After another compelling slate of games, the NFL Odds this week saw underdogs and the unders come away as victors more often than not. The Dallas Cowboys improved to 4-0 against the spread, having the lone undefeated mark in the league. Six teams sit at 3-1 against the spread: Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Cleveland, Denver, and Green Bay.
Bettors and sportsbooks saw the Under hit nine times in Week 4, with the Over coming in seven times. Underdogs won against the spread in nine games, with the favorites covering seven times. Home underdogs lost three of the five games they played in, while home favorites covered the spread in five games, but failed to cover in six others. The Buffalo Bills were saddled with a 19-point spread against the Houston Texans, but they covered that one easily. The Giants, Jaguars, and Patriots all covered 7-point spread in Week 4, but only the Giants also came away with a straight up upset victory.
The Los Angeles Rams play the Seattle Seahawks to kick off the NFL Week 5 action. These two enter their Thursday Night Football contest for their second consecutive NFC West division matchup. The Rams travel north after a disappointing offensive effort at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Seahawks may have saved their season by beating the San Francisco 49ers. This game pits one of the top offenses in the league against one its worst defenses.
The Los Angeles Rams (3-1, 2-2 ATS) absorbed their first straight up loss of the season with their 37-20 defeat to the Cardinals last week. LA still holds the second-best odds to win the NFC, though. The Rams offense sputtered throughout, scoring less than 27 points for the first time in 2021. LA’s defense couldn’t stop the Cardinals, either, allowing Arizona to score on seven of eight possessions after forcing a game-opening punt. After sporting one of the league’s top defenses last season, the Rams D has given up 911 yards and 61 points over the last two weeks.
Matthew Stafford played his first subpar game as a member of the Rams. Stafford completed 26-of-41 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Although targeted 13 times by Stafford, Cooper Kupp came away with just five catches for 64 yards. The Rams are now in danger of falling further behind in the NFC West, considering they’re traveling to Seattle on a short week.
Stafford ranks second in the league in touchdown passes (11), while Kupp ranks second in receptions (30) and first in receiving TDs (5). Stafford leads the fourth-best passing offense in the league (298.3 yards per game). The Rams offense also converts third-down tries at a 54.3 percent clip, second-best in the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks (2-2, 2-2 ATS) got back on track after two straight losses with their 28-21 victory over the 49ers in Week 4. The Seahawks rebounded from back-to-back losses with their impressive performance against the Niners. Russell Wilson accounted for three scores, throwing two and running another in, to help Seattle get back into the NFC West race. The Seahawks overcame a slow start offensively to score 21 points in just over one quarter of play.
The Seahawks offense has carried them through the first four weeks of the season and rank top-10 in points per game (25.7). But the defense is another story. Seattle’s defense ranks 32nd in total yards per game (444.5) and rushing yards per game (152.0). The passing defense ranks 28th, allowing 292.5 yards per contest. They’ll need to hope getting the Rams at home on a short week limits LA’s effectiveness.
The Rams are the only team to have all four games hit the over so far this season. LA’s seen the over hit in five of its last six road games as well. The Rams are 4-2 straight up in their last six road games, and 4-1 straight up in their last five against Seattle.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, have seen the under hit in three of four games this season, and in 10 of their last 13 games overall. Seattle is 7-3 straight up in its last 10 home games.
Seattle’s defense will have their hands full with the Rams high-octane passing attack. And with Jamal Adams questionable for Thursday Night’s game, things certainly seem to be tilting in LA’s favor.
Picks and Predictions
Los Angeles Rams 30, Seattle 24
ML: LAR -130 (Caesars); Spread: LAR -2.5/-108 (UniBet); O/U: Under 54.5/-110 (Caesars)
New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons Picks and Predictions
The New York Jets play the Atlanta Falcons at Hotspur Stadium in London, UK. This is the first of two NFL games to be played in London in 2021, with the Miami Dolphins facing the Jacksonville Jaguars there in Week 6. The NFL did not play in the UK during 2020 because of COVID-19. This game pits a pair of 1-3 teams coming off a pair of thrillers. The Jets managed their first win of the season in Week 4, while Atlanta lost a close contest at home.
