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Oct. 5 – Week 4 Review

Well if Week 3 was a good week for the picks, Week 4 was a pretty bad one. Overall the model went 6-8 on this week’s games, it went 1-3 on the top 4, and lost the best bet. For the season I’m barely over .500 overall (30-29), just under 50% for the top 4, and have won half of the best bets.. Here are quick reviews of the Week 4 games:

14) Detroit at Green Bay (Line : GBP – 14.5, O/U : 45.5) The Lions didn’t look the same without Stafford and a healthy Jahvid Best. Green Bay looks to rebound after losing a game that the numbers indicated they should have won. .The prediction is the Pack by 13, just short of the line : Packers 29 Lions 16. Actual Score: Packers 28 Lions 26 The Lions are a pretty good 0-4 team. They have played the Eagles and Packers within a field goal. I would expect a win real soon. The Packers have to be concerned about their supposedly strong D, although sometimes it seems they can pass down the field at will. A win on both ends in this one.

13) New England at Miami (Line : NEP – 1, O/U : 46) After holding their first two opponents to 10 points each, the Dolphins gave up a bunch to the Jets. A second straight loss to a division foe would hurt. The Pats will look to shore up their D after giving up 30 to Buffalo in a win. The line is close, and so is the prediction: Patriots 25 Dolphins 23. Actual Score: Patriots 41 Dolphins 14 The Pats scored all kinds of ways, grabbing a share of the AFC East lead with the Jets. They also did it without Randy Moss’ help – will he return to Minny? Chad Henne cant throw a bunch of picks if this team will go places, – 2 straight losses to the Jets and Pats AT HOME will hurt. Wins on both ends here.

12) Carolina at New Orleans (Line : NOR – 13.5, O/U : 44.5) The Saints picked up a new kicker this week, and will look to avoid a second straight division loss at home. Carolina is just looking for any positive signs in any facet of the game. The model likes a big Saints win, but is short of a cover: Saints 28 Panthers 17. Actual Score: Saints 16 Panthers 14 It took a last second field goal by the ageless John Carney to give the Saints a win here. I still think Carolina is the worst team in the league – one of their TDs was on a blown coverage – but the D played well. It’s safe to say that the N.O offense has lost their groove. A winning prediction, but an over/under loss.

11) Denver at Tennessee (Line : TEN – 6.5, O/U : 42) The Titans come off a nice win on the road against the Giants, but will continue to look for improvement in their passing game, as CJ did most of the work last week. On the flip side, the Broncos will look for more from the running game – they’ve been gaining most of their yards through the air. The pick is a Titans win and cover: Titans 25 Broncos 16. Actual Score: Broncos 26 Titans 20 Another big game from Kyle Orton, and the Broncos pulled an upset here. The Titans are still looking for that second weapon, and Vince Young has not filled the bill. If you took Jabar Gaffney or Brandon Lloyd in your fantasy league, you’re sitting pretty. Losses on both ends here.

Terrell Owens - courtesy AP/Ron Schwane

10) Cincinnati at Cleveland (Line : CIN – 3, O/U : 37.5) Cleveland will continue to rely on Seneca Wallace and Peyton Hillis in search of their first win. Cincy will look to win the battle of the orange with an improved performance from Carson Palmer. Take the Bengals here: Bengals 21 Browns 15. Actual Score: Browns 23 Bengals 20 Peyton Hillis is making believers out of many after another solid performance in this game. It should be interesting to see how this team does with Jake Delhomme back at the helm next week. The Bengals finally got their passing game going – thanks to a monster game from T.O., but fell just short. It was their first division loss in over a year. Another loss for both the line and the over/under.

9)  Seattle at St. Louis (Line : SEA – 1, O/U : 38.5) The Seahawks come off a nice win at home against the Chargers to face the 1-2 Rams, but look closer – The Hawks only scored 13 on offense last week, are not a good road team, and the Rams have played good D. The pick here is St. Louis: Rams 23 Seahawks 20. Actual Score: Rams 20 Seahawks 3 I have been touting the Rams D for several weeks now, and they came to play again in this one. Steven Jackson looked good despite being slightly injured, and Bradford is playing well for a rookie. The Seahawks continue to play Jekyll and Hyde when at home and on the road. They hope Marshawn Lynch will complement Justin Forsett nicely. Awin (a Seattle game!) on the line, and an over/under loss.

 8 ) Arizona at San Diego (Line : SDC – 8, O/U : 46) This looks like a classic let-down game for Arizona – they escaped a narrow in against the Raiders, and now travel to San Diego, where the Chargers are looking to rebound off a tough loss at home, where they usually play well. Chargers big : Chargers 31 Cardinals 17. Actual Score: Chargers 41 Cardinals 10 The Cards may now be 2-2, but this team looks woeful – they cannot stop the run at all (last in the league), and they cany pass the ball on offense. Larry Fitzgerald must be languishing. San Diego rebounded as expected, and pulled back to the .500 mark. Wins on both ends here.

