Week 4: AKA “Stick to your principles week” (patent pending).
Three weeks into the NFL season, people start to believe in the body of work that we’ve seen. Super Bowl favorites become a big topic of conversation (Surprise, it’s the Patriots. For all of you “the NFL has so much parody truthers, you can all go straight to hell) and lines start to move a little more based on public perception.
It’s hard not to fall into this trap. You’ll see me even betting on a big road favorite this week. But it’s important to have a balance and remember what got you here in the first place.
Week 3 record: 6-4
Season Record: 20-13-1
Week 4 Picks
As always, my picks will be listed most to least confident. For reference, I will have the team I’m picking in bold font next to the point spread. My gun-to-my-head picks show the games I did not bet on (hence the poopy record above) but the pick I would make if there was a…..you get the picture.
Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans (-4)
Overreaction city. The Panthers impressed last week in Arizona with the outright blowout win without Cam Newton. This week, however, they’re dealing with a Super Bowl Contender on the road for the second week in a row. This line is way too low. I would even say Houston should be favored by a touchdown. This game should be a blood bath. Don’t let the line fool you.
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (+2.5)
I don’t even know where to begin here. Vegas is BEGGING you to bet the Cowboys here. Don’t.
The Cowboys legitimately might be the best team in the NFC, but they should not be favored here. After dismantling the likes of Miami, Washington and New York (those teams are good!), the hype train is real.
The Superdome is not an easy place to play and the Saints as a home dog is always a terrific play. Last year, the undefeated Rams walked in as three-point favorites and went home crying to their mommy (in the regular season, not that travesty that occurred in January).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+10) at Los Angeles Rams
Betting on or against Jameis Winston is always an adventure. I even know some people who took them last week in survivor pools at home against a rookie quarterback (RIP).
I’m betting mostly on the number here. Ten is a big one, despite having to travel west. The Rams, despite covering last week in Cleveland
Kansas City Chiefs (-6) at Detroit Lions
The Chiefs were the team that hurt my feelings the most last week. They took their feet off the gas pedal once they were up 12 against Baltimore. I could see it in Andy Reid’s eyes. He just wanted to go home and eat some ribs.
This week, however, I don’t foresee the Lions being able to stop or keep-up with Patrick Mahomes and co. despite the big number as a home underdog. The Chiefs are simply a different animal, and these last two wins have me thinking Detroit is more lucky than good. I guess I’ll find out. Hopefully the long flight home won’t have Andy Reid as excited to eat dinner once Kansas City pulls away in this one.
Philadelphia Eagles (+4.5) at Green Bay Packers
This line jumped from 2.5 in less than 24 hours. I wasn’t shocked, given two disappointing losses from Philadelphia and the extensive injury report of the same.
The Packers are healthy, rolling and at home. So why am I betting the Eagles here?
The public is starting to overvalue Green Bay a little bit. There’s a lot of talk about “Is Green Bay the best team in the NFC?” when all three of their wins haven’t exactly been cakewalks. They barely walked out of Chicago alive, Minnesota was one play away from winning in Lambeau and Denver…..well they’re bad, but it was a one possession game for most of the afternoon. I don’t think I need to talk to you about Denver’s incompetence as I am going to Google “2020 mock draft for next seven months until I get Carpal tunnel.
Green Bay’s defense is legit and A-A-Ron is still throwing footballs despite what appears to be some regression from No. 12. I like Green Bay. I just think this line is too high. Sorry, Justin.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-1.5)
God, I hate the Bears.
If you’ve been reading this, you know I’m on Bears under 9.5 wins for a significant amount of cash. They are now 2-1 and the sky is falling. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start hedging in Week 4.
I like the Bears this week as the VERY short home favorite against the division rival. The Bears are coming off a short week but the Vikings are not the same team on the road. This line should be 3 and there’s value in betting the Bears as the line continues to fall.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (+7.5)
Earlier this week, I saw this line at 7. I thought to myself “Touchdown Tommy at only 7? Yes, give me that.” And then I went to press the button. A message, with red exclamation marks and everything, came across my computer screen.
“Line has changed from 7 to 7.5. You will not make this bet. Jackass.”
Fair enough. Give me the Bills.
I don’t feel that I need to go into great detail here. Yes, you don’t get rich betting against Bill Belichick, but it’s a home dog getting more than a touchdown against a banged-up Patriots offense. Their defense is still loaded, but so are the Bills on that end. Of course, I also have Josh Allen and his poise on my side. I’m hoping for a backdoor cover here. Pray for me.
Another sharp play for you animals: Under 43.5. I like this number in a rainy, defensive battle.
Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins (+16.5)
But seriously, the Dolphins have accounted for three of my losses already this season. They’ve hurt my feelings. I’m upset. If they don’t cover this week I might have to re-think betting on Chosen Rosen and co. (FYI, the three other double-digit-dogs I’ve bet on: 3-0 ATS).
Gun-to-my-head picks: 10-4
Cleveland Browns (+7) at Baltimore Ravens
Washington Redskins (+3) at New York Giants
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-6.5)
Tennessee Titans (+4) at Atlanta Falcons
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (+5)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos (-2.5)
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
— Josh North