Week 4 NFL Picks: Underdogs That Will Come Through with Upset Victories
It usually doesn't take the oddsmakers long to get a feel for which teams are good and which aren't, so it's possible that they already have their fingers on the pulse of the NFL as the league enters its fourth week. With that said, there are bound to be a few misfires that the betting public can ultimately take advantage of.
There are quite a few underdogs that seem to have a good chance of not only covering the spread on Sunday, but even winning outright. Betting on a dog to win outright can be extremely lucrative, and it may not be a bad idea this week as there are several enticing situations to pounce on.
Here are three Week 4 underdogs that will cover the spread on Sunday and notch a tally in the win column as well.
*All lines courtesy of Vegas Insider
New York Giants (+4.5 @ KC)
With a record of 0-3, the New York Giants are one loss away from putting themselves in a hole that may be too deep to climb out of.
They have looked mistake-prone on offense and miserable on defense, and they have a date with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs on the horizon. It may seem like everything is pointing toward yet another loss for the Giants, but there is reason to believe that they will come through with their back against the wall.
The G-Men couldn't have looked worse in a 38-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers last week, so there's nowhere to go but up. Quarterback Eli Manning has been a turnover machine, although he was able to move the ball over the season's first two weeks. He was stymied last week, and he'll face the league's best pass rush in Week 4; however, the Chiefs defense hasn't really been tested by a great passing offense. Kansas City's secondary is a question mark, and it will have to deal with the likes of Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle.
While the Chiefs would love to win this game in order to keep pace with the Denver Broncos in the AFC West, there is no question that the Giants need this win more. The NFC East has been awful thus far as the Dallas Cowboys are the only team with a winning record, which means the Giants are still in it. Starting off 0-4 would put them at a massive disadvantage, though.
Expect New York to get the ground game going with David Wilson and for its defense to put some pressure on Alex Smith in an upset win on the road.
Arizona Cardinals (+2.5 @ TB)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are another team on the brink of falling out of contention this week as the Bucs have surprisingly started 0-3. With the Arizona Cardinals coming to town, though, Tampa has a golden opportunity to get on the right track.
After last week's thrashing at the hands of the New England Patriots, head coach Greg Schiano decided to make a big change. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, rookie Mike Glennon will start at quarterback for the Bucs in Week 4.
The #Bucs have, in fact, made a move. They have decided this morning to go with QB Mike Glennon over Josh Freeman, source confirms.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2013
After a strong start to last season, Josh Freeman has gone downhill, so perhaps it shouldn't be a big surprise to see him heading to the bench. At the same time, though, Glennon is a rookie third-round pick with a lot to prove. It isn't unprecedented for a third-round quarterback to thrive in his first year. Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks did it just last season, but this move reeks of desperation on the part of the organization.
It's important to note that the Cards are a capable team that could be 2-1 if not for a late collapse against the St. Louis Rams in Week 1. Quarterback Carson Palmer has added stability to the offense, and a trio of strong receivers have helped him in that regard.
Most importantly, though, Arizona is third in the league against the run, and if Bucs running back Doug Martin can't get anything going, that makes Glennon's job even more difficult. Look for the Cardinals to effectively bury the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Chicago Bears (+3 @ DET)
The Chicago Bears are 3-0 under first-year head coach Marc Trestman, and they seem like true Super Bowl contenders as they are solid on both sides of the ball. Following a disastrous 2012 campaign, the Detroit Lions are back on track as well with a 2-1 mark. Despite the fact that the Bears appear to be a more complete team than their NFC North rivals, the Lions are three-point favorites at home. While home-field advantage can mean a lot in divisional clashes, the Bears should still win this game.
Which underdog is most likely to win in Week 4?
Detroit has improved from a defensive standpoint, but it's still only in the middle of the pack. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is doing a great job of protecting the ball, and running back Matt Forte is developing into an elite player as well. If the Bears are going to win the NFC North this season, then they need to be able to win divisional games on the road, and this would be a huge statement win.
A big reason for Detroit's step back last season was the play of quarterback Matthew Stafford. He passed for nearly 5,000 yards, but he also threw just 20 touchdowns as opposed to 17 interceptions. Stafford has made much smarter decisions this season with six touchdown tosses and just two picks, but the Bears already have five interceptions this season, and they could make life miserable for Stafford.
In what looks to be a statement game, the Bears will rise to the occasion and announce themselves as true players in the NFC.
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