Week 4 Preview

Vikings @ Rams -7

This one opened at 6 and has already went out to 7. I don’t think it will go further than that as sharps will hammer the line at 7.5. The Rams are going to keep having larger spreads until someone does something against them. They have looked dominant in every week. They had two turnovers in the red zone this past week and still had control of the whole game and cruised to a 12 point victory. The Rams offense was unstoppable gaining 521 yards and only punting once. They face a tough test this week against the Vikings defense. The Vikings are coming into LA coming off a loss at home to the Bills that took everyone by surprise. One thing to pay attention to will be the injury status of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. If they cannot go that could mean big games for Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Even with these injuries the Rams defense will be a tough test for a Vikings offense who could barely score against the much maligned Bills.

 

Buffalo Bills @ GB Packers -10

It looks like the bookmakers still don’t know what to make of Buffalo with them listed as a double digit underdog. I’m not sure if the bookmakers know what to make of Aaron Rodgers either as he is not 100%. The Bills made history last week beating the Vikings 27-6 in Minnesota as 16.5 point underdogs. The Bills got off to a very fast start with an opening drive touchdown and then two quick turnovers converted into 10 more points and the first quarter ended with the Bills up 17-0. Green Bay struggled to move the ball early in their game in Washington as well, and went into halftime down 28-10. I will probably stay away from this game. I’m not sure if the Bills will remain as motivated as they were last week if they are not able to start quickly. Also I’m not sure what to make of Aaron Rodgers injury yet either. I see some value in a first half wager with the Bills. I can see them coming out to a quick start again. Im just not sure they can sustain the effort for the full game

 

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots -7

Even though the Dolphins are 3-0 they still find themselves as underdogs this week, traveling to play the struggling New England Patriots. The Patriots offense and defense has not looked good so far this year. They are sorely missing Julian Edelman and this will be their last game without him. They also need Josh Gordon to get up to speed with the offense as soon as possible. I think this week will be a struggle against a talented Dolphins team. Their offense is centered around their running game but they have three wide receivers that can stretch the field with Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant. Since Tom Brady has been starting for the Patriots the only time they have lost more than 2 games in a row came in 2002 when they lost four in a row. Since then they have lost 2 games in a row only 4 times. This will be a tough game for the Patriots but I think they will get a boost coming back home and Belichick as always will have them well prepared. The Dolphins beat the Patriots late last year in a game where Xavien Howard intercepted Tom Brady twice and the Patriots were 0-11 converting third downs. The Patriots were without Gronk for that game and had a lot of trouble moving the ball. Gronk will be going this week but there is not a on of talent on the rest of that offense. I still think the Patriots win but I would probably only use them as a teaser leg.

Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys -3

I think the Lions find themselves as underdogs here, once again, for a few reasons. The Jaguars beat the Patriots in week 2 and then put up a stinker of an effort in week 3 with a 9-6 home loss to the Titans. It takes a lot to beat the Patriots and teams traditionally let down the next week. Even though they looked terrible in Seattle last week, they looked great at home on Sunday night in week 2. They have home field this week and they looked much better in their one home game than in their two road games. I think this line is a trap though. I like the Lions to get the outright win here and I think it might be easy. The Cowboys are not particularly talented on either side of the ball. The Lions offense and defense has great players throughout and have looked much better through three games than the Cowboys. Since their embarrassing week 1 performance the defense has tightened up and appears to be playing as a more cohesive unit. The offense is also starting to get in a better rhythm with all 3 receivers getting involved and their improved running game. The main issue for the Lions will be stopping the run. If they can do that and get ahead early and make the Cowboys one dimensional, they can run away with this one.

