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NFL Upset Picks for Week 4 – Best Underdogs to Bet

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Oct 2, 2021 · 6:42 AM PDT

Chicago Bears offensive guard Germain Ifedi (74) defends against Detroit Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara (95) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
  • Will the Detroit Lions end Matt Nagy’s rein in Chicago with an upset?
  • Can the Raiders stay perfect against the rival Chargers on Monday Night Football?
  • Our picks went 2-1 again last week, adding 2.33 units and bringing our season total to +10.23 units (6-2 overall)

Yeah, yeah, we won again. I only have so many back-patting intros I can write here and I’ve already exhausted them. Let’s get right into the NFL’s Week 4 odds and try and find a way to have a perfect array of picks.

We may have faired even better last week had I not put my support behind a rookie QB. First-year signal callers have gone an abysmal 1-11 straight up this season with that lone win coming in an all rookie Jets-Patriots matchup. And yet, rookies will feature prominently in this week’s picks, starting with a possible chance to fade one as a favorite.

NFL Week 4 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears CHI -3 +130 Lions 1
Las Vegas Raiders vs Los Angeles Chargers LAC -3 +154 Raiders 1
Tennessee Titans vs New York Jets TEN -6 +235 Jets 1

Odds taken Oct. 1 from FanDuel

Lions End Matt Nagy Era

Coming off the most embarrassing offensive effort in Bears history (which considering this franchise’s track record at QB, is saying something), Chicago has a good chance to land on their feet against Detroit. The Bears are favored by three against the lowly Lions at home, despite not knowing who will play QB until Sunday.

Considering the tenuous job security of Matt Nagy, I don’t know too many Bears fans that will be upset if they lose this game.

Last season, we called a Lions upset over Chicago, noting that the loss could signal the end of the Nagy era. It didn’t as the Bears went on to win their following three games, scoring over 30 points per outing and sneaking into the playoffs. None of the lessons from that late season success stuck with Nagy, whether it was the success using bootlegs and play action behind a suspect o-line or having Bill Lazor call plays. He’s stubbornly returned to his idea of an offense, and… well, you’ve seen the results.

All the excitement that Bears fans had after drafting Justin Fields in May was vacuumed out of the room last week, when it became clear this head coach is not going to be able to put the rookie in a position to survive, let alone succeed. The best course of action for Chicago would also be historic for the franchise: they’ve never fired a coach partway through the season.

Until that moment comes, it’s worthwhile to fade the Bears, starting with a visit from these pesky Lions. Despite their record, Detroit is at least capable of moving the ball on offense. Meanwhile new defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is already in high demand for his scheme skills.

Look for the Lions to send Bears fans in a total freefall with a win here.

Raiders Keep Rolling Over Rival

Las Vegas had a perfect September and they’ll look to cement their standing in a topsy turvy AFC West with a win over the rival Los Angeles Chargers, favored by three at home.

The Bolts had a big win of their own in Week 3, beating the Chiefs in Arrowhead. But as we’ve pointed out in the past, SoFi Stadium will be just as hostile a crowd for the “home team” on Monday Night, as black and silver remain the most popular colors in L.A.

Favoring the Chargers by a field goal in what is essentially a road game is a disservice to how well Las Vegas has played through three weeks. Their offense looks even better than last year and their defense is generating a strong pass rush with Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby.

Rashawn Slater has been arguably the best rookie in the league, holding down the left tackle spot for the Bolts. But with Bryan Bulaga out, right tackle remains an issue for this offense.

This should be yet another fun Monday Nighter involving Las Vegas, who keep pulling out tight games. While that’s bound to end eventually, I don’t think it will come at the hands of these Chargers, who still have a tendency to make silly mistakes late in close games.

Also, the Raiders have taken three of the last four meetings between these two.

Jets Ground Titans Aerial Attack

The New York Jets are still looking for Robert Saleh’s first win as a coach, but oddsmakers deem it unlikely to come this week as the visiting Tennessee Titans are favored by six. However, that line could be a little high if some crucial Titans don’t make the trip.

There’s a noticeable drop in talent for Tennessee after those two wide receivers. A heavy dose of Derrick Henry could still be enough offense for the Titans to win. But if the game script gets away from Tennessee and they fall behind, it’s going to be miserable trying to rally back with a passing game led by Chester Rogers and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, regardless of what defense they’re facing.

Zach Wilson has been absolutely beaten down this opening month, but there’s a silver lining for Jets fans: those were some strong defenses they faced out the gate. The Broncos and Patriots should be some of the best units in the NFL this year, while the Panthers D is trending up. The Titans are not in the same stratosphere as those teams, so we could finally see Wilson and this offense make some strides here.

Last year’s lowly Jets upset a Browns team that also runs hard, but had all their top receiving options hurt. It’s not hard to envision a similar script playing out here. And considering that Cleveland upset was what secured the number two pick and Wilson for the Jets, it’d be kind of poetic for the rookie to get his first win in a similar fashion.

 

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