What the heck is the Flamin’ Four? It does sound a little odd and questionable, but just hear me out. As some of you know, I’m a huge fan of Colin Cowherd, the host of The Herd, a sports talk show, on Fox Sports 1 and formerly on ESPN. Every week he has a segment called the ‘Blazin’ 5’ where he picks five NFL games based on the point spread that Vegas puts out on each game. I’ve always been fascinated with this segment, it has taught me how to read point spreads and ultimately showed me how competitive each game is every week in the NFL (except if you’re playing the Browns). So, this is my twist on the ‘Blazin’ 5’ with my new weekly post of the Flamin’ Four.
Point spreads can be difficult to interpret, especially if you are not familiar with sports betting world. Therefore, let me explain how to read them in an easy way before I get into my picks. In every game there is one team that is favored and the other is the underdog. The favored team has (-#) next to their name and the underdog has (+#) next to their name. Here is an example to put it all together:
Houston Texans (-7) at Tennessee Titans (+7)
The Houston Texans have been set as seven-point favorite over the Tennessee Titans. That means, for the Texans to cover this spread, they will need to win the game by at least eight points to win a bet placed on them. On the other side, the Titans are receiving seven points. They can either lose the game by six points or less or win outright and win a bet placed on them. All the games I choose will be in this format; however there are games where neither team is the favorite nor underdog, but I don’t want to complicate things and confuse you all so I won’t go into it, let’s get to the picks.
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5)
Chicago has a little momentum coming off a win, but it was against the depleted Vikings and the Buccaneers should get back two major keys to their offense: Doug Martin and Joe Hawley. I think the Buccaneers are craving a win after two tough losses versus great opponents and get the win at home.
Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers (-3)
The Panthers are rolling right now coming off two wins. Their defense is starting to play like they were last year and with Jonathan Stewart back Cam Newton and the offense seems more comfortable on the field. Also, Justin Houston won’t make his season debut this week (somewhere Cam Newton is secretly smiling). This will be a tough fought game between two solid teams, however Carolina pulls out with it in the 4th quarter by a touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers (+14) at Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco with the nonexistent offense and Colin Kaepernick situation has had a tough year. On the other hand, they should get Carlos Hyde back, which should help them put more points on the board. Arizona is coming off a bye, which hasn’t treated them very well lately, they are 1-4 in the past five years coming off a bye. This game will tougher than people think with, Arizona will get the win but won’t cover the spread.
Seattle Seahawks (+7.5) at New England Patriots
The game of the week has a bigger spread than I expected. Both teams have faced early season adversity with injuries and suspensions, however things are starting to swing back to normal. The line says that the Patriots will beat the Seahawks by more than a touchdown, which no team has done since week 2 last year. This much anticipated game will live up to its hype with Tom Brady leading a game winning touchdown drive at the end of the game.
All my betting lines are from VegasInsider.com under the VI Consensus column, which is the most frequent betting line among Las Vegas and Online sportsbooks.
This will be a weekly post every Friday. Also, I want my blog to stay connected with my readers, therefore I encourage you to comment below and share with me your thoughts and feelings on this weeks picks, whether you agree or disagree. Provide a comment below or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) about any other sports topics you would like to see me write about in the future.