NFL Week 4 predictions and picks against the spread: Dalvin Cook a go, D’Andre Swift a no-go, Christian McCaffrey an oh-no

If you're betting on 2022 NFL games -- whether props, DFS, point spreads, or moneylines -- here are our final NFL Week 4 predictions and picks.

Much has changed heading into the Sunday slate of NFL games. Here’s the latest (and final) look at our NFL Week 4 predictions and picks for the remaining 15 games. The following betting odds are for picks against the spread, as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFL Week 4 picks and predictions

Each week of the NFL season features the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

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What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting sub-plots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities.

With that in mind, here are our preliminary assessments of how each game might proceed, including two major questions surrounding each team’s execution of its offense.

Minnesota Vikings (-3) vs. New Orleans Saints

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 9:30 a.m. ET

The first London-based game of the season features two teams going in opposite directions. New Orleans will be without Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas. This puts added strain on an offense that still hasn’t clicked. With Dalvin Cook now a “go,” Minnesota has enough firepower to overcome the Saints’ strong defense.

Against-the-spread prediction: Vikings
Moneyline winner: Vikings

Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Are the Eagles the best team in the NFC? If you look at their schedule, it’s now easy to see how this squad can win 12+ games and perhaps 14+ if they can take one in Arizona or Indianapolis. While the Jaguars are playing fantastic football, they haven’t yet faced an offense (or defense) like Philly’s.

Against-the-spread prediction: Eagles
Moneyline winner: Eagles

Baltimore Ravens (+3) vs. Buffalo Bills

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Two teams vanquished by the Dolphins will face off to see who will fall to 2-2. The key here is Buffalo’s banged-up defense vs. Baltimore’s “be patient, we’re doing the best we can” defense. If both teams go over 40 points, would we be surprised? Of course not. Despite my foolish warnings about an “overrated” Lamar Jackson this summer (I am abundantly fallible, as my kids continually remind me), the Ravens’ franchise QB should single-handedly keep this contest close.

Against-the-spread prediction: Ravens
Moneyline winner: Bills

Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5) at Houston Texans

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

The Chargers have gotten a bit healthier following the attrition of the last two weeks but are still in trouble at 1-2 with their franchise QB playing at less than 100%. Just as importantly, Austin Ekeler is averaging a mere 2.5 yards per carry, which is two full yards off his career average. After scoring 20 times last year, Ekeler is scoreless through three games.

But the Texans haven’t faced an offense with this high of a ceiling. If L.A.’s clicking, this game could be over by halftime. Much hinges on whether rookie Dameon Pierce can push through the Chargers’ defensive line because Davis Mills probably will have a tough time moving the ball through the air. With the line shifting from -6 to -5.5, I’m more comfortable picking the Chargers to cover.

Against-the-spread prediction: Chargers
Moneyline winner: Chargers

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) vs. New York Jets

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

The Steelers have stumbled since a shocking Week 1 road victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Najee Harris (3.2 yards per carry) has regressed behind a porous offensive line — the same line Jaylen Warren has run through quite well (4.7 ypc). This has to be a get-right game for Pittsburgh against a Jets team that might have been better off starting Joe Flacco this week.

Yes, I get it. Politically, Zach Wilson has to start. He’s the franchise QB. This is how it should be. And yet, Wilson remains a work-in-progress, and traveling to Pittsburgh in his first game of the season is not an ideal situation for a largely untested “almost” rookie.

Against-the-spread prediction: Steelers
Moneyline winner: Steelers

Atlanta Falcons (+1) vs. Cleveland Browns

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

A fascinating game featuring two teams on the upswing, albeit a very gradual upswing. And I’m switching allegiance to the Falcons after choosing Cleveland earlier this week. The line has shrunk from +2.5. Apparently, bettors are leaning into Atlanta, so I’m not alone in thinking Marcus Mariota and company are better than they might have appeared this summer.

Against-the-spread prediction: Falcons
Moneyline winner: Falcons

Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) vs. Tennessee Titans

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

What a victory for the Colts last Sunday, who are now one win away from potentially moving into first place in the AFC South. Not bad for a team on the cusp of dropping to 0-2-1. Assuming their letdown over the first two weeks of the year was more flukish than their defeat of the Chiefs in Week 3, the Colts should be able to hold off a hit-or-miss Tennessee offense that needs more from Derrick Henry than ever before.

