WKYC’s Ben Axelrod makes his picks against the spread for every game in Week 4 of the 2020 NFL season.
“You win some, you lose some.”
For the second straight week, I’m neither a winner nor a loser, going 8-8 in Week 3 to bring my record for the season to 22-25-1.
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That leaves me still in search of my first winning week. Let’s try to do that with my Week 4 picks:
New York Jets (-1) vs. Denver Broncos
Picking either of these teams at this point just seems wrong, but at the very least, the Jets are at home and I’ve heard of their quarterback.
Chicago Bears (+2.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts
I’m not buying that Nick Foles is a dramatic upgrade from Mitchell Trubisky. I sense a big day from Colts running back Jonathan Taylor against a weakened Bears defense.
Detroit Lions (+4) vs. New Orleans Saints
From what I’ve seen in the past three weeks, I’m not ready to take this Saints team as a road favorite. Michael Thomas may be back, but Jeff Okudah is already showing improvement in Detroit.
Carolina (+3.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals
This line feels like an overreaction to the Panthers’ upset over the Chargers and the Cardinals’ letdown vs. the Lions last week. I expect both teams to play more like their normal selves this week and Arizona to get back on track.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
After getting his first tie, Joe Burrow gets the first win of his NFL career against a team that continues to prove that it actually is tanking this season.
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) vs. Cleveland Browns
If the Browns are going to keep it close with the Cowboys, Baker Mayfield is going to have to keep pace with Dak Prescott. I’ve yet to see anything this season to make me believe he’ll be able to do just that.
Houston Texans (-4.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings
I’ve yet to see anything from the Texans this season to make me think they deserve to be more than field goal favorite in this spot. I’m not convinced the Vikings are as bad as their 0-3 record suggests.
Miami Dolphins (+6.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle may be banged up, but so long as Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are healthy, I have a hard time seeing the Dolphins keeping pace.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Tampa Bay looked good last week, but Denver is a broken team. I’ll take the Chargers defense to bounce back and make it a long afternoon for Tom Brady, or at the very least, put its offensive weapons in a position to cover.
Washington Football Team (+13) vs. Baltimore Ravens
A Baltimore bounce back against one of the worst teams in the NFL seems so obvious, I almost considered switching my pick. Instead, I’ll stick with my guy as Lamar Jackson gets back on track.
Los Angeles Rams (-12.5) vs. New York Giants
Speaking of big bounce backs against bad teams, I’ll use the exact same logic to take the Rams to cover over the Giants.
Kansas City Chiefs (-7) vs. New England Patriots
I had the guts to pick against Patrick Mahomes last week and it came back to bite me. Here, I go back to my philosophy of never picking against the best player in all of football.
Las Vegas Raiders (+3) vs. Buffalo Bills
If the Rams weren’t able to slow down Josh Allen last week, I have a hard time imagining the Raiders will be able to. Despite a lot of preseason promise, I’ve yet to buy the hype of this Las Vegas team.
San Francisco 49ers (-7) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The 49ers are getting healthier on offense but its defense still has some holes. Even while dealing with injuries of its own, I think Philadelphia has enough weapons in Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz to keep this one close.
Green Bay Packers (-7) vs. Atlanta Falcons
I think sometimes, a football team reaches a point where it just expects bad things to happen. Through three weeks, the Falcons are already there and I don’t expect these Packers to cure what ails them.