NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Giants had a nice opportunity to get a win last week to move into a three-way tie atop the NFC East. They were battling a San Francisco defense missing five starters, so it seemed as though the Giants would be able to score enough points to outlast Nick Mullens.
This turned out to be the complete opposite of what transpired. The Giants posted just nine points in an utterly embarrassing defeat. Daniel Jones continued to commit turnovers, which is a problem that could persist against the Rams. Jalen Ramsey will smother Darius Slayton, so Jones will have to look toward a rapidly aging Golden Tate or Evan Engram. The latter has a good matchup, but is prone to mistakes.
It would be nice for Jones if he could lean on a ground attack to keep the Rams' defense honest, but the trio of backs the Giants are utilizing are rather lackluster. The same could be said of the offensive line, which doesn't stand a chance against Aaron Donald.
LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: The Rams were down 28-3 last week, but Sean McVay's ridiculous play-calling allowed them to creep back and eventually take the lead over the Bills before Josh Allen secured the victory at the end. Still, it was a masterpiece by McVay, who almost needs to be enshrined into Canton immediately for the work he's done with Jared Goff.
Goff always struggles when dealing with heavy pressure, but he won't see that in this game. The Giants don't have much of a pass rush, so Goff will have time in the pocket to locate his weapons. Robert Woods will have a tough matchup against James Bradberry, but Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee won't have issues getting open.
The Giants are better against the run than the pass, but Darrell Henderson could have a nice performance as well as a receiver out of the backfield, much like the 49er backs last week.
RECAP: The Giants were so miserable in Week 3, but there is an argument for betting them. The advance line on this game was Los Angeles -9.5, yet it has ballooned to -13. We're only going through a key number of 10, but it's still a significant move. There's some line value with the Giants, who were able to achieve a back-door touchdown at Chicago in Week 2 with a much lesser spread. I could see Jones getting a back-door score again in this contest, allowing the house to collect lots of money with so much public action coming in on the host.
However, there's also a strong case for the Rams. They'll dominate the line of scrimmage against one of the worst teams in the NFL. Also, Joe Judge and his coaching staff were greatly outclassed by Kyle Shanahan last week, and yet the disparity will be even greater versus Sean McVay. The Giants got their back-door cover against Matt Nagy, who is not a great coach. It's less likely they'll get within the number versus the far superior McVay.
I'm torn on this game. I expect the Rams to be up by double digits at some point, but I could see the Giants getting a garbage touchdown at the end to cover. I'm going to pick New York, but this will not be a game I plan on betting, barring some crazy news on the injury report.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There have been no signs that the sharps have any interest in the Giants. They almost definitely will not be betting a 13-point favorite, so the only bets coming in on this game will likely be public action on the Rams.
SATURDAY NOTES: There isn't much new to add here, save for the Giants missing Jabrill Peppers, who got injured against the 49ers. That said, I'm switching my pick to the Rams. I studied the Giants' offensive line during the week. I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was this horrific. The Rams have too much of an advantage in the trenches.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: This spread is rising, as it's now -13.5 -115 in many books. It may hit -14, but that's not a key number, so I'd wait and avoid paying -115 juice. I'd actually rather bet -14 at reduced juice. Check back around 3:30-3:45 p.m. for my final thoughts!
FINAL THOUGHTS: As I wrote this morning, I'm willing to sell half a point to get better vig. I don't want to pay -115 to get -13.5, as 14 is not a key number despite it being two touchdowns. The best -14 I can find is at Bookmaker at -103. Bovada has -105 available.
Indianapolis Colts (2-1) at Chicago Bears (3-0) Line: Colts by 3. Total: 43. Sunday, Oct. 4, 4:25 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
My overrated-underrated feature was posted in this spot the past couple of years. I thought it would be better if there was less clutter on this page, so I set up a new NFL Overrated and Underrated Teams page that will be updated every Monday. I have overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!
CHICAGO OFFENSE: All hope seemed lost for the Bears and my five-unit pick last week. Despite a great matchup, Mitchell Trubisky was terrible. He struggled in Atlanta territory and also misread a red zone defense, which resulted in him throwing an interception. Outside of a 45-yard scamper just prior to halftime, Trubisky did nothing positive.
Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles stepped in and changed everything. He led a tremendous comeback to help the Bears improve to 3-0. It could be argued that Foles did this against an abysmal defense, but it's not like the Colts have a much better secondary than the Falcons. With Malik Hooker out, Indianapolis has some obvious flaws in its defensive backfield. I like Foles' chances of lighting up the Colts, as Indianapolis doesn't have anyone to cover Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller.
The Colts are far better in their front seven, so they'll be able to slow down David Montgomery as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield. Tarik Cohen is out, so Montgomery will have to shoulder more touches.
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: The Colts appear to have a tough matchup on paper. After all, the Bears have some stellar players on their defense. While Foles' passing was obviously instrumental in the comeback, the Bears completely clamped down on the Atlanta offense. Philip Rivers and T.Y. Hilton are worse than Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley, respectively, so some may wonder how the can the Colts possibly have consistent success moving the chains.
The Colts, however, have two advantages in this matchup. Their elite offensive line should be able to keep Rivers safe, even from the likes of Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn and Akiem Hicks. It's not like Rivers holds on to the ball too long either. He quickly releases the ball to his running backs and tight ends, so the Bears may not even get a chance to rattle him.
Those running backs and tight ends lead me to the second advantage for the Colts. Chicago's linebacking corps is the weakness of this defense, as Nick Kwiatkoski is sorely missed because Danny Trevathan looks like he's running in quicksand. Frank Reich likely recognizes this, so he'll create mismatches with his plethora of running backs and tight ends.
RECAP: I'd like the Bears at +3, as we'd have significant line value. My calculated spread for this game is a pick 'em, while the computer model believes Chicago -4 is the correct number. We don't have the updated DVOA figures yet, but I imagine it won't be more bullish on the Colts than -3.
However, +2.5 is a different story because the two most likely results of this game are the Colts winning by three and the Bears winning by three, in some order. That said, even without the +3, I'm still going to take the home underdog. The Bears have new life with Foles, and I like how his receivers match up with the Indianapolis corners.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There's still no +3 available, so the Bears don't look too enticing. I imagine the sharps would pounce on Chicago at that number, but I can't say for certain.
SATURDAY NOTES: There isn't much to note on the injury report, outside of the Colts being down one of their top cornerbacks, T.J. Carrie. That's not enough for me to alter my pick. You can now get +3 at -120 vig at Bookmaker and Bovada.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Forget paying -120 vig on the +3. You can now get the Bears at +3 +100! The sharps are all over the Colts.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There's more sharp money on the Colts than any other team in this late-afternoon window. This spread has risen to -3.5 in most sportsbooks. I'm almost tempted to bet the Bears at this number, but I'll stay away.
Buffalo Bills (3-0) at Las Vegas Raiders (2-1) Line: Bills by 3. Total: 52.5. Sunday, Oct. 4, 4:25 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Bills.
A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is called Mask Karens at Starbucks.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: Josh Allen has made some amazing strides in his third season. I always thought he was a 3-year project, so it's not a surprise that he has been playing like one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. He's not even scrambling very much; he's just beating the opposition with his arm.
Allen will continue to be hot against the Raiders. The Vegas secondary can be beaten, as rookie cornerback Damon Arnette has struggled thus far. The Raiders also have injury concerns at linebacker, with Nick Kwiatkoski missing the past two weeks. Allen will utilize his running backs effectively to beat the Raiders over the middle of the field. He'll also be able to scramble effectively when needed.
The Raiders will need to pressure Allen to disrupt this attack because they just don't have the personnel to match up with all of his weapons. The problem is that the Raider pass rush has been mostly lackluster this season, so Allen figures to have a clean pocket on most downs.
