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NFL Week 4 picks: Giants-Redskins go down to the wire; Saints top Cowboys; Patriots lock of week 

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin #17 of the Washington

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin #17 of the Washington Redskins catches a pass before scoring a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 8, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Credit: Getty Images/Patrick Smith

Underdogs often rule early in the season, and that again has been the case. After a 10-6 record against the spread in Week 3, they're now 29-19.

Just as impressive, road teams continued to fare well. Through the season's first 48 games, 24 of them have been won by the visitors.

It just so happens that I like a lot of underdogs this week, in addition to my fair share of road teams. My most confident picks ATS are the Patriots, Panthers, Browns, Jaguars and Titans. Tricky games to avoid: Vikings-Bears and Redskins-Giants.


TV: Ch. 5, 1 p.m.

Line: Giants by 2.5; O/U: 49.5

Daniel Jones just had the greatest start by a rookie quarterback in NFL history (that's not hyperbole) and Case Keenum just turned it over five times in a Monday Night debacle, yet somehow this line is basically a pick 'em with the home team giving three? Something's up with this spread, so bettors beware. The NFL is weird, and when you pick 256 games every year, you learn to expect the unexpected. Lost in the Jones hoopla was the Giants' defense again getting burned. They've given up 35, 28 and 31 points, and let's face it: If not for a missed 34-yard field goal, this would be a battle of 0-3 teams. The NFC East rivals have alternated wins over the last six games, and the Redskins have won two of the last three at MetLife Stadium. Remember the name Terry McLaurin. Washington's rookie receiver has a TD catch in each of the first three games and could break free often. This will be high scoring and not decided till late. 

The pick: Redskins




TV: Ch. 4, 8:20 p.m.

Cowboys by 2.5; O/U: 47

This is another interesting line. If the game were in Dallas, the Saints would be 8.5-point underdogs. Sounds too high, right? As great as Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have looked, let's remember those three wins (and covers) have been against the Giants, Redskins and Dolphins. New Orleans just had an impressive win at Seattle, and Sean Payton could rally them around the underdog role again at home in prime time. There's also the payback factor: Last year, New Orleans' 10-game win streak was stopped cold at Dallas on TNF in a 13-10 defeat. If Teddy Bridgewater gets more opportunities to open the offense, Michael Thomas and the Saints could give the Cowboys all they can handle.

The pick: Saints

1 p.m. GAMES



TV: Ch. 2

Patriots by 7; O/U: 42.5

New England has allowed three offensive points through three games, but those teams are a combined 0-9. The Pats get their first real test with a trip to fellow unbeaten Buffalo. Both teams have top defenses, so this will come down to which offense will have more success moving the ball. Tom Brady vs. Josh Allen? The six-time Super Bowl champ is a make-you-do-a-double-take 30-3 all-time against Buffalo. The Pats have won five in a row in the series, seven of eight and 13 of 15. I can see Buffalo being amped early and keeping this a one-score game at the half, but the play of the relentless Brady plus the inexperienced Allen will equal another Pats cover in Buffalo (5-0 ATS run there).

The pick: Patriots

CHIEFS (3-0) AT LIONS (2-0-1)

Chiefs by 6.5; O/U: 55

Patrick Mahomes looks even more unstoppable than he did during last year's MVP campaign. While that's not surprising, the Lions being unbeaten after three weeks is. Matthew Stafford could match Mahomes TD for TD on this Chiefs defense so give me the points with a confident Lions team. Also, this line suggests it would be KC -12.5 at Arrowhead. That's off.

The pick: Lions


Chargers by 15.5; O/U: 44

Miami lost its first three by scores of 59-10, 43-0 and 31-6. It is 0-3 ATS, failing to cover the last two despite getting 18.5 points in Week 2 and 23 in Week 3. The Dolphins trailed just 10-6 at halftime at Dallas, though, and this feels like a few too many points, even for the Fish Tank. The Chargers are missing key starters, are traveling cross country and have nothing to gain from running up the score.

The pick: Dolphins


Texans by 4; O/U: 47    

Carolina looked rejuvenated with Kyle Allen, who threw four TD passes in a season-saving win at Arizona. At the same time, Houston was enjoying a comeback win at the Chargers. This should be a close one — that’s all the Texans seem to play (30-28, 13-12, 27-20, all undecided till the final possession) — and the recharged Panthers are a live ‘dog in this game.

