NFL Betting: Week 4 Best Picks and Advice

During the NFL season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will break down every single point spread using lines as of Thursday morning. Here are his thoughts on the Week 4 slate.

Note: Nate will discuss all of his college football and NFL bets on the Sharp Lessons podcast that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.

Sides I Like

49ers (-1.5) over Rams: Before the season I bet the 49ers to win the NFC West at +180. It was a way to buy the 49ers, but also sell the other three teams in the division. The 49ers are off to a 1-2 start and already lost their Week 1 starting QB, but they are still available at +180 to win the division.

This Monday night game is huge for my division bet, and I’m going to double down and bet on the 49ers in this spot. Trey Lance is out for the season with a broken ankle that he suffered in Week 2, but luckily San Francisco kept Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster. Garoppolo struggled against the Broncos, but for the most part he has shown he can run Kyle Shanahan’s offense very efficiently. I would expect a bounce back from the 49ers against a Rams defense that has injuries in their secondary.

I can’t preview a game between the Rams and 49ers without mentioning the history between Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, who are friends from their assistant days in Washington. In the six regular season meetings between these two teams from 2019-21, the 49ers won each game — but McVay got the better of Shanahan in last season’s NFC Championship. It’s worth mentioning that Shanahan has had success scheming against the Rams, and I believe that will continue even without injured left tackle Trent Williams. I also like the matchup of the 49ers pass rush against the Rams offensive line. My plan is to wait until closer to game day to bet San Francisco unless I think the market is headed toward 49ers -3 earlier.

Sides I’m Considering

Bengals (-3.5) over Dolphins: I tend to stay away from betting Thursday night games, but this is too good of a situational spot to not be involved. The Dolphins are coming off three big wins to start the season, including upsetting a Bills team that has gotten the better of them recently. In that game against Buffalo, the Miami defense was on the field for 90 plays and over 40 minutes of game time in the South Florida humidity. The fatigued Dolphins travel to Cincinnati on a short week and there is some injury concern with QB Tua Tagovailoa.

Meanwhile, the Bengals are 1-2 and need this game to keep pace in a loaded AFC. The reason this isn’t a bigger bet for me is the line opened Bengals -2 and crossed the key number of -3 because of the factors going against the Dolphins. I would still look toward betting the Bengals and will try to find an opportunity in live betting to back Cincinnati.

Bears (+3) over Giants: This game might feature two of the least impressive 2-1 teams in NFL history. Bears QB Justin Fields has only completed 23 passes through three games, while the Giants are coming off a Monday night loss to the Cowboys. In games against the Panthers and Cowboys at home, there was money against the Giants as bettors weren’t sold on Brian Daboll’s team. Now the Giants stay at home, and I don’t think they should be favored by a field goal against anyone in the league. I would bet the Bears +3 or better.

Ravens (+3) over Bills: I mentioned that the Dolphins’ defense will be fatigued this week after being on the field for 90 plays, and the same could be true for the Bills’ offense, who out-gained the Dolphins by 285 in a loss. Buffalo goes back on the road to face Baltimore, and the Bills have a lot of injury questions going into this week. My numbers have the Bills as a less-than-a-field-goal favorite in this game, so the Ravens are a bet for me at +3 or better.

Jets (+3) over Steelers: There are some quarterback questions for both teams. On the Jets side, Zach Wilson will return from injury after Joe Flacco started the last three games. As for the Steelers, Mitch Trubisky has struggled and there’s always a chance rookie Kenny Pickett takes over under center. I just don’t think much separates either starting quarterback from a point spread perspective right now. I also believe the Steelers shouldn’t be this heavy of a favorite with the state of their current offense, so I’m looking to bet the Jets.

Broncos (+2.5) over Raiders: The Broncos have been very unimpressive in their 2-1 start to the season. The offense hasn’t clicked with new QB Russell Wilson and head coach Nathaniel Hackett. After that unit struggled in primetime Sunday night in an 11-10 win over the 49ers, they definitely need to improve if they are going to compete in the AFC.

The Raiders are the lone 0-3 team in the NFL this season. They are losing the close games that they won last season, and it hasn’t been a fun start to the Josh McDaniels era in Vegas. I have some interest in betting on the Broncos, especially if it gets to +3, but Broncos teasers up to +8.5 make a lot of sense if I can find another side to pair with them.

