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Week 4 NFL Computer Picks: Ravens & Browns in Physical Clash 

The NFL’s Week 4 schedule has some huge matchups led by Dolphins-Bills, but a key early game in the AFC North is also taking place in Cleveland between the Browns and Ravens. We highlight that game as well as other matchups with good value.

In analyzing the OddsTrader computer picks, we have identified 3 of our favorite bets that you can find at top-rated sportsbooks for Week 4.

Picks Summary


Browns Host Ravens in Huge AFC North Battle

With both teams at 2-1, this is a critical game for the AFC North race. The Ravens lost 13-3 in Cleveland last year in a game without Lamar Jackson and one where Justin Tucker missed a pair of field goals. Jackson is back, Nick Chubb is done for the Browns, but this figures to be a defensive clash.

The Browns are a 2.5-point home favorite with a total of 41.5 points. We are feeling the Under here.


Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns

Sunday, October 01, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Cleveland Browns Stadium


Respect the Cleveland Defense

The Browns made smart moves this offseason in bringing in veteran defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to bring a more aggressive style to the unit. They also gave Myles Garrett a great teammate in pass rusher Za’Darius Smith. Garrett has been dominant with 4.5 sacks already.

The result is the No. 1 scoring defense as the Browns have only allowed 1 offensive touchdown in 3 games. The offense has coughed up more touchdowns with Deshaun Watson turning it over twice in Pittsburgh for scores.

Cleveland has allowed just 21 first downs in 3 games. This is tied with the 1999 Buccaneers for the 2nd fewest through 3 games since 1970. It is only the 8th time since 1970 that defense allowed single-digit first downs in 3 straight games at any point in a season. No one had done it since a 4-game streak by the 2000 Titans, who had Jim Schwartz as their linebacker coach.

We know the Ravens have a lot of injuries right now, and it showed up in the 22-19 loss to the Colts in overtime. The Browns have held Lamar Jackson to no more than 165 passing yards in the last 4 meetings. They can hold this offense under 20 in this matchup.

The Real Deshaun Watson

Without Nick Chubb, Deshaun Watson was able to step up and have his best game for the Browns against Tennessee. He completed 81.8% of his passes for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns in an easy 27-3 win.

But when you play Tennessee, you get a lot more opportunities to throw as that defense loves to shut down the run and force teams to be one-dimensional. While Watson played well, he also had one of the dumbest plays of the game when he threw the ball backward while under pressure. The running game also was lacking without Chubb, and that is going to be an issue moving forward.

The Ravens are usually sound defensively, and this season has been no different. They held Watson to 13 points in the matchup last December. They forced Gardner Minshew to run out of bounds for a safety last week, but the team just failed to put that one away in regulation.

Watson has never scored more than 16 points in 3 career starts against the Ravens, who hopefully will have a better lineup health-wise this week.

The Pick

This is an old-school AFC North battle involving the best Cleveland defense since perhaps the days of Bill Belichick coaching the team in the 1990s. That means a ton of hard hits, runs that don’t go anywhere, and sacks on the quarterbacks.

It would be surprising if either team got to 21 points, let alone both. Trust the under as one of the best under-picks all week in the NFL.

Score Prediction: Browns 17 – Ravens 16

NFL Pick: Under 41.5 (-110) at Bet365


Adam Thielen Revenge Game in 0-3 Battle

Last week, the Vikings lost in a battle of 0-2 teams with the Chargers, blowing the game late after poor management of the clock in the red zone. The Panthers scored a season-high 27 points behind Andy Dalton in Seattle, but the defense was exposed in a 37-27 loss. Now both teams are 0-3 and looking for that elusive win.

The Panthers are a 3.5-point home underdog with a total of 45 points.


Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers

Sunday, October 01, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Bank of America Stadium


Dalton Sparks Offense

The Panthers were a woeful offense to start the season with rookie quarterback Bryce Young averaging 4.2 yards per attempt. While Andy Dalton only averaged 6.2 YPA in Seattle, he at least moved the offense and matched the scoring output of Young’s 2 games in a single afternoon.

It helped that Carolina played the Seattle defense, but this is a game with the Minnesota defense, which is also uniquely awful in multiple ways. The Vikings went from giving up a career game to D’Andre Swift and the Eagles on the ground to Justin Herbert hitting 40-of-47 passes for the first 400-yard passing game of his career.

The Panthers should have their choices of how they want to attack this defense, and that might depend on whether Young returns or if Dalton gets another start, but Dalton would probably be ideal for Carolina to win the game. He had a field day with Adam Thielen, who had 145 yards and another touchdown on 11 catches in Seattle.

