Welcome to Week 4: Part 2 of our NFL picks this week. Week 4: Part 1was published prior to Thursday’s Jaguars and Bengals game. Be sure to check out DraftKings promos before placing your bets Sunday.
Now, it’s time to get into part two for the week.
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Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Titans at Jets +6
This is a weird game and I’m going to be completely honest here. 71% of the tickets here are on the Titans but 63% of the cash is on the Jets. Big money on a big underdog always scares me. Anytime there’s a game with heavy tickets and money on a clear favorite, it’s not a great sign. In this case, it’s an awful sign when the money is on the dog and the tickets are on the other side.
The Jets have been horrendous. Conversely, the Titans have been streaking lately. In the world of the NFL, momentum doesn’t carry too far. For the Jets, this game isn’t just a game they would like to have a good showing, it’s a game they need, desperately.
With both AJ Brown and Julio Jones out this week, the Titans will be much more one-dimensional than they are comfortable with. In addition, the Jets shouldn’t have such an impossible time this week against a softer Titans than what they’ve seen to this point. I think the Jets will keep this one close throughout.
Titans 27 Jets 24
Chiefs -7 at Eagles
Both these teams are in line for a bounce-back, but only one of these teams has shown to be offensively effective over the last two weeks. The Chiefs are fresh-off a close loss at home to the Chargers.
The good news for the Chiefs this week is that they’re up against a team who seems to lack the offensive capacity to fully exploit the Chiefs’ suspect defense. Jalen Hurts needs to regain the confidence of the Eagles’ brass this week, but the Chiefs absolutely must reaffirm their dominance.
Expect the Eagles to go back to a more balanced attack offensively. They’ll look to get both Sanders and Gainwell going on the ground early and often. For the Chiefs, they’re likely going to come out with a hyper-aggressive approach to start this week.
Chiefs 34 Eagles 17
Cardinals at Rams -4.5
The Cardinals are become even harder to trust on a week-to-week basis. We joked about them a week ago, but anytime you have a quarterback with a 118 QBR under pressure and a 2.54% turnover-worthy play percentage, you’re bound to regress to the mean soon.
I believe this is the week the Cardinals begin to regress to the mean. The Rams have the NFL’s top-rated defense. Sean McVay has definitely taken note of how the Cardinals are finding success through the air (broken plays). He’s going to have a plan this week for Kyler Murray.
The Rams have been an efficient, effective offense this season. Whether it’s on the ground or in the intermediate and deep routes, the Rams are having success everywhere. I can’t imagine Kingsbury to be the coach who finally stops this Rams offense.
Rams 35 Cardinals 24
Seahawks +2.5 at 49ers
People can’t seem to get the idea, “the Seahawks are a good team” out of their heads. For consecutive weeks now, they’ve lost to both the Vikings and Titans. Considering how bad their Week 1 opponent was, it’s time we accept the facts.
The Seahawks’ play calling has been odd. Their defense has been terrible (at times) against balanced teams, and yet their QB has been amazing. This week’s matchup provides an interesting line (SF -2.5). It’s almost suspicious.
Conventional wisdom here would say, “the Seahawks have choked two weeks in a row and the defense has fallen off a cliff, so there’s no way they should be almost a PK for this game on the road.” The truth is, if a line seems way off, there’s good reason for it.
The 49ers are banged-up, as usual. Jimmy G has looked wildly mediocre, and the backfield is a complete mystery. As much as I can’t trust the Seahawks to manage a game, their offensive potency is exponentially greater than their opponent this week, and they really need this game more.
Seahawks 29 49ers 23
Ravens -1 at Broncos
Both these teams are phonies (in the AFC contender picture) in my opinion. The Broncos are 3-0 but have yet to play an opponent who has registered a win. The Ravens are 2-1 but have a pseudo-lucky win over the Chiefs and an even luckier win over the Lions.
Anytime a team faces the Ravens, you almost have to remove their defensive numbers when considering them. The Ravens’ offensive performances each week over the past few seasons reflect more by how the team handles Lamar Jackson, and not their basic defensive rankings.
This week, the question you have to ask yourself is, “are the Broncos good enough on offense to keep pace with the Ravens offense”? The answer is likely not. Teddy Bridgewater has been great this season, but the Broncos are offensively hobbled. When I pick against the Ravens, I like to see weapons capable of keeping pace, and I’m not seeing it this week.
Ravens 26 Broncos 20
Steelers at Packers -6.5
There are a lot of galaxy-brain thinkers this week who like the Steelers over the Packers. I am not one of those people. Some games tend to appear tricky, like this one, but I can’t rationalize this one actually coming to fruition.
The Steelers have looked abysmal on offense the past two weeks. Defense isn’t the question with the Steelers though. It’s their offense and terrible offensive line that have me most concerned. If the Packers manage to even get halfway decent penetration at the line today, this could turn into another bloodbath.
Despite the pessimistic outlook I have for the Steelers this week, I think this game won’t be a complete blowout. I like for this to be a low-scoring game, but one the Packers barely cover.
Packers 26 Steelers 17
Buccaneers -7 at Patriots
There isn’t much I can write about this game that hasn’t already been written. It may be the most historically significant game for Patriots fans in their history, outside any playoff game. Tom Brady will return to the place he won six Super Bowls and blah blah blah.
We’ve heard the narrative a thousand times. We’ve even heard it in song form to this point. The real interesting part to me is how these teams matchup. It’s quite an ugly matchup on paper if you’re a New England fan.
The Patriots like to run the ball and they use the run to setup their modest passing game. The Bucs’ strength on defense is their rush defense. Their issues this season have come through defending the pass.
Even with all the historical knowledge Belichik has on Brady (knowing his strengths and weaknesses), the same can be said for what Brady knows about Belichik.
Bucs 27 Patriots 14
Raiders at Chargers -3
This game always seems to be a really good game. No matter how good both teams are, the rivalry aspect emotionally charges this game and produces some exciting football. This season, the stakes are high for both teams. The Raiders are hoping to continue their improbable run, while the Chargers are seeking to return to their playoff form from just a few years ago.
There is no rub in this game from a ticket and cash perspective (marority Raiders but less majority cash on Raiders). Pro Football Focus has this as a fairly even matchup, but past opponents must be considered.
The Chargers have faced two amazing offenses thus far (Chiefs, Cowboys), while the Raiders faced a team with no offensive line (Steelers) and a team featuring a backup QB (Dolphins).
I like the Chargers here from a narrative standpoint. They need this win at home to rightfully take their place as the new team in LA and not the Raiders, who carry legacy value in the city. The Chargers’ defense is full of playmakers. Expect Asante Samuel Jr and Derwin James to make a big impact in this one.
Chargers 27 Raiders 20