First LeBron James misfired by picking the Washington Commanders to beat the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football. Then the self-described ‘football junkie’ erred again by choosing the Buffalo Bills over the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Sunday. Worst of all, James told his Instagram Live audience on Sunday morning that he was ‘gonna go with the Patriots’ over the Saints, only for New England to get blown out at home, 34-0.
In just his second week of publicizing his NFL pics on social media, James was starting to lose the faith of his followers.
‘You’re not very good at this,’ moaned one Eagles fan. ‘There will be upsets King.’
Other fans also chided the Lakers star for overlooking the underdogs on Sunday: ‘Bro went with the -600 favorite… shocker.’
But just when it seemed that James was out of his depth, the winners came pouring in. It was one thing to pick the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs over the Minnesota Vikings, but James also had the miserable New York Jets beating the Denver Broncos. By day’s end, James was 7-5 for the week after going an impressive 12-3 in Week 4.
And while 7-5 might seem mediocre for a four-time NBA champion accustomed to success, it is a higher winning percentage than his Lakers had last season.
One fan was quick to remind James that Tee Higgins was inactive for the Bengals on Sunday
James claimed to be 12-2 in Week 4 despite there being 16 games on the schedule
James picked the favorited Bills over the Jags, but it was Jacksonville who won in London
James recently made the decision to begin announcing picks on Instagram Live, putting himself at risk of being ridiculed over his predictions, while others insist his forecasting somehow influenced the ensuing games.
‘Why did you just curse the buffalos to a loss LBJ??’ asked one fan, apparently referring to the Bills.
But not only did James prove himself to be a knowledgeable football fan, but someone who stays up to date on injuries as well. While sipping a mysterious green juice across his 15-minute video, James reeled off a string of injuries complicating his predictions this week.
‘I think the Giants [are] still banged up a lot,’ he said, referring to left tackle Andrew Thoams, center John Michael Schmitz and, most importantly, Saquon Barkley. ‘I think [Giants quarterback] Daniel Jones really needs [Barkley] as a safety blanket. You’re able to run out the backfield or play-action, or just get him into the screening game or whatever the case may be.
‘I got the Dolphins winning that game,’ James correctly predicted.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne scores one of his two touchdowns on the day
Several fans took issue with James’ preference for choosing favorites over underdogs
Other fans believed that James cursed the Buffalo Bills… or ‘buffalos,’ according to this fan
His toughest decision on the day was the Los Angeles Rams at home against the defending NFC-champion Philadelphia Eagles.
The Rams entered the week at just 2-2, but with the return of All-Pro receiver Cooper Kupp from injury, and the emergence of rookie wideout Puka Nacua, James trusted Matthew Stafford to guide LA’s offense.
‘Matthew Stafford has got a cannon of an arm,’ James said, rattling off the Rams’ lineup on both sides of the ball.
But before James committed to the Rams, he conceded that the 4-0 Eagles were simply too impressive.
‘I think I’m gonna have to go with the Eagles,’ he said. ‘I think they’ve been playing some of the best football in the NFL right now, along with the Niners and the Bills through four weeks.
‘They have it all. The running game, DeAndre Swift has looked great, and [quarterback] Jalen Hurts just a super-duper competitor, super-duper winner.
‘They just make plays.’
James didn’t spend the day watching football. Instead, he was seen with WNBA Legend Sheryl Swoopes at Game 1 of the Finals between the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty
Hurts was far from perfect in LA on Sunday, but still threw for 303 yards and a touchdown while coming away with a 23-14 win.
But the NFL isn’t quite done for the week, and therefor, neither is James.
‘It’s been a tale of two halfs for them’ James said of the inconsistent 2-2 Packers. ‘Sometimes they play well in the first half and then don’t play well in the second half. Sometimes they play well in the second half and don’t play well in the first half.
‘Let’s see if they can put 60 minutes of good football together.
James didn’t spend the day watching football. Instead, he was seen with WNBA Legend Sheryl Swoopes at Game 1 of the Finals between the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty in Sin City.
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