You want NFL Week 4 picks and predictions? We’ve got your NFL Week 4 picks and predictions right here. And if you heeded our advice in Week 3, you’re in the black. Both our Lock of the Week (the Ravens covering vs. Patriots) and our Upset of the Week (the Falcons beating the Seahawks) hit.
(No need to mention, of course, that Beasley also went 6-8 ATS in his other picks. Irrelevant!)
Let’s see if we can keep the good vibes going in what looks to be a pretty challenging week of bets. All lines are as of Wednesday morning and courtesy of Caesars.
NFL Week 4 picks and predictions: Lock of the Week
Browns -1.5; Browns -125, Falcons +105; O/U 49.5
Both the Browns (2-1) and Falcons (1-2) are better than people thought they would be at this stage of the season. The problem for the Falcons? Their better is not nearly as good as the Browns’ better.
Cleveland is doing what’s needed to survive during Deshaun Watson’s suspension: controlling the game with a punishing ground attack. The Browns lead the NFL with 190.7 yards per game and are sixth in yards per carry (5). They’re not only first in rush EPA per play (.17), they’re more than doubling up the next closest team (Panthers, .08).
Expect more of the same against a Falcons run defense than allows 4.8 yards per carry and is dead last in rush defense EPA per play (.12).
Plus, the Browns aren’t giving any ground this week when it comes to quarterbacks. Jacoby Brissett is ninth in QBR (62.6). Marcus Mariota — who has been surprisingly effective in his second shot as a starter — is 12th (55.8).
If you’re looking for reasons to bet against the Browns, the uncertainty after Myles Garrett’s car crash from earlier this week would be one. But our view is the Browns can win with or without him.
Beasley: Browns 24, Falcons 14
Miller: Browns 21, Falcons 18
Robinson: Browns 24, Falcons 17
NFL Week 4 Picks and Predictions: Upset of the Week
Raiders -2.5; Raiders -150, Broncos +126; O/U 45.5
What’s going on with Josh McDaniels and the Raiders? A lot. We encourage you to read Aaron Wilson’s excellent deep dive into the rising heat in the desert. The big takeaways: There’s a ton of top-end talent but not much behind it. And the offensive line is a mess. Put it all together, and you have a winless team — we believe it will remain that way through Week 4.
But those are just a few of the reasons we like Denver this week. Put simply, we believe they haven’t come close to playing their best football (even at 2-1), and at some point, their results will catch up with their ability.
Actually, that’s unfair. The defense isn’t underachieving at all. Denver’s D is top six in scoring (12 points per game), yards (251.3), yards per play (4.7), rushing (4.7), passing (170), yards per pass (5.4), first downs (15.7), third down efficiency (26.5%), fourth down efficiency (25%), red zone efficiency (25%), and goal to go efficiency (50%).
If Russell Wilson and the Broncos’ offense can ever figure out how to score touchdowns (they’re last in red zone efficiency and second-to-last in goal-to-go conversions), they will give the Chiefs a real run in the AFC West.
Perhaps they do so this week against a Raiders defense that has allowed touchdowns on 80% of their red zone situations and 100% of their goal-to-go situations.
Beasley: Broncos 26, Raiders 20
Miller: Raiders 27, Broncos 17
Robinson: Broncos 25, Raiders 20
More NFL Picks and Predictions for Week 4
Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals -4; Bengals -210, Dolphins +175; O/U 47
The line opened at 3 and has only grown — which is totally understandable given the circumstances. The Dolphins’ defense was on the field for 90 snaps on Sunday, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is hobbled by back and ankle injuries, and the Dolphins’ already limited prep time was sliced by Hurricane Ian.
The Dolphins (3-0) didn’t practice Monday, held just a walkthrough Tuesday, and flew to Cincinnati first thing Wednesday to make sure they could actually get to Cincinnati. Tough scene.
