Free NFL Picks: What Bookies Missed for Week 4

Nikki Adams

Saturday, September 27, 2014 3:28 PM GMT

Saturday, Sep. 27, 2014 3:28 PM GMT

Week 4 NFL betting serves up several lopsided matchups that could deliver some angles for profit. Here’s a look at two such games that are set on wholly contrasting betting lines, but each featuring two highly touted rookies, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater, set to start for the first time in their respective colours. Do the bookies have it right in each case?

Jaguars +13.0 at San Diego -13.0
Arguably, one of the biggest mismatches of the week is the clash between the winless Jacksonville Jaguars and the momentum-riding San Diego Chargers (-850 to win SU) that is set on a rather one-sided money line. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3, 0-2 away) are desperate for a win on the season, but they can’t seem to buy one no matter how hard they try. Set to the tune of hallucinatory +575 NFL odds to win straight up, it would be a monumental upset if the Jaguars were to come through.

So far, Jaguars have had issues on both sides of the ball – they leaked at least 40-points per game on average and scored a paltry 14.6 points per game. The question is does the debut of Blake Bortles have an impact on this game?  His imminent start hasn’t changed the overarching NFL odds on this game overly, which could mean the odds makers don’t think so.

Chad Henne was benched in favour of Blake Bortles after a first half that saw the Jaguars trail 30-0. Bortles went 14-of-24 for 233 yards and two touchdowns, two interceptions and one sack. There were enough positives in that second half to suggest Bortles could lead several successful drives at the expense of the Chargers, thereby, having a positive impact on the outcome of this game compared to the Jaguars’ previous account. This is not to say the Jaguars are going to win, but they could keep this game closer than the odds makers would have at 13-points. Keep in mind, the Chargers aren’t the sort of team to blow the opposition – they rank in the middle of the table on offense and defense, and the biggest score they beat another team by was 12 points (over the Bills last week).  Granted the Jaguars defense is ailing, but this is the biggest spread the Chargers have been chalked with this season. So it just might be worth taking the points with the Jaguars.

NFL Picks: Jaguars +13

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Falcons -3.0 at Vikings +3.0
Another highly touted rookie is set to start this week with Teddy Bridgewater leading the Vikings against the high-scoring Falcons. Unlike the Jaguars vs. Chargers game, we have a field-goal line for this game.  The overly optimistic odds are underscored by several factors – Bridgewater had a promising stint last week when he went 12-of-20 with no touchdowns or interceptions, and ran for 27 yards and set up two field goal drives. Along with that the Vikings defense are no slouches 12th against the pass with 225.3 yards allowed and 15th against the rush with 110.0 yards allowed. That said, when making your NFL picks, it still feels like the bookies are overestimating the Vikings all while underestimating the Falcons. Atlanta tops the charts in offense and Matt Ryan, who has seven touchdowns in three games, has put up some league-leading numbers of his own, namely 8.69 yards per pass attempt. It seems the odds makers aren’t taking Falcons’ offense seriously enough with just a field goal line. Last week, the Falcons were tipped as the 5.5-point favourites against  a suspect Tampa Bay only to disembowel them 56-14. Surely, a field goal isn’t going to be too arduous for such an offense to overcome here.

NFL Picks:  Falcons -3.0 at 5Dimes

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