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NFL Week 4 picks against the spread: Operational hazards

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Sometimes, that bird isn’t cooked thoroughly enough. Happens a lot in the NFL.

Derek Steven’s New Sportsbook Venture “Circa Sports” Launches At Golden Gate Hotel & Casino Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Circa Sports

Usually I (in this case of a split byline, I am Chris) am tasked with writing these introductory paragraphs, but honestly it’s a mystery if people read them. However, if they weren’t here we’d have no buffer before our records.

Anyway, Ryan and I are back to tilt again. That’s about it.

(All lines are taken from those posted at Westgate Superbook around Wednesday night)

Chris’s Record: 10-11

Ryan’s Record: 8-7

Tampa Bay at LA Rams -10

Chris: [hey ryan I picked this f&*#ing game out and now I can’t decide on a side]

Ryan: [lol]

Chris: Uh. I mean. Right.

Listen this line is fascinating. I don’t like double-digit lines but something about my gambling mind honed-in on this line as soon as I saw it. The Rams aren’t exactly demolishing teams out here like it’s 2018, but they’ve covered the spread in all three games they’ve played. In many things in life, I tend to hedge against such trends.

I don’t think the Rams are as good as advertised, but can I truly bring myself to trust in Tampa Bay to not go west and immediately gag once I take the pick? I don’t know, reader. I just know I can’t trust the Rams to lay a dime here. Ryan will probably have a more involved outlook on this game. Tampa Bay +10.

Ryan: I won’t. I can’t think of why this game would be interesting to you, Chris. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are super not fun to watch play football. Last week, they squandered away a victory to Daniel Jones in his first bit of NFL action.

Nothing has me believing in this Bucs team, and while nothing in particular has me in on this Rams team, it’s a pretty safe bet to lay the money on the dime. Rams -10.

Kansas City -6.5 at Detroit

Ryan: Shame is something I’m trying to actively banish from my everyday life, but here I am, betting against my favorite football-throwing young man and entrusting this Lions team to cover a spread. My therapist will not be thrilled with this type of behavior. Detroit +6.5

Chris: I’ll say it time and time again, the Lions keep flirting with disaster, dancing on a minefield, I need more classic rock references here about hellfire about to strike. The Lions cannot be trusted to keep dragging teams into the mud and beating them by the inch of their hair. You want a reality check? Here’s Patty, baby. Kansas City -6.5.

Seattle -5 at Arizona

Chris: Reader, I believe that Arizona is “getting there.” Where there is, what that entails and whether the Cardinals should be “there” is all a matter of subjective proposals and reasoning. I don’t even know if “there” is good for the team.

Arizona remains on the wrong side of plenty of statistics, but outside of their home confines, the Seahawks don’t inspire much confidence. Even at home this year they’ve played some terrifically close games. Nevertheless, the public is on Seattle and the line’s moved a good two points. I’ll take value and I’ll keep watching to see if Kyler Murray trends towards potential or towards disaster. With an aborted air raid offense, either is possible and thrilling. Arizona +5.

Ryan: Even removed from The Clink, the Seahawks are still a formidable team. Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t had quite the impact many were expecting him to make once he splashed down in Seattle, but that’s going to happen. It’s going to happen any time now. I think it’s going to happen this week, though. And if it does, I watched that Lions game against the Cardinals—I wish I hadn’t—but I did watch it; Murray had 11 passes defended in that game because he couldn’t really escape the pocket to throw over defenders.

Good luck doing that against the likes of Bobby Wagner and Co. Seattle -5.

Cleveland at Baltimore -6.5

Ryan: I had to pick out this one because I cannot escape the soundbite of Rex Ryan calling Baker Mayfield “overrated as hell.” Mayfield fired back with a “I have a job in football, you don’t” comment which was pretty lame for a guy who is a poor man’s Gardner Minshew.

Alright, here’s some inside baseball for this matchup: After a tough loss to Kansas City last week, Lamar Jackson and the offense come back to Baltimore for a divisional game. Black and blue, AFC North football, baby. Give me Mark Ingram in a matchup that’s likely going to be decided on the ground and end up 13-3 or something silly like that. Baltimore -6.5.

Chris: When you started talking about Rex Ryan soundbites I thought for sure you were going to bring up fe—

Ryan: Chris, no.

Chris: Are you saying we shouldn’t talk about it?!

I know we’re supposed to be a NFC North shop and all, but I love the AFC North’s ability to assault one another. There’s two divisional games going on this weekend, this one plus the winless Bengals and Steelers on “Monday Night Football.” The whole division is trash and that makes it all the better for it, because now everyone is going to be downright mean and ready to square up.

Reader, do you know how many gooches will be punched in these two games? I do not. I can only imagine. AFC North blood feuds are upon us. Blood feud!

Like Ryan, I find Baker Mayfield to be a fairly disappointing heel for this season. Maybe he’ll refine his tactics in time, but outlook is not promising. Baltimore -6.5.

Personal Picks

Chris

Jacksonville +3 at Denver
Dallas -2.5 at New Orleans
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh UNDER 44 (BLOOD FEUD!)

Ryan

Houston -4.5 vs. Carolina
Atlanta -4 vs. Tennessee
Minnesota at Chicago UNDER 38

Will the Dolphins beat the spread?

Current line: LA Chargers -16 at Miami
Dolphins record ATS: 0-3

Chris: The Dolphins inched ever-so-closer to the spread last week, but it was all for naught as the Cowboys steamrolled these pathetic fish. Actually, dolphins are mammals, so I’m not sure why there’s always fish references we make about Miami in the sporting press. This is how we get Flipper mixed in with your tuna.

What’s getting mixed in with this industrial seafood slurry is a very pathetic Chargers team. All up and down southern California, the oaths were sworn that THIS YEAR would be the year the Chargers put it all together, stay healthy, get serious, NAH BRUHHHHHHHHH.

Put this one in South Beach at an early start time, watch the Josh Rosen to Preston Williams duo grow and give me the usual LA slopfest. The Chargers will go home with a needed win, but it won’t look pretty. Miami +16.

Ryan: Au contraire mon frère, don’t you even go there; me without a bet slip against the Dolphins is like Ric without the Flair.

The Chargers are getting their No. 1 runner back in Melvin Gordon—not like Austin Ekeler was any slouch—and even though it isn’t happening this week, it has to mean something. Something that had to have some sort of tangible effect on the locker room. One of your most important players on offense decides it’s not worth destroying his brain and body at his current pay rate and things are gonna carry on as smooth as can be? Look at the Steelers last year and then look no further. Chargers -16.

BovadaKing69 Special

He’s on hiatus. He needs a week to collect himself, reassess, and take inventory of who he is, what he stands for, and what makes him the best sports bettor known to mankind.

...

Alright, we’re good.

New England Patriots at Buffalo OVER 42.5

It’s a wrap. Patriots might hang 45 in Orchard Park this Sunday just to remind the Bills are the Bills, and while they had their fun picking on the runts of the NFL, it’s a different ball game when the most sports most boring dynasty of all time rolls into town with their aging quarterback who is reminding everyone that he’s doing this at such an old age—and that’s playing football at 42.

BK69’s Record: 0-2