Alright so I didn’t have a great week last week. But hey, that’s why they call it gambling! Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’ll make up for it in just one week, but I do believe I’m really starting to get a feel for each team, and within a matter of a few weeks, we’ll be rollin’ in the dough!
So that last sentence was a lie, I just wanted to lead off with my cheesy sales pitch to keep you interested in my picks since I have now fallen below .500 for the season. Any good gambler knows you need to hit at or above 53 percent of your picks to have a profitable year, so that’s obviously a benchmark I’ll be attempting to hit. But in case you’re curious, my goal coming into the season was to hit at a 60-percent clip, so that’s what we’re shooting for.
Let’s take a look at the three games for week four that I’m going to attempt to win our money back on.
Week 3 results: 0-3; -7 units
Year-to-date results: 4-5; -6 units
Detroit Lions +3 @ Dallas Cowboys
Alright so this spread looks backwards to me. Seeing this matchup I envisioned the Lions being favored by around three points, so with this big of a discrepancy, the Lions are my top play of the week. The Cowboys haven’t looked good the entire season and they aren’t even averaging two touchdowns per game. On the other hand you have Detroit, who despite their 1-2 record, are coming off an impressive Sunday night win over the New England Patriots in which they looked pretty damn solid both offensively and defensively. In the event you didn’t know, Vegas oddsmakers automatically give the home team three points when they are making the lines, so they’re basically telling us on a neutral field that this game would be a pick-em. I’m here to tell you that these two teams are nowhere near similar at this point in time. I truly believe the Lions are a quality football team that just got off to a bad start. And maybe, just maybe, after finally having a running back post a 100-yard performance for the first time in 70 games, they’ll continue to keep Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount rolling, making Matthew Stafford’s job a little easier than it has been since he’s been carrying the franchise on his back ever since being in the NFL. I’m maxing out the Lions with a five-unit play.
Atlanta Falcons -5.5 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
So far this season these two teams are statistical equals. They average around 28 points per game, allow around 25 points per game, run for around 95 yards and pass for 280 yards per game, and allow 125 rushing yards and 270 passing yards per game. That was a lot of statistics there, but stay with me. Give me the more desperate team in this matchup, the Atlanta Falcons. Sitting 1-2 in arguably the toughest division in the NFL, the Falcons get a home game against the Bengals who are without Joe Mixon and have a hobbled A.J. Green, and are coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss last week to the Saints. The Bengals are 2-1 so far this season, but I don’t think they’re as good as their record indicates. You’ve got to remember they barely beat Baltimore and should have lost to the Colts in week one if it wasn’t for a late fumble that cost Indianapolis the chance at a game-winning touchdown. I’ll take the Falcons winning by at least a touchdown for two units.
Philadelphia Eagles -4 @ Tennessee Titans
I made note in one of our most recent podcasts that the Tennessee Titans are one of the ugliest 2-1 teams I’ve seen in recent history. Scoring just three field goals, which the Titans did in their 9-6 win against Jacksonville last week, is not impressive – that should go without saying. While it’s quite the accomplishment for your defense to hold its opponent to just six points, keep in mind that it was against an unpredictable Jaguars’ offense without their best offensive weapon, Leonard Fournette. Philadelphia also looks to be off to a slow start compared to how well it performed last year, but the Eagles are coming off a win against a decent Colts’ squad in Carson Wentz’ first game back, and I believe we’ll see this offense steadily improve as we get deeper into the season. The Titans’ offense is at their best when they are running the ball effectively, but the Eagles’ run defense is the biggest strength of the team allowing less than 62 rushing yards per game. I was hoping to get the Eagles as three-point favorites in this one, but as four-point favorites I still like this as a two-unit play.
For more NFL week four gambling advice and daily fantasy sports picks, stacks and bargain plays, be sure to listen to the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast!