Week 4 was a brutal one, as we limped to a 10-18-2 record, and an abysmal 1-5 record on our Pick Six picks, to slow the momentum the we built up in Weeks 1-3. With an overall record of 66-57-3 now, including 14-10 on best bets, we went back to the lab this week to look at the board and see what value we could find. Here’s what we saw.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5) at Chicago Bears, O/U 44.5
The Bucs were six-point favorites to open on the road in the Windy City, but have gone down to 3.5-point favorites with news that Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard out, Leonard Fournette doubtful, and Mike Evans and Scotty Miller questionable. Tampa has bounced back from their Week 1 loss to New Orleans and will now take on a Bears team that lost a 19-11 snoozer against Indianapolis last week.
Both teams have strong defenses, which lends itself to the under, especially with Tampa’s offense looking to be shorthanded on Thursday night. The Bucs did give up 31 points to the Chargers last week though, which gives pause to taking the under. On a short week however, with a bad Bears offense and a Bucs offense dealing with injuries to several key playmakers, I’ll take the under, but not confidently.
The Picks: Bucs -3.5 / Under 44.5
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-13), O/U 52
Joe Burrow looks to be finding his footing in the NFL, as the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft led the Bengals to a 33-25 win over the Jags last week, throwing for 300 yards and completing 69.4% of his passes.
Burrow will have a much tougher test against a Baltimore defense that is fourth in the NFL in scoring defense. The Ravens covered by two touchdowns against the WFT in Week 4, and shouldn’t have a problem this week against a Bengals team that is still missing some pieces.
Road dogs tend to overperform ATS, however, when playing division rivals. In addition, Ravens opponents are 10-4 ATS against Baltimore when Lamar Jackson is a home favorite.
The Picks: Bengals +13 / Under 52
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-1.5), O/U 54.5
Are...the Panthers good? Carolina’s offense has been rolling even without star running back Christian McCaffrey, and now it gets to face a Falcons defense that couldn’t do anything against a Packers offense missing its top two wide receivers on Monday night.
I will fade Dan Quinn as a favorite any chance I can get. I’m not sure what is more surprising, that the Falcons are favored in this game, or that Dan Quinn still has his job.
The Picks: Panthers +1.5 / Under 54
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5), O/U 56
IF this game happens, the Chiefs will come in off of a closer-than-expected victory over the Patriots in Week 4, in which their offense struggled throughout the night, with Patrick Mahomes posting the sixth-lowest yardage mark of his career, with 236 yards passing.
56 is a high number for a divisional matchup, and with both teams having talented running backs, I doubt this game turns into the shootout that Vegas is envisioning here.
Vegas is 1-2 ATS in their last three games as a double-digit dog against Kansas City, and have covered the spread just once in their last five head-to-head battles. While the Raiders are still battling injuries, Mahomes and the KC offense isn’t exactly on fire right now, so I’ll go with the double digit underdogs in a divisional matchup.
The Picks: Raiders +10.5 / Under 56
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7), O/U 44.5
The Eagles are sitting atop the NFL (L)East at an amazing 1-3 record, getting their first win of the season against the 49ers last week. Unfortunately, the going gets tougher for Philly, as they head to Pittsburgh to face a well-rested Steelers team with one of the NFL’s top defenses.
With Lane Johnson expected out for this matchup, it will be difficult for Carson Wentz to get anything going this Sunday on offense. On the flip side, expect Pittsburgh to score easily if the Eagles’ Darius Slay can’t suit up in the Philly secondary.
The Picks: Steelers -7 / Under 44.5
Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) at Washington Football Team, O/U 45
The biggest storyline heading into this matchup is the benching of Dwayne Haskins for WFT, who will replace him with former Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen. The wheels have quickly come off for WFT, who have lost three straight games since their Week 1 win against Philadelphia.
It’s doubtful this spread gets down to seven points, but if it did that would be a buy point for me. As it is, I will take the Rams offense to cover against a WFT defense that could still be missing Chase Young, and has been allowing nearly 130 yards rushing per game. Expect Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown to have big games for the Rams on Sunday.
The Picks: Rams -7.5 / Under 45
Arizona Cardinals (-6.5) at New York Jets, O/U 47
The Cardinals will be looking to bounce back in a big way this week after suffering two straight losses. Luckily, they get to face the team with Adam Gase as its head coach. Helping the Cardinals’ cause is the fact that Sam Darnold will be missing this matchup with a shoulder injury, leaving Joe Flacco to take over as the starter.
