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Week 4 NFL betting

Posted by Gabe Kahn October 2, 2008 05:59 AM

Atlanta (+10) over GREEN BAY
I'm not a big fan of this Falcons team, but Green Bay -- with or without Aaron Rodgers -- has trouble against the run and gives up a ton of yards overall. This will be yet another test for Falcons rookie quarterback Matt Ryan (above) as he steps onto Lambeau Field for the first time. If Michael Turner can grind out some yards and keep the defense honest, Ryan may have the time to make some plays. Playing mistake-free will be key if the Falcons want to pull the upset, and Ryan has thrown only two picks this season.

SAN FRANCISCO (+3.5) over New England
We're still in the getting-to-know-you phase with this Pats squad, but they haven't done much to make me think they can travel cross-country and beat what seems to be a mediocre Niners team. Yes, the Pats are coming off a bye, and yes, they are likely not as bad as they looked against the Dolphins two weeks ago. But 49ers running back Frank Gore should scare Patriots fans. Gore already has 525 total yards, and with that in mind, you can't ignore what Ronnie Brown -- and Ricky Williams -- did to New England in that Miami game. The hope for New England is that the 49ers remain susceptible to giving up points. New Orleans cranked out 21 against them in the second quarter alone last Sunday.

DENVER (-3) over Tampa Bay
In the battle of an elite offense at home vs. a good defense on the road, I'll go with the elite offense at home. Denver's loss in Kansas City was surprising, but we're talking about divisional rivals, and KC was desperate for its first win. Tampa Bay has won three straight after losing to New Orleans in Week 1, but going into Denver and coming out with a win is too much to ask from a Brian Griese-led offense.

San Diego (-6.5) over MIAMI
Miami steamrolled New England, but now it must contend with the NFL's highest-scoring team. The Dolphins will occasionally surprise, but I don't think this is one of those weeks. Miami has trouble against the pass, and Philip Rivers has been putting up big numbers for the Bolts. It's never easy to fly across the country and cover a spread like this, but San Diego's explosiveness is going to overwhelm the Dolphins.

Seattle (+7) over NY GIANTS
Seattle has one win -- over St. Louis, which just fired its coach and has been an embarrassment. The Seahawks are strange; they have been solid at running the ball and stopping the run, but terrible in the passing game, both executing it and stopping it. The Giants also own an impressive win over St. Louis and have won their two other games -- close calls against Washington and Cincinnati. Both teams are coming off byes, and neither team has established itself. Take the points in this one -- the Seahawks should keep this close and perhaps come out of New Jersey with a victory.

DALLAS (-14) over Cincinnati
The Bengals held Carson Palmer out of last week's loss to Cleveland because of a sore throwing elbow, a move they called "precautionary." Whether or not the QB plays against Dallas, it's no shock that he's hurting: Cincy can't protect him. The Bengals are a mess, anyway, and should get steamrolled by a Cowboys squad that lost at home last weekend to Washington.

The Rest: HOUSTON (+3) went on the road last weekend and played the Jags tough. I think the Texans at home will hang with the Colts, as Indy hasn't looked right this season . . . Tennessee and BALTIMORE (+3) will be a slugfest, but I'll go with the squad that has the better rushing attack -- the Ravens . . . Until last weekend, Kansas City (+9.5) was getting slaughtered in its hometown newspaper, but two of its four games (loss to New England, win over Denver) have been competitive. I'm banking on the Chiefs having turned the corner ever so slightly when they head into CAROLINA . . . There are no weekends off in the NFC East, but Washington (+6) will be able to keep the score close against PHILADELPHIA . . . I'm banking on DETROIT (+3.5) having some pride when Chicago visits . . . ARIZONA (-1) matches up better with the Bills than it does with the Jets and should be able to handle the visitors from Buffalo . . . JACKSONVILLE can't rely on its defense the way it used to; Pittsburgh (+3) should be able to exploit that weakness . . . Despite the Vikings having quarterback issues and not living up to preseason expectations, I'm still half expecting Minnesota (+3) to get on some kind of a roll. At NEW ORLEANS on Monday night is a good place to start.

Lines as of 6 p.m. Monday

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