I never expected to receive a reality check on Bourbon Street, but it happened last Sunday.
Having gone to New Orleans to surrender from real life for a few days, as well as head to Baton Rouge to watch LSU tangle with Alabama, I realized late Sunday afternoon that a 4-0 day was coming home. I mentioned this to my friend as we took in the sights, sounds, and smells of the French Quarter, and he unloaded on me.
“I can’t trust you,” he said. “Two weeks ago, you went 0-4. This week you’re 4-0. We need some consistency.”
I wasn’t thrilled with him basically dumping my hurricane all over me, but occasionally the truth hurts. Consistency is key, and with every NFL team having reached at least the halfway points of the season, we’ll use that big week as a springboard to finish strongly.
This week’s picks (home team in caps):
New York Jets (+6) over SEATTLE: I like teams coming off a bye over teams heading into a bye, and that scenario plays out in this matchup (this theory worked in the Jets-Dolphins matchup two weeks ago, and in the Ravens-Browns contest last week). Also, Seattle has been favored only three times and never by more than 4½ points. Six points seems far too generous, even against the floundering Jets. Risking $110 to win $100.
Detroit (-2) over MINNESOTA: The Lions boast the league’s top passing game and have improved defensively, allowing just 17 points per game in their last three. The Vikings won at Ford Field, 20-13, in late September, but the fortunes of these two clubs have reversed. Minnesota’s answer to Detroit’s offense is a defense that has allowed 66 points in its last two games. The Lions are coming together at the right time. Risking $110 to win $100.
CAROLINA (+4) over Denver: The Panthers have six losses. In one, they were annihilated, 36-7, by the Giants. The other five losses are by an average of 3.6 points. The betting public will ride a hot Denver team, but we know better. Risking $110 to win $100.
Atlanta (-2½) over NEW ORLEANS: The Saints are attempting to turn their season around, and have won three of four, but it’s not their year. Risking $110 to win $100.
Last week: 4-0, plus $400. Season: 18-18, minus $138.Ed Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan