NFL Picks Week 4: Sure-Fire Locks to Cover Spread on Sunday

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 23:   Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers attempts a pass against the Minnesota Vikings at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 23, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

There are close games in the NFL, and then there are blowouts.

Week 4 of the NFL schedule boasts a few hefty spreads (as we saw on Thursday night), but it also has a few easy matchups for certain teams.

Here they are:


Atlanta Falcons (-7.5)

The Atlanta Falcons (3-0) will host a struggling Carolina Panthers (1-2) team, fresh off a whooping at the hands of the New York Giants.

As I wrote in my game preview, the Falcons' pass offense will be too much for a Panthers' D that let Eli Manning have his way last Thursday.

Matt Ryan has the highest passer rating (114) in the NFL and sports a 8-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

On the defensive side, Atlanta's D ranks No. 7 in opponent passing yardage allowed, and with Cam Newton struggling, this isn't the matchup to expect the sophomore QB to redeem himself.

Expect a big day for the Falcons in the dome.

Falcons 35, Panthers 17


San Francisco 49ers (-4.5)

The 2-1 San Francisco 49ers are coming off a shocking loss to the Minnesota Vikings, but I still like them to easily handle the New York Jets (2-1).

Without Darrelle Revis, the Jets' defense is forced to run a completely different scheme, which works in favor for Alex Smith and the 49ers' receivers.

Also working in SF's favor is that they boast the No. 7 rushing offense in the league, while the Jets' D ranks No. 28 against the rush.

Mark Sanchez is going to be feeling the pressure of not having Revis on the defense, and against an anemic Jets offense, you can expect the Niners to bait Sanchez into a few turnovers for a fairly easy road victory on Sunday.

49ers 24, Jets 13


New England Patriots (-4.5)

Yes, the New England Patriots are 1-2, but there's no way they're going to let the 2-1 Buffalo Bills stump them.

Brady and the Pats' offense have looked out of sync so far, with Brady throwing just four touchdown passes through three games, yet they're still the ninth-best passing attack in the NFL.

Against the No. 19 pass defense, I expect the Pats to get back on track in Week 4's AFC East matchup.

The Bills have been winning of late because of RB C.J. Spiller, but an injury to Spiller last Sunday will likely keep him out of this game (h/t ESPN).

Look for Ryan Fitzpatrick to make some mistakes against the Patriots, as he'll have to rely on his arm more with Spiller out.

Patriots 31, Bills 20


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