Zack’s Week 4 Picks!


Whelp, after my loss in the Bears at Jets game on Monday night, I’m back to .500 at 14-14-1, but here’s to hoping we get back above that this week!

In terms of the Dolphins/Raiders game in London, I wouldn’t touch that game for two reasons. One, who wants to watch that game other than the die hard fans of those teams? Two, who the hell knows how a team is going to react to flying to London to play a game?

Also, is the NFL trying to make Europe like football? Because if they are serious about this, then I’m not sure why we keep sending over terrible teams. Maybe it’s a good move financially to send the Jaguars over because their attendance numbers aren’t very good anyway and also, you don’t want to send a team over there to play a super important game. 

Lastly on this point, I really don’t understand the idea of putting a team in London, I think it’ll be a nuisance for the players and the team itself. So you need to bring a guy in for a tryout? You have to fly him to London, plus there’s no local talent, there are no guys you can call up from the area to bring them in for a tryout. 

For the team playing in London, they have to fly at least 7-8 hours JUST TO GET TO NEW YORK! Then, for the teams flying out to London, it’s that same 7-8 hour flight to get there and of course, both teams need to make the flights back to their respective homes. It reminds me of the NFL trying to expand the season to 18 games, just having the conversation makes me think that there’s just no regard for how it’ll affect the players.

Anyway, on to the games…

I still believe in the Packers, I just don’t think they’re as bad as they played last week and I think they bounce back against a Bears team that has lucked out the last couple weeks. The 49ers should have closed that game out on Sunday night two weeks ago and the Jets got hosed on that fumble recovery that was blown dead before Demario Davis could return it for a touchdown, thus completely changing the outlook of last week’s Monday night game.

The Packers defense still scares me, but I think they’ve begun to come together over the last two weeks and I think they’ll be good enough to let Aaron Rodgers outscore Jay Cutler. The Bears secondary held up against the Jets on Monday, led by rookie Kyle Fuller, but they won’t be able to stop Jordy, Randy, and Lacy this week. 

Also, this is the most questionable game for Brandon Marshall so far because he re-aggravated the injury against the Jets. I do think that Martellus Bennett, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte will step up to fill the void, but I don’t think it will be enough. 

I do think this will be a higher scoring game with the Packers winning 35-21, much like their 33-28 victory in Week 17 to make the playoffs last year.


PICK: Packers -1.5; OVER

Next, we move on to Andrew Luck and the Colts against the Titans in Indianapolis. The spread is sitting at -7.5 which is frustrating, but I do think the Colts will smack around another sub-par team like they did last week against Jacksonville. The Colts are obviously much better than their 1-2 record, but they played two legitimate Super Bowl contenders in weeks one and two in Denver and Philly.

One stat I like from the good people at Linemakers at Sporting News is this, “Indy has been amazing against bad teams, and the Titans qualify as one. In the last 16 games against teams with losing records, they have covered 14 of them.”

Another issue facing the Titans is Jake Locker dealing with a wrist injury and might not play, leaving them in the hands of Charlie Whitehurst which isn’t going to work against Andrew Luck and the high powered offense at home in Indy. I was thinking about hitting the over until I saw that Locker might not play, not that Locker would be a major difference maker in this game, but he’s much better than Whitehurst and I don’t trust the Titans to score more than 14 with Whitehurst under center.

If Locker plays it’ll be a 35-21 type win for the Colts, if Whitehurst plays, let’s call it 35-10. 

PICK: Colts -7.5

I like that the Bucs have Mike Glennon under center as I think he’ll be a better fit for them than Josh McCown has been. Glennon throws a good deep ball and that’s exactly what they need with V Jax and Mike Evans outside. Here’s one thing you need to take into account when a new coach comes in, they want “their” guys to play, they don’t have any allegiance to the guys who were there before. 

Now, I’m not sure if Mike Glennon is a world beater, but he did a serviceable job under center for them last season and he had another offseason to get better along with another great WR outside like Mike Evans. Considering they had the seventh pick in the first round, they knew they could get a player like Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans, even if they didn’t get him, they could have gotten a slew of other WRs in the deepest draft class for WRs in NFL history. With a few more weapons to throw the ball to, he’ll do a lot better this year. It will also help if Doug Martin is back there to boost that backfield with Bobby Rainey. Remember, Martin was only in the backfield for three of Glennon’s starts last year which hurt their balance.

I think the Bucs will do better than the 56-14 atrocity in Atlanta, but I don’t think they’ll hang with a Steelers team in Pittsburgh that blew out a playoff caliber Carolina team last week on the road. 

