Alright, we need to switch some things up this week. We suffered through another 2-4 week 3 in which the Fade of the Week (formerly known as Lock of the Week) failed to hit again. Thatâs right, the pick i dedicate as my most confident for each week is now 0-3 in this young season. Itâs really funny to me at this point how bad that pick has been the last two years, but all I can say is that you should put your home, your car, your life savings, and anything else of value in your possession on my Fade of the Week from now on.*
*This is not financial advice. But Iâm pretty confident youâd make a fortune if you took it.
Anyway, Iâm giving out 7 picks for week 4 instead of the typical 6, and I know that subtle change will be the difference maker we need to get back on the winning track. I see a 6-1 week in our near future, as I always mark the Fade of the Week as a loss before the games even begin on Sunday.
Tennessee Titans -6.5 at New York Jets
Weâll get (insert week number here) rolling by taking (insert team here) to cover against the pathetic Jets. Seriously, I think Iâm going to reuse that first sentence every week until the Jets prove they can compete with another NFL team. Zach Wilson has thrown 7 interceptions through 3 games so far, and while I have to point out that not all of them have been his fault, the fact that not all of them have been his fault is further evidence of the sorry situation of New York Jets football. I mean, getting Tennessee at only 6.5-point favorites seems to be like committing highway robbery against the sports books. Even if A.J. Brown and Julio Jones are unable to suit up, the Titans will ride Derrick Henry all the way to a double digit victory. No part of me thinks the Jets will actually cover a spread any time soon.
Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills Over 47.0
Letâs be honest, the Bills might hit this point total by themselves. Theyâve put up 35 and 43 in their last two games against what were thought to be respectable defenses coming into the season. Josh Allen has finally arrived on the scene of his fourth season in Buffalo and I donât see him slowing down in a home matchup against the Texans. The Bills have put up nearly 400 yards of offense per game so far and the Texans are allowing just under 400 as well. I would obviously be a lot more confident in this pick if Houston still had Tyrod Taylor playing, but Iâm sure Davis Mills and company will be able to salvage a couple late game scores if nothing else.
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints Under 42.0
This Saints defense is legit, and they thrive against poor offenses. Luckily for them (and for us after we place this bet), theyâre going up against a poor offense this week. The Saints will be returning to New Orleans for the first time since Hurricane Ida ravaged the city, and itâs going to be absolutely insane in the Superdome for their homecoming. Iâd like to be able to take the Saints against the spread, but Iâm still wary of Jameis Winstonâs ability to put points on the board consistently. So instead, Iâm going to trust Sean Paytonâs defense to stymie New Yorkâs offense, force some turnovers, and keep this game quite low scoring.
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Over 54.5
I expect a shootout in this matchup. This is a huge game for both teams, as a win would keep either team undefeated and atop the NFC West standings. So I think both Sean McVay and Kliff Kingsbury will be pulling out all the stops in an effort to assert their dominance over their division rival. Matthew Stafford has been excellent so far in his new home, and heâs proving that his quarterback skills are elite, but were just buried under the futility of the Detroit Lions franchise. The Cardinals have surpassed 30 points in all three games so far, and the Rams have only failed to do so once in a 27-24 win over the Colts. I love both quarterbacks in this game and each of them have so many weapons at their disposal. I think the Rams ultimately win in a thriller, but the over is the play for sure.
Green Bay Packers -6.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Aaron Rodgers can officially be considered back after leading a game-winning drive in only 37 seconds in San Francisco last Sunday night. At home now against the struggling Steelers, this should be another double digit win for Green Bay. Pittsburghâs offense, the run game especially, has been awful this season, and Ben Roethlisberger looks like heâs moving in slow motion when he has to try to escape the pocket. The Steelers would be winless right now if they didnât score a touchdown on a blocked punt in Week 1 to knock off the Bills, and they donât stand a chance in this one. The Packers have clearly shaken off their week 1 debacle and are now back to their former selves, which should be the norm for the remainder of the season. Iâm just going to R-E-L-A-X and roll with Rodgers to win by two scores or more.
Baltimore Ravens -1.0 at Denver Broncos
This pick is a result of my skepticism of the Broncos, who may be the least legitimate undefeated team remaining. Denver's wins have come against the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets. They have looked good in all those games, but I don't think that's really saying much. Maybe the Broncos are the real deal with Teddy Bridgewater and a healthier unit compared to last season, but I can't make myself believe that just yet. Lamar Jackson is leading the league in yards per pass attempt, yards per completion, and yards per rush so far this season, which is almost literally unheard of. I know Baltimore just narrowly escaped with a win in Detroit last week, but the game wouldn't have been close if Hollywood Brown didn't drop 3(!) would-be touchdowns on perfect throws from Jackson. I love the Ravens to win here and maybe expose the Broncos a little bit in what will be their biggest test by far this year.
Fade of the Week: Washington Football Team -1.0 at Atlanta Falcons
Okay, I know Washington hasn't had a great start to the season. They lost their starting quarterback early in their season opener and would be winless if not for an offside on a missed game-winning field goal to give them a second chance at victory, upon which they capitalized. Washington got trounced last Sunday by the Bills in a game that wasn't even as close as the final score indicated, but their defense has just been uncharacteristically bad through their first three games. And this is just a perfect bounce back game for them to figure things out and get back on the winning track in Atlanta on Sunday. Taylor Heinicke has been solid as a replacement for Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Scary Terry McLaurin should feast on Atlanta's secondary. The Football Team will win by at least a field goal and give us our first Fade of the Week "W" of the season.
Written by Nick Swatson