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NFL Week 4 Picks
Welcome to Caesar’ Picks Everyone! This will be a weekly project where I pick every game from
the NFL Schedule. I’ll offer my quick thoughts, some stats, and predictions for each game. I’ll
give a final score for each game as well as a confidence scale. My confidence scale is based not
on the winner of the game, but the point spread of the game from the Caesars Palace in Las
Vegas. The scale simply ranges from low, to medium, to high confidence.
Last week saw me finish with a solid 10-6 record on the spread, giving me an 18-14 record on
the season as week 1 is a scratch. After a great 7-1 stretch for the early game window, I
bombed the late game stretch with an 0-5 record. Luckily, I nailed all 3 Primetime games to
boost my record while going 3-1 in my high confidence picks, so this week hopes to see
consistency across the board. So, without further ado, it’s time to talk about some football!
Eagles 1-2 vs Packers 3-0 (-4)
The Philadelphia Eagles may be in trouble. After another dropped ball late in the game cost the Eagles the game and now sit under .500. They’ve only generated 2 sacks in the last two games and are still banged up on a short week. Alshon Jeffery is set to return, but will be matched up with Jaire Alexander, a second year Cornerback who’s making strides as part of a vastly improved Packer defense. The Packers are however ranked 28 th in offensive yards, with star receiver Devante Adams yet to find the end zone. I expect that to change on Thursday as Adams has 5 career touchdowns in 7 Thursday Games. I also expect the Packers to cover the spread and stay undefeated, making this Packer team extremely dangerous.
Packers 27, Eagles 20/ Medium Confidence
Titans 1-2 vs Falcons 1-2 (-4)
The Falcons and Titans are both coming off road losses that exposed their flaws. For the Titans it was pass protection as Marcus Mariota was sacked a remarkable 9 times in the game. Taylor Lewan still has one game left to serve on his suspension, so Mariota may still get hit with some shots this week. For the Falcons, it was poor discipline. 16 penalties just made them one more shy of the franchise record and giving up 16 straight completions to Jacoby Brissett shows the inconsistency of this team. Both teams are desperate for a win, but I’ll take the Falcons at home as the running game improved on offense and Matt Ryan is coming off his best half of football on the young season.
Falcons 30, Titans 24/ Low Confidence
Patriots 3-0 vs Bills 3-0 (+7)
This is the biggest game for the Bills since their wildcard game two years ago, and second
biggest game of arguably this decade. Buffalo has a young core of players and a coaching staff led by Sean McDermott, who will participate in their first of two regular season matchups with the all-conquering New England Patriots. The Patriots have a light out defense, but the offense has been banged up as Julian Edelman and Rex Burkhead are listed questionable. The Pats also released Antonio Brown last week after texts with one of his accusers of sexual misconduct were released online. I’m sure the months Brown had with the Raiders didn’t help either, but none the less, Tom Brady is back to square one as far as his receiving core goes. With Buffalo at home, I like for this game to come down to the wire, but the Patriots sneak out the win at the end. I like the Bills to cover however as their defense will give Brady his worst game yet on the season.
Patriots 20, Bills 17/ Medium Confidence
Chiefs 3-0 vs Lions 2-0-1 (+6.5)
At the rate Patrick Mahomes is playing at, he would finish with over 6,000 passing yards and 53 touchdowns. I believe he could hit the 53-touchdown mark at this rate with how well he’s
playing and how well coach Andy Reid is designing plays to help his Franchise Quarterback.
Their playing a surprisingly undefeated Detroit Lions team (who I predicted to cover their last two games). While they are undefeated, I think the buck stops here for them. Andy Reid carved up Patricia’s defenses in New England, scoring over 40 points in those two meetings. Now Reid and Mahomes do it to Matt Patricia’s new team in week 4.
