Attention sportsbook aficionados, office poolies and pure football fans. We have more NFL week 4 picks up our sleeve for you. Try these on for size.
The Bears travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks this weekend, in what should be a pretty good football showdown in the rainiest city in the USA.
Here is your quick-hit viewer’s guide and Jerod’s pick from this week’s NFL TV schedule and point spread post:
Chicago Bears (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
- Bears-Seahawks Date: Sunday, September 27th
- Bears-Seahawks Time: 4:05 ET
- Bears-Seahawks TV Network: Dick Stockton and Charles Davis
- Bears-Seahawks Announcers: FOX
- Bears-Seahawks Point Spread: Bears -2.5
- Bears-Seahawks Over-Under: 37
- Bears-Seahawks Pick by Jerod: Poor Matt Hasselbeck. He just can’t seem to stay healthy anymore. If he were healthy and playing, I think they’d be a good bet to win and certainly to cover 2.5 points. However, I think last week’s win was a big confidence builder for Jay Cutler and the Bears. And after seeing what Frank Gore did to Seattle last week, Matt Forte will no doubt be ready for his 2009 breakout game. I think he gets it, and I think the Bears win by a TD. Bears-Seahawks free spread pick: Bears -2.5 (for the record, I’m already re-thinking this one…Seattle is tough to beat at home. But the absence of Hasselbeck seals it. Bears, minus the points, final answer.)
The Bears are coming off of a spectactular and uplifting win against the defending Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The #1 question for the Bears right now is when will Matt Forte put up some decent numbers? So far Forte has been shut down, and is only averaging 2.2 yds per carry. There still isn’t any need to worry though because the two teams he played have very good run defenses.
The Seahawks are ranked 26th in the league in run defense. Forte is set up to run over 100 yards this Sunday. A good running game means less pressure on the QB, which will be greatly needed because Jay Cutler has his work cut out for him. The Seahawks pass defense is ranked 2nd in the league. Passing against this defense will be tough, but Forte can help significantly if he can find the holes the O-line setup.
Bears fans liked seeing Cutler bounce back in Week 2 after a horrid Week 1, but will this just be another Good-Cutler, Bad-Cutler deal? Just like what happened with Rex Grossman? Chicago fans sure hope not.
The new player to look for is rookie WR Johnny Knox. He has created a stir around the NFL for showing great speed and catching ability. The Bears could have found a sleeper in this kid. Keep an eye out for him.
The Seahawks might have lost Hasselback again due to a rib injury. If Hasselback doesn’t play, Seneca Wallace will start for Seattle. Wallace started some games last year, and isn’t that bad of a QB, but losing Hasselback is a huge loss for a team that heavily relies on their QB. Seattle might have to find a way to win without Hasselback, a task that might prove fatal.
The Seahawks best bet is their running game. While it’s not great, it has been consistent, averaging 116.5 yds per game. If the running game doesn’t get going it puts more pressure on the passing game, a section that already is weakened.
Bears-Seahawks prediction: the loss of Hasselback is just do much for the Seahawks to recover from. Bears win 21-14.
NFL Betting – Week 3 Picks
NFL Week 3 matchups are here already. Hard to believe how quickly the season is going. We’ve already seen a massive upset happen – how about those Bengals over the Packers? – and there could be an even bigger one on the horizon this weekend. Let’s make a few NFL picks.
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, September 27, 1:00 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Vikings -6.5
Here’s our chance to find out if San Francisco is truly for real. Frank Gore destroyed Seattle’s defense last week, racking up 207 rushing yards, but he faces the formidable Minnesota run defense led by Pat and Kevin Williams this week. If (when?) the Vikes stack the box and bottle up Gore, Shaun Hill will have to do more than caretake from the quarterback position. I’m not so sure he’s up to the task. San Fran’s “D” looks excellent under Mike Singletary but hasn’t faced a tailback anywhere close to Adrian Peterson’s caliber so far. Bet on Minnesota to cover.
Betting services recommend: Vikings -6.5
Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions
Sunday, September 27, 1:00 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Redskins -6
Here’s your big shocker of the week. The Redskins are a superior team, of course, but they’re out of sorts. When you only beat the Rams 9-7 at home and score no touchdowns, how can you be a safe six-point favorite on the road against any team? Washington is struggling to pressure the quarterback, recording just two sacks in two games even after a matchup against Marc Bulger. That means Matt Stafford may have time to unleash some big throws to Calvin Johnson. The Lions can at least beat the spread and have a real shot to win outright.
Betting services recommend: Lions +6
Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, September 27, 4:15 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Bears -1.5
After Matt Hasselbeck went down last week and Frank Gore trucked the Seahawks’ front seven, it’s a bit surprising that the Bears are only 1.5-point favorites. You’d think they’d be more popular choices after beating the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers. Jay Cutler found a groove against the Steelers and Matt Forte is itching to bust out. If Hasselbeck plays, he’ll still likely be ineffective playing through a broken rib. If he doesn’t, the Bears could rout the Seahawks.
Betting services recommend: Bears 1-.5
Looking at the match ups in this game, they favor the Giants greatly. Dallas’s offensive line is suspect and the GMEN have the best defensive line in the NFL. Tony Romo, when shaken, gets stirred like a James Bond drink, and I expect him to be hit all night. Tony Romo has a history of making some very poor decisions against the Giants and I don’t expect that to change this week. I like the Giants to win, but getting 3 points is always great.
Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts(-3)
Miami took the league by storm last year with their Wildcat offense. That was then this is now. NFL defensive coordinators have had one year to see the Wildcat offense on tapes, and Miami wont be catching anyone by surprise this year. With that said Miami still does not have a quarterback that can throw the ball more than 25 yards down field which makes it easy for defenses to scheme against them. The Colts do struggle on the road and on grass, but it’s only 3 points, and I think they win by two scores.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks(+1)
I think Seattle is a completely different team with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback at the helm. Not to mention he finally has a great receiver to throw the ball to in T.J Houshmandzadeh. For the 49ers I just don’t believe in Shaun Hill and besides Frank Gore, not enough playmakers, take the point and fly with the Hawks.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers(+6.5)
Atlanta looked really good last week, Carolina looked really bad. The spread in the game started at -2 and has jumped almost 4.5 points. This is a big rivalry in the NFC South and if Carolina loses this game they might as well pack it in for the season, because their schedule is just brutal for the rest of the season. I don’t expect Jake Delhome to light it up, I expect the Panthers to run, run, and run some more, which you can do versus Atlanta. I think Atlanta wins, but they don’t cover.
Record this year:
[Editor’s note: Matt Noonan of NoonTime Sports, who recently offered up his 2009 predictions for each division, has checked in with previews of the three afternoon games scheduled for the first Sunday of the 2009 NFL season.
Read his previews and predictions below, and get all of the information you need to schedule for your football watching Sunday with our NFL Week 1 TV Schedule and Point Spreads post.]
Follow the links to StubHub for great deals on all NFL tickets for the 2009 season.
And if you’re planning on making any bets, head on over to BetOnline to place your Week 1 wagers.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants Preview and Prediction
- Redskins-Giants Date: Sunday, September 13th
- Redskins-Giants TV & Kickoff Time: 4:15 ET on FOX
- Redskins-Giants Location: Giants Stadium in New York
- Redskins-Giants Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman
- Redskins-Giants Point Spread: NYG -6.5
- Redskins-Giants Over-Under: 37
Look for a true physical contest as both of these teams hope to start the season on the right foot.
For the New York Giants, a team that many experts believe should be the top dog in this particular division, they need to get out to an early lead and protect Eli Manning from the grueling Redskins defense. Brandon Jacobs should get a majority of the carries, probably between 20-25. But who will be Manning’s go-to target now that Plaxico Burress will not be sporting the blue and white on Sunday’s? Possibly Domenik Hixon or Steve Smith? Any suggestions?
On the other side of the ball, Jason Campbell carries not only this game, but also the entire season on his shoulders. Don’t expect anything too exciting from aging veteran running back Clinton Portis in this contest, but clearly make sure to watch for newly acquired defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, as well as linebackers Brian Orakpo and London Fletcher.
Washington has and will always be a team that looks like they belong in the Pro Bowl, but in order to win this contest they need to pressure Manning and establish an equal running and air attack.
Prediction: Giants 24 – Redskins 16
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Preview and Prediction
- 49ers-Cardinals Date: Sunday, September 13th
- 49ers-Cardinals TV & Kickoff Time: 4:15 ET on FOX
- 49ers-Cardinals Location: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale
- 49ers-Cardinals Announcers: Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan
- 49ers-Cardinals Point Spread: ARI -6.5
- 49ers-Cardinals Over-Under: 46.5
Who would have imagined Arizona was going to be the representative of the NFC in Super Bowl XLIII? Yet, after a crushing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cardinals are energized and ready to defend their NFC crown. However, in the past, these meetings against the 49ers haven’t always been a cakewalk for the birds in the desert.
Take a look at the past few divisional meetings in Arizona between these teams:
2008: Arizona 29 – San Francisco 24
2007: Arizona 31 – San Francisco 37
2006: Arizona 34 – San Francisco 27
2005: Arizona 31 – San Francisco 14
2004: Arizona 28 – San Francisco 31
2003: Arizona 16 – San Francisco 13
2002: Arizona 14 – San Francisco 17
In the end I expect Kurt Warner to have a field day against Mike Singletary’s defense. Expect a great game for the Cardinals’ wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston.
As for the 49ers, just expect a solid running attack with Frank Gore.
Overall, this game surely belongs to the Cardinals, but who really knows what will happen once the final whistle blows.
Prediction: Cardinals 31 – 49ers 26
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks Preview and Prediction
- Rams-Seahawks Date: Sunday, September 13th
- Rams-Seahawks TV & Kickoff Time: 4:15 ET on FOX
- Rams-Seahawks Location: Qwest Field in Seattle
- Rams-Seahawks Announcers: Ron Pitts and John Lynch
- Rams-Seahawks Point Spread: SEA -8
- Rams-Seahawks Over-Under: 41
The return of Jim Mora Jr. and Steve Spagnuolo’s debut has a head coach… hmm… may have to side with Mora in this contest.
The Seahawks are coming off an awful 2008 season, as are the Rams. The last time the Seahawks ended the season with 4 wins was in 1982, but this year look for a rejuvenated and healthy Matt Hasselbeck to lead an exciting offensive unit that features newly acquired running back Edgerrin James and wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
As for the Rams, this season and game are all about playing for pride, but also starting to improve their offense and defense for the future. Spagnuolo should turn this team around, slowly, but this game will just be a beginning in the journey of turning the Rams from a basement squad to the Greatest Team on Turf-Part II.
Prediction: Seahawks 24 – Rams 10