three was sure to get me back to .500 overall. Right? Wrong! After Sunday, the best I could do was hope for .500 on the Week. It was a long Monday Night football game to say the least. So, I switched over to the LSU game, which I was sure to win, up 21-0 early. Lost that one too… Bottom line, Lucky hates Mondays. I was 14-17-1 after two weeks. This week didn’t help the cause. week three wasn’t as bad as week one, but 6-8 doesn’t cut it. I had some tough luck, picking 3 winners that didn’t cover. But life goes on. I have a feeling week 4 will bring me back to the top. Either that, or I’ll be living on the bottom. When I say bottom, I mean my ass. My 6-8 week three took me to 20-25-1 overall. Here’s to better days ahead… Cheers!
Atlanta @ Buffalo (-3) – Falcons 28 – Bills 16. JP Losman had a Kyle Boller-like day. He threw for 75 whole yards, and didn’t do a single thing to help his team win. Willis McGahee had a huge came, rushing for 140 yards, as I had predicted. It wasn’t enough to take a win from Mike Vick and the rest of the Atlanta Falcons. Vick didn’t have stellar passing totals, as he rarely does, but he did a good job controlling the game, and made unbelievable plays when his team needed him. Mike is an amazing talent! The Falcons defense doesn’t seem able to stop the run, as both Alexander last week, and McGahee this week have shown. This will haunt the Falcons throughout the season, but it didn’t stop them from starting my week off with a loss.
Jacksonville (+2.5) @ New York Jets – Jaguars 26 – Jets 20. Byron Leftwich fought through the pain in his junk and lead the Jaguars to a huge overtime victory. The Jets held tight the entire game. Pennington went down with a rotator cuff problem, and then came back once Jay Fiedler went down with the same problem. Pennington did just enough to take his team to overtime, but the Jet defense couldn’t hold off the Jaguar attack. Fred Taylor had a good game, and Curtis Martin was held in check by one of the leagues best rush defenses. In overtime, Leftwich led a nice drive, ending with one of the greatest tight wire sideline acts I’ve ever seen. Jimmy Smith caught a Leftwich pass on the left sideline, running towards the end zone, Smith was shoved out of bounds. But instead of going out, Smith tip toed the sidelines, and swung the ball over the goal line for the winning touchdown early in the extra period. The Jaguars won, I won, everything was happy!
Tennessee (+6.5) @ St. Louis – Titans 27 – Rams 31. As I had predicted, the Rams went to 3-8 against the spread in their last 11. The Titans almost pulled off a huge upset, but got stopped by the luck of Mike Martz and his fellow leprachans. Steve McNair had his best passing day of the season, throwing for two touchdowns. Torry Holt went crazy, catching nearly a dozen passes for 160+ yards. Steven Jackson was slightly injured, though he did return. In his absence, viewers got the privilege of seeing Marshal Faulk run like he used to. That, and the fact that the Rams couldn’t cover, made this game a success. The Titans battled just enough to cover my ass, taking me to 2-1.
Oakland @ Philadelphia (-7.5) – Raiders 20 – Eagles 23. “The Raiders have played well for a team without a win.” This statement still holds truth. Their defense played tough but Donovan McNabb and the Eagles’ best weapon, Brian Westbrook, were too much for the Raiders to handle. This game just proved how ridiculously good Brian Westbrook is. This guy is the Reggie Bush of the NFL. TO did outperform Randy Moss, as Owens was the only one to score. Kerry didn’t play as poorly as I had imagined, lets hope he keeps that up in the next few weeks, The Raiders are the best 0-3 team in football… without question. Wait, they’re the only 0-3 team besides the Packers. Well, they’re better than them! These Raiders are going to start winning, you just wait and see. For now, they’re just good enough to make me lose, covering easily.
