Denver Broncos (0-3) at New York Jets (0-3) Line: Jets by 1. Total: 41. Thursday, Oct. 1, 8:20 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Jets.
WEEK 3 RECAP: We had a nice start to the 2020 season, going 9-6-1 (+$1,090) in Week 1, 13-3 ($1,910) in Week 2 and then 12-4 ($1,230) in Week 3. It sucks the September NFL Pick of the Month failed, as the Giants went down in flames. However, I'm still content with the overall result in Week 3, and I'm thrilled with how we've begun the 2020 season.
My Week 4 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
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In this book, I talk about the top NFL Draft busts, and what would've happened had each team gone a different route. Also, I discuss why Roger Goodell has banned us from the NFL Combine.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: This might be Adam Gase's final game as the Jets' head coach, and it can't come soon enough. Gase has completely derailed a Jets franchise that seemed on the uptick two years ago following Sam Darnold's rookie campaign. Darnold has regressed since, and he was downright awful against the Colts. He threw two pick-sixes against an Indianapolis secondary that isn't very good. He also took a safety.
It's hard to completely blame Darnold. In addition to being weighed down by poor coaching, he's also had no one to throw to. Le'Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims have all been out of the lineup. There's a chance Crowder may play, and if so, he'll help immensely. If not, Darnold will once again find it very difficult to move the chains.
The Jets, if healthy, would have a nice opportunity to keep drives alive against an injury-ravaged Denver defense. The Broncos just lost Jurrell Casey for the year, meaning they're down two defensive linemen. However, the Jets also have injury woes on their offensive front, so this doesn't seem like an opportunity in which the Jets can take advantage.
DENVER OFFENSE: It's not much better for the Broncos offensively. Jeff Driskel will once again start in favor of the injured Drew Lock. Driskel has a nice arm, but his accuracy is woeful, and he can't read defenses. He's a miserable quarterback despite the unwarranted hype he gets from some people on Twitter.
That said, the Jets can't exactly take advantage of this. They don't have a pass rush, and their secondary has been diminished by the Jamal Adams trade. Driskel no longer has Courtland Sutton at his disposal, but Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler should be able to get open.
The Jets are better against the run than the pass, but Melvin Gordon should be able to pick up some decent yardage as a receiver out of the backfield. Thus, the Broncos have some hope of moving the chains despite Driskel's presence.
RECAP: This is the least-appealing game of the year to bet. On one hand, Driskel has no business being favored on the road against anyone, even the Jets. On the other hand, the Jets could be a no-show because they know Gase will be fired after this game. If the Jets get some good news on the injury report related to Crowder and some of their offensive linemen, I may consider picking the Jets, but I'm almost certainly going to have no units on either side.
Our Week 3 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Brett Rypien will start for the Broncos, and this spread has moved so much in the Jets' favor that the original home underdog is now favored. The two are not completely related, as the possibility of some injured Jets returning to the lineup is responsible for the line move. I can see why the sharps have bet the Jets, and I may do the same once the injury report is released. Ian Rapoport reported that Adam Gase will not be fired after this game, so the Jets now have no reason to not be no-shows.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm betting a unit on the Jets. The sharps have done that as well, so I'm not the only crazy one. Sam Darnold will actually have viable players to throw to with Jamison Crowder returning, and his offensive line will be intact with George Fant being healthy this week. Also, the fact that Gase won't be fired after this game is huge, as the Jet players won't have the luxury of being no-shows. The best line is -1 -110 at FanDuel.
New Orleans Saints (1-2) at Detroit Lions (1-2) Line: Saints by 3. Total: 53. Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Lions.
VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot. The highest-bet sides were 44-40-2 last season and 9-9 heading into Week 4.
Here are the teams getting the most bets last week:
Highest-bet sides were 2-3 against the spread in Week 3. The books profited, especially when accounting for the vig (plus teasers and parlays.)
Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:
None of these are surprising, except for maybe the Texans -4. They haven't covered the spread yet this year, so it's shocking to see them get so much action, even against the 0-3 Vikings.
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Drew Brees silenced some of his critics Sunday night. All the chatter heading into the game was that he was finished, but Brees had a nice performance despite missing Michael Thomas. The loss was far from his fault, as Taysom Hill was guilty of a key fumble at midfield when the game was tied, while the defense had no answer for a Davante Adams-less Packer offense.
Brees figures to keep the momentum going against the Lions, who might be missing multiple cornerbacks due to injury once again. Detroit was able to slow down the Arizona offense because Kyler Murray constantly stared down his receivers, setting up easy interceptions for the defenders. Brees will obviously not do this. He'll fare much better than Murray, especially if Thomas returns to the lineup.
