NFL Picks

NFL Best Bets Week 4

Matthew Stafford

Week 3 was a mixed week for the Best Bets, finishing 1-1-1 and bringing the season total to 5-3-1, which is 61.1%. Not bad, against the spread. After three weeks, trends are beginning to emerge, and they’re pretty much in line with what we saw last season. Road underdogs continue to perform well, winning at a 58.6% clip. Away teams, in general, are winning 57.8% of the time. Right now, I would avoid betting on home teams unless the market corrects and balances out the lines a little better.

Betting Model

Each week, I post my betting model picks and track them to see how it does throughout the season. I don’t always follow the model’s pick when placing my bets, but it’s a great starting point. These picks can change as kickoff approaches, so feel free to reach out to me if you want the latest updates.

Last week was the most difficult week so far for the betting model, but the year-to-date performance is still very good. Here’s where it stands after Week 3:

  • Straight Up: 33-9, 78.6%
  • ATS 30-16-2, 64.6%
  • Moneyline: 28-20, 58.3%
  • Over/Under: 29-17-1, 62.8%

Screenshot 2023 09 28 10.55.21 PM

Week 4 Best Bets

I’m definitely looking at road teams when choosing my Best Bets. Until it stops being profitable, I see no reason to stop. I’m comfortable betting road dogs or favorites, as there hasn’t been much difference in the win percentage. Initially, I was going to write up the Seahawks +1 over the Giants, but the market moved the line enough to make Seattle the favorite now. If it swings back towards the Giants, I would jump on that. 

Rams +1 at Colts

The Rams, led by veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, came into the season with high expectations. Their offense showed sparks of brilliance in the first two weeks, but the offensive line crumbled against the Bengals on Monday night. The Rams went 1-for-11 on third down and failed to score a touchdown in their first 11 possessions. Stafford found himself sacked six times, and the team turned the ball over twice. O-line woes aside, Los Angeles has still performed well on offense overall, ranking ninth in total yards. 

The Rams have the NFL’s seventh ranked defense and have been strong against both the run and pass. They have faced top-tier offenses to open the season and have held the Seahawks, 49ers, and Bengals to an average of 20.7 points. 

The Colts franchise looks to have made the right choice with Anthony Richardson, who is off to a strong rookie season. He left last week’s game due to a concussion, but it looks like he will play this week. Richardson provides a spark to the offense, especially with his running ability. However, the offense, as a whole, has not been very good. Couple that with the league’s worst defense, according to PFF, and I’m surprised to see the Colts favored. 

This game has the highest difference between my model and the Vegas line. The Rams are a team trying to hang on and the Colts are a team making strides, but they’re not there yet. I think the Rams will win outright, so even if this line were to move a point either way, I’d still pick LA. 

Raiders +5.5 at Chargers

The Raiders have been a rollercoaster ride offensively. They’ve struggled with inconsistency and had consecutive disappointing outings. In Week 1, they managed only 17 points against the Denver Broncos, who just gave up 70 points to the Dolphins.

Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t lived up to expectations. He’s thrown six interceptions and failed to generate much offense outside of targeting Davante Adams. Garoppolo is now in concussion protocol, which could leave the Raiders relying on either Brian Hoyer or rookie Aidan O’Connell.

On the other side of the ball, It appears the Chargers made a wise choice by selecting Quentin Johnston in the first round after Mike Williams suffered a torn ACL against the Vikings. The Chargers’ offense has shown promise this season, but their defense has raised concerns, especially after giving up 27 points to the Titans. They have also had some questionable coaching decisions by Brandon Staley.

I don’t think the Raiders will win this game, but I think the line is too high for the Chargers. It’s interesting that 73% of tickets are on Los Angeles to cover, but 60% of the cash is on Las Vegas. I agree with the smart money, and mine is on the Raiders.

Seahawks -1.5 at Giants

Last season, the Giants went to Seattle with a 6-1 record and lost by two touchdowns. This year, New York hosts the Seahawks, likely without Saquon Barkley, and with a losing record. Interestingly, the initial odds favored the Seahawks as 1-point road favorites. However, the betting market shifted in favor of the Giants, flipping the line to New York -1.5. Now, there has been a recent shift back towards the Seahawks, making this game a bit of a toss-up with odds ranging from Seahawks -1 to pick’em and Giants -1. As long as Seahawks don’t go above -1.5, this game qualifies as a best bet for me. 

The matchup is poised to be an offensive showcase, and the Giants’ struggles on defense against strong offenses could play into Seattle’s hands. With Geno Smith leading the way, the Seahawks are poised to exploit the Giants’ defensive vulnerabilities and put points on the board. 

Both the Seahawks and the Giants have struggled on the defensive side of the ball this season. The Seahawks rank near the bottom in various defensive metrics, including EPA allowed per play and sack rate. The Giants, meanwhile, have leaned heavily on blitzing but have struggled in coverage.

In a matchup of struggling defenses, the deciding factor could come down to the quarterbacks. Geno Smith has been steering the high-octane Seahawks offense and ranks in the Top 10 in several advanced QB metrics. The Giants, on the other hand, have been lacking the offensive spark, especially with Barkley sidelined. They currently rank 27th in EPA per play, and while the Seahawks’ defense has had its share of issues, an extra day of rest in Week 4 could help them shore up their defensive unit.

I think this will be a high scoring game and the Seahawks have too much offensive firepower for the Giants to keep pace. 

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