Crystal Ball, Week 4:
Bengals (2-1) at Jaguars (1-2) – This game is a welcome relief for one team. Trouble is I don’t know which team will benefit. The Bengals can’t stop anyone. They’ve given up 102 points (34 per). The Jaguars’ offense stinks. Home field helps Jaguars, but I can see Cincy QB Andy Dalton standing comfortably in the pocket all day waiting for A.J. Green to get open. Bengals, favored by 1, win 28-14.
Giants (2-1) at Eagles (2-1) – Philly QB Michael Vick has been a punching bag all season. No team punches opposing QBs more than the Giants. Giants, 1-point underdogs, win 24-17.
Saints (0-3) at Packers (1-2) – Who thought these two teams would be a combined 1-5? The Saints’ offense has to get untracked at some point. The Packers can’t protect Aaron Rodgers. Besides, Packers still are crying about loss at Seattle. Nevertheless . . . Packers, favored by 9, win 24-21.
N.C. State (3-1) at Miami (3-1) – Last week’s win at Georgia Tech was huge for the Hurricanes, but they still have problems on the lines of scrimmage and in the secondary. State QB Mike Glennon excites NFL scouts. The Wolfpack, a 2½-point underdog, wins 34-21.
FSU (4-0) at South Florida (2-2) – The Bulls lost to Ball State. I know the Mid-American Conference is having a good season, but let’s not get carried away. The Seminoles, favored by 17, win 49-14.
Tennessee (3-1) at Georgia (4-0) – The Bulldogs are improving each week. The Volunteers are going in the other direction. Has Vols Coach Derek Dooley called the moving vans yet? The Bulldogs, favored by 14, win 35-17.
Ohio State (4-0) at Michigan State (3-1) – The Buckeyes have been winning ugly. This week they’ll simply be ugly. The Spartans, favored by 3, win 27-17.
Bonus prediction – USA wins the Ryder Cup in a rout, 16½ to 11½. There is a major home course advantage in the Ryder Cup because the host captain sets up the course. Davis Love III will have Medinah’s No. 3 course playing long with little rough and fast greens.
Speaking of ugly, that’s what my predictions have been the last two weeks. Last week I was 3-4 picking winners. I was (gulp!) 2-5 using the points spread. The overall totals are 11-10 and 8-13. I understand your lack of confidence in me, but it’s a long season.
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