The NFL’s use of replacement referees has created havoc. It has ruined games, perhaps altered playoff races and, most importantly, messed up by pick of the Packers (-3 ½) over the Seahawks.
I found myself counting on the Packers to help me complete a poor week on the upswing. After the early games Sunday, I was 4-5-1. When the Cardinals jumped out to a big lead on the Eagles, I counted that as a win, albeit a bittersweet one because I don’t like to see the Eagles lose. In my mind, I was sitting at .500, but I lost the other three late games and the controversial Sunday night game between the Ravens and Patriots.
The Packers were going to stop my slide on Monday night. I was going to salvage my week and enter Week 4 on a positive note. Instead, thanks to the replacement officials, I finished Week 3 at 5-10-1, the exact opposite of the previous week. At least my top pick (Bills -3 at Cleveland) was correct.
Another change this week is, after picking three road favorites among my top five picks last week, I’m sticking with the home teams this week. My best bet is the Falcons (-7) over the visiting Panthers. My “other top picks” includes three other home favorites and one home underdog, the Rams (+2½) over the visiting Seahawks. If you’re looking for a road team to select, I suggest the Bengals (-2½) at Jacksonville.
The odds seem to indicate the Eagles (-2) will bounce back against the Giants on Sunday night. But, after last week’s debacle in the desert against Arizona, I don’t feel comfortable picking the Eagles against the well-rested Giants.
The following are my complete Week 4 selections:
(Home team in CAPS)
(Winning team against the line in bold)
RAVENS -13 vs. Browns
Patriots -4 at BILLS
LIONS -4½ vs. Vikings
FALCONS -7 vs. Panthers
49ers -4 at JETS
CHIEFS even vs. Chargers
Titans +12 at TEXANS
RAMS +2½ vs. Seahawks
CARDINALS -6½ vs. Dolphins
BRONCOS -6½ vs. Raiders
Bengals -2½ at JAGUARS
Saints -7½ at PACKERS
BUCS -3 vs. Redskins
Giants +2 at EAGLES
COWBOYS -3½ vs. Bears
Best bet: FALCONS -7 vs. Panthers
Other top picks: BRONCOS -6½ vs. Raiders; CARDINALS -6½ vs. Dolphins; BUCS -3 vs. Redskins; RAMS +2½ vs. Seahawks
Overall: 5-10-1 (23-23-1 this season)
Best bet: 1-0 (2-1 this season)
Other top picks: 1-2-1 (6-4-2 this season)