7) Houston at Oakland (Line : HOU – 3, O/U : 43.5) Two teams who suffered disappointing losses last week square off in this matchup. The Texans look to revive their passing game, while the Raiders will attempt to win their second home game behind Darren McFadden. The model likes Oakland: Raiders 25 Texans 22. Actual Score: Texans 31 Raiders 24 Gary Kubiak surprised many fantasy owners by starting Derrick Ward over Arian Foster, but both played well in the end. Houston managed a win to go 3-1, despite not having Andre Johnson. Oakland couldn’t rebound after last week’s heartbreaker – and now the possible loss of Darren McFadden to injury could really sting. A loss on the pick, but an over/under win.

6) Washington at Philadelphia (Line : PHI – 6, O/U : 43) What kind of ovation will Donavan get at the Link in McNabb Bowl I? More importantly, the Eagles look to keep their lead in the NFC East against a division rival. The Redskins try to rebound off of a tough loss in St. Louis. The pick here is Philly: Eagles 30 Redskins 15. Actual Score: Redskins 17 Eagles 12 This game was painful for Philly in so many ways – 1) Losing the game 2) Losing a very effective Michael Vick 3) Seeing Kevin Kolb struggle as he did 4) Losing to their old QB. Washington gains a big win on the road in the division, and is tied with both Philly and the Giants. Losses on the prediction and the over/under.

5) Baltimore at Pittsburgh (Line : PIT – 1, O/U : 34) Many analysts like Baltimore here, but I don’t get it – the Ravens have shown they are vulnerable to the pass, and the Steelers have hit the big pass to Mike Wallace several times despite the iffy QB situation. Two tough defenses, but the math favors Pittsburgh : Steelers 23 Ravens 12. Actual Score: Ravens 17 Steelers 14 Baltimore stunned the Pittsburgh faithful with a last minute drive to steal this game. I was surprised watching that last drive that Dick LeBeau sent Troy Polamalu on the blitz several times, instead of keeping him in coverage where he is more effective, especially when the Ravens had no choice but to pass. Still, the Steelers go 3-1 without Roethlisberger, and now regain his services – which will be a big boon to their spirits and success. Losses on both ends here.

4) San Francisco at Atlanta (Line : ATL – 7, O/U : 42) This is an interesting matchup – a desperate 49er club visits Atlanta, who has looked like gangbusters the past couple of weeks – including a big win in New Orleans. A reversal of fortune? Perhaps, but the model doesn’t think so: Falcons 33 49ers 14. Actual Score: Falcons 16 49ers 14 San Francisco was staked to an early 14-0 lead after a blocked kick for a score, but then the offense just disappeared. Atlanta struggled on offense for most of the day, but still managed to kick a late field goal for the win. The Niners are now 0-4, but are only 2 games behind in the division – lucky to be in the NFC West. They will try to earn their first win next week hosting a Vick-less Eagle team. A third straight game with losses on both predictions.

3) N.Y. Jets at Buffalo (Line : NYJ – 5.5, O/U : 37) The Bills were able to surprise the Jets once in this matchup last year – the question is can they do it again? Buffalo looked like a new team in their loss to New England under Ryan Fitzpatrick’s leadership, but the pick here is the Jets defense will stifle them: Jets 32 Bills 14. Actual Score: Jets 38 Bills 14 A truly dominant performance by the Jetropolitans in Buffalo. L.T. looks rejuvenated, and Mark Sanchez continues to impress. Buffalo needs to get C.J. Spiller more involved – maybe they will be forced to now that they have traded Lynch to Seattle for draft picks. Wins on the line and the over/under in this game.

2) Indianapolis at Jacksonville (Line : IND – 7.5, O/U : 46) This line looked low when I first saw it, and it still does – The Colts have regained their swagger after their Week 1 loss to Houston, and Jacksonville has not done anything right since their Week 1 win. Expect the trends to continue: Colts 33 Jaguars 11. Actual Score: Jaguars 31 Colts 28 This game really surprised me – not so much that the Colts gave up points – they can do that at times – but with how potent the Jaguar offense was. MJD had a good game, and David Garrard also looked good, a stark contrast from the previous 2 weeks. The loss drops Indy to 2-2, still behind Houston, who beat them already. A loss on the line and the over/under.

1) Chicago at N.Y. Giants (Line : NYG – 4, O/U : 44) The Giants will try to avoid losing a second straight at home to a streaking Chicago team. New York will have to defend the pass well, as Mike Martz has the Bears in many empty backfield, 5 WR sets. Eli Manning played well in between the 20’s last week, but just couldn’t punch the ball in. The model likes the Bears in an upset : Bears 27 Giants 14. Actual Score: Giants 17 Bears 3 The Sunday night contest was lost by the Chicago offensive line – 9 sacks in the first half, and 10 overall for the Giants line. Jay Cutler – the Bears biggest offensive weapon, was knocked out, and the fat lady had sung. The Bears came in with the top ranked run defense, and held their ground, but with no offense to back them up, it didn’t matter. A loss on the line, and an over/under win.

I’ll do my best to have some of the Week 5 predictions up tomorrow.

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