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There is a free 10K Sportsbook Pool for NFL Week 4. You have to pick each of the 12 games on Sunday against the spread and the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the more money you earn.
Let’s take a look at all 12 contests slated for Sunday, including my five personal favorites.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sunday’s Patriots-Chiefs game has been postponed, with the game scheduled to be played Monday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7.5)
After dropping their Week 1 game against the Saints, everything looks good in “Tom-pa Bay.” The Bucs have won each of their past two games by comfortable margins and Brady is coming off easily his best game of the season last week against the Broncos. He finished with three touchdowns and zero interceptions while posting a 9.39 AYA. The people who were high on the Bucs let out a big sigh of relief after that contest.
That said, I’m still skeptical of this offense. Brady did look better in Week 3, but he still uncharacteristically missed a few throws. He also has the potential to be without a few of his top weapons this week. Leonard Fournette has already been ruled out, while Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller are both questionable. Neither player has suited up at practice this week, so their status is very much in doubt.
The Chargers aren’t a great team, but I think this is simply too many points. Their defense is solid – they held the Chiefs to just 23 points in an overtime loss in Week 2 – and Justin Herbert has shown some flashes in his rookie season.
The Pick: Chargers +7.5
Cleveland Browns @ Dallas Cowboys (-5.5)
The Cowboys were a very trendy pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this season, but they have gotten off to a disastrous start. The Cowboys are currently sitting at just 1-2 and they really could be 0-3 if not for a wacky onside kick recovery vs. the Falcons.
The biggest culprit has been their defense. Dallas’ secondary has been abused this season, despite the fact that opposing pass catchers have posted a league-high 10.5% drop rate against the Cowboys, per Pro Football Focus. Things don’t figure to get much better in that department in the near future either — two of the Cowboys’ top three corners and both of their top outside linebackers are currently on IR.
The Cowboys are also dealing with some injuries on offense. Their offensive line, in particular, has been riddled with injuries, although it does look like Tyron Smith will be back in action this week. Still, this is far from the same dominant group that we’ve become accustomed to with the Cowboys.
On the other side, the Browns have seemingly found their identity on offense. They want to run the ball as often as possible and they’ve done that with great success over the past two weeks. I think they can win this contest outright, so I’ll gladly grab the 5.5 points.
The Pick: Browns +5.5
Baltimore Ravens (-13.5) @ Washington Football Team
Baltimore was flat out embarrassed on Monday Night Football vs. the Chiefs in Week 3. While that was obviously disappointing, it doesn’t change the fact that this is one of the best teams in the league.
The Ravens are built around a dominant run game featuring last year’s MVP Lamar Jackson. They were first in the league in Football Outsiders’ rushing DVOA in 2019 and they rank fifth in that department to start 2020. Overall, the Ravens have averaged more than 166 rushing yards per game through their first three games of the season.
That could spell trouble for Washington, who has been gashed by opposing rushing attacks this season. They allowed the Browns to rack up 158 yards last week after the Cardinals racked up 160 rushing yards the week prior. The Ravens have a better ground attack than both of those teams, so they should be able to put up big numbers in that department. Additionally, Washington will be without Chase Young in this contest, which should make their defense even weaker than usual.
Expect the Ravens to come into this contest focused and ready to take care of business. It would be a major disappointment if they won this game by less than two touchdowns.
The Pick: Ravens -13.5
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
This is a matchup between two pretty bad teams and taking the points in those contests is almost always a good idea. Historically, the underdog has covered 53.3% of the time when two teams with a winning percentage of 33% or lower match up in Week 4 or later. That isn’t an overwhelming edge, but it’s good for a +5.0% return on investment.
Additionally, the Jaguars should have a pretty massive edge in this contest from a rest perspective. They’re coming off a Thursday Night contest in Week 3, which gives them a full 10 days to prepare for this matchup. The Bengals played a grueling overtime game in their last outing, so expect the Jaguars to be significantly fresher for this contest.
The Pick: Jaguars +3.5
Minnesota Vikings @ Houston Texans (-4.5)
Both of these teams enter this contest at 0-3, but not all 0-3 starts are created equal. The Vikings have lost games to the Packers, Colts and Titans, while the Texans have lost to the Chiefs, Ravens and Steelers. The Vikings haven’t exactly had an easy schedule, but the Texans have faced an absolute murder’s row. Facing the Chiefs and Ravens in back-to-back weeks is brutal enough, but facing the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 3 was absolutely no joke.
Can you really blame the Texans for being 0-3 after facing that schedule? We are talking about quite possibly three of the best five teams in football and two of those matchups have come on the road.
With that in mind, I’m still not sure we really know who the Texans are at this point in the season.
They still have DeShaun Watson at QB, which gives them a major edge in that department vs. the Vikings. He has never lost four games in a row as a professional, so this could be a nice time to buy low on him.
He shouldn’t face a ton of resistance from the Vikings, who have had some major problems in their secondary to start the year. Getting lit up by Aaron Rodgers is one thing, but they were torched by Ryan Tannehill for 310 yards last week. Tannehill didn’t even have A.J. Brown available to throw to in that contest, which makes the Vikings’ performance even more disappointing.
I’m expecting a nice bounce-back here for the Texans. They actually started 0-3 back in 2018 only to finish the season at 11-5 and earn a trip to the playoffs. I’m not saying that will happen again, but the Texans at least have some experience overcoming a slow start to the season.
The Pick: Texans -4.5
Here’s who I’m targeting the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
Arizona Cardinals (-3.5) @ Carolina Panthers
Pick: Cardinals -3.5
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) @ Detroit Lions
Pick: Lions +3.5
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) @ Chicago Bears
Pick: Colts -2.5
New York Giants @ Los Angeles Rams (-11.5)
Pick: Rams -11.5
Buffalo Bills (-2.5) @ Las Vegas Raiders
Pick: Raiders +2.5
New England Patriots @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
Pick: Chiefs -7.5
Philadelphia Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers (-6.5)
Pick: Eagles +6.5
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