Week 3 was all about unity between NFL teams, but it also united sportsbooks, by giving them one of their most successful Sundays in regular-season history. Over a crazy weekend of action, ‘dogs went a resounding 12-4 against the number. If you followed my picks last week, you escaped the carnage unscathed after another 9-7 record.
There are plenty more home underdogs on the Week 4 schedule. After such a great return last weekend, how many can I afford to pass up? Find out below. Then, after having a read through, check out our reviews of the top-five sportsbooks, where you’ll find everything you need to know to choose the right site for your wagering needs.
Week 4 ATS Picks
Thursday, September 28
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
On paper, stopping the Bears is simple: contain their running backs. Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard are the only weapons on this offense, but that might be all they need to hang with the Packers. At their healthiest, Green Bay is bad against the run; with the slew of injuries they’re facing on defense, Chicago could really shorten this game. Aaron Rodgers has a history of owning the Bears (14-4 SU record), and should have success throwing against a banged-up Chicago secondary. But unless his starting tackles are good to go on this short week, I’ll take the points.
Pick: Bears (+7.5)
Sunday, October 1
[London Game] New Orleans Saints (-3) at Miami Dolphins
After looking like a competent bunch in their opening game, I’m already prepared to call Miami’s Week 3 spanking by the Jets the worst showing of the entire 2017 season. It’s the kind of traumatic loss that throws bettors off the scent for weeks, but don’t lose sight of why the Dolphins struggled: Jay Ajayi and the run game couldn’t get going. That won’t be a problem against a Saints team allowing over 126 rushing yards per game. A productive run game opens up Adam Gase’s offense and will lead Miami to a rebound overseas.
Pick: Dolphins (+3)
Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots (-8.5)
The Patriots had a lot of trouble containing Deshaun Watson last week, nearly getting upset at home for the second time in three weeks. Perhaps if this were a nimble Cam Newton in his rookie season, I would worry for New England’s chances in Week 4. But Newton continues to look old and beaten down, and I’m going to keep betting against the Panthers until he proves me wrong.
Pick: Patriots (-8.5)
Tennessee Titans (-1.5) at Houston Texans
With the aforementioned Deshaun Watson leading the Texans into a divisional clash against the high-scoring Titans, is the AFC South suddenly really fun? It sure looks like it. What would solidify its “fun” status would be Tennessee actually winning a division game of importance, after losing eight of their last ten against Houston. This time, the Titans finally have the offensive line capable of corralling the Texans pass rush and allowing this entertaining offense the chance to go to work. The line surrendered zero pressures to the Seahawks last week.
Pick: Titans (-1.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) at New York Jets
I hate this game. I just know the Jaguars are going to come out looking sluggish following a huge win that is supposed to announce their arrival as a “real team.” But the Jets played a truly competent professional football game last week. We can’t expect that anomaly to occur twice in two weeks. I should also give Jacksonville’s defense its due, after limiting Baltimore to one first down in the first half. They’ll be a heavily targeted D in fantasy this week.
Pick: Jaguars (-3.5)
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at Cleveland Browns
Like I said last week, when two garbage teams meet, taking the points is never a bad choice. (It’s the second-best option to avoiding the game altogether.) Both teams are vying for Ohio’s first professional win of the season, but considering how the year is shaping up for both these squads, the loser of this game will be the real winner (getting a big leg up in the draft order). Since Cleveland has the sorrier luck of the two, I guess that means they’ll win?
Pick: Browns (+3)
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5)
With L.A. sitting in sole possession of first in the NFC West, it seems about time to make up my mind on whether they’re actually a good team. On the one hand, Jared Goff is excelling in an actual offensive system. On the other hand, Wade Phillips’ defense hasn’t exactly wowed so far, getting rolled up under opposing rushing attacks. Failing to stop the ground game is a quick way to get chased out of Jerry World. I’m still not buying the Rams for now.
Pick: Cowboys (-7.5)
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (no line)
I don’t know why books haven’t released a line for the Vikes this week. Apparently Minnesota can stick anyone under center at home and look like their legendary 1998 offense. Be it Case Keenum or Sam Bradford though, they’ll be in for a fight against a scrappy Lions team that refuses to go away. It took an unfortunate review to stop another Matt Stafford fourth-quarter comeback, and there’s little sign of him slowing down against a Vikings squad that Detroit swept last season.
Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons (-8)
The Falcons are one of the NFL’s two unbeaten teams through Week 3. But Buffalo has an even more important unbeaten streak, going 3-0 against the spread on the season. Despite a roster that’s sorely lacking talent on the offensive side, the Bills have rallied around new coach Sean McDermott and are gaining a reputation as one of the league’s feistiest teams. Buffalo’s rookie corner Tre White had a breakout game last week, while Matt Ryan had a careless outing against Detroit, the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2015. With a few takeaways by the Bills defense, both teams keep their undefeated streaks up this week.
Pick: Bills (+8)
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Baltimore Ravens
Sure enough, the road Steelers reared their ugly heads, ruining parlays and teasers across the board in a ridiculous loss to the Bears. Yet the Ravens are the ones hanging their heads entering this game after getting dismantled by Sir Blake Bortles and the London Jaguars. Only one other team has played the week after a trip to London, so we don’t know what to expect from Baltimore in this situation. But we do know that the Ravens protect homefield in this rivalry, winning four straight over the Steelers at M&T Stadium. Why they’re home dogs for the third year in a row is beyond me.
Pick: Ravens (+3)
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
Last week in Minnesota, Tampa Bay had one of those awful outings that makes you question if they truly are ready to make the jump this season. In Philadelphia, the Giants had their most promising outing of the year and still lost, leaving no doubt that they are an also-ran. All this time I was making jokes at the Jets expense, and it turns out there’s a worse team in New York! The Buccaneers may have looked hopeless last week, but they still have some hope. Take them to win.
Pick: Buccaneers (-3)
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers (pick’em)
How jealous are the Chargers of Philly? The Eagles grab some kid off the Bengals practice squad, and he nails two clutch field goals in the final minute, including a 61-yarder at the horn. The Bolts can’t get anyone to perform in the clutch, with Philip Rivers being the latest to disappoint following a three-interception performance at a hostile StubHub Center. The crowd won’t be any nicer this week when a horde of Philly fans take over, but against the Eagles weak secondary, the Chargers have an opportunity to get off the schneid.
Pick: Chargers (pick’em)
San Francisco at Arizona Cardinals (-7)
Arizona has shown very little this season to make me think they should be favored by seven. On Monday, they couldn’t block a pedestrian Cowboy pass rush, they were repeatedly torched by Brice Butler, and Phil Dawson missed a field goal in his third straight game. Beyond an ageless Larry Fitzgerald, what is there to like about the Cardinals right now? After two close division losses by the Niners, they look due for an outright win.
Pick: 49ers (+7)
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-2.5)
Sunday night was a burn-the-tape-and-piss-on-the-ashes game for the Raiders. Everything was so heinous against Washington, you almost can’t put any stock in that game. Expect Derek Carr to have a better showing this week, even if he is going up against the “No Fly Zone.” (After all, it’s hard to do worse than 96 yards through the air.) But speaking of bounce back games, C.J. Anderson is in line for one after the Broncos took the ball out of his hands last week. Mike McCoy got a little too excited about Trevor Siemian’s hot start, it turns out, having his QB throw 40 times against Buffalo. It didn’t work and a return to the ground game should yield more positive results at Mile High, where the Broncos are 6-3-1 ATS since 2016.
Pick: Broncos (-2.5)
Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks (-13)
Looks like we need to add, inability to stop the run to the growing list of problems the Seahawks have. There’s so many signs that Seattle is an overrated team on the cusp of an epic collapse, and yet I have to take them here, because the Colts are barely a team, period. Jacoby Brissett has at least shown the ability to heave the ball deep to T.Y. Hilton, but that strategy won’t fly against Earl Thomas. Cheer up Indy, Andrew Luck is back practicing.
Pick: Seahawks (-13)
Monday, October 2
Washington at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)
Washington proved they’re worthy of respect, or at least concern, by handling the Raiders at home, and Kirk Cousins is finally showing chemistry with his revamped receiving corps. Can the team take its lockdown defensive act on the road, though? The Chiefs’ offense is quickly becoming one of the league’s most dynamic, with Kareem Hunt busting out for one enormous touchdown per game, and Alex Smith hitting Tyreek Hill over the top. Josh Norman may be able to take Hill out of the equation, which just means Travis Kelce will be in line for a big night. But while the Chiefs can score in a lot of different ways, historically they haven’t handled big spreads at home. Kansas City is 1-9 ATS in the last ten home games in which they’ve been favored by six or more.
Pick: Washington (+7)