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Week 4 – Picks Against the Spread (2012)

Posted by in NFL Picks on September 27th, 2012 | Comment »

Week 4 Picks Against the SpreadFinally, a week that I like which features four home teams worth looking into. I think you take a hard look into Cardinals (-6), Falcons (-7), Broncos (-6.5), and Packers (-7.5).  Those four games are at the top of my list this week. Let’s get after it. Be sure to vote below for your favorite pick this week.

ATLANTA FALCONS (-7) over Carolina Panthers — Confidence: 9/10 — The Falcons have the best offense in the NFL right now, are we all in agreement there? Atlanta won and covered the spread against the Panthers twice last year including a 31-17 win at home and I think the outcome should be the same. The Panthers don’t have a pass rush and their secondary isn’t very good, which means that the Falcons will be able to move the ball effectively, rarely punt, and will score a lot of points. The Falcons defense is also very strong. They picked off Peyton Manning 4 times and held the Chargers to 3 points. The Panthers offensive struggles that were seen against Tampa Bay and New York should continue.  The only scare here is if Cam Newton finally has that week where he goes H.A.M. Even if he does, his defense will let him down once again. Panthers’ defensive star LB Jon Beason is also questionable with a knee injury. Want some trends to back this up? Atlanta is 4-0 ATS against the Panthers in their last 4 and are 11-2 ATS when facing a team with a losing record. Carolina is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 dome games and 6-11 ATS on the road.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (-6) over Miami Dolphins — Confidence: 8/10 — If the same Cardinals defense that showed up in the first three weeks shows up again this week, I like this game, but it’s going to be awfully close with the spread if the turnover battle is even or in favor of Miami since the Cardinals don’t have an offensive powerhouse. If the Cardinals defense can come away with 1-2 more turnovers than the Dolphins, they should win this one by 7-10 points. Here’s my full analysis of this pick.

DENVER BRONCOS (-6.5) over Oakland Raiders — Confidence: 7/10 — The Raiders have some secondary concerns as Big Ben threw for over 300 yards last week and Raiders allowed 31 points. The Raiders also gave up 35 points to the Dolphins after Reggie Bush went H.A.M. Peyton Manning should be able to pick apart that Raiders defense. The Broncos have a solid defense that should keep Darren McFadden in check. This should be a good spot to take the Broncos.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (-7.5) over New Orleans Saints — Confidence: 7/10 — Aaron Rodgers should finally get going this week. The Packers faced three of the best defenses in the NFL — San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle. They now get to face one of the league’s worst defenses at home. Those small windows that Rodgers previously had will get a whole lot bigger this week and the Packers offense that we’ve been accustomed to from 2011 should be back. The Packers put up 30+ points in every game at home last year if my memory serves me correct.  When the Saints were good, the Packers beat them 42-34 in Lambeau last year to cover the 4.5 points. I think you see the Pack roll to a 10-14 point win.

New England Patriots (-4) over BUFFALO BILLS — Confidence: 7/10 — Pats vs. Bills games tend to be a little crazy so this one is a lower-confidence play due to the division game and home-dog factor. This could end up as a classic suckers bet, but I have to pick the Pats in the pick ’em league and it may be worth taking a shot on due to the revenge factor. The Pats are pissed off after their loss in Baltimore and will want blood. Starting the season 1-2 has Brady and Belichik pissed off beyond belief. He is going to want to destroy the Bills. He’ll prep for this game like it’s the damn Super Bowl. The Bills upset the Pats last year around this time 34-31 when they were at home, but when they played in New England on New Year’s Day, the Pats opened up a can of whoop ass to the tune of 49-21. With C.J. Spiller out, I’m not too worried about the Bills offense against an improved New England defense.

San Francisco 49ers (-4) over NEW YORK JETS — Confidence: 6/10 — We get to another road dog. I would not bet on the 49ers here, but can’t see them dropping two in a row. I would have given the Vikings a 20% chance of pulling off the upset last week because you see some weird things happen in that dome. The Vikings offense is much more dynamic than the Jets in my opinion. Shonn Greene hasn’t been able to get going so the Jets running game will be lackluster this week against the Niners. The Jet offense struggled against a Miami defense last week and have a much tougher task this week. With Revis out, that’s another plus for the 49ers. Despite last week’s loss, I still think the 49ers are a top 5 team so I’ll take them again this week.

Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — Confidence: 6/10 — Another home dog. The Jags were able to beat the Colts last week, but the Bengals shouldn’t have any problems beating the Jags. The Bengals defense should be able to shut down the Jags lackluster offense.