Thielen is facing his former team from Minnesota and would obviously love to look great again this week. Dalton can provide him with that, but the team also needs to get Miles Sanders going on the ground.

The Vikings Can’t Buy a Close Win

When the experts talked about the Vikings regressing because of things like point differential and close wins, this is exactly what we meant. The 2022 Vikings are the only team in NFL history to win more than 11 games despite a negative scoring differential. They did that because they had 8 4th-quarter comeback wins, which tied the single-season record by the 2016 Lions.

But teams who do that almost always regress the following year, especially in close games. Ever since the Vikings’ record-tying 8th comeback under coach Kevin O’Connell last year, they were 0-4 in close games, including the playoff loss to the Giants.

The Vikings are losing games they would have won last year, but right now the only saving grace for this team is Kirk Cousins throwing to Justin Jefferson. The passing game in general has been great with tight end T.J. Hockenson and rookie wideout Jordan Addison stepping up, but the ball security (fumbles) has been awful, the running game does not exist, and the defense has been terrible.

The Vikings cannot be counted on to beat anyone at this point. They will eventually start winning games again, but this has been a rough stretch and it was not hard to predict this would happen after this team won so many coin-flip games in a row last year. Try guessing heads or tails correctly 8 times in a row and see for yourself how unlikely that is.

That is what the 2022 Vikings did. The 2023 Vikings find ways to lose.

The Pick

Again, how can you trust Minnesota right now? Even the strength of the team (Cousins) could be susceptible to coughing up the ball on a strip-sack by Brian Burns and this pass rush.

Look for Thielen to play well and the Panthers to record a minor upset at the NFL odds.

Score Prediction: Panthers 27 – Vikings 24

NFL Pick: Panthers +3.5 (-104) at SBK


Eagles Get Payback for Last Year’s Upset

After a couple of so-so performances to start the season, the Eagles looked more like the team we saw last year on Monday night in a 25-11 win over Tampa Bay. The Washington Commanders were 2-0 but lost brutally in a 37-3 game to Buffalo.

The Eagles are a 7-point home favorite with a total of 44.5 points.


Washington Commanders vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, October 01, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Lincoln Financial Field


Philly’s Revenge

Without question, the biggest achievement of the 2022 season for Washington was a 32-21 win in Philadelphia, which was 8-0 at the time. The Commanders were a 10.5-point road underdog, but they started that game 12-of-18 on 3rd down, and they forced the Eagles into 4 turnovers (they had 3 during the 8-0 start).

It was one of the biggest upsets of the year, but the Eagles are still clearly the better team, and they will not turn it over 4 times in this matchup. The Eagles cranked up the passing game in Tampa Bay with Jalen Hurts passing for 277 yards, including 131 yards to A.J. Brown in his best game of the season.

The running game is still incredible with another 200-yard game. D’Andre Swift has been dominant for this team over the last 2 weeks. Hurts on that quarterback sneak is unstoppable. The team makes full use of that in the red zone too.

The Eagles are going to score on a Washington defense that had no coverage of Stefon Diggs last week and was down 21-3 to Russell Wilson and the Broncos the week before.

The Pass Rush vs. Sam Howell

The other reason to love the Eagles -7.5 in this game is the defense will harass Sam Howell. The Eagles had better health for Week 3 with James Bradberry and Reed Blankenship returning to the secondary.

With better coverage, the pass rush was able to tee off on Baker Mayfield, who took 2 sacks, fumbled once, threw his first interception of the season, and only passed for 146 yards. The Eagles also know how to shut down the run, and Washington’s run game is not efficient (ranked 26th in yards per carry).

This is the first Philadelphia game for offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy with Washington. He may have gotten past the pass rush of the Eagles in the Super Bowl with the Chiefs, but that was a bad field and he had Patrick Mahomes.

This week, Bieniemy is stuck with Sam Howell, who just became the 6th quarterback in the Super Bowl era to take 9 sacks and throw at least 4 interceptions in a game.

Howell has taken 19 sacks in just 3 games. His career sack rate is 15.7%. For an idea of how bad that is, the worst sack rates in NFL history belong to Greg Landry (12.1%) and David Carr (10.5%).

Good luck, Sam.

The Pick

Jalen Carter should be bolstering his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign in this matchup. The Eagles are too good for Howell at this stage of his career and will overwhelm him with the pass rush.

The offense should also perform well. We like the Eagles to cover and win by double digits.

Score Prediction: Eagles 29 – Commanders 19

NFL Pick: Eagles -7.5 (-115) at Bet365

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