Of course, Brees may not have to do much, as he can just get the ball into Alvin Kamara's hands. We all saw what Aaron Jones did to the Detroit defense in Week 2, so Kamara could have a similar outcome.
DETROIT OFFENSE: The Lions looked like a much different offense last week. This coincided with the return of two players to the field, as Kenny Golladay and Halapouli Vaitai both played for the team for the first time all year. The latter improved the blocking marginally, but the former was more important, as he opened things up for everyone else. We all know by now how important No. 1 receivers are to teams, and Golladay's presence wasn't any different.
That said, the other Detroit play-makers will need to step up in this game because Golladay will be smothered by Marshon Lattimore. There's a chance T.J. Hockenson will have a nice showing, given that the Saints seemed weak to tight ends against the Packers.
Meanwhile, I wouldn't expect much from the Detroit rushing attack. I don't know why, but the Lions continue to feed the ball to Adrian Peterson. The 35-year-old back can still break a nice gain or two, but there's no upside from him. It's inexcusable that D'Andre Swift had just one touch last week. Peterson offers no threat to a stout New Orleans ground defense.
RECAP: The Saints are appealing for possibly two reasons. The one in question is the injury situation to their cornerbacks. If they continue to miss multiple cornerbacks, they're going to be in deep trouble against the Saints, especially if Thomas is able to return to action. I can't see Detroit's defense stopping New Orleans under those circumstances.
The other reason for the Saints being appealing is that Brees will be extra focused following two defeats. Betting elite quarterbacks after a loss is usually a good strategy when they're not favored by too many points. This dynamic after two consecutive defeats is even better. Brees is 19-8 against the spread after two straight losses with the Saints. I hate trends, but this a rare occasion in which I'll pay attention to one because it makes too much sense for it not to be successful.
We'll see how the injury report looks, but I imagine I'll have at least a couple of units on the Saints.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Michael Thomas practiced Wednesday. It's still unclear if he'll play, but it's looking like a strong possibility. This will do wonders for the Saints, especially if the Lions are missing multiple cornerbacks again.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Saints have so many unexpected injuries. Michael Thomas will be out again, as will Jared Cook and Andrus Peat. The main issue for them will be that both of their starting cornerbacks, Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins, will be sidelined. The Lions will be able to take advantage of this with their talented receivers. Meanwhile, it sounds like the Lions will have their top two cornerbacks on the field for the first time this year. This is huge, and it's enough for me to make a big swing the other way with this pick. I love the Lions now.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Lions received some great news with Desmond Trufant being active. They'll have their top two cornerbacks on the field for the first time this year. The Saints, conversely, won't have either of their top cornerbacks. The sharps have recognized this, and that's probably why they pounded Detroit. You can't even get +3 -110 anywhere except Bovada.
The Motivation. Edge: Saints.
Drew Brees is coming off two consecutive losses.
Arizona Cardinals (2-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-2) Line: Cardinals by 3. Total: 51.5. Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Panthers.
HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. We got a bit this week:
Wow, what an a**hole. Here I am, trying to make money for myself and others with NFL picks, and this guy and the officials conspire to fix the game against us. I used to think that short sellers and Antifa were the scum of the Earth, but game fixers like ChefACD are even worse!
Meanwhile, this guy is just dumb:
What is up with that long subject line? Why didn't he just put that in the e-mail body? I don't even get what he's talking about because I don't think I ever mentioned President Trump on the site (this might be the first time.) Regardless, it just goes to show that those with TDS are in a poor psychological state. If any of you knows Jim Grazis, please get him some help. He might be on the verge of losing it, especially if/when Trump wins again this November.
ARIZONA OFFENSE: I mentioned Kyler Murray's struggles last week in the game capsule above this one. Murray was so great in his first two weeks, so it was surprising to see him regress against the Lions, who were missing multiple cornerbacks. He threw three interceptions because he stared down his receivers, and that number easily could have been four.
Murray will have a chance to rebound against the Panthers, who have some major issues in their defense. Carolina's secondary is horrible, so DeAndre Hopkins will have yet another huge game. The same could be said of Christian Kirk if he returns from injury.
The Panthers also happen to be especially weak against the run, thanks to a linebacking corps that sorely misses Luke Kuechly. The Cardinals should be able to get Kenyan Drake in space, allowing him to pick up chunks of yardage.
CAROLINA OFFENSE: Teddy Bridgewater had an uncharacteristically sloppy game against the Buccaneers in Week 2. Normally a great care-taker of the football, Bridgewater was responsible for three turnovers in that contest. Bridgewater, however, was able to rebound with a strong performance against a stout Charger defense last week.
Bridgewater could continue his positive play in this contest, as the Cardinals have some major problems on this side of the ball. Their cornerbacks are playing terribly right now. Even Patrick Peterson is having a bit of a down year. This doesn't bode well for the Cardinals, given how much talent the Panthers have at receiver.
Arizona will be catching a break with Christian McCaffrey out of the lineup, but Mike Davis is an effective receiver out of the backfield. The Cardinals' linebackers are struggling as well - Isaiah Simmons is barely playing - so Davis could have a nice performance.
RECAP: I don't have a strong opinion on this game, but I'm picking the Panthers because this spread seems to be a tad inflated, despite Arizona's loss. My projected line for this game is Arizona -2, while the computer model thinks -3 is correct. That's only 1.5 or 0.5 points away from what the spread is, but when the ultimate key number of three is involved, it means a lot. That's because the most likely result of this contest is likely Arizona winning by three. Taking the +3.5 obviously gives us the victory in that scenario.
That said, I could envision a scenario where Murray rebounds from his loss and torches the Panthers. Also, if you're counting on the Cardinals being sluggish in this early start time on the East Coast, you may want to reconsider. The Cardinals were a perfect 4-0 against the spread in these early starts last year under Kliff Kingsbury.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There's lots of sharp action on the Panthers, as this line has moved to +3 in many books. If you like Carolina and see a +3.5 available - you can get +3.5 -115 at Bovada - you may want to consider locking in that wager.
SATURDAY NOTES: We now know why the sharps pounded the Panthers. The Cardinals will be missing three starters in the secondary - safeties Budda Baker and Chris Banjo, and cornerback Robert Alford - which is problematic, given how much talent Carolina has at receiver. And speaking of receiver, DeAndre Hopkins could be sidelined as well. Meanwhile, the Panthers will have Kawann Short and probably Russell Okung back from injury, so they'll be better this week.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It's a disappointment to see Russell Okung out, but I still like the Panthers quite a bit. The sharps do as well, as they've been betting the home dog heavily. With this line dropping, and Okung being sidelined, I'm dropping the unit count from four to three. I am buying up to +3.5 -120, which you can do at Bovada.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-2-1) Line: Bengals by 1. Total: 49. Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Jaguars.
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CINCINNATI OFFENSE: Joe Burrow continued to play well last week. He wasn't going up against the most imposing foe in the Eagles, but he moved the chains well despite seeing some heavy pressure at times. There were some mistakes along the way, but Burrow also got unlucky with some nice plays being negated by penalty.
Burrow will continue to have more opportunities to thrive, as the Jacksonville defense is a mere shell of its former self. The Jaguars couldn't even stop Ryan Fitzpatrick last Thursday night, as the bearded quarterback went up and down the field against them without misfiring on more than a couple of occasions. If Jacksonville couldn't stop Fitzpatrick, its chances of containing Burrow are rather slim.
The Jaguars are at least better against the run than the pass, so they'll be able to slow down Joe Mixon a bit. However, they'll also need to worry about Burrow's legs, as the rookie quarterback should be able to pick up some first downs in that manner.
JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Gardner Minshew was a major disappointment Thursday night. He played so well in the first two weeks, showing an improved pocket presence and accuracy against the Colts and Titans. That vanished versus the Dolphins, as he struggled to get anything going downfield.
D.J. Chark's absence may have had something to do with that. We've seen how teams have struggled without their No. 1 receivers this year, and the Jaguars without Chark weren't any different. Chark has had extra time to heal, so there's a decent chance he'll play. If so, that'll be huge for the Jaguars, given that the Bengals have problems in their secondary.
Cincinnati's greatest weakness on this side of the ball is the linebacking corps, which has been gashed by tight ends and pass-catching backs this year. James Robinson should have a strong outing for that reason, while Tyler Eifert might be able to get revenge against his former team.
RECAP: The Jaguars have a big motivational edge in this game. They're coming off extra rest, and they've had more time than usual to think about their embarrassing home loss to the Dolphins on national TV. I suspect that we'll see a better effort from them, particularly if Chark is able to return to the field. Conversely, the Bengals just played a grueling overtime affair that went the distance. They tied with the Eagles, which historically doesn't bode well for their chances in this game. Teams coming off ties are just 9-17 against the spread since 1989. This is a logical outcome, as they are likely way more fatigued than the opposition.
I'm planning to bet on the Jaguars for a couple of units if Chark is available. They're the much fresher team, and I'm not sure the Bengals deserve to be favorites quite yet. Burrow is playing well, but their offensive line and back seven are abysmal. The most likely outcomes of this game are likely Jacksonville by three and Cincinnati by three in some order, so we're getting a win or push scenario with the +3.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: D.J. Chark returned to practice, though it's still unclear at what capacity. I'll almost certainly have a medium-sized wager on the Bengals if Chark plays.
