Entering Week 4 of the 2015-16 NFL season, it is increasingly becoming clear that a good number of the preseason predictions won’t be going as anticipated in the NFL betting odds, thanks to a piling list of injuries and suspensions. As we’ve been doing through the first three weeks, we will therefore continue to give our weekly NFL picks that take into such contributing factors. With that, here are our Week 4 NFL ATS picks:
Jets at Dolphins
ATS Pick: Dolphins (+1.5)
It’s not that the Jets are not talented, because they really are. It’s just that after all the millions spent by the Dolphins on players like Ndamukong Suh and Ryan Tannehill, Miami’s owners will be mad desperate for a win in this game. And after the Eagles and Colts tapped into that desperation to win their respective clashes in Week 3, I am willing to bet on Miami to do the same this week.
Jaguars at Colts
ATS Pick: Jaguars (+9)
Despite suffering a humiliating 51-17 loss to the Patriots last week, second-year QB Blake Bortles and the Jaguars have been a noticeably improved unit, hence should be able to give a respectable performance against the Colts. Plus, Andrew Luck comes to this game half-healthy, which means that his efficiency could be limited. Considering such issues, the Jags are likely to do enough to cover the spread, particularly in the garbage time when Indy will probably shift down on its gears.
Giants at Bills
ATS Pick: Bills (-5)
The Buffalo defense is for real while the Giants offense is half-fake, half-real, so there’s no way Buffalo will be allowing the New Yorkers to walk away with the win, or even a cover of the spread in this game.
Panthers at Buccaneers
ATS Pick: Panthers (-3)
As long as Cam Newton is making plays with his legs and hands, and Carolina is playing against subpar opponents (read that Tampa Bay), then the Panthers should be good to ease past such games.
Eagles at Redskins
ATS Pick: Eagles (-3)
If everything works as I think they will, then the Eagles offense should be waking up this week for a blowout win over the troubled Redskins. But in a worst-case scenario, we should witness another grinded-out result from Philly (like their Week 3 win over the Jets). Either way, the Eagles will be walking out of the Nation’s capital with a win plus cover.
Raiders at Bears
ATS Pick: Bears (+3)
Coming off a shutout loss over Seattle, Chicago will be looking for a statement win, something that is very possible against Oakland’s improved-but-still-shaky squad. At the moment, I am 51-49 on this pick because of Chicago’s unknown QB situation. If Jay Cutler is confirmed available, I’ll be 90-10 in favor of the Bears.
Texans at Falcons
ATS Pick: Falcons (-6)
The undefeated Falcons have a big QB advantage here (Matt Ryan over Ryan Mallet), and will be playing at home against a middling Houston squad that has a poor road record. When you add up all that advantage, the Falcons should be good to win this one by more than a touchdown.
Chiefs at Bengals
ATS Pick: Chiefs (+4)
With a better schedule, the Chiefs and Bengals would have both entered this week with replica 3-0 records. However, Kansas City has had a very grueling start, winning over Houston, before suffering a heartbreak against Denver, and then failing to measure up to the too tall Packers. The Bengals, meanwhile, had manageable a manageable schedule against suspect and middle-table teams (Oakland, San Diego and Baltimore). Given a chance to prove their worth against Cincy and its questionable defense, Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles should be able to keep this game real close to earn the Chiefs the ATS, if not the SU win.
Browns at Chargers
ATS Pick: Browns (-7)
On normal occasions, this one should be an easy and comfortable win plus cover by the Chargers, I agree. However, this is not a normal occasion; star LG Orlando Franklin (ankle) has been ruled out for this clash, center Chris Watt (groin) and LT King Dunlap (concussion) are doubtful, while RG D.J. Fluker (ankle) has also been listed as questionable, meaning San Diego will have a depleted squad. On the flip side, QB Josh McCown has shown massive improvements since Week 1, which should allow the very undervalued Browns to keep the scores close.
Packers at 49ers
ATS Pick: Packers (-8)
The 49ers have too many problems on both ends of the field, so even with their 4-0 streak in this series, it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to contain the Packers who are riding high on the versatile Aaron Rodgers-led offense.
Rams at Cardinals
ATS Pick: Cardinals (-7)
With a 3-0 SU and ATS mark boasting a 25.7-point average winning margin, the Cardinals are the definition of dominance in 2015, taking care of the ball seamlessly on both ends of the field against all kinds of opponents. Against a Rams team that is skidding on a two-game losing streak that saw them post a total of just 16 points, over two games, Carson Palmer and his Arizona team will most probably be recording another manhandling double-digit win.
Vikings at Broncos
ATS Pick: Vikings (+7)
The Broncos haven’t been that impressive this season, but the defense has been doing most of the heavy-lifting and the offense has been chipping in with the much-needed legwork, hence the 3-0 record. The Vikings have struggled because of QB Teddy Bridgewater’s underperformance, but Adrian Peterson has filled in with solid ground attack, along with the support from an above-average Minnesota defense. Pitted against each other, the deficiencies from both teams should cancel out each other, setting up a very close contest. In the end, we believe the Broncos will most likely claim the win, but Peterson and Co. will use Minnesota’s solid running game (third-best in the league) to keep the scores close for an ATS win.
Cowboys at Saints
ATS Pick: Cowboys (+3)
Drew Brees or no Drew Brees, the Saints are an awful team. Making matters worse, the Saints are 0-6 SU and ATS in their last 6 games in New Orleans, so the Cowboys should offer a sweet value at +3.
Lions at Seahawks
ATS Pick: Lions (+9)
Whereas I am not yet ready to write off Seattle’s defense from giving another sterling performance in this game, I am sure that Matthew Stafford and Detroit’s running game have what it takes to get some decent points on the board, while the Lions’ defense also limits Russell Wilson and his offense from blowing out the scores. A win should thus be in the offing for Seattle, but Detroit is highly likely to keep the win margin below nine points.