Week 4 Sunday NFL Football Picks Below
Last Week’s (Week Three) Results: 5-7 (42%)
2013 NFL Regular Season Results: 37-35-2 (51%)
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Date and Time: Sunday 9/29/13 at 1:00pm on FOX
Game Line: Detroit Lions -2.5 (from 5Dimes)
Preview: The Chicago Bears are trying to reach 4-0 for the first time in seven years when they head to Ford Field to face the Lions in week four. Their bend but don’t break opportune defense has led the way in the NFL through the first three weeks and they will look to continue that trend against a Lions team that is prone to make big time mistakes. Perhaps the most shocking thing about this years version of the Chicago Bears is the play of their offensive line. What was once their biggest weakness is now a strength and this improvement has made the Bears a favorite in the NFC North. On the other side of the ball, the Detroit Lions are getting RB Reggie Bush back this week which should help an offense that is already 4th in the NFC. They are losing a key WR in Nate Burleson, who was injured in a car accident but they’re hoping the addition of young WR Ryan Broyles will help fill his void, as he was drafted to eventually fill that role anyway. The Detroit Lions have a solid home field advantage and should be able to win this game, but it’s just not in their make up. They are notorious for finding a way to lose games like this to make sure they do not find themselves in the playoffs and we don’t see this week going any differently. The potency of the Bears passing game without giving up sacks combined with RB Matt Forte who always seems to torch the Lions and the Lions inability to win the important games lead us to think that Chicago should be the team laying the small spread here. We also like the over in this one, both teams are 2-1 to the over already this season and while the Bears defense likes to make the big play, they do give up plenty of yards and Detroit should still be able to move the football.
Bears at Lions Free NFL Pick: Bears +2.5 and over 47.5
Bears at Lions Game Prediction: 31-27 Bears
What to expect in this week 4 NFL matchup: Neither team in this game will have much problem moving the ball up and down the field, as is usually the case when these two teams get together. The Bears defense will make a few big plays, a touchdown or a timely turnover that will hurt the Lions chances of winning here. Reggie Bush will help the Lions score points without Nate Burleson, but we just can’t trust this team in the trenches in an important game like this. With the Bears great history against the Lions, their ability to find a way to win close games combined with the Lions ability to lose them and we will take the points on the road team in this matchup.
New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs
Date and Time: Sunday 9/29/13 at 1:00pm on FOX
Game Line: Kansas City Chiefs -4 (from 5Dimes)
Preview: This game features two teams who couldn’t be heading in more opposite directions. The Chiefs lead the NFL in turnover ratio, sacks, they’re third in the league in penalties and really look good with new coach Andy Reid and new QB Alex Smith. None of this bodes well for the New York Giants, who are an embarrassing 0-3 and attempting to rebound from their worst loss under Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. The Giants offensive line couldn’t stop a nose bleed right now, if you don’t know the name Justin Houston, Chiefs linebacker, than you will after this game. He leads the NFL in sacks and is capitalizing on all of the size the Chiefs have on their defensive line, who should have no problem getting to Eli Manning and shutting down their league’s worst running game. The Giants lead the league in sacks allowed, have the highest turnover ratio, the worst running game and they’re on the road here. We’ve been saying the Giants are going to rebound for the last two weeks but we are officially writing them off after their debacle against a mediocre Panthers team. They just look unfocused, unmotivated and don’t have the depth in the trenches that they did when they were going to Super Bowls. The Chiefs are better than the Giants in every single category of relevance here, and we can only say that the Giants will turn it around for so long before coming to the realization that they just might not be a very good team this season. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are at Arrowhead, one of the toughest places to play in the league, and they’re turning it around in a big hurry, coach Andy Reid is changing the morale of a team that always had the talent on paper but never really achieved. They have one of the easier schedules in the NFL and there’s no reason this team can’t get into the playoffs, with a chance of a home game.
