Currently 11-5 on the season, Nick Ballistreri looks to continue his scorching start to the NFL season in Week 4.
Week 3 Record: 2-3
NFL Season Record: 11-5
Week 3 wasn’t my best week, but how could I predict the Patriots would throw a Pick-6, AND give up a special teams touchdown? Crazy things happen sometimes in sports right?
Raiders at Colts
It seems like years ago since the Raiders went through the Antonio Brown saga, only to win in Primetime Week 1. Fast forward to now, and the Raiders are 1-2 coming off 2 blowout losses in which they haven’t looked competitive. That’s more like it in Oakland. The Colts have proven to be just fine without Andrew Luck, as Jacoby Brissett is proving that he’s more than capable of leading the Colts to a winning season. Brissett is completing 71% of his passes, with a 7:1 TD-INT ratio, looking impressive to say the least.
In Week 4, the Colts are 6.5 favorites at home in this one, and if you haven’t been paying attention, I’ve been high on the Colts all season. They’re coming off a tough interconference win against the Falcons last week, and have proven they can compete with anyone. The Raiders have shown to be a very bad team to this point, and I don’t expect this to change. I can see the Raiders keeping it within 2 scores, but will lose by more than 7.
Browns at Ravens
Before the season, these two teams had different outlooks. The Browns were the trendy pick to win the AFC North, and after the Ravens made the playoffs last season, preseason predictions sort of just left them out. Through 3 weeks, the Ravens look like the class of the AFC North, with their only loss coming against the Chiefs with their superhuman QB. The Browns are 1-2, with their only win against the winless Jets, and even that wasn’t very impressive. All of that aside, this is a huge game for both, with the Ravens looking to take a stranglehold on the division early.
The line in this one is Ravens -7. In a divisional game, against a very talented team (although they’re struggling), seems a bit much to me. Just last season, you could argue that the Browns were a lot worse, and the 2 games these teams played ended in a combined 5 point margin. Put simply, AFC North games are battles, and this one will be to. If I had to take a winner I’d take the Ravens, but at the spread, give me the Browns all day.
Jaguars at Broncos
If you’re reading this Gardner Minshew just went viral again. Kidding, but the man has a flair for the spotlight. Whether it be the outfits, the moustache, or Minshew leading his team to a primetime victory, the people love him. Anyways, back to football. The Jaguars are coming off an impressive TNF victory against Tennessee, and now hit the road to the Mile High City against the 0-3 Broncos. The Broncos have been pitiful this season, proving they just can’t win a game. With Joe Flacco at the helm, it’s hard to see that changing against the ferocious Jags D, which seems to have gotten their swagger back as of late.
The Broncos are 3.5 point home favorites, but I don’t think they’re the better team. Rather, I think that playing at home may give them the edge they need to win their first game. With the spread being 3.5, I can see a scenario in which the Broncos win, but by less than a field goal. All that being said, if the Jaguars won this one outright, I wouldn’t be surprised, so give me the Jaguars and the points.
Bucs at Rams
Slowly but surely, the Rams seem to be getting their mojo back. In a tough Cleveland environment on SNF, the Rams came out on top 20-13, with their defense coming up huge in countless spots. Jared Goff wasn’t flawless, but with the help of Cooper Kupp, made enough big plays to get some points on the board. Sitting at 3-0, the rest of the league trembles at the thought of the Rams getting even better.
The Bucs are straight-up kicking themselves after blowing an 18-point lead at home to the Giants, who were playing without Saquon Barkley for the majority of the game. Up 18 at halftime, against a team playing a rookie QB and without their star RB? Put simply, you HAVE to win that game. The Bucs did not, shanking a field goal as time expired to drop to 1-2.
The line for this one is set at Rams -9. This seems a little generous. Being played in Los Angeles, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rams offense went wild against a defense that couldn’t stop Daniel Jones. Nothing against the rookie, but the Giants offense does not exactly mirror the Rams. The Rams are going to put up a ton of points in this one, and while the Bucs can score as well, the Rams defense is good enough to hold them to a 2-score victory in this one to cover 9 points.
Cowboys at Saints
Just 2 weeks earlier, this was looking like one of the early games of the year. After Saints QB Drew Brees went down with a hand injury, a little of the glitz has been taken off of this game. That being said, it’s a Sunday Night game on national television, with two NFC teams hoping to make a Super Bowl appearance this season. It could be worse.
The Cowboys are coming into this one with their chest puffed out, dismantling the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins by a combined score of 97-44. Now, looking at their schedule you could argue that they haven’t played anyone, and I would agree. But looking a little closer, the Cowboys have not squeaked out victories against these teams, they’ve flat out dominated them. That being said, the Saints are a different beast.
The Saints are 2-1, coming off a very impressive victory in Seattle, one of the toughest places to play. This was their first game without Brees, and while Teddy Bridgewater didn’t make any waves, he didn’t make any mistakes either, as the Saints rode Kamara and their D/ST to victory. Getting their first win without Brees has to be a big confidence booster for this group.
The Cowboys are 2.5 road favorites in this one. I think this game will be a very good one, as Vegas indicates they expect with the spread. However, I think the Cowboys are simply a better team than the Saints without Brees, and have too many weapons on offense. If the Cowboys score 30+, which they have proven to be capable of, I don’t see how the Saints stay in this game unless their Defense of Special Teams makes a play or 2. Those things are tough to count on. Give me the Cowboys -2.5, improving to 4-0 on the season.