LAS VEGAS OFFENSE: The Raiders might be able to keep pace with the Bills in a potential shootout, but that depends on some key injuries. They were down two offensive linemen against the Patriots, which is why I bet New England heavily. Richie Incognito isn't returning just yet because he's on injured reserve, but Trent Brown has a chance to play in this game.
The Raiders will be in trouble if both Incognito and Brown are missing once again, given that they'll have to deal with Buffalo's ferocious defensive front. If Brown returns, they'll at least have a chance to move the chains, though that's not a given. The Bills have immense talent on each level of their defense, including the linebacking corps. Mike Gesicki shredded the Bills in Week 2 when both Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds were missing, but both returned for Week 3 to limit Tyler Higbee. The Bills should have similar success containing Darren Waller.
Meanwhile, Derek Carr won't exactly threaten the Bills downfield. Buffalo's superb defensive backs don't have difficult matchups, so it'll be tough for Carr to find open receivers, especially if he's dealing with lots of pressure.
RECAP: The Bills are the better team, and they match up well with the Raiders, especially if Brown happens to be sidelined. However, that's part of the equation, as a motivational aspect can always be a factor.
Sometimes, NFL teams don't bring their "A" games because of scheduling dynamics. This could be such a situation for Buffalo. The Bills are coming off a big statement win over the Rams, and they have to battle the undefeated Titans next week. There's a chance they could look past the Raiders, especially when considering the allure of Las Vegas. It's unclear what sort of "home-field" advantage the Raiders will have, given that Las Vegas can be very distracting.
This doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to pick/bet the Raiders. However, it's enough for me to refrain from betting big on the Bills, even if the Raiders end up missing multiple blockers again.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Raiders will likely be down Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards in this game, but I'm not sure that's too much of a disadvantage for them because Derek Carr still has Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow at his disposal.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Raiders will be down two starting offensive linemen in addition to the two receivers I mentioned Thursday. Being down Richie Incognito and Trent Brown will be very deterimental against the Buffalo defensive front. The Raiders won't be able to block, and Derek Carr will be counting on Nelshon Agholor and Zay Jones getting open against the excellent Buffalo cornerbacks. Good luck with that, Derek! I'm switching my pick to the Bills, and I'm even betting four units on them.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: I'm worried about this spread rising to -3.5, so I'm going to lock in -3 -115 at FanDuel (also -3 -116 at Bookmaker.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread never reached -3.5, but there is no better number available than -3 -115 right now, so I can't say I regret locking this one in early. The Bills are my top play of the late-afternoon slate, as the Raiders are going to have a very difficult time moving the chains without two starting offensive linemen and two outside receivers.
The Motivation. Edge: Raiders.
The Bills are coming off a tough win against the Rams, and they have to play the undefeated Titans next week. They also may get distracted in Las Vegas.
Philadelphia Eagles (0-3) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1) Line: 49ers by 7.5. Total: 45.5. Sunday, Oct. 4, 8:20 PM
The Matchup. Edge: 49ers.
I'd like to promote an app from my friend and former college roommate (during Senior Week), Lincoln Baxter. If you like Magic: The Gathering like I do (I've been playing since the very beginning and own many Alpha cards), you'll want to use Lincoln's app, TopDecked. You can build decks (with charts and stats), read the latest articles, find events and simulate play testing. It's awesome, so check it out if you play MTG.
If you want me to promote something of yours, send me an e-mail, so I can take a look at it!
PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: I can't really explain what's happened to Carson Wentz. Perhaps there are behind-the-scenes, off-the-field issues that have prevented him from focusing on football, but he has regressed miserably. Wentz used to be known as a football junkie - there was a story about how he once watched film while on a date - but it's almost like he's fallen out of love with football.
Wentz just doesn't seem to be mentally focused. He's not seeing things on the field or reading defenses correctly. His accuracy is off as well. It doesn't help that his receiving corps is lackluster and that his blocking has been diminished, but he should be performing much better. Unfortunately for Wentz, the receiving and the blocking won't be better against the 49ers, who can't possibly be less healthy than they were last week. Meanwhile, his team keeps getting more banged up, as Jason Peters, Dallas Goedert and DeSean Jackson all got hurt versus the Bengals.