Giants at Chiefs Free NFL Pick: Chiefs -4 and over 44
Giants at Chiefs Game Prediction: 27-20 Chiefs
What to expect in this week 4 NFL matchup: This game will be the final nail in the coffin for the Giants chances this year, and maybe Tom Coughlin’s tenure as their coach. The Chiefs will have their way with the Giants offensive line, getting into the backfield with hurry ups, knock downs, sacks, runs for loss and turnovers throughout the game. Once the Chiefs get a small lead they can jump all over Eli Manning and force him into bad decisions. The continued balance of the Chiefs offense won’t run away with this game but Alex Smith will continue to limit turnovers, get the ball to his playmakers and get the Chiefs to 4-0 for the first time in over a decade.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Date and Time: Sunday 9/29/13 at 1:00pm on CBS
Game Line: Cincinnati Bengals -4 (from 5Dimes)
Preview: The Cincinnati Bengals will be the runaway favorites in their division if they can get a win when they travel to in state rival Cleveland, where they have won 8 of their last 10 this Sunday. They won a roller coaster game at home against Green Bay, where they were down 14, up 16, and eventually won 34-30. Cleveland seems to be a team rejuvenated under new QB Brian Hoyer who overcame a three interception performance to beat Minnesota 31-27, their first win in their last six games. The team rallied around the loss of their star RB Trent Richardson, who was traded to Indianapolis, and caused most casual fans to write them off. Naturally, they followed this by playing their most complete game in years. TE Jordan Cameron is emerging as an elite tight end in the league, the return of WR Josh Gordon appeared to make a huge difference in the passing game as Cleveland had their best passing game in years. We aren’t ready to jump on the Brian Hoyer bandwagon just yet. A team is never as good or bad as it played the week before, and Cleveland without Trent Richardson is still a team without a running game. Cincinnati is clearly the class of that division and they love to go into Cleveland and put on a show. This game should look much less like a typical Cleveland vs Cincinnati game, both teams have turned to the passing game to be effective especially in second halves, and both squads have scored more points lately than they have in years past. Cincinnati making a come back against a Super Bowl contender says a lot about this team. They don’t go away, play solidly but not outstanding in all facets of the game and should outclass Cleveland here. If the Browns didn’t win in impressive fashion under a new QB and RB last week the Bengals would be 7 or even 7.5 favorites here. We aren’t jumping on the Brian Hoyer bandwagon just yet.
Bengals at Browns Free NFL Pick: Bengals -4 and over 42
Bengals at Browns Game Prediction: 27-20 Bengals
What to expect in this week 4 NFL matchup: The Bengals have won 7 of their last 9 in Cleveland, but just 1 of their last 3 and they know it. They won’t overlook their instate rivals here. This game will be much more pass oriented than in years past, as both Andy Dalton and new Browns QB Brian Hoyer have proven they can move the ball without solely relying on the play action pass. Combine that with both teams strong front seven, and neither team having a star RB and this game should have a whole new look. Unfortunately, the Browns don’t have a WR like AJ Green and we aren’t quite sold on this new look Cleveland Browns offense just yet.
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans
Date and Time: Sunday 9/29/13 at 4:05pm on CBS
Game Line: Tennessee Titans -3.5 (from 5Dimes)
Preview: It’s pretty hard to believe, but both of these teams are 2-1 heading into their week four game in Nashville. Equally as shocking, this is also a matchup of the two best running backs in the AFC through three weeks. Bilal Powell and Chris Johnson have quietly put together very nice starts to the 2013 campaign. Another statistic which these two teams are among the top in the league comes as much less of a shocker, penalties. The Jets committed 20 in their week three game against Buffalo, a game they tried desperately to lose but squeezed out at the last second. Tennessee was called for 10 penalties in the first half of their game against San Diego, they also went on to win, 20-17. So, while these are still two of the most undisciplined teams in the league they have found a way to get it done to this point. This game won’t be overly exciting, but one of them will come out 3-1 and looking much brighter than most people saw them at the start of the season. These two teams met in December of last season, a defensive struggle which Tennessee won 14-10 on a 95-yard TD run from Chris Johnson. The Jets turned the ball over 5 times in this game, and it would be shocking if they didn’t have a few more of them again here. This should be a hard-nosed, tough game with two good defenses and two sub-par offenses. There’s no reason the Titans can’t win this game if they can protect the football and limit the self-inflicted wounds. If they can get a score or two early they should slow this game to a halt behind Chris Johnson and really limit the Jets opportunities to get back into the game. While the Jets have done it with smoke and mirrors, inferior opponents and a rookie quarterback who has gotten lucky, the Titans might really be on to something. They have beaten the Steelers and Chargers and are an overtime loss from entering this game 3-0. The Jets cost us last week but we are coming right back against them here, assuming they are not as good as advertised.
Jets at Titans Free NFL Pick: Titans -3.5 and under 39
Jets at Titans Game Prediction: 17-6 Titans
What to expect in this week 4 NFL matchup: This certainly won’t be the most exciting game of the weekend, but it is certainly a matchup of two top defensive units against two very sub-par offenses. There will be no shortage of penalties, 3-yard runs, punts, turnovers and field goals, as both teams are prone to all of the above. The difference here is Chris Johnson, a proven NFL running back who can bust a big run at any time and is the only player on either team with that kind of break out ability. If he has one or two 40+ yard runs to set up Jake Locker in the red zone they will win this game and remain in contention in the AFC South.
Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos
Date and Time: Sunday 9/29/13 at 4:25 on FOX
Game Line: Denver Broncos -12 (from 5Dimes)
Preview: After watching the Eagles vs Chiefs game last Thursday, it became clear that having a “spy” or someone to just focus on QB Mike Vick and keep him in the pocket. This lead to several bad throws and turnovers from Vick in a game the Chiefs eventually won on the road. The Broncos used the exact same strategy to shut down Tyrelle Pryor and the Oakland offense, a quarterback with a very similar skill set to Vick. The altitude here won’t help the Eagles offense, who tries to hurry and keep defenses tired and off-balance but should be gassed themselves trying to hurry up in an environment Denver is accustomed to. Peyton Manning and his receivers will be too much for the Eagles corners and safeties can handle, they’re too much for any defense to handle, but if the Chiefs and Alex Smith can move the ball without problem, the Broncos will do the same. The Eagles might see some success in this game if they can run the ball effectively, and there’s no reason to think that LeSean McCoy won’t get his yards. He leads the league in rushing yards, while Denver’s run defense is over valued because they’re always in the lead and forcing other teams to become pass only. Unfortunately for the Eagles, there’s no reason to think that won’t happen to them. With their resume of turnovers and untimely penalties the Eagles offense is becoming easier and easier to maintain as the weeks pass by, and they’re going to need to be in midseason form to have any chance here. This is the highest total for an NFL game in years, and rightfully so, two sub par defenses and two offenses who like to move the ball in huge chunks. We see no reason to stop betting on Denver at home until proven otherwise. Peyton Manning is off to a record-setting season and has more options than any team can contain, especially a below average Philadelphia defense.
Eagles at Broncos Free NFL Pick: Broncos -10.5 and over 57.5
Eagles at Broncos Game Prediction: 41-27 Broncos
What to expect in this week 4 NFL matchup: This game will be the opposite of the Jets vs Titans game above. Peyton Manning will continue his record-setting pace as the best QB in the NFL this season. Aside from Seattle there aren’t many defenses that can hope to stop the Denver offense, and Philadelphia’s lack luster defense won’t be the first. While the Eagles can score points as quickly as Denver can, they are also prone to the big mistake. The Bronco’s will use the same “spy” in the secondary to contain Mike Vick and force him to be a pocket passer, where he will turn the ball over once or twice and Denver will pull away in the second half. LeSean McCoy will get his yards and touchdowns, but it won’t be enough to stop Denver.
New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons
Date and Time: Sunday 9/29/13 at 8:30pm on NBC
Game Line: Atlanta Falcons -1 (from 5Dimes)
Preview: The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons have not been the offensive juggernauts many expected them to be after three weeks of the 2013 NFL season. They’re both in the bottom half offensively, near the bottom in red zone efficiently, with the Patriots dead last. The difference has been New England’s finding a way to win while Atlanta is finding a way to lose. The Patriots defense has been one of the best in the league, and their offense should get TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Danny Amendola back for this Sunday night battle. The Falcon’s biggest problem in their two losses, one to the Saints and one to the Dolphins, has been kicking field goals instead of punching the ball into the end zone. They have no problem getting down the field, WR Julio Jones leading the league in yards, but they can’t score touchdowns and that has cost them two games already. Running back Stephen Jackson is more than likely going to miss his second game in a row and that is a huge problem. Their running game was non-existent against the Dolphins and that let them bring pressure from the outside and force Matt Ryan to be uncomfortable for much of the second half. While Atlanta can pass the ball as well as any team in the league they need some semblance of a running game to be truly effective. The over/under in this contest started at 47.5 and has made a steady climb throughout the week, presumably betters are thinking the return of Gronkowski and Amedola will help the Patriots offense and these two teams are notoriously high scoring, but that isn’t the case this season. Atlanta will try to use long, time-consuming drives to keep Tom Brady off the field but the New England defense is one of the best in the league, both offenses struggle in the red zone and kick too many field goals. We like the under as opposed to either side here, the Patriots have been an under team all season and Atlanta is going to want this game to go under if they’re going to win.
Patriots at Falcons Free NFL Pick: Falcons -1 and under 49.5
Patriots at Falcons Game Prediction: 24-19 Falcons
What to expect in this week 4 NFL matchup: Two teams that really struggle to punch the ball into the end zone against two defenses that are “bend but don’t break” will lead to plenty of field goals instead of touchdowns. The addition of Gronkowski and Amendola will help the Patriots offense, but not in their first week back to action, which could be limited. The Falcons don’t have a running game to speak of while Stephen Jackson is out and that will keep them from sustaining a drive. Look for them to either go 3 and out or score points on just about every drive, with little in the middle. This is a must win game for the Falcons if they’re going back to the playoffs and they know it, at home on prime time they should play like their backs are against the wall.