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2018 SQ Insiders: Week 4

Austin Taliaferro

Our insiders pick the Week 4 games to help you beat Vegas and your pick’em league.

A little peak behind the curtain: When we make our picks every week, our insiders put in their game scores more or less in a vacuum. Then, we average out all the winners and scores and that’s how we get to our pick’em winners and best plays against the spread. 

This week, without knowing what the line was and without knowing each other scores, 5 of the 15 games we picked ended up within 0.5 points of the spread. What that likely means is it’s going to be a rough week for betting and full of bad beats. One on the many worth highlighting is the matchup between the Dolphins and Patriots. The Pats are off to a rough start and Dolphins are riding in hot. Our insiders have the Pats winning this matchup by six, falling just short of the -6.5 spread. 

Matchup

Max V

Hunter B

Matt F

Adrian N

Minnesota at LA Rams
Cincinnati at Atlanta
Tampa Bay at Chicago
Detroit at Dallas
Buffalo at Green Bay
Philadelphia at Tennessee
Houston at Indianapolis
Miami at New England
NY Jets at Jacksonville
Cleveland at Oakland
Seattle at Arizona
New Orleans at NY Giants
San Francisco at LA Chargers
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
Kansas City at Denver



Matchup

Conglomerate Score

ATS Winner

Pick’em Winner

Why the home team will win

Why the away team will win

Minnesota at LA Rams21-28LAR-6.5The Rams look like the best team in the NFL through three weeks. Jared Goff has taken another step forward and is starting to make high-level tight window throws look easy. On a short week on national television, this is an opportunity for Los Angeles to make a statement that they are the team to beat. No one saw the Bills blowing out the Vikings, but the Vikings have no time to dwell in the past. The Rams will be without their top two corners in Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, so the Vikings are going to have chances through the air to make plays.
Cincinnati at Atlanta19-23CIN+5.5Atlanta’s passing attack matches up well against Cincinnati’s defense. Rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley had a breakout game on Sunday. Look for quarterback Matt Ryan to distribute the ball evenly between Ridley and Julio Jones. Cincinnati’s deep passing attack has the opportunity to have a day against Atlanta’s diminished secondary.
Tampa Bay at Chicago24-22TB+2.5Chicago’s defense can keep the team in the game against anybody. Tampa was brought back down to earth with a loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night. If Chicago creates a turnover or two, it can put its offense in a position to create separation on the scoreboard. Let’s just say that Chicago’s offense has a lot of room for improvement. The way that Tampa has been lighting up the scoreboard so far this season, it will be hard for the Bears to keep up.
Detroit at Dallas17-21DAL-2.5Detroit will be riding high after beating New England and Dallas is desperate for a win at home.Dallas’ offense has yet to make a splash, and they will be facing supposedly one of the NFL’s best defensive minds in Lions head coach Matt Patricia.
Buffalo at Green Bay14-27GB-10.5Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field is a difficult man to stop. The Bills came out and crushed the Vikings in Minnesota to everyone’s surprise and the Packers’ delight, but I can’t see the defense replicating that performance again this week. The offense is dynamic and Aaron Jones should shake off the rest of the rust early in this one. The Packers should put up a big number against one of the worst teams in the league.The Bills shocked the football world and laughed in the face of every dismissive expert with their 27-6 domination of the Vikings. Who says they can’t do it again? Josh Allen looks like he has what it takes to be an NFL quarterback, and the defense dominated Kirk Cousins. If the defensive line can force Rodgers out of the pocket, the Bills could pull off another stunner.
Philadelphia at Tennessee24-19PHI-3.5Tennessee did what it needed to do to get the win on the road against one of the league’s hottest teams in Jacksonville. Mariota should be back to pick apart a defense that is significantly worse on the road than at home, ranking 31st in DVOA for variability in 2017. Carson Wentz is still working through the rust with a sub-par supporting cast at his disposal. The Titans should be confident heading into Week 4.The defending Super Bowl champs escaped Week 3 with a win in Wentz’s first game in nine months. The team should feel better with Wentz now having some game experience under his belt, allowing him to shake the rust. Ajayi and Sproles are expected to return this week, giving Wentz some familiar faces to work with. Incorporating rookie tight end Dallas Goedert into the offense will only expand the possibilities for Doug Pederson’s offense.
