Sliced Spread: 2011 NFL Football Week 4 Picks and Predictions

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

I ran a little short on wins against the spread last week (7-9), though I did stay above water with locks (2-1), head to head picks (9-7), and my Survivor pick (Steelers over the Colts).

I’m also a little short on time this week, so allow me to be short and sweet in my intro and let me say…

Onto the breakdown!

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 3 BREKADOWN

WEEK 3 ATS: 7-9
WEEK 3 LOCKS ATS: 2-1

WEEK 3 H2H: 9-7
WEEK 3 H2H SURVIVOR PICK: WIN (Steelers over Colts)

THIS SEASON ATS: 23-25
THIS SEASON LOCKS ATS: 7-2

THIS SEASON H2H: 32-16

H2H SURVIVOR TEAMS USED:
Chargers (Week 1, Win)
Lions (Week 2, Win)
Steelers (Week 3, Win)

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 4 PICKS

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

SUNDAY:

Detroit (+1.5) over DALLAS — I’m simply going with the better team in this game. If the Lions can go into Minnesota and survive in overtime against a division rival, why can’t they show that same toughness against a Cowboys team that just might take them for granted? Yes, that was a rhetorical question. Lions win 23-16

San Francisco (+6.5) over PHILADELPHIA — The frustrated Eagles should smother the Niners regardless of whether or not Michael Vick plays, but in a situation where SF has nothing to lose in a game everyone expects them to lose, I’ll take the points. Eagles win 26-20

*LOCK IT UP: Carolina (+6.5) over CHICAGO — Cam Newton and the Panthers weathered the storm last week, literally, and emerged with their first win of the season. Some folks think Chicago’s defense will eat up the Carolina rookie, but I have a feeling that this Panthers team is going to continue their upswing as the Bears keep sliding downwards thanks to a weak offensive line and a shaken Jay Cutler. Panthers win 29-19

Washington (+0.5) over ST. LOUIS — This is the first of three essentially pick ’em contests. While I do believe the Rams are better than they’ve shown, the Redskins are already a battle-tested team throughout the early course of this season. I think the ‘Skins shake off Monday night’s loss and win, but it’s another close call. Redskins win 24-23

Buffalo (-2.5) over CINCINNATI — All hail Ryan Fitzpatrick, especially after out-dueling AND out-scoring Tom Brady’s Patriots last week. Of course, this could be the classic trap game on the road against a non-division opponent. But the Bills are playing out of their minds offensively right now, and I don’t see the Bengals matching them point for point. Bills win 31-17

Tennessee (+0.5) over CLEVELAND — With another virtually even spread in the mix, I’m simply running with the team that’s looked better so far throughout this season. Titans win 17-15

New Orleans (-6.5) over JACKSONVILLE — The Saints have burned me the past two weeks, and there’s no time like the present to jump on the Drew Brees bandwagon with New Orleans favored by less than 7 points against an inferior Jaguars team. New Orleans lights up the scoreboard down in Fla. Saints win 38-12

Minnesota (-1.5) over KANSAS CITY — This one can go either way, especially with the Vikings’ penchant for failing to close out games after gaining big leads. However, we’re talking about the Chiefs here, so… Vikings win 20-16

*LOCK IT UP: Pittsburgh (+4.5) over HOUSTON — The Steelers might have barely scraped by the Colts last week, but that doesn’t mean the Texans deserve to be 4.5-point favorites either. Now listen, I’ve loved Houston all season, and even though the Texans eventually didn’t cover +4.5 points in New Orleans last week, I still feel like I made the right call going into the game. With that said, the previously sleepwalking Steelers will wake up for this game in a big way because they know they are up against an offense “worth” their max effort on both sides of the ball. Ultimately, the Texans will hold on for their football lives and win what I think will be the most fascinating game of the week. BUT… Big Ben and the Steelers cover the points. Texans win 32-28

*LOCK IT UP: NY Giants (-0.5) over ARIZONA — The Giants simply came to play in Philadelphia last week and they crushed the Eagles as a result. This could be a letdown for Big Blue as they travel to Arizona, but I think last week’s momentum carries over, at least enough to win a virtual pick ’em against the spread. Giants win 28-21

Atlanta (-4.5) over SEATTLE — Yes, the Seahawks are at home for the second straight week. And yes, I don’t traditionally love the Falcons on the road. Yet for some reason, I think the Falcons pull out the win this week. Perhaps it’s because they are clearly the better team from top to bottom? My gut feeling pick of the week is… Falcons win 26-19

*H2H SURVIVOR PICK: GREEN BAY (-13.5) over Denver — This one has been circled on my calendar as a survivor pick since early last week. The Broncos have no killer instinct at all, and on the road they will succumb to the Packers’ pressure on both sides of the ball. Packers win 35-13

New England (-3.5) over OAKLAND — As I predicted, the Raiders destroyed the Jets out west last week. Can they also stop an angry Tom Brady coming off that bitter Buffalo loss? Personally, I don’t think so. Patriots win 31-21

Miami (+7.5) over SAN DIEGO — I like the Chargers to win, just not by more than a touchdown. The Fins barely cover. Chargers win 27-20

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

BALTIMORE (-3.5) over NY Jets — With no running game and an injured / inept offensive line that can’t protect Mark Sanchez, the Jets are in a whole lot of trouble no matter who they play against. On the road against Baltimore? Yikes. Ravens win 24-13

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

Indianapolis (+10.5) over TAMPA BAY — Tampa gets saddled with a big number even though the Colts surprisingly played the Steelers close last Monday night. I am not saying that the Bucs can’t crush Indy at home, I just don’t fully trust them to blow anyone out, at least not yet… Bucs win 22-17

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