Flashback NFL 2015: Rodney’s Picks

Written by Rodney Campbell

Pro football meets October. Here are sports editor Rodney Campbell’s NFL Week Four draft picks.

aNewDomainrodney-campbell-anewdomain — Things are so rough that we’re celebrating a 7-9 week. It’s been that bad.

We did call the Eagles cover against the Jets. So at least we’ve got that going for us.

As we enter Week 4, keep an eye on Hurricane Joaquin’s forecast this week to see if games along the Eastern Seaboard will be impacted. It figures to be rainy and breezy in Washington and Buffalo.

By the way, we like nine road teams this week.

As always, all times listed are Eastern.

Baltimore -3 at Pittsburgh (Thursday, 8:20 p.m., CBS)NFL week four picks keenan allen

Let’s go ahead and get it out there: We hate the Ravens. Watching them go 0-3 against the spread when you’ve picked that will cause animosity. With Michael Vick under center for the Steelers, we think the Ravens can win a close one.

New York Jets -2 vs. Miami (Sunday, 9:30 a.m., CBS)

The first of three games in London this season is a must-win for both teams to avoid ending up in the Patriots’ and Bills’ rear-view mirrors. The Dolphins are 1-7 against the number in their past eight games. That’s good enough for us.

Indianapolis -9 vs. Jacksonville (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS, DTV 708)

The Jaguars’ secondary is banged up, which is good news for Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Indianapolis scored 21 points in the fourth quarter at Tennessee last week and should have covered. A late Titans TD provided the backdoor cover. Indy gets the job done this Sunday.

Houston +7 at Atlanta (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS, DTV 705)

Fourth-quarter comebacks gave the Falcons wins (and covers) against the Giants and Cowboys the past two weeks. Yeah, we were on the losing side both times. Arian Foster might be back for the Texans this week, giving Houston a better ground game.

Tampa Bay +3.5 vs. Carolina (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX, DTV 710)

All the trends point toward a Panther cover. They are 3-1 ATS in their past four games against the Bucs. Tampa Bay is 2-8 against the number in its past 10 home games. Let’s go with the unconventional pick.

New York Giants +5.5 at Buffalo (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX, DTV 709)

The Giants might get receiver Victor Cruz back this we1280px-Airial_Arian_Foster_2010_vs_Titansek and the Bills likely will be missing running back LeSean McCoy. Buffalo is riding high after running over division rival Miami on the road last week. Nowhere to go but down for the Bills.

Oakland -3 at Chicago (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS, DTV 706)

A tale of two teams. The Raiders are young and improving. The Bears are looking like a contender for the first overall pick in next spring’s NFL Draft. Tough to make the trip back east two weeks in a row, but we’ll still give a cautious thumbs-up to Oakland.

Washington +3.5 vs. Philadelphia (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX, DTV 711)

The Eagles found their groove last week even without prized free-agent signee DeMarco Murray on the sidelines. He’s questionable this week and so is Philly’s momentum. The Redskins have covered the past two games in this series. We’ll go for one more.

Kansas City +4.5 at Cincinnati (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS, DTV 707)

Coming off a tough Monday night loss to Green Bay, the Chiefs are primed for a comeback. The Bengals are going for a 4-0 start and that may happen. We just think Kansas City will cover.

Cleveland +7.5 at San Diego (Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS, DTV 712)

Covering receiver Keenan Allen is Job 1 for the Browns this weekend. He has 315 yards and two TDs so far. The Browns usually get a lot of points when they play on the road, and this week is no different. Cleveland is 5-2 ATS in its past seven away games.

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Green Bay -9.5 at San Francisco (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX, DTV 715)

A risky spot for the Packers, even against a lousy 49ers team. Everything is going right for Green Bay while San Francisco can’t get out of its own way. The 49ers have allowed 43 or more points on the road the past two weeks. We’re tempted to take San Francisco at home but good sense prevails and we like the Packers.

Denver -7 vs. Minnesota (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX, DTV 714)

The Vikings are back on the road after two wins in Minneapolis. Remember how terrible they looked in their one road game, a 20-3 loss to the 49ers in Week 1? Denver is capable of doing the same thing to Teddy Bridgewater and Co.

St. Louis +7 at Arizona (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX, DTV 713)

Arizona is scoring 42 points per game this season, albeit in wins over the Saints, Bears and 49ers, who are a combined 1-8. The Cardinals lead the all-time series 36-35, and their games are usually close. Take the points.

Dallas +5 at New Orleans (Sunday, 8:30 p.m., NBC)

Not exactly the marquee matchup NBC hoped to get in Week 4. With both teams likely missing their starting quarterbacks, each team needs a spark from someone. Saints win but Cowboys cover.

Seattle -10 vs. Detroit (Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)

The Lions look so bad, especially on the offensive line and running game. The Seahawks are trending upward. They didn’t even look that dominating while shutting out Chicago last week. Take the home team and lay the touchdown and field goal.

Last week: 7-9

Overall: 18-29-1

For aNewDomain, I’m Rodney Campbell.

Aaron Rodgers photo; courtesy of Mike Morbeck via Flickr; Arian Foster photo courtesy AJ Guel via Flickr; Keenan Allen photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall.