NFL Week 4 Picks: Breaking Down Toughest Bets This Weekend
Like every weekend there are some tough betting decisions when making your picks for Week 4 of the NFL season.
Close spreads are more prevalent this week after seeing three weeks of NFL action. With what we’ve seen so far, it’s a lot easier to make those tough decisions.
We’ll lend you hand by giving you our picks for every matchup and a breakdown of tougher bets on this week’s slate (my picks are in all caps).
|Away Team||Home Team||Line||Predicted Winner (ATS)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Minnesota Vikings||PIT -3||Steelers|
|Baltimore Ravens||Buffalo Bills||BAL -3||Ravens|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Cleveland Browns||CIN -4||Browns|
|Indianapolis Colts||Jacksonville Jaguars||IND -7.5||Colts|
|Seattle Seahawks||Houston Texans||SEA -2||Seahawks|
|Arizona Cardinals||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB -1||Cardinals|
|Chicago Bears||Detroit Lions||DET -3||Bears|
|New York Giants||Kansas City Chiefs||KC -4||Chiefs|
|New York Jets||Tennessee Titans||TEN -3.5||Jets|
|Dallas Cowboys||San Diego Chargers||DAL -1||Chargers|
|Washington Redskins||Oakland Raiders||WAS -3.5||Raiders|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Denver Broncos||DEN -11||Broncos|
|New England Patriots||Atlanta Falcons||ATL -2.5||Falcons|
|Miami Dolphins||New Orleans Saints||NO -6.5||Dolphins|
Odds via BetOnline
New England Patriots at ATLANTA FALCONS (-2.5)
Tom Brady and his young receivers took a positive step last week against a good Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary. This week, he could benefit even more by having Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski on the field. However, both are still questionable and some reports indicate Gronk’s outlook isn’t good, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Without those two, a lot of pressure will fall on Brady to outduel Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons’ explosive offense that has yet to truly take flight due to injuries to several key players. Running back Steven Jackson will miss another game, and both Roddy White and Julio Jones are questionable, but will likely play again.
Those injuries will be important to monitor, but we won’t likely know who will be on the field until close to game time. Keep in mind that White and Jones were questionable last week and both played. And Bill Belichick is the master of vague medical statuses leading up to each game, so be cautious when assuming Gronkowski and Amendola might be back, because they probably won’t.
New England hasn’t been very impressive in any game this year without their top offensive threats and the Falcons are in a must-win situation with a 1-3 start staring them in the face. Expect them to win by at least a field goal to get back into contention.
Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1)
Nothing is harder than picking a home team to cover a minute spread after it started the season 0-3 and just benched its starter to make a switch to a rookie quarterback. That’s exactly what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did this week, opting to go with Mike Glennon over Josh Freeman behind center, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Bucs have made the move: Benching Josh Freeman for Mike Glennon, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 25, 2013
Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals are a team that’s reeling from a Week 3 beatdown by the New Orleans Saints. Larry Fitzgerald should play after practicing this week, but being matched up against Darrelle Revis doesn’t bode well for his—or Arizona’s—chances of doing much offensively in this one.
Tampa Bay’s defense will keep the Cardinals’ struggling offense in check, but won’t be able to do much in turn with a first-time starting quarterback in the lineup. Wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are also banged up and are questionably to play on Sunday, per NFL Network’s Gregg Rosenthal:
Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams returned for a limited practice. Both are questionable.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) September 27, 2013
All that said, this is a game you should probably stay away from. If you have to bet on it, you’d be best served going with the under of 40.5 before it gets any lower.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-3) at Minnesota Vikings
If you’ve watched either of these two teams, you know they’re both not as poor as their 0-3 records indicate. Pittsburgh has lost three games to opponents with a combined record of 7-2. The Minnesota Vikings aren’t far behind with losses to opponents that have gone 6-3.
They have both been close in every game for the most part, although Pittsburgh is coming off of a meltdown on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. The Steelers turned the ball over five times and the Bears rolled despite putting up only 258 yards of total offense.
That’s something Vikings would like to accomplish this week after forcing three interceptions last week but losing in the closing minutes to the Cleveland Browns. They’ll have to do it with backup quarterback Matt Cassel, though, after Christian Ponder was ruled out earlier this week, per Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Christian Ponder has a fractured rib and is out. Frazier said Ponder had CT scan on Monday. Felt too risky to play him— chipscoggins (@chipscoggins) September 27, 2013
Cassel has starting experience, but nobody is expecting him to be able to light up the scoreboard against a good Steelers defense. It Pittsburgh can limit Adrian Peterson as the Browns did last week, it’ll be an easy victory for the slumping Steelers.
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