Week 3 has been a rough week. My spread predictions were 7-8 going into Monday Night, although my straight predictions were 10-5. This season has been a difficult one to get a grasp on. There isn’t a dominant team and there isn’t an absolutely joke. Parity has been strong throughout the opening weeks of the NFL season. I am feeling pretty good about my week 4 picks, however.
Visit my website HERE throughout the week for plenty of weekly NFL prediction links from 8 other Associated Content writers. I track their records throughout each week so you know who’s been streaky and who to follow each week.
UPDATE 9-30-10: Everything is updated! Good luck!
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at Cleveland Browns
The Cincinnati Bengals defense has caused 8 turnovers in the past 2 games. The Browns committed no turnovers against the Ravens, which means Seneca Wallace or Jake Delhomme are likely overdue. Neither team has a solid offense. Carson Palmer has a sub 61 QB rating his past 2 games. Both teams looked vulnerable at run defense and both teams have rushing offenses that can be effective.
The Browns lost 23-20 in OT last season in their home game. They lost later in the season at Cincinnati 16-7. I’d expect much of the same here. Browns could win but they won’t. The biggest thing I’d worry about here is a 1 or 2 point Bengals victory if you take them on the spread. Expect this line to go up as the week progresses.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5)
Amazing how the Steelers could start 4-0 without Ben Roethlisberger. The defense has surrendered 33 points in 3 games, and the only 2 touchdowns they surrendered were while they were playing in prevent.
Joe Flacco has looked below average against 2 strong defenses (Jets and Bengals). The Ravens didn’t dominate the Browns, but they could have been looking ahead to this game. This game will come down to turnovers and special team play. I’m going with the Steelers because of the home field advantage they’ll have and the irony of going 4-0 without Roethlisberger.
Straight & Against the Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans (-6.5)
The Titans victory over the Giants looks impressive, but don’t get carried away with it. The Giants had at least 4 (and I believe 5) personal fouls in that game. The Giants out-gained the Titans 471 to 271 in total yards as the Titans only mustered 110 yards passing. Kind of like Kyle Orton throwing for nearly 500 yards while only scoring 13 against the Colts. The Giants also had 3 turnovers, including a bad interception from Eli Manning in the first quarter that cost the Giants 3 points. Basically, much of the 29-10 defeat was the Giants unraveling from miscues and undisciplined behaviors (they looked like a team with 53 Brandon Jacobs).
Kyle Orton has had some big games, but they haven’t resulted in high scores. The Titans defense has a knack for making that happen also. The Broncos have a deep stable of good receivers that could give the Titans cornerbacks difficulty. If Knowshon Moreno starts at tailback, that should give the Broncos an offensive boost. As long as Vince Young doesn’t turn it over, Chris Johnson should lead the Titans to victory. I wouldn’t guarantee a 6-7 point victory, however.
Against the Spread: Denver Broncos (+6.5)
Straight: Tennessee Titans
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)
The San Francisco 49ers could be 2010’s biggest disappointment. The defense has regressed from 2009 while the offense has too many turnovers. The Falcons are 14-3 at home in the regular season since 2008 and the 49ers aren’t really built for dome play like the Falcons are.
The biggest concern I’d have with the Falcons is Matt Ryan against the 49ers defense. It’s not enough of a concern where the 49ers would win, but they might make it closer than 7. I’d still give up the points, however.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-13.5)
The New Orleans Saints have too much firepower for the Carolina Panthers to challenge, especially in New Orleans. Jimmy Clausen had 3 turnovers, including 1 interception and 2 lost fumbles. This gives the New Orleans Saints defense the potential for defensive scoring opportunities as their defense is based around opportunistic play, a difficult assignment for any rookie quarterback.
The straight pick is simple (Saints). The problem with the Saints giving 14 points is that their rushing defense has been weak. They gave up nearly 200 yards to Atlanta and had trouble against San Francisco, another 0-3 team. The Saints linebacker play has also been exposed with strong play from tight ends. Tony Gonzalez had over 100 yards in their loss to Atlanta. Panthers don’t really have a major tight end threat, however.
The Panthers should be able to expose the Saints in the trenches with their running game. The Panthers are also familiar with the Saints being a divisional rivalry game (look at BUF @ NE). 99% certain Saints win…. Not overly confident in the 14 line. I’d take the points if I had to bet it.
Against the Spread: Carolina Panthers (+13.5)
Straight: New Orleans Saints
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Seattle Seahawks (-1) at St. Louis Rams
What can you expect from the Seattle Seahawks? They look like world beaters in week 1. They look like the NFL’s worst team in week 2. Then, they defeat the AFC West favorite in week 3. When picking a Seahawks game, you need to consider home field. “False Start City” is one of the league’s biggest home field advantages, and the 2010 Seahawks are solid enough (i.e. mediocre enough) to take advantage of it.
There are some notes to consider from the Chargers game, however. Two of their touchdowns were kick returns from Leon Washington. Also, their zone defense is horrendous. If the Seahawks run a zone defense against Bradford, Bradford should exploit it. The Rams have a major advantage in that this game is at St. Louis. The Rams do have a solid defense and I believe they’ll hold Seattle to 20 points or less.
This game could go either way in my view (17-14ish), which makes me prefer the home team with points. Also, that -1.5 line seems low and like Vegas is trying to suck more people into Seattle.
