Home Sports N.F.L. Week 4 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread

N.F.L. Week 4 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread

New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Saints -4.5 | Total: 54.5

Few would have expected these teams to come into Week 4 with the same record, but it’s also doubtful anyone expected the Saints (1-2) to have allowed 31.3 points a game. A close look shows a team that has acquitted itself well against the run but has struggled against the pass far more than expected while dealing with some fairly explosive competition. With all that in mind, the Lions (1-2) might put up a bit of a fight. Coming off an upset of Arizona, Detroit has run the ball a lot this season thanks to the ageless Adrian Peterson, but the potential is always there for a big passing day from Matthew Stafford. The expected return of wide receiver Michael Thomas could be a corner-turning moment for the New Orleans offense, but on the road they are a questionable favorite. Pick: Lions +4.5

Giants at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m., Fox

Line: Rams -12 | Total: 48.5

The Rams (2-1) are likely smarting from a wild ride last week in which they were getting blown out, 28-3, by Buffalo, then charged back to take thelead in the fourth quarter, only to have Josh Allen rip out their hearts in the final seconds. Crushing the spirit of the Giants (0-3) in retaliation isn’t really possible, as the Giants’ spirit should have been permanently crushed in their humiliating loss to the 49ers’ backups last week. That won’t stop Los Angeles from trying.

There’s no question that the Rams could win this game by 12 or more if they kept their concentration and wanted to make a point, but expecting a slightly narrower margin — with fairly little drama to it — is far more realistic. Pick: Giants +12

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m., CBS

Line: Bengals -3 | Total: 48.5

At a glance, the passing defense of the Jaguars (1-2) looks bad — they’re ranked 19th in total passing yards allowed — but if you delve in a bit deeper things are much worse. They are allowing an N.F.L.-worst 118.6 passer rating, have had only three sacks over three games and, according to Football Outsiders, are the least efficient unit by a country mile, making even the Jets seem competent by comparison.

Enter Joe Burrow of the Bengals (0-2-1) who hasn’t won a game yet, but has 628 yards passing, five touchdowns and no interceptions over his last two starts. Rookies are unpredictable, and the Jaguars’ offense isn’t quite as bad as it looked last week, but Cincinnati is a rightful favorite. Pick: Bengals -3

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