An old adage comes to mind when I think about Jab’s “Winning” Nuggets’ inaugural launch right here on this brilliant website one week ago today.
“No one likes a quitter.”
That’s because no matter how awful you start, it’s how you end that matters in the gaming world. And with the remarkable news Orioles nation received on Manny Machado trick knee yesterday, I’m as jacked up as a tweaker in West Baltimore for this weekend’s slate of NFL games.
This weeks Survivor side of things aren’t as clear cut as Seattle/Denver from last week, but there are teams ready to assist you in surviving and advancing in your pools. Here’s my week 4 leans.
1. Denver Broncos (-11) – Though I don’t typically like selecting teams coming off short weeks, I feel pretty confident in leaning on Peyton Manning and crew to at least outscore the Eagles. Manning has gone straight Madden on the Broncos first 3 opponents dropping an NFL record 12TD’s with zippy picks. Add in his 134.7 QB rating and you might put his 5th-MVP award in a Papa John’s pizza box. And who comes to town, but a secondary only Redskins fans would want in the Eagles. No letdown spot here for the Broncos as they cruise to 4-0.
NUGGET: Eagles are 0-5 in their last 5 games in week 4.
2. Indianapolis Colts (-9) - Another rule I rarely move off is taking a road team. In this case, it might be necessary if you have either already burned Denver or if you just don’t like public picks. Both valid. In my case, it’s picking against an awful football team in the Jags of Jacksonville. Andrew Luck was efficient in his win over his college coach in San Fransisco last week (which I didn’t see coming). This week he will make fantasy owners very happy as he should roll up a 300+yards and 3-TD game in a rout in the building Tim Tebow will be playing in by week 8.
NUGGET: The Colts are 7-0 vs. a team with a losing record.
3. New Orleans Saints (-6.5) - In a week where most of the good teams are on the road, I had to pick another solid home team. And when in doubt I usually go with a great QB at home in these spots. Drew Brees and the Superdome in a Monday Night Football atmosphere surely would qualify. Give those Who Dat fans all day to lube up on Bourbon Street before heading into one of the most electric buildings in sports and I’ll take Brees over Ryan Tannehill anytime. Tell Mercury Morris to start popping bottles as the ’72 Dolphins undefeated record is in tact after this one.
NUGGET: Saints are 4-0 in their last 4 Monday night games.
Unlike the Survivor card, the gaming side of the card has plenty of opportunities to increase your fun money account. Here are my leans.
1. New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons (Pick ‘em) - The Falcons are as desperate as Miley Cyrus is for attention is for a win. New England is 3-0, but it feels like they are 1-2 based on how they have done it. Matt Ryan and head coach Mike Smith basically never lose in the Georgia Dome, especially coming off losses. If the Falcons actually didn’t give the game to the Dolphins last week, they would probably be 3-4 pt favorites in this matchup. That might be a blessing disguise as the Falcons need this win much more than the Pats and I see Matt Ryan the happier of the two QB’s at midfield after this one.
2. Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans (+3) - Ravens fans got up and personal with the Texans just last week as their home squad rolled 30-9 (as predicted here last week). So what’s next for Matt Schaub and his terrible body language, but arguably the best team in the NFL so far this season in Seattle. And now you want me to take the Texans, Mr. Jab? Really? Yup, throw last week’s debacle in your Apple recycling bin and listen up. Seattle is a historic bad road team against mediocre to average teams. And although the Ravens went SweatPea upside their head last week, the Texans are a good to great AFC team. Add in the “who needs this one more” angle and catching a FG and the Texans are the play here.
3. New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins (Over 47.5) – Totals were unkind to me last week. Both the Skins and Saints games were poised to go over the total, but turnovers and mistakes derailed what could’ve been a solid 2-1 start. This week the aforementioned Saints host the 3-0 Dolphins on the MNF stage in the Big Easy. The Saints, fueled by their lubed up fans, usually get at least a couple big scoring plays outside of Brees being Brees on national TV games. Add in the new look ‘Fins offense and I think this total of 47.5 is fairly low for these two. And if you like this play, make sure to get it as early as possible as it will only increase as degens lose over the weekend. Remember, gamers usually like wagering on overs so this total could rise as high as 49 by game time Monday night.
On paper, this one looks pretty easy to call as the Ravens are a measly (-3.5) favorite over the Bills in Buffalo. But as Lee Corso likes to say, “not so fast my friend”. I mean how many times have you seen good teams coming off emotional games lay in egg on the road to an inferior opponent the following week? See Jacksonville on Monday night a couple years back. What I’m saying is maybe this version of the Ravens is a much more mature group of guys and a letdown won’t happen. Maybe. Or maybe a week of partying in DC strip clubs with Popeye and Olive-oil’s daughter might have a lasting effect on their performance Sunday in that dump Rich Stadium. I’ll take the 3.5 points.