It’s Week 4 in the NFL season, which means it’s the first week teams start using up byes (adjust your fantasy teams accordingly). That means it’s time for some well-needed rest for a team like the Packers who are reeling after a tough loss last week, and it also means a week off for the Panthers after their beatdown of the Giants.
The NESN.com NFL picks column doesn’t get a bye week, though. NESN.com’s John Beattie and Mike Cole are back at it this week after a somewhat successful (very relative) Week 3.
See their picks below.
All lines are from Bovada as of Thursday. If lines are off on Bovada Thursday, Yahoo! lines will be used for those games,
John Beattie: Rams
Mike Cole: 49ers
Why: The Rams beat Colin Kaepernick and the Niners at home last year, and getting points at home against a mentally and physically banged-up 49ers team is too good to pass up. -JB
Why: What did London do to deserve this matchup? Anyway, I’m taking Ben Roethlisberger here, assuming he doesn’t get his head ripped off as a product of his beat-up offensive line. -MC
Why: Balty laid the smack down last week, and the Bills are coming off a rough loss despite the Jets trying to lose by getting flagged 20 times. I don’t see Buffalo bouncing back, even at home. Ray Rice‘s backup, Bernard Pierce, ran for 65 yards and a touchdown against the Texans’ defense just last week, and he’ll be setting up Joe Flacco‘s aerial attack because the Bills’ secondary is banged up — very banged up, actually. The Ravens will win this one big for Sweat Pea. -JB
Why: The Browns have been pretty good defensively so far, especially against the run. Still, it’s just so hard to pick them — even at home — when they’re running that offense out there. Bengals by a touchdown, which is just enough to cover. -MC
Why: I took the Jags last week, when they were getting an additional 10 points. It’s a safe bet I won’t take the Jags ever again, to be honest. Look for the Colts to jump out early and Trent Richardson to get a lot of touches in the second half. -JB
Why: Still weary of the West Coast team going East for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, but Seattle has been too good so far for me to pick against them with just a field goal as the spread -MC
Why: This is a pretty brutal matchup and I hope none of you are forced to watch it. That being said, the Cards are hurting on defense and a new quarterback could shake things up for Tampa — for one game at least. -JB
Why: Confused by this line, but I’m going to take the better team, with the points, and not look back. -MC
Why: Pretty simple here: Great defense versus bad offense. Desperate team on the road (in KC no less) usually doesn’t equal success. -JB
Why: The Jets are just a poorly coached, undisciplined team right now, which doesn’t bode well for them heading out on the road. The Titans aren’t great, but they aren’t the Bills, either. -MC
Why: Alright, Tony Romo, I’ll listen. The Chargers’ defense is ranked 28th against the run and 32nd against the pass. If Romo can spread things out and open things up for DeMarco Murray (which he should), this one could be over in a hurry. -JB
Why: The bad news for the Redskins is that they’re 0-3. The good news for the Redskins is that they’re in the NFC East, and it’s going to take a lot more than an 0-3 record to be out of it. So, I’m siding with the more desperate team here and going from there. -MC
Why: Ready for some offense? Sure, the Broncos will win, but I’ll take the 11 points in a good old-fashioned offensive shootout any day of the week, especially Sundays. -JB
Why: Desperation + a bunch of success in the dome = Falcons winning and covering. -MC
Why: After nailing the Fins-over-Falcs pick last weekend, I’ll go with the safe bet this weekend. It’s just not possible that the Dolphins start a season 4-0, right? The Superdome will be a-rockin’ and after topping Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan in the last two weeks, and the Fins will fall to Drew Brees. -JB