NFL Week 4 picks 2013

The 0-3 Steelers head across the pond this week to meet the 0-3 Vikings in a thrilling matchup of top teams the NFL is surely happy to be showcasing at Wembley Stadium.

You cannot underrate how poor each team has played so far. The Steelers are tied with the Giants for the worst turnover margin in the NFL (minus-9) and the Vikings lost at home last week to a winless Browns team that had just traded away its best player and started its backup quarterback.

The Steelers offense had least found some rhythm last week in a 40-23 home loss to the Bears, so I’ll take them to outlast the Vikings.

The Bills has played well at home this year but after E.J. Manuel’s iffy performance last week against Geno Smith, I didn’t feel comfortable taking them at only +3.5 against Baltimore.

Week 4 picks, based on lines printed in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Steelers -1.5 vs. Minnesota (London) – Pittsburgh

Baltimore -3.5 at Buffalo – Baltimore

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NFL Week 3 picks 2013

iagspicks3

Coming off an emotional, last-second victory, I’m taking E.J. Manuel and the Bills +2 over Geno Smith and the surprisingly not-awful New York Jets in a matchup of rookie quarterbacks.

I’ll be reporting from Heinz Field again Sunday, where I expect the Bears -2.5 to cover against a Steelers team that hasn’t been able to do anything so far on offense. Consider this: Last Nov. 12, Jonathan Dwyer ran 19 times for 56 yards … and no Steeler has topped that performance since. Yuck.

Week 3 picks, made against lines in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Buffalo +2 at NY Jets — Buffalo

Chicago -2.5 at Pittsburgh — Chicago

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NFL Week 11 picks 2012

I was actually glad Reggie Bush said some dumb things about Buffalo women this week. Miami week used to be the rivalry game everybody got up for. It’s been pretty lame the last few years while the both teams have had struggles, but this year was different. Everyone was fired up. People cared about this team and this game.

Winning teams get that all the time. Losing teams struggle to keep fans passionate. An ill-advised radio comment isn’t the same as being on top of the conference, but right now we’ll take what we can get.

Picks:

Philadelphia (+3½) at Washington — Washington

Green Bay at Detroit (+3½) — Detroit

Arizona (+10) at Atlanta — Atlanta

Tampa Bay at Carolina (+1½) — Tampa

Cleveland (+7½) at Dallas — Cleveland

Jets (+3½) at St. Louis — St. Louis

Indianapolis (+9½) at New England — Indianapolis

Jacksonville (+15½) at Houston — Houston

Cincinnati at Kansas City (+3½) — Bengals

New Orleans at Oakland (+5) — New Orleans

San Diego (+7½) at Denver — Denver

Baltimore (+3½) at Pittsburgh — Baltimore*

Chicago (+3) at San Francisco — San Fran

Standings (best bets):

Skurski 70-61-5 (5-4-1)
DiCesare 68-63-5 (5-5)
Graham 63-68-5 (3-6-1)
Sullivan 62-69-5 (4-5-1)
IAGS 59-72-5 (7-2-1)
Northrop 59-72-5 (3-5-1)
Gaughan 57-74-5 (5-4-1)

Last week

Buffalo (+11) at New England — Pats
Pats 37-31. Loss

Giants at Cincinnati (+4) — Giants
Bengals 31-13. Loss

San Diego (+3) at Tampa Bay — Tampa
Bucs 34-24. Win

Denver at Carolina (+4) — Denver
Broncos 36-14. Win

Tennessee (+6) at Miami — Miami
Titans 37-3. Loss

Oakland (+7½) at Baltimore — Baltimore
Ravens 55-20. Win

Atlanta at New Orleans (+2½)  – Atlanta
Saints 31-27. Loss

Detroit at Minnesota (+2) — Detroit
Vikings 34-24. Loss

Jets (+6½) at Seattle — Jets
Seahawks 28-7. Loss

Dallas at Philadelphia (+1) — Eagles
Cowboys 38-23. Loss

St. Louis (+11) at San Francisco — Rams
Tie 24-24. Win

Houston (+1) at Chicago — Houston
Texans 13-6. Win

Kansas City (+12½) at Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh*
Pittsburgh 16-13. Loss

5-8

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)

NFL Week 3 picks 2012

The Buffalo Bills go to Cleveland this week. It always seems like the Browns give the Bills problems, but the defense woke up last week and I like its chances against rookie Brandon Weeden this week.

Bills at Cleveland (+3) — Bills

St. Louis (+7½) at Chicago — Rams

Tampa Bay (+7) at Dallas — Dallas

San Francisco at Minnesota (+7) — 49ers

Detroit at Tennessee (+3½) — Detroit

Cincinnati (+3½) at Washington — Redskins

Jets at Miami (+3) — Jets

Kansas City (+9) at New Orleans — Saints

Jacksonville (+3) at Indianapolis — Colts

Philadelphia at Arizona (+4) — Cardinals

Atlanta (+3) at San Diego — Falcons*

Houston at Denver (+2) — Broncos

Pittsburgh at Oakland (+4) — Steelers

New England (+3) at Baltimore — Pats

Green Bay at Seattle (+3½) — Green Bay

* Best bets

Overall:
Skurski 15-13-2
Graham 14-14-2
DiCesare 14-14-2
Northrop 12-16-2
Sullivan 11-17-2
Gaughan, IAGS 8-20-2

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

Last week:
Skurski, Graham 7-6-2
DiCesare, Northrop 5-8-2
Gaughan, IAGS, Sullivan 4-9-2

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

Last week:

Kansas City (+3) at Bills — Chiefs
Bills 35-17. Loss

Tampa Bay (+7) at Giants — Giants
Giants 41-34. Push

Arizona (+13½) at New England — Pats
Cards 20-18. Loss

Minnesota at Indianapolis (+1½) — Vikings
Colts 23-20. Loss

New Orleans at Carolina (+2½) — Saints
Panthers 35-27. Loss

Baltimore (+2½) at Philadelphia — Ravens
Eagles 24-23. Win

Oakland at Miami (+2½) — Raiders
Dolphins 35-13. Loss

Cleveland (+7) at Cincinnati — Bengals
Bengals 34-27. Push

Houston at Jacksonville (+7) — Texans
Texans 27-7. Win

Dallas at Seattle (+3) — Cowboys*
Seahawks 27-7. Loss

Washington at St. Louis (+3) — Rams
Rams 31-28. Win

Jets (+5) at Pittsburgh — Jets
Steelers 27-10. Loss

Tennessee (+6) at San Diego — Titans
Chargers 38-10. Loss

Detroit (+6½) at San Francisco — 49ers
49ers 27-19. Win

Denver (+3) at Atlanta — Broncos
Falcons 27-21. Loss

4-9-2