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NFL Week 4 Predictions & Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on September 23rd, 2008 | Comment »


Week 4 in the NFL looks much easier than last week and there are a few games that I like a lot. The harder part is trying to decide which ones to bet on and which ones to pass on. I’m going to say that it should be a great strategy to bet against the Rams, Chiefs, and Lions this year. The Lions have a bye week this week, but I think we should be able to take advantage of the Rams and Chiefs this week. Those are two terrible teams on both sides of the ball who are facing excellent offenses with pretty good defenses to boot. The Bills and Broncos games were the two games that immediately jumped off the page at me.

For the Bills game, I bought a point to take the spread from Bills -8 to Bills -7. Most sportsbook’s have the line at Bill -9.5, so I figured I should jump at the opportunity to move the line down to 7 before it goes up even higher. I put 10 units on them to win 7. I then put 8 units on the Broncos -9.5. I also did a 3-team teaser for 5 units that pays 7 units (Chargers -2, Bills -1, and Broncos -2.5). I’ll analyze why I made these picks in the preview to follow.



So the Rams are ranked 32nd in points allowed and 31st in points scored, so they must be really bad, right? The Rams rank in the bottom of every single category on offense and defense. There is literally nothing that they can do well. They can’t run or pass and they can’t stop the run or pass, so pretty much, each team has their way with them. So the Rams are officially the worst team in the NFL. I love the Bills offense and defense. However, I was shocked that the Bills almost lost to the Raiders at home. The Bills offense is 6th in points and 13th in yards and their defense is 6th in points allowed and 5th in yards allowed. The NFC East could very well be the Bill’s division this year. I say the Bills punish the Rams this week. Or, could this be one of those shockers where the Rams finally decide to show up and win a game (like Miami last week). The Rams have too many injuries, the offensive line is nonexistent, the defensive line isn’t getting any pressure, and the Rams secondary just sucks. If there is one of the high spreads that I’m pretty comfortable with, it’s this one due to the Rams sucking that bad.

Prediction — Bills 31 – Rams 13

Pick Against the Spread: Bills -8 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Bills — Confidence 5/5


The Chiefs are competing with the Rams and Lions for worst team in the NFL. The Rams look destined to get that #1 this year since their defense is atrocious. The Chiefs don’t have much offense or defense. The only way they can cover in this game is if Larry Johnson has a huge game and exploits that Denver running defense. Surprisingly, the Broncos running defense is ranked 15th and it’s their passing defense that is a bigger concern. Their passing defense is ranked last in the NFL, giving up 315.7 YPC, but they have faced the Saints and Chargers, so you have to take that into consideration. Obviously, the Chiefs passing game isn’t striking fear into the heart of Denver’s defensive coordinator. With Champ and Dre, I don’t understand why they’re getting crushed through the air. With the Chiefs 10.7 PPG and 26.0 PPG allowed, I don’t think the Broncos should have any problems covering. The game plan is simple, stop Larry Johnson and pummel the Chiefs defense. The Chiefs are 25th in yards allowed, giving up 357 YPG. The Broncos should be able to put up big numbers.

Prediction — Broncos 28 – Chiefs 17

Pick Against the Spread: Broncos -9.5 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Broncos — Confidence 5/5


The Bengals looked like a completely different team last week. They looked awful in their first two games, but they finally decided to play with some heart last week against an excellent football team and they took them into OT. It looks like the Carson Palmer/T.J. Houshmandzadeh combination is finally clicking. The Bengals defense is also playing inspired. Both teams are 0-3, but to me, the Browns should be more concerned with the way they’re playing. Their offensive line isn’t getting it done, Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards are struggling. The Browns offense is almost dead last in every category: 32nd in points scored and yards gained, 31st in passing yards, 30th in rushing yards. The Browns defense is allowing 22 PPG and 347 YPG. I say the Bengals get their first win of the year this Sunday and the Browns continue to struggle. There’s no way Carson Palmer is going 0-4.

