It was a clean sweep on my three largest total picks in Week 3 around the NFL. That's what I'm talking about! Here are three of the highest Week 4 totals on the NFL odds board.
Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints (47 On NFL Odds)
The two highest totals of Week 4 are actually Jaguars-Colts and Packers-49ers, both set at 48 points. But I looked at those games in my biggest spreads story (take Niners and points, wait on Andrew Luck status for Jags-Colts). I'm a bit surprised this total is so high. Oh, it would be rather low if it was Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo against Saints QB Drew Brees. But Romo remains out with a broken collarbone, as does star receiver Dez Bryant. Brees missed his first game as a Saint last week with a bruised throwing shoulder. Luke McCown started in the 27-22 loss to Carolina and was a solid 31-for-38 for 310 yards but didn't have a TD and threw a pick. It does look like Brees will go in this game, even though he's clearly not 100 percent. It's a must-win for the Saints at 0-3. Meanwhile, it's Brandon Weeden again for Dallas although his leash might be short. In last week's 39-28 loss to Atlanta, Weeden was 22-for-26 for 232 yards and a pick. It was the ninth straight loss for Weeden as a starter dating to his Cleveland days. Weeden just dinked-and-dunked vs. the Falcons, attempting only two passes more than 15 yards down the field. Tough to score that way. No weather issues here obviously.
NFL Free Pick: 'UNDER' Sure, most trends lean over for these teams, but those don't include Weeden as the Dallas starter or a less-than-100 percent Brees who might not make it through the whole game.
Houston Texans vs. Atlanta Falcons (46.5 In NFL Betting)
For Houston to have a shot at the upset here, it obviously needs to take away Atlanta receiver Julio Jones, who is the best player in the NFL right now who isn't a quarterback. Jones was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month. He led the NFL with 34 catches and 440 receiving yards in September and scored four touchdowns. He also topped the league in scrimmage yards (440) and first downs (23). Jones' 34 receptions are the most in NFL history by a player in his team's first three games to start a season. He is the first player in league annals with at least 135 receiving yards in each of his team's first three games. The NFL record overall is four straight. Bovada NFL odds offer a special on Jones this week: +500 he has another game of at least 135 yards and -1000 he doesn't. The Falcons are No. 5 in the league in total offense and No. 5 in scoring (29.7 ppg). Houston is averaging just 18.7 points per game because it doesn't have anyone on offense who scares anyone. But it's looking possible that Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster will make his season debut here. That would only help out QB Ryan Mallett. No weather worries here.
NFL Free Pick: 'OVER' It is 4-1 in Atlanta's past five at home vs. teams with a losing road record. The 'over' is 7-2 in Houston's past nine after allowing less than 15 points in its previous game.
NY Giants vs. Buffalo Bills (45.5 On NFL Picks)
Early in the week, it appeared that Buffalo might be dealing with some major weather due to Hurricane Joaquin. But now it is tracking off the Eastern Seaboard and the current forecast in Buffalo is for a pretty nice day, temperatures of 66 and only a 20 percent chance of rain. The Bills' defense is going to have to be tremendous to win this game as Buffalo's two best offensive players, running back LeSean McCoy and receiver Sammy Watkins, have both been ruled out. This will be the first time Watkins, who dealt with several injuries as a rookie last season, has missed a regular-season game. When I previewed this game on NFL picks earlier this week at SBR, Giants No. 2 receiver Victor Cruz said he was going to make his season debut off a calf injury. Uh, not so much. Cruz, dealing with a left calf injury, attempted to practice for the first time since mid-August on Wednesday but that didn't go well. Now he's out indefinitely. So if I'm the Bills, I am double-teaming Odell Beckham Jr. everywhere he goes. With 20 receiving yards on Sunday, Beckham would surpass Bill Groman (1,593) for the most receiving yards through a player’s first 16 games.
NFL Free Pick: 'UNDER' It is 6-1 in Buffalo's past seven at home. The 'under' is 4-1 in the Giants' past five October games.