Week 4 was an adventure in the NFL world, and that includes this space. Sunday’s slate was very friendly to us with a 3-0 mark. Thursday was hideous (Green Bay) and Monday was gross (New York) but, hey, it’s a winning week. The arrival of Week 5 means bye weeks and shortened schedules, making it a bigger challenge to find five games. Still, we press on.
Before we get to the picks, let’s take stock through 20 selections.
- Week 4: 3-2
- 2023 Season: 10-8-2
Come get these winners.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5) over Buffalo Bills — Widely Available
Taking Jacksonville here is a bit of an experiment. We actually won bets with both of these teams a week ago (hurray), but it’s tough to get to Buffalo -5.5 on a neutral field in London. From there, Jacksonville stayed overseas all week, potentially creating an advantage, and Buffalo’s win over Miami got a ton of attention. This may still be a buy-low spot on Jacksonville.
TEASER: Indianapolis Colts (+8.5) over Tennessee Titans and New York Jets (+8.5) over Denver Broncos — Widely Available
This is plainly hideous. Everyone can see that. It’s also a pair of valuable teaser legs given that both are crossing two keys against limited opponents. Indianapolis has the added benefit of playing at home against a thoroughly uninspiring Tennessee offense with a total of 43. New York is facing a potentially intriguing Denver offense, but the Broncos have been hideous on defense and this is also a game with a total in the low-to-mid 40’s. Here we go.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+4.5) over Baltimore Ravens — Widely Available
There are some situations that I’m just going to blindly bet. Mike Tomlin as a home underdog is one of them. Tomlin is 17-5-3 as a home underdog in his Pittsburgh tenure, and the numbers for either team getting points in Steelers-Ravens matchups are also staggering. Pittsburgh is absolutely awful on offense and got rocked by Houston last week. That probably bumped this number up a touch and we’ll take the candy at home.
New England Patriots (+1) over New Orleans Saints — FanDuel, DraftKings
New England is in real peril right now. Last week’s performance against Dallas was gross. The Patriots lost two key defenders to injury. Mac Jones got (rightly) benched. It’s all gross. That pushes this number all the way through the zero and to +1 at the time of this post, and that is an overcorrection. I’m not entirely sure the Patriots are better than the Saints, or even that the two teams are equal. I do think that the Patriots should not be getting a point at home against the current version of New Orleans.
Dallas Cowboys (+4) over San Francisco 49ers — Caesars
I make this game San Francisco -2.5. I wouldn’t play it at a flat 3, but I’d consider at 3.5 and, at 4 like Caesars has when this column is posted, I like Dallas. I think they can keep the 49ers in check and do enough to keep it tight or potentially win on the field.