Cincinnati (-3) @ Chicago – Bengals 24 – Bears 7. Carson Palmer is the real deal. Even against a very stingy Bear defense, Palmer still managed to control the game, throwing two key touchdowns, and taking his Begals to victory. Rudi Johnson didn’t help his Fantasy owners, but his constant pounding helped Cincinnati control the line of scrimmage, in turn controlling the game. This one was never close. Thomas Jones had a big day for the Bears, but Kyle Orton had one of the worst first halfs in Bear history. He threw 4 interceptions early. The Bengals are one of the leagues best teams. Their defense is solid like stale licorice, and their offense is second to none.
New Orleans (+4) @ Minnesota – Saints 16 – Vikings 33. The Saints didn’t play well on Daunte’s big day. It wasn’t his birthday or anything, but it might as well have been. Culpepper looked like the old Daunte, throwing for 300 yards 3 touchdowns and no, that’s right, zero turnovers. This was an even bigger day than I had expected from Daunte. The Saints didn’t play up to their underdog champion title, but don’t count them out. Every team has tough games, just ask Baltimore. New Orleans just looked too exhausted to c compete. It’s tough to watch, you know all the problems at home are making Sundays tough. They’ll play through it, though. Watch out for the Saints when things get less hectic at home. This loss took me to 3-3 on the morning.
Carolina (-3) @ Miami – Panthers 24 – Dolphins 27. It’s been an amazing first three weeks. The mighty Panthers are 1-2 and the Dolphins are 2-1. I can’t say enough about Nick Saban… so I won’t try. Ronnie Brown joined his old back field mate, Cadillac Williams, as a top rookie performer. Brown broke out of his early shell, and rumbled for a buck twenty three. (123 yards and a touchdown) Gus Frerotte through the ball fairly well, tossing touchdowns to Chris Chambers and Randy McMichael. Jake Delhomme threw three touchdowns, all to Steve Smith, who had one of the biggest days by a receiver in some time. (170 yards, 3 touchdowns) But it wasn’t enough, as the Miami Dolphins held the Panthers’ bread and butter rushing attack in order. Steven Davis rushed for a mammoth 36 yards, and was held scoreless. The Dolphins amazed me for the third straight week. They’ve really played above and beyond expectations. They’ve done damage to my record, that’s for sure. The Dolphin upset brought me down to 3-4.
Cleveland (+14) @ Indianapolis – Browns 6 – Colts 13. If you want to see one hell of a game prediction, look at my week three picks column for this game. I got every single thing right besides the Manning prediction. Peyton just hasn’t been the same guy who tossed 49 TD’s last year. Speaking of a different guy, the Indianapolis Colts seem to have 11 of them on defense. Indianapolis had one of the worst defenses in the league a year ago. Now those same guys are taking Manning and the rest of the offense on their backs, and winning games the shut down way. It’s quite the change of events. Tony Dungy and Colt fans have to be excited, knowing damn well that the Colt offense will find a way to score more points soon. Those Brownies are fighters though, I’ll tell you that! Trent Dilfer can run a team, and Romeo Crenell can coach. Mistakes on big plays killed the Browns. Trent took his team close enough for my dollar, playing within the spread without much difficulty. I was .500 once again.
Tampa Bay (-3.5) @ Green Bay – Buccaneers 17 – Packers 16. The Packers had plenty of chances early on, but late in the game it was rookie sensation Carnell Williams who ended any hopes the Packers had. Cadillac carried the pig 37 times for 158 yards. This was the third straight game over 100 yards for Williams. Williams has more yards after his first three games than any other back ever. Impressive! What really impressed me was Cadillac’s resilience. After about three quarters, Williams had a 2.9 yard per carry average, and only 75 yards. He never slowed down. Carnell broke down the Packers, and hammered them in the 4th quarter. It was his big runs that eliminated any chance Brett Favre would have to pull off one of his late game heroics. Griese played well, but not great. Joey Galloway took a step back in time, catching two early touchdown balls. Brett threw more interceptions than touchdowns for his second time this season. But that wasn’t enough to keep his packers from covering the spread. Tampa won, but not by enough to get me a W. Under .500 again! Bugger!
