NFL Week 4 Lookahead Picks: Bet the Vikings & Chargers Now
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Herbert.
So … it's been an eventful start for us at The Lookahead.
While everyone else is busy betting this weekend's games, we are getting out ahead of things with a pair of picks for next Sunday. It's all about locking in that sweet closing line value (CLV), gobbling up free line value before the weekend's games move the lines.
So far, we are smashing the CLV. As for the bets themselves? They've been one heck of a sweat. Let's recap our three Lookahead picks so far:
- Chiefs -2.5 vs Chargers. Flipped past the key number before re-opening, and closed at -4.5 giving us key CLV. Chargers cover the closing spread with a late TD, but Chiefs still win by three and eke out a cover on our Lookahead.
- Raiders -2.5 vs Cardinals. This line zoomed to -6, giving us mad CLV again. Vegas coasted and was up 16 in the fourth before giving up a pair of TDs and 2-point conversions, one of which came with 0:00 on the clock. The Raiders had the ball with a chance to win and cover in overtime but instead lost on a walk-off fumble-six.
- Steelers vs. Browns — Under 40.5. The line dropped all week, closing at 37.5 and giving us huge CLV again. A late field goal made it Browns 23, Steelers 17, and when Cleveland rushed for a first down with a minute left, it looked like we had another Lookahead winner. Some of us may have even celebrated after that ref signaled first down … and it didn't go so well from there. Sigh.
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 23, 2022
So far, we're getting crazy CLV but catching bad beats. Trust the process. If we keep getting good bets in before the lines move, this will go our way-long term.
I've already got your Sunday picks covered, so let's look ahead and get some more CLV for those Week 4 games before the weekend.
Hey look, our first London game of the year! The NFL goes international next Sunday morning, so we may as well give ourselves a reason to get up early.
Everyone loved the Vikings after a dominant Opening Day win over the Packers. Then Kirk Cousins laid an egg Monday night and everyone gave up on this team again, creating a nice buy-low spot for bettors.
The Vikings are big home favorites against the Lions, expected to win comfortably against an opponent with one of the league's worst defenses. Look for Cousins and Justin Jefferson to get back on track with a big scoring game, reminding everyone just how dangerous Minnesota can be.
The Saints, meanwhile, do not look like the team they were billed as. New Orleans should've lost to Atlanta and looked tepid against the Bucs. Now it's a third straight division game, on the road against an 0-2 Carolina team with its backs against the wall in a classic Kitchen Sink spot.
New Orleans could struggle or lose, especially with both Jameis Winston and Alvin Kamara still toiling through injury. This is a neutral-field game, and we're getting a near coin flip between two teams that really aren't equal. If this weekend goes our way, Minnesota could be more than a field goal favorite by the time this re-opens.
And then there's this crazy London stat: Excluding Jaguars games in their home away from home, London favorites in morning kickoffs are 7-3 against the spread, covering by 7.1 points per game. Even better, they're also unbeaten at 9-0-1 straight-up. When the Jaguars aren't involved, NFL favorites are undefeated in those early kickoffs in London.
The Vikings are the rightful favorites. Grab the line now before you lose the key number over the weekend.
As of writing, the Chargers are 7-point favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars, even as the Jags come off a dominant shutout win over their division rival Colts.
So, how exactly are the Chargers identical 7-point favorites against the clearly worse Texans?
Well, the Jags game is in L.A. instead of on the road, so that's part of the math. But the Chargers have virtually no home-field advantage with visiting fans routinely outnumbering home fans, and are you really giving the woebegone Texans much credit for a raucous home-field advantage?
Besides, the number in the Jaguars game probably won't stick at -7. The Chargers were double-digit lookahead favorites before Sunday. Jacksonville's win surely moved the odds a bit, but this line is really just deflated as we await news on Justin Herbert's injury.
Herbert is a question for Sunday, but it looks like he may go. And if he's likely to play this week, he certainly seems even more likely to play against the Texans a week later.
Nobody thinks the Texans are good. Even if Houston beats a bad Bears team this weekend, no one will respect it then either. The only way this line realistically moves toward the Texans is if Herbert aggravates the injury and misses this game.
Even if that happens, one could argue that Joe Lombardi's offense is built for a short-armed QB like Chase Daniel anyway (shots fired!), and L.A.'s outstanding defense, terrific offensive line, and talented weapons should be more than enough against maybe the least talented roster in the league.
If things go well, Herbert plays against Jacksonville and looks fine, the Chargers dominate, and the Texans lose in Chicago. That's what the lines expect! And if that's how the weekend goes, this line not only hits double digits by Sunday night, it might approach two TDs by close.
I'm willing to take the risk on Herbert. Even if he ends up missing next week, there's a good chance we can hedge out later without losing much value. The upside is all in our favor if this goes our way.
Grab the Chargers now.