The first week of inter conference play features some big match ups but none is as large as the perceived and real rivalry of the two dominant recent franchises. So I'll start my previews with that matchup...
BINGO (1-3) vs. Blak Jesus (0-4) - This is a matchup of two squads playing for 2014 at this point but BINGO is on the verge of being competitive with a win here and the momentum they're getting from a revived Phillip Rivers, Knowhon Moreno and emergence from Eddie Royal. There's also the question about draft position, BINGO owns BJ's rookie pick, so another loss pushes them further into the top 4 spot. Blak Jesus though has more talent than people are realizing, Tannehill is proven to be a solid starter and they're not out of it given where we are in the season and the direction. Odds heavily favor BINGO though 93-71.
Jibbers (0-4) vs. Monkey Fust (2-2) - Monkey Fust is competing at a higher level and with a strong inter conference effort could position itself to be in the playoffs. The Jibbers need this one to avoid the dreaded, "let's play for next year" strategy to befall them. So while the fan interest on this one may not be at an all-time high, it's an incredibly important matchup for MF to take a step towards the playoffs and the Jibbers to show this isn't going to be a lost year. Odds favor MF 92-79 but this is anybody's game.
Naughty (2-2) vs. LFP (3-1) - The site odds heavily favor the pre-season jankster cup favorite Naughty, which has an embarrassment of riches at QB (thanks to Brian Hoyer emerging) and deep production & depth. This is arguably the 2nd biggest matchup b/c LFP has been playing out of their minds (aka Peyton Manning is on pace for 62+ TD's this year) and Naughty's lineup is starting to round into shape. So entering week 5 this is an important measuring stick for both teams and one that the league will be watching closely. Odds heavily favor Naughty 117-94 but this isn't played on paper.
Delta Mad Dawgs (3-1) vs. Engel Shiz (3-1) - On paper, pre-season this looked like a matchup of average teams that need this one if they want to end up in the playoffs. But the reality so far has been that they're both been good and this isn't just another matchup but one of the weekend's most important games. If we were past week 8, it would be "flexed" for Sunday Night and a national audience would tune in to see who is for real. Odds favor Engel Shiz and their strong lineup 138-109.
Isotopes (3-1) vs. Pomona (1-3) - Pomona is favored and the desperate team, a loss puts them three games under .500 in a tough division so this isn't a can't lose but it's pretty close due to the division and remaining schedule. The Isotopes on the other hand are playing with house money, they need the win to keep pace in a surprisingly tough AFC South but they're not desperate. It's a classic tweener contest though. Odds flightily favor Pomona 126-115.
Team Kitty (3-1) vs. Fuego (2-2) - Fuego has been underwhelming so far this year, outside of Studs Brees & J.Graham, they're not getting expected production out of CJ Spiller & Josh Freeman which is killing their dreams of competing for a Jankster Cup title. So they're needy for another victory to keep pace and hold down the fort while injuries and bye weeks ravage their lineup. Team Kitty has the opposite problem, they're one of the lowest scoring teams and have lacked production from many of their high priced stars but have still managed to go 3-1. So not surprising that odds favor the more explosive Fuego 97-80 but anything can happen with the positive karma Kitty propagates to the world.
Strongfighters (3-1) vs. East Bay Funk (2-2) - Two teams with Jankster cup contending talent and aspirations face off, both have gotten off to solid starts but neither has demonstrated the dominance they'd hoped to see in the seasons first four games. Strongs need their QB's & RB's to step up (ADalton & RG3; TRich & RMatthews) to keep them on track; while the Funk needs better consistent production out of their key starters (AFoster, SBradford) and production from one of their best (TE Gronkowski) but overall this squad is on track to put up big numbers. This is another national tv matchup that will be hotly contested. Odds slightly favor the Funk 107-97.