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NFL Week 4 Picks: Predictions for Favorites and Underdogs

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 15:  Running back LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball as free safety LaRon Landry #30 of the Indianapolis Colts defends during a game at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 15, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Betting on football has become almost as popular as the sport itself, and it’s important those looking to make a wager find the latest NFL picks and predictions for the top favorites and underdogs.

After watching the New York Giants dominate the Washington Redskins on Thursday Night Football, the anticipation for the remaining games on the schedule has fans looking to place educated bets on Week 4’s action.

Here are the spreads for every remaining game in Week 4 and a focus on the underdog and favorite gamblers must place a wager on.

Week 4 Picks and Spreads
Sunday, Sept. 28 Spread Picks Against Spread
Miami at Oakland MIA (-3.5) Dolphins
Carolina at Baltimore BAL (-3) Panthers
Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh PIT (-9) Steelers
Green Bay at Chicago EVEN Packers
Buffalo at Houston HOU (-3) Bills
Tennessee at Indianapolis IND (-9) Colts
Detroit at NY Jets EVEN Lions
Jacksonville at San Diego SD (-14) San Diego
Atlanta at Minnesota ATL (-3) Falcons
Philadelphia at San Francisco SF (-4.5) Eagles
New Orleans at Dallas NO (-3) Saints
Monday, Sept. 29 Spread Picks Against Spread
New England at Kansas City NE (-3) Patriots
Source: OddsShark.com.

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Underdog Worth the Gamble: Philadelphia vs. San Francisco (-4.5)

The San Francisco 49ers are the favorites in Sunday’s matchup with Philadelphia, but the Eagles are an underdog worth a wager. With a 4.5-point spread, the high-powered Philadelphia offense could easily win the game outright.

The Eagles' rushing attack hasn’t been elite this season (108.7 yards per game), but the inefficiencies have been masked by Nick Foles and the passing attack. Through three games, the team is ranked second in the NFL with 310.3 passing yards per game.

As John Clark of CSNPhilly.com tweeted, Philadelphia is also a much more dominant second-half team than San Francisco:

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

So 49ers have been outscored in second half 52-3. Eagles outscoring 74-24 in 2nd half. Cant wait for Sunday! #EaglesTalk

The 49ers' defense is still one of the most dangerous in the NFL, but there are major areas of concern on the offensive side of the ball. Running backs Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde only totaled 23 yards on the ground in Week 3 and San Francisco looked completely out of rhythm.

Even if the 49ers pull off the victory, the Eagles should be able to beat the spread.

Predicted Final Score: Philadelphia 30, San Francisco 27

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons leaves the field after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56-14 in a game at the Georgia Dome on September 18, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Favorite Worth a Wager: Atlanta (-3) vs. Minnesota

There are several favorites who could be a smart bet on Sunday, but the Atlanta Falcons are the safest wager against the Minnesota Vikings with a three-point spread. With rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater getting his first start, this is a bet you must make.

Atlanta is coming off a 56-14 victory over Tampa Bay and will be looking to continue the offensive momentum against an opposing defense allowing 225.3 passing yards per game. Led by QB Matt Ryan, the Falcons have the most dangerous pass offense in the NFL, ranking first in yards per game (333.7).

Ryan spoke on Atlanta’s 680 the Fan, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, about getting a fast start on the road and putting his team in a position to succeed:

I think we've got to start off fast. I think last time we were on the road, we did not start off fast. And the other thing is, we've got to convert third downs. The two games that we've played well, we've converted third downs at a high level. So, we need to start fast and convert on third down.

You've got to put yourself in good position—in third-and-short—especially on the road. And you've also got to get first downs on first and second down. That's the key to playing good offensive football.

The Vikings offense has been absolutely putrid. Minnesota is ranked 31st in passing yards and 24th in rushing yards per game, and the move to a rookie quarterback will likely be a slow transition with plenty of bumps along the way.

Atlanta should easily win this game and cover the spread.

Predicted Final Score: Atlanta 33, Minnesota 20

*Stats via NFL.com.

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