Are you ready or some football picks? Jay’s Plays is back for the season with our crackerjack NFL picks!
What's that you ask? Where've we been for the last three weeks? Well since all you good folks reading GNN may not have been on the Jay's Plays bandwagon until now -- 60-plus percent winning clip over the last four years -- here is a primer on how this column works:
1. We don't start until Week 5. It takes teams a month to begin to identify themselves, and because we focus on smart betting here, we avoid betting on the old "pig in a poke." After all...how many of you saw Baltimore and San Francisco stinking up the joint so badly to open the season? We're going to break with tradition and give you Week 4 picks.
2. Ernesto the Prediction Iguana makes all the picks. He's that handsome fellow in the picture above. If you have any complaints about his results, just leave a message with your phone number. Ernesto will personally return all calls between the hours of 2-6 a.m.
3. We do teasers here, so you get to move the line six points either way in your favor, but you have to hit (or tie) both picks. “But that’s harder,” you say...not if you play smart. Here’s how...
4. Don’t bet every game. Remember Ace Rothstein from "Casino"? He didn’t bet all 100 games on the card; he’d bet the two that were winners, even though there were sometimes 100 plays on the card. So Rule 1 is play SMART...losers chase action...winners stay cool and win one game at a time. We usually pick three games each week -- sometimes two, sometimes four -- but normally, it’s Green Light, Amber Alert, Red Zone.
5. Stay away from most inter-divisional match-ups! You never know what you’re going to get week-to-week, and teams tend to know each other too well. Of course, when you do find a mis-match, exploit it ruthlessly, which leads us to...
6. Be the playground bully. Bet against crappy teams even more than you bet on good teams. Example: Cleveland! For years, they’ve been an ATM machine for you!
7. Don’t forget the over/under! It’s your friend in a week where the lines are too close for comfort.
8. If you’re not 100% confident, DON’T BET THE GAME!
9. Stay away from 7.5- and 3.5-point lines. As Mike Mosely once said, “Danger Will Robinson!” (By the way, we use Vegas Insider lines...)
10. Thank us as you clean out your bookie!
So without any further ado...(home team in CAPS).
STEELERS-Ravens UNDER 52
With Big Ben out for about six weeks, the Steelers offense should sputter. Backup Michael Vick just isn't anywhere near the same vertical threat. Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams may have good days, but the two teams are struggling right now and 52's a big number.
CARDINALS (EVEN) vs. Rams
Here's one of those divisional matchups that we warned you about, but the Cardinals are bigger and badder than the punchless Rams. Straight up at home? Jump on that like Oprah on a baked ham!
FALCONS (+2.5) vs. Texans
The Falcons make a case for being the best team in the league right now, scoring at will and finishing games despite trailing in the fourth quarter in all three wins. Matty Ice is vastly underrated and he's playing at home against a Texans team that looks lost at times.
DOLPHINS-Jets OVER 34.5
Even if you hate both teams, the Jets and Fish should muster enough offense to top such a low over.
BRONCOS (+1.5) vs. Vikings
See why we do teasers and move the line? Now Peyton Manning, Emmanuel Sanders and the Broncs are getting points from the visiting Vikings...who should turn back into the Vikings any time now...
BILLS-Giants OVER 39
Meanwhile the Bills have looked great at times this season and are playing with more energy than we've seen in a while. The Giants average enough points per game to do their share to secure the over.
BONUS! FOR DEGENERATES ONLY
BENGALS (+3) vs. Chiefs
Feel free to sub this in where you like. The Bengals have been great in the regular season against the spread the last two years. The playoffs? Not so much...