SAN DIEGO, September 27, 2017 — The third week of the NFL 2017 season was dedicated to protesting. Multi-million dollar athletes accused President Trump of being divisive for standing up for American values. The fans began to tune out in droves. Players insisted they had a First Amendment right to protest on the job, which is factually false. The owners sided with the players, but this is the week where they return to business.
So let us all hope that Week 4 is when the spoiled brats shut up and do their jobs before all of football is destroyed. People pay to watch football. The NFL has to decide if it wants to be the king of all sports or if it wants to be as irrelevant as the Academy Awards and the White House Correspondents Dinner.
So let us remove all politics from football. Here is the NFL 2017 Week 4 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spreads provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, September 28, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
Chicago Bears at Green Packers (-7) — Do not be fooled by the Bears finally getting a win last week at home against Pittsburgh. Do not be fooled by the Packers barely surviving at home against Cincinnati. This is where order is restored. The Packers almost always beat the Bears because the Packers are the far better team. Packers cover.
Sunday, October 1, 9:30 a.m.
New Orleans Saints (-2.5) at Miami Dolphins from London — Last week Drew Brees showed Carolina that he still has plenty of juice left in his golden arm. Miami lost to the Jets. That alone should have them underdogs for the rest of the year. Saints cover.
Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots (-9) — Tom Brady is playing better than ever. Cam Newton is not. Carolina looked dreadful at home against Drew Brees. The spread is high, but this could be a blowout. Patriots win but fail to cover.
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-7) — Neither of these teams has shown much consistency, but the Cowboys have the offensive line to match up well with the Rams defense. Jared Goff has improved, but give Das Prescott the edge at home, especially after the road win at Arizona. Cowboys win but fail to cover.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (Pick ‘em) — A heartbreaking, controversial official’s decision knocked the Lions from the unbeaten ranks. The Lions are the better team, but winning in Minnesota is tough in the NFC North. Vikings win.
Tennessee Titans (-1.5) at Houston Texans — The Titans are playing good, sound fundamental football, while the Titans defense got torched at New England. This game could go either way, but give the Texans defense one more chance at home. Upset special, Texans win outright.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) at New York Jets — Jacksonville got blown out at home but won both road games. The Jets stunned Miami in front of the home New York fans. It’s hard to trust the inconsistent Jaguars, but expecting these Jets to win in consecutive weeks is too much to ask. Jaguars win but fail to cover.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at Cleveland Browns — Both these teams fought hard before losing heartbreakers. The Bengals have more talent but the Browns are hungry for a win. Andy Dalton is not playing well, so give the Browns a chance to show that they are finally above the cellar. Upset special, Browns win outright.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Baltimore Ravens — The Ravens fell behind 44-0 last week to Jacksonville while the Steelers lost in overtime to lowly Chicago. This is another case of the Steelers having the better team but the Ravens always gear up for their most hated rival. Home field has proven irrelevant in this series. Trust the Pittsburgh running game in the fourth quarter. Steelers cover.
Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons (-8) — The Bills got an emotional home win against Denver, but going into Atlanta is a much tougher test. The Falcons are clicking on all cylinders. Buffalo has a decent defense, and the spread is high. Falcons win but fail to cover.
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) — The Buccaneers have been underachieving, but the Giants are just out of sync. The Giants offense is a mess. Buccaneers cover.
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers (-1) — Every year the Chargers look good on paper and terrible on the field. They have the talent, and that never matters. Yet the Eagles are beatable, and Carson Wentz does not have the firepower to outduel Philip Rivers. Chargers cover.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-7) — The Cardinals are not the same team they were two years ago. The 49ers are winless, but they have been very competitive the last couple of weeks. They tend to play the Cardinals tough. Cardinals win but fail to cover.
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-2.5) — Both these teams ran into a defensive buzz saw last week to get knocked from the unbeaten ranks. Oakland has the offense and Denver has the defense. Given how bad the Oakland offense failed at Washington, expect more problems against Von Miller and company. Broncos cover.
Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks (-13) — The 1-2 Seahawks have looked out of sorts, but the Colts are a mess. This has the makings of a blowout all over it The spread is high, but the Colts without Andrew Luck really are that awful. Seahawks cover.
Monday, October 2, 8:30 p.m.
Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs (-7) — Forget what Washington did to Oakland. That was at home. Now the Redskins are on the road, and Kansas City has a far better defense. When even Alex Smith is throwing passes longer than four yards, the Chiefs are less boring and predictable than in past years. Chiefs cover.