Randall the Handle's Week 4 selections

Randall doesn't expect Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman to take advantage of a suspect Washington...

Randall doesn't expect Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman to take advantage of a suspect Washington Redskins pass defence. (MIKE STONE/Reuters)

RANDALL THE HANDLE, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:55 AM ET

BEST BETS

Panthers (1-2) at Falcons (3-0)

LINE: ATLANTA BY 7

Nothing against the AFC West but it's not exactly the best grouping in football. In an unusual scheduling sequence, the Falcons opened this season with three wins against three members from that division. While a sense of security may not exactly be false, flying back from the west coast to face a divisional rival, after the Panthers have had extra rest and were embarrassed on a Thursday prime timer, a feeling of complacency could occur. Carolina is off to a poor start but with a strong running game and the added prep time, expect a better effort here. Atlanta has not been more than a 3-point choice in this young season. Last year, they were only 3 1/2 at home to these Panthers. The market has overreacted here and we'll gladly back the undervalued side.

TAKING: PANTHERS +7


Bengals (2-1) at Jaguars (1-2)

LINE: CINCINNATI BY 2.5

The Bengals may have the winning record here but we're not quite ready to trust them as road chalk, especially when facing a team capable of exploiting Cincinnati's most glaring weakness. Aside from giving up the second-most points in the league, the Bengals are currently relinquishing 155 yards per game on the ground, ranking them 31st in the NFL. That poses a problem when facing Jacksonville star Maurice Jones-Drew, who appears to be hitting his best form after a 177-yard rushing performance last week. This will be the second home game for the Jags after losing first one to elite Texans and after gritty win at Indy, expect a spirited effort here against a suspect visitor.

TAKING: JAGUARS +2.5


Dolphins (1-2) at Cardinals (3-0)

LINE: ARIZONA BY 6

Dating back 2+ years, a span of 35 games, the Cardinals have been priced in this range just twice. The first time was in Cam Newton's first regular-season game in last year's season opener when the Cardinals covered at home as a 6 1/2-point choice (winning by 7). The second attempt, midway through last year but also at home, was as a 6-point choice to the hapless Browns. That one resulted in a non-covering 20-17 win. Point being, that while Arizona is off to a fabulous start, it's a much different animal having to win by a margin than it is to be pulling off these upsets. The Fish have been competing and should do so here.

TAKING: DOLPHINS +6


THE REST:

Chargers (2-1) at Chiefs (1-2)

LINE: KANSAS CITY BY 1

Surprising to learn that the Chiefs lead the league in total offensive yards per game. Perhaps that is why oddsmakers listed the Chargers as the favourite for this one before the wisenheimers jumped in and corrected things. The Chargers are their usual rollercoaster self and rarely do well at Arrowhead.

TAKING: CHIEFS -1


Titans (1-2) at Texans (3-0)

LINE: HOUSTON BY 12

Texans are steamrolling and no reason for it to stop here. Double-digit faves are often risky but this number is actually reduced because of Tennessee's 44-point outburst last week. Prior to that one, the Titans were lambasted by 34-13 and 38-10 counts to the Pats and Chargers respectively. The latter seems more likely.

TAKING: TEXANS -12


Patriots (1-2) at Bills (2-1)

LINE: NEW ENGLAND BY 4

Did you notice the records of these two? That's so funny. Or maybe it isn't? Pats won their opener convincingly but then lost next two. Bills were pummelled in their debut but bounced back with pair of wins. Why not follow the bouncing balls and take the division home dog against a fragile visitor?

TAKING: BILLS +4


49ers (2-1) at Jets (2-1)

LINE: SAN FRANCISCO BY 4

San Francisco forced to play its 3rd road game in four weeks, and this one coming on heels of smarting loss at Minnesota. Niners stayed in Youngstown, Ohio, all week and could be out of sorts from excessive travel. Jets lost key defender Darrelle Revis but points offered are generous in what figures to be a tight one.

TAKING: NY JETS +4


Seahawks (2-1) at Rams (1-2)

LINE: SEATTLE BY 3

Beneath the brouhaha of Monday's 'victory' is the underlying issue with Seattle's offence. The Seahawks have a pair of wins under QB Russell Wilson but the rookie is averaging less than 130 yards per game, dead last in the league. Rams won only home game and hosting a spent division foe offers reason for optimism.

TAKING: RAMS +3


Raiders (1-2) at Broncos (1-2)

LINE: DENVER BY 6.5

Denver has had a trying schedule and unfortunately for them, it's not about to get any easier. To compound the problem, we're not sure if Peyton Manning is right. He can't seem to go long and his ball lacks zip. Oakland stayed diligent and earned first win last week. Raiders should feed off of that.

TAKING: RAIDERS +6.5


Saints (0-3) at Packers (1-2)

LINE: GREEN BAY BY 7.5

The Saints may want to put a bounty on their defensive coordinator. At first glance, this pointspread might seem a bit high but opposing quarterbacks are abusing this weak New Orleans secondary and having to face one of the league's best in Aaron Rodgers is not encouraging. Packers are in a foul mood. Saints suffer for it.

TAKING: PACKERS -7.5


Redskins (1-2) at Buccaneers (1-2)

LINE: TAMPA BAY BY 2.5

Tampa has yet to not cover but this is also the first time it has been asked to give away points to an opponent. That's a tall order for a team that can't seem to get all of its parts working in unison on same day. Washington's pass defence has been leaky but Josh Freeman is completing only 51% of passes.

TAKING: REDSKINS +2.5


Giants (2-1) at Eagles (2-1)

LINE: PHILADELPHIA BY 1

The Eagles have been sloppier than one of those famous sandwiches that Philly is known for. Still, Eagles thrive in this series, winning and covering in 7 of past 8. While New York was able to overcome injuries to some key players versus the Panthers, this foe is too talented to get away with it again. Price seems cheap.

TAKING: EAGLES -1


Bears (2-1) at Cowboys (2-1)

LINE: DALLAS BY 3

Might look at going under the total in this one before backing a side but barring that, we're more inclined to endorse the underachieving Cowboys over a Chicago team that can't seem to get its offence in gear. Dallas blitz packages, with sack maniac DeMarcus Ware leading the way, should be enough for the 'Boys to cover.

TAKING: COWBOYS -3


Vikings (2-1) at Lions (1-2)

LINE: NO LINE

GAME IS OFF THE BOARD. Status of Detroit QB Matthew Stafford is unknown.

 

BEST BETS

Last week: 2-2

Season 6-3-1

OVERALL RECORD

Last week; 8-8

Season: 25-21-2


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