Houston at Indianapolis22-25IND-0.5The Colts were one play away from stealing a road win against Philadelphia, coming up four yards short. Although there are no moral victories in the NFL, the defense has got to feel good going into Week 4 against an 0-3 Houston team after its impressive Week 3 performance. As long as the offensive line can keep Luck on his feet, the Colts should put up enough points to get the job done.Although 0-3, the Texans have shown some life at one point in each of their games. The defensive line has yet to hit its stride, but will be a scary sight when it does. Watt and Clowney should be able to take advantage of a below-average offensive line for the Colts. If Watson can show more consistency and look a bit closer to his 2017 self, the Texans could walk away with their first win of the season.
Miami at New England20-26MIA+6.5Every year it seems like the Patriots limp out of the gate, and every year it seems like they’re playing in the Super Bowl. Record-wise, Week 4 matchups are typically never a must-win, but this feels like it could be for New England. The undefeated, division-leading Dolphins are in town presenting a great opportunity for Brady and co. to get back on track. There’s no way Belichick loses three games in a row, especially at home. If nothing else, the Patriots will be prepared.Besides the Patrick Mahomes show in Kansas City, the Dolphins are the surprise of the 2018 season so far. Ryan Tannehill is healthy and looking hungry for another shot at the postseason. Regardless of the score, a win is a win in this NFL, and thats exactly what the Dolphins have done. With no one really knowing what the Patriots are at this point in the season, this game could put the Dolphins on the map.
NY Jets at Jacksonville11-18NYJ+7.5After beating the Patriots in convincing fashion, the Jaguars’ offense couldn’t find its footing last week against Tennessee. Leonard Fournette should be back, which will give the  offense a much-needed boost. The Jaguars are Super Bowl contenders and they will play like it this weekend. The Jets let last week’s game in Cleveland get away from them. Darnold played like a rookie quarterback still figuring things out and there should be more of the same when they travel to Jacksonville to take on one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Cleveland at Oakland20-19CLE+2.5Oakland feels overdue for a win. They have a good chance at home against a rookie quarterback making his first start. Baker Mayfield played a near-perfect game coming off of the bench last Thursday. After a long week of preparation, Mayfield could be poised to have a big debut against a weak Oakland defense.
Seattle at Arizona20-16SEA-3.5Josh Rosen will be making his first career start this weekend in a very winnable game for Arizona. The defense has a much taller task against Russell Wilson in comparison to Mitch Trubisky last week, and they will need to play at a high level once again to give Rosen a chance to be successful. If the Seahawks are able to get a lead early, it will be difficult for Rosen to dig the team out of a hole with the offensive lines struggles. Getting their first win of the season against a pedestrian Cowboys offense isn’t all that impressive. A win is a win, but if the Seahawks are going to turn their season around they are going to have to prove they can win on the road where they already are 0-2.
New Orleans at NY Giants34-20NO3.5Saquon Barkely went for around 120 yards rushing and receiving, which was nice, but the big thing for the Giants was Eli putting in a solid 300 yards, two TD performance. If Eli once again plays not terrible, then the Saints could have a chance.The Saints at 35 points trail only the Chiefs in points scored per game. The Giants’ defense is solid, but few can contain the Saints. The Giants’ offense will need to match the output in some way for them to have a chance, and Eli is likely not up for the task.
San Francisco at LA Chargers13-29LAC-10.5With Jimmy Garoppolo out for the season, the 49ers will turn to C.J. Beathard in all likelihood for the remainder of the season. I feel very confident in saying that the Chargers will have the better QB on Sunday, which is often the deciding factor.The Chargers’ defense is not very good and is giving up an average of 31 points per game. Granted, they’ve faced some high-powered offenses, but the tape shows that the Chargers can be beaten through the air.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh24-28PIT-3.5After temporarily saving their season with a win on the roads against the Bucs, the Steelers still need to take care of business at home against the Ravens to avoid going through a quarter of the season with only one win. They will present the biggest offensive test of the season yet to the Ravens.Baltimore has played extremely well in their two wins and fairly well against the Bengals in their loss. They always play the Steelers tough and although they are on the road they are the more complete football team given that they actually have a defense.
Kansas City at Denver34-22KC-5.5While the Chiefs’ offense has been extremely impressive these first few weeks, their defense has been almost as equally unimpressive, giving up 31 points per game on average. If Denver can slow Mahomes just a tad it might be enough given the Chiefs can’t stop anyone.Patrick Mahomes is off to the best start ever as a quarterback with 13 touchdowns. Against a Denver secondary that has struggled in spots, he and the weapons in Kansas City should have no problem putting up points.


Edited by Emily Berman.

SQuiz
Who is the head coach of the Miami Dolphins?
Created 9/25/18
  1. Joe Philbin
  2. Matt Nagy
  3. Sean McDermott
  4. Adam Gase

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