NFL Picks Week 4: Saints and 5 Teams Ready to Cover the Spread

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2011

NFL Picks Week 4: Saints and 5 Teams Ready to Cover the Spread

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    It is time to stop being surprised by teams like the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills.

    We've seen these two teams dominate football games, come from double-digit deficits to win football games and also outplay their opponents on a regular basis in football games.

    Add in the fact that injuries have taken their toll and teams have hit their stride; Week 4 is the most interesting of the young NFL season.

    The lines are tighter, teams are tense, and despite having played only three games the playoff picture is starting to take shape.

    Making a play this week looks difficult, but here are five teams ready to cover the spread.

Lions +1 at Cowboys

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    Eventually the Lions' lucky run is going to run out, but they are proving that their success is more about talent than luck.

    The Cowboys, on the other hand, have been extremely lucky to come away with the wins they have. The injuries they've endured are taking their toll and the Lions are a much better football team right now than the Redskins or 49ers.

    The Lions have yet to lose against the spread this year (won twice, pushed once) and a trip to Big D shouldn't faze them.

    Look for the Lions to keep their unbeaten streak alive against a Cowboys team that is just trying to get to the bye week without another injury.

Saints -7 at Jaguars

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    You don't even need to see trends or statistics for this game.

    The Saints aren't just one touchdown better than the Jaguars, they are multiple touchdowns better than them.

    New Orleans will look to confuse young quarterback Blaine Gabbert with a variety of blitz packages, and the Jags pass rush is not enough to get after Drew Brees.

    The Saints look like the second best team in the NFC right now, and they'll prove it with a win over a Jaguars team heading for a coaching change in a few months time.

Bills -3.5 at Bengals

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    The Buffalo Bills don't make it easy to trust them, and the Cincinnati Bengals have been pesky, but the Bills are a better all around football team.

    They are both 2-1 against the spread, and the Bengals are 5-1 as home underdogs of three points or less in their last six attempts. Technically they're a 3.5 point underdog right, but the line should move again.

    But we're talking about the Bills anyway.

    Buffalo's defense picked off Tom Brady four times last week. What do you think they'll do with a rookie QB?

    Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing out of his mind right now and running back Fred Jackson gives them the balance they need to keep opposing defenses guessing.

    It shouldn't be a blowout, but the Bills will cover.

Vikings -1 at Chiefs

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    One of these two winless teams has to win.

    When looking at teams as inept as these two are we typically ask ourselves: which team has the best player?

    That would be Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. He's angry, wants the football and his team has blown three double-digit leads so far this season.

    The Chiefs, on the other hand, have been decimated by injuries and were lucky to even be in the game last week against San Diego.

    Expect a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson and a determined Vikings team to force the Chiefs to begin their draft process with an 0-4 start.

Giants -1 at Cardinals

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    Did you watch the Giants play football last week?

    Did you at least see the highlights?

    This team has proved three things under Tom Coughlin's reign: running the football, rushing the passer, riding hot streaks.

    Last week the Giants rediscovered their identity and we can expect this to be the start of their hot streak.

    Their run game is too much for the Cardinals' defense and their pass rush will remind Kevin Kolb why he wasn't upset about leaving Philadelphia.

    One point is not nearly enough for a Giants team that finally understands what they need to do.