her a bit of a quasi-celebrity in these parts.

Darrell and THE WIFE (most people call her Jess) participated in this grand experiment last year and they’re here again – “same bat-time, same bat-channel”.

NFL Week 4 should definitely be more interesting, because not only do we have dueling wives in the pick ’em, but Darrell is also seeking revenge on last year’s ugly defeat.

But enough chit-chat, let’s revisit the madness from Week 3 and share the season standings:

Week 3:

KP (11-5), THE WIFE (12-4), Coin Flip (5-11), Sports Chump (10-6) and Special Guest Bleed (10-6)

2015 Season:

Coin Flip (30-18), THE WIFE (28-20), KP (25-23), Special Guests (24-24) and Sports Chump (23-24-1)

KP picks the spreads, facing THE WIFE, the Sports Chump, a simple coin toss and a special guest

NFL Week 4: Kevin Paul picks NFL spreads, facing two WIVES, Sports Chump, a coin toss and special guest Darrell Harden

It’s once again time to “Pick Your Knows” – the only time it’s not a disgusting habit – and here are the Week 4 games (with spreads as they appeared through CBS Sports on 9/29/15).

KP’s “Pick Your Knows”: 2015 NFL Week 4 Picks

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5)

Typically one of the more exciting and ferocious rivalries in football, this first edition of the 2015 season has lost some of its luster following the injury to Ben Roethlisberger.  It’s a break for the 0-3 Ravens, a team that desperately needs a win and instead will face an aging Michael Vick.  Vick struggled last season, but does take over an offense with a number of weapons, including Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.  The Ravens are 29th against the pass through three weeks and can be scored on.  Still, Big Ben’s absence is by far the biggest factor and until Vick can prove that there’s anything left in the tank, you should avoid Pittsburgh, especially in close matchups.  Give me the Ravens on the road.

KP’s Pick: Baltimore Ravens

New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins (+2.5)

Grab a plate of fish and chips and enjoy this AFC East rivalry, which will take place in London.  That is, if you like to eat your fish at 9:30 in the morning (Eastern Time).  The Jets have given Ryan Fitzpatrick plenty of protection, allowing just two sacks so far this season while Miami’s expensive defensive front has just one sack in three games.  For New York, the injury bug has been taking its toll, with Eric Decker possibly missing a second consecutive game.  Ryan Tannehill and the “Fish” are due for a big performance, but that will be tough after a long trip to face the 4th-ranked pass defense, which has more picks than TD’s allowed.  Expect those “Fish” to be, well… served with chips.  Jets cover in NFL Week 4.

KP’s Pick: New York Jets

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5)

Andrew Luck is questionable with a shoulder injury, but is expected to play.  Last week, the Colts found its offense in a comeback win over Tennessee while the Jags were trounced by New England.  Jacksonville is 25th in pass defense, allowing 282.7 ypg with just one INT in three games.  Teetering on this one, let’s instead focus on the Colts, who have been unable to get things going and have been turning the ball over way too much.  Toss in any kind of injury to Luck and the horseshoe-clad franchise QB is unlikely to be 100% effective.  Also, there’s something about these youthful Jags, especially on offense, with the growth of Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson.  If the Titans can hang with Indy, then Jacksonville can, too.  Colts win, but consider taking the Jags and the points – I am.

KP’s Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars

Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)

There’s optimism in Houston regarding Arian Foster and his status for Sunday.  Adding Foster to the running game would be a huge boost, especially against an Atlanta defense that has given up six TD’s on the ground this season.  Houston will have a tough time corralling Julio Jones, but then again, every team has to this point.  The key will be the pressure put on QB Ryan Mallett.  Considering the Falcons have just four sacks in three games, it’s a good bet that Mallett could have time to find big-play receivers like DeAndre Hopkins.  With that in mind and the pending return of Foster, I like the Texans to keep this one close.

KP’s Pick: Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)

Andy Dalton is off to a great start and A.J. Green put up monstrous numbers last week against the Ravens.  Now, Cincy is at home, facing a Kansas City defense that was torched by Aaron Rodgers last Monday night.  The Chiefs are playing on short rest and have allowed an NFL-high 10 TD’s through the air.  K.C. has also allowed 14 sacks (most in the NFL) through three weeks.  Like a few nights ago in Green Bay, Alex Smith could once again be running for his life.  Sure, the Chiefs showed heart making that Monday night game interesting in the second half, but the numbers are stacked way against them.  Bengals cover in NFL Week 4 – and rather easily, I might add.