The New York Jets (1-3, 1-3 ATS) finally got their first win of the season, upsetting the favored Tennessee Titans at home. New York rallied in this one, and held on in overtime to secure the first victory of the Robert Salah and Zach Wilson era. The Jets offense finally got going, putting up a season-high 27-points en route to that first win.
New York battled back in this one, taking their first lead of the season with a third-quarter field goal. Zach Wilson flashed his top-end talent in this one, completing 21-of-34 passes for 297 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His 53-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis remains the best play of his young career. The Jets offensive line protected Wilson, allowing just one sack, while New York’s defense attacked Ryan Tannehill, sacking him seven times.
Wilson threw his league-leading eighth interception on Week 4, which was one of the few blights of his performance. The win helped improve the record of rookie quarterbacks this season to 2-12. The top four leaders in interceptions thrown are all rookies. The Jets offense has allowed the second-most sacks (16) and committed the second-most turnovers (8). New York’s offense ranks 32nd in points per game, at 11.7.
The Jets defense has been solid, and ranks third in third-down efficiency, allowing just a 28.6 percent conversion rate. New York’s D ranks 14th in the league, allowing 23.5 points per game.
The Atlanta Falcons (1-3, 1-3 ATS) squandered the late lead at home in their Week 4 loss to the Washington Football Team. The Falcons put up a season-high 30 points during the 34-30 defeat. The loss came despite Matt Ryan throwing four touchdown passes, including three to Cordarrelle Patterson, who has emerged as a major offensive weapon in Atlanta. Patterson splits time at running back and receiver, and ranks second in the league in all-purpose yards (519).
Ryan’s thrown eight touchdown passes so far this season, to just three interceptions. The Atlanta running game has struggled to find a consistent threat, with Mike Davis pacing the Falcons with 151 rushing yards through four games. Atlanta ranks in the bottom third of most offensive categories, and ranks 32nd in points allowed per game (32.0).
The Jets enter this one 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games, but Atlanta stands at 1-4 against the spread in their last five overall. The Falcons are also 1-4 straight up in their last five, while New York has won just three games since the start of the 2020 season. The Jets have seen the under hit in six of their last eight, including three of four this season. The Falcons have seen the under twice, and the over twice. Atlanta’s only covered once in their last six games as the betting favorite.
This game is tough to predict, considering both teams are on the road in this neutral-site contest. Although Zach Wilson showed some flashes in Week 4, he’s still a rookie and commits way too many turnovers for anyone to comfortably bet on his performance. That said, Atlanta’s defense isn’t great and the Jets D isn’t bad. The last time the Falcons played in London, 2014, they blew a 21-0 halftime lead and lost 22-21 to Detroit. The Jets might not win, but they have a solid chance to cover.
The Philadelphia Eagles play the Carolina Panthers in this matchup of NFC playoff hopefuls. Both teams enter this contest coming off disappointing double-digit losses where their defenses couldn’t get the needed stops. The Eagles surrendered 42 points to Kansas City in their loss, while the Panthers saw Dallas run up 36 in Week 4. Both teams saw their young quarterbacks play well, but neither Jalen Hurts nor Sam Darnold could do enough.
The Philadelphia Eagles (1-3, 1-3 ATS) took an early lead against the Chiefs, but ultimately couldn’t keep pace with KC in their 42-30 Week 4 loss. Philly’s now lost three in a row after a surprisingly dominant Week 1 win in Atlanta. Although Hurts threw for a career-high 387 yards, the Eagles defense allowed Patrick Mahomes to throw five touchdown passes in the loss.
The Eagles couldn’t convert in the red zone well enough to seriously challenge Kansas City. Philadelphia made six trips into the Chiefs red zone, but came away with just three touchdowns. A combination of mistakes and inaccuracy sabotaged whatever change Philly had. Their defense, meanwhile, allowed KC to convert each of their five red zone trips into TDs.
Philadelphia needs to clean up its play on both sides of the ball. The Eagles lead the league in penalties through four weeks of play (44). The offense has been able to gain yards consistently, ranking top-10 in both passing and rushing yards per game, but they’ve struggled to put enough points on the board outside of Week 1.
The Eagles have to hope Christian McCaffery doesn’t return from his injury this week, considering they allow the second-most rushing yards per game (150.3). And after limiting opponents to six and 11 points in Weeks 1 and 2, Philly’s D has allowed consecutive 40-point outbursts.