Prediction — Bengals 27 – Brown 17

Pick Against the Spread: Bengals -3.5 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Bengals — Confidence 4/5


NFL games are played in blocks of 4. The Chargers drop 0-2, no problem, they just win the next 2 games and are back to .500. The Jets game, no problem. Now, the Raiders. It doesn’t get any easier for the Chargers. The Raiders will have to stay committed to the run this game. With the Chargers secondary, JaMarcus Russell will have trouble if the Chargers can muster any kind of pressure on him because he’s inexperienced and immobile. Well, the Chargers defense got the memo and decided to show up this season. The Chargers got great pressure on Favre and it looks like that defense and defensive coordinator are finally on the same page. The Chargers offense is ridiculous and scoring points at will. The Chargers should pound the Raiders just like the Jets. I say the defense steps up big again and stops the Raiders from doing anything.

Prediction — Chargers 31 – Raiders 17

Pick Against the Spread: Charger -9 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Chargers — Confidence 5/5


I like the Jags to cover. The Jags love to run the ball and the Texans are allowing 168.5 YPG on the ground (27th in the NFL). Their offense is also having problems scoring: 14.5 PPG. Their defense is giving up 34.5 PPG (30th in the NFL). The Jags had problems scoring in the first two weeks, but the win last week in Indianapolis should boost their confidence and they should be able to run all over the Texans. If you can buy points at your sportsbook, I would take this line down to an even -7.

Prediction — Jaguars 24 – Texans 13

Pick Against the Spread: Jaguars -7.5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Jaguars — Confidence 5/5


As we saw on Monday night, the Jets have a lot of issues. Offensively, Brett Favre and his receivers aren’t on the same page. Defensively, the anchor on that offensive line, Kris Jenkins, got banged up in the San Diego game. The Cardinals offense is potent, but they always struggle on the road. They were 2-6 on the road last year and are 0-1 on the road this year. If this game were played in Arizona, I would be comfortable taking the Cardinals -6.5. I don’t like taking the Cardinals on the road, but the Jets have a lot of problems and I like the Cardinals explosive offense. The Cardinals defensive numbers are pretty solid too: 5th in points allowed, 8th in yards allowed. However, they’ve had an easy schedule (49ers, Dolphins, Redskins). I may try to pull off a 1-unit underdog teaser with the Cardinals moneyline. I’ll have to see if there are any other potential upsets brewing.

Prediction — Cardinals 24 – Jets 20

Pick Against the Spread: Cardinals +3 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Cardinals — Confidence 4/5



The Saints lose Marques Colston and now they lose Jeremy Shockey. Drew Brees relied on Shockey a lot last game. Reggie Bush also had a monster game. Patten, Meachem, and Henderson will all have to pick their weight up if that offense wants to remain explosive. Don’t underestimate the 49ers. O’Sullivan is getting the job done and Frank Gore is putting up monster numbers. Their 49ers offense is 11th in point and yards and their defense is 18th in points allowed and 10th in yards allowed. The 49ers D is 7th against the pass and 21st against the run. The Saints have the 1st ranked passing attack, are 4th in yards gained, and 8th in points. The Saints defense is a huge concern though: 27th in points allowed, 28th in yards allowed, 29th against the pass, and 22nd against the run. The Saints offense should be scoring a lot, but their defense will also be giving up a lot of points. The over/under is 48.5. If it was just a few points lower, I would take the over since this one should see a lot of points scored. I say the 49ers offensive numbers is merely a product of their schedule. They’ve faced two of the worst defensive teams in the NFL: the Lions and Rams. When they faced a tougher defense on the road, the Cardinals, they only managed 13 points. I think the Saints cover in this one, but I don’t have a lot of trust in the Saints defense to wager a lot on this one.

Prediction — Saints 31 – 49ers 24

Pick Against the Spread: Saints -6 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Saints — Confidence 4/5


So the Falcons aren’t that bad. They’re 7th in points and 9th in yards. That was against 2 really bad defenses though (Detroit and Kansas City). When they had the Buccaneers, they only managed 9 points. Their defense is also ranked in the middle of the NFL. The Falcons are ranked 23rd against the run though and that could be bad news when they face Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. I’m pretty impressed with the Panthers offense, but last week they just couldn’t handle the Vikings pass rush, which is the real deal. That shouldn’t be a problem this week, so their offense should rebound. The Panthers defense is 15th in points allowed, 11th in yards allowed, 13th against the pass, and 19th against the run. I’m going to pick the Panthers to win, but I’m not crazy about this spread. The Falcons have made a statement that they should be taken semi-seriously and they haven’t had problems moving the ball until they’ve faced an outstanding defense, but the Panthers defense isn’t on the same level of the Buccaneers.

