Nearly one-fourth of the NFL regular season is now behind us and things are flying by with haste. After a dismal Week 1 performance against the spread, things have ticked up for us in this space, with an 8-2 showing over the last two weeks. Sadly, the Miami Dolphins stood in the way of perfection again in Week 4 but, on the bright side, Miami faces a bye week and can’t possibly appear on this week’s slate.
With the pleasantries out of the way, let’s do a quick check of the season-long effort and move on to the five-pack of picks.
- Week 4: 4-1
- 2019 Season: 12-8
Come get these winners.
Washington Redskins (+15.5) over New England Patriots
The Patriots are still terrifying but, this year, it’s been their defense carrying the load for the most part. New England not covering in back-to-back weeks scares me a bit and, uh, the Redskins are genuinely terrible. This is still a principle play for me, though, and Washington getting more than two touchdowns at home means we’re playing the number, not the team.
Atlanta Falcons (+5) over Houston Texans
This might be it for Dan Quinn. The Falcons have been maddening in the early portion of the 2019 season and, at 1-3, this is a virtual must-win for Atlanta. If they fall short, Quinn could conceivably be packing his office on Monday but it seems as if the public has already buried the Falcons six feet under the ground. For me, this number is a touch high and we’re grabbing the value, even if acknowledging that it could be a disastrous choice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) over New Orleans Saints
Do I really believe in Jameis Winston and the Bucs? Not particularly. Tampa Bay has a bit of mojo going at the moment but, for me, this is a play against the Saints and the love getting a little bit out of control. The Cowboys put together a baffling game plan in prime time last week and, to the credit of New Orleans, they took advantage with strong defense and conservative execution. This time around, the match-up is bad for New Orleans, as the Bucs have been lights-out in run defense (a huge factor against the Bridgewater-led Saints) and they appear more capable of beating up the Saints through the air than the Cowboys were. I think the Saints probably win the game but, from a value standpoint, Tampa is the side.
Oakland Raiders (+5.5) over Chicago Bears
Hello, London! In the history of the NFL’s English venture, favorites have been the play and that’s a little scary. I’m going to chalk that up to small sample size theater, though, and the Raiders traveled straight from their game last week to get more comfortable in their surroundings. That may not matter at all but I can’t imagine laying 5.5 points on a neutral field with this Bears offense. I just can’t.
New York Jets (+14) over Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, we’re taking all five games in the 1:00 pm ET window and we’re taking another two-score underdog. This is my life. It would be (very) helpful if Sam Darnold was going to play in this game but, as of post time, we don’t know if he’s in or out. I’m willing to (gasp) take Luke Falk with this much of a spread and, if nothing else, we have our principles.