 

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts -1.5

This game is already boring me. The AFC South matchups always seem to be low scoring. I don’t think this one will be any different. One thing to pay attention to will be Andrew Luck. It appears his shoulder is getting fatigued with the high volume of passes in this offense. The Colts had to bring in Jacoby Brissett to throw a deep pass because Luck did not have the arm strength for it. The Colts had trouble moving the ball and were more than doubled in time of possession last week. I see the Texans getting their first win here but I probably will not bet it. I will definitely take a look at the first half under.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears -3

I think this is a game the bookmakers really did not know where to go with so they gave the Bears 3 points for home field advantage. The Buccaneers run of Fitz-Magic has come to an end and they have Jameis Winston returning to the team this week. I think Jameis will retain the starting job. The organization has invested too much in him for him to not get a shot. Fitzpatrick definitely played well enough that if Winston begins to struggle there will be a full blown quarterback controversy. The Bears defense has looked terrific through three games. The addition of Khalil Mack has changed the outlook of their defense from great to exceptional. However they still find themselves struggling on the offensive side of the ball. They have only scored one offensive TD in each game and in their first two games they scored those TDs on their opening drive. That tells me that Matt Nagy has a script for the first drive coming in to the game. After that the offense slows down. Trubisky has not looked the part of a quarterback you want driving down the field for a late score to tie or win a game. Their running game is efficient enough to burn the clock and keep the defense off the field. Right now with the defense the Bears have the most important thing for the Bears offense will be to not turn the ball over. The Bucs defense has been terrible too. I think the Bears can cover here. I’m not sold on the Bucs. I have bet against them every week and this week that trend may continue.

 

Philadelphia Eagles -4 @ Tennessee Titans

This game is very interesting. The Titans are riding high after their 9-6 win over the division rival Jaguars. The Eagles come into town with Carson Wentz starting, fresh off his ACL and LCL injury. This is a tricky game for me because both starting QBs are not healthy. The game is trending under with the total at 41.5. This game already screams Eagles to me. They did not look very impressive against the Colts last week, and the Titans are riding high off their win in Jacksonville. The Jaguars played their Super Bowl the week before and didn’t have the same energy for that game. The only side I could take in this game is the Eagles. It looks like the bookmakers are trying to get action on the Titans with the line at 4 rather than 3. I don’t think they can beat the Eagles with a similar effort to the one they had last week. Even though Wentz is not 100% you’re going to need more than 9 points to beat that team. The Eagles are the only side here for me.

 

Cincinnati Bengals @ Atlanta Falcons -5

This line started at 6 and has moved down to 5. I suspect money has come in on the Bengals. The Falcons are dealing with a ton of injuries on defense. After losing Keanu Neal in week one, they lost Ricardo Allen in week 3. They’re hoping to get Takk McKinley back this week as he deals with a groin issue. On the other side the Bengals are dealing with injuries to AJ Green and Joe Mixon. Mixon had surgery after week 2 and optimistic reports say he could be ready by this week (I don’t think he will be). AJ Green is dealing with a groin issue and if he can’t play the Bengals might be in trouble. AJ Green does a lot for the Bengals offense. He always commands a double team and stretches the field out. When he is not playing the Bengals have struggled to move the ball. His injury will be one to keep an eye on. I think the total on this game is worth a look. It’s at 51.5 now. If AJ Green plays this game could be a shootout.

 

NY Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars -7.5

What a fall from grace by the Jets. After their week 1 blowout win in Detroit they follow that up with two disappointing losses in a row including breaking the Browns winless streak. They now find themselves traveling to play the Jaguars as heavy underdogs. One thing in their favor this week is that Todd Bowles has had extra time to prepare. Their last two games came off short weeks and they started to look fatigued late on Thursday night. I think they can make this a competitive game. The Jets beat the Jaguars last year in a game that went to overtime. If the Jets defense can consistently keep the Jaguars in long 3rd down situations where Blake Bortles has to throw the ball for the drive to keep going, the Jets can win this game again. The Titans put out a perfect blueprint of how to stop the Jaguars. One thing to monitor is the health of Leonard Fournette and Calais Campbell. If neither of them can go I think this game will be a real struggle for the Jaguars.

 

Seattle Seahawks -3 @ Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals finally looked like a competent football team for a half this past week and the Seahawks were able to get a win. If the Cardinals did not show any fight last week I think this line would be higher. I think it is clear now that Steven Wilks is not a good coach. Anyone who thinks he is, I implore you to see where he decided to bring in rookie Josh Rosen at QB late in the fourth quarter in need of a game winning field goal drive. That decision was just so beyond stupid. I don’t think Sam Bradford played bad enough to warrant him being taken out of the game. Two weeks in a row he has had to go up against an exceptional defense with the Rams and the Bears. I’m not sold on the Seahawks either. They played their hearts out at home to beat the Cowboys who I don’t think are great either. This game is gross and ugly. Just typing about this game and thinking about this game sucks so I will probably stay away.

 

Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders -3

The Browns fresh off a win travel to Oakland to play the struggling Raiders. The Raiders have been in close games the last two weeks. In both games they were winning going into the fourth quarter and ended the game losing. This line says to me that bookmakers are expecting the public to keep betting the Raiders since they were so close to covering and they will be thinking “this will be the week they finally put it together, at home against the lowly Browns”. I do not believe that will be the case and it seems others agree with that sentiment as the price on the Browns +3 is currently at -130. I think this might be the game we finally see everything for the Raiders fall apart. I’m not sold on Derek Carr and this offense and their defense is atrocious. The Browns defense is so talented and this number is just based on reputation alone. There is no way I could be on the Raiders in this game.

 

New Orleans Saints -3.5 @ NY Giants

These games are always very interesting. The Giants finally put together a good game on offense and defense for the first time in what seems like a very long time. I think their week together certainly helped and the team was able to bond over the benching of Ereck Flowers. They return home to New York this week to take on a Saints team that has a red hot offense. Their defense on the other hand has not looked good thus far. This game is tough because I still am not sure we know who the Giants are. Also with that week away comes the next week when teams return home and have to deal with any personal obligations that come from being gone for a week. The total is set at 50 but I think this game could start slow. I’m not sold on the Saints enough to lay the points. This is a game where I like the first half under.

 

San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Chargers -10.5

This line is huge because of the Jimmy Garoppolo injury. What you see here is when bookmakers do not know exactly how many points to adjust for Garoppolo so they instead over-adjust to be on the safe side. CJ Beathard will be the starter for the 49ers and if he is anything like what we saw last year 10.5 may not be high enough. The 49ers defense has looked terrible through three games and the Chargers offense has been great per usual. The Chargers are coming off a loss to the Rams where they were able to keep the game close for some time. The Chargers got an interception in the end zone which would have been huge had Derwin James not went out at the 1 yard line. This turned into a blocked punt on the next possession that the Rams landed on for a TD. The Chargers find themselves 1-2 with their two losses coming to the best two offenses in football. The 49ers are certainly not that. This game will probably have a lot more 49ers fans in the stands than Chargers fans but even the faux home field advantage will not be enough. Unless CJ Beathard is somehow good, this will be a very tough game for the 49ers to cover. The 49ers should really look into trading for RG3 and reunite him with Shanahan.

 

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers -3

“No love lost in this rivalry. These two teams hate each other. This one is going to be a dogfight.” You will probably hear these phrases repeated numerous times when the media is discussing this game. As usual this is a tough game to call. The Steelers are coming off their first win last night. The Ravens are coming off a convincing win against the Broncos. Everything is telling me to take the Steelers in this game. The Ravens have not beat anyone good and Joe Flacco struggles on the road. The Steelers are really looking to turn their season around and will need to win this game to do so. The Ravens secondary has struggled without Jimmy Smith. It will be tough for them to contain the tandem of Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster. I think the Steelers take this one but I might like them better as a teaser leg.

 

KC Chiefs -5 @ Denver Broncos

The Chiefs look so impressive and unstoppable. Their run has to come to an end at some point. I don’t think this is the game where their run ends though. The Broncos secondary has not looked good at all this year. They should really be 1-2 and even had a shot at being 0-3. Case Keenum is not the answer at quarterback and their defense can not really stop the run or pass. If the Chiefs get off to a quick start again this could be a long night for the Broncos. If they want to have a chance at this game, they will need to get out to an early lead and from there use their running game to keep the clock moving and keep the Chiefs offense off the field. I don’t think the Broncos will be the team to do this though. Last week I teased the Chiefs and even though they covered the full spread I think I may tease them again.

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