Week 4 NFL Picks
By: Grant Poarch
Last week was still entertaining since it is the NFL, but there were a lot of boring games. If you are a Broncos’ fan, I feel for you. I can’t imagine losing a game by 50 points while also giving up 70 points. Beyond that, 10 out of the 16 games were decided by more than one possession. Let’s hope this week has more close games like weeks one and two had.
As for my predictions, I had the best week yet. I went 12-4 on the money line and 11-5 on the spread. That brings my overall season record to 31-17 on the money line and 24-24 on the spread. As we learn more about what these teams are as the weeks go on, it should get easier to make predictions about the outcomes. If this week is anything like last week, take my picks and thank me later. With that said, fade me at your own risk and tail me at your benefit. The odds listed are provided by DraftKings.
9/28 (TNF): Detroit Lions (-1.5) @ Green Bay Packers, O/U 46, 8:15PM EST, Prime Video
This is a toss-up, but for me last week’s performance from both teams cannot be overlooked. The Lions shut Atlanta down as the Falcons only rushed for 44 yards and were held to just six points. Green Bay was held scoreless in the first three quarters before they stormed back in the fourth quarter for a 18-17 win over the Saints.
Overall, Detroit seems for real and Jordan Love seems to be the guy for the Packers for the foreseeable future. That being said, the offensive struggles in the first three quarters cannot be overlooked despite the impressive performance in the fourth. The Lions are going to watch that tape and be able to slow down the Packers enough to win this one despite going on the rroad to Lambeau Field. Let the Dan Campbell era roll!
Prediction: Detroit wins, Detroit covers -1.5
10/1 (In London): Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-3, O/U 43), 9:30AM EST, ESPN+
The line here seems confusing to me. Although the Falcons were ineffective last week, Jacksonville has had their struggles all year. I don’t see the Jags being able to stop the Falcons’ rushing attack the way the Lions did. If this game is low scoring, Atlanta will win. If it is high scoring, Jacksonville will win.
I am concerned about the way the Jaguars played last week against the Texans. I’m not sure how you get 20 pieced by them after how bad they have been for years now. Until I see changes from Jacksonville, I don’t think I’ll be able to trust them. On the other hand, I don’t trust Atlanta away from home, but they seem to be more consistent. So, I’ll be taking Atlanta in this one.
Prediction: Atlanta wins, Atlanta covers +3
10/1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (-3.5, O/U 40.5), 1PM EST, FOX
I’m not sure what the oddsmakers see in the Saints in this one. Saints QB Derek Carr is likely to be out several weeks with an AC sprain. Although the stats weren’t that different between Carr and Winston, the offensive production greatly decreased when Jameis Winston got in the game. All 17 points in this contest came when Carr was leading the offense.
As for Tampa Bay, their defense will be the focal point in winning this game. Last week, they intercepted Jalen Hurts twice and it was only because of their offense that the game got out of hand.
This game will be extremely boring if you like offense. As a Saints fan, low-scoring games typically help New Orleans. However, with Jameis Winston at QB1, the Saints will find themselves on the wrong side of this matchup.
Prediction: Tampa Bay wins, Tampa Bay covers +3.5
10/1: Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills (-3, O/U 53.5), 1PM EST, CBS
This is going to be the best game of the weekend. Miami has been a juggernaut on offense and Buffalo seems to have bounced completely back after their hiccup against the Jets in week one. With how both teams have looked so far, home-field is the only reason I can think of as to why they are favored. The weather seems like it’ll be nice up there that day, so Buffalo shouldn’t feel too different than Miami on Sunday afternoon.
In the last two games, the Buffalo defense has only allowed 13 points. While that is eye popping, the Raiders and Commanders aren’t exactly the Dolphins offensively. Buffalo has not faced an offense like Miami this year as it will take a Josh Allen masterclass to keep it up the Dolphins and ultimately win the game.
For me, it’s just something about the Dolphins that feels different. I think they are for real and they will show that against a very good Bills’ team.
