2021 NFL Predictions and Picks: Week 4

NFL Oct 02, 2021

"Nobody hits 70 percent winners in the long run.  But for now, in the short run, I’ll take the winning streak."

The 2021 regular season continues to be off to a terrific start.  Last week resulted in 6 wins and 2 losses, increasing my season winning percentage to nearly 70 percent success on 27 total bets.  Right now, I’m 18-8-1 and $2,533 up for the season (and the preseason was also profitable).

Not to dampen the enthusiasm, but now a word of wisdom and advice based on many years of experience:  These percentages cannot and will not continue.  If anyone markets themselves as a 70 percent winning handicapper, THEY ARE LYING.  Nobody hits that percentage in the long run.

But for now, in the short run, I’ll take the winning streak.


MONEYLINE:  TEN -255    (Risking $990 to win $388) — WON
TEASER–ARZ -1 / BUFF -2    (Risking $600 to win $500) — WON
TEASER–TEN +.5 / KC -.5    (Risking $300 to win $250) — LOST
TEASER–TEN +.5 / BAL -1.5   (Risking $300 to win $250) — WON
GAME SIDE:  TENN -5.5   (Risking $550 to win $500) — WON
GAME SIDE:  DAL -4   (Risking $345 to win $300) — WON
TEAM TOTAL:  Green Bay Over 21.5  (Risking $270 to win $200) — WON
TEAM TOTAL:  Carolina Over 25.5   (Risking $250 to win $200) — LOST

Now, let’s move on to Week #4.

This is the updated final report.  TEN BETS this week….



18 Wins — 8 Losses — 1 Push

Starting Bankroll:     $10,000.

Current Bankroll:     $12,533.

Best Bets:     2 — 1 — 0

Last Week’s Results:     + $ 1,588.



This comment will not endear me to many readers, but I have no opinion nor real interest in the so-called Brady-Belichick Bowl.  It’s just another game and potential wagering opportunity for me, and I see nothing worth betting on.  In fact, I dislike overhyped games.  They juice up the emotions of players and tend to create less predictable outcomes.  Give me a “boring” NFL game between two teams with not much at stake that’s ignored by most of the betting public.  That’s the game I like to focus on.  So, I’m passing on the SNF game between Tampa Bay and New England.

I lean UNDER on Indianapolis at Miami game, but can’t pull the trigger at 42.  Looks like the Colts are really banged up with five starters out.  But after attending the Dolphins game last week and seeing a very misleading final (Miami was dominated most of the game), I don’t want to touch the Dolphins, especially laying points.

Dallas should handle Carolina, but the Cowboys have often stunk it up after a big win.  Coming off a MNF win versus rival Philadelphia, I see a sloppy game here.  Dallas offense has been crisp, and now Carolina (#1 ranked defense, due largely to weak opposition), gets a real test.  Lean to Dallas at -4, but as I said the Cowboys seem due for a letdown and this could be that week.

Kansas City at Philadelphia makes me want to take the Eagles as a touchdown home underdog.  But I don’t like fading a KC team that’s lost two straight and might roar here with a strong effort.  I suppose one can make a case for betting Philadelphia given the +7 number, but I’m going to pass.

The Arizona-LA Rams game will be the treat of the week.  High total, which tempts me to play UNDER 55.  If we believe the Rams’ defense is for real, this is a must-bet UNDER.  I’m not convinced of that yet, and we could just as easily see a shootout.  No play for me, but I’ll enjoy watching purely as a spectator rather than an investor.

Strong lean to the UNDER 52 in the Seattle-San Francisco game, which has been dominated by the Seahawks in recent years.  I should probably bet this, but so far haven’t pulled the trigger.

And now, on to the TEN BETS I’ve made.


