NFL Betting: How to Pick Week 4 Games

I was very confident about my picks last Sunday morning, but finished 2-5 in Week 3 for the contest I’m in. The wins were relatively easy with the Patriots and Lions taking care of business, but four of the losses could’ve gone either way. Bad weeks will happen over the course of the season, so I’m going to continue with my process and hope the results play out better.

This week, I’m skipping a writeup for the Steelers-Titans and Vikings-Texans tilts. The game between the Steelers and Titans will not be played this week due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Titans organization. The Titans played the Vikings last week and there’s also uncertainty surrounding the Vikings-Texans matchup. I’ll share my thoughts about the Vikings-Texans game on my Twitter later in the week.

I’ll use lines from the Las Vegas SuperContest, a popular football challenge hosted by the Westgate SuperBook. The point spreads for the contest come out Wednesday evening and are locked at those numbers for the rest of the week.

I’m in a contest where I pick seven sides a week using the SuperContest’s lines, so in this weekly breakdown I will unveil my first impressions of the games and point spreads. I hope this can be a guide for people who are in similar NFL pick’ems or looking to bet games.

Note: My picks could change based on information and any news that is not factored into the contest line. I will discuss and finalize these picks on a Periscope show I host called Weekend Warriors. The show will be live for an hour on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET and can be seen on Stadium’s Periscope channel or Stadium’s Twitter. After the show, I will tweet my seven picks for the contest from my Twitter.

Here are my thoughts for Week 4.

Sides I’ll likely use

Chargers (+7) over Buccaneers: I don’t love the NFL slate for betting this week, but the Chargers catching a touchdown will likely be one of my seven picks. The look-ahead line before Week 3 was Buccaneers -4.5 and got as high as Buccaneers -7.5 earlier in the week. The Chargers lost outright to the Panthers last week, but it was a game I expected them to struggle in as touchdown favorites. The Buccaneers have been impressive so far on the defensive side of the ball, but this is too many points for them to be favored by. I’ll take the Chargers to stay within the number.

Eagles (+7) over 49ers: Last week, I was on the Eagles because I didn’t think they would drop to 0-3 on the season. They avoided the dreaded 0-3 start, but could only manage a tie at home against the Bengals. Carson Wentz’s struggles, Doug Pederson’s questionable decisions and more injuries to offensive weapons make the Eagles a tough team to back right now. However, I want to fade the 49ers as a big favorite in this game with injury questions of their own. I think this line should be 49ers -4.5, so there’s value at this number. I could see this line going down depending on who is healthy enough to play for San Francisco.

Picks I’m considering

Bears (+2.5) over Colts: I would bet the Bears at +3, but it looks like +2.5 is the best number we’ll see unless there’s an injury between now and game day. The Bears are a misleading 3-0, but I slightly upgrade them with Nick Foles at quarterback. Foles led a 16-point comeback last week and gets the nod to start on Sunday. Foles has an easier adjustment than most quarterbacks on new teams because he has experience in Kansas City, Philadelphia and Jacksonville with several members of the Bears coaching staff, including Matt Nagy and John DeFilippo. The Bears make a great teaser leg this week and they have a chance to win this game outright.

Lions (+4) over Saints: I don’t want to bet against the 1-2 Saints because it’s hard to imagine them going 1-3, but I think there’s some line value on the Lions. I personally made this line Saints -2.5, so a 1.5-point difference that goes through the key number of 3 is significant. I still want to monitor injury information before betting or picking Detroit, but they are firmly in play.

Cardinals (-3.5) over Panthers: The line is probably right, but I like the Cardinals’ offense a lot in this matchup against an inexperienced Panthers defense. I don’t love laying over a field goal with a road team that isn’t elite, but I can see Arizona bouncing back in this spot.

Browns (+4.5) over Cowboys: I have similar thoughts on this game as I do with Saints-Lions. While I really don’t want to bet against the 1-2 Cowboys, my numbers say the Browns have line value. Maybe I’m too high on Cleveland and shouldn’t overreact to their wins against the Bengals and Washington, but I just have great concern for the Cowboys’ defense right now and could only make a case for the Browns in this game.

Dolphins (+6.5) over Seahawks: I have picked against the Seahawks during the first three weeks. I was definitely wrong about them in Week 1, but it was two-point conversions in Week 2 and 3 that helped Seattle cover. They stopped New England on a two-point conversion to win by five — as four-point favorites — in Week 2 and converted a two-point conversion against Dallas to win by seven — as five-point favorites — last week. This is a difficult spot for Seattle traveling across the country, and they just won two big games at home and host a Sunday night game in Week 5. It’s the classic “sandwich spot,” and I can see the Dolphins sneaking up on them with their extra rest because they played last Thursday night.

Giants (+12.5) over Rams: If the Rams completed the comeback win against the Bills in Week 3, I would’ve been a lot more interested in backing the Giants in a possible letdown spot for Los Angeles. I’m less likely now, but I still want to consider a double-digit underdog this early in the week.

Patriots (+7) over Chiefs: My numbers point to the Chiefs at home, but I believe the situation favors the Patriots. Bill Belichick as an underdog doesn’t occur often but he has a strong history coaching in that role. I also like the revenge angle here after Kansas City beat New England last year, which was a crucial game in getting the Chiefs a first-round bye over the Patriots. The extra rest could also favor New England after Kansas City’s convincing win in Baltimore on Monday night. I think it says a lot that the Chiefs were a seven-point favorite in this game against the Patriots before their matchup against the Ravens and the line stayed the same when it re-opened Tuesday morning. It’s a good spot for the Patriots, and they’ll be able to keep this game close.

Falcons (+7) over Packers: The Falcons should be 2-1 after squandering double-digit fourth quarter leads the last two weeks against the Cowboys and Bears. If Atlanta finished those games like they should’ve, I wonder what the perception of the team would be going into a Monday night game in Green Bay. In that scenario, I believe this line would be closer to Falcons +4.5, so I’m going to keep Atlanta open as an option.

Games I’ll likely avoid

Broncos at Jets (PK): This line was Broncos -3 earlier this week and dropped when the Broncos named Brett Rypien as the starting quarterback. It’s the Thursday night game, so I don’t use it for the contest and I wouldn’t bet the game at the current number either.

Jaguars at Bengals (-3): I think this number is exactly right. The Jaguars have the rest advantage because they played last Thursday night while the Bengals played in a 70-minute tie last Sunday. I’m just not interested in betting on the Jaguars.

Ravens (-13) at Washington: If the Ravens won on Monday night, I would’ve taken a shot with Washington getting almost two touchdowns. But coming off the loss, I don’t want to stand in front of Baltimore.

Bills (-3) at Raiders: I would take the Bills if forced to play this game, but will stay away now with the number at -3.