NFL Week 4 Predictions: Beware of 5 Underdogs
So far this year the NFL has been filled with upsets.
Last week was no exception as several underdogs pulled off major upsets with the biggest surprise coming in Minnesota. The upstart Vikings throttled the San Fransisco 49ers as seven-point home underdogs.
Here are my five underdogs ready to bite in Week 4.
Miami (+6.5) over Arizona
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The Arizona Cardinals are no longer a secret to the rest of the NFL.
They have posted back-to-back wins over Super Bowl contenders. After beating the New England Patriots on the road they returned home to take on the Philadelphia Eagles as a four-point home underdog (Another one of my picks).
Now they are media darlings, and all of the NFL is raving about the play of this team. In fact, one look at the NFL Consensus reveals that the Cardinals are a public favorite when they host the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins are not getting the respect they deserve. They have a very strong offensive line. The stout front for the Fins is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per game at 175.6, and Miami has the most touchdowns on the ground in the league with six.
This will allow the Dolphins to keep this game close and match up on the front lines against the Cardinals.
The Dolphins are 7-0 against the spread (ATS) when facing a team with a winning record, and they will keep this game close enough to have a shot of winning in the end.
St. Louis (+1) over Seattle
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The NFL is a game driven by emotion.
The Seattle Seahawks hit the NFL highway on a short week after a controversial game against the Packers. Seattle will have to field questions about the bad call on Monday Night Football which will provide a healthy dose of distraction when trying to prepare for the Rams.
The Rams are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five home games against a team with a winning road record, and they will be up to face the Seahawks in this divisional showdown. Take the home dogs getting the points, and look for the outright win.
St. Louis +1
Jacksonville (+1) over Cincinnati
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Now they are slim one-point underdogs at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. This sets the Jaguars up for a very successful football betting system that worked in Week 2. In theory the system suggests that a road underdog that wins at home and then comes home as an underdog the next week will be overloaded with confidence and put out another great effort.
It helps that the Jags are going up against a Bengals offense that ranks 29th in total defense, has yet to record an interception and is 31st in the league against the run.
The Bengals are 2-7-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall, and the Jaguars are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
The Jags pull off another upset in Week 4 when they beat the Bengals.
Carolina (+7) over Atlanta
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This Carolina Panthers lost last week, and Cam Newton took a beating. Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith called out Newton for pouting, and the local press has been criticizing the young signal-caller all week long.
The Atlanta Falcons, on the other hand, are already being crowned championship contenders after another convincing win over the San Diego Chargers. Despite the quick start, the Falcons rank 24th against the pass, which should open up some passing lanes for Newton.
The big news for the Panthers is that running back Jonathan Stewart was cleared to officially practice with the team on Monday. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera made the announcement, and the Panthers are a much better offensive team when Stewart is in the lineup.
The Falcons are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win of more than 14 points, and they will be lagged after the West Coast trip.
Buffalo (+4) over New England
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The Patriots are expected to rebound after losing to the Ravens as they hit the road to play the Buffalo Bills. After all they are one of the best teams in the NFL, right?
Here is an interesting thought about the Patriots: What if they are just not that good?
Sure Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but as a team they have some weaknesses. They have not been the same on offense since losing tight end Aaron Hernandez.
On defense they rank 24th overall against the pass and have had trouble holding leads this season.
The Bills match up well against the Patriots and beat them last year. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be able to beat the Patriots through the air, and the Bills have beefed up on the defensive line to put pressure on Brady.
When making my NFL picks this week, the Bills jumped off the sheet as a solid play for Week 4.
The Bills are 33-16-1 ATS when playing a team with a losing record and the Patriots have a losing record for a reason this year—they are overrated. The Bills are not intimidated by Bill Belichick and will hand the Patriots their third loss of the season.
In my upset alerts from Week 3, I posted a 5-0 record against the spread and straight up.
2012 NFL Pick Record: 10-5 ATS (10 outright winners)