30 Team Parlay: Week 4 Betting Picks

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I shouldn’t have had faith in Seattle. I REALLY shouldn’t have had faith in the Raiders. That’s my mantra going into this week. On the games I actually was willing to give predicitions for last week, I went 7-3 (it would have been 7-4 but I never actually told anyone to bet on the Patriots). Here is the problem: Instead of sticking with straight bets and supplementing it with some parlays, I went for the big money and ran through too many parlays.

And Seattle and Oakland were involved in every…damn…one. I didn’t diversify properly, and I didn’t use obvious bets to supplement my longer shots. In other words, I got out over my skis last week. Luckily, this week has some great, obvious choices to bet on, both against the spread, straight up, and in parlays. Let’s look at Week 4 betting picks!

Philadelphia Eagles (+5) at Green Bay Packers

I’m staring at this line, trying to figure out what I’m missing. Yea, it’s a Thursday night game, and there is a lot of volatility on short weeks, but the Packers are very obviously the better team, especially at home. There are question marks about the health of the Packers running attack, with both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams questionable with injuries.

But still, the Eagles just lost at home to the Lions and the Packers beat the snot out of the Broncos. The Packers are winning their games in spite of Aaron Rodgers having trouble hitting his receivers in stride. I have a working theory on Rodgers that is similar to an aging Major League Baseball pitcher. It happens to a lot of guys. Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander immediately come to mind. They play the game a certain way and that’s what they know. All of their games are predicated on the strength of their arm.

But when the arm starts to go away, the pitchers start to struggle. The greats are the guys who know how to reinvent themselves like Kershaw and Verlander did. They learned how to pitch smarter as Father Time slowly takes away their ability.

Aaron Rodgers is in the same boat. He’s been in the league for a long time. By all accounts, he isn’t the 12-month workout wonder that Tom Brady is. He’s probably lost about 15% of his arm by this point and now he needs to reinvent himself as a quarterback. Right now, it looks like he’s overthrowing everyone by trying to max out his arm to find his velocity.

Week 4 Betting Pick: Thursday night creates a lot of randomness, but I’m going to take the undefeated home team against the spread, and in a larger parlay, I’ll certainly take the Packers straight up.

Carolina Panthers (+5) at Houston Texans

How about Kyle Allen? The offense had flow, it had rhythm, it probably saved Ron Rivera his job for another week. More importantly, the best player on their offense, Christian McCaffrey, had rushes for yards. What an interesting concept. Putting the ball in your best player’s hands consistently and often and let him wear down an offense until he’s able to break the big one. It’s much more fun than having to spend the season watching Cam Newton horribly overthrow three-yard out patterns.

The Texans are 2-1, but if you told me they had lost all three of their games I wouldn’t have been shocked. The Jaguars had a chance to beat this team. The Saints marched on this team with no time left. There are a ton of pieces here that scream “great team” like Deshaun Watson, JJ Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, and Laremy Tunsill.

Week 4 Betting Pick: Nothing seems to click completely with this team, and I’m not sure this is the week. I’m almost willing to call this a stay away, but I feel like this is a field goal game, so I’d take Carolina with the points.

Cleveland Browns (+7) at Baltimore Ravens

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! The Browns came into the season as the team with the most money put on them to win the Super Bowl. We stand here, looking at week four, and they are a touchdown underdog against the Ravens. AND THEY DESERVE TO BE, TOO.

The AFC North, as a whole, might have been overrated by major new sites that thought Pittsburgh would be good, and by me, who thought Cleveland would be good. The big issue with the Browns is that the offensive line doesn’t look right. I’m sorry, I misspoke. The big issue with the Browns is that they hired a completely in-over-his-head coach who immediately went out and started to prove it. They got their lunches served to them through a cannon in week one by a Titans team that has suck-diddly-ucked ever since. Their win against a completely worthless Jets teams in week two didn’t even inspire a ton of confidence. And the less we speak about Sunday Night Football, the better.

At some point, the Browns are gonna rip off a three game winning streak, and idiots like me are going to go running through the streets announcing that THEY ARE BACK! And then they will lose to the Bengals or something and I’ll be re-exposed as the boat-hole I am.

Week 4 Betting Pick: Theoretically, the Browns could keep this game close, but I’m going to take the coaching experience gap, the running game gap, and the line play gap that the Ravens create and take the Ravens straight up and probably in a spread to improve odds(Ravens and Packers?).

Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Detroit Lions

FREE MONEY!!! HEY EVERYONE LOOK!!! IT’S FREE MONEY!!! This line is bound to get to eight points before it’s all said and done. Jump on it early. In case you were wondering, these lines are not static. They move based on where the money is going. As people flood money onto a certain team, it can push the odds up. My guess is that heavy money comes in early on the Chiefs and pushes this line up.

The Chiefs are the second best team in the NFL. The Lions have tried to lose every game they played but managed to play teams that tripped over themselves even harder than they have. As a recap: They turned a sure win into a potential win into a potential win into a possible win into a tie in the first game. In the second game, they won because the Chargers practice kicking on an Indian burial ground. In this game, the game was lost. They had a game-icing field goal block, and returned into field goal range. Then the Eagles caked their pants.

Week 4 Betting Pick: The Chiefs are going to be all over any parlays I do, along with straight up bets. The biggest weakness of the Chiefs is their run defense, and Kerryon Johnson has struggled to get going so far this season. This feels like a game where the Chiefs get up 28 at halftime then take it easy the rest of the way, and cruise to a 10 point victory.

Los Angeles Chargers (-16.5) at Miami Dolphins

I told myself I was going to bet against the Dolphins at every opportunity, but man, if you’ve been watching the Chargers this season, they are so prone to making the wrong play at the worst possible time. They have lost three members of their secondary to injured reserve. It feels like this is the type of game that the Chargers are going to use to get everything going with their offense, and lord knows the Dolphins are the team to allow the Chargers to do that, but theoretically, the Chargers aren’t going to be able to slow even a team as gawdawful as the Dolphins completely.

Week 4 Betting Pick: Here is the thing, though. It’s a 16.5 point spread. The Dolphins have scored 16 points ALL SEASON! The easy move is to take the Chargers just to win and parlay the crap out of it to get some better odds. Or bet them against the spread. Philip Rivers has a 400 yard game in him, and this feels like as good a spot as any to pull it out.

New England Patriots (-7.5) at Buffalo Bills

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this one. A lot of thinking and a lot of drinking. Really, this is the first test the Patriots have had all year. They look downright bored to be honest with you. This team knows that it’s Super Bowl or bust for them every year and the regular season is just foreplay.

The Bills have been just good enough to find a way to win every game this season. Part of me thinks this is one of those situations where they are going to be the first team to punch the Patriots in the face and the Pats will have to respond. Every year, the Patriots lose a game like this. Early season. Road game. The game means 8.2 million times more to the opposing team than them. Everything screams “take the Bills” right here.

But I’m not sure I can do it. The Patriots have one of the best defenses they have had in the roughly five decades Bill Belichick has been at the helm. Everything seems to be able to fire at all cylinders for them when they absolutely need it. You know deep down, Belichick and Brady secretly HATE that they have never gone undefeated in a full season (including playoffs).

Week 4 Betting Pick: I’m on the fence about this one. I’ll probably take the Bills with the points because I love to set money on fire just to watch it burn.

Oakland Raiders (+7) at Indianapolis Colts

So, I’m pretty sure we as a collective have decided that Oakland sufficiently sucks, and this spread reflects that. There is no magic that Jon Gruden possesses to make teams good. That is, and always has been, myth. The fact that he is a personable guy who can sound smart on television caused a lot of people to believe he was a coaching unicorn who was going to turn around any franchise that could get him off of Hooters commercials and get a playbook in his hands.

In reality, his talent evaluating can be graciously called “hit and miss.” He traded their two best players, who are now key contributors on playoff teams while the Raiders seem primed to be an afterthought in a division sure to be dominated by Patrick Mahomes for the foreseeable future. The things that have plagued the Raiders before Gruden’s arrival (line play, game breaking talent on defense) continue to be an issue for this team.

Week 4 Betting Pick: NOW, with all of that being said: If TY Hilton ends up playing this week, I’m betting on the Colts. If Hilton can’t play, then I’d bet on the Raiders to cover, but probably not win straight up.

