NFL Picks Week #4
NFL PICKS (WEEK #4)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Things could not have gone any better last week:
- Got all of my 4 picks right, including the bonus pick where I expected the Raiders to come out flat in the first quarter at Washington following their easy win against the lowly Jets. The game went exactly according to the script;
- My two favorite teams won;
- I finally started getting involved in DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) after reading several articles describing winning strategies. I wagered a total of 95$ on 10 different contests and I got 135$ back, which was good for a 40-dollar profit (+42%). Nothing to write home about in terms of financial gains, but still a good start. I’m considering starting to publish content about DFS since my statistical background turns out to be extremely valuable in this context. Statistical models are very helpful when playing DFS.
Let’s try to do it again this week and this time I do see more good plays than usual.
PICK #1: Chargers -1 against the Eagles
I see 4 factors going the Chargers way:
- This will be the third straight home game for Los Angeles. Less traveling = more rest.
- The Eagles are coming off a dramatic win over the Giants. Rookie kicker Jake Elliott nailed a 61-yard field goal as time expired to provide an emotional 27-24 win over their archenemy NY Giants. The level of motivation won’t be nearly as high playing a non-conference road game.
- Philly will be traveling through three time zones for this game.
- Already decimated with injuries in the secondary, the Eagles are uncertain about the status of their star DL Fletcher Cox (which might result into less pressure on Philip Rivers). As of now, he seems more likely to play than to miss the game, though. Their defense might have trouble holding up against the Chargers. Starting RB Darren Sproles is out for the year; the Eagles will now rely on Wendell Smallwood and LeGarrette Blount. Meanwhile, the Chargers’ starting RB Melvin Gordon got hurt last week, but he should be good to go.
The action is pretty evenly split on both teams, as 59% of spread bets have gone on Philly, while 60% of money line bets have been on the Chargers.
PICK #2: 49ers +7 at Arizona
I recommend betting this game early in the week because the line might move the other direction. The Cardinals lost on primetime television Monday night against the Cowboys, a game in which Carson Palmer was under pressure very often. Gamblers will have this game fresh in their minds. The Niners also played a primetime game, but their Thursday night loss drew much less attention.
The number one argument in favor of San Francisco is the number of days of preparation and rest. The 49ers will benefit from an extra 4 days compared to the Cards, considering San Francisco played Thursday, while Arizona was in action on Monday. That’s huge!
In 2016, the Cardinals beat the Niners in both matchups. As a matter of fact, Arizona has defeated them four consecutive times. I’m pretty sure San Francisco is looking for some kind of payback.
PICK #3: Seahawks -13 against the Colts
Boy, do I smell a blowout here. Seattle lost their opening game 17-9 in Green Bay. In Week #2, they barely beat a mediocre 49ers team by a 12-9 score. Then, they trailed 30-14 at some point last week at Tennessee before losing 33-27. Their usually stout defense allowed a jaw-dropping 195 rushing yards to the Titans. They are going to be playing with a chip on their shoulder; I have no doubt they will be playing like mad men.
Meanwhile, the Colts are coming off a 31-28 win over the lousy Browns. They will quickly realize that the level of play is not the same in Seattle.
Indy will be traveling three time zones and non-conference road games tend to be less motivating for NFL clubs. I am expecting the Seahawks to explode in this game.
PICK #4: Dolphins +3 versus the Saints (in London)
Miami losing 20-6 at the Jets was a stunner. They will be very focused this week; I’m sure their coaches will be in their face all week long during practice. Meanwhile, the Saints defense was finally able to stop the bleeding by allowing just 13 points to the Panthers. This will mark the third road game in four contests for New Orleans (second straight), and we’re talking about a long trip overseas. Fatigue might come into play. I do like the Dolphins to rebound this week.
As I said at the beginning, I see more value plays than is usually the case this week. Here are 4 more picks that I don’t grade as highly as the ones above (I leave it up to you to decide whether you want to tail or not):
- Chiefs -6.5 against the Redskins (Washington coming off a statement game on primetime television against the Raiders might letdown here; also a non-conference road game for them);
- Jets +3.5 against the Jaguars (sandwich game for Jacksonville after playing Baltimore last week and Pittsburgh up next; the Jags traveled to London last week; Jacksonville may be feeling too good about themselves after beating up on the Ravens last week so there is a chance they let their guard down; more than 70% of the bets have gone on the Jags thus far; going back to 2011, the Jets have beaten the Jags on three straight occasions);
- Rams +7.5 at the Cowboys (Los Angeles played last Thursday, while Dallas played Monday so 4 additional days of rest for the Rams; the Cowboys may be looking ahead of their big rematch against the Packers next week);
- Texans +1.5 against the Titans (my level of confidence with this pick is lower than the previous three, but I could see Tennessee playing more soft after their big impressive win over Seattle; Tennessee won the last matchup 24-17 last January, but the Texans had won 8 of the previous 9 meetings).
Here is a quick recap of my 4 main picks, along with the associated lines posted on 3 selected bookies which are currently ranked 1st, 9th and 12th in my ratings (you can have a look at my in-depth sportsbook reviews here):
Chargers -1 at 1.869 against Eagles
49ers +7 at 1.934 at Arizona
Seahawks -13 at 1.934 against Colts
Dolphins +2.5 at 2.07 versus Saints
If you are looking to open an account with a new bookie, make sure you check out my sportsbook reviews here. Thank you very much for reading this report about this week’s NFL picks; keep investing wisely!