It's Week 4 in the NFL, and Boy Genius and I are back with the picks to make you money. In Week 2, I went 10-6 and BG went 9-7. However, our three picks of the week would have made a profitable parlay. We've got another great three team parlay for you this week as well.
Without further ado, the picks:
Ari at Atl -7
CJ: Okay, it's week four. We should have a good idea of how good these teams really are. Let's start with Arizona at Atlanta, and the Falcons are giving 7.
Boy Genius: I'm not sure if seven seems like a lot or a little given how pissed off the Falcons have to be coming out flat last Monday.
CJ: I wonder what team wouldn't have looked flat in that atmosphere.
Boy Genius: I'm thinking a lot. They're still without John Abraham causing havoc for Kurt Warner, and while I don't think the Cards will win, I'm all about the cover here. The Falcons aren't that good and Arizona's not that bad.
Boy Genius: Mediocre versus just a notch above.
CJ: Here's the big problem for the Cardinals. Kurt Warner can't help but be looking over his shoulder wondering if the next mistake will be the last he'll make as a starter. Atlanta is still a team that rushed for more yards in two weeks than anyone else did in three. However, I'm with you. Seven points is too much
CJ: Atlanta 23, Arizona 17.
Boy Genius: I'll back you on that, Atlanta 21, Arizona 17 was my pick, but we're just splitting hairs.
Dal at Ten +10
Boy Genius: Next up is Dallas rolling into Tennessee with the hugest story of the week in tow: Vince Young starts for Kerry Collins.
Boy Genius: Oh wait, not the biggest storyline here, but TO starts and looks like the Titans are giving ten. What's up with that?
CJ: Strange. Has there ever been a more disruptive force since Barrett Robbins disappeared on Super Bowl weekend?
Boy Genius: Tom Jackson on ESPN just said, "I'm not a Cowboy, and I was distracted." I think TO thrives on this stuff and has a monster day - over eight catches and at least two TDs.
Boy Genius: And if you think they won't try and get after Vinny Heisman, you're nuts. Ten seems like the right number, but I got Dallas covering here.
CJ: Yeah, this is just the kind of game that T.O. busts out a big one. The Cowboys are lucky they get to play the Titans, one of the worst three teams in football. Their defense is terrible, and the fast Cowboys D gets to feast on a rookie starting his first game
CJ: Dallas 27, Tennessee 13
Boy Genius: That's what I was going to say. By the way, I know Young didn't win the Heisman, but Reggie Bush took money in college, so I'm giving it to him post-mortem here.
CJ: Ah, skipped right over the Heisman reference... nice!
Ind at NYJ +8
Boy Genius: Anyway, the gods of arcane football rules are smiling on me with the Indy / New York Jets matchup. Indy's giving 8.5, and due to league rules the game must run unopposed in NYC markets - meaning I get Rams/Lions at 4PM.
CJ: Good for you... bad for the other 5 million people in the greater New York area.
Boy Genius: Hey now...
Boy Genius: I'm torn on this Indy/Jets matchup
Boy Genius: On one hand, Indy is 7-1-1 as a road favorite over the last couple of years...
Boy Genius: ...on the other hand, Hammerin' Hank gave me that stat and picked the Colts. Does that mean I'm supposed to fade him?
CJ: Ha! I wonder how Hank's doing this year. I don't think I ever saw him pick the right horse in a race. Then again... after yesterday, I shouldn't criticize anyone's horse picks.
Boy Genius: Yeah, let's not talk about that travesty. Can Pennington keep the Jets close? I don't think they have a running game, but neither do the Colts. Is this a recipe for a high scoring game?
CJ: It is, the over is a safe bet, as it usually is when the Colts are playing anyone other than Jacksonville, New England and Baltimore. The Jets are better than people thought they'd be, but that just means they'll keep it close in the first half.
Boy Genius: I like the over (47) too, and I actually like the Jets to cover - Indy 31 - NYJ 24.
CJ: We're on the same page today. I've actually bet this game and I have Indy 37, Jets 20.
Mia at Hou +3.5
CJ: Next up, GAME OF THE WEEK! Why this isn't a mandatory national game, I'll never know. It's Miami at Houston and the Texans are getting 3.5.
CJ: Here's my problem picking this game... don't the Texans have to win a game eventually?
Boy Genius: Like there's some unwritten rule in the NFL rulebook that mandates this? Hell's no. But they will win a game at some point... just not today. Miami needs a big game, I think they take the reins off Culpepper and he throws for yards by the bucket.
CJ: Did you draft Culpepper in any fantasy leagues?
Boy Genius: Sigh... yes.
CJ: Yeah, me too.
Boy Genius: And he's starting today for me, so I'm clearly just projecting.
CJ: Yeah, me too.
Boy Genius: But Miami comes alive today. The Texans are the tonic for what ails you. Miami 29 Houston 17. Easy cover.
Boy Genius: I'd play this one all day long for Miami.
