Ballin' on a Budget Week 4 Picks
Time to build some momentum fellow NFL bettors. In Weeks 1 & 3 combined, we have gone 7 for 10 in our picks. It’s just that fickle Week 2 that’s been keeping us from the money. No matter, Week 4 is when we get out of our rut. More importantly, it’s where we get into the green. For the second straight week, we’re going with four picks against the spread and one over/under pick. That worked pretty well for us last week with a 60% pick rate, so let’s keep it going.
Week 4 Picks
Bears -2.5 vs. Buccaneers (-110)
At least for now, the Bears are the leaders of the NFC North and they’re a dropped interception away from being 3-0. They struggled in the first half against the Cardinals on the road, but this defense is legit. It shut out the Cardinals in the second half and gave Mitch Trubisky and Co. a chance to win. Chicago is back at home where it looked great against the Seahawks in Week 2.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been on another planet for Tampa this season, but he also hasn’t faced the type of pass rush the Bears are going to throw at him. This seems like the perfect week for his run of three straight 400-yard passing games to end, especially since the Bucs don’t have a running game that will be able to do much against Chicago’s front 7. The Bears know they have a more difficult schedule coming up and grabbing a win over Tampa before they hit that stretch is wildly important. Only having to win by a field goal, the Bears seem like a good bet to pull this one out at home. The bet: $3 for total payout of $5.70.
Eagles -3 at Titans (-110)
Our biggest lock of the week last week ended up being one of our only two losses, but this seems like a pretty safe bet. Philly got Carson Wentz back into the flow of things in a close 20-16 win against the Colts over the weekend and this should be the week he takes that next big step in his return from a torn ACL. Yes, the Titans completely shut down the Jaguars in a boring 9-6 win Sunday, but that Jacksonville offense had an unusually good game against the Patriots. That shouldn’t be treated as their standard.
Philly struggled on the road against the Bucs in Week 2 and this game should be relatively close, but the Eagles are getting healthy at the right time and appear on the verge of finally breaking out after a few uninspired performances early in the season. Remember that even in victory, Tennessee only scored nine points last week. If you’re asking me to choose between Carson Wentz and a combination of Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert, I’m taking Wentz every single time. The bet: $8 for total payout of $15.20.
Seahawks -3 at Cardinals (-110)
Seattle woke up, as we expected, against the Cowboys and that might give them some momentum heading into Week 4. There are a couple factors that make it a risky bet, but there is also reason to take those risks. As we’ve noted in this column before, Seattle is a much worse road team than they are a home team. Plus, Arizona is starting Josh Rosen and betting against a QB making his first career start is risky. You just don’t know what you’re going to get.
However, Seattle’s defense stepped up big time against Dallas and there’s reason to believe they’ll apply enough pressure to make Rosen uncomfortable on Sunday. The offense is getting healthy again for the Seahawks and this could really help put them in the wild card discussion in the NFC. Arizona is hungry for its first win after blowing a 14-0 lead against the Bears, but this just doesn’t seem like the week it’s going to happen. This should be a close game and with the line at -3, it provides you the flexibility to push instead of lose if the Seahawks win by a field goal. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.60.
Saints -3 at Giants (-110)
New Orleans’ big overtime win against the Falcons felt like a statement. They have been inconsistent through three weeks, but that win seemed like one that will get them on the track they’ve been trying to get on. New York blew out the Texans in their own right, but with the Texans now 0-3, how much does that really mean? These have been the most variable teams from week to week, but I trust the Saints’ offense much more than the Giants.
The Drew Brees to Michael Thomas connection is becoming ridiculous and I don’t expect it to slow down against a suspect Giants secondary. I feel more than comfortable giving those three points with the way the Saints offense is starting to hum. The bet: $3 for total payout of $5.70.
Bills-Packers over 44.5 (-110)
Buffalo is coming off the biggest upset (based on point spread) in the NFL in 23 years. Do they have what it takes to knock off Aaron Rodgers and the struggling Packers? Probably not, but I do know this game should feature plenty of points. After the Packers gave up 31 points to the previously anemic Redskins offense, there’s no telling what the Bills, now led by Josh Allen, can do.
This could create a perfect scenario if the Green Bay defense gives up some early points and Rodgers and Co. get to go to work. A game in the 30-20 range seems perfectly possible and that would get us the over. Let’s hope for some Green Bay defensive lapses early and some Rodgers magic down the stretch. The bet: $2 for total payout of $3.80.
No bonus picks this week; there aren’t really enough bets I’m in love with for Week 4. Everything above are the best bets you can find based on the last couple weeks. Of course, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, sometimes the most previous performance does not indicate future performance. However, that’s what we have to go on and we’re sticking with it. Here’s to being in the green by next Sunday night.