Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week 4 football picks

Each week, Sports Editor Mark Podolski picks five games, four against the spread: one high school, two college and two NFL.

A nice 4-1 week puts us at 10-5 on the season, so let's get started with Week 4 picks:

HIGH SCHOOL (no betting line, of course).

Lake Catholic vs. Benedictine at Bedford High School: The Bengals are surging again after a few down seasons, and stand 5-0. After a 4-0 start, Lake Catholic dropped its first game of the season last week against Walsh Jesuit. The Cougars have played it close to the vest all season, winning tight games, while Benedictne has scored some points this fall, averaging 34 points. PICK: Benedictine 21, Lake Catholic 19


Michigan State (-3) at Ohio State: The schools don't play each other a lot because of scheduling rotations over the years, so it's tough to gauge how intense this matchup has grown in the last 10, 20 years. This one should be different. Both teams have plenty to prove, especially since it's the Big Ten opener. OSU has a tough stretch upcoming after this one, and the feeling here is it desperately needs to strong start in the conference. PICK: Ohio State 20, Michigan State 16

Nebraska (+9.5) at Wisconsin: The Badgers welcome the Cornhuskers to the Big Ten with a game at Camp Randall Stadium. Good luck. Quarterback Russell Wilson has been great and while Wisconsin hasn't been tested so far, Nebraska's Tyler Martinez isn't ready for this huge stage just yet. PICK: Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 20


Tennessee (-1.5) at Browns: Is this the game Titans running back Chris Johnson gets on track? In three games, Johnson doesn't have 100 yards combined, so he'll be determined on Sunday. The Browns rushing defense continues to struggle, ranking 29th in the NFL, allowing 128.7 yards per game. Johnson should get his yards, but with receiver Kenny Britt out for the season, I'm not sure how the Ttitans score a ton of points. PICK: Browns 21, Tennessee 10.

Detroit (-1.5) at Dallas: I'm a Lions believer, especially quarterback Matt Stafford, and the Detroit D. PICK: Detroit 28, Dallas 24

- Mark Podolski


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