John Royal's NFL Picks, Week Four: Betting on the Houston Texans. What? Why Are You Surprised?

Okay kids, it’s that time of week again. Yep, it’s time for my NFL picks. I actually had a winning record last week (9-7), so that puts me at 20-28 for the season.

Just a reminder, I’m picking against the spread as established by the point spread of my office pool, the point spread was set by that office as of noon Wednesday.

1. The Texans are favored by 3 points over the Falcons. I’ve been getting lots of flack for not having bought into the hype. Tell you what, if the Texans want me to be a believer, they better win this game big. The Falcons are injured. They’re 0-3. Joey Harrington’s the starting QB. Their best defender may be suspended for part of the game. In years past, after a game like last week’s, the Texans would come into this type of game and get blown out. I’m picking the Texans this week. Even with all of the injury issues. And I think the Texans will win by a lot.

2. The Cowboys are picked to destroy the Rams by 11.5 points. I’m beginning to buy the Cowboys hype. And the Rams are beat up – QB Marc Bulger is injured but should play , while star running back Stephen Jackson will miss at least this game and probably more. This all tells me that I should take the Cowboys, but though I think the Cowboys will win the game, I think the Rams will keep it close. So, take the Rams and the points.

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3. The Jets are traveling to Buffalo where they’re favored by 3.5 points over the Bills. The 0-3 Bills have been a big disappointment so far this season, and I don’t think anyone’s ever really sure about what to expect from the 1-2 Jets. This week, I’m expecting the Jets to beat up on the Bills.

4. The Eagles are 3 point favorites over the home team Giants. The Eagles offense woke up last week. The Giants offense disappeared for the first half, but showed up to catch the Redskins at the end of the game. I think both coaches are close to making the dead man walking list. I’m picking the Giants.

5. The home team Dolphins are picked to beat the Raiders by 4. I don’t like picking anyone in this game, but damn, the Raiders have actually been showing some life this season. A cheap trick kept them from beating the Broncos. I’m picking the Raiders, so take the Raiders and the points.

6. The Ravens are favored by 4.5 points over the Browns. The original Browns are traveling to Cleveland to take on the current Browns. I just can’t get behind the original Browns, so take the current Browns to beat the point spread and to get within 4.5 points.

7. The Bears are picked to beat Lions by 3 points. God spoke last week, and let it be known that He was helping Jon Kitna out. But he didn’t explain why he let the Lions get kicked about by the Eagles. The Bears meanwhile have benched Rex Grossman in favor of Brian Griese. I don’t think it’s going to help the Bears defense. Take the Lions and the points.

8. The Green Bay Packers are picked to defeat the Vikings by 1.5 points. The Packers are a surprising 3-0. But they’re playing in Minneapolis, and Favre’s never been that great playing in that dome. I’m picking the Vikings because the Vikings have a running game.


The home team Panthers are favored by 4 points over the Bucs.

The Panthers and Bucs are both a surprising 2-1 (Panthers because they actually lost to the Texans and the Bucs because they were supposed to be real bad). The Panthers might have to go with

David Carr at QB on Sunday

, so that should be a reason for picking the Bucs. But I think the Panthers are going to rediscover their running game. Take the Panthers.

10. The Seahawks are supposed to beat the hometown 49ers by 2 points. I just don’t believe in the Seahawks. For some reason, I do believe in the Niners, even after that game against the Steelers last week. So I’m picking the 49ers.

11. The Steelers are favored by 5.5 points over the Cardinals. Ken Whisenhunt, the coach of the Cardinals, was one of Bill Cowher’s top assistants in Pittsburgh, but was passed over for the Steelers job. He’s getting his revenge this week. Take the Cards in an upset.

12. The Chargers are favored by 11.5 points over the Chiefs. The Chargers are seen as one of the big disappointments of the season. Talk has already started about firing coach Norv Turner. I just really don’t see how the Chiefs get beat this bad. Take the Chiefs and the points.

13. The Colts are favored by 9.5 over the Broncos. I don’t like picking the favorite with big point spreads like this, but Peyton Manning has owned the Broncos, and I really think the Colts are going to make this a break-out game and show the league just how good they are. Take the Colts.

14. The Patriots are picked by 7 points over the Bengals. The Patriots have been dominating everyone this season. And the Bengals have been a huge disappointment. Even the Ravens offense looked good against the Bengals defense. But I’ve just got a feeling. Take the Bengals to beat the point spread. -- John Royal

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