We're back for another round of NFL picks against the spread! I'm off to a neutral start this week. The Baltimore Ravens staged a huge comeback, and won by a field goal in overtime. The line was set at a field goal in the SuperContest, which is how we determine the lines in our weekly ATS picks. I took the Steelers, and almost had the cover. I am not entirely sure what Mike Tomlin was thinking with some of his late-game decision-making. I ended up with the PUSH in the Ravens 23-20 overtime victory.
For the second straight season, I am back for the LVH SuperContest. SB Nation's partners over at Odds Shark are sponsoring my entry again. The contest requires selecting 5 games each week and picking them against the spread. This year's contest is expected to have nearly 1,400 participants, including myself, Matt Ufford and Eric Sollenberger from SB Nation. Everybody picks their own five games and there will be a running leaderboard HERE. You can follow my standings under the name "Fooch".
Last year, I finished 39-45-1. This year, I've actually managed three solid weeks under my belt out of the gate. I was 4-1 in each of the first three weeks. This past week, the Colts just barely cost me, winning by two and failing to cover the three-point spread. If only the Titans had converted the two-point conversion, instead of whatever it was they did. I took all favorites, three at home and two on the road. Once again, I figure the 12-3 start in the SuperContest gives me cushion for when things inevitably go downhill, potentially this week. I went 10-6 overall ATS with my picks.
Here are my SuperContest picks for Week 4:
FALCONS (-6) over Texans
WASHINGTON (+3) over Eagles
BENGALS (-4) over Chiefs
BRONCOS (-6.5) over Vikings
SEAHAWKS (-10) over Lions
As is frequently the case, I am second-guessing myself on some of these picks. I like to mix up my picks between what the numbers are telling me, and what my gut is telling me. Eventually that's going to burn me, and it would not shock me if that happened this week.
I went all home teams, with one under-dog in the mix. I don't like backing Kirk Cousins and Jay Gruden, but I just don't see the Eagles as worth the three points on the road. Sam Bradford has talent, but he has been wildly inconsistent. I'm also hoping the rain picks up here in DC. The edge of Hurricane Joaquin seems to be moving further away, but some rain on Sunday could be advantageous for the Washington ground game.
I picked the Seahawks in part because Detroit is not that good, but also because of circadian rhythms. Studies have shown in prime time games after 8:00 p.m. ET, Pacific time zone teams cover against Eastern time zone teams at a pretty good rate. There are questions about Marshawn Lynch's availability, so that could certainly come back to bite me. I don't normally like double-digit spreads, but I figure I'll roll the dice and see if it pans out.
I decided I was not going to touch 49ers-Packers with a ten-foot pole. And really I don't know if I'll bet on the 49ers again at all this season. On the one hand, the Packers are coming off a short week, and home team underdogs of at least seven points have historically done fairly well against the spread. On the other hand, the 49ers have played some awful football the last two weeks. And so, I stay away, but am picking against the 49ers against the spread this week.
Here are all my picks for Week 4
STEELERS vs. Ravens (-3): Steelers - Push
DOLPHINS vs. Jets (-1.5): Dolphins
COLTS vs. Jaguars (+9): Colts
FALCONS vs. Texans (+6): Falcons
BUCS vs. Panthers (-3): Panthers
BILLS vs. Giants (+5): Giants
BEARS vs. Raiders (-3): Raiders
WASHINGTON vs. Eagles (-3): Washington
BENGALS vs. Chiefs (+4): Bengals
CHARGERS vs. Browns (+7.5): Chargers
49ERS vs. Packers (-8): Packers
BRONCOS vs. Vikings (+6.5): Broncos
CARDINALS vs. Rams (+7): Cardinals
SAINTS vs. Cowboys (+3): Cowboys
SEAHAWKS vs. Lions (+10): Seahawks