Week 4 kicks off with a review of our less than stellar records from last week. We discuss the carnage in college football, including Scott Frost’s reign coming to an end. We talk about the new Monday Night Football booth, Penn State’s big road game this weekend, lots of offensive woes across the football landscape, and what the Eagles can do to best the Vikings next Monday night. We check in on our pie bet too. Also, will the weather have any impact this week? Here’s a hint: it looks pretty boring. Let’s hope the slate of games won’t be. Without further ado, here’s Weather Wagers Week 4!

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Chargers @ Chiefs, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO, Chiefs -4, O/U 54.5

Welcome to a new era of NFL broadcasting as Thursday Night Football comes to Amazon Prime Video. I watched the pre-season game that quietly kicked off Amazon’s NFL package. Quite honestly, it felt like Sunday Night Football. The production was stellar as they hired the same producer that formerly did SNF. The booth is terrific with Al Michaels teaming up with Kirk Herbstreit. Kaylee Hartung is the sideline reporter. It has the feel of a big NFL production. Amazon did all the right things to try and lure viewers, except, at least with their preseason game, they didn’t. It was only viewed by around 1 million eyeballs. It’s going to take some time for people to find this and get used to it. We also all like to channel surf, especially when watching sports. It becomes much harder to do that when launching an app to watch a live broadcast. Nonetheless, this is where the new home of TNF is located and it’s a good matchup to kick things off with an AFC West tilt. The Chargers who had a good showing against the Raiders in Week 1 travel to Arrowhead to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The weather won’t be a factor here with mostly sunny skies expected in Kansas City Thursday. It will be a warm day, however, with highs in the upper 80s. Kickoff temperature will be right around 80° and it should be a lovely night for a football game. It may not be so lovely for the Chargers, however. They played well against the Raiders and had some nice moments defensively. This is a different test, however. While the Chargers have played well at Arrowhead recently, the Chiefs and Mahomes just keep getting better and I anticipate that Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense won’t be able to keep up. The game is a coin flip with the Chiefs as the 3-point favorite here since they are at home. Maybe the Chargers put up more of a fight in a key divisional game, but I know I trust Mahomes and Andy Reid more. I’ll lay the 3.5 with Kansas City. Go Chiefs!

Penn State @ Auburn, Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL, Penn State -3, O/U 47.5

Penn State already passed a tough road test to open the season at Purdue two weeks ago. The game winning drive by Sean Clifford was impressive after his less than stellar pick-six. Last week, the Nittany Lions were impressive in all facets of the game against an outmanned MAC opponent in the Ohio Bobcats. Yes, Ohio isn’t a great team, but Penn State showed signs of potentially being one for the first time in a while. The passing game looked sharp, the running game was evident, the defense kept Ohio at bay for most of the game, and some younger class guys broke out big time, including QB Drew Allar. There is reason for hope amongst Penn State faithful. But, rather than another weak opponent at home to test their resolve before Big Ten play, the Lions travel to Auburn and take on the Tigers in Jordan-Hare Stadium. This is a true test to see where the program is at heading into the bigger part of the schedule coming up in October. Bryan Harsin and Auburn aren’t world beaters either. They played two weak opponents thus far and haven’t look stellar doing so. There are questions at the QB position, and the overall state of the program is a mess with Harsin’s job security lacking to say the least. They do have a couple of beasts at running back, including Tank Bigsby, who could be a game-changer if he gets going in the trenches. I think Penn State has shown enough to earn the favored status, although it’s a small one. Weather should be a non-factor on The Plains Saturday afternoon. Sunny with highs in the 80s. To me, it’s another coin flip game. Can PSU pull out another one? I think so. If Clifford starts to look rough, James Franklin finally has a Plan B. And it’s a solid one with Allar ready to come in if needed. I’ll take the road favorite here to cover the 3. But as usual, I’m not confident. Penn State -3.

Michigan State @ Washington, Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA, Washington -3, O/U 56.5

This is one of the more intriguing matchups in the early part of the college football season. Mel Tucker and Michigan State are off to a fast start against two weaker opponents and now must travel to Seattle to take on their first Power 5 team. Kalen DeBoer is Washington’s new head coach coming in from Fresno State. He doesn’t have a lengthy coaching resume, but he does seem to have the program on better footing. He also has Indiana transfer QB Michael Penix at the helm and that gives the Huskies a shot in most games. They have played two cupcakes so far as well, so this game is a major test for both squads. In addition to each other, they will have to battle some weather on Saturday. Rain is in the forecast with highs in the 60s. Not a surprise in Seattle, really, but conditions could favor a rush attack. This is one of those sneaky good games. Washington is the favorite at home, but it’s one of those I need to see it to believe it first. I’m not quite sold on Mel Tucker’s team yet this season either, but the Spartans have been consistent recently, while Washington certainly hasn’t. If the Huskies win, I won’t be surprised. But I’ll take Michigan State to win outright in sloppy weather. They’re used to sloppy games. Michigan State Money Line.