The pick: Panthers

BROWNS (1-2) AT RAVENS (2-1)

Ravens by 7; O/U: 45

From Freddie Kitchens' baffling play-calling to Baker Mayfield's incomplete play, the Browns through three weeks have been one of the biggest disappointments. All the more reason to back them this week. Desperate teams call for desperate measures. Expect the first-year head coach to throw the Kitchens sink at the Baltimore defense. Flea flickers, double reverses, Wildcat formations, you name it. Odell Beckham Jr. needs at least 10 targets. Mayfield almost kept the Ravens out of the playoffs last year in Week 17, a 26-24 loss at Baltimore. Cleveland's secondary is banged up but its pass rush should keep this close enough for the cover, and possibly the win.

The pick: Browns

RAIDERS (1-2) AT COLTS (2-1)

Colts by 7; O/U: 45

Jacoby Brissett’s Colts (3-0 ATS) look as if they have a real shot at winning the AFC South. Indy has won seven straight at home, averaging nearly 30 points. It should overpower an Oakland team that lost by 18 and 20 after a feel-good opening win.

The pick: Colts


Falcons by 4; O/U: 45.5

Tennessee’s tendency is to lose when you expect it to win and win when you expect it to lose. After a bad loss at Jacksonville on TNF, expect the good Titans to be in this the whole way against a Falcons team again dealing with injuries. Derrick Henry could have one of his signature games.

The pick: Titans

4 p.m. GAMES

BUCS (1-2) AT RAMS (3-0)

Rams by 9; O/U: 49

Tampa Bay went from thinking it’d be 2-1 to looking at 1-3. The Rams (3-0 ATS) are 10-5 straight up at home under Sean McVay, averaging 32 points. They’ll cover the big number vs. a demoralized Bucs team that blew a 28-10 halftime lead against the Giants.

The pick: Rams


Seahawks by 5.5; O/U: 48

The last six meetings: 27-24, 20-17, 26-24, 22-16, 34-31 and a memorable 6-6 tie in prime time. Still, lay the points with a Seattle team off a bad home loss. This is a Tyler Lockett game, as the speedy receiver should catch one, maybe two, long TD passes.

The pick: Seahawks

VIKINGS (2-1) AT BEARS (2-1)

TV: Ch. 2

Bears by 2; O/U: 38.5

This is Week 4's toughest call. My first thought was to pick a Vikings team that again looked great in a lopsided home win. But Kirk Cousins' play in big spots makes me lean Chicago. He struggled against the Bears defense last year, intercepted twice in the first loss and then sacked four times in the Week 17 defeat that kept Minnesota out of the playoffs. This is Chicago's first home game since the Thursday night opener, and Cousins' track record says not to pick him (the Bears defense will do that).

The pick: Bears


Broncos by 3; O/U: 38

Denver’s defense has zero sacks and zero takeaways through the first three games, making them the only team in the last 50 years to "achieve" that. Jacksonville had nine sacks alone in Week 3. This will be low scoring and close, so I’ll take Gardner Minshew and the points.

The pick: Jaguars



TV: ESPN, 8:15 p.m.

Steelers by 4; O/U: 43.5

Pittsburgh has won eight in a row in this series, but this one is a toss-up. Cincinnati has played its best on the road (one-point loss at Seattle and four-point loss at Buffalo), and this figures to be another close one.

The pick: Bengals


(best bets in bold)


26-22 overall, 3-0 best bets

Last week: 10-6

Redskins Patriots Lions Dolphins

Panthers Browns Colts Titans

Rams Seahawks Bears

Jaguars Saints Bengals


20-28, 0-3

Last week: 7-9

Giants Patriots Chiefs Chargers

Texans Ravens Colts Titans

Rams Seahawks Bears

Broncos Cowboys Steelers


23-25, 1-2

Last week: 8-8

Giants Patriots Chiefs Chargers

Texans Ravens Colts Falcons

Rams Cardinals Vikings

Jaguars Cowboys Steelers


21-27, 1-2

Last week: 6-10

Giants Bills Chiefs Chargers

Texans Browns Raiders Falcons

Rams Cardinals Bears

Jaguars Saints Steelers

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