It's unclear if they'll all be out of the lineup, but it's obvious that Peters is the most important of the new injured players. If Peters is out, the Eagles will once again be missing multiple offensive linemen, just like they did in the opener versus the Redskins Football Team, and we all know what happened in that game.
SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: The 49ers have injury woes as well, but unlike the Eagles, they're getting healthier. George Kittle figures to be back this week, and there's a chance Deebo Samuel might play as well. Jimmy Garoppolo will continue to be sidelined, but Nick Mullens did a good job in his place this past Sunday.
Kittle's return is horrible news for the Eagles, given that they have the worst linebacking corps in the NFL. Tight ends have torched Philadelphia this season, so it's hard to imagine the team being able to deal with Kittle. The Eagles also have to game plan for Brandon Aiyuk; the first-round rookie impressed against the Giants.
The Eagles still at least defend the run well, so I don't see the 49ers doing much on the ground. However, Kyle Shanahan will be able to scheme open his running backs as receivers out of the backfield, as they'll also be able to enjoy a matchup against the dreadful Philadelphia linebackers.
RECAP: A lot will need to happen for me to pick the Eagles, who can't even beat the Redskins or the Bengals. However, there are so many injury question marks that it's impossible to know how much I'll likely be betting on the 49ers.
If the Eagles are as banged up as I think they are - again, Peters is most important - this could end up being a huge bet on the host.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: George Kittle is practicing fully, which is a horrible sign for the Eagles. Conversely, Dallas Goedert and Jalen Reagor were put on injured reserve, while DeSean Jackson hasn't practiced. Who is Carson Wentz going to throw to besides Zach Ertz and Greg Ward?
SATURDAY NOTES: Both teams have major injury woes. In fact, unless I'm missing something, both have just two healthy outside cornerbacks before they promote guys off the practice squad. However, given all of the Eagles' injuries at receiver - Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor - the Eagles won't be able to take advantage of it, while the 49ers can with Deebo Samuel returning. The Eagles will also be without not one, not two, but THREE starting offensive linemen, as Jason Peters has joined Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo on injured reserve.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Wow, this spread has shot up to -9 in most places, thanks to so much sharp money coming in on San Francisco. I'm going to drop the unit count to three.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Sharp money cooled off on the 49ers at -9, but the pros bet San Francisco all the way up to that number. You can actually find some -8s somewhere. Bookmaker has -8 -108, while BetUS is listing -9 +100. This may surprise you, but games fall on eight almost as often as four (66 results by eight; 71 results by four since 2014), so I'll bet the -8 -108.
The Motivation. Edge: 49ers.
The Eagles will be sluggish off a tie.
New England Patriots (2-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) Line: Chiefs by 12. Total: 48.5. Monday, Oct. 5, 7:05 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
Emmitt on the Brink Season 13 is underway! Emmitt learns of the genesis of the pandemic. How did it get started? Find out!
KANSAS CITY OFFENSE: Think Patrick Mahomes was pissed that the NFL players voted him fourth on the top-100 list that was released this summer? He counted to four on his hand during the team's final score Monday night, mirroring what he did when going up against Mitchell Trubisky last year. Mahomes is a nice guy, but he definitely has a Michael Jordan-type killer instinct to him, which is great to see.
Mahomes has already avenged the loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship in 2018, but I highly doubt he has forgotten about it. I also doubt that Bill Belichick will foolishly blitz Mahomes like the Ravens did Monday night, but I'm not sure what he can do to rattle the reigning Super Bowl MVP. Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL, and he has so many weapons at his disposal. The Patriots have a great secondary, but so do the Ravens, and we all know how that went.
Bill Belichick is the master of erasing one aspect of an opposing offense, as we were reminded last week when he eliminated Darren Waller from the game plan. The dilemma for Belichick is that there are just too many threats on the Chiefs' roster for him to pull off that plan successfully.
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: The Patriots' only hope is to outscore Mahomes, which the Ravens couldn't do because of Jackson's implosion. Cam Newton has enjoyed more success over the years, so I think he has a better chance of keeping pace with the Chiefs.
That said, the Patriots have some interior offensive line concerns, as center David Andrews will be sidelined. The Raiders couldn't take advantage of this because they don't have much of a pass rush, but you better believe that Chris Jones will be licking his chops to rattle Newton.
The Chiefs have improved against the run, so I expect them to stop the New England backs. Newton will have success as a runner, but Jackson did as well, and that didn't translate much into success for Baltimore.
RECAP: I would not want to go up against Mahomes in an important game right now. He's the best player in the NFL, and he's highly motivated. The Patriots don't have the pass rush that a team like the Chargers possesses, so they don't have the guns to beat him.
That said, this spread is about right where it should be - the computer model says Kansas City -7.5 is correct - and with Newton, a back-door cover is very possible. This will be a zero-unit Chiefs selection.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There's been some sharp money on the Patriots, but the sportsbooks are unwilling, at the moment, to move this line down to +6.5.
SATURDAY NOTES: This game has been postponed.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: This game will reportedly be played at 7:05 Eastern on Monday. I'll have an official pick on Monday afternoon.
MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: This spread is now +11.5 in the wake of Cam Newton's positive test. Brian Hoyer will start, which is obviously not ideal. However, Bill Belichick has worked magic with crappy quarterbacks before, so I'm going to pick the Patriots to cover this high number. I'm not going to bet it because I don't want to wager against Patrick Mahomes, but I trust Belichick to overcome the tough travel schedule and the quarterback situation.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I get the case for just betting the Chiefs. It's tough to go against Patrick Mahomes, after all. However, I think Belichick might have something up his sleeve to give his team a chance to keep this game close. Belichick has been an underdog of 12-plus twice as coach of the Patriots. Not only did he cover both occasions; he won the games outright! And get this - the quarterbacks he went up against in those games were Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner. The best line available is +12 -108 at Bookmaker. I'm not betting this game, but I'd take the Patriots if I had to.
Atlanta Falcons (0-3) at Green Bay Packers (3-0) Line: Packers by 5. Total: 56.5. Monday, Oct. 5, 8:15 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
This week on ESPN, we're going to have awful announcers calling the shots instead the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly, Ron Wolfley and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards, and aloof people like Dan Fouts and Jay Cutler. Here's what it would sound like if these seven dudes (and some special guests) were calling this game:
Reilly: Welcome to the city of Green Bay, where tonight, the Green Bay Fudge Packers battle the Atlanta Hawks. Guys, the producers are telling us that we have to inform the audience that we're great people by showing everyone we're on the right side of history with social issues. Guys, how will you show that you're on the right side of history with social issues?
Emmitt: Blake, I must admitness something. I do not do real good in school when I was a young boy, and my worst class happen to be social study. I do not study the social real good, so Emmitt would has gotten a real bad grade on social study like a "P" or a "X," but Emmitt got a two door, and he make sure Emmitt got good grade even though Emmitt do not do any school work.
Reilly: Emmitt, let's hope your old principal isn't listening. Mother is my principal because I'm still being home schooled. She's also teacher and recess aide. If I get too rowdy during recess, she calls me into the principal's office, which is the kitchen.
Tollefson: That's just sad, Kevin. Anyway, I'm promoting social issues by honoring women. As you may know, I have naked female slaves in my employ who are forced to cook and clean naked. To honor women, I will allow them to wear underwear when they're forced to cook and clean naked for me. But it needs to be sexy underwear.
Reilly: Tolly, can you cool it with the sexy underwear talk? I don't want to get sent to the principal's office again. And it's not like I can have sexy underwear anyway because Mother picks out my underwear.
