Two decent weeks and one awful one, so NFL’s Week 4 will hopefully continue last week’s positive trend.
That said, last week should have been better than 11-5 straight up and 10-6 against the spread. If there’s anything that drives prognosticators crazy, aside from losing a game to the spread on a last-second touchdown that means nothing to the outcome, it’s changing a pick last minute and getting burned.
I changed both Pennsylvania picks last week, and lost when the Steelers and Eagles won. So Week 3 should have been the best of the season. So be it. We move on.
(Odds provided by OddsShark)
Ravens -3 at Steelers — At some point, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has to get the offense untracked while the Ravens defense gets some stops. The bigger problem seems to be on defense, which will go up against Steelers backup quarterback Michael Vick as a result of Ben Roethlisberger suffering a knee injury. Go with the gut on this toss-up. Pick: Ravens 27, Steelers 23.
Jets Even Dolphins — A road game for both as the NFL goes across the pond again to London. That the Jets are favored by some oddsmakers after losing at home to winless Philadelphia is a bit of a surprise. That evidently speaks to the confidence in how Miami is playing. The Dolphins are due. Pick: Dolphins 26, Jets 23.
Texans +7 at Falcons — Atlanta keeps humming along. Wide receiver Julio Jones has been unstoppable. Houston was able to get in the win column at home against Tampa Bay. But playing on the road against the Falcons will require some offense, which the Texans have yet to prove they have. Pick: Falcons 33, Texans 17.
Giants +5.5 at Bills — Buffalo couldn’t beat New England in Week 2 at home but scored some points. Rex Ryan’s team handled the Colts and Dolphins easily, the latter on the road last week. The G-men finally won, but this one will be too difficult. Pick: Bills 33, Giants 23.
Raiders -3 at Bears — The idea Oakland could go on the road and win in back-to-back weeks seems so far-fetched. But Chicago just traded two players, including Jared Allen, so it seems as if the Bears are resigned to their fate. Losing a quality player for a low draft pick likely has a negative impact on the locker room. Pick: Raiders 24, Bears 20.
Chiefs +4 at Bengals — Kansas City is trying to persevere in a tough schedule stretch after blowing a home game against Denver and losing in a rout at Green Bay. Cincinnati is unbeaten after pulling out a tough win at Baltimore. Pick: Bengals 27, Chiefs 21.
Jaguars +9.5 at Colts — If the Colts are going to put a game together on both sides, it has to be this one at home. Jacksonville allowed 51 points in a 34-point loss at New England last week. Whether or not quarterback Andrew Luck plays, the Colts should still win with backup Matt Hasselbeck. Pick: Colts 38, Jaguars 17.
Panthers -3 at Buccaneers — Carolina has had an easy road so far, and this one probably looks like no problem, but sometimes you smell an upset. Then sometimes you change your mind at the last minute. Yeah, that bit me twice last week. Pick: Panthers 31, Buccaneers 17.
Eagles -3 at Redskins — Perhaps Philly has righted the ship and then again maybe not. But figuring out Washington makes this matchup even more of a coin flip. If nothing else, let’s not make the same mistake two weeks in a row about the Eagles. Real scientific, huh? Pick: Eagles 30, Redskins 26.
Browns +9 at Chargers — A humbling loss at Minnesota will have San Diego a bit salty in coming home. And the Browns reminded in a home loss to the Raiders that they still have an issue at quarterback. Bolts bounce back big. Pick: Chargers 37, Browns 13.
Vikings +7 at Broncos — While much of the focus has been about if Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is on the decline, the Broncos’ defense has been outstanding. Peyton doesn’t have to do everything, and he can still do enough. Pick: Broncos 30, Vikings 17.
Rams +7.5 at Cardinals — It’s difficult to expect Arizona to unload on every outmanned opponent, but St. Louis shouldn’t be too difficult. The Rams couldn’t score much at home and looked dreadful in Week 2 at Washington. Pick: Cardinals 34, Rams 17.
Packers -9.5 at 49ers — Green Bay is firing on all offensive cylinders, exactly what San Francisco doesn’t need after getting embarrassed at Arizona. Sometimes West Coast road trips are more of a challenge for the visitors. Not this time. Pick: Packers 30, 49ers 20.
Cowboys +7 at Saints — This line was the biggest surprise, considering how badly the Saints have played and the Cowboys, despite missing key guys, are coming off a home loss to a good Falcons team. The hunch is that Dallas will rebound. Pick: Cowboys 26, Saints 20.
Lions +10.5 at Seahawks — Detroit is winless and Seattle is coming off a shutout home win over the hapless Bears. The Lions are catching the Seahawks at a bad time, not that it matters considering how Detroit is playing. Pick: Seahawks 37, Lions 17.
Last week: 11-5 (.688).
Overall: 27-21 (.563).
Last year after Week 3: 30-18 (.625).
Last week: 10-6 (.625).
Overall: 23-25 (.479).
Last year after Week 3: 24-24 (.500).
Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.