NFL Picks Week 4: Underdogs That Will Easily Cover the Spread

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks back to the sidelines for a play against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Betting is fun. Especially when you win. 

With Week 4 approaching and parity in the NFL at an all-time high, your chance to win some moolah, especially on the underdogs, is equally high.

Let's take a look at whose baskets you should be putting your money eggs in. Or something like that.  


Minnesota Vikings (+7) at Detroit Lions

Whether it's Matthew Stafford or Shaun Hill under center for the Lions, I fully expect this to go into a shootout.

Yes, a Vikings vs. Lions game is going into a shootout. 

While that might lead you to think that the Lions, who have had the much better offense over the past few years, are the clear favorite, I give you two facts.

One. Detroit's defense can't stop anyone. They are giving up 31.3 points per game (27th worst in the NFL), 7.7 yards per pass (25th worst) and 250.7 passing yards per game (20th worst).

Two. Minnesot'a offense is quietly very good. Christian Ponder has looked brilliant through the first three games while Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph give him plenty of weapons to play with (note: playing with weapons is bad!).

Throw in the return of Jerome "Flippin" Simpson, and I have no trouble picking the Vikes to out-score the Lions in this one. 


Washington Redskins (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It's a game of opposites. 

The Redskins can score with ease, but they also can't stop anyone. The Bucs can't score, but they've also been very stingy on defense. 

But one of those statements is misleading. 

While Tampa Bay's points per game allowed is a sparkling 22.3, their defense in terms of yards is actually quite horrendous: 6.3 yards allowed per play (28th), 8.6 yards allowed per pass (29th), 353.3 passing yards allowed per game (32nd).

It's a bend-but-don't-break defense, but Robert Griffin III has the tools to break it. Hard.


Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

I felt like I needed to pick a home "dog" and I didn't really like any of the other ones.

Hmm. Not convinced? Weird. 

The Bengals have looked solid over the past two games, but they've given up 5.8 yards per carry, which is worst in the league.

The Jaguars' best weapon, Maurice Jones-Drew, happens to play the certain position that exploits Cincy's current biggest weakness. Look for the Jags to pound the ground with their bowling balll and turn this into a low-scoring, ugly battle. 

I'll take two-and-a-half points in a game like that.