Jason Witten: Hello, my name is Jason Witten and I just came out of retirement. Guys, I heard about being on the right side of history. When you're on the right side of history, you're on the right side and not the wrong side. Because, if you were on the wrong side, then you wouldn't be on the right side because you're on the wrong side and not the right side. But if you were on the right side, you would be on the right side, and not the wrong side because you would be on the right side, and the right side is not the wrong side because it's the right side. And when you're on the right side, you're not on the wrong side because the right side is the right side, and the wrong side is not the right side, but the wrong side instead of the right side.
Reilly: Shut up, you idiot! Let's talk about how we're good people. I wanted to buzz the name Blake Blakerson on my head, but Mother didn't let me. He was shot by the police, which was super racist! The only crime he committed was slitting random women's throats, and then he got shot when he tried to slit the throat of a female cop. Can you believe they shot him? That was super racist!
Fouts: Kevin, no one is buying that you care at all. And when I say buying, I mean the opposite of selling, because when you buy stuff, you're not selling it, or rather you're taking stuff from someone who's selling, so in a sense, you're buying and selling, even though you're not buying and selling at the same time, but rather only buying and not selling, but you're really doing both.
Wolfley: DAN, YOU DON'T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND ECONOMICS. ON MY HOME PLANET, IF YOU BUY SOMETHING, YOU'RE SELLING SOMETHING AT THE SAME TIME. YOU CAN ONLY HAVE A CERTAIN NUMBER OF THINGS, OR YOU HAVE TO DISCARD THEM.
Reilly: All of you are racists because you're not honoring people who have been victimized by social injustice! Like Jake Jakerson, who fed children poisonous cookies. He killed many of them. But then the cops shot him for no good reason! Such racists!
Cutler: Dude, I had some of those cookies, and they were gnarly. I feel sick, but whateves, I don't really care.
Reilly: NO, NEW DADDY, YOU CAN'T GET SICK! I CAN'T BELIEVE JAKE JAKERSON TRIED TO POISON YOU! I'M GLAD THE COPS KILLED HIM!
Alyssa Milano: Cops? COPS!??!?! I HATE COPS!!! Ewww OMG there's a bug on me, I better call 9-1-1 to get the cops to get rid of it!
Reilly: Alyssa Milano, what are you still doing here? Damn it, she left the room because of the bug. If I only I could have asked her which victim of racial injustice she liked the best!
Charles Davis: Kevin, looks like we get to chat about victims of racial injustice, Kevin. Let's begin with Blake Blakerson, Kevin, except we already talked about him, Kevin. I bet you knew that, Kevin, because you pay attention, Kevin. What about Jake Jakerson, Kevin? That was quite the racial injustice, Kevin. Let's have a quick chat about Smollett Smolletterson, Kevin. He was hanging people, Kevin, including himself, Kevin, and then the cops shot him when he was trying to hang them, Kevin. What an injustice, Kevin. What about Snozzberry Snozzberryson, Kevin? He beat the elderly in nursing homes, Kevin, but then the cops shot him, Kevin, when he tried to beat them up, Kevin. This is a horrible injustice, Kevin. Or what about Kevin Reilly, Kevin, wh seems to shoot a load into his pants when Alyssa Milano shows up, Kevin? That's quite the injustice, Kevin!
Reilly: DAMN IT, THAT WAS A SET UP, A**HOLE! AND IT'S NOT MY FAULT I GET EXCITED BECAUSE I'VE NEVER TOUCHED A GIRL BEFORE UNLESS YOU COUNT MOTHER WHEN I RUB HER FEET! We'll be back after this!
GREEN BAY OFFENSE: What Aaron Rodgers is doing is amazing. At least, prior to Week 3, it could have been pointed out that Davante Adams was a great option for Rodgers, but the long-time Packer wideout wasn't on the field against the Saints. Despite this, Rodgers still lit up New Orleans, throwing to guys named Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Robert Tonyan.
Rodgers is playing at the top of his game right now, as he's out for blood after being disrespected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He'll be even more dangerous this Monday night, as the Falcons don't have the personnel to stop him. Atlanta's pass rush is lacking, while the secondary is in shambles. Rodgers will be able to do whatever he wants.
