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NFL picks, predictions against the spread Week 4: Bengals deal Dolphins first loss; Buccaneers top Chiefs; Packers crush Patriots

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Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season and after a surviving a topsy-turvy three weeks of game results, expect some “normalcy” to return because it’s becoming progressively easier to determine probably the most and least reliable teams within the league.

That ought to mean only larger and higher things for Sporting News’ picks and predictions against the spread going forward. Although these selections are for “entertainment purposes only”, it is time to get serious to battle back against the numbers.

Here’s the most recent fearless forecast of pigskin prognostication for a slate filled with marquee matchups and more tough contests to call:

(Odds courtesy of Sports Interaction)

POWER RANKINGS: Dolphins overtake Bills; Packers, Jaguars jump up

NFL picks against the spread for Week 4

  • Game of Midweek: Dolphins at Bengals (-3, 47.5 o/u)

Thursday 8:15 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime Video

By the numbers, the Dolphins defied logic with their win over the Bills to get to 3-0, following a near-impossible comeback to take down the Ravens. There’s sure to be some regression to the mean and their blitzing defense plays well into the hands of Joe Burrow, who got well passing last week. Tua Tagovailoa’s back injury and limited running game assistance will make this spot difficult in a hostile environment on a brief week. Miami is sure for the classic letdown while Cincinnati continues marching back into the AFC playoff conversation.

Pick: Bengals win 27-23 and canopy the spread.

  • Game (and Upset) of the Week: Buccaneers over Chiefs (-2.5, 44 o/u)

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense couldn’t get much of anything going against a really similar Todd Bowles-led Buccaneers defense in Super Bowl 55. The Bucs have their share of offensive issues around Tom Brady tied to injuries, but they may get a bit reinforced this week with weaponry and blocking to have a more balanced and explosive attack. Kansas City will see more of a compressed passing game again while Tampa Bay sees some expansion to the way it normally has operated with the GOAT.

Pick: Buccaneers win 24-23.

Josh-Allen-01132022-Getty-FTR

  • AFC Game of the Week: Bills (-3.5, 52 o/u) at Ravens

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Bills statistically dominated the Dolphins with Josh Allen having one other massive game. They ended up stopping themselves in critical situations that cost them the sport. The Ravens melted down late against the Dolphins or they’d be 3-0 as an alternative give the best way Lamar Jackson also has sparkled as a passer and runner, too. The health of Buffalo’s secondary is a priority here, but its zone defense will contain the chunk plays from Jackson. Baltimore, even with its playmaking talent on the back end, has proved it could possibly hand over an excessive amount of downfield due to needing to resort more to blitzing.

Pick: Bills win 27-24 but fail to cover the spread.

  • Lock of the Week: Packers (-10.5, 39 o/u) over Patriots

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Packers are back rolling with the best offense-defense complementary football with Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers after their typical Week 1 mess.  Rodgers outdueled the GOAT last week and now he’ll take to the shell of his former team against a surprisingly reeling Bill Belichick defense. The Patriots might want to hope that Brian Hoyer, filling in for an injured Mac Jones, can dig deep to search out something more within the passing game while being too run heavy. That will not work well on the road of their current dysfunctional offensive state.

Pick: Packers win 30-10 and canopy the spread.

  • Vikings (-2.5, 44 o/u) at Saints

Sunday 9:30 a.m. ET, NFL Network

Minnesota remains to be attempting to determine its offensive identity under Kevin O’Connell. The Vikings generally is a massive passing team with Kirk Cousins and it’s good they’ve found some big-play pop away from Justin Jefferson. In addition they got on the right track running vs. the Lions and might still have more success on the bottom with or without Dalvin Cook. The Saints are all over in trying to search out balance and explosiveness with Jameis Winston and can are available in hurting more with key offensive injuries. Dennis Allen’s defense can only contain a lot in London.

Pick: Vikings win 24-17 and canopy the spread.

Nick-Chubb-11-9-GettyImages-ftr

  • Browns (-2.5, 48 o/u) at Falcons

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Browns are near being 3-0 as well had they not melted down late against the Jets in Week 2. They may go into Atlanta well rested and sure some traveling support from the Dawg Pound. When Nick Chubb goes back right down to Georgia, the Falcons’ run defense can prepared to get gashed. The Falcons simply do not have the facility and pop to match with the Browns can do on either of the ball even with Marcus Mariota joining Jacoby Brissett and playing higher than expected overall at QB.

Pick: Browns win 23-20 and canopy the spread.

  • Commanders at Cowboys (TBD)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Commanders are an absolute defensive mess under Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio. They can’t stop anything vs. the run or pass and are very undisciplined in giving up big plays. The Cowboys are methodical and artistic offensively without Dak Prescott, as Cooper Rush and the running game are arrange well to supply here. Then Micah Parsons and Dallas’ defense will maintain the remaining by taking it to Carson Wentz.

Pick: Cowboys win 20-14.