Against-the-spread prediction: Colts
Moneyline winner: Colts

Detroit Lions (-3.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

With D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown sidelined, this betting line has plummeted from -6 to -3.5. That’s fair, and also largely irrelevant. The Lions are relatively deep at RB and WR and can still post 26+ points on Seattle, whose backfield still hasn’t played up to its potential. I would have picked Detroit at -6, so -3.5 is a solid bet.

Against-the-spread prediction: Lions
Moneyline winner: Lions

New York Giants (-3) vs. Chicago Bears

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

With Sterling Shepard out for the season, either Kenny Golladay or Darius Slayton will need to step up. Or perhaps Daniel Bellinger. The only thing we know for sure is that a resurgent Saquon Barkley will continue to get all he can handle in a prove-it contract year.

Meanwhile, Justin Fields has completed no more than eight pass attempts in each of his three contests this season, while Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet are largely afterthoughts. David Montgomery’s knee/ankle injuries could be addition by subtraction, assuming Khalil Herbert maintains the dynamism he’s shown since breaking onto the scene last year. Still, this remains a mostly one-dimensional offense. New York has a slight edge.

Against-the-spread prediction: Giants
Moneyline winner: Giants

Dallas Cowboys (-3) vs. Washington Commanders

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Dallas keeps lurching forward, awaiting the return of Dak Prescott and its customary high-powered offense. Concerns with Ezekiel Elliott linger, and it’s anyone’s guess whether Cooper Rush can help propel this team to mediocrity. Meanwhile, Washington is either as good as they’ve looked in years some weeks or as vulnerable as they’ve looked other weeks. This game will help us determine if the Commanders can truly contend for the playoffs. I believe the Dallas defense will be the difference-maker.

Against-the-spread prediction: Cowboys
Moneyline winner: Cowboys

Carolina Panthers (-1) vs. Arizona Cardinals

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

Christian McCaffrey is questionable (thigh). Baker Mayfield is also questionable — as a franchise QB. While Arizona has its own troubles, they’re more execution-driven than talent-driven. Kyler Murray, James Conner, Marquise Brown, and Zach Ertz should produce enough offense to beat Carolina, even if McCaffrey plays the best we’ve seen all year.

Against-the-spread prediction: Cardinals
Moneyline winner: Cardinals

Green Bay Packers (-9) vs. New England Patriots

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

This huge betting line has dropped one point since Tuesday. I remain comfortable betting on the Patriots to lose by a touchdown or less. Their running game, led by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, should be at least adequate (and at best, quite competent). The same can be said for the Packers’ impressive tandem of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Aaron Rodgers should prove to be the difference, gutting out the victory if his backfield somehow disappoints.

Against-the-spread prediction: Patriots
Moneyline winner: Packers

Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5) vs. Denver Broncos

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

I’m disappointed to see this line grow from -1 to -2.5. Still, the 0-3 Raiders are in must-win mode, and I’m not veering away from them because of a slightly worsening betting line. Denver’s solid defense hasn’t faced an offense with as much talent (on paper) as Las Vegas possesses. Davante Adams could realistically top 14 targets as he puts this team on his back.

Against-the-spread prediction: Raiders
Moneyline winner: Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

A massive betting line swing places the Bucs as narrow favorites after starting the week as unquestioned underdogs. The difference? A healthier receiving corps. The Chiefs’ struggles last week against a stepped-up Indy defense might be a sign of things to come. Tampa Bay’s defense will be the X-factor, and I envision them neutralizing Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Travis Kelce, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, forcing guys like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman to beat them.

Against-the-spread prediction: Buccaneers
Moneyline winner: Buccaneers

San Francisco 49ers (-2) vs. Los Angeles Rams

  • Date: Monday, Oct. 3
  • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

A very tough game to predict, especially with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm. The Niners beat the Rams six straight times before last season’s NFC title game. Garoppolo won five of them, throwing only seven TD passes and five interceptions in those contests. It’s not that Garoppolo “has the Rams’ number.” San Francisco simply has had a very good team. They still do. But the Rams still have the personnel to prevail, and I believe Matthew Stafford will elevate his team Monday night more than Garoppolo will elevate his.

Against-the-spread prediction: Rams
Moneyline winner: Rams

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