The Falcons are better against the run than the pass, so I wouldn't expect Aaron Jones to have a big performance on the ground. However, the Falcons are weak over the middle of the field, so Jones should have success as a receiver out of the backfield.
ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Packers appear to be invincible right now, but they definitely have a weakness. They have a liability against running backs, dating back to the NFC Championship when Raheem Mostert trampled them. Alvin Kamara went nuts last Sunday night, and the Lions did well on the ground the prior week.
The Falcons should be able to run well on the Packers with Todd Gurley when given the chance. The problem with that, however, is two-fold. First, Gurley can't handle a full workload anymore because of his arthritic knees. Second, the Falcons might be in a huge deficit throughout the evening, so they won't be in a position to run at all if that's the case.
That said, the Falcons should be able to keep the chains moving on some drives, especially if Julio Jones is able to play. Jones' absence was huge against the Bears last week. With an extra day to prepare, there's a better chance the Falcons' receiving corps will be more intact this week compared to last Sunday.
RECAP: It's so difficult to go against Rodgers right now. There haven't been many instances in his career in which he's performed better than he is now.
That said, 7.5 points seems like too much, considering that Ryan is on the other side. Betting great quarterbacks while getting a touchdown or more is often a winning proposition, as they'll either keep the game close or be in a position to engineer a back-door cover. Ryan has been a terrific bet when getting more than a touchdown; he's 7-3 against the spread in such situations since his second year in the NFL.
I like the Falcons a bit for that reason, but I'm not in a rush to bet big against Rodgers, especially with a bye on the horizon. This seems like a one- or two-unit play unless there is some significant injury news.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Falcons' top cornerback, Darqueze Dennard, has been placed on injured reserve. If rookie corner A.J. Terrell is out as well - he missed Week 3 with the virus - the Falcons will be in deep trouble against the Packers' passing game, especially if Davante Adams returns.
SATURDAY NOTES: I was hoping to get some clarity in the final injury report. We did for the Falcons, who will be missing their top two cornerbacks (Darqeuze Dennard, A.J. Terrell) and two of their best three safeties (Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen.) However, there are many question marks for the Packers, wh could be down Jaire Alexander, Rashan Gary and Kenny Clark. I'm switching my pick to the Packers, but I won't be able to give you a precise unit count until we see the Packers' final injury status.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The sharps appear to be betting the Falcons, which might mean that there's bad injury news in store for Green Bay.
MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Davante Adams won't play, which is a major bummer. I can't wait to see the inactives list so I can make a final decision on this pick.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Part of the reason I was bullish on the Packers earlier in the week was because I thought their receivers would be able to take advantage of all the injuries in the Falcons' secondary. However, the Packers no longer have that edge with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard sidelined. The sharps apparently agree, as they've been betting the Falcons heavily. This spread is down to -5 at Bookmaker, which should tell you how much smart money there is on Atlanta. I'm going to stick with the Packers, but with all of Green Bay's injuries - Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary are also out - I'm not going to bet on this game.
week 4 NFL Picks - Early Games
Broncos at Jets, Jaguars at Bengals, Browns at Cowboys, Saints at Lions, Steelers at Titans, Seahawks at Dolphins, Chargers at Buccaneers, Ravens at Redskins, Cardinals at Panthers, Vikings at Texans
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 11, 2020): 3-11 (-$1,935)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2020): 0-5 (-$1,575)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2020): 1-2 (-$690)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 11, 2020): 11-3 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 11, 2020): +$230
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 0-2, 0% (-$1,735)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 80-76-5, 51.3% (-$1,115) 2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 28-31-3, 47.5% (-$2,750) 2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-14, 60.0% (+$2,585) 2020 Season Over-Under: 83-74-4, 52.9% ($0) 2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$420
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: 2,937-2,713-177, 52.0% (+$9,190) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 938-847-49 (52.6%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 436-388-22 (52.9%) Career Over-Under: 2,406-2,368-65 (50.4%) 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.