KP’s Pick: Cincinnati Bengals

New York Giants at Buffalo Bills (-6.5)

LeSean McCoy is likely to sit this one out, but that means more carries for Karlos Williams, who has been spectacular.  Even with the  worthy replacement, it’s likely to be a challenge running the ball, considering these teams are ranked at the top in rushing D (Bills – 1st, 74.0 ypg, Giants – 2nd, 74.7 ypg).  Through the air, Odell Beckham Jr. is the clear standout and will be facing a Buffalo defense that is 31st against the pass.  But consider the inflated stats, with Miami playing catchup last week and New England posting big numbers on the Bills in Week 2.  Buffalo is strong at home, but the Giants have momentum (and extra rest) following its win over Washington last Thursday.  Take New York and the points in NFL Week 4.

KP’s Pick: New York Giants

Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears (+2.5)

Chicago’s offense was anemic in Seattle last week and is currently 31st in passing offense.  Oakland’s passing offense is ranked 7th, showing a clear advantage in this category.  The Bears have the 6th ranked pass D when it comes to yards allowed, but have otherwise struggled, allowing 8 TD’s through the air and a 123.8 QBR.  Sure, the Raiders haven’t been able to win back-to-back road games for what feels like an eternity, but the Bears are already dealing away key players (e.g. Jared Allen) and rebuilding.  Let’s not forget that Jimmy Clausen is likely starting again, too.  Take Oakland with confidence in NFL Week 4.

KP’s Pick: Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+3.5)

Last week, critics were quick to discount Chip Kelly and the Eagles, while tossing heaps of praise in the direction of the Redskins.  Seven quick days later and the Eagles are 3 ½ point favorites on the road against the ‘Skins.  Washington is much improved in the trenches, but the Eagles run a fast-paced offense, featuring a line that has only given up two sacks in three games.  Sure, Philly’s run game (30th in the NFL) has been mostly non-existent, but it’s the pace that could wear the Redskins down.  Depending on the weather, Hurricane Joaquin could run them down, too.  Washington will attempt to use its rushing attack (Alfred Morris and Matt Jones) to slow the game down and keep Philly’s offense off the field.  But the Eagles are 8th against the run, allowing 0 TD’s and 87 ypg.  Washington will likely need a monster game from Kirk Cousins, who is too much of a wild card.  Give me Joaquin and the Eagles.

KP’s Pick: Philadelphia Eagles

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5)

Both defenses have seven sacks on the year and each faces a mobile quarterback (Cam Newton and Jameis Winston), so it will be interesting to see which QB is able to burn the other team with his feet.  The most notable stat lies with Carolina’s pass defense, which has allowed just two TD’s in three weeks, while holding opposing QB’s to a 66.3 QBR.  Think of ol’ “Crab Legs” Winston and his inexperience.  Sure, Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson are top-notch receivers, but will he be able to regularly get them the ball?  My gut says no. Panthers cover.

KP’s Pick: Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers (-7.5)

I’ve previously pointed out Cleveland’s strong secondary, led by Joe Haden, but even that group is catching Cleveland-sports-itis (don’t look this up on WebMD, it won’t be there), allowing 300-plus passing yards to Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and the Raiders last week.  The Chargers struggled in Minnesota, but will be a much better team at home.  Antonio Gates is out for one more game, but without him, San Diego still owns the fourth-ranked passing offense (296.3 ypg).  The Chargers have just one sack through three games, which could mean more time in the pocket for Josh McCown, potentially leading to more scoring opportunities.  But can you trust that fact?  Sure, about as much as you can trust Johnny Football’s clipboard holding skills.  In NFL Week 4, it’s San Diego by ten.

KP’s Pick: San Diego Chargers

Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (-6.5)

Look for the Vikings to toss a full plate of Adrian Peterson at Denver, especially considering the stout pass defense of the Broncos.  Denver is first against the pass through three weeks, holding opposing QB’s to a 58.0 QBR, while allowing 176.3 ypg, with six interceptions and just one TD allowed.  Translation: Don’t expect big things from Teddy Bridgewater through the air.  Then again, Denver is also 6th against the run and first in overall defense.  Playing on the road in a hostile environment, the Vikings could get an unpleasant dose of Week 1 flashbacks.  To cover, Peyton Manning only needs to win by a touchdown at home?  Consider it done.

KP’s Pick: Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (+9.5)

If last week is any indication, this game could get ugly – and fast.  The Niners were trounced by the Cardinals, while Aaron Rodgers had a monster day against the Chiefs on Monday night.  The main difference is San Francisco getting the home game, with the Pack on the road and playing on short rest.  Colin Kaepernick has struggled and the Niners currently have the 30th ranked pass offense (172.0 ypg).  That alone hints that there isn’t enough consistency to keep up with Rodgers and Green Bay’s high-octane passing attack.  Green Bay by double digits.

KP’s Pick: Green Bay Packers

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)

Nick Foles and the St. Louis offense has struggled and now will face an Arizona defense that has 7 INT’s while holding opposing QB’s to a 58.6 QBR.  Sure, Colin Kaepernick was a hefty chunk of that during Week 3, but that doesn’t make Arizona’s defensive unit any less talented.  The Rams have a truckload of its own defensive moxie, but it’ll be tough to get to Carson Palmer, considering the Cards have allowed one sack in three games.  Plain and simple, the Rams looked bad over the last two weeks and it’s tough to roll with them, when facing a stacked Cardinals team on the road.  Give me Arizona by double digits.

KP’s Pick: Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (-4.5)

The first question to be asked is: Who will be starting at QB?  We know Dallas will focus on its run game and have Brandon Weeden starting at QB for the second straight week, but what about the Saints?  Drew Brees is questionable, which means, we could see Luke McCown again.  Dallas needs to focus on reinventing its offense until Tony Romo and Dez Bryant return.  The Saints are 26th against the pass and have not had any receivers step it up (we’re looking at you, Brandin Cooks).  This should be a close game and potentially a sloppy one, too.  For that reason, I’ll take Dallas and the points.

KP’s Pick: Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)

It’s panic mode for the winless Lions, a beleaguered bunch that now travels to arguably the most hostile place to play.  Seattle pitched a shutout last week, but this was against a Bears team that was without Alshon Jeffery and Jay Cutler.  Marshawn Lynch is 50-50 for Monday night, but even so, Thomas Rawls proved he can step in, rushing for 104 yards last week.  The Lions have plenty of talent offensively, but this is a group that has struggled defensively, especially with its pass rush.  Let Russell Wilson run wild at home?  Yeah, not a good idea – but nevertheless, that’s the likely outcome.   Give me the Seahawks by the 12th man – I mean, by twelve.

KP’s Pick: Seattle Seahawks

NFL Week 4 Bye Weeks: New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans



She HATES sports, but will pick teams in hopes of leading to your embarrassment (and there was plenty of that last year).  No blurb, just her NFL Week 4 picks, and we’re lucky to get that much!

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) – Steelers

New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins (+2.5) – Jets

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) – Colts

Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) – Falcons

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) – Chiefs

New York Giants at Buffalo Bills (-6.5) – Bills

Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears (+2.5) – Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+3.5) – Eagles

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) – Buccaneers

Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers (-7.5) – Chargers

Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (-6.5) – Broncos

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (+9.5) – 49ers

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5) – Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (-4.5) – Saints

Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) – Seahawks


COIN FLIP – NFL Week 4 Picks

This quarter refuses to be referred to as “Chump change”… see what I did there?  Oh, and by the way, HEADS equals the HOME team, and TAILS is a vote for the AWAY team.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) – Steelers

New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins (+2.5) – Dolphins

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) – Colts

Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) – Falcons

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) – Chiefs

New York Giants at Buffalo Bills (-6.5) – Bills

Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears (+2.5) – Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+3.5) – Eagles

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) – Panthers

Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers (-7.5) – Browns

Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (-6.5) – Broncos

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (+9.5) – Packers

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5) – Rams

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (-4.5) – Cowboys

Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) – Lions


Special Guest: Darrell Harden (and THE WIFE – Jess)

You know Darrell’s story… and here’s what he and THE WIFE (Jess) think for NFL Week 4:

My wife, Jess, and I each used our own insights and methods of analysis in determining our picks for this week’s games. One of us is more inclined to rely on at least some statistical information in forming an opinion. That probably means that Jess will pick more winners, just as she did last year. Whatever. Here are our Second-Annual Week Four NFL Picks for TWHS.

