NEW YORK, September 30, 2015 — The late Erma Bombeck once said that any man who watches three consecutive football games should be declared legally dead. Little did Erma know that between games two and three, the networks offered an hour of highlights. Technically, the games were not exactly consecutive. With Erma and football widows everywhere in mind Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season offers four consecutive football games. Thanks to one game in jolly old England, that game will start three and one half hours before the regular Sunday action takes place. Men already in trouble for ignoring their wives for about 10 hours have a built in excuse for doing so for 14 hours this Sunday. October is breast cancer awareness month, and the NFL goes all in. Fundraising takes time, and men should spend all 14 hours watching players in pink fight for two good causes, eradicating breast cancer and eradicating players on the way to the end zone. Watching football is an act of love, and love takes time.
With that, here is the NFL 2015 Week 4 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spread provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, October 1, 2015, 8:30 p.m.
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers — This for a long time was one of the best rivalries in the NFL. Now Baltimore is winless and without their best defender Terrell Suggs for the season. Pittsburgh is without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for four to six weeks. Michael Vick may be rusty, but expect Mike Tomlin to run the ball straight at the Baltimore defense. Upset special, Steelers win outright.
Sunday, October 4
New York Jets (-1.5) at Miami Dolphins in London — Imagine living on the West Coast and getting up to watch an NFL game at 6:30 a.m. Then find out Joe Philbin is coaching one of the teams. The Dolphins are winless and boring. Forget riots at Wembley Stadium. Some fans may burn American flags in protest of us giving them our worst games. Others may just fall asleep and beg for soccer. The Jets are not as special as they have been made out to be, but the Dolphins seem to have quit. Phil bin may live in England permanently rather than return on the team plane after the game. Jets cover.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) — After getting their first win of the year, the Colts return home to a Jacksonville team that was obliterated by 34 points. This is type of tune up game the Colts need. Given how sluggish the offense has been, the spread is high, even against Jacksonville. Colts win but fail to cover.
Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) — The Atlanta offense is clicking on all cylinders, and J.J. Watt cannot stop Matt Ryan and Julio Jones all by himself. Falcons cover.
Carolina Panthers (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — The Panthers are unbeaten after beating up on bad teams. The Buccaneers are a bad team. The Carolina defense should take of Jameil Winston without much difficulty. Panthers cover.
New York Giants at Buffalo Bills (-5.5) — Both of these teams run hot and cold, and you know Rex Ryan desperately wants to beat Tom Coughlin and again claim himself the King of New York. Coughlin and his two Super Bowl rings will remind Rex otherwise. Upset special, Giants win outright.
Oakland Raiders (-3) at Chicago Bears — The Raiders are much improved but nowhere near as good as their 2-1 record. However, the Bears may be the worst team in the league. Jimmy Clausen looked awful last week, and the Raiders are starting to believe in themselves. This will see if they really are improved. Raiders cover.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Washington — Pope Francis is no longer around to bless Chip Kelly, but Washington has been cursed since Daniel Snyder purchased the team. This could be a coincidence. Whichever team loses can start thinking about next year’s draft. Eagles cover.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) — Alex Smith will throw four-yard passes until the fourth quarter, when it will no longer matter. Red Rifle Andy Dalton will throw bombs to A.J. Green and friends as the suddenly very potent Bengals keep firing. Bengals cover.
Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers (-7.5) — Both teams have been underwhelming, and Mike Pettine’s refusal to start Johnny Manziel over Josh McCown seems puzzling. San Diego should right the ship at home without much trouble since even the Browns defense looked awful at home last week. Chargers cover.
Green Bay Packers (-8.5) at San Francisco 49ers — In the 1990s the Packers owned the 49ers while the 49ers returned the favor after the millennium. The Packers are still great while the 49ers are approaching rock bottom. The spread is high given that the game is at home, but Aaron Rodgers will never forgive the 49ers for refusing to draft him a decade ago. Packers win, but fail to cover.
Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (-6.5) — Adrian Peterson can run the ball, but Denver now has the defense to stop the one-dimensional Vikings. Peyton Manning has found his groove in the pistol offense. Denver is not putting up a ton of points, but neither is Minnesota. Broncos win but fail to cover.
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-6.5) — Bruce Arians and carson Palmer have the Cardinals clicking on all cylinders. The Rams tend to play division opponents tough, but in this game they are just overmatched. Cardinals cover.
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (-4) — These teams are the walking wounded. Dallas is without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant while the winless Saints are without Drew Brees. Luke McCown played well last week while Brandon Weeden squandered a 14-point lead. Neither defense can stop anything, but the Saints keep losing at home. Upset special, Cowboys win outright.
Monday, October 5, 8:30 p.m.
Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) — Kam Chancellor is back, and the Legion of Boom is back in form. They pitched a shutout in blasting winless Chicago, and now host winless Detroit. The difference is that the Lions do have some playmakers who are underachieving and Seattle’s offense is still struggling. The Lions played Denver tough last week in defeat. Seahawks win but fail to cover.