Pete Prisco’s NFL Week 4 Picks: Vikings-Rams a nail-biter, Broncos upset Chiefs juggernaut

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Pete Prisco’s NFL Week 4 Picks: Vikings-Rams a nail-biter, Broncos upset Chiefs juggernaut

It was not a good week picking games last week, dropping me to just one game above .500 against the spread.

The final tally for the week was 6-10, which is actually putrid. It won’t stay that way. It’s time to get back on track — starting with Thursday night game in Los Angeles.

I love the Vikings to keep it close and cover. Minnesota laid an egg last week, but they will bounce back under fiery coach Mike Zimmer, who certainly tore into his team in Zimmer-esque fashion — with a ton of words too bad to write here.

So let’s get back on track this week. I don’t want to slip under .500, which would mean a spot in Loser-ville for the first time this season.

Minnesota at Los Angeles Rams

Time: Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFLN)

Line: Rams -7

The Vikings were awful against the Bills, so the focus should be good on a short week. The Rams are flying high on offense, but they have some issues on defense this week with both corners out with injuries. That will help the Vikings keep it close.

Pick: Rams 24, Vikings 21

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New York Jets at Jacksonville

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

Line: Jaguars -7.5

The Jaguars lost at home to the Titans last week and didn’t play well on offense. The Jets are coming off a road loss, but they will have extra time off having played on a Thursday. The Jaguars will get it back going on offense this week, and Sam Darnold will struggle against the Jacksonville defense.

Pick: Jaguars 23, Jets 10

Miami at New England

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Line: Patriots -6.5

The Dolphins are flying high at 3-0, while New England is floundering. That’s usually a bad spot for a road team coming to Foxboro. But this Dolphins team is playing outstanding defense and I think that continues against a depleted New England offense. Miami hangs around and could pull off the upset.

Pick: Patriots 26, Dolphins 23

Philadelphia at Tennessee

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

Line: Eagles -4

The Eagles got Carson Wentz back last week and he did some good things, but he still didn’t look like his pre-injury self. This will be a tough challenge as well. The Titans played well on defense last week against the Jaguars, but this is another step up in terms of offense. Even so, I think the Titans find a way. Upset.

Pick: Titans 21, Eagles 20

Houston at Indianapolis

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Line: Colts -1

The Texans are 0-3 and have been awful so far. The Colts have morphed into a defensive team the past two weeks with Andrew Luck struggling to drive the ball. That defense will keep this one close and Luck will win it late.

Pick: Colts 21, Texans 18

Buffalo at Green Bay

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Line: Packers -9.5

The Bills are playing consecutive road games outside the division. That’s brutal for a young team. They played well last week, but the Packers are coming off a loss. I think that combination will make it tough on the young Bills. Packers take it big.

Pick: Packers 31, Bills 17

Detroit at Dallas

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

Line: Cowboys -3

The Lions are coming off an impressive showing against the Patriots last Sunday night, a game they hope to build on going forward. But this is a tough spot on the road against a Cowboys defense that can get after the quarterback. Look for that defense to get after Matt Stafford. Cowboys take it at home.

Pick: Cowboys 23, Lions 18

Tampa Bay at Chicago

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

Line: Bears -3

Ryan Fitzpatrick will start here at quarterback for the Bucs even with Jameis Winston back. This will be the game where he plays himself into being a backup again. I think the Bears defense will get the best of him. Chicago takes it.

Pick: Bears 27, Bucs 20

Cincinnati at Atlanta

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Line: Falcons -5

This will be a shootout. The Bengals are having issues on defense – such as being last in the league on third down – and the Falcons are now without three starters. That means plenty of points. Matt Ryan will have another big day to pull this one out for the Falcons.

Pick: Falcons 34, Bengals 27

Seattle at Arizona

Time: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)

Line: Seahawks -3

Josh Rosen makes his first NFL start here for the Cardinals, who have been lifeless on offense. It’s the right move. He might have some tough going early, but he will respond and play well. The Seahawks played better last week, but that was at home. They are a different team on the road. Rosen will win his first start.

Pick: Cardinals 20, Seahawks 17

Cleveland at Oakland

Time: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)

Line: Raiders -2.5

This will be Baker Mayfield’s first start — and it’s on the road. That’s tough. He did some good things in relief last week, but this is a bigger challenge now that there is tape on him. The Raiders have struggled going 0-3, but they’ve been in every game. I think they pull out a close one here.

Pick: Raiders 23, Browns 17

New Orleans at New York Giants

Time: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Line: Saints -3.5

The Saints are playing consecutive road games and the defense has been a major issue. The Giants seemed to find something on offense last week against the Texans. This will be a fun offensive show. At home, Giants take it.

Pick: Giants 27, Saints 26

San Francisco at Los Angeles Chargers

Time: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Line: Chargers -10

With Jimmy Garoppolo out, C.J. Beathard gets the start for the 49ers. That’s not a good thing, even though Beathard has starting experience. The Chargers are home for the first time after two road games and badly need a victory. I say they get it here with a big game from Philip Rivers with Beathard struggling on the other side.

Pick: Chargers 31, 49ers 17

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

Time: Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Line: Steelers -3

The Steelers got back on track against the Bucs in the win column, but they still look to have issues on defense. The Ravens have come alive on offense this season, and I think that will carry over here. There should be a lot of points in this one, but Baltimore will pull it out late.

Pick: Ravens 31, Steelers 30

Kansas City at Denver

Time: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 

Line: Chiefs -5

Patrick Mahomes has been on fire, while the Denver defense hasn’t played up to expectations yet. I think that changes here. The Chiefs have defensive issues as well, so the Broncos can get their offense rolling some too. The Broncos take it in an upset.

Pick: Broncos 28, Chiefs 27 

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