It's Thursday, the first day of the start of Week 4! Check out TRO's picks against the spread for the upcoming Week!
via Isaiah J. Downing / USA TODAY Sports
Each week, TRO will be making picks against the spread. While we will make picks for every game, we will place emphasis on our "First Four Downs" which will the four picks we feel most confident about. Our record against the spread will be kept on the Green Zone page, be sure to check it out each week!
Last week was a bit rough. TRO finished 1-3 on its First Four Downs, 5-7 from the Field, and 6-10 overall, our first time finishing below .500 this season. It was a tough week to predict, which is what makes the NFL so much fun. Besides, find someone who hasn't had a bad week of betting, and you've found someone who hasn't bet more than one week of their life, "experts" included. The good news is we are barely under .500 on the season, so we can turn it around in a week's notice, which we will look to do this week. Saddle up and tag along as we look to bounce back and work towards finishing the season with an impressive record.
TRO'S FIRST FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Green Bay Packers (-6.5)
via Darren Yamashita / USA TODAY Sports
The Packers appear to be rolling following their embarrassing Week 1 showing, whereas the Steelers appear to be rolling down a hill following their impressive Week 1 showing. Two teams trending in opposite directions, and the game will be played at Lambeau Field which is another boost for the Pack. The Packers will mirror the Bengals game plan from Week 3 as they will be successful in generating a pass rush, controlling the ground game, and their offense will make more plays over the top than Pittsburgh's. Look for them to handle the Steelers by 7+.
2nd Down: Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos (-1.0)
via Raj Mehta / USA Today Sports
With the spread set at -1.0, Vegas is asking you to pick a winner straight up, so you already have a 50/50 chance. This will be the first game Denver has faced any true adversity this year. The Broncos are a solid football team with a really good defense, but they will face too much adversity in Week 4. Lamar Jackson has the Ravens clicking, and you know Hollywood Brown will look to rectify the points he left on the field in Detroit with a bounce back performance. In fact, Lamar was watching film with him on the plane ride back to Baltimore just hours after the game. The Broncos will fight, but the Ravens will be just a bit too much to handle.
3rd Down: Kansas City Chiefs (-7.0) @ Philadelphia Eagles
via Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City has started 1-2 despite still being one of the top teams in the League. Before this year, Patrick Mahomes had a career record of 11-0 with 35 touchdowns and no interceptions. This September, Mahomes ended that streak, going 1-2 with 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Tyreek Hill only has 8 catches in the last two games. The Chiefs are too talented, too well coached, and too focused to fall behind any further in the AFC West race. This is a get right game for Kansas City and they will take every bit of advantage of a reeling Philadelphia team coming off of back to back losses, the most recent being a Monday night beatdown by the Dallas Cowboys. Expect more of the same for the Eagles this week as the Chiefs win by 10+.
4th Down: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New England Patriots (-7.0)
via Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports
If you want to bet against Tom Brady and this Bucs team following a loss, be my guest. If you want to bet against Tom Brady (and Rob Gronkowski) in his first return to New England, in his first game against Bill Belichick, then I'm not sure what to say. The Bucs will be locked in, and any emotion attached to this game will only benefit Brady far more than it will Belichick. Not to mention the fact that the Patriots just are not on the Buccaneers level this year. The Bucs defense will overwhelm Mac Jones, and the Bucs (with a returning Antonio Brown) will have far too much offensive power.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5)
The Bengals have been pleasantly surprising on both sides of the ball. Joe Mixon looks revitalized, Joe Burrow picked up where he left off, and the Defense is competitive. The Jags still need work and room to grow. Bengals by 8+.
Carolina Panthers @ Dallas Cowboys (-4.5)
This will be the first true test for the Panthers, with a road trip to a clicking Dallas team. We think the Panthers defense is as legitimate as it's looked, and will fare well, while the offense might take a slight step back against a better opponent, especially without CMC. Either way, the cats will keep this game close.
Indianapolis Colts @ Miami Dolphins (-2.0)
The Colts have been pressing and pressing to find their first win of the season. This is a great opportunity to do so. Miami has been struggling, is still without their starting quarterback.
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears (-3.0)
Another team that has been pressing for its first win. The Lions have looked rather cohesive this year. The Bears can't get anything together on offense, and have been one of the more dysfunctional teams this season in terms of media headlines. The Lions will pull one together here, and at the very least cover the spread, but we think they'll pull out a win.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5)
One of the biggest matchups of the week, an NFC West showdown. This game will be too big and too much of an offensive shootout for it to be decided by more than 4 points. The Cardinals will cover the spread here.
New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints (-7.5)
The Saints are returning more to normalcy after distractions from Hurricane Ida and COVID. They looked sharp last week and look more of the same to continue this week as they outmatch the Giants all over the field. Not to mention they will finally to get to play in front of their home crowd for the first time this year.
Houston Texans @ Buffalo Bills (-16.5)
16.5 is a whole lot of points. Too many points for us to feel comfortable betting against it, even if the Bills are far better in every aspect than Houston.
Cleveland Browns (-2.0) @ Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota showed us last week that they're a solid football team. However, the Browns are simply a better football team. They should win by 3+, covering the spread.
Tennessee Titans (-7.0) @ New York Jets
The Jets have lost each game this year by an average of 16.7 points per game. We'll take those odds until the Jets show us otherwise, especially with a Tennessee team who has established Derrick Henry and can control the pace of play.
Washington Football Team (-1.5) @ Atlanta Falcons
Washington has disappointed many this year. This is a perfect opportunity for their electric defensive line to capitalize against one of the worst offensive lines in football. Not to mention the fact that the Falcons's secondary (among the League worst) is a perfect opportunity for Taylor Heinicke to get into a rhythm early and play with a lead.
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers (-3.0)
San Francisco did everything right to beat the Packers last week, except for leaving Aaron Rodgers 37 second left on the clock. The Niners are a lot more of a balanced football team than the Seahawks, who will rely too much on the shoulders of Russell Wilson. Look for San Francisco to squeak out a 4-7 point win.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers (-3.0)
The Raiders' good fortune comes to an end as the Chargers will pull out an exciting win with an impressive performance from Justin Herbert.