NFL Week #4 Picks
It’s been a solid start to the 2017 NFL regular season — with 11 wins and 6 losses. That’s a net gain of $1,170.
Last week was a contrarian’s dream, producing several major upsets. Anytime the betting public loses to the books (which usually occurs when many big favorites go down in flames), that’s a really good week for me and the rest of us like-minded against-the-flow bettors who look for value.
This week, I’m backing off from marching too strongly in the contrarian parade since many teams which were dealt upsets in Week #3 will now have some added motivation to play well. After bad teams win a big game, there’s often a letdown factor. Bad teams have difficulty stringing wins together. By contrast, good teams rise to the occasion, which is why they are good teams. So, I recommend treading lightly on games that look “too easy.”
Starting Bankroll: $10,000.
Current Balance: $11,170.
W-L Record: 11 wins / 6 loses
Week #1 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$250
Week #2 — 1 win, 0 losses = net +$350
Week #3 — 7 wins, 2 losses = net +$1,070
Only two wagers this week…….
EARLY GAME: New Orleans / Miami (in London)
The Dolphins would normally be a contrarian play here coming off the humiliation of losing to NY Jets. However, Miami has endured an absolutely brutal travel schedule, missing the first game due to the Florida hurricane, followed then by a trip to Los Angeles, then a road game at New York, and now a plane ride across the pond to London. Way too many question marks with this floundering team which is playing down to its quarterback’s lack of leadership. Until I see QB Cutler manage the Dolphins offense with some consistency, there simply aren’t enough points to take the Dolphins. Moreover, Miami’s defense has looked just as bad, which is just as big a concern. Yes, I’m usually a contrarian and I bet on lots of bad teams. But I’m not crazy. New Orleans’ inconsistencies — especially as a bad road team, especially as a favorite — only adds to making this game difficult to predict. I”m not betting this game.
Carolina / New England UNDER 49 (Risking $220 to win $200)
I’m playing the UNDER 49 in this game for a few reasons. First, the total went from 47.5 at the open to 49 now, which gives us a few key high numbers (48 and 49). Carolina’s offense has been horrendous. QB Newton seems to be regressing (yes there’s some excuse since he’s coming off injury). He’s also without key target TE Olsen this week. NWE defense has been horrid the first three weeks but expect this much-maligned unit to step it up here against a team that’s been really poor both moving the ball and scoring. Also, Carolina’s defense has played well enough to win each week. Sure, the task is tougher with New England on the road. But there should be enough talent on the defensive side of the ball to give QB Brady some difficulty. Total looks slightly high, especially given the Panthers are going to milk the clock as much as possible with a running attack. No way Carolina wants to get in a shootout in this game. So, I look for either New England to play a lackluster game or Carolina to struggle against on offense which means most of the scoring will have to come from the Patriots. PLAYING UNDER 49.
NY Jet’s +3.5 vs. Jacksonville (RISKING $330 to win $300)
This is an absurd line. First time since 2011 Jaguars have been favored on the road. Question is — why? Jacksonville is notoriously inconsistent and has a terrible road spot here as a traveler coming off the London game last week. Meanwhile, the Jags gets a rested home team now playing with some confidence off a big win of its own. I tend to like home teams in back-to-back situations over opponents played consecutive games on the road, and we get the added bonus of receiving generous points (it’s +3 in many places, but I found a few +3.5 lines). I mentioned last week that NY Jets play well in 1H in all three games this season, which shows me the team is reasonably prepared for game time. With a chance to get to 2-2 I look for this home team to keep things close. Jacksonville has the strange situation of being the NFL’s best pass defense and worst run defense, statistically speaking. So, look for a more conservative, running attack from the Jets which plays to the home dog getting more than a FG. PLAYING NY JETS +3.5