Bears @ Packers, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI, Packers -10, O/U 44.5

Shockingly, the Bears are 1-0 coming into this Sunday Night Football matchup as primetime’s best football show heads to Lambeau. They played in quite the weather game last Sunday, besting the 49ers on a field that turned into a slip ‘n slide with standing water drenching some new Soldier Field turf. It didn’t hurt the Bears, but perhaps it hurt the 49ers as they dropped one on the road. Aaron Rogers and the Packers left one up in Minnesota that I’m sure they want back too. Now they return to the friendly confines of Lambeau on a night that could feature a few showers. Temperatures will be dipping into the 60s during game time, which is downright balmy in northern Wisconsin. The Bears won last week, but let’s face it – did they look good doing it? Not really. However, did the Packers look much better? Rogers and his receivers seemed off and that could be in part because they didn’t play together during the preseason. Imagine that. Can they put it together at home against the Bears Sunday night? I don’t think so. I think Chicago and Justin Fields covers the 9. That’s a big spread for the NFL especially favoring a team that looked so lost last week. Bears +9.

Vikings @ Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, Eagles -2, O/U 51

This should be one heck of a football game on Monday night and ABC gets the better of the two with the league featuring a doubleheader of sorts. The Eagles looked good last week, or at least their offense did. But it was against the Lions, so again, what do we really know right now? The Vikings impressed me with how they dismantled the Packers and Kirk Cousins seems like a legit threat. He threw for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns. The offense seemed to click. The defense looked good too, although that may have had more to do with Green Bay seeming to be out of sync. Meanwhile, the Eagles just grounded and pounded their way to a win. When so much of the NFL is about passing, the Eagles just ran up and down the field in Detroit. Hurts didn’t throw a touchdown last week and let the running game do all the work. I also have big questions about the Eagles defense giving up 5 touchdowns. Yes, this game is in Philly, but let’s be honest…have the Eagles shown enough to make me think they can win this game handily against a better than average team? Not yet. I’ll take the points with the Vikings on MNF. Minnesota +3.

Purdue @ Syracuse, JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse, NY, PICK, O/U 58.5

This game is so intriguing from the standpoint of both programs seem to be ascending and this game would propel each one for the rest of the season and could send the other program back down the rungs of mediocrity. I like what I’ve seen this season from both programs. Penn State played Purdue early and I was able to get a good look at Jeff Brohm’s offense led by QB Aidan O’Connell. They love to pass and often O’Connell’s passes find Iowa transfer receiver Charlie Jones, who leads the nation in receptions. The problem for Purdue? They can’t seem to run, or don’t want to. That likely cost them their home opener against Penn State two weeks ago. Dino Babers, meanwhile, can run and pass with his QB Garrett Shrader and RB Sean Tucker. Babers referred to the team “giving themselves an opportunity to be something” after last week’s win against UConn. This dual threat combined with Babers trying to grow something there for a while gives The Orange an edge in my mind. Plus, they have home field advantage at the JMA Wireless Dome. If Syracuse can establish the run early, I like them to win. I’ll take The Orange money line here.

Nevada @ Iowa, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, Iowa -23, O/U 39.5

If you prefer watching paint dry to sitting in front of your television and watching hours upon hours of college football, this game may give paint a run for its money. Nevada, who got hammered by Incarnate Word last week, meet Iowa. A team that has a combined 14 points on the season with 4 of those coming from 2 safeties. It’s been ugly for both teams, but especially for Iowa who still has Spencer Petras at QB with the play calling of Brian Ferentz to guide him. That’s a lethal combination for anybody that likes points, or offense, or excitement. Kirk Ferentz should make a change at OC, but won’t because Brian is his son. Admirable? Absolutely. Smart? No, no, no. Something needs to give. Iowa finds themselves to be a 22 point favorite at Kinnick on Saturday night. This is because the Wolfpack haven’t shown much either and just got smacked around by an FCS opponent last week. To be fair, Iowa almost did too in Week 1, barely beating the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Can Iowa win this game at home? I don’t know. I think so. But here’s what I do know – it won’t be pretty. There won’t be points from either team. Give me the under. Way under.