Total Bet:  Washington at Atlanta UNDER 48 — Risking $220 to win $200

Neither offense poses much of a big-play potential, which factors into a solid UNDER wager here.  The total at 48 looks to be a bit high based on some outdated perceptions about the Falcons who are averaging less than 20 PPG.  Washington’s offensive woes are well known, scoring 23 PPG.  The key stat here is recent history dating back to midseason.  Washington is 6-2 to the UNDER in the last 8 and Atlanta is 9-4 to the UNDER in their last 13.  I think at least one offense will struggle here and/or one of the defenses plays well.  Whoever wins the game gets back to the respectable .500 mark while the loser is probably doomed for the rest of the season.  This could also factor into a more predictable “don’t lose the game” mindset on both sidelines.  The Pick:  UNDER 48

Total Bet:  Cleveland at Minnesota OVER 51.5 — Risking $220 to win $200

Both teams score points and allow points.  So, with two experienced QBs and an indoor fast surface, I’ll bite with a bet on the OVER.  The Vikings have morphed into an OVER team, which probably displeases former DC (now head coach) Mike Zimmer.  The Vikings average 29 PPG against the Browns 28 PPG, so recent form leans to the OVER.  The Vikings have gone 13-5 to the OVER since the start of the 2020 season.  I’d have this total closer to 53 or 53.5, which I think provides enough of an edge to make a small play.  The Pick:  OVER 51.5

First-Half Team Total:  Houston OVER 6.5 (-140) — Risking $420 to win $300

I’ll bet on almost any NFL team to score at least a touchdown in any half of a football game.  With 10-days rest since their last game, Houston should be able to find the end zone at least once.  I see some chance the Bills as huge 17-point favorites taking this weak opponent lightly, especially coming off Buffalo’s breezy home win last week.  Good spot here for Houston to at least make a game of it in the first half.  The Pick:  Houston to score +6.5 in the first-half.

Game Bet:  Detroit +3 vs. Chicago — Risking $440 to win $400 (BEST BET)

First-Half Team Total:  Detroit OVER 9.5 points — Risking $330 to win $300

The Lions have shown a spark in all three games, despite being winless at 0-3.  Detroit stormed back in the home opener, losing but covering vs. SFO.  They led Green Bay 17-14 at halftime.  And they would have upset Baltimore last week were it not for a miracle kick by Tucker.  That’s three decent showings versus likely playoff teams.  Now, the Lions drop down in class and face a very beatable foe coming off a dreadful offensive performance.  Chicago hasn’t announced the QB starter, but does it really matter?  Rookie Fields was horrendous last week, but the play calling deserves equal scrutiny.  With head coach Nagy calling the plays, the Bears are averaging just 18 PPG in the two seasons he’s taken over that role.  There’s some speculation Nagy will turn over the play-calling this week, but I’m not sure this will solve the Bears’ inept offensive output.  Bears rank dead last in yards — 250 YPG (even the Jets gain more yardage). I like fading a struggling team, with no confidence at the QB position, and even the coaching staff in disarray.  Meanwhile, the Lions have surpassed expectations at 2-1 ATS and now play a very winnable game.  Getting +3 strikes me as too tempting to pass up.  Lions QB Goff also appears to like the new system, with 800+ yards, 5 TDs, and just 2 INTs in the first three games.  The Pick:  Detroit +3 and Detroit to score +9.5 points in the first-half.

2-Team Teaser:  Tennessee -1.5 (vs. NY Jets) / New Orleans -1.5 (vs. NY Giants) — Risking $600 to win $500

These two favorites look almost too easy.  Typically, I’d look to wager on 0-3 teams getting more than a FG.  However, the Jets have been totally outclassed in their three games, and pose little offensive threat.  Jets have scored just 20 points in their first three games.  I’m slightly worried that Tennessee could take this opponent lightly.  They’re up 2 games in the AFC South division and might not have any sense of urgency.  But this is also a chance to put the division away early in the season since it’s very possible all the other three teams, which are dogs, lose this week.  Titans have no problem moving the ball and scoring points.  I fail to see how the horrible Jets offense can keep up.  I’ve teased the Titans from -7.5 down to -1.5.  In the other leg of the 2-team teaser, New Orleans finally plays a real home game in the Superdome and I think that factor will create a solid performance by the Saints.  The bounceback last week at New England was impressive and if the defense continues to play well, New Orleans will be in the playoff hunt.  One can make a convincing case the Giants could be 2-1 right now (they’re winless, despite two close losses).  But this opponent is a step up in class and I don’t see Daniel Jones leading an upset on the road at New Orleans.  Reportedly, the NYG head coach Judge is on the hot seat.  That’s not conducive to a young, winless team coming into New Orleans and winning the game (or covering +1.5 on the opposite side of a teaser).  The Pick:  TEN -1.5 / NOR -1.5 (Teaser)

