NFL picks against the spread, Week 4: Off to a questionable start

Week 4 of the 2014 NFL season got underway on Thursday with the New York Giants thrashing Washington, 45-14. This was the third straight blowout on Thursday Night Football, although it was also the first road team to get the victory. The Giants were a 3.5-point underdog, so the year of the underdog potentially continues.

The start of the new football week means we’re back for another five picks in the LVH SuperContest. The contest includes more than 1,400 participants picking games each week to see who can come out on top by the end of the season. I was sitting at 7-8 after Week 3, having put together another 2-3 performance in Week 3. I hit on the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks, but slipped on the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars. Just looking at those names makes me shake my head.

As always, our partners at OddsShark have staked me and a handful of other participants in the SuperContest. You can track all of us here, and you can follow the standings here. Here are my picks for Week 4, with home team in caps.

WASHINGTON vs. New York Giants (+3.5): Whoops. I picked Washington because of the TNF home performances thus far. I also figured Washington showed some good things against Philadelphia. The Giants managed a home win against a previously unbeaten Houston Texans squad, but I just did not see them building on it. So much for that.

Eli Manning is getting the hang of this new offense.

There were question marks coming into the season about Manning’s ability to adapt to Ben McAdoo’s West Coast scheme. In fact, McAdoo’s scheme is so incongruous with Manning’s methodical, downfield style that some Giants players believed it was designed for the eventual takeover of Ryan Nassib — and they loomed even larger after the offense plodded through a rough couple of games. But after the last two outings, Manning looks as though he’s been running it his entire life.2

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