A win Thursday, then, against the defending AFC champs, in our view, would be even more impressive than beating the Ravens or Bills. Yes, the Bengals are 1-2, but their advanced stats are actually quite good (10th in point differential, 10th in EPA per play).
Plus, their porous pass protection seemed to have stopped the bleeding against the Jets. That thesis will be put to the test Thursday by an aggressive Dolphins defense that ranks 26th in sack rate (4.9%) but third in pass rush win rate (53%).
Joe Burrow has regressed in Year 3, ranking middle of the pack in CPOE (.6), EPA per play (.07), QBR (47.1), and passer rating (85.1). But Miami has allowed 297.7 passing yards per game (31st), 7.3 yards per attempt (26th), and has an opponents’ passer rating of 104.2 (26th). The Dolphins lead the all-time series 18-7 but haven’t won in Cincinnati in a decade.
— Adam H. Beasley
Beasley: Bengals 27, Dolphins 20
Miller: Bengals 27, Dolphins 24
Robinson: Bengals 28, Dolphins 21
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
Vikings -2.5; Vikings -145, Saints +122; O/U 43.5
Two consecutive dud weeks from the Vikings’ passing game — in which Justin Jefferson averaged 31 receiving yards and Kirk Cousins generated a passer rating of 71.1 — have raised big questions about the offense, only now exacerbated by Dalvin Cook’s injury.
The Vikings just don’t look like a team that can make points, especially when its suspect offensive line is put to the test.
Of course, the Saints are the same way — Jameis Winston has looked out of sorts with pressure bearing down, perhaps a product of his four fractured vertebrae. Even when protecting well, the offensive line looks disconnected and incomplete.
Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas have struggled to produce. Only emerging rookie receiver Chris Olave remains a bright spot on that offense.
Defensively, both teams are in an interesting spot. Few Vikings fans feel confident that the defense can stop anything short of a wet paper bag, yet it ranks tenth in points per game allowed and 13th in points per drive allowed.
Much of that has to do with their disastrous first halves, where miscommunication and a lack of talent in the secondary have created big play opportunities the Vikings have been lucky to get out of.
Conversely, the Saints have seen good things out of cornerback Marshon Lattimore and the secondary but have perhaps the worst pass rush in the league. Both teams are very talented and could come together at any moment, but it’s difficult to tell if they will and when.
— Arif Hasan
Beasley: Vikings 20, Saints 12
Miller: Saints 24, Vikings 21
Robinson: Vikings 27, Saints 19
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans
Chargers -5; Chargers -235, Texans +192; O/U 44
The Chargers began the year as a trendy Super Bowl pick, but in true Chargers fashion, everything has come crashing down in a matter of weeks. Justin Herbert, dealing with a rib injury, looked to be in pain for the duration of L.A.’s Week 3 loss to the Jaguars.
Left tackle Rashawn Slater is done for the season after tearing his biceps, and edge rusher Joey Bosa is out indefinitely thanks to a groin injury.
Yet, even given their health issues, the Chargers have a far more talented roster than the Texans, one of two winless teams remaining in the NFL. L.A.’s Slater-less line could struggle against a Houston pass rush that’s generated pressure at a top-10 rate, but the Texans have allowed the most rushing yards in the league, so it might be a big Austin Ekeler day.
Texans safety Jalen Pitre, the 37th overall pick in the 2022 draft, had a coming-out party in Week 3, posting two interceptions, two pass deflections, a fumble recovery, two tackles for loss, and a QB hit. Long-term, Houston could have a fun secondary thanks to Pitre and fellow rookie Derek Stingley Jr.
— Dallas Robinson
Beasley: Chargers 13, Texans 9
Miller: Chargers 23, Texans 17
Robinson: Chargers 24, Texans 14
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles -6.5; Eagles -278, Jaguars +222; O/U 48
If someone would have told us that Jacksonville visiting Philadelphia might be the game of the week, we wouldn’t have believed them. Don’t let that line fool you. Just last week, the Jaguars were seven-point underdogs against the Chargers.
