2016 Week 4 NFL ATS Picks
Week 3 Results
Week 2-3, Season 3-11-1, All Time 196-173-4
Just as Week 2 was ‘technically’ better than Week 1, Week 3 was ’technically’ better than Week 2, coming in at 2-3 versus 1-4. Unexpected results in Weeks 1 and 2 can generally be written off as flukes or one off occurrences, but by Week 3, teams are what they are. Of course, some teams will get better and others worse, but I can safely say I’ve been wrong about several teams. Philadelphia really surprised me with how well their defense played. Wentz will regress as the season progresses, but the defense will keep this team competitive in every game. Conversely, New Orleans and Tampa Bay were complete disappointments. Losing in such winnable spots takes more than bad luck or a bad night—it takes a bad team.
The plus side of being three weeks in, is that there is now plenty of snaps to watch of each team, and true surprises like Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and the Dolphins should become infrequent.
Week 4 Picks
New York +2.5 vs Seattle
I generally do not buy into the narrative that Seattle is less dominate away from home. Largely because it just hasn’t been the case. New York is getting points, in part, because of this false narrative. However, I also think that New York is seriously undervalued. They gave away a win in Week 1, dominated in Week 2 despite the final score, and only gave up 17 points in Week 3 despite turning the ball over an unimaginable 8 times. New York also has a favorable matchup given Russell’s injury, the state of Seattle’s offensive line, and the dominance of their own front seven. I like New York to win outright.
Tennessee +4.5 @ Houston
Tennessee is an interesting team. They move the ball reasonably well with a solid rushing game, but fail to put up points because of penalties and turnovers. Those things won’t disappear overnight, but they do cloud the fact that Tennessee’s defense has been superb. They did not allow an offensive touchdown in Week 1, held a powerful Detroit offense to three second half points in Week 2, and shutout an even better Oakland offense in the second half of Week 3, despite handing them consistently favorable field position. Houston has a good defense too, but their offense is abysmal. I think Tennessee might secretly be the better team, and I like them to win outright.
Detroit -3 (115) @ Chicago
I was admittedly skeptical of Jim Bob Cooter’s ability to carry last year’s success into 2016, but after three games, I am a believer. The offensive line could be better, but Stafford has been incredible, and he is surrounded by dynamic weapons. The defense is injured right now, but I think this team has a solid chance to becoming top tier by mid season. It would be hard to say the same about Chicago. Though they have a similar story of injuries and underperformance on defense, their offense is anything but dynamic. These teams are heading in opposite directions.
Denver -3 @ Tampa Bay
Last year, I picked Denver often once Manning went down with an injury. His play was so bad, I felt that any QB must be an upgrade. Going into this year, I thought it was understood that the Bronco’s offense would be better, even with a second year QB at the helm. After three weeks, I am beginning to think that isn’t the case. Because of the surprises of Garapollo, Wentz, and Prescott, Siemian and Denver have flown a bit under the radar. They are the most balanced team in the league and have beaten quality opponents soundly. Brady’s return not withstanding, I believe this is the best team in the league. They will show it on Sunday.
Pittsburgh -3.5 (105) vs Kansas City
I think both of these teams are just a notch below ‘elite.’ They each have dominant aspects to their game, but can be deeply flawed at times. Despite the similarities, I think this is a much better spot for Pittsburgh. They were beaten badly by a less talented team last week and just so happen to play a schematically identical team the next week. All the mistakes Pittsburgh could make against Kansas City, they did make against Philadelphia. If we are to have any faith in Tomlin as a coach, and Pittsburgh as a title contender, then they must come out and play like they studied with the answers to the test, because that’s exactly what they have on the Week 3 tape.