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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City's Week 4 NFL Circa Million V 2023 Pro Football Contest Picks

29 Sep 2023

By Dan Ippolito
Last week was a good one for the Casino City team as we put up our first single-loss week to bring us over .500 on the season. Our Miami Dolphins pick was never in danger as the team put up 70 points in a monster performance against the Denver Broncos. As we head into Week 4, the NFL has its first London game of the season with the Jacksonville Jaguars “hosting” the Atlanta Falcons. Our team aims to build off of our Week 3 success and have another positive week to get us into better shape.

Minnesota -5 over Carolina
A surprise 0-3 team, the Minnesota Vikings have been a disappointment thus far but it isn’t because of the offense.

Averaging 424 yards per game, the offense is led by Kirk Cousins, who already has over 1,000 passing yards, nine TDs and only two interceptions. Cousins leads the NFL in passing yards through Week 3 and his best receiver, Justin Jefferson, is atop of the list in receiving yards in the NFL with 458.

Despite losing Dalvin Cook in the offseason, the Vikings can flat out move the ball. The big problem remains with their defense, which gives up nearly 400 yards and right around 27 points per game.

The Vikings are in these games, as all three loses were within a touchdown, but Week 4 against a not so impressive Carolina Panthers is a must win.

This is a good game for the Vikings defense to right the ship as Carolina has struggled offensively and simply does not have the fire power the Vikings offense does to be in a shootout type of game.

Pittsburgh -2.5 over Houston
Texans’ rookie QB C.J. Stroud has been promising in his first three games despite the team’s 1-2 record. However, a true test lies ahead for the rookie out of Ohio State.

Stroud will go up against one of the best defensive fronts in football. The Steelers are tied with the Detroit Lions for the league lead in sacks with 13, but Detroit has played one more game than Pittsburgh. Stroud better be aware of T.J. Watt’s location at all times because he is capable of changing the game by himself.

After a brutal offensive performance in Week 1, the Steelers have showed some signs of life by putting up 26 points and 23 points in back-to-back wins.

Neither of the two teams run the ball well as the Texans average 70 yards on the ground per game, and the Steelers sit right behind them at 67 yards per contest.

It could turn out to be a pretty ugly, grind-it-out type of game for both teams, but a closing pocket is going to test Stroud out of the gate and make him uncomfortable.

Cincinnati -2 over Tennessee
A win on Monday night for the Cincinnati Bengals was very much needed even though the offense again looked underwhelming. With weapons like Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon, led by Joe Burrow of course, you would think this team would be averaging near 30 points. Well, you would lose that bet as the team has struggled to put up 15 per game. Maybe the 19-16 home victory against the Los Angeles Rams starts the turnaround for the Bengals because it is hard to imagine this offense is kept down for much longer.

Sure, the offensive line for Cincy has been getting beaten up at the line of scrimmage, so that is an area of concern and has been for their fans for a couple of years, but that hasn’t stopped it before.

On the other side, you have the Tennessee Titans who have their own issues putting up points, especially last week when the team suffered an embarrassing 27-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns who were without star running back Nick Chubb.

The Titans have the better ground attack so far this year, but on paper, the Bengals should be a much bigger threat through the air and need to show signs of life on that front. Expect a big bounce back game from Joe Burrow who has yet to impress through three games on his new massive contract. Yes, Burrow has been dealing with an injury, but with the arsenal of skill players he has, it shouldn’t hold him back much longer.

Arizona +14 over San Francisco
Through the first two weeks of the season, the Cardinals looked to be up to exactly what everyone thought they’d be doing, which is “Crashing for Caleb,” the current USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who is the projected top draft pick should he decide to leave college early after this season. However, last weekend, Arizona threw a wrench into its own plans as it shocked everyone, including the Cowboys, with a 28-16 home victory.

It appears, backup quarterback Josh Dobbs, who’s completed72% of his passes, good for 549 yards and two scores, and running back James Conner, who’s racked up 266 yards rushing and two touchdowns, didn’t get the text about the plan. For that matter, a play here-or-there in Washington and at home against the New York Giants and the Cardinals are 3-0 instead of 1-2.

The 49ers enter this weekend as one of three teams left with an undefeated record after taking care of Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Rams on the road, before last week’s 30-12 home victory over the Giants. Mr. Irrelevant, quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey are leading the way for San Francisco. Purdy is picking up where he left off following his injury last year as he’s completed 67% of his passes enroute to 736 yards and four scores, while CMC has totaled 353 rushing yards and three TDs.

San Francisco; however, could be without two of its top wideouts against Arizona, as Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are both questionable. Don’t worry though, as defensive lineman Nick Bosa will look to keep Conners in check as the 49ers are only allowing an average of 53 yards per game.

We’re not saying Arizona can stop San Francisco from getting to 4-0, but it’s a definite trap game as San Francisco will be looking ahead to the aforementioned Cowboys, and 14 points is a lot to pass up for a team that clearly has some spunk.

Kansas City -9.5 over New York Jets
The defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs started the season off with a 21-20 home loss to the Detroit Lions, after which they told everyone “You Need to Calm Down.” The following week, Kansas City showed everyone they know how to “Shake It Off” as they went on the road and defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 17-9. Then last week, with the arguably the biggest star in the universe in attendance, yes Taylor Swift, the Chiefs said “Look What You Made Me Do” as they crushed the Chicago Bears, 41-10, in Arrowhead.

This week, Kansas City heads to The Big Apple, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who’s completed 65.5% of his passes for 803 yards and seven touchdowns, is going to show the Sunday Night Football audience who’s the “Mastermind” as he and the Chiefs dismantle New York.

Despite winning their first game of the season, New York (1-2 overall) enters this week with the mantra “Don’t Blame Me,” and that’s exactly why there’s nothing more to say about them until everyone from owner Woody Johnson, to head coach Robert Saleh, and quarterback Zach Wilson take accountability and fix this mess.

Are you “Ready for It?” Well, you should be, because we all know “All Too Well” how this one’s going to end, with the Swifties celebrating as her highness will be in the house to watch Travis Kelce and the Chiefs show the Jets, not in your “Wildest Dreams.”

Week 3 Results: 3-1-1
Season Record: 7-6-2
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