Scott Shapiro's Week 4 NFL 4-Pack
Week 4 NFL Picks - by Scott Shapiro
After a highly entertaining Thursday Night tussle to start Week 4, a full slate of games, including a pair of AFC divisional battles on Sunday and Monday night, are on the horizon. Hopefully I can keep things going after a 4-1 Week 3 with the lone loss being a tough beat on the total in the Broncos-Ravens game where only 7 points were scored in the second half after 34 were posted during the first thirty minutes.
Here is my NFL 4-Pack for the week!
Detroit Lions (+3.5) at Dallas Cowboys
The Lions finally got their act together in Week 3 with an upset victory at home against the Patriots after two losses to start the head coaching career of ex-New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.
The Lions certainly have their issues, but their defense played well last Sunday and gets a favorable matchup against a Dallas offense that lacks weaponry outside of Zeke Elliott. As bad as the Cowboys passing game has been through the first 3 games, their play calling has been worse. It is hard to imagine Jason Garrett’s squad putting up enough points to beat a Lions team that has solid skill position players and an offensive line coming in with confidence after running for 159 yards last week.
The Cowboys strength to start 2018 has been their defense, but it takes a huge hit with linebacker Sean Lee out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury. Dallas’s front 4 and corners should continue to play well, but without Lee I expect the Lions to put enough points on the board to beat the Cowboys in AT&T Stadium.
The Lions get it done as a road dog.
Week 4 NFL Pick- LIONS 1 unit
Chicago Bears (-3) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay entered their game last Monday night at home versus the Steelers undefeated, but after a loss to Pittsburgh, the Bucs travel to Soldier Field on short rest to face their toughest challenge of the year against Khalil Mack and the .
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has performed admirably, while starter Jameis Winston was suspended for the first 3 games, with three 400 yard passing games to start the year, but Tampa’s lack of running game is likely to catch up with them on Sunday. Look for the Bears’ defensive line to put pressure on Fitzpatrick early and often and force the veteran signal caller into a number of poor decisions.
On offense, Bears second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky remains a work in progress, but he should be able to take advantage of a subpar Bucs defense. I expect Trubisky to find his go-to-guy Allen Robinson early and often and run by the ball with Jordan Howard to close things out.
The Bears post their highest point total of the year and get to 3 and 1.
Week 4 NFL Pick - BEARS 1 unit
Buffalo Bills (+10) at Green Bay Packers
The Bills head to Lambeau Field after pulling off perhaps the biggest upset this century in the National Football League. Buffalo went into Minnesota last Sunday as 17-point road dogs and not only beat the Vikings, but beat them handily. They should go to Wisconsin with a lot of confidence and a defense that has turned the corner since head coach Sean McDermott has taken over play calling on that side of the ball.
Packers fans thought they lost Aaron Rodgers for the year in Week 1, but instead saw the league’s best quarterback return in the second half and lead their team to a comeback win against their biggest rivals. Rodgers has toughed it out the last two weeks and played fine, but he is clearly hurt. The injury has limited the improvisational plays that we have come to expect from A Rod making the Green Bay offense less dynamic.
The Bills are not likely to win this one like they did in Minnesota last week, but I expect them to play hard, get some plays out of rookie quarterback Josh Allen, and keep it close to cover the double-digit spread.
Week 4 NFL Pick- BILLS 1 unit
Denver Broncos (+4) vs Kansas City Chiefs
Led by second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the offense has been unstoppable to get 2018 started. The 23-year-old has 13 touchdowns and 0 interceptions through 3 games as his Chiefs head to Mile High Stadium a perfect 3-0. It is difficult to find fault with Mahomes, but he has faced three poor defenses in the Chargers, Steelers, and Niners, so things are likely to get tougher on Monday Night against the Broncos. I would be surprised if he does not throw the first interception of the season in primetime.
While the Chiefs offense has been unreal, the defense has been awful. They have given up 28, 37 and 27 points thus far making them hard to endorse as a road favorite in what is sure to be a hostile environment. I expect Case Keenum to move the ball early and often and keep the home team in this one throughout.
Take the home dog on Monday Night.
Week 4 NFL Pick - BRONCOS 1 unit
Scott Shapiro's 2018 NFL Record (11-4-1, +5 units)