SATURDAY NOTES: D.J. Chark has been removed from the injury report, so Gardner Minshew will be better this week. Conversely, the Bengals once again won't have two key defensive tackles (Geno Atkins, Mike Daniels), so Jacksonville should be able to run all over them. I loved the Jaguars at +3. At +2.5, not as much, but I still think they're a good play. Just try to pay up for a +3. I'll investigate options Sunday morning.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Here's another game where the sharps have been pounding the underdog. The line has dropped below +3 and all the way down to +1. The Bengals are without two of their top three defensive tackles and two of their top cornerbacks (Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander). This is going to be trouble against all of Jacksonville's weapons. I'm going to sell a couple of points and take Jacksonville -1 +101 at Bookmaker.
The Motivation. Edge: Jaguars.
The Bengals could be tired and deflated after playing a full overtime period just to tie.
Cleveland Browns (2-1) at Dallas Cowboys (1-2) Line: Cowboys by 4. Total: 56. Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Browns.
NFL Opinion Piece: Go here to read about why NFL Coaches Shouldn't Have to Wear Masks (or anyone else for that matter.) As a warning, this could be triggering to you if you have sand-in-the-vag syndrome (i.e. if you're a blue checkmark on Twitter.)
DALLAS OFFENSE: The Cowboys lost Sunday, but Dak Prescott once again posted terrific numbers. He lit up Seatte's defense with impressive throws to Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson and Dalton Schultz. That said, this was not prevalent throughout the entire afternoon, as the Cowboys' offense was bogged down until late in the affair. The catalyst for this change was Jamal Adams' injury. With the superb Adams knocked out, the Seahawks were missing multiple defensive backs, giving Prescott and his receivers a better matchup.
Prescott would be in a similar situation versus the Browns if this game took place two weeks ago. The Browns were missing multiple defensive backs back then, but that's not longer the case. Cleveland's improved pass defense should do surprisingly well versus the Dallas receivers, especially if Tyron Smith is out once again. Smith and La'el Collins being absent will create a nice matchup edge for the Browns in the trenches.
The Cowboys have one advantage on this side of the ball, however, and that would be Ezekiel Elliott versus the Cleveland linebackers. Elliott and Schultz should do well against a group that is missing Joe Schobert.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: The Cowboys have even worse injury concerns on this side of the ball. They were missing two of their top three cornerbacks and two of their top three linebackers against the Seahawks. The result was Russell Wilson torching them mercilessly. Dallas was helpless to stop Wilson, who would've thrown six touchdown passes if D.K. Metcalf didn't have that horrible gaffe just prior to reaching the end zone.
Baker Mayfield is obviously not Wilson, but he has a very appealing matchup against the Cowboys. Dallas doesn't have the personnel to slow down Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper, and Mayfield will be protected well enough to get the ball to his play-makers.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt also figure to perform well. Dallas' beat-up linebacking corps will have trouble dealing with those two, particularly Hunt as a receiver out of the backfield.
RECAP: The Cowboys are the most overrated team in the NFL. They're 0-3 against the spread, and they would be 0-3 straight up if a lucky roll on the onside kick didn't go their way in Week 2. They were getting blown out at home versus Atlanta before the Falcons' epic collapse, and they were getting trashed in Seattle before the Seahawks suffered countless injuries.
Dallas has no business being favored by this many points in this matchup. Given all of the injuries the Cowboys have, I'd argue that the Browns are the slightly better team. Thus, my projected spread for this contest is Dallas -1.5. If I'm right, we're getting great line value with the Browns.
Yet, the public doesn't see it that way. Nearly 90 percent of the money is on the Cowboys despite the line falling. This means the smart money is on the Browns, which is music to my ears because I already loved Cleveland. This could end up being a five-unit wager depending on the injury report.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We still don't know much about the injury report yet, which I'm eagerly anticipating. However, it's not a great sign for the Browns that they haven't ticked down to +4 yet. There's still time for that though.
SATURDAY NOTES: I can't recommend a high bet on the Browns right now. Tyron Smith will be back for Dallas, while Denzel Ward could be out for Cleveland. If Ward is sidelined, I'll switch my pick to the Cowboys. For now, this will be a low-unit selection on the Browns.
FINAL THOUGHTS: We're 4-for-4 with sharp action coming in on the underdog. There's lots of smart money on the Browns, which is a bit surprising because Tyron Smith will play. The big news is that Denzel Ward will suit up, but he could just as easily leave early like he did last week. I still like the Browns though, but for only a couple of units. The only place I can see where you can still get +4 is Bovada.
Minnesota Vikings (0-3) at Houston Texans (0-3) Line: Texans by 3.5. Total: 53.5. Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
College Football Opinion Piece: Go here to read about why the Real Return for College Football is so important for our freedom as Americans. As a warning, this could be triggering to you if you have sand-in-the-vag syndrome (i.e. if you're a blue checkmark on Twitter.)
