Seattle Seahawks at New York Jets: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)

I’m torn on this one. The Jets turned the ball over a ridiculous 8 times last week, but still were in the game against Kansas City until late. In fact, they only allowed one offensive touchdown all game. The Seahawks have played well so far this year and enter this game 2nd in rate of moving the chains differential, but the Jets are easily the toughest opponent they’ve faced thus far, after starting the season with Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Their offense has made major problems through 3 games, thanks to a weak offensive line and Russell Wilson being at less than 100% with some injuries. Wilson is still playing hurt and the offensive line is still a mess, but he also has the best receiving corps he’s ever had and, if Christine Michael can continue to run like he did last week, it’s going to go a long way towards keeping this offense on schedule. This line is under 3, so I’d have to be confident they’d win if I took the Jets. I’m not, so I’m taking the Seahawks, but this is a no confidence pick.

Seattle Seahawks 17 New York Jets 13

Pick against the spread: Seattle -2

Confidence: None

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

The Steelers lost last week in Philadelphia 34-3, their biggest loss since 1989. It was also just the 15th time since 2003 that a favorite lost by 31 points or more. Obviously, the Steelers should not have been 4 point road favorites in Philadelphia, but that’s more so because the Eagles have been an underrated team all year, rather than Pittsburgh being a bad team. In fact, Philadelphia +4 was my Pick of the Week last week for that exact reason. The Steelers should be able to bounce back this week against Kansas City, especially with arguably the best running back in the NFL, Le’Veon Bell, returning from suspension this week. In fact, teams are 91-54 ATS off of an ATS loss of 28 or more since 2002. Teams tend to be overlooked, underrated, and embarrassed in that situation.

Unfortunately, this line still reflects that the Steelers should be able to bounce back this week. Despite the big loss, this line only moved from 6 to 5 in the past week. If this line were 4 or fewer, I’d be comfortable putting money on the Steelers, but it’s hard to be confident in them as 5 point favorites, as about 3 in 10 games are decided by 4 points or fewer. Bell is coming back this week, but they’re missing a key starter on both sides of the ball with guard Ramon Foster and linebacker Ryan Shazier expected to be out for this one. They should still be the right side, but this is a low confidence pick.

Pittsburgh Steelers 24 Kansas City Chiefs 17

Pick against the spread: Pittsburgh -5

Confidence: Low

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

Detroit Lions (1-2) at Chicago Bears (0-3)

Both of these teams enter this one incredibly banged up. While the Lions are missing two of their top three defensive players, linebacker DeAndre Levy and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, the Bears’ injuries are more numerous. Not only are they missing quarterback Jay Cutler, but they’re also missing top cornerback Kyle Fuller, top pass rusher Pernell McPhee, talented middle linebacker Danny Trevathan, talented nose tackle Eddie Goldman, and valuable reserve LaMarr Houston. Talent wise, they’re one of the few worst teams in the entire league without those guys.

That being said, the Lions might not be justified as 3.5 point road favorites in Chicago without Levy and Ansah. The Lions’ defense is built around those two and top cornerback Darius Slay and looked predictably overmatched without them last week against Green Bay. Chicago obviously doesn’t have the same kind of offensive firepower, but about 1 in 4 games are decided by a field goal or less so I like the Bears’ chances of at least getting a backdoor cover late, especially since the public is all over Detroit. I love fading the public whenever it makes sense, as they always lose money in the long run. This is a no confidence pick though and I might switch sides at 3.

Detroit Lions 27 Chicago Bears 24

Pick against the spread: Chicago +3.5

Confidence: None

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

This line was 4 a week ago on the early line, but has since fallen to 3. That’s significant because about 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal. The line movement makes some sense, as the Panthers lost at home to the Vikings last week, while the Falcons won in New Orleans. However, the Panthers still moved the chains at a higher rate than the Vikings, something they’ve done against all 3 opponents thus far this season. The Falcons won that battle against the Saints as well, but the Saints are far from a tough opponent this season. I think we’re getting a little bit of line value here with the Panthers.

There’s not enough here to be that confident in Carolina, but, as long as this line is at 3, they should be the right side. There’s a good chance the Panthers win by a field goal and this line pushes, but, as long as all they have to do is win by at least a field goal, I think they should be able to do it. If you’re taking the Falcons here, you’d have to be confident that they have a good shot to win straight up and I’m not. The Falcons are a solid opponent and the Panthers aren’t quite what they were last year, but they’re still one of the top few most talented teams in the league and have a major talent advantage over the Falcons, who once again have one of the worst defenses in the league.

