Vegas Vic: Slight lean toward the Chargers

Just like LeGarrette Blount (left) and Corey Clement, our staff is putting its heads together and selecting this week’s NFL games.

Vegas Vic and our sports writers pick this week’s games.

SUNDAY

CHARGERS (-1.5) Eagles (O/U: 47.5), 4:05 p.m.

Quick hit: Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has posted at least 100 receiving yards in each of his last four games. He’s missed so much time because of injuries, however, that the streak dates to 2014.

Eagles vs. spread: 2-1

Chargers vs. spread: 0-3

Vegas Vic’s take:Very strange . . . San Diego — oops! I mean Los Angeles — is a small favorite against the Birds. What?! The Chargers come in at 0-3, with Philly at 2-1. And the Lightning Bolts are favored? Maybe Vegas has seen the Green on the road, where they have only two wins in their last 10 games, and have covered just three of those spots. And then just one of the last six as an underdog on the road. Those are not healthy numbers. And apparently, the last few trips out west have not been productive for the Eagles, like 0-3 straight up and against the spread since 2014. Then there’s this: Since the AFL-NFL merger, only one team has made the playoffs after starting 0-4. Yup, the San Diego Chargers (no oops here). The Bolts closed 11-1 in 1992 after dropping the first four. Ain’t gonna happen again, but they will be fighting like crazy, and could give the Eagles some problems. Gotta take all your poison darts, and say Chargers, 28-24.

Ed Barkowitz Chargers
Zach Berman Chargers
Les Bowen Chargers
Paul Domowitch Chargers
Marcus Hayes Eagles
Jeff McLane Chargers
Vegas Vic Chargers

Saints (-3) DOLPHINS (O/U: 49.5), 9:30 a.m.

Quick hit: The Saints, according to the sports gaming site DonBest.com, are 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 October games.

Saints vs. spread: 1-2

Dolphins vs. spread: 1-1

Vegas Vic’s take:Why are we playing against the Fish? Two words: Jay freakin’ Cutler. Okay, three words.

Ed Barkowitz Saints
Zach Berman Dolphins
Les Bowen Saints
Paul Domowitch Dolphins
Marcus Hayes Dolphins
Jeff McLane Saints
Vegas Vic Saints

 

PATRIOTS (-9) Panthers (O/U: 48.5), 1 p.m.

Quick hit: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart has exactly 6,800 career rushing yards. He needs 47 more to break the team record held by DeAngelo Williams. Stewart is averaging 54.0 yards per game this season.

Panthers vs. spread: 1-1-1

Patriots vs. spread: 1-2

Vegas Vic’s take: No love for New England, and not much for Tom Brady, but business is business. Gotta put aside petty hatred and roll with the Patriots. Been best-betting against Carolina for two weeks, and it has been perfection. And the reason is Cam Newton. The guy just ain’t the same. And that Brady guy chased a ref off the field the last time he played against the Panthers, which was a 24-20 loss back in 2013. Memories may be beautiful. This one was not. Pats Crush!

Ed Barkowitz Patriots (Best bet)
Zach Berman Panthers
Les Bowen Patriots
Paul Domowitch Patriots
Marcus Hayes Panthers
Jeff McLane Panthers
Vegas Vic Patriots

 

COWBOYS (-6.5) Rams (O/U: 48), 1 p.m.

Quick hit: Rams linebacker Connor Barwin has a five-game sack streak against the Cowboys. He registered his first sack of the season last week against San Francisco.

Rams vs. spread: 1-2

Cowboys vs. spread: 2-1

Vegas Vic’s take: Dallas has posted eight Ws in the last nine at home, so if the line stays under a TD, we buy.

Ed Barkowitz Rams
Zach Berman Rams
Les Bowen Cowboys
Paul Domowitch Cowboys
Marcus Hayes Rams
Jeff McLane Rams
Vegas Vic Cowboys

Camera icon Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP
Connor Barwin (98) made a habit of pounding Cowboys quarterbacks while he was an Eagle. He gets his first crack Sunday as a Ram. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

VIKINGS (-2) Lions (O/U: 42.5), 1 p.m.

Quick hit: In two games against the Lions, Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs has seen 23 targets and made 19 catches.

Lions vs. spread: 2-1

Vikings vs. spread: 2-1

Vegas Vic’s take: After the horrible bad beat last week, gotta believe that Detroit is gonna be in a foul mood and ready to rumble.

Ed Barkowitz Vikings
Zach Berman Lions
Les Bowen Lions
Paul Domowitch Lions
Marcus Hayes Lions
Jeff McLane Lions
Vegas Vic Lions

 

Titans (-1.5) TEXANS (O/U: 44), 1 p.m.