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: We must begin with the Vikings because they've suspended all football activities in the wake of three Titan players testing positive for Fauxvid-19. No Minnesota players have tested positive yet, but that could end up happening in the coming days.
It's a shame for the Vikings that they can't practice to build their momentum from Sunday's game. They lost to the Titans, but their offense finally looked explosive. This was the result of Justin Jefferson finally playing over Olabisi Johnson. Jefferson had a breakout performance, which bodes well going forward. The Texans have problems in their secondary, so Jefferson should be able to exploit those.
The Texans happen to be even weaker versus the run, which should mean great things for Dalvin Cook. The talented back had nearly 200 rushing yards against the Titans, who are better at stopping ground attacks than the Texans happen to be. If the Vikings have the lead, perhaps Cook will be able to reach that 200-yard plateau.
HOUSTON OFFENSE: The Texans looked great in the first half against the Steelers. That didn't last very long, as the Pittsburgh coaching staff was able to make some great adjustments to bewilder the incompetent Bill O'Brien. The result was Deshaun Watson completing just five passes after halftime.
Watson will be going up against a much softer defense than those he battled in previous weeks - Ravens, Steelers - as the Vikings have an abysmal secondary that hasn't been able to stop anyone thus far. When someone like Ryan Tannehill is completing multiple deep bombs to some scrub named Khalif Raymond, you know there are some major problems.
Watson figures to have his best game of the year, and the same could be said of David Johnson, who will be battling a Viking defense missing Anthony Barr.
RECAP: I had every intention of picking and perhaps betting the Vikings before the news that broke Tuesday morning. Mike Zimmer has a colossal advantage over O'Brien, so that already gave the Vikings a nice edge.
This spread is also too high. Who are the 0-3 Texans to be four-point favorites over any team not named the Jets, Giants or Redskins? The Vikings showed signs of life last week and nearly beat the Titans. My personal line for this game is Houston -2.5, while the computer model projected -3. Going through key numbers of three and four is a huge deal.
Having said that, there's no telling how the virus news will affect the Vikings. If they can't practice, and some of the players are distracted, that should give the Texans an advantage, right? I'm not sure, but that's what the sharps are guessing, as there was some big money placed on the Texans just as the news broke.
I'll re-visit this game later, but I'm going with the Texans for no units at the moment.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Vikings have returned to practice. There's still a chance they could be distracted, but I'm willing to switch my pick to them.
SATURDAY NOTES: There's nothing to add per the injury report. I'm still on the Vikings for no units.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Sharp action has taken this spread down to +3.5, though there's not as much pro money on this game as the other contests because there hasn't been a +3 yet. I have a lean on the Vikings, but not much more. The best lines are +3.5 -110 at BetUS and Bovada.
The Motivation. Edge: Texans.
Will the Vikings be distracted by the Titans testing positive?
Seattle Seahawks (3-0) at Miami Dolphins (1-2) Line: Seahawks by 4.5. Total: 55.5. Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Dolphins.
If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. It all started seven years ago, when a man named Jon Wire from the "United Bank of Africoan" promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a "lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP)." Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.
I've been messing around with spammers ever since, pretending to be Harvey Weinstein, Tom Brady, Ramsay Bolton and Walter White. I had plenty of Spam Mails this year, so check them out if you want to see me screw with spammers. I'll have new ones every week this year!
SEATTLE OFFENSE: Russell Wilson is unstoppable right now. He torched the Cowboys mercilessly, throwing five touchdowns in a 38-31 victory. That number would have been six had D.K. Metcalf not allowed the opposing player to bat the ball out of his hands prior to reaching the goal line.
Both Metcalf and Tyler Lockett had great matchups in that game, given that the Cowboys were down two of their top three cornerbacks. That won't be the case in this matchup, as long as Byron Jones is able to return. The Dolphins have a pair of excellent corners, including Jones, so if the team is healthy, it could at least slow down Metcalf and Lockett a bit. Then again, Metcalf was able to have a nice performance against Stephon Gilmore in Week 2, so Miami won't have all the answers.
Making matters worse for the Dolphins, they're weak elsewhere. They have no pass rush, and their linebackers can easily be beaten. Wilson will scramble for big chunks, and he'll have success throwing to the likes of Greg Olsen and Travis Homer.
MIAMI OFFENSE: Many are doubting the Seahawks because of how poor their pass defense looked against the Cowboys. This is a crucial mistake in handicapping the Seahawks, who actually have a great aerial defense if everyone's healthy. That was not the case this past Sunday, however, as Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar were not playing in the second half. Dak Prescott nearly engineered a comeback as a result.
Ryan Fitzpatrick's outlook depends heavily on the statuses of those two defensive backs. Fitzpatrick will be able to move the chains just like he did this past Thursday night if the Seahawks won't have Adams or Dunbar once again. Conversely, Fitzpatrick won't have much luck finding open receivers if all of the Seattle defensive backs are playing.
These injuries are crucial in determining the outcome of this game. The Dolphins won't be able to run well on the Seahawks - Ezekiel Elliott didn't even have much luck on Sunday - so if the Miami receivers can't get open, how will Miami do anything on this side of the ball?
RECAP: There's a ton of public money on the Seahawks, who might be unfocused for this game. They're coming off a big win against the Cowboys, and now they're large road favorites. Throw in the fact that they have to travel across the country and play an early game, and there's a chance they could be flat.
That said, the Seahawks have typically avoided these sort of traps in the past, thanks mostly to Wilson. Thus, I expect the Seahawks to cover.
My decision, however, may change depending on the injury report. Countless Seahawks went down against the Cowboys, so if a majority of them are out, I'll switch to the Dolphins, who should be able to beat the number against what could be a skeleton-crew Seattle squad.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: As mentioned in the write-up, the injury report for the Seahawks will be crucial, given how many players they lost to injury in the Dallas game. I can't wait to see what it looks like Friday evening. That said, if you're overly confident in Seattle and want to bet them now, -6 is available at Bookmaker.
SATURDAY NOTES: I was eager to see Seattle's injury report, and it's not pretty. Quinton Dunbar, Jordyn Brooks and most importantly, Jamal Adams, are all out to hinder the pass defense. Some depth players are missing as well. The Dolphins are still missing Byron Jones, but there's no doubt that the Dolphins have a nice edge on the injury report. Still, it's tough to go against Russell Wilson right now. I'm sticking with Seattle for no units, especially now that the number is -5.5.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There's smart money on the Dolphins, as this spread is plummeting. It's down to +4.5 at Pinnacle and Bookmaker! I understand why, given the high number of injuries the Seahawks have suffered, but I wouldn't want to bet against Russell Wilson right now.
The Motivation. Edge: Dolphins.
The Seahawks are coming off a big win against the Cowboys and are now large road favorites.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) Line: Buccaneers by 7. Total: 42. Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Buccaneers.
Video of the Week: If you're planning on voting for Joe Biden in November, this will only strengthen your decision:
I'm not kidding. If you planned on voting for him already, I assumed you were proud to vote for someone with onset dementia.
SAN ANGELES OFFENSE: We've seen the good and the bad Justin Herbert through just two games. The good Herbert was amazing against the Chiefs, nearly pulling the upset over a squad that absolutely trashed the Ravens on Monday night. The bad Herbert, however, made some crucial mistakes against a poor Carolina squad.
There's no telling which Herbert we'll get from week to week, especially given that the Oregon product is in his rookie year. What we do know is that the Buccaneer defensive line will dominate in the trenches. Their front is ferocious, so it'll be a tall task for the Chargers to protect Herbert. This would've been impossible last year, but the Chargers made some nice upgrades to the blocking unit during the offseason. We'll see how healthy they are, as the injury report will have a big impact on how this game goes.
Herbert will need to do it all, as the Buccaneers have the best ground defense in the NFL. However, Tampa doesn't have anyone to deal with Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry. Herbert and Allen have developed a great chemistry already, while Henry will thrive against a defense that struggles versus tight ends.
TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: We haven't seen Tom Brady paired with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans very often this year. Evans was banged up in the opener, and then Godwin was sidelined in Week 2. Both played in the opening half at Denver this past Sunday, but then Godwin suffered another injury.
If Godwin is sidelined, the Chargers should be able to match up well with the Buccaneers. They have the talent in their secondary to take away one receiver, while their front seven can place lots of pressure on opposing quarterbacks without blitzing, as Patrick Mahomes learned when the Chargers knocked him around two weeks ago.
This has been the formula for beating elite quarterbacks: Pressure them heavily with four and then play great coverage underneath. The Chargers can do this and also clamp down on the run, so it's going to be tough for the Buccaneers to move the chains.
RECAP: I suspect I'll be betting heavily on the Chargers. I'd like to see what their injury report looks like pertaining to their offensive line, but they seem like a great side this week.
On top of the Chargers matching up well against the Buccaneers, I believe they'll be more focused as well. The Buccaneers have to play against a 3-0 team four days after this game, so the focus may not be as mentally engaged as the opposition. Conversely, the Chargers were flat last week, as they were looking ahead to this contest after battling the Chiefs in overtime. I suspect we'll get a much better effort from them.
