Big Five Picks for 2018 NFL Week 4

OK! Last week was a profitable one by going 3-2! Pittsburgh almost blew it for us on Monday Night Football by nearly coughing up a 20 point half-time lead but all we needed was the Steelers to win the game and that they did!

We were right with the Saints and Giants but off again with the Eagles and Patriotrs. Perhaps the Super Bowl hangover is still lingering for those two teams so we will tread lightly with them until they are back to their true form.

For the season we are 9-6 which is 60% and quite profitable. A 5-0 week would be huge as that would take us to 70% and among the leaders in the SuperContest. We feel it is very possible with our algorithm and preference for taking road teams who are slight favors against a noticeably weaker team or underdogs against an evenly matched opponent. Here is who we like for Week 4 (lines were established by Westgate this past Wednesday for the SuperContest).

  1. Cincinnati +5
  2. Miami +6.5
  3. NY Jets +7.5
  4. Seattle -3
  5. New Orleans -3.5

As usual, here is our analysis.

  1. Should the Bengals really be a 5 point underdog to a team that they are probably better than according to a few advanced metrics? Football Outsiders uses a metric called DAVE which takes into account some variance early in the season. They also have their famous metric DVOA. Both of those metrics rank Cincinnati higher than Atlanta. The Falcons are 1-2 while the Bengals are 2-1. True, Atlanta has played some tough teams like the Eagles, Panthers, and Saints but the Bengals also had had a touch schedule. They too played the Panthers and recently beat the Ravens by 11 points. Yes, Atlanta has Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. However, AJ Green is just as talented as Jones and he has a really good rapport with Andy Dalton. In fact, Green and Dalton have been playing together just as long as Ryan and Jones. Defensively these two teams are even and their runnings games are also about the same. This game is in Atlanta but we will still take the 5 points. Even if Atlanta wins by a FG or if Cincinnati is forced to go for a TD late in the game by being down by 4 and are unsuccesful with punching the ball into the endzone, we still cover. Again, we are taking an underdog who is pretty much evenly matched with their opponent and could wind up winning this game. Recipe for success!

  2. The Patriots have fooled us twice and there won't be a third time! While we are not quite ready to write off the Patriots, one has to wonder if Tom Brady has finally reacher father time. It happens to all of the great QBs. What Brady has accomplised in his career is nothing short of amazing. Five Super Bowl victories and 8 trips to the big game. Several MVP awards. Lots of impressive comebacks. Also, Brady's longevity has been out of this world by still playing at a high level in his late 30's and nearly winning a Super Bowl at the age of 40. However, Brady is now 41 and you can't play the young man's game forever. We expect the Patriots to win this game but the Dolphins are young and hungry. Actually, scratch that about the Patriots winning this game ... the Dolphins are 3-0 and the Patriots are 1-2. Those records are very similar to the records for Cincinnati and Atlanta. Getting 6.5 points for Miami, even if they are on the road against a team that has owned them for nearly 2 decades, is great value. A moneyline bet on Miami might be worth your while here.

  3. Again, we like another road dog, this time the NY Jets. Many of us were shocked to see the Jets absolutely annhilate the Detroit Lions on the first Monday Night Football game of this young NFL season. The Jets quickly gained respect from the betting public by being favored in their last two games only to lose them, with the most recent loss resulting in the Cleveland Browns first victory since 2016! So why like the Jets now? Getting 7.5 points against a mediocre team, that's why. True, the Jaguars were a solid team last year and recently avenged their loss to the Patriots in last year's AFC title game. Still, the Jaguars lost at home to Tennessee so the phrase "any given Sunday" definitely applies here. The Jets are not a bad team given that their two losses were in close games and they can certainly make their match with Jacksonville close. Even if the Jets lose by a TD, we still cover. Take the points and don't think too much about it.

  4. We are not big fans of the Seahawks. Even though some of the key components from the championship years are still around like Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Bobby Wagner, and Earl Thomas, this Seattle team is far from those glory days. Still, we cannot help but notice the opponent for Seattle ... the putrid Arizona Cardinals. They are simply not a good team. Josh Rosen stinks, period. He also has major attitude problems. The Seahawks are probably an 8-8 team, maybe 9-7 or 10-6. Not great but not bad. Arizona will probably win 2 - 3 games this year. Only giving up 3 points is not asking much against an inferior opponent. We don't anticipate Arizona covering many spreads this season. Don't expect any different this week with talented defensive players like Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas making things difficult for the Cardinals inept offense. Russell Wilson will be able to provide enough offense for Seattle to win this game with ease. The moral of the story here is to keep betting against the Arizona Cardinals until they prove they are a competitive football team.

  5. The Saints treated us well last week by not just covering at Atlanta but also winning the game. We did say to moneyline the Saints last week so hopefully you listened. The Saints are on the road again, this time in the Big Apple. The Giants have some talent with OBJ and Barkley but are missing some key players like Eli Apple, Olivier Vernon, and Evan Engram. The Saints are too talented of a team to lose this one, even if it's on the road. Actually, Drew Brees has proven that he can win on the road with a 51-44 road record while wearing a Saints uniform. Alvin Kamara is arguably the best RB in the league right now not named Todd Gurley and Michael Thomas is cementing himself as a legitimate top 2 or 3 WR. No way can the Giants match that firepower. Like most games involving the Saints, this should be a high scoring affair but with the Saints comfortably holding a 7 to 10 point lead for most of this game.

That's it and that's all! Let's make some money. Woo woo!