Three weeks into another season of NFL picks and last we saw a string of new faces taking over teams. People in New York think they have found their savior and Carolina looks to have a new signal caller for the time being. We are almost a quarter of the way through the NFL season and teams are starting to separate themselves. Unlike the last few weeks we don’t have as many monster spreads, giving us more competitive games to breakdown in the betting markets.
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Week 4 Schedule/Spreads
Eagles at Packers -4.5
Panthers at Texans -5 Browns at Ravens -7 Chargers -16.5 at Dolphins
Raiders at Colts -7 Chiefs -6 at Lions Patriots -7 at Bills
Titans at Falcons -4 Buccaneers at Rams -9 Seahawks -5 at Cardinals
Jaguars at Broncos -3 Cowboys -3 at Saints Redskins at Giants -3
Vikings at Bears -2
Bengals at Steelers -4
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons -4, O/U 45
We haven’t seen the Titans since their ugly showing on Thursday night. In that game, a fellow AFC South team in the Jags were able to control both sides of the ball, leading the Titans to only generate 7 points. That is disappointing, and QB Marcus Mariota has to be better if this team has any hope of making noise in 2019. Going into Atlanta isn’t a great spot, and they have to have a game plan if they fall behind as their offense seems centered around pounding the ball with Derrick Henry.
Atlanta was also disappointing in Week 3 as they were unable to grab a win on the road vs the Colts. Schedule wise the Falcons haven’t gotten a break in the first three weeks with the Vikings, Eagles and Colts all tough tests right out of the gate. With the Brees shelved for a while, the time is now for the Falcons and this has the making of a pseudo-must-win at home. The big priority for Atlanta has to be taking care of the ball. Through three games, Matt Ryan has six interceptions, which is part of the reason this team finds themselves 1-2. If he can avoid the costly turnovers they should be able to move the ball against an average at best Titans defense.
As I mentioned Atlanta has shot themselves in the foot with some of the turnovers so far this season. They have also found limited success on the ground, though the matchups have been brutal. I expect a quality game from Ryan and this offense and if Mariota is forced to play catch0-up, I’ll gladly lay the points with the Falcons at home in a game they really need.
My Pick: Falcons -4
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears -2, O/U 38.5
This is a big game in the NFC North as the Vikings travel to Soldier field to take on the Bears. Right now the Packers have control of the division with a win against both these teams, so this one is critical to avoid falling even further down the totem pole.
Last week, Minnesota cruised to a victory at home against the Raiders. They were able to get out to a lead and lean on Cook who clearly is the focal point of their offense. The big question for the Vikings is what happens when they fall behind as we saw against Green Bay in Week 2. Kirk Cousins has repeatedly made some big mistakes and we know that the Vikings are trying to limit his attempts and really be a run first team.
The Bears built off their lucky Week 2 win by going into Washington and really dominating the Redskins. That defense is clearly the strength of the team and when they are forcing turnovers like we saw Monday they are going to be a problem. On the other hand the jury is still out on Mitch Trubisky and he will be tested against a Vikings defense that is also more-than-capable.
Cousins last year was 0-2 against this Bears defense, and going to Chicago this year presents another tough challenge. Dalvin Cook is expected to be busy, but getting traction against the Bears front seven is going to be tough. As the over/under indicates, points will be at a premium and limiting mistakes will play a huge role in deciding the outcome. I’m not saying I trust Trubisky over Cousins, but I do think the Bears defense presents a brutal challenge for the Vikings offense, and specifically Cousins. I’m rolling with the Bears at home here and will lay the two points.
My Pick: Bears -2
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Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh -4, O/U 44
Monday night games used to be a marquee matchup in the AFC North. This week it’s a battle of 0-3 teams, so both the Bengals and Steelers desperately need a win.
Pittsburgh couldn’t have had a worse start to the season, as they look awful, and lost franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger to injury for the entire season. It is not all doom and gloom as many people think backup quarterback Mason Rudolph can be capable with the play-makers around him. Last week against San Francisco, Rudolph was up and down, finishing 14 for 27 for 174 yards, a pair of touchdowns and one interception. It is not the worst stat line for his first start, but he needs to get sharper and find ways to get the Steelers offensive moving.
On the other side, the Bengals are also struggling, but it is much less of a surprise. Last week, they took Buffalo down to the wire, but ultimately fell short losing 21-17. They are struggling to get Joe Mixon going (only 2.7 yards per carry in 2019) and that puts a lot of pressure on the passing game to generate offense.
This is do-or-die time for both teams and the Steelers at home should be able to stop the slide. I trust the skill position players around Rudolph and also think he will be a capable starter while Roethlisberger is out. On the Bengals side, they just do not have much working and I think the run game once again will struggle to put pressure on Andy Dalton. This should allow Pittsburgh to put forward their best effort of the season and move to 1-3 while the Bengals solidify their basement position with another loss.
My Pick: Steelers -4
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Good Luck everyone!
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