Quick hit: Houston had covered six in a row in this series until last year’s season finale when the Titans, with Matt Cassel filling in for Marcus Mariota, covered the 3-point spread and beat the Texans, 24-17.

Titans vs. spread: 2-1

Texans vs. spread: 2-1

Vegas Vic’s take: Houston was 8-1 at home last season. The Texans are 0-1 now. Do the math and this becomes a W for J.J. Watt & Co.

Ed Barkowitz Titans
Zach Berman Titans
Les Bowen Titans
Paul Domowitch Titans (Best bet)
Marcus Hayes Texans
Jeff McLane Titans (Best bet)
Vegas Vic Texans

Jaguars (-3) JETS (O/U: 39.5), 1 p.m.

Quick hit: The Jags played in London last week, are in New York this week, then play in Pittsburgh next week. Man, who’d they tick off?

Jaguars vs. spread: 2-1

Jets vs. spread: 1-2

Vegas Vic’s take: Slippery slope using the Jags as a road favorite, but they are a perfect 2-0 with a suitcase.

Ed Barkowitz Jets
Zach Berman Jaguars (Best bet)
Les Bowen Jaguars
Paul Domowitch Jaguars
Marcus Hayes Jaguars
Jeff McLane Jaguars
Vegas Vic Jaguars

Bengals (-3) BROWNS (O/U: 41), 1 p.m.

Quick hit: The Bengals have won the last five in this series, both straight up and against the spread. The smallest margin of victory in the five is 13.

Bengals vs. spread: 1-2

Browns vs. spread: 1-2

Vegas Vic’s take:Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re saying. Double V is going back to the crazy again. How can you possibly use an 0-3 team as a Best Bet? Well, after last week, I trust that you’ll gimme some slack. Why? Oh yeah, you remember. Gave out the Saints and said “And if the Panthers have to play without All-Pro center Ryan Kalil (check his status Sunday morning), that will only reinforce this pick as not only our Best Bet for the week, but one of our best Best Bets . . . ever!” Result without Kalil: New Orleans 34-13 as a six-point dog. Back to Cincinnati, and the main reason for backing the Bengals is, their total domination of the Browns the last couple of years. Last season, it was Cincy winning by 23-10 at Cleveland and by 31-17 at home. In 2016, it was another sweep, with the Bengals posting a 31-10 W at home and a 37-3 beatdown at Cleveland. Go back one more year to 2014, and Marvin Lewis’ troops fed the Brownies a 30-0 bagel at Cleveland. That sounds like two things to us: Domination and Best Bet.

Ed Barkowitz Bengals
Zach Berman Bengals
Les Bowen Bengals
Paul Domowitch Bengals
Marcus Hayes Bengals
Jeff McLane Browns
Vegas Vic Bengals (Best bet)

Steelers (-3) RAVENS (O/U: 42.5), 1 p.m.

Quick hit: All three games the Steelers have played this season have been under. For Baltimore, two out of three have been under.

Steelers vs. spread: 1-2

Ravens vs. spread: 2-1

Vegas Vic’s take: You know these AFC North battles are always tight, and we lean on Steel because it has a better offense.

Ed Barkowitz Ravens
Zach Berman Ravens
Les Bowen Steelers
Paul Domowitch Ravens
Marcus Hayes Ravens
Jeff McLane Ravens
Vegas Vic Steelers

FALCONS (-9) Bills (O/U: 48.5), 1 p.m.

Quick hit: Buffalo’s Jordan Poyer, who was a seventh-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2013, is the only safety in the NFL with two sacks and an interception through the first three weeks.

Bills vs. spread: 2-0-1

Falcons vs. spread: 2-1

Vegas Vic’s take: Buffalo is 3-0 against the spread so far. Is 4-0 out of the question? Nope. Circle the wagons.

Ed Barkowitz Falcons
Zach Berman Falcons
Les Bowen Falcons
Paul Domowitch Bills
Marcus Hayes Bills
Jeff McLane Bills
Vegas Vic Bills
Camera icon Duane Burleson / AP
Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel stretches but is unable to make this catch last week against the Lions. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

BUCCANEERS (-3) Giants (O/U: 44), 4:05 p.m.

Quick hit: The Giants are on the verge of their first four-game losing streak since they dropped seven in a row in 2014.

Giants vs. spread: 1-2

Buccaneers vs. spread: 1-1

Vegas Vic’s take: Another in the “0-3 waiting to go 0-4” category. Big difference is that New York has one of the premier weapons in the NFL in Odell Beckham Jr. And as long as he is celebrating multiple TDs, don’t really care what the act looks like.

