NFL Week 4 welcomes back the bye-week. With the Patriots and Titans off, football handicappers are going to have to get creative in order to find lock picks. Some teams giving up points are due for letdowns while other teams getting the points look like they could win the game straight up.
Philly finally put something into the win column by beating one of the top defenses in the NFL. Can Philly make it 2 in a row against NFC East rival Washington? Is Chicago destined to start the season 0 and 4? St. Louis travels to Arizona to take on the hottest team in the NFC while Houston travels to Atlanta, a 3 and 0 squad with the best QB to WR combo in the league.
A Closer Look At My NFL Week 4 Five ? Lock Picks
Philadelphia (-3.5) at Washington
Philadelphia built a fantastic 24 to 7 halftime lead before desperately hanging on for a 24 to 17 win. Now, Philly has to battle Washington, one of the top rushing teams in the NFL, on Sunday.
Washington is led by RBs Alfred Morris and Matt Jones. QB Kirk Cousins is much better at home than he is on the road. Yes, Philly will score against Washington’s defense, but don’t be surprised if Washington Coach Jay Gruden uses his excellent rushing attack in order to keep the Philly defense on the field for most of the second half. Washington could easily pull out a money line victory in this matchup.
Oakland (-2.5) at Chicago
It doesn’t look like Oakland’s passing game can be stopped. After a terrible first game, QB Derek Carr is now completing over 60% of his passes. He’s thrown 5 touchdowns to only 1 interception. Carr’s favorite target as to be expected is WR Amari Cooper. Cooper had 8 catches for 134 yards against Cleveland’s good secondary in Oakland’s last. But, here’s the issue for Oakland: the Raiders’ defense faces one of the top rushing attacks in the NFL in Chicago.
Chicago punted on all 10 of their possessions last week. If Jay Cutler is unable to go this week, will it be dreaded backup Jimmy Clausen? Or will head-coach John Fox go with David Fales? The third string QB was drafted by the Bears in the 6th round in 2014. Against the Browns in the preseason, Fales went 14 of 18 for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
“I like this offense, and I know I can play well,” Fales said via The Chicago Sun-Times. “Even the one game I played against Cleveland, I understand the pass [protection]. I understand the concepts. I know what to get to. I understand what it’s good against and what it’s not good against. I want to be here.”
The Bears’ Matt Forte can control things on the ground. If Forte does that, it’s doubtful that Oakland can win their second straight road game.
St. Louis at Arizona (-6.5)
What Arizona tries to do is stop your rushing attack and force you to go to head to head with the best offense in the NFL. Arizona is averaging 42 points a game. The Cardinals rush for 124.7 yards and pass for 266.3 yards per game. St. Louis’ defensive line is very talented but it’s up against it versus QB Carson Palmer and the Arizona offense. The Cardinals will do enough to cover the spread in this.
Houston at Atlanta (-6.5)
No team has as much heart so far this season as the Atlanta Falcons. For the second straight week, Atlanta came back to beat a tough NFC East team on the road. The Falcons beat Dallas 39 to 28 after being down 28 to 17 at halftime. But the victories over Philadelphia, the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys had to have taken something out of the Falcons. The point spread is way too high in this game.
The Falcons’ D faces a seriously talented WR in De’Andre Hopkins while Houston’s defensive line is easily the best that Atlanta has faced so far this season. Don’t be surprised if the Falcons drop this game to the Texans.
Carolina (-3) at Tampa Bay
Carolina is a good football team. The light bulb went off for Cam Newton versus the Saints in his last game. While he had completed less than 50% of his passes versus Houston’s defense in Week 2, Cam completed close to 65% of his passes versus the Saints’ sad secondary. He threw for 315 yards and 2 touchdowns.
With the addition of feared pass rusher Jared Allen the Panthers D is filling the hole left by disgraced former Panther and current Cowboy Greg Hardy. I don’t expect Bucs rookie QB Jameis Winston to get into a rhythm in this game.
Tampa Bay’s defense isn’t much better than New Orleans’. Expect the Panthers to roll in this matchup.