  • Seahawks at Lions (-6, 50 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Seahawks can stay on this game with Geno Smith throwing to their wide receivers given issues in Detroit’s secondary. But that may occur for less than some time as Jared Goff and his weapons will see wide-open spaces in coverage and the Lions have proved they’ll pound the ball and run well on anyone.

Pick: Lions win 31-23 and canopy the spread. 

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  • Titans at Colts (-3, 42.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Derrick Henry got on the right track for the Titans last week to earn them their first win. Jonathan Taylor has been contained for a pair games however the Colts were in a position to get a giant win without him going off in Week 2. The Titans are crumbling a bit up front of their offense and are inconsistent with their wide receivers, a break for the Colts’ new-look defense. This is supposed to be a Taylor-dominated game and he’ll let Indy ride him to victory.

Pick: Colts win 24-20 and canopy the spread.

Sunday.1 p.m. ET, Fox

Justin Fields and Daniel Jones are sure to present us the ugliest game of the week as these two latest coaches, Matt Eberflus and Brian Daboll attempt to grind out one other win with the defense and running game. Using that method, someone needs to return out on top, barring a low-scoring tie. Side with the Giants having the marginally higher formula with Jones supported by Saquon Barkley and a capable of constructing higher dual-threat plays than Fields at home.

Pick: Giants win 16-13.

  • Jaguars at Eagles (-6.5, 48.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Doug Pederson will attempt to fare higher in his revenge game vs. Philadelphia than Carson Wentz did. Pederson has his offense looking complete with Trevor Lawrence, Christian Kirk, James Robinson and others. That is a great defensive challenge for the Jaguars but they may have some success moving the ball with a dynamic and diverse attack. The Jaguars’ defense is seeing some young players stand out early, but there are still enough issues to struggle on the road with the Eagles’ balance and explosiveness led by a red-hot Jalen Hurts.

Pick: Eagles win 34-27 and canopy the spread. 

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  • Jets at Steelers (-3.5, 41.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

It looks just like the Steelers won’t get yet one more shot at old Ravens rival Joe Flacco as Zach Wilson is predicted to return and begin for Latest York. The Steelers insist on sticking with Mitchell Trubisky over rookie Kenny Pickett, which supplies them the veteran edge, regardless that a Wilson-Pickett matchup would give this game more of a young QB groove. The Steelers will keep things easy with a rebound outing for the T.J. Watt-less defense and running game to avoid the upset at home.

Pick: Steelers win 23-17 and canopy the spread.

  • Chargers (-6, 45.5 o/u) at Texans

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Chargers seemed out of sorts with Justin Herbert not fully healthy against the Jaguars. They were playing without Keenan Allen again and likewise lost left tackle Rashawn Slater and edge rusher Joey Bosa. The injury curse could be back to present them powder blues, but this screams get-well game on the road for Herbert and all of his weapons, namely Austin Ekeler. Davis Mills is fading hard as Houston’s starting QB and Los Angeles’ defense will likely be motivated for a robust effort vs. the pass.

Pick: Chargers win 34-14 and canopy the spread.

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  • Cardinals at Panthers (-1.5, 44 o/u)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield each won Heisman Trophies playing quarterback for Oklahoma and likewise went No. 1 overall of their respective NFL Drafts. Unfortunately, neither QB is playing as much as the team expectations, Murray vs. his massive latest contract and Mayfield vs. his supposed savior status.

Murray must take offensive matters more into his own hands or Arizona is in peril of freefall out of playoff contention, The defense has began to play higher and it is time for him to reply and here he should get loads of support from James Conner and the standard running game. The Panthers’ offensive woes around Mayfield proceed, including not knowing the best way to use his weapons well.

Pick: Cardinals win 24-14.

  • Broncos at Raiders (-2, 44 o/u)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Broncos and Raiders are breaking in latest offensive-minded coaches, Nathaniel Hackett and Josh McDaniels. Russell Wilson and Derek Carr have been slow to adapt and deliver in the brand new systems, despite having ample receiving weaponry. The play-calling is not in sync for either QB, but Las Vegas has shown more signs of things coming together soon. Denver’s defense has overachieved early and can come right down to earth on the road. Desperation kicks in for Carr and the feisty Raiders and so they get the win to get them back in a suddenly underachieving AFC West.

Pick: Raiders win 23-20 and canopy the spread.

Nick-Bosa-102719-Getty-FTR.jpg

  • Rams at 49ers (-2.5, 45 o/u)

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Rams and 49ers are getting shaky quarterback play as Matthew Stafford is coming off a right elbow injury and Jimmy Garoppolo is working post right shoulder surgery. This must be a typical, grinding, close physical game between the 2 NFC West archrivals that plays out very similar to their final two big meetings of 2022, including the NFC title game. Give the sting to the 49ers for higher overall defense and a more reliable running game at home tied to the strong recent history of Kyle Shanahan vs. Sean McVay.

Pick: 49ers win 20-17.

Week 3 record straight up: 9-6

Week 3 record against the spread: 8-7

Season record straight up: 27-19

Season record against the spread: 23-24

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