Free NFL Picks of the Day for Week 4 Betting

Darin Zank

Sunday, September 28, 2014 3:58 PM GMT

The NFL moves into bye-week mode, and consequently offers up just 11 games to bet with on Sunday. But that should be just enough for us to tease out a few winners. Here's what we came up with for our free NFL picks for Sunday.

San Diego Chargers -13/45 over Jacksonville Jaguars
San Diego looks to stay hot when it hosts Jacksonville and rookie QB Blake Bortles.

The Chargers opened this season with that loss at Arizona, but have since beaten the defending Super Bowl champions Seahawks and, last week, the Bills in Buffalo. San Diego hasn't gotten much help from its running game, averaging just 79 YPG on the ground, but Quarterback Philip Rivers has been great, completing 68 percent of his throws, compiling a 6/1 TD/INT ratio, picking apart defenses and converting on third downs. If the Chargers can just get a little production from backup RB Donald Brown, going against a Jags defense that ranks dead last vs. the run, at 160 YPG, they should be alright in this one.

Jacksonville will go with Bortles for his first NFL start, and that's always a little scary, for gamblers. Last week against Indy he threw for 223 yards and two scores, with two interceptions, but all that came in garbage time, after the Jags were down 30-0 at the half. 

San Diego occasionally plays up or down to its competition, depending upon who that competition is, but Jacksonville is just a bad team at the moment, ranking at or near the bottom in time-of-possession, rushing and run defense. So despite the double-digit spread the NFL pick here is with the Chargers.

Free NFL Pick: San Diego -12.5 at Heritage.

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Atlanta Falcons -3/47 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Another rookie QB gets his first career NFL start Sunday as Teddy Bridgewater and his Vikings host Matt Ryan and his Falcons.

Minnesota looked great in winning its season opener at St. Louis three weeks ago, but has since lost back-to-back games to New England and, last week, New Orleans, scoring a total of 16 points. The Vikings had hoped they could ease Bridgewater into action, but not anymore, with starter Matt Cassel now out for the season with a broken foot.

Welcome aboard, Teddy. Here's the keys.

Now, a young QB's best friend is a good running game, and with Adrian Peterson the Vikes might have been able to help Bridgewater out. But with Peterson now gone – maybe forever – he'll be left up to his own devices to move the ball today. And while that could mean some big plays, some of those big plays could benefit the Atlanta defense.

The Falcons are 2-1, coming off that blowout victory over Tampa Bay two Thursdays ago. So Atlanta has had a few extra days off to prepare for this one. The Falcons also lead the league in both total offense and in scoring. So while Atlanta is not exactly known for being a “road warrior,” it should be able to take care of business today.

Free NFL Pick: Falcons -3 at 5Dimes

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Houston Texans -3/42 over Buffalo Bills
Two teams coming off their first losses of the season look to bounce back when Houston hosts Buffalo.

Both teams may be without their top ground gainers, as Texans' RB Arian Foster (hamstring) and Bills RB CJ Spiller (chest) are both banged up. So both teams may have to go to the air to move the ball today. 

Houston QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is going up against his former team, and that always brings out a little something extra. The Bills dumped the kid from Harvard in place of young EJ Manuel, and you know Fitz would like to show Buffalo it made a mistake.

Two weeks ago the Texans won at Oakland; last week they lost in New Jersey to the Jets. They're glad to be at home this week.

Buffalo started 2-0, but put up just 10 points in a home loss to San Diego last week. The Bills managed just 292 yards of offense, just 87 on the ground.

This should be a tight one, but it looks like a good spot for the home team, at the short spread.

Free NFL Pick: Houston -3 at Pinnacle.

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Three-Pick OVER Parlay
Games played indoors are just 5-7 on the NFL odds totals so far this season, but we expect the OVERS to pick up in those spots. So our three-pick parlay on the OVERS for Sunday consists of the OVER 41 on Houston-Buffalo; the OVER 45.5 on Tennessee-Indy; and the OVER 53.5 on New Orleans-Dallas.