NFL Predictions Week 4: Top Underdogs Picks, Vegas Odds and Score Predictions

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2017

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates after a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 21, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Though the window seems to be closing, would-be NFL bettors who like to pick upsets still have interesting angles of pursuit in Week 4.  

The prior week of action didn't seem as heavy on the underdogs prevailing as the first two weeks, where chaos reigned supreme, starting right at the season's kickoff with the New England Patriots going down.  

In Week 3, it helped that bad teams like the Indianapolis Colts met the Cleveland Browns and the expected regression for the Baltimore Ravens helped the Jacksonville Jaguars look great. 

Turning to Week 4, a few potential big upsets based on the latest spreads seem to pop off the page. Here is a look at the entire slate with full predictions. 

             

NFL Week 4 Schedule, Odds

Chicago at Green Bay (-7.5) | O/U 45.5

New Orleans (-2.5) at Miami | O/U 49.5

Buffalo at Atlanta (-8) | O/U 48.5

Carolina at New England (-8.5) | O/U 47.5

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Cleveland | O/U 40

Detroit at Minnesota | O/U n/a

Jacksonville (-3.5) at N.Y. Jets | O/U  39.5

L.A. Rams at Dallas (-8) | O/U n/a

Pittsburgh (-3) at Baltimore | O/U 45

Tennessee (-1) at Houston | O/U 43.5

N.Y. Giants at Tampa Bay (-4) | O/U n/a

Philadelphia at L.A. Chargers (-1) | O/U 46.5

San Francisco at Arizona (-6) | O/U n/a

Oakland at Denver (E) | O/U n/a

Indianapolis at Seattle (-11.5) | O/U n/a

Washington at Kansas City (-7) | O/U n/a

Bold denotes predicted winner against the spread and over/under projection. 

            

New Orleans (-2.5) at Miami

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 24:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints drops back to pass against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Image
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

A London showdown can do some interesting things to teams because of the way it throws the entire preparation process into upheaval. 

It's interesting, though, that the New Orleans Saints look like the favorites here given the team traditionally struggles on the road—let alone across the pond. 

The Saints started the year with a pair of losses, failing to score more than 20 points in each. Week 3 provided a turnaround on the road against the Carolina Panthers in a 34-13 blowout where Drew Brees threw three touchdowns while only firing off seven incompletions. 

The Miami Dolphins, on the other hand, came up lame in a Week 3 loss to the New York Jets, 20-6. 

Call it a tale of two openers for new Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler, who completed 72.7 percent of his passes with a score on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers to start the season, then 59.1 percent with a touchdown and interception in the road loss to the Jets. 

"I think that game was a wake up call for us," Cutler said, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). "We can't just roll it out there and expect it to happen."

If the Dolphins are awake, the biggest difference here is the Saints defense. The unit coughed up six touchdown passes through the first two weeks before Cam Newton's dud in Week 3, and Cutler is the type of quarterback who can shred a unit while peppering reliable targets like Jarvis Landry. 

The spread here is close for a reason. All the Dolphins have to do is make sure the game script doesn't get away from them like it did the Jets, which is simple—spread the Saints out and pound the ball up the middle with running back Jay Ajayi when necessary. 

Prediction: Dolphins 27, Saints 24

          

L.A. Rams at Dallas (-8)

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams looks to pass against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 21, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Before the season, this one looked like an easy call.

Now, not so much.

The Dallas Cowboys got off to a rough start this year, slipping past the reeling New York Giants 19-3, which wasn't exactly the sort of performance most expected. Then the worst-case scenario hit—a 42-17 loss to the Denver Broncos while Ezekiel Elliott rushed for eight yards on nine carries. 

Instead of struggling through another year of a rebuild, the Los Angeles Rams have two wins already. The first, a Week 1 46-9 embarrassment of the Indianapolis Colts, announced the team's arrival. Going to San Francisco and knocking off the 49ers 41-39 seemed to confirm the Rams would be winning a few games this year. 

And why not? Todd Gurley looks good out of the backfield with four touchdowns already and Sammy Watkins has assumed No. 1 wideout duties with 13 catches from 14 targets for 194 yards and two touchdowns. 

Then there's Jared Goff. He looks like a new player this year and unafraid to take shots deep, which has him sitting on a 70.4 completion percentage with five touchdowns against one interception. He's especially shined where it matters most, per NFL Research: 

This has the feel of an upset game. Dallas has this one at home, but sits on a short week thanks to Monday Night Football and Goff hasn't had many problems yet this year leading an efficient, balanced attack. 

Look for one of this year's better surprises to keep rolling. 

Prediction: Rams 28, Cowboys 20

           

Pittsburgh (-3) at Baltimore

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 10:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens directs the team against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Ravens have disappointed, as mentioned, but so too have the Pittsburgh Steelers,  

Somehow, someway, this will still be a fun AFC North slugfest.

It sure doesn't hurt to roll with the home team here. Pittsburgh paid a visit to the now-winless Cleveland Browns in Week 1 and hardly secured a 21-18 win. Apparently, this dud wasn't a fluke because Week 3 turned into a 23-17 overtime loss to a struggling Chicago Bears team while coughing up 220 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

There is, of course, Baltimore's loss to the Jaguars, a 44-7 shellacking in which the Ravens let Blake Bortles throw for four touchdowns, three of them to tight end Marcedes Lewis.

Joe Flacco and the Ravens, at least, aren't making excuses about the travel overseas. 

"We all felt different at times, but by the time game day came around, by the time 2:30 came around, we felt pretty good," Flacco said, according to the AP (via ESPN.com). "The other team was going through the same exact thing, so that's just part of this game."

While Flacco and the Ravens have regressed, the defense hasn't always played that poorly, not after blanking the Cincinnati Bengals 20-0 and swatting away the Browns 24-10. Baltimore has an easy blueprint to an eventual win here—run the ball. 

Chicago did it well enough against Pittsburgh, and the Ravens have an AFC North-esque duo with Javorius Allen and Terrance West, not to mention a potential stud in Alex Collins, who already has 124 yards on all of 16 carries. 

Look for the Ravens to beat the Steelers at their own game at home. 

Prediction: Ravens 20, Steelers 17

          

Stats courtesy of NFL.com. Odds according to OddsShark.