Baltimore Ravens (0-3, -2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

Darrell: I suspect the line on this game would look a bit different if Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t been injured against the Rams last week. The injury is a game-changer, though. I expect Pittsburgh’s offense to look more like it did last week than it did the first two. Baltimore’s defense hasn’t been great, but their task got a lot easier last weekend.

Darrell’s pick: Baltimore to cover and win.

New York Jets (2-1, -1.5) at Miami Dolphins (1-2)

Jess: Bennie and the Jets is one of my least favorite Elton John songs.

Jess’s pick: Miami to win.

New York Giants (1-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-1, -5.5)

Darrell: I’m a Bills fan, and I’m excited. Sure, the Bills got it handed to them by the Patriots, but they almost always get served by the Patriots. Otherwise, though, the Bills have been dishing it out like the Orange County kids who served Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny in that parking lot. (That may be an exaggeration, but … c’mon, let me enjoy this, please.) The Giants should probably be undefeated, except for the fact that they have mastered the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. While I think this game could be closer than the line indicates, there is also the little factor that the Giants have been searching everything short of Craigslist and Tinder for a wide receiver. That doesn’t bode well against a defense as stout as Buffalo’s.

Darrell’s pick: New York to cover, Buffalo to win.

Carolina Panthers (3-0, -3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)

Jess: I want Jameis Winston to lose.

Jess’s pick: Carolina to win.

Oakland Raiders (2-1, -3) at Chicago Bears (0-3)

Darrell: The Chicago Bears are bad. I felt more disappointment for the sad guy dressed as a bear in Seattle last weekend than I did when Alabama lost to Ole Miss — and I graduated from Alabama. On the topic of Alabama, Amari Cooper seems to be as good as advertised. Can you imagine what he’d do if he had Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady throwing to him? That said, Derek Carr has done a pretty good job this year. I don’t think Chicago will put up much of a fight.

Darrell’s pick: Oakland to cover and win.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-0, -4)

Jess: When I have no other reasoning, I pick the underdog.

Jess’s pick: Kansas City to win.

Houston Texans (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-0, -6.5)

Darrell: Ryan Mallett, Houston’s starting quarterback du jour, has passed for 570 yards — or, only 130 more than Julio Jones has gained catching passes for Matt Ryan this year. J. J. Watt is still J. J. Watt, and the Falcons will want to keep tabs on him. If they can prevent Watt from completely destroying the entire offensive backfield, the Falcons should win this.

Darrell’s pick: Atlanta to cover and win.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2, -9)

Jess: The Indianapolis Colts were on an episode of Parks and Recreation.

Jess’s pick: Indianapolis to win.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2, -3) at Washington (1-2)

Darrell: If I lived anywhere near DC, I would go ahead and make my way to Libertine DC now, in the hope that they would repeat their shots-for-picks — no, wait. I don’t encourage anyone to engage in that volume of alcohol consumption. It’s not so much that I’m picking Philadelphia as it is that I think Washington will find a way to lose this game.

Darrell’s pick: Philadelphia to cover and not lose … because I don’t think anyone really wins this game.

Cleveland Browns (1-2) at San Diego Chargers (1-2, -7.5)

Jess: Cleveland is the only redeeming quality of Ohio. It deserves to win.

Darrell’s important addendum: Each and every Waffle House location in Ohio is an obvious exception to Jess’s statement.

Jess’s pick: Cleveland to win.

Minnesota Vikings (2-1) at Denver Broncos (3-0, -6.5)

Darrell: I think this could be a very, very good game. Neither team is giving up a lot of points — though playing against Detroit will help you with that. (Sorry, Michigan friends and neighbors.) In a game with two tough defenses, I’m going to value Peyton Manning’s experience and hope that the Minnesota defense doesn’t make any actual contact with him.

Darrell’s pick: Minnesota to cover, Denver to win.

Green Bay Packers (3-0, -8) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2)

Jess: Eventually, someone is going to yank on that Fabio guy’s hair and it’s going to be all over for Green Bay.

Jess’s pick: San Francisco to win.

St. Louis Rams (1-2) at Arizona Cardinals (3-0, -7)

Darrell: On paper, this looks like a total mismatch. Actually, … yeah, I think it’s a total mismatch. Arizona may have already scored, actually.

Darrell’s pick: Arizona to cover and win.

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-3, -4*)

Jess: I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to dislike the Cowboys, and the Saints are the underdog.

