I’m in a NFL contest where you need to submit five ATS picks each week. Through three weeks, those picks are 9-6 after starting out with a strong 7-3 record. Picking a single winner can be tough, much less picking five, but it’s a good challenge. It’s worth noting that the lines are set spreads released each Wednesday and selections are submitted Friday night.
Here are the five ATS picks I like for Week 4.
This has to be one of the biggest mismatches of the week. We have a Dallas pass rush that is top three in pressure rate against Washington quarterback Carson Wentz behind the second-worst offensive line. Wentz is 28th in pressure rate, leads the league in pressured throws and is 30th in completion percentage when pressured. Wentz was sacked nine times last week in a 24-8 loss to the Eagles. Cowboys LB Micah Parsons should feast.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts looks pretty stellar through three weeks of football. Under pressure, however, Hurts is throwing 38% and has zero touchdown passes. The Jaguars defense leads the NFL in takeaways with six interceptions. Since the Philly offense has played an easier schedule of defenses so far, I looked at the 2021 season. Hurts had three matchups against teams ranked top five in takeaways via interceptions and in those games he had four touchdown passes, five interceptions and three losses.
Arizona has faced Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs and Super Bowl champs Matthew Stafford and the Rams. The Carolina defense has faced quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett, Daniel Jones and an ailing Jameis Winston. This is a game for the Cardinals rushing offense in QB Kyler Murray and RB James Conner. The Panthers defense gave up 141 rushing yards to Browns RB Nick Chubb in a 26-24 loss in Week 1. Last year, against a mobile quarterback in Hurts, the Panthers gave up two rushing scores in a 21-18 loss.
Tennessee Titans +3.5 at Indianapolis Colts
Fading the Colts has been profitable. Indianapolis is 0-3 straight up and against the spread in the last three games against Tennessee. Though I was on the Colts last week against the Chiefs, the offense was out-gained in total yardage, lost in yards per play (Chiefs 5.2 vs. Colts 3.8) and RB Jonathan Taylor was held to 71 rushing yards. Oh, and QB Matt Ryan was still sacked five times! I’ll keep fading this Colts team as a favorite until proven otherwise.
The line has moved against me here in real time with Tom Brady and the Bucs now favored. The Chiefs defense has been low-key good. It held Colts RB Jonathan Taylor to 71 yards rushing, held the Cardinals to 4.5 yards per play, and forced an interception with two sacks against Chargers QB Justin Herbert. On offense, Tampa has had 36 total drives. Only five of those drives have reached the red zone and only three went for a touchdown. Brady could certainly continue to struggle against a Chiefs defense that is showing to be an improved unit from years past.