Patriots (+9.5) over Packers: We have to figure out what the drop-off is from a starting QB to a backup for the Pats. The look-ahead line for this game was Packers -6.5 before Patriots QB Mac Jones suffered a high ankle sprain. Brian Hoyer is now expected to start in his place, and I think a three-point downgrade is a fair assumption.

Despite their roster deficiencies, I have interest in Patriots +10 or better. The Packers offense operates at a very slow pace, and it could be hard to cover a big number. Maybe the drop-off between Jones and Hoyer is also being adjusted too much in the point spread?

Game-Time Decisions

Vikings (-2.5) vs. Saints in London: These are two teams I was high on going into the season, and they have had mixed results. The Saints are a very banged-up team right now, which is why the number moved from Vikings -2.5 to -3 on Wednesday morning with the news that Jameis Winston didn’t practice. I usually stay away from betting London games because of the travel dynamic, so I’m in no rush to bet this game until there is more injury information.

Titans at Colts (-3.5): The Titans got in the win column last week, staving off the Raiders. The Colts also got their first win of the season but were fortunate to beat the Chiefs. Indianapolis’ offense only recorded 3.8 yards per play, and there are still a lot of questions with that unit. I think this line is correct, so I’ll pass.

Chargers (-5) at Texans: The line for this game crashed with the Chargers’ injury situation. QB Justin Herbert didn’t look good playing through a fracture in his rib cartilage in a Week 3 loss to the Jaguars. In that game, left tackle Rashawn Slater and edge rusher Joey Bosa suffered serious injuries to compound the issue for Los Angeles. The point spread for this game has room to move in either direction depending on the final injury report, so I will wait and see.

Seahawks at Lions (-4): The Lions re-opened as a 6.5-point favorite in this game on Sunday night, and that number has steadily moved down. RB D’Andre Swift and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown could miss this game for the Lions, and that’s one of the reasons for the move. I don’t trust Detroit in the unfamiliar favorite role, so it makes sense why Seattle saw some money early in the week.

Jaguars at Eagles (-6.5): This is a fun game between two teams playing well, and there’s the added element of Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson returning to Philadelphia, where he led the franchise to their only Super Bowl win before being fired.

I wasn’t a believer in the Eagles going into this season, but they have erased all doubts for me. Philadelphia has done a great job of surrounding QB Jalen Hurts with strong pass-catching options and one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. The Jaguars have a lot of buzz coming off wins over the Colts and Chargers, and QB Trevor Lawrence appears to be making the second-year leap. I just have a hard time making a case to bet on the Jaguars in this game because it feels like you’d be buying high on a team that’s off two perfect performances.

Commanders at Cowboys (-3): I have upgraded the Cowboys in my numbers after Cooper Rush led them to two-straight wins after replacing an injured Dak Prescott. Rush met expectations playing in the underdog role the last two weeks, but now it’s a different situation asking the Cowboys to win by over a field goal. Because of that, I will pass.

Browns (-1.5) at Falcons: This is a fascinating game between two offenses that have played a lot better than we expected. The Browns have gotten steady QB play from Jacoby Brissett, and we are seeing a career resurgence from Marcus Mariota in Atlanta. That’s why the total in this game is up to 49 after being 45 on the look-ahead total.

The Falcons could enter the teaser conversation, as you can get +7.5 on a traditional six-point teaser. However, I can see an outcome where the Browns win by margin because of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt running against a Falcons defense who struggled with the Seahawks last week.

Cardinals at Panthers (-1.5): I want to make a case for the Panthers this week, but the combination of the Cardinals losing to the Rams and the Panthers winning has me hesitant. I’m pretty low on the Cardinals, who failed to find the end zone last week — and were out-gained 7.4-4.5 on a yards per play basis. If it wasn’t for an improbable comeback against the Raiders, Arizona would be 0-3.

The Panthers won their first game of the season last week but heavily benefitted from a fumble return for a touchdown. What’s ultimately going to keep me off betting the Panthers as favorites is the Cardinals have thrived in the road underdog role. They were 6-0 in that spot last regular season.

Chiefs (-1) at Buccaneers: My initial thought was the Chiefs are in a good spot to bounce back after giving away the game to the Colts. I also don’t have interest in betting on the Buccaneers with the current state of their offense. However, my number says this game should be a pick’em, so there’s not value in betting on the Chiefs as small favorites. Ultimately, the biggest reason I’m waiting to decide on this game is the Buccaneers are practicing in Miami this week because of the dangerous Hurricane Ian.