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NFL Week 4 Odds, Choice: Browns Disturb Cowboys, Raiders Hold’s Bills, Falcons Stun Packers

Are we ever going to see a market correction and get some Unders in the NFL this year? There’s a fascinating article over on ESPN from Kevin Seifert about the NFL “manipulating” the game this year – keeping calls down by an absurd 59 percent over the course of the season. Vegas has mostly adjusted it feels like this week – there are about 25 totals over 50 points this week.

At some point, the NFL could pull the rug out and start calling more team penalties, which would dramatically reduce the score. Or this may be the new normal. Everything is weird and different in 2020, and it would not be surprising if the NFL eventually shifted the philosophy in terms of how sanctions were called. Walt Anderson apparently has a lot of power in the official office these days and he apparently also likes the game with more scoring.


7;s not a bad thing! Points are a lot more fun. It’s not fun to see officials throwing flags three times a turn for questionable answers. The lack of home field advantage also damages the defense, as does the lack of preseason.

So the question for week 4: will defense catch up at all? We have seen many good defensive teams host a ton of points so far. At some point, there should be some regression or a market correction. It can not continue with Overs hitting forever. Vegas is reluctant to make totals north of 60 and with good reason. But there may not be a choice if the paradigm is legally shifted.

This week could be pretty telling for the future of NFL totals.

What choices can you make with confidence in Week 4, and which Super Bowl competitor is going down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams win more than 50 percent of the simulations, ranging from the model that is up over $ 7,500 on its most popular picks.

Denver (0-3) at NY Jets (0-3)

Thursday 20:20 ET (NFL Network)
Point spread: Broncos -2.5

What is the exact opposite of Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson Monday night? Brett Rypien vs. Sam Darold probably qualifies! In fact, it is not to bad of a quarterback matchup in a vacuum. Rypien did enough at the college level to make him interesting here, and Darnold was a top prospect. But when you add Adam Gase for the Jets and a host of Broncos injuries – Courtland Sutton, Von Miller, Jurrell Casey are just a few – it gets a lot less spicy. Thursday Night Football is at least always better than some, ahem, other programming you might land on this week. I think this game is extremely low scoring, and even though I think the Jets have the upper hand because they have fewer injuries, I just do not support this Jets team at any point until they get some good guys back.

Pick: Broncos 16, jetfly 10

Minnesota (0-3) and Houston (0-3)

13.00 ET (Fox)
Point spread: Texans -4

This game should be good to go with Minnesota, which has cleared COVID-19 protocols so far this week. There is a shocking number on the total number here (54 interval), but you can not bet on Under with Deshaun Watson potentially heading towards a Minnesota defense that somehow still reaps respect. We have to say this: the Vikings are not just good, they are the worst team in NFC North. It hurts Minnesota fans to hear coming out of Twins ’18. losses in a row in the playoffs, but the Vikings are not good. The Texans are significant favorites here, but they have played the Ravens, Chiefs and Steelers on their way to 0-3. They come right and it comes via Watson to Will Fuller for more scores.

Pick: Texans 34, Vikings 28

13.00 ET (CBS)
Point Spread: Buccaneers -7.5

First of all, this Under is an excellent effort. We’ve seen a massive increase in point totals this season, Vegas is correcting too much, and as a result you can hit this one under 43 or so and see it stay low. Which leads into the election – the Buccaneers defense is just good. They are elite in a year with very few elite defenses. Antoine Winfield, Jr., who could possibly win Defensive Rookie of the Year if Chase Young misses a lot of time, flies everywhere. Justin Herbert has surprised so far, but I don’t think he will do much against a Todd Bowles defense who loves to send pressure. Bucs had to sniff the bolts out.

Pick: Buccaneers 28, chargers 10

13.00 ET (CBS)
Point distribution: Cowboys -4.5

I will not alert anyone, but the Browns are currently 2-1. They are over 0.500 for the first time in about 10 years. They got there by beating some bad football teams (Cincy, Washington) and by being threatened by a good football team (Baltimore). What should we expect here? I think they can score a ton of points against Dallas. It’s not some kind of insider analysis, but people are expecting a slower game from Cleveland at this point. It ignores the fact that the Cowboys defense is disgusting. This oozes of a multiple-touchdown play for Odell Beckham, who averages five catches, 68 yards and nearly a score against Dallas in his career. Give me the OBJ to capture a one-handed touchdown score and slam the ball on the star as the camera cuts to a perhaps-masked Jerry Jones who is not loud-mouthed in a family in the owner’s box at AT&T Stadium.

Pick: Browns 35, Cowboys 31

Baltimore (2-1) and Washington (1-2)

13.00 ET (CBS)
Point distribution: Ravens -13

Short week for the Baltimore football team, but not much travel is involved and they should get a Washington team missing Chase Young after the rookie standout injured his groin against Cleveland last week. Maybe he gives it a try, but trotting an injured second overall pick in a season that was lost to begin with makes no sense. Washington actually took the lead against Cleveland last week before Young went out, and then Nick Chubb immediately ran wild against the football team. Baltimore will be angry after being embarrassed and the Ravens will run up here via the ground game. Lamar Jackson smashes the place in DFS.

Pick: Ravens 35, Washington 10

Arizona (2-1) and Carolina (1-2)

13.00 ET (Fox)
Point scatter: Cardinals -3.5

This game feels like it’s going to go a long way, but the Cardinals’ defense is sneakily good, and the Panthers are not as explosive at offense as they might seem to be. The staff is there, but Carolina is not throwing down the field, for Teddy Bridgewater. That’s fine – it’s just not his game. They have to use DJ Moore more in the short yardage game than they have, but this is a great place for him. I think Carolina keeps it close to the cards and maaaaaybe wins.

Pick: Cardinal 24, Panthers 21

13.00 ET (CBS)
Point spread: Colts -2.5

Huh. A 3-0 team with a fan base that does not stop complaining about the lack of respect for the team that just managed to fill another 15-point, fourth quarter comeback of the season (three games in) after benching his start quarterback is an underdog at home? It’s so weird. The Colts win by 20 plus points. See you in my reviews, Bears fans.

Pick: Colts 24, Bears 3

13.00 ET (Fox)
Point Spread: Saints -4.5

This sounds like a hot take / insane person talking, but the Lions may rightly be 3-0 at this point of the season. No really! They should have beaten the Bears, they led against the Packers 14-3, and they actually beat the Cardinals. It’s just another team with Kenny Golladay back on the field and Matthew Stafford is starting to get things started in the pass. Without Michael Thomas (TBD for this game, but I can not see how / why he plays, or why he will be effective if he does), Saints offense Drew Brees, who looks deep, decides not to throw and then hit Alvin Kamara on a graduation card. I do not know if Matt Patricia can fix it, but I think Detroit will get enough points alone to win this.

Pick: Lions 21, Saints 17

13.00 ET (Fox)
Point spread: Seahawks -6.5

Boy does this line stink high. The Seahawks play a Ryan Fitzpatrick-led team with 10 days of rest as not quite a touchdown favorite? This asks Vegas to take the Seahawks, right? It feels like that and I still want to take the Seahawks! I’m nothing if not a sucker for Russell Wilson throwing deep balls.

Pick: Seahawks 35, Dolphins 24

13.00 ET (CBS)
Point distribution: Bengals -3

Nothing entertains me like Bengal’s superfan John Breech gets much excited about his team and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, who manages to squeak a draw because Doug Pederson played scared. Breech treated it like it was a Super Bowl. Imagine how excited he gets when Joe Mixon and Burrow go BANANAS against the porous Jaguars defense. I think Gardner Minshew will be better than he was Thursday night, because he needs to be better. But that will not be enough against a Bengals team that is fresh with Burrow under center. I think it’s a shooting game by town.

Pick: Bengals 42, Jaguars 35

16:05 ET (Fox)
Point distribution: Aries -13

This line is ridiculous, but what are you doing? Bet on Fighting? You can not. You really can not really. They were blown up by Nick Mullens and the 49ers’ third string foul. Not beaten, blown out. Darrell Henderson is the truth – do not tell me Cam Akers is the best runner back on this team – and he’s going to go HIM on the awful Giants defense. The best logic for betting the giants is “they have to turn it around at some point.” Aries in carnage.

Pick: Rams 35, Giants 10

Patriots (2-1) by Chiefs (3-0)

16:05 ET (CBS)
Point spread: Chiefs -7

I have to make this simple. Bill Belichick catches seven points. It’s as silly as Patrick Mahomes, who catches 3.5 on Monday night. So less than a week later you want to turn Belichick and Cam Newton into a touchdown dog? Come on. Let’s go.

Pick: Patriots 35, Chiefs 31

16:05 ET (CBS)
Point spread: Bills -3

The bills were supposed to destroy the Raiders here. Josh Allen plays really good football, Devin Singletary ran well last week, Zack Moss will probably be back, Stefon Diggs goes out every week no matter who they play. But that kind of stinks, and when something stinks, I bet Jon Gruden and Derek Carr. Give me the cheese. The Bills defense may not be as good as it was last year. It’s almost like defense is difficult to predict from year to year basis! Josh Jacobs may end up getting a monster game here.

Pick: Raiders 24, Bills 21

Eagles (0-2-1) at 49ers (2-1)

13.00 ET (Fox)
Point Spread: Saints -4.5

What a fun Sunday night matchup it is between teams whose best wide receivers are – * control notes * – Brandon Aiyuk and Greg Ward! Aiyuk is actually amazing and you could see how Kyle Shanahan is planning to deploy him the rest of the season via all the jet sweepers they ran against the Giants last week. Seven points is a ton against a theoretically good Eagles team, but what if the theory is wrong and the Eagles are actually terrible? I take the chalk here with the better coach and a rested 49ers team after San Francisco’s backups beat the G-Men last week.

Pick: 49ers 28, Eagles 17

Falcons (0-3) by Packers (3-0)

20:15 ESPN
Point distribution: Packers -7

I could not have been more wrong with the Packers this year, and I have admitted it openly. Having said that … I will bet against them here because this game will be an insane shootout (58 points in total and it goes a long way!) And if a shootout happens you will be on the team side catching seven points because the variance is a real thing in football. Falcons should be 2-1 at worst. They have given up several 15-point leads in the fourth quarter. That was impossible until this week 3 of this season. They hang out here at home in a desperate game for Dan Quinn.

Pick: Falcons 42, Packers 38

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