Chiefs 41, Lions 28/ High Confidence
Raiders 1-2 vs Colts 2-1 (-6.5)
The Colts have done a great job as far as staying disciplined, committing only 15 penalties
through 3 weeks, the second fewest in the league. Marlon Mack is ranked third in rushing,
averaging 99.7 yards per game, going against a Raider defense ranked 19 th in run
defense. Combine that with a porous 1-8 road record for Jon Gruden’s current stint as Raiders Head Coach, and I got Indy extending their win streak.
Colts 24, Raiders 14/ High Confidence
Chargers 1-2 vs Dolphins 0-3 (+15.5)
Melvin Gordon is potentially ending his holdout by the end of the week as the Chargers are 1-2. The run game however has not been a problem as Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson have thrived at the running back position. Luckily it won’t matter who’s running the football against a dolphin's team giving up over 200 rushing yards per game. Miami has the third worst offense and second worst defense statistically, and I said last week that I can’t pick the Dolphins to cover the spread until they prove me wrong. I like the Chargers to bounce back against a weaker opponent.
Chargers 35, Dolphins 10/ High Confidence
Browns 1-2 vs Ravens 2-1 (-6.5)
It already looks like some people are jumping off the Browns bandwagon. I believe the
expectations for this team were too high going into the season with a poor offensive line and a first-year head coach who still needs to find his voice as the leader. That being said, they were a goal line stand from tying the game up against the defending NFC champion Rams. Baker Mayfield has a 56.9 completion percentage (yikes) and Odell Beckham has seen double teams throughout the season, but the Browns defense has stepped up as they are ranked 10 th in fewest yards allowed. Myles Garrett has also sacked the QB 6 times already. It’s going to be tough for him this week however as Lamar Jackson is one of the toughest quarterbacks to tackle with his game changing speed. He’s the catalyst to their number one rushing offense alongside running back Mark Ingram, who had 3 rushing touchdowns last week. This is a fun game to follow this week, but I’ll take the Browns to cover the spread, with the Ravens winning the game at the end.
Ravens 26, Browns 24/ Low Confidence
Panthers 1-2 vs Texans 2-1 (-4)
Who saw Kyle Allen coming? I know he played well last year against the Saints, but that was
their third string unit. Last week was different, as Allen dropped 4 touchdowns on the Cardinals. Now we’ll see if he can out-duel Deshaun Watson and the Texans. The Panthers got 8 sacks last week and may have similar success against a below-average Texans offensive line. Deandre Hopkins hasn’t dominated like usual in the last two games but should see more
success this week. Kenny Stills has seen more targets and should make an impact as well. I like the Texans to win this game at home and cover the 4-point spread.
Texans 27, Panthers 21/ Medium Confidence
Redskins 1-2 vs Giants 0-3 (-3)
Daniel Jones went from the Quarterback New York didn’t want to the next savior in a five-
month span from when he was drafted. 2 rushing touchdowns along with 2 passing td’s and a
win have put Danny Dimes in a new light to the media. We’ll see if he can continue his great
play without last year's Rookie of the Year winner Saquon Barkley, who’ll be out of action for 4 to 8 weeks. The Giants defense also looks suspect after giving up 31 points to Jameis Winston, but luckily, they play another beatable Quarterback in Case Keenum who’s on the chopping block after a rough game against a scary Bears defense. This divisional game will be close, but I like the Giants to win two in a row as they ride the momentum of Jones for another week.
Giants 30, Redskins 27/ Low Confidence
Buccaneers 1-2 vs Rams 3-0 (-9.5)
The Rams look to go for their second straight 4-0 start to the season against a Bucs team
coming off a tough loss at home. For the Bucs, LB Shaquil Barrett leads the league in sacks with 8 through 3 games, while on offense running back Ronald Jones is coming off his first 100-yard scrimmage game in his career. Mike Evans also caught his first three touchdown passes last week, so Tampa Bay has some positives to take away from last week. I don’t however believe it will translate to much this week on the road against the Rams. I got the Rams moving to 4-0 in back to back seasons while covering the spread.