Ed Barkowitz Giants
Zach Berman Giants
Les Bowen Giants
Paul Domowitch Giants
Marcus Hayes Buccaneers
Jeff McLane Buccaneers
Vegas Vic Giants

 

Camera icon David Maialetti / Staff
There’s no “I” in “team,” but there is a “P” in “stupid” and Odell Beckham got a 15-yard penalty for this silly move after he scored a touchdown Sunday against the Eagles. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

 

CARDINALS (-7) 49ers (O/U: 44.5), 4:05 p.m.

Quick hit: Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 89 catches for 1,206 yards in 13 home games against the Niners. Arizona is 7-6 in those games, including straight-up wins in the last three (but just one cover).

49ers vs. spread: 2-1

Cardinals vs. spread: 0-3

Vegas Vic’s take: Carson Palmer is only 37, but he looks like he’s ready to join AARP and start getting senior benefits.

Ed Barkowitz 49ers
Zach Berman 49ers
Les Bowen 49ers
Paul Domowitch Cardinals
Marcus Hayes Cardinals
Jeff McLane 49ers
Vegas Vic 49ers

 

BRONCOS (-3) Raiders (O/U: 47), 4:25 p.m.

Quick hit:The favorite is 8-1-1 against the spread in the last 10 meetings between these two.

Raiders: vs. spread: 2-1

Broncos vs. spread: 1-1-1

Vegas Vic’s take: After two sweet wins to open the season, Oakland was probably thinking about Vegas, and coughed up a stinker in a loss to Washington. The Silver & Black had no trouble beating Denver at home last season (30-20), but lost in the Mile High City (24-6). But — and it’s a huge but — the Raiders played without Derek Carr, who broke a leg the week before against the Colts. Silver might not be as valuable as gold, but green is the only color Vic is after.

Ed Barkowitz Raiders
Zach Berman Broncos
Les Bowen Broncos (Best bet)
Paul Domowitch Raiders
Marcus Hayes Raiders
Jeff McLane Raiders
Vegas Vic Raiders

SEAHAWKS (-13) Colts (O/U: 41.5), 8:30 p.m.

Quick hit: Seattle safety Earl Thomas, who seriously contemplated retirement after suffering a broken leg last December, played all 73 snaps in last week’s loss at Tennessee.

Colts vs. spread: 2-1

Seahawks vs. spread: 0-3

Vegas Vic’s take: Don’t wanna make a habit of laying double digits, but this looks like a primo spot. As for Seattle … so far, so bad. The Seahawks come in at 1-2 and looked a few rungs below mediocre in the only win, a 12-9 struggle against the 49ers. Pete Carroll and the 12th man will fix that. They almost always do at home. The ‘Hawks have won nine of the last 10 in front of the crazies, and Indy gave up 46 points in its last game on the road against the Rams. The Rams!

Ed Barkowitz Colts
Zach Berman Colts
Les Bowen Seahawks
Paul Domowitch Colts
Marcus Hayes Colts
Jeff McLane Colts
Vegas Vic Seahawks

MONDAY

CHIEFS (-7) Redskins (O/U: 49.5), 8:30 p.m.

Quick hit: Andy Reid is 18-11 against the Redskins. He was 17-11 as the Eagles coach and is 1-0 for the Chiefs. KC rolled Washington in 2013, 45-10.

Redskins vs. spread: 2-1

Chiefs vs. spread: 3-0

Vegas Vic’s take: Never like to buck old friend Andy Reid, but seven looks too strong. Especially for the team from D.C. that has covered an astounding 10 of the last 12 on the always treacherous NFL road.

Ed Barkowitz Redskins
Zach Berman Chiefs
Les Bowen Redskins
Paul Domowitch Chiefs
Marcus Hayes Chiefs (Best bet)
Jeff McLane Chiefs
Vegas Vic Redskins

THURSDAY

PACKERS (-7.5) Bears (45.5)

Result: Packers, 35-14. Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, including one to Davante Adams, who was carted off after a violent hit from Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. Green Bay also lost running back Ty Montgomery to broken ribs in the first quarter.

Ed Barkowitz Packers
Zach Berman Packers
Les Bowen Packers
Paul Domowitch Packers
Marcus Hayes Packers
Jeff McLane Packers
Vegas Vic Bears

SEASON RECORDS

Entering Week 4

Best Bets Overall Pct.
Vegas Vic 2-0-1 24-22 .522
Zach Berman 2-1 22-24 .478
Paul Domowitch 2-1 22-24 .478
Jeff McLane 2-1 22-24 .478
Ed Barkowitz 1-2 21-25 .457
Marcus Hayes 2-1 20-26 .435
Les Bowen 2-1 18-28 .391