NFL Week 4 picks 2012

The refs are back for Week 4 and it’s almost hard to believe how supportive the public has been. How many times have you ever heard: “Yeah, we lost, but the refs we’re great today!”?

Yeah, never. People don’t like referees. It’s a thankless job with an approval rating that will rarely top 50 percent.

More often than not, the refs are a scapegoat for a player or team looking for a reason other than that they weren’t good enough.

And yet, on every team I’ve ever played on, in every sport, at every level, there have been officials who were … less than perfect. It’s just human nature and even “professional” refs will still make mistakes.

Players and fans alike say they’re excited for the return of “real” refs. That’ll last until the first call that goes against them. How long will that take? Two weeks? Five minutes?

Then it’ll just be back to the way things were: with those darn refs blowing the game for you once again. At least now they’ll be informed mistakes.

(Oh, and it’s Patriots week. I’m taking the Bills +4 with a fourth-quarter drive making the difference in the game.)

New England at Buffalo (+4) — Bills

Minnesota (+4½) at Detroit — Lions

Carolina (+7) at Atlanta — Atlanta

San Francisco at N.Y. Jets (+4) — 49ers

San Diego at Kansas City (+1) — Chiefs

Tennessee (+12) at Houston –Houston

Seattle at St. Louis (+2½) — Seattle

Miami (+6½) at Arizona — Arizona

Oakland (+6½) at Denver — Denver

Cincinnati at Jacksonville (+ 2½) — Jags

New Orleans (+7½) at Green Bay — Green Bay

Washington (+3) at Tampa Bay — Tampa

N.Y. Giants (+2) at Philadelphia — Giants*

Chicago (+3½) at Dallas — Chicago

Overall:

Graham 23-19-3
DiCesare 22-20-3
Skurski 20-22-3
Sullivan, Northrop 15-27-3
Gaughan 14-28-3
IAGS 12-30-3

Best Bets:

Gaughan 2-0-1
IAGS, DiCesare 2-1
Skurski, Sullivan 1-1-1
Northrop 1-2
Graham 0-2-1

Last week:

Bills at Cleveland (+3) — Bills
Bills 24-14. Win

St. Louis (+7½) at Chicago — Rams
Bears 23-6. Loss

Tampa Bay (+7) at Dallas — Dallas
Cowboys 16-10. Loss

San Francisco at Minnesota (+7) — 49ers
Vikings 24-13. Loss

Detroit at Tennessee (+3½) — Detroit
Titans 44-41. Loss

Cincinnati (+3½) at Washington — Redskins
Bengals 38-31. Loss

Jets at Miami (+3) — Jets
Jets 23-20. Push

Kansas City (+9) at New Orleans — Saints
Chiefs 27-24. Loss

Jacksonville (+3) at Indianapolis — Colts
Jacksonville 22-17. Loss

Philadelphia at Arizona (+4) — Cardinals
Cardinals 27-6. Win

Atlanta (+3) at San Diego — Falcons*
Falcons 27-3. Win

Houston at Denver (+2) — Broncos
Houston 31-25. Loss

Pittsburgh at Oakland (+4) — Steelers
Raiders 34-31. Loss

New England (+3) at Baltimore — Pats
Ravens 31-30. Win

Green Bay at Seattle (+3½) — Green Bay
Seahawks 14-12. Loss

* Best bet

Largest line of the season: Arizona +13.5 at New England (Week 2)

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