NFL Insider

NFL INSIDER: Another unfairly tight slate of games in Week 4

2013-09-26T17:00:00Z 2013-09-26T18:49:03Z NFL INSIDER: Another unfairly tight slate of games in Week 4Matt Erickson NFL Insider nwitimes.com
September 26, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

Might as well get the hard part out of the way: Last week was a bloodbath. But fortunately for my reputation, what's left of it, I wasn't alone.

Let's also get this out there: I'm picking the Giants again. That part last week where I said there's no way the Giants will go 0-3? Well, there's no way they'll go 0-4.

Speaking of which, taking a look around at 3-0 teams like the Chiefs and Dolphins and 0-3 teams like the Giants, Steelers, and Redskins is a little mind-boggling, but also proof at just how close teams are to each other. The worst team in the league and best team in the league are probably just a few plays or players different than each other, and that makes picking games all the more troublesome most weeks.

This week is no exception with more than half of the games within a field goal of each other, and 12 of the 15 less than five points apart. That means confidence pools are going to be all over the map this week.

I do think the Bears will continue to get it done on the road, and a 4-0 start would be huge for them given that four of their final six games this year are away from home, which sort of nullifies that advantage they usually have in cold weather on the lakefront.

The Colts get a gift of the 0-3 Jaguars the week after a tremendous upset of the 49ers on the road, and they'll have no problem staying hot.

BEARS (3-0) +3 (48) at Detroit (2-1)

MattE's pick: Bears 27, Lions 23

COLTS (2-1) -8 (43) at Jacksonville (0-3)

MattE's pick: Colts 31, Jaguars 13

Pittsburgh (0-3) -1.5 (42) at Minnesota (1-2)

MattE's pick: Vikings 24, Steelers 20

Baltimore (2-1) -3.5 (44) at Buffalo (1-2)

MattE's pick: Ravens 24, Bills 17

Cincinnati (2-1) -4.5 (42) at Cleveland (1-2)

MattE's pick: Bengals 27, Browns 17

Seattle (3-0) -3 (42) at Houston (2-1)

MattE's pick: Seahawks 26, Texans 20

Arizona (1-2) +2.5 (40.5) at Tampa Bay (0-3)

MattE's pick: Cardinals 24, Bucs 17

N.Y. Giants (0-3) +4 (44) at Kansas City (3-0)

MattE's pick: Giants 28, Chiefs 24

N.Y. Jets (2-1) +3.5 (39.5) at Tennessee (2-1)

MattE's pick: Titans 26, Jets 120

Dallas (2-1) -2 (46.5) at San Diego (1-2)

MattE's pick: Cowboys 29, Chargers 26

Philadelphia (1-2) +10.5 (58) at Denver (3-0)

MattE's pick: Broncos 34, Eagles 23

Washington (0-3) -3 (43.5) at Oakland (1-2)

MattE's pick: Redskins 23, Raiders 16

New England (3-0) +2 (49.5) at Atlanta (1-2)

MattE's pick: Falcons 31, Patriots 28

Miami (3-0) +6.5 (48) at New Orleans (3-0)

MattE's pick: Saints 37, Dolphins 20

Last week: 7-9 straight up, 8-7-1 against the spread. Season: 29-19 (.604) straight up, 24-21-3 (.533) against the spread.

Matt Erickson is an award-winning journalist whose NFL picks have appeared in The Times for 12 seasons. He covers mixed martial arts for The Times and is assistant MMA editor for USA Today and MMAjunkie.com.

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