Arizona @ Seattle (-6) – Cardinals 12 – Seahawks 37. I went against the Hawks’ recent 2-8 record in games they’re favored against the spread, and won because of it. Kurt Warner got hurt, but he showed me something when he was in… he’s not the answer for Dennis Green. These Seahawks might even be better than I had expected. They have a hustling, smack you in the mouth defense. Hasselbeck looks like he’s finally getting it. And how about those receivers… They are actually catching the passes that hit them in the hands. Shaun Alexander is playing like a hero in his contract year. Cat had four touchdowns yesterday. Have you seen Shaun burp the baby in the zone? Ridiculous…. but hey, if you’re there so often, you might as well have some fun with it! The Hawks brought me back to even.
New England @ Pittsburgh (-3) – Patriots 23 – Steelers 20. The Pats were back to making me look bad in week 3, taking the Steelers by a field goal in the final seconds. Vinatieri’s can kick that ball! The Steelers didn’t take advantage of huge Patriot miscues, and lost despite playing a much better game of football. Sometimes that happens…. and sometimes I drop under .500 on the day… this was one of those days.
Dallas (-6.5) @ San Francisco – Cowboys 34 – Niners 31. Nothing is worse than the Cowboys winning the game without covering the spread. That’s right. I said it… I hate the Cowboys. This lucky-ass win against the horrendous Niners proved a couple of things to me… The Cowboys will still struggle to win half their games, and there’s no worse fate than betting on the Cowboys, losing money, and the Cowboys pulling out a victory. Balls! Drew Bledsoe looks like he’s been practicing agility drills daily. He’s still a dangly slow interception throwing donkey… but he looks better. The Boys won and brought me to 5-7. This brought a tear to my eye.
New York Giants @ San Diego (-5.5) – Giants 23 – Chargers 45. “Ladainian Tomlinson will eclipse the 100 yard mark for the first time this year. Antonio Gates is good for a touchdown, and everyone knows LT is taking one in.”(me) Thanks…. I’ll be here all week. LT took my words to heart, winning the game in tremendous fashion. LT ran touchdowns, threw them, and caught quite a few passes out of the backfield. Don’t give up on the Chargers quite yet… I certainly won’t. Brees, LT and the bunch brought me back to within a game of even, going into a sure Monday night victory.
Kansas City (+3) @ Denver – Chiefs 30 – Broncos 10. Boy was I wrong about this one. I still can’t believe the Chiefs got killed by the Broncos. The Broncos are just like the Rams… on any given week they could lose to Temple, and the next week they would beat the Patriots. What are you gonna do? Just hope you hit the jack pot. I was watching the pre-game on ESPN. I learned about the Monday NIght dominance the Bronco’s have. I wasn’t worried. Denver lost to the Dolphins 34-10 week one. How could they beat the 2-0 Chiefs? Play them on Monday Night I guess. The Broncos have a ridiculous winning percentage on Mondays. Jake Plummer looked like a completely different player, and Mike Anderson had a couple long Bronco runs that helped Denver take control. Trent Green finally threw a touchdown, but not until the game was over. This sure Monday victory turned my .500 record upside down, finishing me at 6-8. Nuts!
BIG MONEY BET OF THE WEEK: Titans +240 @ Rams
The Rams did their damnedest to lose this game and make me a winner, but they just did enough to take my money. The Rams gave up an easy scoring pass by Steve McNair, leaving the Titans down 7. As soon as they got the ball back, the Rams fumbled. A Titan defensive lineman picked up the fumble and took it back to tie the game. Unfortunate events unraveled soon after that, as the Rams kicked a field goal and ended up on top. The Titans did their best to make my bank, but those pesky Rams were there once again, messing up my big payoff.
Good Luck with your NFL Football Betting!
Lucky Lester – Free Football Picks