Tennessee Titans (+4) at Atlanta Falcons

Oh boy, do I really want to be doing anything possible over than watch this game. My wife has been wanting to go to a pumpkin patch. It’s always nice to take in an afternoon movie. I could tend to my pepper garden. The Scorpion and Carolina Reaper peppers are coming in really well. I’ve got some articles about wrestling for another website I’ve been procrastinating about. I could call up some old friends from high school and have lunch.

I could get a power washer and take care of the spider problem above my garage. I could jump in front of a moving vehicle. I could go to a local ska show. I could walk around an old factory barefoot trying to get tetanus. I could challenge the mayor of my town to a gentleman’s duel. I could chug a bottle of Malort. I could try to read War and Peace. I could put my hand into a blender that’s turned on.


Washington (+3) at New York Giants

Everything I said about the Falcons/Titans game, but you can add “getting shot towards the sun by a cannon” to the mix. Washington is playing completely listless football, and the Daniel Jones hype train is roughly as out of control as the bus from “Speed.”

Washington seems pretty well hellbent on getting their coach, Jay Gruden fired. People keep defending Jay, saying he hasn’t been given enough to work this. That’s not how this works in the NFL. If you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken scat, then you are going to have your name attached to every “first coach fired” article that comes out. Jay Gruden’s head is firmly in the guillotine, and I’m personally shocked he wasn’t fired after the Monday Night Football game.

The Giants are without Saquon Barkley, and are instead turning to Wayne Gallman, who I thought was on an XFL roster, to be honest with you. Wayne Gallman answers the question of “What would Leonard Fournette be if he wasn’t as hyped out of college?”

The Redskins defense just doesn’t create enough pressure on the quarterback for a rookie like Jones to feel the heat, and he’ll have time to make plays both through the air and on foot. Some of his best work on Sunday was after Barkley got injured.

Week 4 Betting Pick: Deep down, I believe this game is a push and the Giants will win by three. But since I’m taking sides, I’ll take the Giants straight up, unless the line goes down to Giants -2.5, then I’ll jump the Giants against the spread.

Seattle Seahawks (-5) at Arizona Cardinals

Oof. The Seahawks did everything they possibly could to lose to the Saints before ripping off an insane comeback that fell just short on Sunday. Games like that, at home, used to be the Seahawks’ calling card. Bad weather, rowdy fans. I don’t remember Seattle losing many games like that during the Pete Carroll tenure. They have to do something about the Chris Carson fumbling problem. Rashaad Penny looked good in small doses last week, but there is no reason to believe he can handle being the feature back.

On the other hand, the Cardinals are just doing enough to stay interesting, but to keep losing. The team has no functional red zone offense, and is too prone to taking the easy way out and kicking the field goal, which only works if you have a lockdown defense, which the Cardinals don’t. In fact, Arizona is 30th in yards allowed per game, with only the Giants and Dolphins being worse.

The other side is the coaching matchup, where the Seahawks hold a massive edge. The Cardinals have managed to lose/tie games with such football luminaries as Matt Patricia and Ron Rivera. Pete Carroll should have no problem managing this game and eventually blowing it out.

Week 4 Betting Pick: Look out for DK Metcalf this week. He is slowly starting to see more snaps, and in a controlled environment like Arizona, the speedy receiver could be on the verge of a breakout week. I like the Seahawks against the spread in a bounce back game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+10) at Los Angeles Rams

The Rams offense hasn’t looked crisp the past couple games. The running game has struggled, as Todd Gurley is having trouble getting heavily into a game as his workload is managed, and Jared Goff becomes increasingly reliant on Cooper Kupp to be his guy at wide receiver. But, the cure for a struggling offense is a defense that just allowed Daniel Jones to look like Dan Marino. The Bucs are 14th in total yards given up on defense this season, and 21st in passing defense. Some of these numbers are suppressed by the fact that they played a bad Panthers team in a monsoon two weeks ago.

The Bucs offense is good enough to lose them games, but be in those games ’til the bitter end. In their three games this year, they have lost by an average of seven points, and that number would be lower if Jameis Winston didn’t have the 49ers defense on his fantasy team.

Week 4 Betting Pick: Tampa has enough offense to keep this game too close for comfort, but the Rams have enough to win the game. I like Tampa against the spread, but the Rams straight up.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) at Denver Broncos

Gardner-Mania is getting points on the road!!! Let’s do this!

