Years since a Phillies catcher batted leadoff before Andrew Knapp did so Sunday

Putting it on the Line

Posted by Eric Fisher On October 5

This is the best first four weeks I’ve had picking games in any season since Putting it on the Line made its debut. I’ve had a winning record every week, with double-digit victories in my last three weeks. And that first week, with a 9-5-1 mark, was pretty darn good.

My overall record is 40-21-1. My “best bets” are 3-1. My weakest area is “other top picks,” where my record is 8-8.

When you’re winning, you’re supposed to keep doing what you’re doing, right? Well, that’s not the road I’m traveling. I’ve picked the Chiefs every week, including twice when I put them in my “other top picks.” The Chiefs have rewarded my faith every time. But this week I’m taking the Texans (+1) over the visiting Chiefs as my best bet.

The Chiefs beat the Redskins, 29-20, on Monday night. Not only are they going on the road after a Monday night game, but the Redskins came was tied until the final minute. The Chiefs seem vulnerable for an upset. Meanwhile, the Texans, after a narrow loss to the Patriots, obliterated the Titans last weekend. I took the Texans last week, and I’m taking them again this week.

I know the Cowboys lost to the Rams last week. (I took the Rams at +6.) But I like the Cowboys (-2½) over the visiting Packers, who have had 10 days rest, but are hindered by injuries.  I got last week off to a good start by picking the Packers (-7) over the Bears on Thursday night. This Thursday I’m selecting the Patriots (-3) over the Bucs, one of the rare times I’ll pick a road team on Thursday night.

As for the Eagles, I entered the week confident they would easily handle the Cardinals. But I’m concerned that, if Fletcher Cox doesn’t play, the Eagles won’t generate much pressure on Carson Palmer, who is a very good quarterback when not pressured. The image of Larry Fitzgerald running routes against the Eagles’ smaller defensive backs also doesn’t comfort me. The Cardinals defense is fairly good against the run, and the Eagles’ running game could be hurt if Wendell Smallwood (knee) doesn’t play. I’ve switched sides to taking the Cardinals (+6½).

Let’s try to keep the roll going with my Week 5 selections:

(Home team in CAPS)                                           

(Winning team against the line in bold)

Patriots –3 at BUCS

GIANTS –3 vs. Chargers

BENGALS -3 vs. Bills

BROWNS pick ‘em vs. Jets

Titans -3at DOLPHINS

STEELERS -8½ vs. Jaguars

COLTS -1½ vs. 49ers

Cardinals +6½ at EAGLES

LIONS -2½ vs. Panthers

Seahawks +1 at RAMS

RAIDERS -2½ vs. Ravens

COWBOYS -2½ vs. Packers

TEXANS +1 vs. Chiefs

Vikings -3 at BEARS

Best bet: TEXANS +1 vs. Chiefs

Other top picks: STEELERS -8½ vs. Jaguars; Vikings -3 at BEARS; COWBOYS -2½ vs. Packers; Patriots –3 at BUCS

Last week: 10-5 (40-21-1 overall)

Best bet: 1-0 (3-1 overall)

Other top picks: 2-2 (8-8 overall)

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