I had a horrible week last week, going 0-3 with my picks, and it dropped my record on the season to 4-5. Instead of being upset about it, I'm using it as motivation this week.
After going 0-3 last week I decided to look up how 0-3 NFL teams have done against the spread since the start of the 2010 season, and I noticed a trend. Since that 2010 season, there have been 34 teams who opened their season with a 0-3 mark. This season there are three of them: Oakland, Houston and Arizona.
Well, what if I told you that those 34 0-3 teams have gone 20-13-1 ATS in Week 4 following those slow starts? How about if I told you that those same teams went 16-9 ATS when they were underdogs in their Week 4 games?
That's a trend I'm looking to capitalize on this week, and we start in Indianapolis.
Houston Texans (+1.5) at Indianapolis Colts
I already mentioned that 0-3 teams are 16-9 ATS as dogs in Week 4 since 2010, but that record improves to 11-4 when they're on the road too. Well, Houston is an 0-3 road dog this week. Still, while that trend is encouraging, I'm not just going to rely on it for my pick. I liked Houston here before I discovered the trend and loved it even more afterward. The Texans have too much talent to continue playing as poorly as they have been, and I expect a regression to the mean this week against the Colts. Texans 24, Colts 21
Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at Denver Broncos
I figure that, at some point, the Chiefs defense is going to cost it a game. It simply has to. I just don't expect it to be this week, because the Broncos aren't very good. Denver's two wins have come against Seattle and Oakland, who aren't good themselves, and the two wins came by a total of four points. The team we saw last week against Baltimore is a better representation of what this Denver team is, and I can't envision a world where a team led by Case Keenum can keep up with this Chiefs offense for 60 minutes. Chiefs 31, Broncos 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears (Under 47)
While the comeback was entertaining, FitzMagic came to an end on Monday night. Now the Bucs aren't even sure if they'll keep rolling with Ryan Fitzpatrick or bring Jameis Winston back. Whoever lines up under center, they'll be facing a much tougher defense than any they've encountered so far this season. The Bears defense has been fantastic outside of the 30 minutes when Aaron Rodgers was firebombing it, but that's just what he does to the Bears. I see the Bears limiting the Tampa offense all day, and I don't see the Bears offense doing much because it hasn't all season. Take the under. Bears 21, Buccaneers 17
SportsLine Bonus Pick
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers and Ravens will play on Sunday Night Football this week with the Steelers set as 3-point favorites over the Ravens, and the total set at 51. I have a bonus pick for this game available over at SportsLine. Head on over to my page to see which play I'm making.