Rams 31, Buccaneers 17/ Medium Confidence
Seahawks 2-1 vs Cardinals 0-2-1 (+5.5)
Seattle has a record of 5-0-1 on the road against the Cardinals in the last six years (They tied in 2016. By the way, I really hate ties). Russell Wilson is still playing amazing football despite the lost last week, as he found his way into the end zone 4 times last week. Tyler Lockett had 11 catches for the Hawks last week and will play a part in this game as Patrick Peterson still serves his 6-game suspension for the Cards. Kyler Murray has played well for a rookie, but has been sacked 16 times already, second highest in the league. I think the Seahawks will find a way to get to Murray enough times to force some turnovers, helping Seattle win and cover. On a side note, look for Larry Fitzgerald to pass Tony Gonzalez on the all-time receptions list this week as he needs just 5 more catches.
Seahawks 28, Cardinals 21/ Medium Confidence
Jaguars 1-2 vs Broncos 0-3 (-3)
Out of nowhere, Gardner Minshew, a 6 th round draft pick who was almost cut by the Jaguars,
now leads rookies in completion percentage (73.9), passing touchdowns (five), and passer
rating (110.6). That’s also the highest passer rating through the first three games of a rookie quarterback in the Super bowl era (numbers matter on this blog). His favorite target is DJ Chark, who has caught a TD in each game this season. On defense, CB Jalen Ramsey is missing practice this week with a “flu” injury, after requesting a trade the week prior. This may help the Broncos offense finally get out of the dweller on offense. The real concern however is on the defense, specifically the pass rush, as Von Miller and Bradley Chubb have gone M.I.A through the first three games, combining for 0 sacks. Denver has also yet to get a takeaway under defensive minded Head Coach Vic Fangio. I have a tough time seeing that happen yet again, especially in Mile High. I got the Broncos getting their first win on the season, and I predict Miller and Chubb will combine for at least 2 sacks.
Broncos 21, Jaguars 16/ Medium Confidence
Vikings 2-1 vs Bears 2-1 (-2)
This is a big game for both division rivals as a stacked NFC North division means every game
between the teams holds extra weight. The Bears played their best of the season by far last
week, gaining five takeaways. Mitchell Trubisky threw for three touchdown passes, all of which were to Taylor Gabriel, who sustained a concussion late in the game. It will be tough to create those same turnovers this week as the Vikings have become a ground and pound offense, led by Dalvin Cook who has a league leading 375 yards rushing this season. They also throw the fewest amount of pass attempts per game at 21, which has helped Kirk Cousins lower his turnover number and times sacked per game. This week however may see him throw the ball more against a Bears defense in late-season form already. I think the Bears grab a dominant home victory against the Vikings.
Bears 23, Vikings 13/ High Confidence
Cowboys 3-0 vs Saints 2-1 (+2.5)
This will be the first tough test for the Cowboys after three below-average opponents to start the season. Even with Drew Brees out with a thumb injury, Teddy Bridgewater was able to
control the football and made smart plays on the road in a raucous Seattle crowd, which led
them to victory. Alvin Kamara also stepped up with 161 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys have played great football on offense under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore,
now he has to call plays against a Saints defense led by Cameron Jordan, who had two sacks in the last meetup between the two teams. This is a tough game to pick, but I got the Saints to win
this one as the offense continues to hold up in the absence of Brees.
Saints 30, Cowboys 28/ Low confidence
Bengals 0-3 vs Steelers 0-3 (-4)
Another week, another disappointing Monday Night Football contest. This one features winless
AFC North teams fighting for their first W. The Steelers have won eight straight against the
Bengals, but that was of course with Big Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Now Mason
Rudolph gets his second career start after a subpar outing against the 49ers. Safety Minkah
Fitzpatrick made a big splash in his Steelers debut, getting a tip drill interception and forcing a fumble, so expect him to try and make more plays against an Andy Dalton led Bengals who have a 6-15 record in Primetime games since he was drafted back in 2011. I like the Steelers to get their first win of the season and cover the spread.
Steelers 28, Bengals 17/ High Confidence