The Jaguars rank fifth in yard differential, second in point differential, third in EPA-per-play, first in turnover margin, and second in weighted DVOA. Even with Football Outsiders accounting for preseason forecasts with their “DAVE” stat, Jacksonville still ranks 12th. Outside of their secondary woes in Week 1, they have been dominant.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have been the most dominant team in the league through three weeks. However, they’ve faced three teams that didn’t have winning records a season ago. Speaking of that, last season, the Eagles didn’t beat a single .500-or-better team, leading to their 9-8 record.
They may not face many quality opponents in 2022. They had the easiest schedule heading into the season based on Las Vegas odds.
— Dalton Miller
Beasley: Eagles 28, Jaguars 24
Miller: Eagles 31, Jaguars 30
Robinson: Eagles 31, Jaguars 23
Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions
Lions -4.5; Lions -210, Seahawks +175; O/U 50
It’s easy to see where the points come from in both offenses, whether it’s Geno Smith’s surprisingly efficient, conservative style of passing or the Lions’ surprisingly explosive and aggressive run-oriented offense.
It’s difficult to tell how sustainable either style of offense is here, but there’s also room to grow given Seattle’s impressive skill corps and Detroit’s improving offensive line – one that can get better every week just from its interior getting healthier.
Still, the bottom will drop out at some point for these offenses, and it will be up to the defenses to make up ground. Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye had a rough outing against the Vikings, but Jeff Okudah was stellar.
If Detroit can corral opposing offenses on the backend, the Lions have the horses in the front seven to give other teams hell. Seattle’s defense isn’t quite as set up, but their young players have already shown significant talent.
For now, the offenses control their fates, but that switch could flip.
— Arif Hasan
Beasley: Lions 30, Seahawks 11
Miller: Lions 28, Seahawks 17
Robinson: Lions 27, Seahawks 20
Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants
Giants -3; Giants -170, Bears +143; O/U 39
The fact that either the Bears or Giants will be 3-1 after this game is outrageous. Neither team is a playoff contender despite their winning record. Their offenses are putrid, no matter how we look at them.
The Giants rank 21st in offensive points per drive, while the Bears rank 16th. The Giants’ offensive drive success rate ranks 23th, while the Bears rank 29th. And it all comes down to poor passing attacks.
The Bears rank sixth, and the Giants rank seventh in rushing EPA-per-play in the first three weeks of the season. Neither team cracks the top 20 in dropback EPA.
If either team can get into a groove in the passing game, they will have a massive advantage on Sunday.
— Dalton Miller
Beasley: Bears 13, Giants 10
Miller: Bears 17, Giants 16
Robinson: Giants 14, Bears 10
Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys -3; Cowboys -170, Commanders +143; O/U 41.5
The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders have had opposing luck so far in this young NFL season. Washington won against what appears to be a good Jacksonville team, while Dallas fell to the Buccaneers and lost QB Dak Prescott to injury.
Since then, the Commanders have fallen flat. Their rushing defense has been underwhelming, and Carson Wentz took nine sacks against his former team in Week 3.
Meanwhile, Dallas’s pass rush might be even better than Philadelphia’s. They’ve also created an offensive game plan to help create a clearer picture for their passing attack. Wideout Noah Brown has stepped up, and the Cowboys’ 12 personnel sets have helped create more isolated matchups on the outside.
— Dalton Miller
Beasley: Cowboys 21, Commanders 10
Miller: Cowboys 27, Commanders 17
Robinson: Cowboys 21, Commanders 17
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Colts -3.5; Colts -178, Titans +150; O/U 42.5
The Titans were the AFC’s No. 1 seed a year ago, and the Colts were viewed as the AFC South favorites for 2022. But with the Jaguars taking the division — and the league — by storm through three games, Tennessee and Indianapolis are left to battle for table scraps in Week 4.
Both the Titans and Colts, winless heading into last week, saved any potential postseason hopes with victories over the Raiders and Chiefs, respectively. Indy’s win over the unbeaten Chiefs may have looked impressive on paper, but they only put up 259 yards of offense and got bailed out by a few uncharacteristic Kansas City mistakes.
The Colts haven’t been able to get what should be a high-powered, Jonathan Taylor-led rushing attack going, and the Titans – who also want to make their bones in the ground game – could have trouble against Indy.
The Colts rank first in the league in efficiency against the run, so while a Derrick Henry-centered game plan is Tennessee’s preference, they may have to lean on Ryan Tannehill.
— Dallas Robinson
Beasley: Colts 21, Titans 20
Miller: Titans 20, Colts 17
Robinson: Titans 24, Colts 21
New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers -3.5; Steelers -190, Jets +158; O/U 40.5
Zach Wilson’s return to New York’s starting lineup will headline Week 4’s Jets-Steelers matchup, but a quarterback change could be nearing in Pittsburgh, as well.
Mike Tomlin has remained steadfast in his support of Mitchell Trubisky, who ranks dead last league-wide in yards per attempt. It’s not all Trubisky’s fault, of course – Matt Canada’s offense looks stagnant, and Trubisky’s Week 3 passing chart featured almost nothing aside from go balls down the sidelines.
Gang Green can’t stop anyone in the passing game, though, so Trubisky could conceivably post his best outing of the year. If he struggles again, we might start hearing Kenny Pickett’s entrance music.
Wilson is back with the Jets after missing three games due to a preseason knee injury. It seems impossible to imagine New York will ask the former No. 2 overall pick to drop back at the same ridiculous rate as Joe Flacco, especially against a Steelers defense that has forced a turnover on 17.6% of its drives, sixth-best in the NFL.
— Dallas Robinson
Beasley: Jets 20, Steelers 14
Miller: Steelers 17, Jets 14
Robinson: Steelers 24, Jets 20
Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens
Bills -3; Bills -170, Ravens +143; O/U 51.5
You’ve almost got to pity the top end of the AFC right now (except for the Kansas City Chiefs). By the start of October, the Dolphins, Bills, and Ravens will have completed a round robin — while the cream of the NFC’s crop is largely getting fat against terrible teams.
The Bills’ opening schedule has been the worst of the bunch — with games against the defending champs (LAR), the AFC’s 2021 number one seed (TEN), this year’s breakthrough team (MIA), and now the team with this year’s frontrunner for MVP (BAL).
But the Bills, with the league’s best roster, are built for this. And they’re surely still ticked after choking away a should-have-been win in Miami last week. (We know Ken Dorsey is.) The final score of that game (Dolphins 21, Bills 19) is pretty low on our list of takeaways.
The Bills, for about 120 of the 129 non-special teams plays, still looked like the Bills we saw through the first two weeks of the season. They’re still the best team in the AFC East, the AFC, and the NFL.
The Ravens, meanwhile, have yet to beat a team currently with a winning record. And while they’ve scored a ton of points (99 through three games), they’ve yet to face a defense like the one they will Sunday. The Bills are second in yards per play allowed (2.8) and fourth in scoring defense (12.7). Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Allen, of course, will be fun.
— Adam H. Beasley
Beasley: Bills 30, Ravens 20
Miller: Ravens 33, Bills 30
Robinson: Bills 31, Ravens 27
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
Panthers -1.5; Panthers -125, Cardinals +105; O/U 42.5
The Cardinals and Panthers are both 1-2 and drifting further to the fringes of NFC playoff contention, but they’ve gotten here in very different ways.
Baker Mayfield has arguably been the worst quarterback in the NFL through three games, and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo isn’t making things easier via his scheme. Carolina’s defense helped them eke out a win over the Saints in Week 3.
