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NFL week 4 tips: Featuring 49ers, Browns, Ravens and Chiefs

Simon Sinclair | October 1, 2016

NFL week 4 tips

Week 4 of the NFL season throws up some interesting matches as teams look to solidify or rebuild their positions.

The statistics suggest that winless sides at this stage of the campaign are extremely unlikely to reach the playoffs, while outfits that are unbeaten are more or less a lock to be playing in January.

Here, Coral’s expert gives his top five picks for this week’s round of matches.

Seattle Seahawks @ New York Jets

New York Jets feature among our NFL week 4 tips.

New York Jets feature among our NFL week 4 tips.

The Seahawks have continued to be the most stringent defense in the NFL, continuing their impressive form since the 2012 season when they emerged as one of the dominant teams in the league.

They have allowed just 37 points in their opening three matches, 14 of which came when the game was over in their clash against San Francisco 49ers.

However, their problems on offense that seemed to be over when they racked up a huge score against Chip Kelly’s men took another blow, when quarterback Russell Wilson sustained a potentially serious knee injury.

Wilson has suggested he will play through the pain barrier, but will be far from 100 per cent, opening up a chance for the Jets to get back on track following their defeat to Kansas City Chiefs last week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six interceptions in the loss, and life won’t get easier for him at MetLife Stadium. Should he manage to lift his game, it might be enough to guide Todd Bowles’ men to the victory, which at 23/20 with Coral is an intriguing option to take.

Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens

Oakland possess quality players in important positions and may end the Ravens' unbeaten streak.

Oakland possess quality players in important positions and may end the Ravens’ unbeaten streak.

The Ravens are unbeaten thus far, having edged to narrow victories over Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills. Their schedule has not been the toughest, but after failing to make the post-season in 2015, John Harbaugh will be pleased with their start to the campaign.

Oakland have been inconsistent thus far, defeating New Orleans Saints in a thriller, along with Tennessee Titans last week. Their defense has been suspect, while their offense has stuttered at times under Derek Carr, who will feel that he will need to raise his game to return his team to the post-season for the first time since 2002.

Baltimore have just done enough in their victories and their team is not an infallible unit that can brush out the quality that the Raiders have in important positions. As a result, back Jack del Rio’s men to cover the 19/20 +3.0 spread in the clash at M&T Bank Stadium.

Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins

The Browns are playing hard for head coach Jackson.

The Browns are playing hard for head coach Jackson.

Heartbreak is nothing new for fans of Cleveland Browns, and their defeat to Miami Dolphins last week epitomised the fortunes of the franchise since they re-entered the league in 1999. Cody Parkey had the opportunity to win the game in the dying seconds with a 45-yard field goal, only to hook the effort and allow the Dolphins to snatch the win in overtime.

The Browns are playing hard for head coach Hue Jackson despite the dearth of talent on their roster, and their problems at the quarterback position. Cody Kessler was steady in his first start for the club, and may have given hope that he could provide some stability for the future.

Washington lost their first two matches of the season, but rebounded with a strong performance to beat New York Giants last week. The Redskins reached the playoffs last season, but are not that talented and anything other than their best will not suffice on Sunday.

Cleveland will be determined not to hand the game to another opponent, meaning Kirk Cousins and his team-mates will have to deliver. It would not be surprising to see the Browns cover the +8.0 spread at 19/20.

Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers

Without wide receiver Bryant, the Cowboys could be heading for a substantial loss.

Without wide receiver Bryant, the Cowboys could be heading for a substantial loss.

The Cowboys have thrived with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott behind center, prompting suggestions that veteran Tony Romo may not get his starting place back when he returns from injury.

Prescott, 22, has been solid in his play, while allowing his team-mates around him to succeed in their duties, none more so than running back Ezekiel Elliott.

However, they will be without All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant for the clash against the 49ers, which could give Kelly’s men hope of getting back to .500, having been beaten heavily by the Seahawks and Carolina Panthers in their last two matches. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has struggled to start to the campaign and he could be replaced by Colin Kaepernick.

San Francisco will believe they can muster a victory, especially on home soil. Backing them to win by a margin of 1-6 points could be a prudent option at 14/5.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Expect a tight affair in this huge AFC meeting.

Expect a tight affair in this huge AFC meeting.

Two of the titans in the AFC will clash in a match that could have repercussions in playoff seeding. The Steelers will be eager to respond to their hammering at the hands of Philadelphia Eagles last week, as Ben Roethlisberger’s usually potent offense was held in check.

On the bright side for the Steelers, Le’Veon Bell will return to the side having served his three-game suspension. Bell is arguably the best running back in the NFL and he will ease the pressure on Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown by offering a threat on the ground.

The Chiefs’ defense will provide an obstacle for Mike Tomlin’s men following their outstanding performance against New York Jets. Expect a tight contest between the sides, and due to the Steelers’ injury problems on defense it would not be a surprise to see Kansas City win at 19/10.

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