While Minshew has brought joy to the football world with his unfiltered, country-fried look and “straight from a Travis Tritt song” quotes, Joe Flacco has reminded Denver that he is a really terrible quarterback who everyone should point and laugh at because he definitely still thinks he is good. Meanwhile, there needs to be a missing person report put out for Von Miller. For the third straight week, the vaunted linebacker has put up as many sacks in the NFL as I have. He doesn’t seem to be trying to get to the quarterback, and seems to be struggling to get off blocks. In Vic Fangio’s defense, he is being asked to spend most of his time chasing tight ends and standing around defending screen passes.

This doesn’t look to be a high scoring game by any means, with the Broncos being middle-of-the-road at run defense and the Jaguars having Curtis-Enis-stunt-double Leonard Fournette at running back. Denver does boast a sixth-ranked pass defense, meaning Gardner Minshew will struggle to get the ball downfield.

Week 4 Betting Pick: Whenever a game expects to be this low scoring, always take the points and bet against the coach that is wearing a fanny pack. Gimme the Jags and the points.

Minnesota Vikings (+3) at Chicago Bears

Kirk Cousins has averaged 136 passing yards in the Vikings two wins, and threw for nearly 300 in their loss. There is a pretty easy explanation for this: When Kirk Cousins is forced to win football games, then the Vikings are going to lose. When their running game, buoyed by a resurgent Dalvin Cook and rookie change-of-pace back Alexander Mattison, is on, then that limits the amount of damage that Cousins can do to the Vikings.

Through three games, the Bears are 5th in the NFL against the run. Cook’s strength is getting to the edge of the defensive line and exploding. The Bears have Leonard Floyd and Khalil Mack on the edge, who can match nearly any running back’s speed trying to get around the corner.

The Vikings best chance of winning is stopping Mitch Trubisky (definitely possible) and winning the turnover battle (a much sketchier proposition). The Vikings are 11th in passing defense this year. Trubisky has had one good quarter of football this season.

Week 4 Betting Pick: In the end, it comes down to whether the Bears defense can cause the Vikings offense to make mistakes. And when your best chance to win is to bet on Kirk Cousins, then you bet on the opposing team. I’m taking the Bears.

Dallas Cowboys (-3) at New Orleans Saints

It’s hard to judge the Cowboys because the teams they have played this season are a combined 1-8. The pieces are there, though. I’m actually more concerned with them being locked in for this game and getting snuck up on rather than them just plain getting beat. The team looked bored and lethargic in the first half against the Dolphins before turning on the jets in the second half.

Teddy Bridgewater looked…okay, last week. He definitely did not set the football world on fire with his quarterbacking, and was largely bailed out by timely turnovers and great special teams play. Over half of his passing yards were to running back Alvin Kamara, which while thrilling to fantasy owners, isn’t a great recipe for success in action. He was unable to get star receiver Michael Thomas consistently involved in the passing game.

Week 4 Betting Pick: In the past, playing in New Orleans has always been a huge home field advantage for the Saints, but their defense is currently 30th in passing defense, and 26th in rushing defense. The Cowboys have far too many weapons for the defense to consistently slow them down. That means it will be on Teddy Bridgewater to win this game, and that’s just not a bet I’m willing to take. I kind of love a three team parlay with the Cowboys, Bears, and Chiefs.

Cincinnati Bengals (+4) at Pittsburgh Steelers

This is the biggest week in wrestling in a long time, and it kicks off Monday night with Raw. With upstart competitor AEW preparing to launch Wednesday night opposite WWE’s own show, NXT, and Smackdown set to debut on Fox nationally on Friday, Raw will set the tone for what should be an incredibly exciting week for wresting fans.

With the specter of another full brand split just a week away, where will stars such as Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns end up, and will Brock Lesnar win the title from Kofi Kingston on Friday night? The entire wrestling landscape is about to change, and it all starts on Monday Night!

Doesn’t that sound much more exciting than having to watching this trash game?

My Parlay’s this week:
1: Packers win(-220), Chiefs win(-320), Bears win(-120), Cowboys win(-150) at 4.7 to 1 odds.

2: Packers win(-220), Chiefs win(-320), Bears win(-120), Cowboys win(-150), Panthers win(+180), Ravens win (-310) at 20.2 to 1 odds.

You can follow Brandon on Twitter at @theBman

He is also the founder of Fancy Boys Club