First-Half Team Total:  Baltimore OVER 9.5 points (-155) — Risking $465 to win $300

I’m not a believer in Denver’s 3-0 record since they’ve yet to play a worthwhile opponent (Bronco’s opposition is now 0-10 straight up).  Now, a much better team comes to town and the Broncos will face a real test.  I’m not betting a side, but when I saw an overreaction to Denver’s impressive defensive stats and a first-half total of just 9.5 points on Baltimore, I jumped all over it, even with the high 3:2 lay price.  With a great kicker and the altitude at Mile High, the Ravens might even attempt FGs from midfield.  This total should be 10 or perhaps 10.5.  The Pick:  Baltimore to score +9.5 points in the first-half.

Game Team Total:  Pittsburgh OVER 19.5 (-125) — Risking $375 to win $300

First-Half Total (Both Teams):  Pittsburgh/Green Bay OVER 22.5 — Risking $460 to win $400

Steelers Over 19.5—-The key number here is getting the win if Steelers score 20 points or more.  After three subpar games on offense, I look for Pittsburgh to change up some things and given QB Ben Roethlisberger’s experience and skill set, there should be enough left in the tank for the Steelers to surpass this number.  Even with a non-existent running game, the Packers’ pass defense leaves much to be desired so I’ll bet the Steelers get on the scoreboard enough to break this low number.

First Half Over 22.5—–Another key number is getting the win on 23.  Green Bay should produce points and if Pittsburgh comes out firing, as expected, I think this game should land on the north side of 22.5.  14-10 as the halftime score looks about right.

The Picks:  Pittsburgh OVER 19.5 points for the game and Pittsburgh/Green Bay OVER 22.5 points in the first half.

MNF:  Total Bet:  Las Vegas at LA Chargers OVER 51.5 — Risking $220 to win $200

With two strong passing offenses, top-ranked QBs, and a primetime game, that spells a possible shootout.  OVERs are 8-2 so far this season under the lights.  Raiders average 30 PPG.  Chargers have been less consistent but did hang 30 on KC last week.  I think there’s enough value to bet the game OVER the total.  Not this number moved down from 53, which I think is an overreaction based on some outdated (mis)perceptions that division rivalries produce lower-scoring games.  The Pick:  OVER 51.5

THIS WEEK’S BETS (Lay amount/Win amount):

Total Bet:  Washington at Atlanta UNDER 48 — Risking $220 to win $200

Total Bet:  Cleveland at Minnesota OVER 51.5 — Risking $220 to win $200

First-Half Team Total:  Houston OVER 6.5 (-140) — Risking $420 to win $300

Game Bet:  Detroit +3 vs. Chicago — Risking $440 to win $400 (BEST BET)

First-Half Team Total:  Detroit OVER 9.5 points — Risking $330 to win $300

2-Team Teaser:  Tennessee -1.5 (vs. NY Jets) / New Orleans -1.5 (vs. NY Giants) — Risking $600 to win $500

Game Team Total:  Pittsburgh OVER 19.5 (-125) — Risking $375 to win $300

First-Half Total Both Teams:  Pittsburgh/Green Bay OVER 22.5 — Risking $460 to win $400

First-Half Team Total:  Baltimore OVER 9.5 points (-155) — Risking $465 to win $300

Total Bet:  Las Vegas at LA Chargers OVER 51.5 — Risking $220 to win $200

[10 wagers — $3,790 at risk]