Miami @ Texas A&M, Kyle Field, College Station, TX, Texas A&M -5.5, O/U 45

The only thing I could think about while watching Texas A&M’s meltdown against Appalachian State on Saturday was: I can’t wait to listen to Finebaum next week. This loss won’t sit well in Aggie Land given that they are paying Jimbo, not just to show up to football games, but to actually win them. Especially against a Sun Belt opponent. They didn’t look good and QB Haynes King was just 13 for 20 and 97 yards at home against a team A&M should beat based on recruiting rankings. But stars on paper don’t win games on the field. College GameDay was scheduled to go to College Station for the big Miami showdown this week, but pivoted after the loss and ironically are now heading to Boone, North Carolina to watch App State take on the Trojans of Troy. The Aggies blew their GameDay chances and maybe their season chances as well. Jimbo Fisher indicated he would consider changing anything he needs to in order to win, but Fisher is also stubborn. Mario Cristobal is a good coach and is hungry to win at his alma mater. Miami has looked good in its first two games, albeit against weaker competition. But they have looked better than A&M. That all being said, this game feels sneaky to me. Everybody is counting the Aggies out. They are hearing all week how they have no shot. Miami might become a public betting favorite, taking the road dog against a team that just got beat by a Sun Belt foe. But I like Jimbo to circle the wagons here and get a tough win at home in front of the 12th man. Call me crazy, but I like A&M. They may not cover this, but I’ll take them to win outright. Texas A&M Money Line.

Jets @ Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH, Brown -6.0, O/U 40

It’s another NFL season and the Jets are the worst team in football. Well, if not THE worst, it’s a tough call. The Browns, meanwhile, got a hard road win against the Panthers last week and might be competitive in the AFC North this season. Key word: might. Two hapless franchises. One terrible NFL game. Why watch? The weather looks perfect on Sunday in Cleveland, although it will be hot. Highs are likely going to push well into the 80s as a ridge of high pressure builds in over the Ohio Valley. Even along the lake, it will be hot. Just like the Browns and Jacoby Brissett. Kevin Stefanski seems like a good head coach. The question will be whether he can coach his players through all the distractions ahead, including the return of Deshaun Watson. None of that matters this week though as the Jets roll into Cleveland as the hapless underdogs they are. I don’t care if Dan Tomaso played QB for the Browns. I’ll lay the points with the home team here. Browns -6.5.

Here’s a summary of my picks for Week 4. Let’s roll:

Games of the Week

Chiefs -3.5

Penn State -3

Michigan State ML

Bears +9

Vikings +3

Under the Radar Game

Syracuse ML

Brett’s Best Bets

Nevada @ Iowa UNDER 40

Texas A&M ML

Browns -6.5

These picks aren’t getting any easier. I’m very intrigued by the Penn State/Auburn game and the Vikings/Eagles game. So much to keep track of on another busy football weekend. Whether you bet big or whether you bet small, weather could impact whether you lose – or win it all. Weather looks quiet. Games look hot. Enjoy your football weekend everybody. -Brett Thackara __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chargers @ Chiefs, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO, Chiefs -3.5, O/U 54

Similar to the way I felt about Penn State starting their season on a Thursday night, I am not a big fan of the NFL on Thursday nights. I do like this matchup, and I am glad for the broadcast booth of Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit. However, I am used to hearing Al on network, so this is going to be quite the adjustment to get this as an internet stream. This Thursday matchup does bring together a stellar quarterback battle with the best young arms in the NFL to me- Patrick Maholmes and Justin Herbert. I am a unabated Andy Reid fan, and I love KC’s offense. The Arizona Cardinals who also have a high flying offense could not keep up last week and I think San Diego lacks the overall firepower to keep up in Arrowhead. The heat will be building in Kansas City ahead of this game and some wind could impact the kicking game Thursday night. I think Maholmes and company punch the ball into the endzone regardless. I’ll take Chiefs at -3.5.

Here’s a summary of my picks for Week 4. Time for a strong week!

