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NFL picks, Week 4: Straight up, and considering Survivor pool strategy

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We’re back with more NFL picks, including Week 4 straight up picks, a Survivor pool, and a look at Thursday Night Football against the spread.

Welcome back for another week of football! Thursday Night Football is back later this evening, and that means it’s time for more straight up picks. It has not been a pretty picture for me when it comes to straight up picks (or ATS picks for that matter). After going 9-7 in Week 1 and 7-9 in Week 2, I put together an ugly 6-10 in Week 3. Just bad news all around. I’ll have my picks against the spread this weekend, and my Thursday Night Football pick against the spread below.

The San Francisco 49ers host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. The 49ers are an underdog, with a lot of early money coming in on the Cowboys. It opened at 2.5 points, climbed up to a field goal, but back down to 2.5 points after news of Dez Bryant’s injury. I think this is a winnable game for the 49ers primarily because I think the defense will look better at home. We don’t have a lot to work with from the first three games, but I feel like we see a better defense at home than on the road. And against a rookie quarterback who might not have Dez Bryant (or at best has a banged up Bryant), that could bode well.

I will not be using either team in my Survivor pool. With the Survivor pool, you can only pick a team once. You get one grace loss, so if I pick a team and they lose this week, I’m still alive. If I pick a team next week after that loss, and that latter team loses, then I’m done.

Speaking of the Survivor pool, the Cincinnati Bengals host the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals are a 7.5-point favorite against a Dolphins team that barely beat the Cleveland Browns in overtime last week. And yes, I was riding with the Dolphins in that one. That was not a fun one! TNF is often a mess, so I’m going to take Miami and the points, and hold my nose.

Here are my straight up picks for the week.

Dolphins @ Bengals: Bengals
Colts @ Jaguars: Jaguars
Panthers @ Falcons: Panthers
Lions @ Bears: Bears
Bills @ Patriots: Patriots
Seahawks @ Jets: Seahawks
Browns @ Washington: Washington
Raiders @ Ravens: Ravens
Titans @ Texans: Texans
Broncos @ Buccaneers: Broncos
Rams @ Cardinals: Cardinals
Saints @ Chargers: Chargers
Cowboys @ 49ers: 49ers
Chiefs @ Steelers: Steelers
Giants @ Vikings: Vikings