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Billsfans Bets: NFL Week 4 Picks

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© Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

 

Week 3 is in the books, and that's two weeks in a row the Colts have let us down. This time, they decided to turn it around and take down the Chiefs. The difference was getting Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce back in the passing game. The two combined for 133 yards, and no other receiver managed more than 23 yards. That tells you everything you need to know about the value of those primary pass catchers on a roster that doesn't have all that much depth at the position.

 

So, the Colts are on the no-fly list, and we won't be picking for or against them this week because they can't be trusted.

 

Week 4 throws up some interesting scenarios, including an early Sunday match-up in London between the Saints and the Vikings. I'll also be avoiding that game in terms of betting, with the added elements of traveling to London and adjusted schedules being a factor.

 

So, here are my three picks for the Week 4 NFL slate:

 

 

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© Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

LA Chargers @ Houston Texans

Betting lines:

Spread: Chargers -5.5, Texans +5.5

Total: Over/Under 44.5

Moneyline: Chargers -225, Texans +180

 

The Chargers suffered a tough loss at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday while struggling to move the football on offense. Quarterback Justin Herbert took a heavy hit during the Chargers' Week 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and despite the ten-day break before their next outing, he didn't look right.

 

Herbert's mechanics looked off. He clearly isn't comfortable throwing the football, and I'd imagine the pain is pretty significant if he takes any additional hits to his midriff. The absence of Keenan Allen also impacts the team's ability to make plays on offense. Allen has now missed two games in a row, but the Chargers are hopeful for his return if he's able to practice this week.

 

The loss to the Jags dealt more damage to the roster, with left tackle Rashawn Slater expected to miss the remainder of the season with a ruptured tendon in his bicep, while Joey Bosa will miss some time with a groin injury. Both of those players are significant losses on their respective side of the football for the Bolts.

 

The Texans could have come away from their match-up with the Chicago Bears on Sunday with a win had it not been for a couple of costly turnovers. The defense did a great job in pressuring Justin Fields on a couple of occasions resulting in two interceptions for rookie Jalen Pitre. However, Davis Mills threw a couple of his own. The first was a red zone pick to Eddie Jackson, costing the Texans valuable points, and the second gave the game away with just over a minute left on the clock.

 

Mills has shown that he can compete in this league and made some great throws on the day. There were evident struggles with a lack of separation in the red zone, but for the most part, Mills did a good job working with what he had available. Brandin Cooks was kept quiet by the Bears' defense with just two catches for 22 yards, forcing Mills to look elsewhere. The lack of standout talent is obvious, and Mills threw at least two passes to seven different targets on Sunday, with all of them having at most four total receptions.

 

The defense is largely inexperienced, but the pass rush can cause problems for a weakened Justin Herbert, and the secondary is making some plays on the back end too. If Houston can contain Mike Williams, they can cover the spread. Houston is currently 2-0-1 against the spread this season, having covered or at least tied the spread in each of their three games.

 

I'm backing the Houston Texans at +5.5 against an injury-riddled LA Chargers team on the road, with the under in the game.

 

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© Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK

Cleveland Browns @ Atlanta Falcons

Betting lines:

Spread: Browns -1.5, Falcons +1.5

Total: Over/Under 49.5

Moneyline: Browns -120, Falcons EVS

 

The Cleveland Browns ran the ball down the Pittsburgh Steelers' throats on Thursday Night Football in Week 3 and now face the Atlanta Falcons after a ten-day break on Sunday afternoon. Nick Chubb had 23 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown, while Kareem Hunt added another 12 carries and 47 yards rushing.

 

The Browns did that against a pretty strong Steelers defense, breaking through the defensive line regularly and effectively. Chubb averaged 4.9 yards per carry, and the run game took the pressure off of Jacoby Brissett and the passing game.

 

That said, Brissett was dialed in and played efficient football all night long. He was 21/31, throwing the football for 220 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers. Amari Cooper was largely unguardable with 101 receiving yards and a touchdown, while tight end David Njoku acted as a solid second option throughout the game.

 

The Browns looked like they had it all working in harmony, and the long break means they've relaxed ahead of this weekend's game against Atlanta.

 

On the Falcons side, Cordarelle Patterson was the difference against Seattle. The Falcons scored 27 points, with their quarterback Marcus Mariota only needing to complete 13 passes.

 

Patterson had 17 carries for 141 yards and a touchdown. He averaged a whopping 8.3 yards per carry. His big day on the ground opened up the passing game, with Kyle Pitts adding five catches for 87 yards and his biggest day of the season so far.

 

The Falcons did, however, give up 325 yards passing to Geno Smith and the Seahawks offense. Geno can play, without a doubt, but the Falcons didn't have an answer, and their secondary was exposed.

 

I really like the Browns here. If it's a competition of run games, the Browns should win it, and their defense is significantly better. Plus, they're three days better rested than the Falcons are.

I'll take the Browns Moneyline and the under for the game. I can't see Atlanta being able to move the ball as freely as they did against Seattle at all.

 

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© Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Betting lines:

Spread: Chiefs -2.5, Bucs +2.5

Total: Over/Under 45.5

Moneyline: Chiefs -133, Bucs +110

 

The status of this game is a little up in the air, with Hurricane Ian currently headed for the west coast of Florida. The weather warning meant the Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved their whole practice this week down to Miami, practicing at the Dolphins facility ahead of their game.

 

With the location currently at risk, there's a chance the NFL will move the game to a different stadium less affected by the adverse weather.

 

One thing is for sure, the Bucs didn't need anything else getting in their way. The struggles for the offense with a wide range of injuries are evident. While Brady was able to throw for 271 yards and a touchdown, the Bucs just missed that spark that a guy like Mike Evans or Chris Godwin provides.

 

Evans will be back following his one-game suspension, while Chris Godwin's status is still doubtful, and Julio Jones didn't feature either.

 

The Bucs had a total of 34 yards rushing, which is a little concerning, but the game became a throw fest between Brady and Rodgers.

 

The Chiefs will be bitterly disappointed with their loss to the Colts but equally struggled on the ground. Patrick Mahomes led the team in rushing, with a total of 26 yards. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had seven carries for a net zero return.

 

So we have two teams centered around their passing game and quarterback play, potentially battling it out in adverse weather conditions in Tampa. Right now, it feels like a recipe for disaster in terms of the flow of the game. Tampa has been thrown out of their home environment to practice in the south of Florida, and the Chiefs will really struggle to run the ball against a very strong Tampa Bay front seven that specializes in shutting down the run.

 

I love the under in this game, with the Chiefs taking the win on the Moneyline. The Bucs have a lot to figure out, and I just prefer Mahomes and his group of weapons right now.

 

 

Related articles you might enjoy:

A Few Thoughts About the Dolphins Game, in no particular order

Billsfans Bets: NFL Week 3 Picks

Billsfans Bets: NFL Week 2 Picks

The Lofty Weight of Expectations

 

 

 

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