I had a Pete Weber "Who do you think you are, I am!" moment last week, as I went 5-0 against the spread on my top five bets. I had the Houston Texans covering the way-too-large number against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New England Patriots defeating Zach Wilson for the 1,000th time and the Philadelphia Eagles having no problem with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
No time to bask in the glow of a good week. The overall record isn't close to good enough yet. Ready or not, here comes Week 4. This is what I'm thinking this week. As always, credit to the CBS Sports research team for making me sound smart.
All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
Top five picks ATS record: 8-5-2
Overall ATS record: 23-23-2
Straight up record: 26-22
2022 Overall ATS record: 135-129-8
2022 Straight up record: 177-92-3
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)
Sunday, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
The Jaguars have not been great this season and I'm glad I faded them last week, but a trip across the pond is potentially exactly what this team needs. Jacksonville is more familiar with London than anyone else, plus we get a Calvin Ridley revenge game! The former Falcon had more receptions (8), receiving yards (101) and touchdowns (1) in Week 1 than he has recorded in his last two games combined (5 receptions, 72 yards, 0 TDs), but I bet Doug Pederson will look to get him more involved this week.
Atlanta put up just six points vs. the Detroit Lions last week, and Desmond Ridder has been terrible on the road. He's 0-3 away from Atlanta in his young career, and the Falcons have averaged just 11.0 points per game in those contests. The Falcons want to run the ball with Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier. Both are talented backs, but Jacksonville ranks No. 7 against the run this year. I think this could be a get-right spot for Jacksonville.
The pick: Jaguars -3
Projected score: Jaguars 24-20
Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles (-8)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)
I'm having a tough time figuring out the Commanders. I think Sam Howell has potential, but . He completed 19 of 29 passes for 170 yards and four interceptions in the 34-point loss to the Buffalo Bills last week, and was sacked nine times for a loss of 45 yards. Howell is being sacked at a near-historic rate, as the 19 the Commanders have allowed so far are tied for second-most through three games of a season since 1970. Next Gen Stats says Howell was pressured on 27 of 39 dropbacks last Sunday, which was the second-highest pressure rate recorded in a game in the Next Gen Stats era.
I know the Commanders upset the Eagles in Philly in prime time last year, but that's when king Taylor Heinicke was quarterbacking. The Eagles are without a doubt one of the best teams in the NFL, and they have one of the best defensive fronts highlighted by rookie Jalen Carter. This is a pretty big number, but I think the Eagles remember what happened last year when they were 8-0. Philly is 2-0-1 ATS this year while Washington is 1-2.
The pick: Eagles -8
Projected score: Eagles 31-20
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-14)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)
I'm not saying the 49ers are on upset alert, but am I alone in thinking this line is too high? The Cardinals have led in every game they've played so far this year, and are 3-0 ATS. In fact, they are one of just five teams to hold halftime leads in all three games this season! Joshua Dobbs is fourth in the NFL in completion percentage (72%) and is one of just four starting quarterbacks who hasn't thrown an interception yet. (Brock Purdy, C.J. Stroud and Justin Herbert).
We all thought the Cardinals were going to be the worst team in the NFL, but they absolutely are not. They are gritty, and held the Dallas Cowboys to just one touchdown in five red zone trips last week. The Cards were double-digit underdogs, yet came out and punched the Cowboys in the mouth. Give me that backdoor cover!
The pick: Cardinals +14
Projected score: 49ers 30-17
Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) at New York Jets
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, fubo)
I guess I'll bite. I know it was just the Chicago Bears, but I think the Chiefs are back on track after a rough start to the season. As for the Jets ... convincing fans Zach Wilson is the best quarterback for this team has become a full-time job for head coach Robert Saleh.
Wilson gets too much hate at this point and I think it's lame to pile on. But it's hard not to talk about him when we are trying to break down Jets games. In a Week 4 lookahead packet they sent me, CBS Sports Research called Patrick Mahomes vs. Zach Wilson the "Mismatch of the century" (QB vs. QB, not team vs. team). Mahomes has 19 career halves with three passing touchdowns. Wilson has zero career games with three passing touchdowns. Wilson has the lowest passer rating in the NFL this season (57.0), and has already gone back to back in worst passer rating in 2021 and 2022. He also has a worse TD-INT ratio than JaMarcus Russell through 25 games.
I will say that Wilson's offensive line has not been good at all, and is a reason the Jets statistically have the worst offense in the league in yards per game (225) and points per game (14). Taylor Swift sparked a blowout win for the Chiefs last week. Can she do it again?
The pick: Chiefs -9.5
Projected score: Chiefs 28-14
Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants (PICK)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN, fubo)
The Seahawks opened up as underdogs and this line has already been bet down to a pick'em. Seattle is 2-1 ATS while New York is 0-3 ATS. The Giants are 1-13 in prime-time games since 2019. That's the worst prime-time record in the NFL in that span.
Now, I don't want to ignore that the Seahawks are bottom five defensively in a ton of categories like points per game, yards per game, third-down conversion percentage and red zone percentage, but even if the Giants, who have the second-worst scoring offense in the league, enter into some kind of shootout, I believe Seattle would win that battle. I took the Seahawks to cover last week vs. the Carolina Panthers, and honestly did get a little nervous when Andy Dalton took the field instead of Bryce Young. Thankfully, Seattle still delivered with a 10-point victory.
Saquon Barkley is still dealing with his ankle injury, so we don't know his status right now. But the Seahawks have scored 37 points in back-to-back games. Can New York keep up?
The pick: Seahawks PICK
Projected score: Seahawks 27-20
I only make straight-up and against-the-spread picks, but the Sportsline Projection Model closely examines the totals for each game, and it's showing huge value on one side of this matchup. See which side to bet right here.
Other Week 4 picks
Packers (+1.5) 25-23 over Lions
Buccaneers (+3) 21-20 over Saints
Dolphins (+2.5) 26-23 over Bills
Ravens (+3) 20-17 over Browns
Broncos (-3.5) 28-16 over Bears
Colts (PICK) 23-20 over Rams
Texans (+3) 30-26 over Steelers
Bengals (-2.5) 24-20 over Titans
Vikings 27-24 over Panthers (+4)
Chargers (-5.5) 29-23 over Raiders
Cowboys 24-21 over Patriots (+7)