CJ: Well, it's about time we disagree. The Dolphins aren't nearly as good as people hoped. The Texans are at home and I think their running game is a little better this week now that Samkon Gado has a few weeks under his belt.
CJ: I'm picking Houston 24, Miami 21.
Boy Genius: Well, you can't always be correct. Save your money for a sure thing.
Min at Buf -1
Boy Genius: Maybe that's Minnesota versus Buffalo? Minny gets in to Buffalo in a near pick'em situation with the Bills actually favored by a point. Am I seeing this right? Is there actually a belief that JP Losman can will his team to victory?
CJ: I was more shocked by this line than any other this week. Is this a statement on Minnesota's ability to play outside a dome?
Boy Genius: It's OCTOBER. This isn't frozen tundra weather. This is purely a statement that the Bills' defense is playoff caliber, which I believe. I think Minnesota's vulnerable here, but vulnerable to a loss?
Boy Genius: Okay, I'm onboard. Buffalo 17 - Minnesota 13.
Boy Genius: It's not an upset if the line's pointing you that way.
CJ: Losman excels at quarterback. Well... excels at losing close games. Not exactly a skill you want. Minnesota 19, Buffalo 13.
NOS at Car -7
CJ: Okay, now a game that features an undefeated team and a team in need of win, only it's the introduction to the opposite sketches. Saints are 3-0 and the Panters are 1-2. Here, the 3-0 road team is getting 7 points.
Boy Genius: This is an absolutely astonishing line. Are we supposed to believe preseason projections on Carolina or recent past performance? And re-read that same sentence in regards to New Orleans and you can tell I've got more questions than answers.
CJ: Right... how long will wildly inaccurate preseason predictions afftect actual betting patterns? This has to be a sucker line. Except for one thing. Why can't the Panthers win by a touchdown? Great defense. Solid running game. Good QB. And Steve Smith should be healthier.
Boy Genius: Plus, don't underestimate the emotional letdown angle. Saints won big last week, and have a short week to prepare for a tougher game on the road. I see them coming out flat. Panthers 31 Saints 10. Huge statement win for Carolina.
CJ: Carolina 23, Saints 14. But the bettors will be sweating the final drive of this game.
SDG at Bal +1
Boy Genius: That brings us to today's marquee game - a matchup of undefeateds. San Diego goes to Baltimore, with the hometown Ravens getting a full point on the Chargers. #1 vs #2 defenses. So why don't I see this one being close?
CJ: Ah... you're leaving me to decide which side gets the blowout. IF it's a blowout... and I say IF... the blowout would go the Chargers way.
Boy Genius: Ding ding ding... Philip Rivers is the real deal and we'll see that today. I love the Chargers in this spot and think they win by two scores - 20-10.
CJ: IF it was going to be a blowout, I'd be on your side. It won't. Philip Rivers may be the real deal, but he's never seen anything like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The Ravens defense over the past decade has been as good as any in history.
CJ: Ravens 17, Chargers 16.
SFO at KCC -7
CJ: San Francisco is at Kansas City and the Chiefs are giving 7 points. Who is QBing for the Chiefs these days that they can give anyone 7 points?
Boy Genius: Well, who's going to be toting the rock for the Niners? Does this have any ability to be anything other than a slugfest? The seven points baffles me too, I can't see the Niners doing anything but keeping this close and both teams will keep the clock alive all game. I'm going full dog upset here - SF 17 KC 13
CJ: I'm also picking the dog outright, although I'm likely underestimating how much losing Vernon Davis will hurt the Niners offense. He was a great outlet for Alex Smith. Former Penn State QB Michael Robinson will make plays, though. San Fran 27, Kansas City 17.
Det at StL -5.5
Boy Genius: Can we talk about my Lions now? We get to save your Eagles for last, right?
CJ: Sure, go ahead...
Boy Genius: I'm going to ignore the "triumphant return of Mike Martz" angle and focus on who really matters here...
Boy Genius: Mike Freaking Furrey.
CJ: Well, um... that's bold.
Boy Genius: The Lions leading receiver comes back after two years in the St. Louis DEFENSIVE backfield with something to prove. If you think the little white guy ain't carrying a grudge, you're way off. Lions on the road are getting 5.5.
CJ: I tried to find ways to pick the Lions here. I actually like Jon Kitna, but the offense hasn't seemed to take to Martz system... yet. Will this be the week?
Boy Genius: The offense has actually taken well to the system - they just keep putting themselves into 3rd and 31 situations with dumbass penalties.
Boy Genius: At some point they're going to hang 40 points. The Rams defense will make sure it's not this week, but I like the Lions to at least cover - Rams 30 Lions 27.
CJ: This is another game I have coming down to who gets the ball last. If it's the Lions, they very well may beat the spread. However, I'm going with the home favorite to cover, Rams 21, Lions 10.
Boy Genius: We'll do better than 10 points.
CJ: And that's why I'm not putting my OWN money on that game!
