Ira Kaufman’s Week 4 Picks Against The Spread

September 29th, 2017

Welcome to a new feature on Joe has challenged Ira Kaufman, Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter, to pick against the spread this season for a $500 prize. Every Friday, Ira will type out his picks for each Friday-through-Monday game. If he hits at 53 percent or better for the regular season, then Ira gets $500 in gift cards to Abe’s Place in Clearwater, home of historically amazing food and 44 craft beers on tap. Feel free to send Ira your stone cold locks on Twitter, @ikaufman76. The sage of Tampa Bay sports could always use some help.


One step up, two steps back.

That’s the chorus of an emotional Bruce Springsteen song and it’s also the story of yours truly through three weeks of the NFL season.

Just when I sensed a momentum shift in Week 2, the most recent slate of games generated a 6-9 record, leaving me at 17-27 against the spread.

That 53 percent mark I’m shooting for is fading out of reach unless I can quickly snap out of this funk. You have to admit it’s been a particularly wacky season when the Bears can beat Pittsburgh, the Raiders don’t show up in the nation’s capital and the Jets humble the Dolphins.

But like Dirk Koetter says, no excuses. Next man up. As we head to the quarter-pole, here’s how this week’s games shape up:

DOLPHINS plus-3 vs. SAINTS. I’m not sure why Miami is a home underdog (in England), but Jay Cutler needs to rebound in a big way from that debacle in the Meadowlands. New Orleans is the only NFL team without a giveaway, but that ends Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.

PANTHERS plus-9 at PATRIOTS. The league’s No. 1 offense meets the top-rated defense, so something has to give in Foxborough. Cam Newton doesn’t have to keep pace with Tom Brady, but Carolina’s pedestrian attack must find a way to maintain possession.

COWBOYS minus-6 1-2 vs. RAMS. Raise your hand if you predicted the Rams would average 36 points per game with Jared Goff under center. Dallas bounced back in the desert and the Cowboys should be able to control the clock on a shaky rush defense.

VIKINGS minus-2 vs. LIONS. Detroit comes off a crushing setback while the Vikes looked superb against the Bucs in their noisy new home. Minnesota will make a few key stops and Dalvin Cook should be the difference.

TITANS minus-1 1-2 at TEXANS. Tennessee needs to make an AFC South statement against a team that has had its number the past three seasons. DeShaun Watson is coming on, but Marcus Mariota’s experience will prove decisive.

JAGUARS minus-3 at JETS. Jacksonville’s defense should force enough mistakes and Blake Bortles gained some confidence in London. The Jets have been better than advertised.

BENGALS minus-3 at BROWNS. Cincinnati is due a few breaks and the Browns are error-prone behind a rookie QB. Look for the Bengals to make it six straight victories against their winless division rivals.

RAVENS plus-3 vs. STEELERS. Pittsburgh hasn’t been particularly impressive and Le’Veon Bell has yet to break out. Baltimore looked like an emerging power until the Ravens lost their mojo somewhere over the Atlantic.

FALCONS minus-8 vs. BILLS. I don’t trust Buffalo on the road and Atlanta’s offense remains potent, even without Kyle Shanahan calling the plays. The Falcons caught a late break last week but they won’t need an overturned call on Sunday.

GIANTS plus-3 at BUCCANEERS. If the winless Giants leave town on the short end, their season is over. Tampa Bay’s struggling run game needs to produce because New York boasts a stout secondary.

EAGLES plus-1 1-2 at CHARGERS. Philly played a very competitive game in KC two weeks ago and the Eagles will hang with another AFC West foe on the road. The snake-bit Chargers can’t seem to find that winning edge.

49ERS plus-7 at CARDINALS. If San Francisco’s offensive line can keep Chandler Jones off Brian Hoyer, the 49ers will have a shot at an upset. Carlos Hyde is a major test for Arizona’s sturdy run defense.

BRONCOS minus-3 vs. RAIDERS. Denver is a different team at Mile High, where the defense plays much bigger. Oakland’s flop at Washington raises concerns.

COLTS plus-13 at SEAHAWKS. Russell Wilson put up big numbers at Tennessee in a shootout loss, but Indy also lit up the scoreboard. If T.Y. Hilton had better talent around him, he’d be considered one of the game’s elite receivers.

CHIEFS minus-7 vs. REDSKINS. What can you say about Kareem Hunt at this point? The third-round pick out of Toledo has been the league MVP so far and the Redskins had better have an answer for him Monday night. Washington counters with its own versatile back, Chris Thompson.

16 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s Week 4 Picks Against The Spread”

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    Its Bad Luck and a Bad Look to be picking the 0-3 Giants on the road vs our beloved Buccaneers this week Ira. Hope you get every single pick wrong this week just for that innocent little slap in the face to our family.

  2. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Bucs are heading to 1-4, sad to day.

  3. bucnut2 Says:

    Roy T- I am very sadly with you. We’ll be talking draft very soon. I hope I am wrong but doubt I am. With this team the season is 4 weeks long, the offseason consumes the other 48 weeks.

