Week 4 NFL Pick'em & Survivor Pool Picks: Packers and Cowboys Win at Home
This week we only have a few big spreads, followed by a large chunk of close games which will make for some chaos in the NFL. Hopefully, with the help of PoolGenius' customizable tools and data, we can pick matchups with some value so that you can get to the top of those leaderboards in pick 'em contests and survive another week in knockout pools.
Editor’s Note: PoolGenius subscribers win football pools three times as often as expected, thanks to customized picks designed for your pool's size and rules. No one else does it.
Week 3 Recap
The favorites faltered in Week 3, leaving me with a 2-3 record for the week. I knew the Steelers were a gamble, but Buffalo and Kansas City let myself and probably most of you down. Thankfully, the Ravens and Eagles came through, taking my season-long record to a not-go-great 7-8. Let’s move on to Week 4, where hopefully, we find success in both pick'em and survivor formats.
Pick'em Pool Breakdown
Before I get into the picks, note that I’m not suggesting you should make all of the picks listed below. The best Week 4 picks for your NFL pool depend on strategy factors such as your pool’s size, rules, and prize structure, plus situational factors like your current place in the standings and the number of weeks remaining.
However, these picks do provide some of the best opportunities to differentiate your Week 4 picks from your pool opponents by taking on only a modest amount of risk, or no additional risk at all.
Green Bay Packers vs. Patriots
The Patriots will be without Mac Jones at Lambeau Field and are experiencing some dysfunction as a unit thus far. This should be a fairly easy tilt for Green Bay as Aaron Rodgers shook the usual Week 1 rust off and is gelling well with his weapons. As usual in this favorite section, you’ll win or lose with the 96% of public bettors taking the Pack.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Commanders
The Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites in Jerry World with 62% Vegas win odds. Washington is a disaster on defense, allowing 82 points in three contests. Cooper Rush has been efficient under center for Dallas, and they’ve been able to move the ball effectively.
This NFC East matchup comes down to advantages for the Cowboys at every position group besides maybe QB, and Micah Parsons and the Dallas D will take care of that. The betting public is picking the Cowboys 87% of the time, so you know the deal.
Sensibly Priced Favorites
Buffalo Bills @ Ravens
The line on this potential AFC game of the week has moved a few times but currently has the Bills -3 with PoolGenius giving win odds at 57%. The public is taking Buffalo at a 77% clip which is high-ish, but not as high as Dallas (87%) or Pittsburgh (85%), so there’s value in the pick.
Lamar Jackson is playing on another level for Baltimore, but the bad news is that on the other side of the ball is Josh Allen, who's thrown for 1000+ yards already in 2022 with 10 total touchdowns. This could be a close one, but Baltimore has shown some weakness defending the pass, as they’ve allowed an average of 353 yards per game via the air, and that was to Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, and Joe Flacco.
Minnesota Vikings @ Saints (In London)
The Vikings are 2.5-point favorites across the pond with just 55% win odds via PoolGenius. We’ve seen a Minnesota offense not entirely sure who they are yet, but the talent is there, and they can beat you through both the ground and air even with Dalvin Cook possibly on the shelf.
New Orleans is limping into this contest with injuries on both sides of the ball, and beating this Vikings team may be too tough on this long road trip. Only 74% of the public is picking Minnesota, so there is some value there.
New York Giants vs. Bears
This game will most likely be an ugly one, but the Giants' defense should take care of Justin Fields via heavy blitzing. New York is a three-point favorite in this contest with 61% odds to win via Vegas.
The jury is still out on whether New York is actually good or lucky, but they should have no trouble at home against the worst team in football right now. Public bettors are selecting the Giants 73% of the time, so there is some advantage in taking them this week.
Survivor Picks for Week 4
Win Odds: Top 5 Week 4 Picks
Stating the obvious here, but higher is better when it comes to winning odds. Everything else being equal, you want to pick the team with the best likelihood of making it through.
Here are the five safest teams this week, according to the PoolGenius Data Grid model (chances to win in parentheses):
- Green Bay Packers vs. Patriots (80%, 9.5-point favorites)
- Philadelphia Eagles vs. Jaguars (72%, 6.5-point favorites)
- LA Chargers @ Texans (69%, 4.5-point favorites)
- Detroit Lions vs. Seahawks (67%, 4.5-point favorites)
- Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami (65%, 4-point favorites)
Diversifying your survivor picks from the crowd is an advantageous strategy, as the pool winnings can increase significantly if your pick hits and another popular pick loses.
Here are the five most popular survivor picks for Week 4 (referencing Data Grid mentioned earlier):
- Green Bay Packers vs. Patriots (52%)
- Philadelphia Eagles vs. Jaguars (11%)
- Detroit Lions vs. Seahawks (11%)
- LA Chargers @ Texans (9%)
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Commanders (4%)
The last piece of the survivor pool puzzle is future value. If you fire off a powerful team in Week 4, you won’t be able to use them later.
According to PoolGenius, here are the top five teams in future value entering this week for a 100-entry standard rules pool:
- Buffalo Bills (8.7)
- Philadelphia Eagles (6.3)
- Green Bay Packers (5.2)
- Kansas City Chiefs (4.9)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4.0)
Note: The numbers in parentheses are a proprietary rating of future value found in the PoolGenius Data Grid, which is also impacted by factors such as pool size.