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Week 4 NFL Pointspread Picks with Analysis

10/2/11

As we head into week 4 in the NFL we can start to take a closer look at some of these NFL games as potential Key Releases. We like to allow for at least 4 weeks of play before we start to dive in, but after 3 weeks of play we can already see some team trends developing that may give us some insight into how this season goes. By and large, teams that look good through the first 3 or 4 weeks continue that trend. Teams that look horrible from the start, rarely recover. You won't find too many teams that start 0-2 or 1-2 end up in the Super Bowl.

Lions at Cowboys - Cowboys fresh off a Monday Night victory to move to 2-1 but let's face it folks, they are barely 2-1 and could just as easily be 0-3. The Lions continue to improve off last year and bolt out to a 3-0 start. After 3 games they have the #4 offense and the #3 defense. They sport a very good 19.6 yards per point number on defense and a very good 11.9 on offense for a +7.7 total. Cowboys are 12.9 on defense and 17.9 on offense for a -5 ypp number. That's a 12 point difference in favor of the Lions. Lions also +6 in turnovers to the Boys -2. Lions all the way! Lions +1

 

Saints at Jaguars - Nothing wrong with the Saints offense but there may be something wrong with the defense. That shouldn't matter here though as the Jags are just plain pathetic. Their yards per point on offense of 27 puts them neck and neck with the Chiefs for worst in the NFL. Early season games are all about the offense. Saints are #3 in the NFL. Jags are #31. This one looks too easy Saints -6.5

 

49ers at Eagles - The Eagles have looked unstoppable at times.......against the Rams and while Vick was still in the game against the Falcons. Without Vick they go into a shell. Vick is banged up and it looks as though he will play, but how much of an impact will the injury have? 49ers have the better ypp numbers and are +6 in turnover differential to the Eagles -4. Let's call for the improbable. The Eagles slip to 1-3. 49ers +9

 

Redskins at Rams - Yeah, they don't play the games on paper, but sometimes, as a handicapper, you have to do just that. The line is almost pick em yet on paper it's a mismatch. Redskins offense ranked #14 in the NFL while the defense is #4. Rams are #29 and #31. Rams yards per point numbers on offense of 26 puts them hot on the tails of the Jags and Chiefs as worst in the NFL. All Skins. Redskins -1

 

Titans at Browns - Another pick em affair. Let's look to the defenses for the answer to this one. Both teams have been good against the pass but the Browns are 29th against the run while the Titans are 8th. You can't expect to win many games if you can't stop the run and for the Titans, all they have to worry about is the run as the Browns rank 25th in the NFL in the passing game. Titans +1

 

Bills at Bengals - How bout them Bills! Bills getting it done on the offensive side of the ball ranking #1 in the NFL with 38 points per game. Bengals actually not that bad but doubt they can stop the Bills and the number is reasonable. Bills -3

 

Vikings at Chiefs - Not sure how you can NOT back the Vikings here. Chiefs are ranked dead last on offense and dead last on defense. That has to be an NFL first, no? Averaging 9 points per game while giving up 36. -6 in turnovers, 27 yards per point number on offense and a 10.6 on defense. With the line close to pick em don't you have to take any NFL team against the Chiefs here? Vikings -1

 

Panthers at Bears - This would be a spot where you'd have to consider opponents played. Bears played Saints, Packers and Falcons. Panthers played Jags, Cards and Packers. Both teams averaging 20 points per game while giving up 23 but all things aren't created equal. Using the yards per point stat to create a line on this game, the number would be Bears by 9. Sounds good to us. Bears -6

 

Steelers at Texans - Steelers coach Mike Tomlin talked a big game after bouncing back from a week one blowout loss to the Ravens. They whacked the Seahawks 24-zip the following week and stated that it would take a couple of weeks before that bad taste from week one left their mouths. Well, looks like the taste is gone as they almost lost to the Colts last week. The same Colts these Texans beat 34-7. Texans may be the better team. Texans -4

 

Falcons at Seahawks - Both of these teams are 1-2. Of the two, it's safe to say the Falcons are the more talented and of the two, if either of these teams is going to make a move, it's the Falcons. Seahawks simply aren't very good. They rank 29th in rushing and 30th in passing. Falcons -4.5

 

Giants at Cardinals - Nice win for the Giants last week as they battered Philly and knocked Vick out of the game. Cards lone win came against the Panthers and they even lost to the lowly Seahawks last week. Shouldn't the Giants be favored here?? Giants are banged up but just the same, we think they're good enough to get the road win here. Giants -1

 

Dolphins at Chargers - Chargers are 2-1 but barely. Got by the pathetic Chiefs by just 3. Their numbers thus far certainly aren't "Charger Like". We'll zero on the Chargers #6 rated passing game behind Rivers up against the Dolphins 30th ranked pass defense and suggest that it will be enough to cover the small number here. Chargers -7

 

Broncos at Packers - The biggest number on the board this week as the Super Bowl Champs are -12.5 point favorites here. We'll get real elementary here. Broncos are 1-2 but their 2 losses were by a field goal. Packers are 3-0 and have won by 8, 7 and 10 points and one of those teams was the Panthers. 77% of the wagers on this game are on the Packers. We'll buck the public here. Broncos +12.5

 

Patriots at Raiders - The Pats are human after all. Actually, Pats could have some problems. Nothing wrong with the offense but how about the defense giving up 26 points per game which is good for 27th in the NFL? That might be ok here as the Raiders are giving up 27 ppg good for a ranking of #28! The Pats are the #1 passing team in the NFL behind Brady. The Raiders are the #1 rushing team behind McFadden. The Raiders can't stop the pass, ranking 28th in the NFL, but the Pats CAN stop the run, ranking 10th. Advantage Patriots. When making a line using the yards per point stat, the Raiders would actually be favored by 3 or 4 points. Advantage Raiders. Both of these teams lost shootouts in Buffalo by 3. Interesting game here with no strong opinion either way. Let's call for Brady and company to bounce back after a loss. Patriots -4.5

 

Jets at Ravens - Big mouth Rex back to his old stomping grounds. The New York air waves will light up if Buddy's son drops this game! Not sure how to explain the Raven loss to the Titans in week 2, which should give the Jets hope, but the Ravens looked like the Ravens again last week against the Rams. Are they that good? Or are the beating bad teams? Both teams average 28 points per game but the Ravens are giving up just 13, #1 in the NFL. Jets rank 25th in rushing, Ravens defense is 6th against the run. Ravens offense is 8th rushing, the Jets defense is 31st against the run. We don't like the hook here so we'll lay a little more if we have to but this is a Ravens call. Ravens -3 -120

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