Carolina Panthers 26 Atlanta Falcons 20

Pick against the spread: Carolina -3

Confidence: Low

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

Denver Broncos (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)

One of my favorite things to do as a bettor is go against significant week-to-week line movements. In this game, the Buccaneers were 1.5 point home underdogs last week on the early line, but now are 3 point home underdogs. That’s significant because 1 in 6 games are decided by a field goal or less. It’s understandable why the line moved. While the Broncos got an upset victory in Cincinnati, the Buccaneers lost at home to the Rams. The Broncos win was impressive and they’ve actually been very impressive as a team this year, more so than last year when they relied on many close victories to get to the Super Bowl.

Their offense has been much improved through 3 games, as Trevor Siemian has been an upgrade over both Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler, while running back CJ Anderson and the Broncos’ offensive line are both playing much better in their second year in head coach Gary Kubiak’s system. The defense isn’t quite as good without Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan, and now DeMarcus Ware, who is injured, but they’ve done a good job of keeping a trio of solid offenses in check, Carolina, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati. They’re a more talented team than they were a year ago.

However, this line might still be a little bit too high, as the Buccaneers’ home loss last week was not as bad as it seemed. In fact, they won the first down battle by 12 against the Rams and moved the chains at a significantly better rate (79.07% to 73.33%). Despite that, the public is all over the Buccaneers and I love fading the public whenever it makes sense because they always lose money in the long run. The Buccaneers are not a great team and I couldn’t be confident in them at all, especially without top pass rusher Robert Ayers, but I would pick the points here if I had to, as long as you get the full field goal. Less than a field goal, I think I would actually change my pick. There’s also a very good chance this one pushes. A field goal Denver win seems like a strong possibility.

Denver Broncos 19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

Pick against the spread: Tampa Bay +3

Confidence: None

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

New York Giants (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-0)

The Vikings are the most overrated of the remaining undefeated teams. They’ve played a tough schedule, including wins over Green Bay and Carolina, but they haven’t won the rate of moving the chains battle in any of their three games. In fact, they enter this game 27th in rate of moving the chains differential. Their defense has played very well, but their 43 first downs are the fewest of any team in the league. They haven’t been able to run the ball all year and lack another receiving threat besides Stefon Diggs. They’ve been winning games thanks in large part to a +8 turnover margin and a +3 margin in return touchdowns. In fact, their offense has only scored 3 touchdowns all year. Half of their touchdowns have come on returns. That’s not sustainable. They have one of the best defenses in the league, but their offense could easily limit them all year.

For that reason, this line is way too high at 5.5. About 3 in 10 games are decided by 4 points or fewer, so I’d put money on the underdog Giants as long as this line was 4.5 or higher. The Giants are banged up in the secondary, likely missing two of their top-4 cornerbacks, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple, as well as starting safety Darian Thompson. However, they are a very deep team at cornerback and Thompson was struggling before getting hurt anyway, so he’s not a huge loss. On top of that, the Giants are a great road team, going 62-41 ATS on the road since 2004. They’re the right side here.

Minnesota Vikings 17 New York Giants 16

Pick against the spread: NY Giants +5.5

Confidence: Medium

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (3-0)

This line was as high as 5 earlier this week, but a ton of sharp action on the underdog Raiders drove the line down quickly and now it’s at 3. We’ve lost a lot of line value. That being said, I’m still on the Raiders and I think a lot of sharp bettor still are as well. The Ravens are 3-0, but Oakland is a much tougher opponent than Buffalo, Cleveland, or Jacksonville. On top of that, despite the easy early schedule, the Ravens only have a +12 point differential and could have easily lost to either Cleveland or Jacksonville. Their defense has been good, but their offense has struggled both through the air and on the ground and lacks any standout skill position players.

The Ravens get edge rusher Elvis Dumervil back from injury this week, but they’re expected to be without rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley. The Raiders are without right tackle Austin Howard, but overall have the much more talented roster. I had the Raiders as a 10 win team coming into the season and the Ravens as an 8 win team and I haven’t seen much from either team to suggest I overrated or underrated either team. I wouldn’t put money on this line at 3, but the money line at +140 isn’t a bad play. This game should be much closer to a pick ‘em.