Jess’s pick: New Orleans to win.

Detroit Lions (0-3) at Seattle Seahawks (1-2, -10)

Darrell: It hasn’t been a great start for the Seahawks, but … well, they’re playing the Lions. The Lions’ offensive line makes my writing look solid. I think this one will get ugly. For the sake of all the Lions fans amongst whom I live here in Michigan, I hope it doesn’t get ugly, but … yeah.

Darrell’s pick: Seattle to cover and win.

* As of stupid-o’clock Thursday morning, there’s no line at for this game, so I headed off to a dark alley on the Internet to find a line for this one. — Darrell



My long-time friend is back and seeking revenge.  Here’s the Chump’s NFL Week 4 takes:

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5)

Usually, the first regular-season meeting between the Ravens and the Steelers is a big deal.  It still is except this time around we have no Big Ben for Pittsburgh and no wins for Baltimore.  0-3, can you believe that?  Ray Lewis is rolling over in his grave.  Speaking of Mr. Lewis, did you catch Steve Young’s impression of Lewis’ pre-game jig last Monday?  I won’t lie.  It was a magical moment in white boy dancing history.  I keep expecting the Ravens to win a game.  So do their fans. 

Michael Vick, now with his fourth team, will get the start in place of the knee-torn Ben Roethlisberger, which leads me to believe the Steelers’ offensive onslaught will be put on hold until Vick finds his groove or rather, if he finds a groove.  Quick, call Stella.  I have to take Baltimore here and lay the two-and-a-half.  On a short week, Pittsburgh just doesn’t have enough time to prepare, even against a team as underachieving as the Ravens.

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (+1.5)

The Dolphins dug themselves a huge hole in the AFC East last week by getting spanked by Buffalo.  I haven’t checked lately but I think the Bills may have just scored again.  The Mammals are not nearly as bad as they looked on Sunday, at least their fans are hoping not.  The Jets didn’t fare much better against the DeMarco Murray-less Eagles.  At 2-1, the J-E-T-S are probably not as G-O-O-D as their early record indicates.  I’m taking Miami to cover and even things out at the bottom of that division but that’s as close as either team will get to the division-leading Patriots all season long.

Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-6)

I would have thought this spread might be over a touchdown.  If it were, I’d still probably lay it.  Although this Texans beat the Bucs last week, I’m still not sold on Ryan Mallett.  I mean, pretty much anyone can beat the Bucs.  Just ask Marcus Mariota.  Meanwhile, the Falcons are on fire.  Julio Jones is averaging nearly 150 yards per game which means it’s time for some media dolt to start calling him the best wide receiver ever.  Trust me, it’ll happen if it hasn’t already.  I’m riding the hot team here and taking the Dirty Birds to cover the touchdown.

New York Giants at Buffalo Bills (-6)

I know Buffalo just netted the Dolphins but six seems like a lot here.  I also know the Giants are struggling but once again, six just seems too much.  The G-Men should be getting Victor Cruz back and while he might not see a ton of touches, that could still open up the field.  Buffalo is also sketchy against the pass.  (Late note: Cruz is out, wager accordingly.)  I like what Sexy Rexy is doing but this is an instate rivalry with one team historically having considerably more success than the other.  I picture a boatload of Giants fans making the trek to Buffalo to remind Buffalonians there they’re closer to being Canadians than New Yorkers.  If I was a betting man, which I am, I’d take the Giants money line to win outright but since I’m getting six, I’ll take ‘em.

Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears (+2.5)

It’s a sad state of affairs when the Oakland Raiders are favorites in Chicago.  This has to be rock bottom for this once proud franchise.  Actually it’s not.  Rock bottom hits when Oakland goes into Chicago and actually covers the spread. 