San Diego Chargers over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — Confidence: 5/10 — Why the pick ’em game here? The Chiefs won this matchup against the Chargers at home in the last two years. Despite last week’s loss to the Falcons, I was liking what I saw from the Chargers in the first two weeks. They made a lot of improvements on defense and Philip Rivers was back to his usual form rather than his 2011 form. The Chiefs running game got going last week as Jamaal Charles posted over 200 rushing yards, but the Saints probably have the worst run defense in the league and Charles ripped off a 90-yarder to boot. This game should be close throughout, but I think you go Chargers here.

Washington Redskins (+2.5) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — Confidence: 5/10 — The Bucs just lost DE Adrian Clayborn which is a huge loss, but the Redkins lost LB Brian Orakpo and DE Adam Carriker. Other than the Giants game getting out of hand in the 4th quarter, the Bucs defense has been pretty solid. The majority of the public likes the Redskins and RGIII. I previously had the Bucs solely due to home field, but I think RGIII gets it done on the road for the Skins.

Minnesota Vikings (+4.5) over DETROIT LIONS — Confidence: 5/10 — After the Vikings topped the 49ers and the Lions lost to the Titans, we have the public liking the Vikings. The Vikings looked real good against the 49ers last week. Ponder is coming into his own and developing a nice chemistry with TE Kyle Rudolph. I expect the Lions to bounce back and win this one, but it should be tight and with the +4.5, the Vikings could always get the backdoor cover. I think you tease to Vikings +11.5 and over 42 points. In fact, I like that ticket as this one should should see a lot of points and I like having the points on my side given that the Vikings have the ability to pull off the outright win based on how poor the Lions have looked in the first three weeks.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-1) over New York Giants — Confidence: 5/10 — I’m an Eagles fan and the Eagles should be 0-3 right now. They have looked pathetic in the first three weeks, especially the play of Michael Vick. They’re sloppy and undisciplined. Their offensive line is a mess. Last week against the Cardinals was an embarrassment. They had no heart. As an Eagles fan, it would be blasphemy to actually pick the Giants in this one. For some off reason, Vegas just loves the Eagles, and it doesn’t make sense to me. They’re not a good football team despite all of their talent because they’re poorly coached. The Giants should be 3-point favorites in my opinion, even on the road. Maybe the Eagles finally get it together at home and make their fans proud again.

ST. LOUIS RAMS (+2.5) over Seattle Seahawks — Confidence: 4/10 — I’m curious to see the the Rams play at home for the 2nd time this season after upsetting the Redskins in week 2. Sam Bradford had a hell of a game in that contest, but can he do it again against a much stronger defense that held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to just 12 points and the Cowboys to 7? I think the Seahawks may be due for a letdown on the road. The Rams looked great at home and that dome will be rocking for this one. Slight lean on the Rams. I previously had the Seahawks there thinking that their D will show up, but I’m sticking with the home team here. We have an even 50/50 split from the public.

Chicago Bears (+3.5) over DALLAS COWBOYS — Confidence: 4/10 — Another lackluster week for Dallas. A mere 16-10 win at home over the Bucs? I had higher expectations for the Cowboys than that. I’ll say you take the points and 60% public likes the points too. If the Cowboys win this one, I think it will be by a field goal and I give the Bears a slight chance to win this one outright.

Cleveland Browns (+12) over BALTIMORE RAVENS — Confidence: 4/10 — I don’t have a whole lot of reasons as to why I’m picking the Browns other than the Ravens could be due for a let down following Sunday’s big win over the Patriots. I don’t think you see the Ravens lose at home, but a lazy 7-10 point win seems quite possible. They may be underestimating the Browns who always play them tough. While the Ravens have won 8 straight against the Browns, the margin of victory is usually 10 or under. The margin of victory from most recent to latest is: 6, 14, 10, 7, 16, 31, 10, 18. Cleveland is just 2-6 ATS against the Ravens in that time, but 2-2 ATS in the last two years, where the Ravens average margin of victory is 9.25 points. A surprising 42% of the public likes the Browns with the points.  Ravens win here 24-13 and the Browns squeak by with the cover.

Tennessee Titans (+12) over HOUSTON TEXANS — Confidence: 4/10 — No confidence in this play as the Texans have been steamrolling over every team in their way, but this line is just way too high. 46% of the public is taking the points. You may see another can of whoop ass being opened up by the Texans on the Titans, but the parity between NFL teams simply favors taking the points in this one.

Which game is the best game to take in week 4?

  • Falcons (-7) over Panthers (28%, 14 Votes)
  • Patriots (-4) over Bills (26%, 13 Votes)
  • Cardinals (-6) over Dolphins (22%, 11 Votes)
  • Packers (-7.5) over Saints (10%, 5 Votes)
  • Broncos (-6.5) over Raiders (8%, 4 Votes)
  • Other (6%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 50

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