Cle at Oak +1
CJ: Let's try Cleveland at Oakland and marvel over the fact the Raiders are getting just 1 point now.
Boy Genius: This line is stupid. The Raiders should be giving at least a TD to any team in the league. Hell, I'd only install them at -10 against Ohio State for chrissakes. They're bad. Real bad.
CJ: What the linesmakers are saying is that there's about a 50% chance that the Raiders beat the Browns. Has their been any indication that that's possible? Do they not understand that the only reason the Raiders didn't lose last week is because they were off?
Boy Genius: Browns 17 Raiders 10. There's no reason to believe otherwise. I'll even give you an over/under line of 1.5 for total Oakland victories by season's end. They are a bad team for the ages.
CJ: Browns 17, Raiders 13... Janikowski hits that other field goal. And I'm trying to figure out which game they win this year. It'd have to be a Lamont Jordan romp.
Jax at Was +3
Boy Genius: Totally. Can we move on to Jax/Washington now? Another home dog, which seems to be a trend this week, with the Skins giving 3 to the Jags. Are the bettors reading too much into the supposed resurgence of Mark Brunell last week? What happens when he runs into an NFL defense this week?
CJ: Exactly. Every QB with the Texans on their schedule will ssee a "resurgence." That's why Culpepper owners are happy this week. The Jags have a top 3 D in the league. The Redskins looked terrible the first two weeks. Another stupid line, in my opinion.
Boy Genius: Incredibly stupid. Epically stupid. My lock of the week actually, with Jacksonville absolutely obliterating this line. Jags 31 Skins 6.
CJ: It's not quite as bad for me, although we both agree the Skins don't get into the end zone. Jax 21, Was 9. Easy game to bet.
NEP at Cin -5.5
CJ: Which brings us to a tough one to bet... maybe. Patriots at the Bengals and the Bengals are giving 5.5 points.
Boy Genius: And the Pats are missing two starters in their secondary. That shouldn't matter, the Bengals don't throw much, do they?
CJ: Oh... every now and then.
Boy Genius: Hmm... in that case, gimme the stripes and a "who dey?" from the peanut gallery. And let the "what's wrong with Tom Brady" articles keep coming. You take the guy's best receiver and ship him away, replace him with Reche freaking Caldwell, and you tell me what he's supposed to think. Bengals 28 - Pats 21.
CJ: In my mind, the Bengals are the West Wing with Aaron Sorkin and the Patriots are the West Wing after Aaron Sorkin. You want to like it, it still seems good. But deep down you know it's just a shell of its former self and you're dying for Sorkin to come back to TV. (Speaking of which, if you're not watching Studio 60, you should be.) The Bengals cover, Cincy 30, New England 20.
Boy Genius: But the real line to be playing... which Bengal goes to jail this week?
CJ: Or over under on the season... 7?
Boy Genius: Over - rumor has it Frostee Rucker's got some problems rolling down the pike.
Sea at Chi -3.5
Boy Genius: Anyway, I don't know what to make of the line on Seattle at Chicago. Seahawks were giving one, now they're getting 3.5. Isn't Mo Morris at least serviceable?
CJ: Yeah, if anything, I expected this line to move the other way. First, it's not like Alexander was tearing it up this year anyway. Second, it's not like anyone runs real well on the Bears.
CJ: Bottom line, the Seahawks are a better team.
Boy Genius: I totally agree. I can't see the Seahawks blowing this one, even on the road. Seahawks 17 Bears 14.
CJ: Yet another road dog winning outright. Seattle 20, Chicago 17.
GBP at Phi -11.5
CJ: Which brings us to Monday Night and a game in which the worst QB on the field will get entirely too much hype. Green Bay at Philly, Philly giving a whopping 11.5 points.
Boy Genius: With their entire secondary banged up?
CJ: Yeah, Sheppard, Hood, Dawkins, Lewis, Consindine... all on the injured list.
Boy Genius: But the ever-mercurial Brett Favre in his national TV swan song... Does he rip your boys up?
CJ: Doesn't happen. Favre has been terrible the last three times they've played the Eagles. It hasn't even been close. And the Eagles boast one of the top 3 offenses in all of football. McNabb has never been better.
Boy Genius: I'm with you - Eagles 31 Pack 17.
CJ: You won't help them win the over... but I will. Eagles 38, Packers 17.
LOCK OF THE WEEK
CJ: Now, what everyone's been waiting for. The lock of the week!
Boy Genius: Who's your lock of the week?
CJ: The Jets aren't that good. The Colts are. I love the Colts giving 8 points.
Boy Genius: And I said earlier the Jags/Skins line was stupid, but I could say the same thing about the Browns covering Oakland just as easily. I'll lock 'em both up. Jags and Browns.
CJ: Well, last time we picked we gave everyone three games to bet and they would have made some money. I think this week is the same story. Lock up these three teams in a parlay, and count your money.
Boy Genius: Good luck, and fade me immediately.
CJ: But of course, good luck at the virtual windows!