Prediction: Miami wins, Miami covers +3
10/1: Denver Broncos (-3.5), @ Chicago Bears, O/U 46, 1PM EST, CBS
I can’t believe this. Even after giving up 70 points a week ago, the Broncos are favored this week. Does Vegas really think that lowly of Chicago? If they do, I don’t blame them. Justin Fields has been terrible compared to his potential and the defense has been torn apart this year as they have allowed 106 points already.
If you willingly watch this game, I have questions about your sanity. Russell Wilson vs. Justin Fields will be terrible to watch. That being said, the Bears suck. Expect Wilson and the Broncos to pull through for their first win of the season.
Prediction: Denver wins, Denver covers -3.5
10/1: Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (-3, O/U 40.5), 1PM EST, CBS
A week ago these teams couldn’t have looked any different, but on Sunday these teams are spread by less than a field goal. Last week, the Ravens were upset by the Colts while the Browns crushed the Titans.
The Cleveland defense against the Baltimore offense is going to be the story of the game. The Browns have given up the least amount of points per game in the league, but they haven’t faced a quarterback as elusive as Lamar Jackson. However, the Colts didn’t seem to have much of an issue.
This will be a very close game either way it goes, but Cleveland will pick up the win.
Prediction: Cleveland wins, Cleveland covers -3
10/1: Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) @ Tennessee Titans, O/U 41.5, 1PM EST, FOX
Last week it seemed like the Bengals got back to normal whereas the Titans were dismantled by the Browns in yet another poor offensive performance. If Joe Burrow can find Jamaar Chase the way he did last week (12 receptions, 141 yards), then the Bengals will win this game with ease.
While the Bengals defense is not on the level of the Browns, I think the Titans have been exposed enough offensively for other teams to be able to adjust to their schemes defensively. Take Cincinnati in this one.
Prediction: Cincinnati wins, Cincinnati covers -2.5
10/1: Los Angeles Rams (-1) @ Indianapolis Colts, O/U 46.5, 1PM EST, FOX
Will Anthony Richardson play in this one? According to rotowire.com, Richardson participated in practice in full on Wednesday. Richardson’s return should help the Colts in this one, but if anything goes remotely wrong watch for Indianapolis to be careful with him.
Although the Rams are 1-2, they have shown to be a feisty team so far. They crushed the Seahawks in week one and were competitive against the 49ers as well as the Bengals. No doubt the Colts will be the worst team the Rams have faced yet.
Long term, both teams won’t do anything of meaning this season. However, in this one, I see the more well-coached and experienced team winning.
Prediction: Los Angeles wins, Los Angeles covers -1
10/1: Washington Commanders @ Philadelphia Eagles (-8, O/U 43.5), 1PM EST, FOX
Yes, the Eagles are better than the Commanders. Are they eight points better? Probably so, but divisional games are tough. In the past three seasons, this game is split 3-3. These teams know each other very well, so I would be very impressed if one of these teams can pull away from the other.
Last week, the Eagles continued to show why they belong in the top class of the NFC. They handled Tampa Bay with ease despite Jalen Hurts playing nowhere near his best game. The Commanders got crushed by the Bills by 34 at home.
As for the game, make no mistake about the Eagles coming out on top. In terms of the spread, I’m not sure I like laying more than a touchdown in a divisional game. Philadelphia wins a close one.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins, Washington covers +8
10/1: Minnesota Vikings (-4.5) @ Carolina Panthers, O/U 45, 1PM EST, FOX
Bryce Young seems to be coming back this week, but will that alone be enough for the Panthers to get their first win of the season. I’m going to go out on a limb and say no here. Young is very talented, but the team around him isn’t very good. No doubt the Panthers will be going through growing pains all season.
Minnesota’s connection between Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson will win them this game. In three games, Cousins has already thrown for over 1,000 yards and Jefferson has been on the receiving end of 458 yards. I don’t see any way Carolina is able to slow that day. With the way the Vikings offense will look on top of the experience they possess over the Panthers, Minnesota will get their first win.