Prediction — Panthers 24 – Falcons 17

Pick Against the Spread: Panthers -7 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: Panthers — Confidence 4/5


This one should be a low scoring, defensive battle. The Titans love running the ball and the Vikings are great against stopping the run. The Vikings are 3rd against the run, allowing only 70.3 YPG. The Titans will have to win this one by depending on Kerry Collins getting it done in the air and they’re ranked 22nd in passing and the Vikings have a great pass rush led by Jared Allen. The Titans defense is getting it done though. They’re ranked 1st in points allowed and 3rd in yards allowed. The Vikings won’t be passing much with Gus Ferrotte against the 3rd ranked passing defense, so this game is in the hands of Adrian Peterson, and he’ll have a tough task against the 10th ranked rushing defense. This game is a toss up to me, but I say Jeff Fisher gets it done once again and the Titans go to 4-0.

Prediction — Titans 16 – Vikings 13

Pick Against the Spread: Titans -3 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: Titans — Confidence 2/5


Unfortunately, the Packers lose CB Al Harris because of a ruptured spleen. Despite the injuries to Jeff Garcia and Joey Galloway, that Bucs offense is getting it done with Brian Griese. Antonio Bryant and Ike Hilliard are getting it done for the Bucs passing game. Antonio Bryant might be a solid waiver wire pickup if you need a WR in week 4. He had 10 receptions for 138 yards last week against the Bears. The Bucs have the 6th ranked passing offense, can you believe that? They’re putting up 253 YPG through the air. The Bucs defense, despite being 10th in points allowed (19.0), are 26th in yards allowed (359.0). You have to love the Packers offense: 29.0 PPG (ranked 5th) and 366.0 YPG (ranked 8th). You would expect more from their defense though: 22nd in points allowed and 27th in yards allowed. I’m extremely concerned with the loss of Al Harris. Although Woodson could shut down 1 WR (Terrell Owens was held to 17 yards last week), the Packers have issues on the other side of the field. Miles Austin had 115 yards and Jason Witten has 67 yards last game. I was initially going to pick the Packers, but now I’m having second thoughts. I’m still going to go with the Pack due to that offense. Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, and Ryan Grant should be enough to take care of Tampa.

Prediction — Packers 27 – Buccaneers 24

Pick Against the Spread: Packers +1 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Packers — Confidence 3/5


I like Dallas to win big, but, for me, the spread is too high to take. The Cowboys should be good for at least 30. They’re averaging 32 PPG, which is 3rd in the NFL. With Jason Taylor out, the Redkins will have little to no pressure on Tony Romo. If Romo gets time in the pocket, he’ll hurt you bad. T.O. or Jason Witten will get it, or it’ll just hit Patrick Crayton’s hands. And don’t forget about Marion Barber. The Cowboys only weakness has been their passing defense, which is ranked 19th in the NFL. They do get great pressure and Jason Campbell starts throwing INTs once he gets rattled. I think the Cowboys get after him this game and force him into a few mistakes. I don’t see the Redskins offense doing much. The Cowboys better do their homework on Santana Moss. It seems like every time that guy plays Dallas, he’s quiet for 3 quarters and then him and Campbell hook up for 2 bombs for TDs. He’s one reason I hesitate on taking the Dallas spread. I just don’t see the Redskins scoring more than 20 this game and Dallas should put up their 30+ points. 11 is still a lot of points to give up though. The Redskins are still a competitive team. They get the job done on offense and defense, so they can prevent this from being a blow out.

Prediction — Dallas 31 – Redskins 17

Pick Against the Spread: Dallas -11 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Packers — Confidence 3/5

Stay tuned for the Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears Sunday Night Analysis and the Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens pick. The sportsbook is probably waiting on the injury status of Brian Westbrook and Ben Roethlisberger.

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