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NFL Week 4 Best Bets, Picks and Odds: Brady and the Bucs Will Cover Against Patriots

All eyes are on Tom Brady's return to New England. Our betting analysts break down why the Buccaneers will cover the spread.

With three weeks of NFL action in the books and more game data to build from, our betting analysts are starting to heat up as we head into the cooler month of October.

In Week 3, Jen Piacenti and Casey Olson led the Sports Illustrated Betting team with four correct picks against the spread and just one loss. Frank Taddeo finished with a winning weekend with a 3-2 record. Richard Johnson fell a bit short in Week 3 but did pick an underdog to win outright. As for me, I picked four winners and two losers. All in all it was a very profitable weekend following along with the SI Betting team’s picks!

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As for Week 4, four of our team members are on the Lions. Both Johnson and Taddeo are calling for an underdog victory over the Bears, who announced rookie quarterback Justin Fields as the starter for the NFC North bout.

Our analysts disagree on six different games, the most we’ve seen all season. Olson and Piacenti are on opposite sides of the Vikings-Browns matchup and Panthers-Cowboys. Richard and I are on opposite ends with the Seahawks-49ers NFC West battle, and Casey and I differ on Broncos-Ravens. Taddeo is taking the Bills -17 while Johnson is on the Texans +16.5. Piacenti has the Packers covering the 6.5-point spread while Taddeo is on the Steelers at +6.5.

Week 4 Best Bets

Here's our criteria for picking games:

  • All odds from SI Sportsbook
  • Each analyst must pick five games
  • Three of the bets must be against the spread or over/under
  • The remaining two picks can be on the moneyline (but at least one of those ML picks must be on an underdog)
  • We believe transparency is paramount in the world of sports betting, which is why we entrust Sharp Rank to keep track of all our picks/performance.

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Jennifer Piacenti's Best Bet: Dallas -4

I’m going to support my home team here and predict the Cowboys cover the spread in Arlington. A lot has been made of the Panthers defense, and they have certainly been strong, but I think it’s worth noting they have faced the Jets, Saints, and Texans, three teams with new/inexperienced quarterbacks—not exactly a high bar. Meanwhile, on the other side of this game, the Dallas defense has been surprisingly good and currently leads the league in takeaways. The Carolina offense will be without Christian McCaffrey while the Cowboys offense is healthy and potent both through the air and on the ground. Dallas has scored an average of 30 points per game this year while Carolina has scored only 23. Even on short rest, I think Dak Prescott and crew take this one. 

Richard Johnson's Best Bet: Lions Moneyline +125

Let's bite some kneecaps! With the quarterback options either two milquetoast starters or a rookie that Matt Nagy cannot seem to figure out how to protect, give me the Lions in this NFC North matchup. Detroit's been surprisingly up for it in all their losses this season, while the Bears have definitely not been.

Frank Taddeo's Best Bet: Buccaneers -6.5

Tom Brady returns to Boston only needing 68 passing yards to break Drew Brees's all-time passing record. This is literally the ultimate revenge spot. Even with Rob Gronkowski (ribs)  unable to suit up, do not overlook that Brady gets back Antonio Brown this week off the COVID-19 list. Brown was released by Belichick and the Patriots, and the tumultuous history between Brady and his former coach is well documented. Lay the 6.5 with confidence on Sunday while looking to back Brady in his passing yard (303.5) betting market.

Casey Olson's Best Bet: Panthers +4

The Panthers are now 3-0 out of the chute and head to Dallas with extra time to prepare as they played last Thursday night, while the Cowboys have a short week after the beatdown they put on the Eagles Monday night. The Panthers defense ranks No. 1 overall in total yards (191), pass yards (146) and rush yards (45), and are ranked second for points allowed, giving up just 10 on average. The Cowboys on the other hand have struggled stopping the pass (331 YPG) while the Panthers rank eighth overall with a 285 pass yards average on the offensive side. This pass offense/defense matchup lowers the concerns for me with Christian McCaffrey out. Although Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (former HC of the Falcons) should know the Panthers squad well, I still see them having some struggles this week. I’ll say it while I can; Sam Darnold currently has more passing yards than Dak Prescott. Better chance than you think that it holds after Week 4.

Other trends to consider:

  • Panthers are 7-0 ATS (L7) on the road, with head coach Matt Rhule.
  • Panthers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog.
  • Cowboys are 0-7 ATS (L7) at home, after playing on a Monday night.
  • Cowboys are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games after scoring more than 30 the prior game.

Bill Enright's Best Bet: Seahawks +3

The 49ers have been favored by three points or more in all three games this year but only covered once. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are on a two-game losing steak. But here's a fun fact—Russell Wilson has never lost three consecutive games in his career. That trend may come to an end this weekend but we don't care if Seattle loses, we only need them to cover (although an upset victory on the moneyline would be nice). Take the points and roll with Russ!

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