With the Pats on a way too early bye this weekend after another shellacking against Jacksonville, we’re going to give a league wide roundtable this week. As of Wednesday evening, these are the spreads for the games this weekend. Due to the uncertainty of Drew Brees’ health, that respective game line (vs. Dallas) is currently unavailable. Let’s see who’s got who.
Baltimore (-3) at Pittsburgh
Niko: Going to go with the hated Ravens to cover here. Can’t picture them starting 0-4 and losing to a Roethlisberger-less Pitt team. Wouldn’t hate it though.
Pete: I'd truthfully love if both these teams lost, but that obviously can't happen. I think that Baltimore will bounce back here. There is no way they start the season 0-4. Plus, I have little to no confidence in Michael Vick. My bold prediction is that for the next 6 games that Roethlisberger is out, the Steelers go 1-5.
Matt: With Roethlisberger out for the foreseeable future, I expect a desperate Raven's team to rally for a key divisional victory over Pittsburgh. I do not see Michael Vick carrying the Steelers offense against an always stingy Baltimore D.
New York Jets (-2) at Miami
Niko: Are the people in London really going to want a football team after watching this? Works for me though, 9:30 AM eastern start, rev up the engines early. Gun to my head, I’ll take Miami because they just can’t be as bad as they’ve been.
Pete: Again, I would love if both teams could lose. However, I hate the Jets a little bit more than Miami, so I will take Miami here. Its a quarterback driven league, Tannehill > Fitzpatrick.
Matt: Football starting at 9:30 is a great idea but only a for a few weeks each year. However, this is an argument for another time. To the game, I see the Jets winning big over Miami. Miami is in complete disarray. The players do not respect their coach and Ryan Tannehill is very overrated.
Houston (+6.5) at Atlanta
Niko: I really want to say Houston here, but I can’t. Atlanta looks solid, and no one is sold on Ryan Mallett. I’ll say Atlanta by a touchdown, covering the 6.5.
Pete: So far, so good for Atlanta. I don't think they are a legit contender in the NFC, but Houston sucks. Atlanta at home pumping in all that crowd noise should win easily.
Matt: This game will be a good test to see if Atlanta is the real deal. This is a game Atlanta should win if they want people to believe that they are a contender.
Carolina (-3) at Tampa Bay
Niko: It’s not pretty, but Carolina keeps winning. Not his biggest fan, but Cam Newton really needs to start getting more credit. He does just enough, with no help whatsoever. Carolina covers.
Pete: Carolina. I think Cam Newton is blossoming into a good, not great, quarterback. Plus Tampa is arguably the worst team in the league.
Matt: I like the trade the Panthers just made for Jared Allen and I really like the Panthers if Allen plays on Sunday. Plus Cam Newton is really becoming a great quarterback in this league. Jameis Winston still has some learning to do. Carolina wins a close one late.
New York Giants (+5.5) at Buffalo
Niko: I’ll take the points and go with the Giants. I think Buffalo takes it by a field goal though. By the way, is Rex really still talking about the Pats? He’ll probably hook on with the Dolphins after Buffalo cans him in a few years when his act gets old.
Pete: Tough game. Statistically, the Giants rank dead last in pass defense in the NFL. If Buffalo wants to win, they should try to air it out. Just not sure Tyrod Taylor is that guy, yet. Nevertheless, Buffalo won't cover, but will end up winning by a field goal.
Matt: This game could go either way but I like Buffalo. The Bills have a very strong defense and I expect them to get to Eli Manning. I also expect Tyrod Taylor to run all over the Giants defense.
Oakland (-3) at Chicago
Niko: Oakland all the way. Carr looks solid and should take advantage of the porous Chicago defense. The Bears have the 1st overall pick on their mind and it’s only week 4…
Pete: Talk about a terrible game. The only thing worse would be Tampa vs. Chicago. Oakland will easily cover and win this game. Like Niko said, Bears' fans are already getting amped up for the #1 pick.
Matt: Derek Carr is developing into a great young quarterback and I expect him to lead the Raiders to a big win over the Bears.
Philly (-3) at Washington
Niko: Philly will cover here. They looked better last week against the Jets, and I just don’t trust the Redskins.
Pete: Hate to say it, but it looks like Philly is starting to click a little bit. While I never want to bet against my boy, backup QB Colt McCoy, the Redskins are a terrible team. It won't be long now before Kirk Cousins gets "hurt" and McCoy reignites this team. (Hook 'em)
Matt: The Eagles are starting to look better. I like the Eagles to beat the 'Skins providing that Demarco Murray has a decent game. He needs to run for more than 11 yards. Murray may prove to be the biggest bust of the 2015 free agent class.
Jacksonville (+9) @ Indianapolis
Niko: Oh boy. That’s the Indy team everyone was telling me about before the season started! Coming back to beat the Titans…in Tennessee! Holy smokes, look out NFL!