Furthermore, this spread is not right. The advance line was only Tampa Bay -4.5, and I personally made it -5.5. Yet, because of what occurred last week, the spread has ballooned to -7.5. Despite this crazy move, the public is pounding the Buccaneers like crazy!
Assuming things are fine with the Chargers' injury report, this will be a big wager on the underdog.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps have bet this down to +7, perhaps in the wake of the news that Chris Godwin will miss this game. I still love the Chargers at that number.
SATURDAY NOTES: I liked the Chargers ... and then I saw the injury report. The Chargers will be down not one, not two, but three starting offensive linemen, as Trai Turner, Bryan Bulaga and Mike Pouncey are all sidelined! This is a disaster against one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. The Chargers are also missing some other key players - Melvin Ingram, Chris Harris, Mike Williams - which makes me believe they can't be competitive with the Buccaneers. I'm switching my pick, and I'm betting on the Buccaneers. I still have concern about a look-ahead to Thursday night, but not enough when factoring in the amazing advantage the Buccaneers have in the trenches.
FINAL THOUGHTS: No surprises on the inactives list, as the Chargers are down three offensive linemen, as expected. The Buccaneers seem like a good play. The juice has risen on the -7, but only to -115 at Bookmaker and BetUS.
The Motivation. Edge: Chargers.
The Buccaneers have to play on Thursday night.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: There's a chance this game will be postponed because three Titan players have reportedly tested positive for Fauxvid-19. They're all young and healthy, so they'll be fine. It's likely that they didn't even know they were infected. However, the league may step in and move this game to prevent a potential spread.
It may not be the worst thing for the Titans, who would need some Steelers to suffer injuries because they don't match up very well against them, especially on this side of the ball. This is especially the case if Taylor Lewan is sidelined after getting hurt in Week 3. If Lewan is out, the Steelers would be able to apply heavy pressure on Ryan Tannehill, who would need A.J. Brown to return. Without Brown, Tannehill wouldn't have the weapons to attack the talented Pittsburgh defensive backfield.
Tannehill would need to do a lot because Derrick Henry doesn't have the best matchup. The Steelers have an excellent rush defense, so Henry wouldn't find much running room, especially if Lewan happens to be sidelined.
PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: I don't think the Titans match up particularly well against the Steelers on this side of the ball either. Tennessee has been torched in recent weeks by Gardner Minshew and Kirk Cousins. Ben Roethlisberger appears to be improving each week, and he has countless threats at his disposal. He's also protected extremely well now that David DeCastro is back in the lineup.
The Titans' problems against the pass could be solved if top cornerback Adoree Jackson returns from injured reserve. Jackson hasn't played yet this year, but there might be a chance he could suit up this Sunday, if there's a game, of course. That's important news we'll be waiting for.
Jackson's return would improve the pass defense, but the Titans have shown that they're vulnerable against the run as well. Dalvin Cook nearly hit 200 rushing yards last week, so James Conner will perform well, too.
RECAP: There's so much uncertainty surrounding this game, ranging from individual injuries to Lewan and Jackson, to the grand scheme of things, like will this game even be played this week? We also don't yet know who has tested positive. Key players being sidelined for Tennessee could completely alter the outcome of this game.
I'm going to pencil in a medium-sized bet on the Steelers, but this is something that will almost certainly change throughout the week.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This game has been postponed.
The Motivation. Edge: Steelers.
The Titans could be distracted by the positive tests.
The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
Equal action to begin the week, followed by lots of money on the Steelers.
Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 78% (1,000 bets)
The Trends. Edge: Titans.
Steelers are 26-43 ATS as road favorites since 2007.
Steelers are 13-28 ATS as road favorites coming off a win under Mike Tomlin.
Opening Line: Titans -2.5.
Opening Total: 47.5.
Week 4 NFL Pick: Steelers 31, Titans 24 Steelers -2 (0 Units) -- No action; $0 Over 47 (0 Units) -- No action; $0 Game postponed
Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Washington Redskins (1-2) Line: Ravens by 14. Total: 45. Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Ravens.
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BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Lamar Jackson was a major disappointment Monday night. He ran well, but many of his passes were off the mark. His teammates also dropped balls, and the end result was a blowout loss in which Jackson accumulated fewer than 100 passing yards.
Jackson should rebound, however. The Redskins have a miserable linebacking corps that won't be able to tackle Jackson, while their secondary is not equipped to deal with Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. It'll be surprising if Jackson doesn't enjoy a bounce-back performance.
The strength of the Redskin defense is the pass rush, but some injuries could change that. Chase Young left last week's game early, while Matt Ioannidis has been ruled out for the year. If Young is out, Jackson won't have to worry about much pressure in the pocket.
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: Ron Rivera hinted that Dwayne Haskins could be benched soon. Haskins is struggling immensely, as he's not seeing the field well or reading defenses correctly. His accuracy hasn't been good either.