Oakland Raiders 17 Baltimore Ravens 16 Upset Pick +140

Pick against the spread: Oakland +3

Confidence: Low

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

New Orleans Saints (0-3) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)

Last year, the Chargers went 4-12, thanks in large part to a lot of close losses and a lot of injuries. These things tend to average out in the long run, but so far this year they have not for the Chargers. The Chargers could be 3-0, but blew late leads against both Kansas City and Indianapolis and lost both games by less than a touchdown. On top of that, they’re already without wide receivers Keenan Allen and Steve Johnson and running back Danny Woodhead for the year with injury. Defensive end Joey Bosa and tight end Antonio Gates remain out, while left tackle King Dunlap, cornerback Brandon Flowers, and possibly right tackle Joe Barksdale will join them on the sideline this week. That’s a lot of talent that’s inactive.

The Saints also have a lot of talent that’s inactive. Their best injured player is left tackle Terron Armstead, one of the best in the game. That’s a huge blow to this offense. However, most of the missing talent is on defense, where they aren’t that good to begin with. Safety Kenny Vaccaro returns from a one-game absence this week, but the Saints are still without first round pick defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and starting cornerbacks Delvin Breaux and PJ Williams. The least talented defense in the league, the Saints are giving a pair of undrafted free agents significant snaps at cornerback.

The Chargers have been much better this season though, even with all of their injuries. While the Saints rank 24th in rate of moving the chains differential so far this season, the Chargers rank 9th. Despite their 4-12 record and all of their injuries, the Chargers still finished 13th in that metric last season. This line is at 4, which suggests the Chargers are significantly better than the Saints (1 in 4 games are decided by 3 points or fewer). I agree with that, but we’re not getting a ton of line value with the Chargers, so I can’t be confident in them. I’m also concerned that the Chargers are 6-11 ATS in their last 17 home games, as they’re known for having poor home crowds, so this is a no confidence pick.

San Diego Chargers 33 New Orleans Saints 27

Pick against the spread: San Diego -4

Confidence: None

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

Indianapolis Colts (1-2) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) at London

Both of these teams come to London much healthier than they’ve been all season. Defensive end Jared Odrick remains out for the Jaguars for the second straight game, but they get back cornerback Prince Amukamara, left tackle Kelvin Beachum, and center Brandon Linder this week, after all three missed last game. The Colts, meanwhile, are without nickel cornerback Darius Butler, edge rusher Trent Cole, and #2 wide receiver Donte Moncrief, but have both of their starting cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Patrick Robinson healthy for the first time all year, while top defensive lineman Henry Anderson is entering his 2nd game back from a late 2015 torn ACL.

The Colts’ defense still isn’t good and they still have an aging team and one of the worst rosters in the NFL outside of the quarterback position, but the Jaguars are also far from a great team. The Colts at least have Andrew Luck and being a much more veteran team should help them here in London. On top of that, favorites are actually 9-3 ATS in the last 12 international games, as better teams tend to do a better job of handling a weird situation. I’m not confident in the Colts, but as long as the line stays under a field goal, I like their chances of covering.

Indianapolis Colts 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 20

Pick against the spread: Indianapolis -2.5

Confidence: Low

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins: 2016 Week 4 NFL Pick

Cleveland Browns (0-3) at Washington Redskins (1-2)

The Browns are coming off of a road overtime loss. Typically, teams do not do well off of a road overtime loss, but the Browns are lucky because they’re in their second of two road games here. Teams are 131-95 ATS as road underdogs off a road loss since 2008, including 106-65 ATS when it’s their 2nd of 2 road games, including 6-1 ATS off of an overtime loss. This is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 228-231 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.56 points per game, as opposed to 327-449 straight up in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 2.85 points per game.

The Browns are in a bad spot here though, as they have to turn around and play New England in Tom Brady’s return next week, a game in which they are 10.5 point home underdogs on the early line. Teams are 46-71 ATS since 2012 as 6+ point underdogs before being 6+ point underdogs again. It’s very tough for an inferior team to pull an upset if they have another tough game the following week, as that tough game is often a distraction. On top of that, teams are 44-91 ATS before being home underdogs of 7+ since 2008.

The Browns probably should have won in Miami last week, if not for 3 missed field goals, but the Dolphins are not a good team. The Browns are still probably the least talented team in the NFL, especially with all of their injuries. Already missing top defensive lineman Desmond Bryant for the season before the season even began, the Browns are currently without their top two quarterbacks Robert Griffin and Josh McCown, top receiver Corey Coleman, center Cameron Erving, defensive end Carl Nassib, outside linebacker Nate Orchard, and cornerback Tramon Williams with injury. As much as I don’t love laying 7.5 points with the Redskins, they should be the right side here.

Washington Redskins 27 Cleveland Browns 17

Pick against the spread: Washington -7.5

Confidence: Low

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]