Prediction: Minnesota wins, Minnesota covers -4.5
10/1: Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) @ Houston Texans, O/U 42, 1PM EST, CBS
Pittsburgh thus far has looked about how I expected them to. Their defense has been prevalent in their wins and their offense sputtered in their loss. This week, Houston might be more of a challenge for Pittsburgh than some might think. C.J. Stroud has thrown for over 300 yards per game as well as four touchdowns with no interceptions. I see that changing this week.
The Steelers intercepted Jimmy G three times last week in their 23-18 win on Sunday Night Football. Look for the coaching and defense of the Steelers to win this one.
Prediction: Pittsburgh wins, Pittsburgh covers -2.5
10/1: Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5, O/U 48), 4:05PM EST, CBS
Jimmy G’s status for this game is in question as he was still in concussion protocol as of Wednesday. If he were to miss this game, the Raiders would be forced to start either Brian Hoyer or Aidan O’Connell. Either way, that will not go well for the Raiders. This is especially true when Justin Herbert is on the other sideline.
Eventually, the Chargers are due to start going off because of their talent. I see this week being a springboard to a successful remainder of the season for the Chargers. Herbert will have another great game and the Chargers will win this one easily.
Prediction: Los Angeles wins, Los Angeles covers -5.5
10/1: New England Patriots @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5, O/U 43), 4:25PM EST, FOX
Was last week’s embarrassing loss to the Cardinals a fluke? Cowboys fans hope so. Arizona was able to beat Dallas playing bully ball as they rushed for 222 yards. After the first two weeks, it looked like something like this would be a near impossible task against the Cowboys’ defense. Look for Bill Belichick to follow a similar strategy as the Patriots will try to run it down the Cowboys’ throats.
With that said, I see Dallas adjusting to their mistakes of a week ago. New England’s offense is just not very good. This is a great opportunity for the Cowboys’ defense to bounce back after a rough week. While the Cowboys might choke in the end of the season, they will remind us on Sunday afternoon that they are for real (for now).
Prediction: Dallas wins, Dallas covers -6.5
10/1: Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (-14, O/U 44), 4:25PM EST, FOX
Even after an upset over Dallas, Arizona is still a massive underdog this week. Unlike the Cowboys, the 49ers are not going to lay an egg against someone much worse than them. San Francisco will win this game. They will not get gashed on rush defense the way the Cowboys did. Frankly, the 49ers have too many weapons for most teams to be able to keep up with them.
Good luck, Josh Dobbs. You are going to need it against what might be the best team in the NFL.
Prediction: San Francisco wins, San Francisco covers -14
10/1 (SNF): Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) @ New York Jets, O/U 41.5, 8:20PM EST, NBC
If you ask Jets legendary QB Joe Namath about this game, he will tell you the Jets are done. This is because Zach Wilson is still the starting quarterback for the Jets. Is Namath wrong? I don’t think so. Other Jet fans and apparently some in the locker room are also fed up with Wilson. As long as he starts, the Jets will continue to have offensive struggles.
On the other side, the Chiefs are beginning to hit their stride. Kelce has returned in full to the lineup and now even Swifties are on the Chiefs train. If you look at how the Chiefs played last week against the Bears, it shows the true capability of this team. I expect a similar result Sunday as Wilson stands no chance to beat Mahomes.
Prediction: Kansas City wins, Kansas City covers -9.5
10/2 (MNF): Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants, (-1, O/U 47), 8:15PM EST, ABC/ESPN
If the Giants play like the team they were a year ago, this would be an interesting game. It very well still could be as the Seahawks defense has been suspect over the last two weeks. Outside of their comeback in the second half against the Cardinals, the Giants offense has been nowhere to be found.
In short, the Giants haven’t shown me much to trust them in a competitive, prime-time game. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have a solid enough offense to get them past the Giants even though Vegas might not think so. Then again, Vegas wasn’t built on winners. So, take what I say with a grain of salt.
Prediction: Seattle wins, Seattle covers +1