Penn State @ Auburn, Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL, Penn State -3, O/U 48.5

At the beginning of the season I felt that Penn State had to collect *a* win at either Purdue or Auburn to ensure their season doesn’t falter. They got through their trip to West Lafayette with an impressive late win, and had a nice tune-up for much of the roster last week against Ohio at home. *If* Sean Clifford plays a clean game and avoids the injury bug, this should be a good game to cement his legacy. Beating a SEC opponent in back-to-back seasons is no easy feat. Penn State showed a lot of speed last week to compete with the SEC, however I still have questions about their toughness up front. Bryan Harsin remains firmly on the hot seat after a disappointing campaign last year and a large number of players left the program as a result. Given the state of the program, I think Penn State gets out of a tough environment at Jordan-Hare with a big win. The only weather factor should be the heat and humidity with an afternoon kickoff, but keep in mind Penn State did just play a game that was 80° last Saturday. Give me Penn State at -3.

Michigan State @ Washington, Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA, Washington -3, O/U 55

Playing football in the Pacific Northwest is not usually a treat in my opinion. Michigan State will get a taste of mid-fall weather with potentially soggy conditions and cooler weather in the 60s as they travel to Seattle. The Washington program is a shell of what it was, and Mel Tucker has seemed to make an immediate improvement to the Spartans’ talent acquisitions whether via the portal or recruiting. Washington is coming off a nightmare year with Jimmy Lake at the helm and have turned to Kalen DeBoer to right the ship. I don’t think they give the Spartans much of a game, and I am shocked Washington is favored. This game should help Sparty climb into the AP top 10. Give me the “underdog” in Michigan State at +3.

Bears @ Packers, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI, Packers -9, O/U 44.5

The Packers had a rough first showing of the season, while the Bears seemed to enjoy the rough weather in Chicago with slip-and-slide celebrations after touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers is too good even without a solid receiving corps to stay down for long- and I think his facial expressions after frustrating plays is enough motivation to figure it out this week. I enjoy the athleticism of Justin Fields, but I think Chicago is still without enough playmakers to take on the Pack. A few showers will need to be monitored, however rain like the Bears saw last week is not expected. I think the Packers win this easily, they are my pick at -9.

Vikings @ Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, Eagles -3, O/U 49.5

Brett and I think similarly in that this game will be a barn burner. The Eagles looked fast, and made some very exciting chunk plays down the field. Miles Sanders looks healthy and quick, plus AJ Brown brings Nick Sirianni’s offense a dimension at wide out that hasn’t been seen in green since Terrell Owens. On the flip side they also gave up a lot of easy pass completions to a Detroit offense that lacks playmakers. It was good to see that the Eagles players recognized a lot of cleanup needs to be done. Kirk Cousins tends to give defense fits, but I also find him to be inconsistent week to week. This is definitely a four quarter contest- I give the Eagles, the home team, the edge at -3.

BYU @ Oregon, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR, Oregon -3.5, O/U 57.5

This is the first of my Doppler Dandies for the week. I really like where Kalani Sitake’s BYU Cougars are trending. And I am not high on the hiring of Dan Lanning to replace Mario Cristobal. I can’t even figure out how Oregon is favored in this game after Georgia wiped the floor with them! BYU continues to roll in this one despite a damp and cool weather pattern in Eugene. Give me BYU at +3.5.

UTSA @ Texas, DKR Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX, Texas -12.5, O/U 61.5

Texas is bruised and beaten after going toe-to-toe with Alabama and Nick Saban. They should have won the game, and they have to find a way to avoid a let down. At the same time they may be down their starting and backup quarterbacks. Jeff Traylor has built quite the program for the Roadrunners in Conference USA going 12-2 this year and nearly beating Houston in overtime two weeks ago. While an upset is in the air, I think Sark and the Longhorns find a way to win and I stay with Texas at -12.5.

Dolphins @ Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD, Ravens -3.5 O/U 44.5

The Miami Dolphins are coming off of a smoother open against the Patriots, and seem to have a lot of team speed. In many ways, this is a great week 2 matchup across AFC divisions and could be a preview of a potential playoff game down the road. I like what Tua Tagovailoa brings to the table, as well as Lamar Jackson and this should be a fun back and forth. Miami was bold with the acquisition of Tyreek Hill, and I think he adds a whole new element to the Miami offense. I think the Dolphins come up to Baltimore and knock of the Ravens- I’ll take Dolphins at +3.5.

Games of the Week

Chiefs -3.5

Penn State -3

Michigan State +3

Packers -9

Eagles -3

Under the Radar Game

Purdue ML

Doppler Dandies

BYU +3.5

Texas ML

Dolphins +3.5

Enjoy another great week of football, and I will do my best to hold down my overall picks lead on Mr. Thackara! -Dan Tomaso

*ODDS BY CAESARS SPORTSBOOK VALID ON 9/14*