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (-4)

Tough call here.  KC, on a short week after getting embarrassed in Green Bay, can’t be happy.  Doesn’t Andy Reid have some ridiculous record after a loss or is that after a bye week?  Either way, there was likely a double cheeseburger involved.  Makes no matter, the Bengals are one of the best teams in the league right now and more importantly, they’re playing like it.  They’ll relish this opportunity at home to distance themselves from the rest of the AFC North.  Bungles cover.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-8)

We talked a lot about trends last week and whether to bet with or against them.  The Colts haven’t figured things out yet plus Andrew Luck is not 100%.  Can somebody get this league a medic?  All things considered, why should I bet them to cover the eight points against a Jags team that can’t possibly be as bad as the team that laid an egg in New England?  Well, the line opened at 8.5 and is moving down which means people are betting Jacksonville to cover, probably because of Luck’s status.  As we all know, the betting public is usually wrong so while I had convinced myself not to bet Indy until they turn things around, the line move tells me this might be that week.  I’ll take Indy in NFL Week 4 and Luck proving he’s not as hurt as everyone’s saying he is.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay (+3)

Two straight road games for Tampa Bay have made us forget they haven’t won at home since 2013.  That, in and of itself, should convince you to take Carolina.  It’s not like Bucs have much of a home field advantage when half their fans hover around a fake pirate ship throwing up warm beer after their team goes down 14-0 and no, I’m not speaking from experience.  Although they’re banged up and Cam Newton is calling out Ed Hochuli’s preference for league vets, the Panthers are still undefeated.  Another win makes any hopes of Tampa Bay winning that division even more unrealistic.  The world ‘rebuilding’ (sshhhh!!!) is never used here in Tampa Bay.  Perhaps they should start.  Carolina covers in NFL Week 4.

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+3)

Will the more dysfunctional NFC East team please stand up?  This one might be a tie.  I have to take Philadelphia here.  They’re the better team, even with Sam Bradford.  Barely.

Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers (-7.5)

Two weeks ago, after a loss to the Bengals, Philip Rivers assured the media it was just one game and that the sky was not falling.  I didn’t hear what he said after getting spanked in Minnesota but I hope he had some new material.  Hosting the Browns could be just the boost they need.  The Chargers can ill afford to go 1-3.  If they do, they might as well finish their season in Los Angeles.  If I were in Vegas, I’d probably tease this down to half a point but since I’m not, I’ll take the Chargers to cover in NFL Week 4.

Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (-6.5)

This game could get interesting.  If you’ve been reading, I’m the last person on the planet to believe in Teddy Bridgewater.  This week in Denver should at least keep him honest.  Even though they’re not blowing teams out, the Broncos are still undefeated and more importantly for gamblers, undefeated against the spread.  I’m taking Denver to cover because I haven’t picked Minnesota to cover all season and I’ve been wrong all three times so the odds are with me.

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)

With all the points being scored in the desert these days, people are finally starting to pay attention to the Arizona Cardinals.  Who would have thought Arizona would be in first place in the NFC West and Seattle would be in last.  Another Arizona victory here really puts distance between them and the rest of the teams in that division, all of whom are under .500.  St. Louis will be a tough match-up but Zona is outscoring their opponents by a league-leading 77 points.  I’m tempted to take St. Louis in an early desperation game but Arizona is as hot as every thermometer in the state.  Covering is in the Cards.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (+9.5)

The wise choice here says take the Packers.  They’re undefeated and look well on their way to hosting a playoff game in January.  After a surprising Week One win, the Niners are who we thought they were, getting smoked their last two road games by a total of 65 points.  The Niners are coming back home where they’ll need to prove this season isn’t a total loss.  I’m not saying they’re going to win but ten points is a lot for a team with pride on the line.  I’ll go ahead and take the points because Green Bay has been winning but not blowing people out.

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (no line)

What a shitty Sunday night game for NFL Week 4.  Pre-season, we all looked at this game as a potential Sunday night shootout between two respectable NFC teams with pass-minded quarterbacks.  Now it’s a matchup between Brandon Weeden and the guy who does those funny commercials about backing up Drew Brees.  You might wanna skip this Sunday night’s game and catch a movie instead.  Brees will likely play but as of the time of this posting, I could find no line as his spot behind center was unofficial.  Either way, the line shouldn’t be all that big so I’ll take the Saints to cover in the Big Breesy.

Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)

Last week, in some bullshit fluff interview prior to the Lions-Broncos game (and I’ll have more thoughts on this later), Tony Dungy asked Jim Caldwell if he thought Matthew Stafford reminded him of a young Peyton Manning.  The only thing those two quarterbacks have in common this season is the number three, as in three wins for Manning and three losses for Detroit.  Do you hear that, Mr. Stafford?  It’s the number four staring you in the face.  Detroit will fight their butts off but Seattle has finally put it all together.  I fear a back door cover but Detroit imploding is far more likely.


NFL Week 4: What are your picks for the week?