With that in mind, how is he going to navigate Baltimore's defense? The Ravens have a talented secondary, and they'll be ready to snatch more turnovers from Haskins. I imagine the second-year quarterback will be befuddled by Baltimore's blitzing schemes. Patrick Mahomes ripped it to shreds, but Haskins can't do that.
The Redskins won't get much from their running game either, especially considering that their star guard, Brandon Scherff is sidelined. Baltimore will win easily in the trenches.
RECAP: This spread may seem high to you, but it may actually not be high enough. My eyes popped out of my head when I saw that the computer model slated this to be Baltimore -20!
This is a huge mismatch. The Redskins can't block, so they won't be able to move the chains well at all. Haskins will be forced into turnovers. Jackson, meanwhile, will be looking to redeem himself off a loss, and the opposition doesn't have the ammunition to stop him.
The only concern I have is that the Ravens are playing on a short week. Losing Monday night squads are typically behind the eight ball because they don't have enough time to make adjustments. However, the Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL, so I don't think this dynamic applies to them.
This is going to be a big play for me on the Ravens, despite the high line and one-sided betting action. The exact unit count will depend on how the final injury report shakes out, as Young being sidelined would be the cherry on top.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It sounds like Chase Young will miss this game, meaning that the Redskins will be down two starters on their elite defensive front. Their roster is weak almost everywhere else, so one has to wonder how in the world they'll be competitive with the Ravens.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Redskins might be missing Terry McLaurin. His status is unknown, but if he's out, it's tough to imagine the Redskins scoring at all. The Ravens aren't 100 percent, as Ronnie Stanley and Jimmy Smith could be sidelined as well. That's not ideal, and so I don't like the Ravens as much as I did earlier in the week. I'll have an official unit count Sunday morning.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Terry McLaurin is active, while Ronnie Stanley is out. This is a bummer if you bet the Ravens already, but it's far from a lost cause. I still like Baltimore a bit as a one-unit wager. The best line I see is -14 -103 at Bookmaker.
Week 4 NFL Picks - Late Games
Giants at Rams, Colts at Bears, Patriots at Chiefs, Bills at Raiders, Eagles at 49ers, Falcons at Packers
A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted
whenever winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.
Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 6, 2020): 5-9 (-$2,365)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 6, 2020): 1-5 (-$1,120)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 6, 2020): 0-2 (-$925)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 6, 2020): 9-5 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 6, 2020): -$220
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 0-1, 0% (-$825)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 54-34-3, 61.4% (+2,960) 2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 19-13-2, 59.4% (+$215) 2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 15-7, 68.2% (+$3,465) 2020 Season Over-Under: 44-45-2, 49.4% ($0) 2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$80
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%) 2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%) 2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%) 2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%) 2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%) 2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%) 2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%) 2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%) 2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$3,585) 2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$6,105) 2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$4,235) 2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,880) 2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,335) 2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$7,445) 2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$7,825) 2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885) 2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$3,215) 2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$780) 2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$4,300) 2018 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 140-134-14, 51.3% (+$845) 2019 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 149-128-9, 53.6% (+$1,200)
2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%) 2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%) 2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%) 2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%) 2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%) 2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110) 2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510) 2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260) 2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180) 2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715) 2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130) 2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820) 2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475) 2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395) 2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-41-2, 55.9% (+$2,670) 2019 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-36-2, 55.0% (+$655)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%) 2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%) 2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%) 2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%) 2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%) 2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420) 2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055) 2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330) 2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790) 2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260) 2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650) 2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970) 2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120) 2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465) 2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595) 2018 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 27-32-1, 45.8% (-$4,735) 2019 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-27-2, 57.8% (+$2,185)
2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%) 2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%) 2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%) 2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%) 2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%) 2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%) 2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900) 2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860) 2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195) 2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5) 2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135) 2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30) 2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340) 2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0) 2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95) 2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640) 2018 Season Over-Under: 118-128-3, 48.0% (-$225) 2019 Season Over-Under: 126-133-4, 48.6% (-$50)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035 2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775 2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865 2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200 2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590 2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685 2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855 2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275 2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510 2018 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,495 2019 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,715
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%) 2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400) 2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720) 2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640) 2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810) 2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870) 2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560) 2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350) 2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100) 2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780) 2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040) 2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-3, 57.1% (-$640) 2019 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3-1, 50.0% (-$625)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,911-2,671-175, 52.1% (+$13,265) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 929-829-47 (52.8%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 430-381-22 (53.0%) Career Over-Under: 2,367-2,339-63 (50.3%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 43-29-1 (59.7%)
My Team-by-Team ATS Record This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not
displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.