Week four is typically when teams start finding out that their season is over. The sheen of a new season and optimism of this possibly being “the year” both fade to find relatively the same teams in the driver seat. However, a few odd placements with the Ravens and Lions in particular leave certain futures uncertain.
Last week: 8-8
Thursday, October 1st
8:25 pm CBS Heinz Field
Baltimore is 0-3 for the first time in franchise history. The Bengals likely put the division out of reach, but a wild card spot is never out of the discussion this early, especially with the Steelers out their franchise quarterback. The switch to Mike Vick is going to limit the Steelers offense, throwing just six times in a quarter and a half against the Rams. The Ravens aren’t winning, but they’re starting to produce yards (498 against the Bengals). They’ll likely come out with their best stuff in a 0-3 hole.
Winner ATS: Baltimore
Sunday, October 4th
9:30 am CBS Wembley Stadium
The Dolphins were embarrassed at home in week three, not scoring a point until 6:26 to play in the third quarter. It’s still odd that the likes of Cameron Wake only has one tackle, but that won’t stay that way. 391 yards of offense from the Dolphins to only get 14 points also won’t stay that way, even in London.
Winner ATS: Miami
1:00 pm CBS Soldier Field
As much as getting three points at home looks good, I don’t think the Bears can come back from what they experienced in week three. Zero points, 146 yards, and 48 yards passing out of Jimmy Clausen is just bad. I know Seattle had a bit of desperation and the advantage of their home opener, that’s still just bad. It feels as thought the Raiders are playing with nothing to lose, which is sort of true given how poor they’ve been the past decade, but Derek Carr is 8th in the league in passer rating, and the addition of Amari Cooper is doing them wonders.
Winner ATS: Oakland
1:00 pm CBS Georgia Dome
Atlanta has now beaten three quarters of the NFC east, with only the Redskins remaining. As long as the Matt Ryan to Julio Jones connection works (440 yards, 4 TDs), Atlanta will be hard to stop. Houston is still struggling to find offense, and I don’t think they’ll find it at Atlanta.
Winner ATS: Atlanta
1:00 pm FOX Ralph Wilson
Tyrod Taylor is top 5 in passer rating, 4th in completion percentage, and 6th in TD passes. However, he gets sacked a good amount and is averaging an INT a game. The Giants have the strongest team behind a 1-2 record, and the early news is that Victor Cruz may see the field come Sunday.
Winner ATS: New York
1:00 pm CBS Lucas Oil Stadium
While the Colts did win last week, it took a big fourth quarter to do so. Andrew Luck still turns the ball over at an alarming rate and fumbled once despite getting it back. I’m still not convinced they’re back to what got them to the AFC Championship game last season. The Jaguars did Jaguar things up in New England, but a turnaround performance is sort of what this league does.
Winner ATS: Jacksonville
1:00 pm CBS Paul Brown Stadium
The 1:00 pm window at home spells death for Cincinnati opponents. Andy Dalton has been throwing some very good passes lately that helped get A.J. Green 227 yards in week three. Despite Kansas City finally getting a WR TD, Alex Smith still loves to throw a three-yard pass on third-and-nine.
Winner ATS: Cincinnati
1:00 pm FOX FedEx Field
Last season Kirk Cousins threw for 427 yards and three TDs against the Eagles. In his other five games, he averaged 256.6 yards. The defense for the Eagles will be different this time around, but there’s something about Cousins and going against Philly. While the Eagles won last week and got the running game going with Ryan Mathews, Sam Bradford still missed some open throws and Jordan Matthews continues to drop passes.
Winner ATS: Washington
1:00 pm FOX Raymond James Stadium
Carolina has quietly gotten themselves to 3-0. However, it has been against Jacksonville, Houston, and New Orleans, all of which have a combined two wins over nine games. Tampa Bay isn’t exactly scary either. Carolina has been relying heavily on Cam Newton to get scoring. I think Tampa Bay can hold a limited offense at home.
Winner ATS: Tampa Bay
4:05 pm CBS Qualcomm Stadium
The entire Charger team looked pedestrian against the Vikings. Ironically, they out-gained the Vikings by 85 yards, point to a 91-yd pick six among other miscues. The Chargers are still good, random mistakes have cost them games. They’ll right everything at home.
Winner ATS: San Diego
4:25 pm FOX Levi’s Stadium
I thought this spread would have been much higher. You have the league-leading passer with 10 TDs and 0 INTs against a team whose quarterback had a higher passer rating to the other team in week three than to his own. I kid you not. While I know strange things happen in this league, this doesn’t feel like one of those games. But that’s every reason to take the home team getting that many points.
Winner ATS: San Francisco
4:25 pm FOX University of Phoenix Stadium
Arizona feels like the second best team in the NFC despite not having very many stars. St. Louis has fallen off of a cliff since their victory over Seattle in what is essentially their Super Bowl. Nick Foles has just two passing TDs and the Rams are last in the league in total offense.
Winner ATS: Arizona
4:25 pm FOX Sports Authority Field
Denver seems to be figuring out how to structure the offense around Peyton, which essentially meant turning over the offense to Peyton—whatever works. Meanwhile, they’re giving up the fewest yards in the league. This will be a real test to see if the Vikings are true competitors in the NFC, but it feels like a recipe for mistakes out of Bridgewater.
Winner ATS: Denver
8:30 pm NBC Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Dallas had its running game going last week in their first game without Tony Romo. The Saints have shown little to make you think that they’re capable of winning in the Super Dome and I don’t think that changes in week four. The offensive line for Dallas will contribute to a better night out of Brandon Weeden.
Winner ATS: Dallas
Monday, October 5th
8:30 pm ESPN CenturyLink Field
The Seahawks started slow against the Bears, but laid it on them late. Should they be without Marshawn Lynch, Wilson will have to do more with his legs. Matthew Stafford continues to prove that he’s the worst-best quarterback in the league; dumb turnovers and sloppy passes continue make to make them lose yet be a threat. While I don’t think they win, their 0-3 record will bring about a good effort.
Winner ATS: Detroit
Byes: Tennessee, New England
Spreads Courtesy of Vegasinsider.com