I love what we saw out of LeVeon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, and the two touchdown performance from the craftsman, Antonio Brown. This Steelers offense is legit with two speed demons in Brown and Wheaton along with heady veteran Heath Miller in the middle of the field. We sleep on Ben Roethlisberger because he doesn’t put up astronomical statistics, but he’s as good as they come and I really like him in this no huddle attack. 

I see this being another blow out, I just don’t believe in Tampa Bay and I found it laughable at the beginning of the season, but now I find it REALLY laughable that anyone thought this Bucs team was playoff ready. 

One note I want to make on Lovie Smith, something I found really disgusting a few years ago was the way that a leader of men came out for a presidential campaign and said this, “I have the president’s back, and it’s up to us as African-Americans to show that we have his back also.” Now, what if Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, or a Harbaugh said that about white Americans for Mitt Romney? You and I both know that they would be out of a job faster than you can say Donald Sterling.

Just throwing in my two cents about something that really bothers me because as a player, my question to Lovie would be, do you have your the back of certain player’s more than mine? And that would be a totally legitimate question considering his statement.

At a time where we get outraged at the things people like Danny Ferry and Donald Sterling say in private, I think Lovie Smith’s public statements should have been examined with some scrutiny.

We’re all Americans folks and it doesn’t matter what skin color you are, we should have each other’s back based one being Americans, not based on if we look alike.

So I’ve got Mike Tomlin and the Steelers back in this one, they’ll take it with a score like 28-14.

PICK: Steelers -7.5

Now, in the four o’clock games, I really don’t like double digit spreads, but Jacksonville has looked horrendous through three weeks and San Diego has been very impressive so far this season. First, they lose by one to a Cardinals team that is 3-0 and haven’t had their starting QB since Week 1. Then, they beat the defending champs in Week 2 and in Week 3 they go across the country to beat a good Bills team in the dreaded 1:00 PM slot that’s a killer for west coast teams. 

So being at home against the worst team in the NFL should be a piece of cake for them. Two things make me nervous about laying 13 points in this game. One, this could be a let-down game for the Chargers if they look past the Jags. Two, the Jags could be energized with their rookie, franchise QB under center and Blake Bortles could come out slinging. 

I’m still willing to bet on San Diego to win this one handily, let’s call it 42-10 with Rivers throwing for 400.

PICK: Chargers -13

Philadelphia is 3-0 after playing very well over the first three weeks of the season and the 49ers have been a disappointment falling to 1-2 and looking downright ugly at times. 

This is a game I’d think about teasing if I were you. I think that the Eagles are as good as anyone in the NFL right now, so them being at +5 against a 49ers team that fell apart against the Bears two weeks ago at home, is a little much for me even if their offensive line is banged up. 

Teasing this game would get you the Eagles at +11 and the over at 44.5 which is a beautiful thing. I think that both defenses have holes that the opposing offense can exploit and the Eagles passing attack will be too much for a 49ers secondary that has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to WRs. 

If you don’t want to tease this one, I’d still take the Eagles +5 and the over of 50.5. The Eagles win this one, 38-35.

PICK: Tease it to Eagles +11 and OVER 44.5

If you don’t want to tease it, I see the Eagles +5 and the over of 50.5

The fact that Atlanta is at -3 almost scares me away from this one, I’m unsure as to why it’s so low and I always feel like Vegas knows. I know the Vikings did a great job limiting the Saints to 20 points last week, but I just don’t see them beating the Falcons in this one. Matt Ryan and that offense just looked too potent last Thursday to be stopped by the Vikings.

They’ve got a rookie under center, they’re still Adrian Peterson-less. You’ve gotta go with Atlanta in this one. Let’s call it 24-10 Atlanta.

PICK: Falcons -3

I’m not going to touch the Saints on the road after their two losses on the road to start the year. On top of that, they didn’t impress against Minnesota last week. I do think that the over will hit in this one as both defenses have given up handfuls of points. The Cowboys just gave up 31 points to a terrible Rams offense and the Saints gave up 26 points to Brian Hoyer, so I think that Tony Romo and Drew Brees can make it happen on Sunday night and hit that over of 53.5 with a final score like the 34-31 the Cowboys won with last week in St. Louis. 

I do think the Saints win, but I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with that yet. I might change my mind Sunday afternoon as the day goes on, but we’ll revisit that later if we have to.

Again, another game you might want to tease to get the Saints at -9 and the over at 47.5. In fact, that’s my pick.

PICK: TEASE Saints +3, OVER 47.5 or, if you don’t want to tease it, OVER 53.5

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and may God continue to bless #MERICA.


Total Human Optimization: Onnit