The Carolina Panthers (3-1, 3-1 ATS) dropped their first game of the season in Dallas, with their 36-28 loss to the Cowboys. The injury-riddled Panthers held a halftime lead, but Dallas won the third quarter 20-0 to take control of their Week 4 contest.
Sam Darnold completed 26-of-39 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran in a pair of touchdowns. Believe it or not, Darnold leads the league with five rushing touchdowns. D.J. Moore stands tied for second in the league with 30 receptions. Chubba Hubbard filled in for the injured Christian McCaffery, gaining 54 yards on 13 carries and catching two passes for 14 yards.
The strength of Carolina’s team this season has been the defense, but that unit got gashed by the Cowboys in Week 4. Injuries had something to do with that performance, to be sure, but the Panthers D still ranks third in points allowed (16.5) and yards per game (251.5). Carolina’s also tops in third-down defense, allowing conversions at just a 23.8 percent clip. The Panthers are tied with Denver for the fewest opponent red zone trips allowed so far (6). Carolina’s D leads the NFL in pressure percentage (37.8) and are tied for third in QB Hits (31).
Philadelphia enters this game 2-5 against the spread over its last seven games. The Eagles are 1-7 straight up in their last eight road games. They’ve seen the over hit in their last two games, after the under hit in their first two. Carolina’s seen the under hit in six of their last seven games, including three of four so far this year. The total’s gone over in five of the last seven games between these two clubs.
The Panthers are the better club, and they’ll be looking to right the ship after their first loss of the season.
Picks and Predictions
Carolina 27, Philadelphia 17
ML: CAR -169 (DraftKings); Spread: CAR -4/-105 (PointsBet); O/U: Under 44.5/-106 (FanDuel)
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals Picks and Predictions
The Green Bay Packers play the Cincinnati Bengals in a matchup pitting NFC North and AFC North foes. Both teams enter this interconference battle at 3-1 on the season. The Packers continued to prove their Week 1 performance was a fluke after another dominant victory. The Packers, meanwhile, needed a second-half comeback against the winless Jacksonville Jaguars to get the win.
The Green Bay Packers (3-1, 3-1 ATS) fell behind early against Pittsburgh before surging past the Steelers in their 27-17 victory in Week 4. Green Bay outscored the Steelers 27-3 en route to the victory. Aaron Rodgers completed 20-of-36 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, once again besting Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. Rodgers found Randall Cobb for both TD passes.
While Green Bay’s offensive numbers have lagged behind the performance of previous years, the defense has stepped up this season. The Packers rank in the top-10 in both yards allowed and passing yards. They’ve also limited opponents to 17 points in two of the last three weeks.
The Cincinnati Bengals (3-1, 2-2 ATS) were scoreless at the half in their Thursday Night contests against Jacksonville, but used a strong second half to secure the 24-21 win in Week 4. Joe Burrow had a big night, completing 25-of-32 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with Tyler Boyd nine times for 118 yards. Joe Mixon led the team with 67 rushing yards on Thursday, but exited the game with an injured ankle. He’s listed as day-to-day on the team’s injury report.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for Cincinnati this season has been the play of its defense. The Bengals D ranks fifth in yards per play allowed and seventh in points per drive allowed. Cincy’s ranked seventh in total yards (323.0) and points per game (18.7).
Green Bay enters this game 6-2 against the spread in its last eight games, and 10-2 straight up in its last 12. The Packers are 5-2 straight up in their last seven road games. They’re 5-1 against the spread following a straight up win. Conversely, the Bengals are 1-6 against the spread following a straight up win.
However, Cincinnati’s 12-6 in their last 18 games against NFC North opponents. The Bengals are 4-2 against the spread in their last six as an underdog. The Bengals have seen the under hit in their last three games, and four of their last six at home. The Packers have seen the over hit in six of their last eight, including twice so far this season.
This is another big test for the up-and-coming Bengals, especially for their defense., even with a rest advantage. The Packers, though, are rolling after their Week 1 loss, and the odds will tilt even further in their favor if Mixon can’t play.
The New England Patriots play the Houston Texans in this matchup of AFC squads piloted at the moment by rookie quarterbacks. The Patriots come to this one stinging from a missed opportunity. With a chance to upset Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs at home, a missed field goal sent New England to their third loss this season. The Texans, meanwhile, are coming off an absolute dismantling at the hands of the Buffalo Bills.
The New England Patriots (1-3, 2-2 ATS) dropped perhaps the most-watched contest of Week 4 when they lost 19-17 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tom Brady’s return to New England. It’s fitting that Tom Brady broke the all-time passing record while playing a game in Foxboro. But the Patriots’ new quarterback, Mac Jones, played well and had New England positioned for the upset victory before a long missed field goal.
New England head coach Bill Belichick gets to scheme against another young quarterback in this one. Belichick enters this matchup 22-7 against rookie quarterbacks since 2000, and Houston’s Davis Mills is coming off a four-interception performance. The Patriots already routed another rookie quarterback this season, forcing New York’s Zach Wilson into throwing four interceptions of his own.
That said, the Patriots are also starting a rookie quarterback, though one of these two will improve upon the 2-12 record rookie QBs have so far this season. Jones comes to this one after his impressive performance against the Bucs. Jones completed 31-of-40 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He’ll need some help in the ground game in this one, though. In Week 4, New England abandoned the run, attempting just eight carries for a total of negative-one yards.
The Houston Texans (1-3, 2-2 ATS) took a walloping in Buffalo last week, losing to the Bills 40-0. Rookie quarterback Davis Mills was absolutely terrible. He completed 11-of-21 passes for just 87 yards. He threw four interceptions. The Texans ran the ball 18 times for just 48 yards. Their defense kept things relatively close, allowing just 19 points through three quarters, but finally caved in the fourth, allowing Buffalo to score 21.
The Texans have lost three in a row after their Week 1 win over the Jaguars, and they look very much like the worst team in football. In the last two games, both started by Mills, Houston’s recorded less than 200 total yards in each. In the 10 quarters since quarterback Tyrod Taylor left due to injury, the Texans have scored just 16 points, with two total touchdowns. There’s a talent deficit here, despite facing a rookie quarterback.
The Patriots are one of four teams that has seen the under hit in each game so far this season. They’ve seen the under hit in 10 of their last 12 games. The Texans saw the over hit in their first two this season, but since Mills has become the starting QB, the under has hit both times. The Patriots are 2-4 against the spread in their last six road games, and 3-6 straight up in their last nine road games, but this Texans team is broken.
Picks and Predictions
New England 27, Houston 6
ML: NE -385 (DraftKings); Spread: NE -9.5/-109 (UniBet); O/U: Under 39.5/-106 (FanDuel)
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars Picks and Predictions
The Tennessee Titans play the Jacksonville Jaguars in this matchup of AFC South rivals. The Titans stand atop the division with their 2-2 record, while Jacksonville occupies the cellar after going winless so far. Tennessee fell as favorites in Week 4, with their defense allowing the low-scoring Jets to run up a season-high 27 points. The Jaguars, meanwhile, looked like they were going to come away with their first victory of the season, but couldn’t hold their second half lead in their latest loss.
The Tennessee Titans (2-2, 2-2 ATS) traveled to New York as favorites against the winless Jets, but couldn’t come away with the victory. Although the Titans rallied to force overtime in New York, Tennessee ultimately lost 27-24. Playing without his top two targets A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, quarterback Ryan Tannehill ran for his life in Week 4. The Jets sacked Tannehill seven times and he struggled to find a rhythm in the passing game. Derrick Henry chewed up plenty of yardage, gaining 157 and scoring a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough.
Tannehill is now the most-sacked quarterback this season, having been taken down 17 times so far. Derrick Henry, though, continues to be an offensive force. Henry leads the league in rushing with 510 yards. He’s the only played to average more than 100-yards per game (127.5). He’s tied for second in rushing touchdowns (4) and leads the league in all-purpose yards (635). He should feast against a subpar Jaguars defense.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4, 1-3 ATS) held a 14-0 advantage at the half of their Week 4 Thursday Night game in Cincinnati. But the Jaguars couldn’t keep pace in the second half and lost their 19th consecutive contest, this time 24-21. Since, a viral video has embroiled Jacksonville’s embattled head coach Urban Meyer in yet another controversy.