I’m not picking this game; I’ll take the loss. My keyboards deflated or something I guess.
October 18th is coming…#PRAYFORINDY
Pete: After seeing what Tom Brady and the Patriots offense did to the Jags last week, I have a hard time picking them against another pass-heavy offense. However, I hate Indianapolis. In a stunning upset, the Jags pull it off. Screw you, Andrew Luck.
Matt: I expect Indy to raise a "Week 4 Winners" banner after this game. Jacksonville is not good enough to compete with Indy for 4 quarters. I expect to see a high scoring game with Indy pulling ahead late.
Kansas City (+4) at Cincy
Niko: Cincy should win, and should cover. Not because I think the Bengals are legit, but because KC is incompetent.
Pete: Hard to pick KC after seeing them get torched by the Packers, but I don't trust the Bengals as far as I could throw them. And I am quite unathletic and worn down at the ripe age of 20. KC pulls through.
Matt: We're onto Cincinnati and I like the Bengal's at home. Cincinnati rules the NFL in September and that trend will continue this week.
Cleveland (+7.5) at San Diego
Niko: Cleveland’s in turmoil. The players want Manziel, the fans want Manziel, even McCown might want Manziel…Pettine is a dope. San Diego bounces back from a tough one last week and covers.
Pete: To be honest, I haven't watched a lot of Cleveland and San Diego this season. Crazy, right? But I do remember watching San Diego last year and their offense isn't something you can brush under the rug. Plus, the more Cleveland loses, the more they might trade Joe Haden to the Pats, right? San Diego by two scores.
Matt: I like San Diego at home this week. Cleveland is in the midst of an identity crisis at quarterback after Manziel started for McCown and was able to carry the offense.
Green Bay (-8.5) at San Francisco
Niko: Green Bay in a laugher. This shouldn’t be close.
Pete: My heart says San Francisco, but my college educated mind says "you're an idiot, pick Green Bay." Similar to Niko with Indy, I just can't do it. Playing at San Fran is always difficult and Green Bay struggles on the rode. In a stunning upset, San Fran by 6.
Matt: San Francisco is horrible, expect Green Bay to put up a lot of points.
Minnesota (+6.5) at Denver
Niko: I’ll go with noodle arm thanks to that defense. All joking aside, now that Peyton’s back in the shotgun all the time, he doesn’t look so startlingly horrific. So, what exactly is Kubiak there for? Denver by a touchdown.
Pete: All comes down to if Adrian Peterson can find the open hole and let Teddy Bridgewater run the play action effectively. Denver has had way too many calls go their way in this early season, but they win by a field goal.
Matt: I'm picking Minnesota to hand Denver their first loss of the season. This will probably be one of the better Week 4 games if the score stays close after halftime. Teddy Bridgewater can prove to all the haters that he and the Vikings belong as contenders. A loss will drop the Vikings to 2-2 and set them back in their tough division.
Saint Louis (+7) at Arizona
Niko: Zona to cover. You have to love Bruce Arians and what he’s done for the Cardinals. He’s on my short list of coaches I’d take behind “The Genius.” Plus, until Gurley is back carrying the full load, the Rams just aren’t very good offensively.
Pete: Arizona should roll. While I don't necessarily think they are a Super Bowl team, they will have a great regular season if Carson Palmer can stay healthy. Here is the thing though: he won't stay healthy. Takes way too many shots running that offense.
Matt: The Rams are not a very good football team with Nick Foles running the offense. I like the direction Arizona has been going the past few years. Carson Palmer is playing some great football in the twilight of his career. He just needs to stay healthy. Arizona with an easy win over St. Louis.
Dallas at New Orleans
Niko: Assuming Drew Brees does not suit up, Dallas wins this game. Run, run, and run again. Not cause Brandon Weeden is horrible, but…yeah, because Brandon Weeden is horrible. Doesn’t hurt to have the best O-line in the game either.
Pete: Against any team not named New Orleans, Tampa Bay, or Chicago, I would pick against the Cowboys. However, New Orleans is Top 3 worst team in the NFL right now. Hard to pick against America's team.
Matt: The Saints season is just getting worse and worse. First they trade Jimmy Graham, then Drew Brees got hurt. I expect this 0-3 team to move to 0-4.
Detroit (+10) at Seattle
Niko: Detroit sucks. Seattle’s going to eat. Ignore the spread.
Pete: Seattle will win, but I don't think they will cover. Neither team can score. Detroit does have Calvin Johnson, in case Matthew Stafford wasn't aware. THROW HIM THE BALL AND YOU MAY ACTUALLY GET A TOUCHDOWN. I still think Seattle won't be as good this year. That team could come apart quick, as we have already seen, if they lose as well.
Matt: The Detroit and Denver game from last Sunday night was absolutely horrible. Neither team could get anything going on offense and both teams just played very sloppy football. This trend will continue this week for the Lions. Seattle should win this game easily; plus its a home game in the great northwest.
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