Fairway’s Football Forecast - NFL Picks for Week 4

Week 4 of the NFL free pick series looking for value plays and underdogs every weekend. Fairway's Football Forecast examines four games, including the Rams/Cowboys matchup and the Lions/Vikings game.

Identifying Week 4 NFL Underdogs and Parlays for Profit

We hit the quarter pole of the NFL regular season this week and continue our pursuit of profit throughout the season. Our pro football underdog picks have produced profit thus far, and even more winners in our weekly college football parlay for profit picks and plays. Plenty of opportunities for profit last week with 8 outright underdog winners, so lets' see if we can Bag a few Birdies this week in Fairway's Foursome with Fairway's Football Forecast on President's Cup week.

Week 3 finished 2-2 on these pages with the Bills and Jaguars winning outright as 'Dogs. The Lions overturned TD on the final play cost us a winner, but Detroit was outplayed at home by Atlanta. I encourage you to do your best throughout each week to anticipate line moves and bet the best numbers. With so many offshore options and leading online sportsbooks to choose from and compare, it should be reasonable to expect using due diligence in your search for the best numbers.

Risk vs. reward and searching for value is something bettors should shoot for in their pursuit of profit. Competitively-priced underdogs are always worth examining, as many of these barking 'Dogs can not only have your wager secured in the later stages of a football game, but some will also have a solid shot to win outright.

Thus, money line wagers should also be part of your betting portfolio when you bet on more competitively-priced underdogs, as the payoffs at the sports books can be very rewarding.

In the NFL, competitively-priced underdogs are 6-points or less. We'll add in some bigger 'Dogs along the way, and also modify our course and game selection management with a few favorites less than 3 points if needed. Evaluate our selected teams and match-ups, and play them straight and with parlays as interested. Of course, a portion of your wager should be considered on the money line with selected underdogs of interest.

While it's very difficult to hit an underdog money line parlay, we'll provide the payout should you consider, and we've had feedback and winners from players who bet a 3-team money-line parlay and straight parlay that cashed already this season. Straight win wagers are a far more prudent play, but I know from experience that bettors like a bigger score with less risk and want to parlay their profits.

So join Fairway's Foursome and follow along as we fire for the Flag and go for the Green in our weekly pursuit of profit (doggy style) with Fairway's Football Forecast.

This week's picks and plays – Shop lines at the leading offshore sports books.

255 LA Rams (+6.5) at Dallas – Rams Money Line +250
258 Minnesota (-1.5) vs Detroit – Vikings Money Line -125
271 Philadelphia (+2) at San Diego – Eagles Money Line +115
273 San Francisco (+6.5 or 7) at Arizona – 49er Money Line +265

$20 4-Team Money Line Parlay = $968
$20 4-Team Parlay = $220
$200 – Suggested side wagers with $40 Money Line are suggestions for this sample. $1,000 in play each week.

Dallas Cowboys free pickLA Rams at Dallas – The 1ST PLACE Rams are off to a 2-1 start and bettors have been reluctant to get behind them. Until this week, as early week bettors got in bed with the Rams and took some of their appeal away. Sports books have dropped Dallas from an 8-point favorite to -6.5 and -6 in many offshore shops. Quarterback Goff has surprised many as well with his improved play that has put him among the top leaders in QB rating and No.1 in yards-per-pass attempt. Goff is growing into his role as a franchise QB in an ideal offensive system under new, young and creative head coach Sean McVay. Los Angeles' offense is a deliberate amalgamation of the Patriots, Saints and Falcons, using pre-snap motion, WR release concepts and downfield route combinations. Mixed in is merger of their passing and outside zone running game. An ugly, mistake-sealing INT vs Washington was followed with a dazzling display in torching a tired but talented 49ers defense on the road for nearly 300 yards and 3 TD's. Now Goff and the Rams offense fires away at Dallas, while also having one of the leagues' best backs running behind him in Todd Gurley. The offensive line is improved, and the Rams should get their share of scoring opportunities against a young Cowboys secondary that only has one reliable DB in Scandrick. And with LB Sean Lee a game time decision (hamstring) and likely not to make post, the Dallas defense would become more deficient. Off a Thursday night game, the Rams are in a favorable spot catching the Cowboys off a Monday night win at Arizona with Dallas 0-8 SU and 1-7 ATS following a Monday night lights game. In a game I also played over the total with my Driver, we ride the Rams looking for more offensive production and another Birdie to get the Green.

Detroit Lions oddsDetroit at Minnesota – Let's fire on a very slight favorite here with the Vikings on their strong home field. Backup QB Case Keenum gets the call again, but he was prepared, ready and comfortable in offensive coordinators system and play calls last week in dissecting and dominating the Buccaneers 34-17 with week-high efficiency stats of 494 total yards at 7.0 yards per play. Combined with the superior running game led by rookie Dalvin Cook, the Vikings should again control the clock and have more sustained drives against a Lions defense that was lit-up last week for 428 balanced yards at 6.6 yards-per-play on their home field in a last-second deflating defeat to Atlanta. Strong route-running and design concepts with improved offensive line play make the Vikings offense one to watch with Diggs and Thielen top-3 in the league in receiving yards. Minnesota's defense has numerous playmakers and pressure packages which have resulted in 7 interceptions through three games. Minnesota lost a pair of very close contests in the closing seconds and overtime to Detroit last season, and this is a game and environment in which the Vikings should shine. Both teams 2-1 looking up at the Packers (3-1), making this a key NFC North division contest that goes the Vikings way.

San Diego Chargers betting previewPhiladelphia at Los Angeles Chargers – This is not a good situational spot for the Eagles (2-1), who beat division rival NY Giants on a 61-yard FG at the horn last week and now travel across the country to tackle a desperate and winless Chargers team (0-3). Hardly any home field edge for the new team in Los Angeles, as away fans fill some of their small stadium that is not even sold out with capacity of 27,000. The Chargers are now on a 0-7-1 ATS slide to last season and continue to find ways to lose rather than making plays to win. Even QB Philip Rivers is feeling pressure after tossing 3 INT's last week behind a suspect line with little running room for RB Gordon. The Chargers are being out-rushed 147-71 this season and the Eagles bring one of the leagues better running attacks behind a top offensive line that paved the way for 194 rushing yards last week vs. New York. Philly also has the superior special teams. Along with improving young QB Carson Wentz, we see plenty of offense in this non-conference affair, and we fly with the Eagles with the stronger fundamentals and point-of-attack play as the Chargers let go of the rope in an unwelcoming home.

Arizona Cardinals free pickSan Francisco at Arizona – Anyone watching the Cardinals Monday night debacle against the Cowboys saw an offensive line with all sorts of protection problems. Offensive injuries are an issue, and the line also could not open holes to run, as Arizona rushed for just 49 yards on 21 attempts. Without injured star RB David Johnson and offensive line issues, the Cardinals hardly have the look of a team that should be laying this lumber. Even against a 49ers team that was dreadful the first two games before bouncing back with 421 yards offense in last week's home loss to the upstart Rams. The 49ers defense has been deficient on 3rd down allowing more than 50% conversions, but that should improve this week in a division dual. Playing last Thursday gives the 49ers a situational edge here vs. a Cardinals club off that Monday night defeat to Dallas, and Arizona also has one of the worst-performing special teams units to start the season. Along with the Rams game above, teams off a Thursday night contest have a positive profile producing over the total winners at a 57% rate. We noted it would take some time for the 49ers to grasp and adjust to new coach Shanahan's offense and complex schemes, and we actually see RB Hyde and the running game have some success this week at Arizona. That has us siding with San Fran at a big 'Dog price.

FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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