Straight & Against the Spread: – St. Louis Rams (+1)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Indianapolis Colts (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The only thing that is concerning is the familiarity the Jaguars will have being divisional foes. The Jaguars look horrible, however. Unless Maurice Jones-Drew can exploit the Colts rushing defense, the Jaguars will get blown out. I believe the Colts can focus entirely on the Jaguars rushing game because David Garrard is worthless behind their offensive line. Don’t bet against Manning!
Straight & Against the Spread: Indianapolis Colts (-7)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Houston Texans (-3) at Oakland Raiders
This line appears very low. The Texans have too many offensive weapons to be challenged by the Raiders stagnant offense. The Raiders do have the league’s 5th best passing defense, although they’ve played against Sam Bradford, Derek Anderson, and Vince Young. The Raiders are giving up nearly 150 yards rushing per game. Arian Foster has given the Texans one of the league’s best rushing attacks. The Raiders are still making mistakes aplenty on offense and defense.
The Texans haven’t won pretty, but they’re a more complete team than Oakland. Look for them to bounce back with a 10-14 point victory.
Straight & Against the Spread: Houston Texans (-3)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5)
The Redskins have lost two consecutive games after losing to St. Louis 30-16. The Eagles have won two consecutive after defeating Jacksonville 28-3. The Redskins were only able to convert one third down against the Rams defense.
The NFC East has been unpredictable in 2010. Considering this is a rivalry game and it’s McNabb vs. Vick, I’d expect a fierce battle. 6 ½ points is too many to give, but I like the Eagles pressure defense, their home field advantage, and the playmaking ability of Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson.
Against the Spread: Washington Redskins (+5.5)
Straight: – Philadelphia Eagles
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Arizona Cardinals at San Diego Chargers (-8)
The Chargers have given up 3 special teams touchdowns this season in their 2 road defeats. Despite bad coaching and special teams, the Chargers have been competitive in those games. The Cardinals have been suspect on both sides of the ball. Expect another San Diego blowout similar to their week 2 victory in Jacksonville (or Arizona’s week 2 loss in Atlanta).
Straight & Against the Spread: – San Diego Chargers (-8)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Chicago Bears at New York Giants (-4)
The Chicago Bears didn’t gain many supporters after Monday Night’s performance. The deficiencies in the offensive line and secondary could do the Bears in when talking about the long-term. However, remember their 2006 Super Bowl season? Yeah, that 13-3 season where they won half their games because of Devin Hester and Rex Grossman was the QB. If that was a Super Bowl team, then playoffs aren’t impossible for this team.
The Giants have the passing game and pass rush that should cripple the Bears, especially with the game at home and having one more day to prepare. However, the Giants looked like they were coming apart last week after numerous personal fouls. Tom Coughlin is known for his feisty demeanor, yet he was ignoring guys as they were heading to the sideline in the fourth quarter.
The Giants should come out firing and dominate because the Bears don’t match up well. I’d have to see it, though. Love the Bears with the points, and I like them in an upset, too.
Straight & Against the Spread: Chicago Bears (+4)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: New England Patriots (-1) at Miami Dolphins
After a promising 2-0 road start, the Dolphins are starring at the possibility of being 2-2 with losses to the Jets and Patriots. Both teams are starring at the potential of having two divisional losses within the first four weeks of the season.
Excluding 2007, the New England Patriots have lost one game to the Dolphins every season since 2004. Even in 2007, the Dolphins gave them one of their better fights at Dolphins stadium. I believe the Dolphins will continue this trend, and that trend will continue in Miami rather than Gilette Stadium as the Patriots have been nearly unbeatable there since last season.
Straight & Against the Spread: Miami Dolphins (-1)
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: New York Jets (-5.5) at Buffalo Bills
The New York Jets should be without Darrelle Revis. This hurts the Jets because it forces them to eliminate many of their pressure blitzes since Cromartie isn’t good enough to cover man-to-man on every play. Sanchez has performed admirably since Schottenheimer has become more aggressive in his play calling.
The Jets won 19-13 at Buffalo last season. They also lost 16-13 in New York. The Bills passing defense is good enough to cause problems for Mark Sanchez if their front 7 can create any pressure whatsoever. I wouldn’t get fancy and pick the bills straight up (although it could happen if Schottenheimer gets too conservative or Sanchez has too many turnovers), but the Bills can cover 6 points.
Against the Spread: Buffalo Bills (+5.5)
Straight: New York Jets
Week 4 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Detroit Lions () at Green Bay Packers (-14)
The Green Bay Packers haven’t lost a home game to Detroit since… 1991? Yeah, doubt they’ll lose to Shaun Hill, either. The Packers do have one less day to prepare, but they really need to blow out the Lions. The Lions offensive line shouldn’t hold the Packers pass rush and the Packers spread offense should tear apart the Lions secondary as long as they can handle the Lions defensive line. Look for the Packers to dominate.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Green Bay Packers (-14)Want More?
Interested in my totals predictions and top-10 power rankings? Want some predictions from other writers? Check out at my website HERE
More From Associated Content
The Consequences of the 2011 NFL Lockout on College Football and Student Athletes
Dallas Cowboys Out of the NFC East? Fatal Flaws Concerning Bill Simmons’s Plan for NFL Realignment
Eminem “Stan” Parody: Dan (The Unpublicized Letters of Dan Gilbert and LeBron James)
Cooper’s Picks. http://www.cooperspick.com/odds.asp?league=NFL September 30, 2010.