NFL picks week 4: Bet against the NFC East

The NFC East is also a combined 2-10-0 against the spread this year, the worst result of any division in three weeks since at least 2007. The betting data for the first year is available from TruMedia.

One of the best bets this week is to play against an NFC East team. However, it is not recommended to bet on any of the teams in the division.

Our league projection formula helps determine how often one team should beat another based on actual and projected win rates. That gives us probabilities of winning for each game as well as an implied profit margin – helpful for choosing games against the spread.

Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys (-4½)

Selection: Cleveland Browns + 4½

The Cowboys’ line of defense only stops 13 percent of the rushers at or behind the scrimmage line this season, well below the league average of 17 percent. Reason enough to like Cleveland’s duo Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in this matchup. Chubb averages 4.3 yards per carry after contact, the second highest rate in the league, and Hunt is not far behind, ranking sixth with an average of 3.8 yards per carry after contact.

Indianapolis Colts (-2½) at Chicago Bears

Selection: Indianapolis Colts -2½

Philip Rivers is developing chemistry with his new Colts teammates and posted an overall quarterback rating of 91.1 against the New York Jets on ESPN on Sunday, his best rating since 2018. The Colts defense is also doing its job. Indianapolis has the second highest defensive unit in the NFL, according to the Pro Football Focus game charters, and the Colts secondary school allowed a league low of 64.0 passers-by in 2020.

Sure, the team’s last two opponents are a combined 0-6, but even after adjusting to the opposition, the Colts are the best team in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average, which is the efficiency of a Teams by comparison measures success in each game at a league average based on situation and opponent.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

Selection: Jacksonville Jaguars +3

The Bengals are predictable. Coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan have passed 70 percent of the time this season, most of the time in the NFL, which allows defense to be built accordingly, leading Cincinnati to a league low of 3.8 yards per game scored on first down. This, in turn, forces the Bengals into long range situations, which often means the trips are three and more.

Record of the season’s best bets: 4-5.

The three games above represent our best games of the week as our analysis shows that the point spreads are the most different from what we expect when the teams hit the field. Below are tips for the other games on this week’s schedule. Trying to pick every single NFL game, however, is a breeze. The house wins so often, in part because bettors try to make too many games when the odds are not in their favor. Keep this in mind when evaluating the remaining games from week 4.

Denver Broncos (-1) at New York Jets

Arizona Cardinals (-3½) with Carolina Panthers

Selection: Carolina Panthers + 3½

New Orleans Saints (-4) at Detroit Lions

Selection: New Orleans Saints -4

Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans (-3½)

Range: Minnesota Vikings + 3½

Seattle Seahawks (-6½) at Miami Dolphins

Selection: Seattle Seahawks -6½

Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7)

Selection: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7

Baltimore Ravens (-13) with the Washington Football Team

Selection: Baltimore Ravens -13

New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams (-12½)

Selection: Los Angeles Rams -12½

New England Patriots with the Kansas City Chiefs (-7)

Selection: Kansas City Chiefs -7

Buffalo Bills (-3) at Las Vegas Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers (-7)

Selection: San Francisco 49ers -7

Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) at Tennessee Titans

Selection: Pittsburgh Steelers -2

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-7)

Selection: Green Bay Packers -7