Sliced Spread: 2010 NFL Football Week 4 Picks and Predictions

Welcome to SLICED SPREAD, the new place on Inside Pulse Sports for weekly NFL picks against the spread, head to head survivor picks, and score prognostications.

Last week was a huge rebound week for yours truly as I finished with a sparkling 11-5 record thanks to my faith in the following underdogs during what was definitely a topsy-turvy NFL Week 3:

–Kansas City Chiefs (+1.5, won H2H 31-10 over the reeling Niners)
–St. Louis Rams (+3.5, won H2H 30-16 to crush the Redskins)
–Tennessee Titans (+3.5, won H2H 29-10 versus the hapless Giants)
–Atlanta Falcons (+4.5, won H2H 27-24 to stifle the Super Bowl Champion Saints)
–Dallas Cowboys (+3.5, won H2H 27-13 on the road against the Texans)
–Oakland Raiders (+3.5, won ATS, lost H2H 24-23 to the Cards in a heartbreaker)
–Seattle Seahawks (+5.5, won H2H 27-20 at home to topple the Chargers)
–Chicago Bears (+3.5, won H2H 20-17 to stun the Packers)

That’s an 8-pack of dogs I’m glad to have run with, and I am especially proud of the Rams and Chiefs for doing me proud when many folks did not expect them to cover the spread, let alone win outright.

I feel like the season is finally in full swing, and I am definitely not ready to rest on my laurels as Week 4 approaches.

Onto the breakdown!

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 3 BREAKDOWN

WEEK 3 ATS: 11-5
WEEK 3 LOCKS ATS: 1-2
WEEK 3 H2H SURVIVOR PICK: WIN (New England over Buffalo)

THIS SEASON ATS: 22-26
THIS SEASON LOCKS ATS: 2-7

H2H SURVIVOR TEAMS USED:
Tennessee (Week 1, Win)
Green Bay (Week 2, Win)
New England (Week 3, Win)

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 4 PICKS

Home teams are shown in CAPS
Point spreads shown in ().

SUNDAY

Detroit (+14.5) over GREEN BAY – Last week, Detroit had not one, but two chances late in the game to make my week of mostly underdog picks even more glorious. In the end, they just couldn’t punch in that one last score to achieve the backdoor cover I was looking for, and the Vikings won 24-10. That score would be good enough this week for the Lions to cover, but I think this has a chance to be even closer. The Packers must be at least a little drained after losing in such heartbreaking fashion to the Bears on Monday night, and I have a feeling that they will come out surprisingly flat before recovering. Packers win 28-20

BUFFALO (+4.5) over NY Jets – The Jets have had two impressive wins in a row against what should be their two toughest division rivals this season. However, I will not sleep on the Bills in this game to keep things close after they gained some confidence despite losing to the Patriots last week. Mark Sanchez will make the right plays when it counts the most, finding Dustin Keller for a couple of scores that will be too much for the Bills to rally against. That said, this one will be an ATS nail-biter. Jets win 31-27

*H2H SURVIVOR PICK: NEW ORLEANS (-13.5) over Carolina – I know New Orleans hasn’t blown anyone away so far this season, but the Panthers have simply been pathetic to watch and that is one of the reasons why I am going to pick the Saints as my head-to-head survivor pick of the week. Ultimately, I think Drew Brees will shred Carolina’s defense in a breakout win for the Saints after last week’s wakeup-call-loss to the Falcons. Additionally, I expect New Orleans to focus on scoring touchdown after touchdown after touchdown so that the kicking game doesn’t have any chance of factoring into the end result. Saints win 35-13

ATLANTA (-6.5) over San Francisco – On top of being saddled with a coaching shakeup following an 0-3 start, the Niners are facing their second straight road game against a resurgent Falcons team. I just think all of that will be too much to overcome  and the Falcons will steamroll their way to 3-1. Falcons win 27-17

ST. LOUIS (+0.5) over Seattle – I love the Rams in this spot. They proved last week that they can win at home, and Seattle is just a completely different team on the road. Not much more to say. Rams win 24-16

*LOCK IT UP: Cincinnati (-2.5) over CLEVELAND – I trusted in the Bengals defense to get things done in a similar spot last week, and they rewarded me with a 20-7 victory over the Panthers. Cleveland fought hard against the Ravens in a losing effort, and while I no longer see the Browns as walkovers, I don’t see them as winners either. A low spread locks this one up for me. Bengals win 20-13

TENNESSEE (-6.5) over Denver – For the record, I do not like picking this game. The Titans seem to play really well as underdogs and yet they tend to spit the bit as favorites. With that said, the Broncos have done nothing to gain my confidence in any situation, and so I’ll go with my gut and roll the dice with the hotter-handed hosts. Titans win 28-20

*LOCK IT UP: PITTSBURGH (-1.5) over Baltimore – For the past two weeks, I have been a real glutton for punishment in picking against the Steel Curtain. It has now become clear to me that the Steelers could win with a cardboard cutout at quarterback, or, you know, Charlie Batch. With one more week to go until Big Ben’s return, I think the Steelers’ D is out to prove to the world that they are the best in the league, and something tells me they will play this week with the added incentive to prove this against the always-hyped up Ravens. Steelers win 17-14

Houston (-2.5) over OAKLAND – Last week, I knew the Cowboys were going to play with desperation and throw everything they had at the Texans to come out victorious. However, I still think Houston is a good team this season, and as the ebbs and flows of this season go, I think the Texans will regroup out west to out-muscle the Raiders in Oakland. Texans win 28-13

JACKSONVILLE (+7.5) over Indianapolis – Jags-Colts is the type of rivalry that defies logic. Regardless of how good the Colts are, they don’t usually blow out Jacksonville. With this game in Florida, I see an easy Colts win, but not a Colts cover. Colts win 31-24

PHILADELPHIA (-6.5) over Washington – This is going to be extremely interesting. What better way for Michael Vick to ingratiate himself to the Eagles faithful by trampling over Donovan McNabb. Conversely, what better what for McNabb to get his revenge over the Eagles’ fan-base by marching into Philadelphia and getting a huge road win in the division. In the end, the Eagles’ firepower is too much for the Redskins to handle, no matter how hard they try. Eagles win 28-14

SAN DIEGO (-8.5) over Arizona – Does anyone remember what the Chargers did to the Jaguars in Week 2? Something tells me we might be in for a repeat of that massacre, but who knows given how inconsistent both teams have been thus far? I’ll stake my claim here on a Chargers win that will be a surprise cover for many folks that will simply take the points. Chargers win 35-24

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Chicago (+4.5) over NY GIANTS – The Giants have fallen apart at the seams, and Tom Coughlin is starting to lose the team. If New York is going to salvage their season, they will have to step up here against a Bears team that capitalized on Green Bay’s mistakes all night on Monday. If the Giants come out sloppy and commit more foolish penalties, they will not win this game. On the other hand, if the Giants can muster up some patience on offense and get back to being a more disciplined squad on defense, I think they can out-battle the Bears’ passing attack with their pass rushers. I am not ready to fully trust Jay Cutler or Eli Manning in this spot, so I’ll go with the Bears covering in a one-point game that the Giants pull out in a Sunday Night thriller. Giants win 21-20

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

*LOCK IT UP: New England (-0.5) over MIAMI – Without a 14-point spread saddling the Patriots this week, I think New England is an excellent play here. They are simply better than the Dolphins, and they will win and cover what is essentially a pick’em spread in South Beach. Patriots win 31-19

That’s it for this week’s edition of SLICED SPREAD.

See you next week – CB.

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