Week Four NFL Predictions

Posted: 09/29/2013 by levcohen in Football

Coming off of yet another ugly Thursday Night Football game (at least I picked the outcome correctly this time), it is time to make my week four picks. This is probably the last week where preseason projections and expectations should be considered at all in making picks, as four weeks is a good sample size.

You might notice that there are a huge number of road favorites this week. Including Thursday, seven of the fourteen true home games (excluding the London game) feature road favorites. That will definitely make this week interesting.

*= upset pick

Bye Teams: Green Bay, Carolina

Note: From now on my LOTW pick can NOT be the team playing the Jaguars. Otherwise it would be, every single week. I’m not even joking.

Baltimore Ravens (2-1, 2-1 against the spread) at Buffalo Bills (1-2, 2-1):
Line: Ravens favored by 3
Over/under: 44.5
My prediction: Ravens- 26, Bills- 21.. I honestly have no idea where to go with this game. The Ravens have been very inconsistent, losing by 22 to Denver, barely beating the Browns, and then annihilating the Texans by a score of 30-9. The Bills have had their three games decided by a total of 10 points. The Ravens are 0-1 on the road, while Buffalo is 1-1 at home. I just trust the Ravens more.
Ravens cover

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1, 2-0-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-2, 1-2):
Line: Bengals favored by 3.5
Over/under: 42.5
My prediction: Bengals- 27, Browns- 13.. A lot of people are predicting a Browns upset here, but I think their win over the Vikings was more an indictment of Minnesota than a sign that Cleveland is a good football team. I will continue to back the Bengals until they get a little bit more support, because it seems like their lines have been off for each game this season.
Bengals cover

Chicago Bears (3-0, 1-1-1) at Detroit Lions (2-1, 2-1):
Line: Lions favored by 3
Over/under: 47.5
My prediction: Lions- 28, Bears- 24.. The Bears are 3-0, but in the last two weeks they’ve given up a combined 53 points to Minnesota and Pittsburgh. Detroit is a much more prolific offense than either of those teams, so expect this to be high scoring.
Lions cover

New York Giants (0-3, 0-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-0, 2-1):
Line: Chiefs favored by 4
Over/under: 43.5
My prediction: Chiefs- 16, Giants- 13.. This has the makings of a terrible game. On the one hand, I want to pick the Giants, as they are usually pretty good on the road and it is hard to imagine them starting 0-4. On the other hand, the Giants this year may really be terrible. The Chiefs are a solid team, but they aren’t really a prototypical 4-0 team, so I’d expect them to slip up sooner rather than later.
Giants cover

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3, 0-3) at Minnesota Vikings (0-3, 1-2):- London Game
Line: Steelers by 3
Over/under: 41
My prediction: Steelers- 27, Vikings- 13.. Imagine a soccer game between Crystal Palace and Sunderland in New York City. That’s basically what the NFL has given London, as the Steelers and Vikings might be the two worst non-Jaguar teams in the NFL (and the NFL is also sending Jacksonville to London, so of the four teams London sees, three are among the five worst in the NFL).
Steelers cover

Arizona Cardinals (1-2, 2-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3, 1-2):*
Line: Buccaneers by 1
Over/under: 40
My prediction: Cardinals- 20, Buccaneers- 17.. This is just a terrible game, and for some reason I’m taking the Cardinals, who are dreadful on the road, to win.
Cardinals cover

Indianapolis Colts (2-1, 1-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3, 0-3):
Line: Colts by 9.5
Over/under: 42.5
My prediction: Colts- 23, Jaguars- 13.. Until the Jaguars show something, I’m not picking them. But this could well be the game that Maurice Jones-Drew breaks out against a soft Colts run defense. That’s why I’m giving them 13 points
Colts cover

Seattle Seahawks (3-0, 3-0) at Houston Texans (2-1, 0-3):*
Line: Seahawks by 1
Over/under: 41.5
My prediction: Texans- 23, Seahawks- 20.. I understand why everyone loves the Seahawks. I do too. But don’t forget that they have always had huge home/road splits, and their last two blowouts have come at home. They beat Carolina by five points in their lone road meeting, so I think the Texans can edge them here.
Texans cover

New York Jets (2-1, 3-0) at Tennessee Titans (2-1, 2-0-1):
Line: Titans by 3.5
Over/under: 40.5
My prediction: Titans- 16, Jets- 10.. It’s hard to imagine, but one of these teams will be 3-1. I think it will be the Titans at home, but to be honest I’m not really sure. I am pretty confident in the “Under” pick, as both of these teams have impressive defenses and sluggish offenses.
Titans cover

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2, 1-2) at Denver Broncos (3-0, 3-0):- Lock of the week
Line: Broncos by 10.5
Over/under: 58.5 (highest of the year?)
My prediction: Broncos- 41, Eagles- 35.. Going back to last season, the Broncos have scored at least 34 points in six straight regular season games. That streak will end, but not against the Eagles. Plus, this 58.5 over/under should end up being the highest this year, and I would even argue that it should be a little higher. I thought the highest spread was last week with Seattle vs. Jacksonville, but look out for week six, when Jacksonville has to travel to Denver. If things keep going the way they are going right now, Denver could be 25 point favorites.
Eagles cover

Washington Redskins (0-3, 0-3) at Oakland Raiders (1-2, 2-1):*
Line: Redskins favored by 3
Over/under: 44
My prediction: Raiders- 31, Redskins- 27.. Am I missing something here? Two terrible defenses and a 44 over/under? The terrible Washington Redskins are not six points better than the Raiders (three point favorites + three point home field advantage). I just don’t believe it.
Raiders cover

Dallas Cowboys (2-1, 3-0) at San Diego Chargers (1-2, 2-0-1):*
Line: Cowboys favored by 1
Over/under: 46.5
My prediction: Chargers- 23, Cowboys- 20.. No, I’m not confident in this pick. At all. But I’m going to avoid picking the NFC East to win football games until they prove me otherwise, which the Cowboys might just do if they win this one.
Chargers cover

New England Patriots (3-0, 1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2, 1-2):*
Line: Falcons favored by 1
Over/under: 49.5
My prediction: Patriots- 27, Falcons- 21.. Here is the bottom line: The Falcons might not be a good team. Until we see Roddy White and/or Tony Gonzalez break out, I’m going to assume that this is Matt Ryan & Julio Jones vs. the Patriots. And I like the Patriots there.
Patriots cover

Miami Dolphins (3-0, 3-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-0, 2-1):
Line: Saints favored by 6.5
Over/under: 48
My prediction: Saints- 30, Dolphins- 20.. I also like the Dolphins, and I don’t think this will be a big loss for them in the long run. But the Saints at home favored by less than a touchdown facing a Miami team without Cameron Wake on Monday Night Football? Yes, please.
Saints cover

Upset picks:
Cardinals over Buccaneers
Patriots over Falcons
Chargers over Cowboys
Raiders over Redskins
Texans over Seahawks

I probably shouldn’t pick this many upsets week in and week out, because I’d be doing pretty well if I didn’t pick so many. Oh well.

Lock of the week:
Broncos over Eagles


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