Arizona will likely get back three safeties this week, including star safety Budda Baker. 7 points is a big spread for a road favorite, but the Cardinals will be extra motivated this week coming off two straight losses, and the Jets offense should continue to be an issue with Flacco at quarterback this week.
The Picks: Cardinals -6.5 / Under 47
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6), O/U 54
The question here is how motivated the Texans will be with Bill O’Brien getting fired this week in Houston. Jacksonville, who is reeling after an upset Week 1 win against the Colts, could be without their top starting corner and starting slot corner against Deshaun Watson.
The Texans are 0-4 ATS this season, and are due for a positive regression at some point. I’ll take them to bounce back against a bad Jaguars team at home in Week 5.
While neither of these defenses are good, the offenses aren’t that great either. Jacksonville is averaging 1.2 turnovers per game this year, while Houston is converting just 34% of their third downs this season, which is good for 27th in the league. In a season that has seen the over hit at a ridiculous rate, I will take the over, but don’t feel great about it.
The Picks: Texans -6 / Over 54
Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers (-9), O/U 49.5
Jimmy Garoppolo may have a shot at returning for this game, as he is questionable this week with a high ankle sprain. The 49ers could use that boost, after benching Nick Mullens in the second half of last week’s game against the Eagles, and turning to third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard.
The Dolphins failed to cover against Seattle last week, but were in the game for a majority of the time, until the Seahawks pulled away late. Miami can score on offense, and should be able to keep this game close. While they hold a 1-3 record, they’ve trailed by three or fewer points in the fourth quarter in every game so far. Against a weakened Niners team, take the underdogs.
The Picks: Dolphins +9 / Under 49.5
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-10), O/U 54
The matchup everybody has been waiting for this season, the Jason Garrett Revenge Bowl!
Dallas continues to have issues this season, but will be facing a Giants team that could only muster 9 points against the Rams last week. Luckily for the Giants, they will be facing a Dallas defense that allowed Cleveland to put up 49 points against them in Week 4.
For a divisional matchup featuring a porous Dallas defense that should allow New York to stay close, and a New York defense that may be a little underrated, having allowed just 17 points against the Rams offense last week, I’ll take the road dogs in a divisional matchup.
The Picks: Giants +10 / Under 54
Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns (-1.5), O/U 46
This is one of the better matchups this weekend, featuring two teams who lost their Week 1 matchups but have won three straight since then.
The Browns had a surprising 49- 38 win in Week 4 against the Cowboys, and look to have found a well-rounded offense that can attack teams through the air or on the ground, now that Kevin Stefanski is in charge of things. This matchup pits a talented Cleveland offense against a stout Colts defense, with the potential, however, for the Colts to be without Darius Leonard.
Indy’s offense is ranked 24th in offensive DVOA, and is 30th in the league in third-down conversion percentage. I’ll side with the home favorite Browns here in anything up to -3.
The Picks: Browns -1.5 / Over 46
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-7), O/U 57.5
The first thing that pops out to you about this game is the jaw-dropping total of 57.5 points, which is the highest total on the board this week. With Russell Wilson getting to go up against another suspect secondary this week, it’s fair to assume the Seahawks will be able to put up points on the board against the Vikings at home. But with Justin Jefferson emerging as a legitimate WR threat for Minnesota, the Vikings passing attack suddenly makes their offense much more capable of hanging with Seattle.
The Vikings got off to a slow start this year, but should be able to hang with Seattle, who always loves to make games closer than they should be.
The Picks: Vikings +7 / Under 57.5
Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints (-8), O/U 51
Los Angeles officially named Justin Herbert as their starting quarterback this week, after Herbert went toe-to-toe against Tom Brady last week, losing by only a touchdown to the GOAT. The Chargers will be looking for their first win still, and will be taking on a 2-2 Saints team that will still be missing Michael Thomas this week.
Both teams are missing key pieces, with New Orleans without Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, and Ryan Ramczyk, and Los Angeles missing Derwin James, Chris Harris, Melvin Ingram, and now Austin Ekeler.
It’s still not clear how limited Drew Brees is this year, or if he just got off to a slow start this year. Still, with the Saints missing Thomas and Ramczyk, and LA without their star running back in Ekeler, I’ll go with the under here.
The Picks: Chargers +8 / Under 51
Pick Six Picks:
- Browns -1.5
- Panthers +1.5
- Bucs/Bears Under 44.5
- Dolphins +9
- Colts/Browns Over 46
- Raiders +10.5