FINALLY, Week 3 turned out to be a winning mark for yours truly, with an overall 4-2 mark for the week. For the third time in 3 tries, I correctly predicted the Miami Dolphins to cover the spread. I thought it was a game that would be close, and with home field and 4.5 points, I liked those advantages together. It turns out I also forgot to factor in the sun, which gets a hat tip from yours truly for how much it royally irked Buffalo fans. Well done, Scorch (seems like as good a nickname as any). 3-2 on the rest of the week, with the Jags carrying the over almost single-handedly at the Chargers to put me over.
On with Week 4 picks...
Overall season mark (8-10)
Miami Dolphins picks (3-0 on season)
MIAMI (+3.5) at Cincinnati
Everything logically points to this being a Bengals win and cover. The Fins are on the road after playing 4 days ago, with the defense playing a wilting 90 plays in 100-degree heat. Tua, Waddle, Armstead, etc. are banged up with a short recovery time. The Fins feel due for a loss, and the Bengals due for a win.
But this team just has that “it” feeling, and if Tua can stay upright, he and this offense could be in line for another dynamic performance. Dallas manhandled the Bengals front with a lead, so if Miami can jump in front and pin their ears back, that Cincy offensive line can be ravaged. I’ll take three and a half points here to find out.
Rest of the league (5-10 on season)
Teaser (usual rules; 6-point shift per game, ties lose): ARIZONA (+7.5) at Carolina; SEATTLE (+10) at Detroit
This teaser’s for the birds (rim shot). I think Arizona will fall, but I like their odds to play a one-score game here, so I’ll push that out to 7.5. Seattle is facing a Detroit team without its top two offensive weapons in Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift, both of whom have been fantastic this year. Geno Smith has also been playing solid football for the Seahawks. Put it together, and I see a competitive game on Sunday at Ford Field.
CLEVELAND (-1) at Atlanta
I think the Browns win straight up in Atlanta, so laying a point here isn’t much of a concern. They’re maybe the most complete team in the AFC North right now, with Jacoby Brissett playing competent football and their offensive line continuing to bully opposing fronts. That’s winning football, and I trust that formula more than Marcus Mariota and whatever Atlanta’s not doing with Kyle Pitts right now.
Teaser: Patriots at PACKERS (-3); CHIEFS (+7) at Bucs
I don’t really need to explain the Packers beating the Brian Hoyer-led Pats by more than 3, do I? Chiefs getting a touchdown at the banged up and offensively-challenged Bucs also feels like a fat cushion for a team that has a very good chance of winning.
NY Jets at Pittsburgh; UNDER 41.5
The Steelers are an abomination offensively, and the Jets match up well at stopping their ground game. I also don’t have much confidence in the Jets offense - even with Zach Wilson returning - doing much against the Steelers’ defense. This has a 17-13 feeling all over it, so I’ll call for this one to stay under the set line.
VIKINGS (-2.5) vs. Saints (London)
Jameis Winston has missed back-to-back practice days, so this is starting to look like the Andy Dalton show. The Vikings are overall much healthier and sport a functioning offense, with Kirk Cousins not being under the bright prime time lights. As such, all signs are pointing towards a Vikings win, and laying 2.5 doesn’t seem like a huge ask here, so I’ll do it.