Week 4 NFL Picks: Odds, Prop Bets and Predictions for Sunday's Schedule

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2018

FILE - At left, in a Sept. 23, 2018, file photo, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) works against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, in Atlanta. At right, in an Aug. 24, 2018, file photo, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass against the New York Jets during the first half  of an NFL football game, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Saints play at the Giants on Sunday, Sept. 30. (AP Photo/File)
Uncredited/Associated Press

The Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams set a high standard for Week 4 Thursday, but don't expect many games to live up to the clash of NFC titans.

Sunday's Week 4 slate features a handful of games that aren't intriguing on paper, but they could come to life once the ball is kicked off.

Teams like the Detroit Lions and, yes, even the Cleveland Browns are trying to build off Week 3 wins with strong performances in Week 4.

Different situations face contenders like the New Orleans Saints, who face a potentially tricky road trip, while the Jacksonville Jaguars are one of a few franchises with a presumably easy win in front of them.


Week 4 Schedule and Odds

Sunday, September 30 

Buffalo at Green Bay (-9.5) (Over/Under: 44) 

Cincinnati at Atlanta (-3.5) (Over/Under: 53.5) 

Detroit at Dallas (-3) (Over/Under: 44) 

Houston at Indianapolis (-1) (Over/Under: 47) 

Miami at New England (-7) (Over/Under: 49) 

New York Jets at Jacksonville (-7.5) (Over/Under: 38.5) 

Philadelphia (-3.5) at Tennessee (Over/Under: 41) 

Tampa Bay at Chicago (-3) (Over/Under: 46.5)

Cleveland at Oakland (-3) (Over/Under: 45) 

Seattle (-3) at Arizona (Over/Under: 39) 

New Orleans (-3) at New York Giants (Over/Under: 52) 

San Francisco at Los Angeles Chargers (-10.5) (Over/Under: 46) 

Baltimore at Pittsburgh (-3) (Over/Under: 51) 


Monday, October 1

Kansas City (-4.5) at Denver (Over/Under: 54.5) 

Odds obtained from OddsShark.

Predictions against the spread in bold. 


Prop Bets

Which Player Scores 1st in Detroit-Dallas? 

Much has been made about the offenses of the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys for contrasting reasons. 

The Lions received buckets of praise for their Week 3 triumph over the New England Patriots, during which quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns.

Those are numbers Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott wishes he could put up on a consistent basis, as he's failed to hit 200 passing yards in each of his past five games. 

Running back Ezekiel Elliott has been a bit more consistent, but he's missed out on the 100-yard barrier in two of his first three contests this year.

Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

With the Lions looking to continue their momentum from Week 3 on their first drive and the Cowboys hoping to prove their doubters wrong, the first quarter should produce plenty of energy. 

Elliott has the lowest odds to score first, but keep an eye on Cowboys wide receiver Tavon Austin or Lions running backs LeGarrette Blount or Theo Riddick, especially if Detroit is close to the end zone. 


Who Will Score Last Touchdown in Cleveland-Oakland? 

It's a bit stunning to look at the odds for the player to score the last touchdown in the Cleveland Browns vs. Oakland Raiders game and see Baker Mayfield as high as 16-1

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft led the Browns to a come-from-behind victory over the New York Jets in Week 3, which earned him the starting gig over Tyrod Taylor. 

Mayfield threw for 201 passing yards in his debut, but there's no guarantee the Browns dominate in the first three quarters given Oakland's desperation to earn its first victory. 

Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Although some expect Mayfield to thrive against the struggling Raiders defense, he will experience a few road bumps in the first half.

Mayfield will come alive in the second half and engineer another comeback, finished off by a gritty touchdown run from 10 yards out. 

With the long odds on Mayfield to score the last touchdown, it's worth going after a bet on Mayfield in a game that will be closer than many think.


Odds Predictions

Have Faith in the Jaguars-Jets Under

Rarely do you willingly tell someone to take an under, especially if the over/under line sits at 38.5 points, like it does for the New York Jets' trip to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

However, the under is the right play because the Jaguars defense smothers Sam Darnold and the Jets offense for four quarters.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The Jets scored 29 points combined in their past two games, while the Jaguars posted six points in their Week 3 defeat against Tennessee.

Even if Jacksonville eclipses 20 points behind quarterback Blake Bortles, New York won't have the firepower to match the home side, as Jalen Ramsey and Co. will hold them to under 200 total yards.

Jacksonville ranks fourth in total defense and second in passing defense, but the Jags have only forced one interception, and that will change as the secondary takes advantage of the pressure created by the front seven and picks off Darnold on a few occasions.


Be Wary of the High Over/Under Line in Saints-Giants

One of the league's top-scoring offenses appears to be in line for another shootout Sunday, but go against the conventional wisdom for the New Orleans Saints' trip to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees is 65-61 in his career on the road, and his quarterback rating on the road is 10 points lower than the one he's recorded on home soil.

David Goldman/Associated Press

In addition to Brees' road record causing concern for the over/under of 52 points hitting, the Giants haven't inspired much confidence on offense through three weeks.

The Giants hit the 20-point mark for the first time in Week 3, but that came against a struggling Houston Texans team.

While Brees and Giants quarterback Eli Manning will show spurts of brilliance in the pocket, Sunday's late kickoff in the NFC will be uglier than expected, with the Saints struggling to get into a rhythm in their first outdoor game of the season.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference. Prop bets according to Oddschecker.


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