Week 4 NFL: Late Afternoon Games and Sunday Night Football!
The spread will be your friend this week because there are a few heavy favorites in these late afternoon games and the Sunday night affair! Let's just hope COVID-19 doesn't impact the rest of the season too much.
Late Afternoon Games
Los Angelas Rams (-1100) vs. New York Giants (+650)... Spread: Rams (-13.5)
Well... I'm not sure where, to begin with, this game. The Rams Moneyline at -1100 is almost unheard of for an NFL game, but here we are. The Rams are coming off a crushing defeat to the Bills in week 3 after almost coming back from a 21-3 deficit at the half. However, the Rams are 2-1 and looking like a contender once again. QB Jared Goff has been solid so far this year, but the Rams' biggest surprise over the last few weeks has been their running game. RB Darrell Henderson's performance in week 2 of 81 rushing yards and 1 TD, then following that up in week 3 with 114 rushing yards and 1 TD was a pleasant surprise for the Rams. Henderson and the Rams offense should have no issues getting started against a Giants team that just allowed 36 points to the 49ers. The Giant's defense had a difficult time containing QB Nick Mullens and their 3rd-string offense. After RB Saquon Barkley went down with an injury, the Giants have been a disaster. Their offense now lacks playmakers, so they signed free agent RB Devonta Freeman in an attempt to salvage their offense. He made his debut last week but only saw 5 carries because he's still learning the offense. His usage and production this week will be a storyline, and maybe the Giants only opportunity to keep this game close. Simply put, the Rams look good this year all-around and the Giants don't so let's take the Rams to cover the massive -13.5 spread.
Prediction: Rams Cover Spread -13.5 (-115)
Las Vegas Raiders (+160) vs. Buffalo Bills (-180)... Spread: Bills (-3.5)
Don't look now Bills fans, but your team is undefeated so far with a 3-0 record. QB Josh Allen has been exceptional this year in the passing game, as well as in the running game. In the air, Allen is averaging 346 passing yards per game with a total of 10 passing TD's on the season. In the running game, Allen already has 2 rushing TD's through 3 weeks. His ability to beat you in multiple ways makes him a problem for opposing defenses. Also, with the addition of WR Stefon Diggs this season, it allows him to have that reliable go-to target that he's been lacking throughout his NFL career. The Bills defense hasn't looked as good this year as they've allowed on average 25 points per game, but luckily for them, their offense has been lights out.
On the other side of the ball, I'm not sure what to make of this Raiders team yet. They beat the heavy favorite Saints in week 2 but then got smoked by the Patriots 36-20 in week 3.
Also, it looks like the Raiders will be without their rookie WR's Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards as they're doubtful for Sunday. This leaves QB Derek Carr with little options in the receiving game with Hunter Renfrow serving as the WR1. If the Raiders want any chance of keeping up with the Bills offense, TE Darren Waller will need a better performance than his 9 yards in receiving in week 3. RB Josh Jacobs will need to take his usual workhorse role in this game, but the Raiders will need other players to step up so the Bills don't stack the box against him often. This should be a competitive game, but I have a feeling the more consistent team will prevail. Let's take the Bills to outlast the Raiders.
Prediction: Bills Moneyline (-180)
Indianapolis Colts (-155) vs. Chicago Bears (+135)... Spread: Colts (-3)
How many of us had the Bears undefeated through 3 weeks? They're off to a hot start despite making a QB change in their last game. It seems like the 'Mitch Trubisky' era will be coming to an end after this season after QB Nick Foles took over the starting role. In week 3, Foles came in relief and threw for 188 yards with 3 TDs. Foles hasn't had much success being the 'go-to' guy, but he always seems to thrive in a backup role when he gets the chance to start. The Bears will be without dual-threat RB Tarik Cohen due to injury, so others will need to step up in his absence. Look for RB David Montgomery to have a big game as he has yet to break through with a big performance this season. The Bears can’t rely on the Colts to collapse like the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons did to bail them out. That luck will soon run out and they will need to play a complete game to pick up wins.
The Colts are hitting their stride at the moment. After getting embarrassed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 1, they bounced back with a convincing 28-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in week 2. Then, in week 3, the Colts beat up on a struggling New York Jets team 36-7. QB Philip Rivers is settling in with his new team and he is gradually getting better with each game. But, he's also getting lots of help from rookie RB Jonathan Taylor who is getting RB1 duties with the injury to Marlon Mack. Taylor has had a TD in each of the last 2 games and has solidified himself as the workhorse in this offense. The Colts defense has been very underrated too as they scored 3 TDs against the Jets in week 3. As for my pick in this game, I'm going to go with the Colts. Realistically, the Bears should be 1-2 if it weren't for their miraculous 4th quarter comebacks, and they also barely beat the New York Giants 17-13. I have a feeling their luck will run out this week and they will suffer their first defeat in 2020.
Prediction: Colts Moneyline (-155)
Sunday Night Football
San Fransisco 49ers (-430) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (+315)... Spread: 49ers (-9)
There may be some recency bias in this game because the 49ers blew out the New York Giants 36-9 in week 3. The fact that the 49ers are a -430 favorite despite their abundance of injures is shocking. On offense alone, they will be without QB Jimmy Garoppolo and RB's Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. But, they will get all-star TE George Kittle back after missing 2 games. This may be the extra boost this offense needs to get the victory against a desperate Eagles team that is facing a 'must-win' game. QB Nick Mullens is in relief for Garoppolo and he looked impressive in week 3 as he threw for 343 yards and 1 TD. However, he put up these numbers against the Giants defense, so he should have a tougher matchup this week.
The injury bug has also affected the Eagles. They will be without WR's Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, as well as TE Dallas Goedert in this game. QB Carson Wentz's weapons on the outside will be limited with Greg Ward serving as WR1. To make matters worse, Wentz will have his hands full with one of the best pass defenses in the league against the 49ers. TE Zach Ertz will be relied on heavily to support Wentz and serve as the go-to red-zone pass catcher. Also, RB Miles Sanders will need to have a huge game if the Eagles have any chance of winning. Sanders can beat you in the running game and in the passing game, which is why he's a major problem for opposing defenses. Look for him to have another big performance in week 4. Unfortunately, I don't think it'll be enough to beat the 49ers, but I like the Eagles to cover the massive 9 points spread in this game. The 49ers are still very banged up on both sides of the ball, so look for the Eagles to keep this one relatively close.
Prediction: Eagles Cover Spread +9 (-105)