  4. darin Says:

    You guys need some sunshine in your panties. Looking at 1-4 and the draft? Theyve won 5 in a row at home and have 2 home games in 4 days coming up. Giants have worst offense in the league, the Pats the worst defense. Bucs got beat by a good vikes team on the road. Theyre not the only ones, with the lions joining in sunday. Cheer up. Bucs 27 giants 9. And Ira its a long season. You have plenty of time to get to 53 percent. I only got 6 right last week and went from 1st to 3rd. Few good weeks youll be there. Go Bucs

  5. LakeLandBuc Says:

    14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Ronnie Harrison, CB/S, Alabama. Harrison would be a surprise selection here. Yet think about it — he’s around 6-foot-2, 215 pounds and will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his hard-hitting ability on the national stage at Alabama this season. Not to mention, he came into this season with 28 games under his belt. Like his teammate Fitzpatrick, Harrison is an intimidating secondary defender. The Buccaneers need more size in their defensive backfield.

    CBS Sports Luke Easterling 2018 NFL Mock Draft

  6. Lamarcus Says:

    Yea cuz tmaxcon is right. Hargarves the third is apparently IS too short. I’m serious I believe he is an easy target and we have to live with he can’t defend a slant route. We do more size at corner

  7. FortMyersDave Says:

    Lakeland Buc: who do you think the Bucs can beat so that they are not a top 5 team in the draft????? I mean if they can’t beat the Giants IYHO then who can they beat to get to 7-9 or so which would put them in the middle of the draft order?

    I have an issue with IRA picking the Fins….. He can’t understand why they are a 3 point dog at Wembly? Here’s why: they have not had a real home game yet; they have spent most of the past month dealing with having a week 1 bye, going out to CA to ride out Irma, getting lucky as the Chargers choked away a win and then getting rolled by the team many pundits had going either 1-15 or 0-16 with a Jay Cutler who looked about as bad Napolean Dynamite looked for the Bears vs the Bucs and Pack and now they are hopping across the pond to play a Saints team that can pile on the points. Its kind of like the Buc Giant game; can Tampa or Miami score enough to keep up with the Saints or Giants? Probably not with Tampa and with Miami it is 3 games and a bye away from South Florida across 8 time zones. Have to like the Aints in that one. I hope the Bucs win but lets face it, the Bucs usually lose these type of games, especially with the injuries unless they get many a lucky break and the Bucs are cursed anything that can go wrong usually does. It’ll probably be like game 3 last year a 37-32 type of game with the team making the fewest, flags, turnovers and errors getting the W…….

  8. darin Says:

    Dammmm you guys are making this seem like an anti bucs comment section. Thank the good one Im no pessimist. Loosen up your bowties, oxygen is good for ya. I’m off to find some optimists. Go Bucs

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Darin, do you think THIS Bucs team will make it 7 in row at home with their attitude and state of health? I’d expect few have supported this team more than I with traveling to see games and six season tickets and a lot of Bucs gear and public support. They’ve managed to tinkle away a lot of hope and goodwill in 10 short days from a play and PR perspective. The Bucs bounceback last year from a bad game on the road in Arizona was two more losses at home, one to a bad team. Tommorrow will be wet, and electric blue everywhere. Just being realistic.

  10. FortMyersDave Says:

    Good points Roy but remember that there are fans like you who are boycotting other teams than the Bucs, some much more vocally than Tampa fans (Baltimore fans going after Ray Lewis, a Steeler team having to do a complete 180 after their fiasco in Chicago where not only did they look a tad disrespectful and put a 3 tour vet in a very difficult situation but they also undermined team cohesion and ended up losing to a team that both the Pack and Bucs blasted a week before and after). There is probably going to be a lot of Giant blue in the stands but not as much as you have seen in the past; a lot of Giant fans are not happy with the anthem situation, not all are far left democrats and socialists and that is why you see a lot of the Yankee/Giant loving transplants reading right wing fishwraps like the NY Post. I know a couple of Giant fans who are as adamant about staying away from RJS or MetLife stadium as much as some of the locals like yourself and others think their team could be running with the Jets for that top draft pick and likely won’t spend coin to see either the Bucs or Giants play…. I suspect the stick carriers will be loud at RJS before the game and at the start, we’ll see if Justin and his crew have anything to cheer about around 7:30 Sunday night and judging by history the cards are stacked against them; same old Bucs until they prove the cynics wrong.

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    I go into this bar near my house once a week.

    I was there 2 days ago. The owner told me. There will be no NFL on his TV’s until the protests stop.

    I believe him and this is just the tip.

  12. unbelievable Says:

    ^ Hey I can understand people who feel that way, but if that bar owner cares about running a successful business he’d be an idiot not to show NFL games. To each their own though. It ain’t my money.

  13. Joel Says:

    There may be a protest of his bar until his protest of the NFL stops.

  14. Joel Says:

    That’s often how “protests” work.

  15. LakeLandBuc Says:

    There’s a bar on every corner in Tampa. More business for the next bar

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    Bucs offense better show up today! I was VERY disappointed with DK’s play calling last week! They’re playing at home; it will be wet; and the Giants stink this year. As far as the protests go, plenty of watering holes could care less. They will take the coin regardless of the politics! Go Bucs!!