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Beating the Book: Chris Liss Handicaps Week 4

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

I don't have a whole lot to say about this slate. Six home dogs (I took five), two double-digit home favorites (I took one) and six garden-variety single-digit home favorites (I took two). That makes four favorites and 10 dogs. The games that gave me the most trouble were Detroit-Green Bay (actually switched my pick), Indy-Jacksonville and Arizona-San Diego. The ones that came easiest were the Steelers, Rams and Giants.


Jets -5 at Bills

The Jets might roll, but I have to back the desperate home dog with a little more life in the passing game and dangerous special teams. Plus, Darrelle Revis probably won't play. It hasn't cost the Jets so far, but missing your best player typically catches up to you sooner or later. Back the Bills.

Jets 20 - 17

Ravens +1 at Steelers

This line is a bit odd, as you'd think Pittsburgh would be favored by at least three. But Joe Flacco vs. Charlie Batch is probably why it's only one. Still, the Steelers defense looks significantly better than the Ravens', and Pittsburgh's at home. Back the Steelers.

Steelers 13 - 10

Seahawks -1 at Rams

The Seahawks beat the Chargers at home last week, but they needed two kick return touchdowns to do it, and they're not nearly as good on the road. The Rams have a long way to go, but they're already not the doormat they were the last two years. Back the Rams.

Rams 23 - 20

49ers +7 at Falcons

Playing the desperation card didn't work when I backed San Francisco last week, but I'm going back to the well. I don't think the Niners will win in Atlanta, but the Falcons will be up against a wounded animal, and this game should be close. Back San Francisco.

Falcons 20 - 19

Bengals -3 at Browns

The Bengals won ugly last week, while the Browns largely went toe-to-toe with the Ravens in Baltimore. I think this game should be a pick 'em - not Cincy by three. Back the Browns.

Browns 19 - 17

Broncos +6.5 at Titans

As far as I can tell, these are roughly even teams. No idea why the line is six and a half. Back the Broncos.

Titans 24 - 23

Panthers +14 at Saints

The Saints don't strike me as an elite team this year, and non-elite teams shouldn't often lay 14. Carolina's playing like a doormat, but Jimmy Clausen should improve with every game. Back the Panthers.

Saints 34 - 21

Lions +14.5 at Packers

I had initially picked the Lions, but Jahvid Best's toe injury worries me. Without Best, Detroit's going to be one-dimensional and likely playing from behind - a recipe for disaster at Lambeau. Back Green Bay

Packers 38 - 17


Texans - 3 at Raiders

It's hard to know how the Raiders will bounce back from such a devastating loss, but I think Bruce Gradkowski will move the ball against Houston, and Nnamdi Asomugha will probably handle a gimpy Andre Johnson. Back the Raiders.

Texans 24 - 23

Colts -7.5 at Jaguars

For God knows what reason, the Jaguars always seem to play the Colts tight - the last five games were all decided by seven points or less. But so what? The Jaguars barely have a home-field advantage these days, and David Garrard has been awful in his last two contests. Back the Colts.

Colts 27 - 17

Redskins +6 at Eagles

Michael Vick's been playing great so far, but the Redskins should be a slightly tougher challenge than Detroit or Jacksonville. Moreover, Washington should be up for this game after the loss to the Rams (and given Donovan McNabb's return to his former home). Back the Redskins.

Eagles 26 - 23

Cardinals +8.5 at Chargers

The Chargers never seem to roll when you expect them to, especially early in the season. My brain says take the Chargers against an Arizona team that should have lost to the Raiders last week. But my gut says San Diego will keep the Cardinals in the game. Back Arizona.

Chargers 27 - 20


Bears +4 at Giants

This line seems out of whack with the undefeated Bears getting more than a field goal against the hapless Giants. But Chicago's been fortunate so far a cheap win against Detroit on an overruled touchdown catch by Calvin Johnson and a punt return touchdown and a bad fumble by James Jones in Monday night's game. The Giants have made a lot of stupid mistakes, but they moved the ball with ease Sunday, and already have their backs to the wall. Avoid the trap and back New York.

Giants 27 - 20


Patriots -1 at Dolphins

The Patriots defense hasn't played well, and now they're actually laying a point on the road in Miami where teams tend to wear down in the heat and humidity early in the year. Back the Dolphins who bounce back at home.

Dolphins 31 - 28

We were 6-10 last week to go 24-21-3 on the season. We were 131-122 last year against the spread. From 1999-2009 we've gone 1439-1262 (53.3%, not including ties)