This week, against a Cardinals defense that’s allowing the league’s worst DVOA to pass-catching running backs by a wide margin, Christian McCaffrey needs to be the focal point of the Panthers’ offensive attack.
Although Kyler Murray’s passing volume has increased each week, he’s still not getting there on efficiency. He’s 17th in expected points added via the pass, but he’s been electric (as usual) on the ground, where he’s posted the third-most EPA among quarterbacks on run plays.
Neither of these teams looks like a true contender, and the loser of this game will move to 1-3 and largely remove themselves from the playoff race. Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Rhule both have a lot on the line, but Rhule might need the win more.
— Dallas Robinson
Beasley: Panthers 24, Cardinals 20
Miller: Cardinals 20, Panthers 16
Robinson: Cardinals 23, Panthers 17
New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers
Packers -9.5; Packers -480, Patriots +360; O/U 40.5
Green Bay certainly looked better after the return of both starting offensive tackles to the lineup, but the offense was still pretty anemic against the Buccaneers. What’s really driving this severe line in favor of the Packers are reports that Brian Hoyer is likely to start for the Patriots instead of Mac Jones, though rapid progress has already been made with Jones’ ankle.
For quite some time, the Packers have had a talented defense without much cohesion, but the last two weeks have shown the NFL what it can look like when it’s fully operational. Green Bay allowed fewer than 14 points in both of its previous contests, including one against Tom Brady. Still, the only time the Packers went up against a fully healthy offense (Week 1) resulted in embarrassment. That’s not going to be an issue this week, however.
The Patriots’ defense is not notably worrisome or powerful and got blown out by Lamar Jackson and the Ravens last week. Still, it has a good mix of talent and solid scheming that should allow New England to somewhat mitigate the Packers, though wide receiver quality is likely going to be a bigger reason that Green Bay can’t score points.
— Arif Hasan
Beasley: Packers 28, Patriots 13
Miller: Packers 26, Patriots 20
Robinson: Packers 24, Patriots 16
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chiefs -2; Chiefs -130, Buccaneers +110; O/U 45
Before the season started, this was easily going to be one of the best matchups of the season — two elite quarterbacks with a fantastic group of players around them and up-and-comers on both defenses seemed to be perfectly well-suited for explosive playmaking.
And there’s a decent chance that still happens, but both offenses have found ways to disappoint due to injuries or other issues impacting the pass-catchers, while both quarterbacks have played at a pedestrian level at times. The defenses have some exciting players, especially in the secondary, but what will really define this game will be consistency.
Both teams have tremendous talent and have shown a capacity for day-in, day-out performance. For whatever reason — special teams mistakes, miscommunication, protection issues, injuries, or something else — they haven’t been able to emerge into the Death Star-type battlestations we’ve become used to.
Will we see some fireworks in this game? There’s a good chance. But if we don’t, that would only fit the pattern.
— Arif Hasan
Beasley: Chiefs 28, Buccaneers 17
Miller: Chiefs 30, Buccaneers 27
Robinson: Chiefs 27, Buccaneers 24
Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
49ers -2.5; 49ers -125, Rams +105; O/U 42
If San Francisco wants to beat its NFC West rival, Jimmy Garoppolo must be better than he was against Denver in Week 2. Hopefully, for San Francisco, it is just taking him some time to get back into the swing of things after a long offseason of rehab from his shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, the Rams finally had a good day on the ground against the Cardinals, except for Cam Akers’ very costly fumble late in the game which kept the Rams out of the end zone and gave the Cardinals a chance to drive the field and potentially tie the game.
Kyle Shanahan has had his protege’s number over the past seven games, going 6-1 against Los Angeles in their past seven games. But his one loss was the most important because it’s the most recent and the most significant. This will be their first meeting since the Rams beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
— Dalton Miller
Beasley: 49ers 23, Rams 16
Miller: 49ers 27, Rams 24
Robinson: 49ers 21, Rams 17
Season standings through three weeks
24-23-1 straight up, 24-24 against the spread