Trevor Lawrence navigated the Week 4 contest without an interception, completing 17-of-24 passes for 204 yards. He ran the ball eight times for 36 yards and a score. James Robinson scored two rushing touchdowns in his best effort of the year as well.
But the Jaguars offense scores just 18.6 points per game, which ranks 26th overall. And the defense surrenders 28.7 points per game, ranking 28th overall in that category. The Jaguars have committed the most turnovers this season (9) and are tied for the most missed tackles (36). And should Jacksonville lose on Sunday, they’ll have the second-longest losing streak in NFL history, behind only the 26 straight losses by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, racked up between 1976 and 1977.
The Titans enter this game having won seven of the last eight meetings between these two clubs. Tennessee sports a 6-2 record against the spread over that span. In their last seven overall though, the Titans are just 2-5 against the spread. Jacksonville might be winless, but they’re 2-6 against the spread in its last eight. Tennessee has seen the over in each of its two road games this season, while the total’s gone under in four of the Jaguars last five games.
Although the Jaguars have been decent against the run so far this season, they’re facing a juggernaut in Derrick Henry. The Titans run up the fourth most rushing yards per game (163.8) and should be able to do so once again. And coming off a loss to a winless opponent last week, it’s hard to envision Tennessee losing again.
Picks and Predictions
Tennessee 27, Jacksonville 20
ML: TEN -189 (BetMGM); Spread: TEN -4/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Under 48/-108 (UniBet)
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Picks and Predictions
The Detroit Lions play the Minnesota Vikings in a matchup of NFC North rivals. Although these teams have combined for just one win this season, one has looked far better than the other. Bad luck has struck both, and these two offenses put up 21 points between them in Week 4 losses.
The Detroit Lions (0-4, 2-2 ATS) hoped to nab their first win of the season against a flailing Chicago offense, but couldn’t put it all together in the 24-14 loss to the Bears. Detroit spotted the Bears 21 points in that game, before two second half touchdowns trimmed the final margin. Jared Goff completed 24-of-38 passes for 299 and two touchdowns, but failed to notch his first win with the Lions.
Detroit’s passing attack checks in middle-of-the-pack, averaging 250 yards per game, but Goff leads the league in fumbles with five so far. The offense scores just over 20 points per game, which ranks 24th in the league, but the defense allows 29.7 points per contest, ranking 29th. The Lions embark in their third divisional road game of the season in this one, having lost the first two by 18 and 10 points.
The Minnesota Vikings (1-3, 2-2 ATS) might be the best 1-3 team in football, but they’re still 1-3 after a 14-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. Minnesota’s three losses have come by a combined 11 points. The Vikings offense had scored 24, 33, and 30 points in their first three games before managing just seven in the Week 4 loss.
The Vikings sport a top-10 passing attack, and Kirk Cousins has multiple weapons on the outside to deploy against Detroit’s weak secondary. Minnesota’s also in the top half of the league in total yards and rushing yards per game. And although the defense surrendered 27 and 34 points in the first two games, its allowed 31 points combined over the last two, shutting down the high-octane offenses of Seattle and Cleveland.
Minnesota enters this one 40-17 against the spread following straight up losses, including 2-0 this season under that circumstance. The Vikings have also owned Detroit of late, winning the last seven games in this series, going 6-1 against the spread in those contests. Although they’ve seen the under hit in the last two, the Vikings saw the over in the previous five before that. The Lions, meanwhile, have seen the over hit in four of their last six road games. Detroit checks in 1-5 against the spread in its last six road games.
The Vikings have the better team in this one, and Cousins should get the offense rolling once again against this Detroit secondary.
Picks and Predictions
Minnesota 28, Detroit 20
ML: MIN -333 (DraftKings); Spread: MIN +7/-105 (DraftKings); O/U: Under 49/-105 (FoxBet)
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers Picks and Predictions
The Denver Broncos play the Pittsburgh Steelers in this matchup of AFC playoff hopefuls, but both teams enter this one with clouded quarterback futures. The Broncos saw their starting quarterback leave the game early, and his backup couldn’t muster even a field goal drive over one half of action. The Steelers, meanwhile, have seen Ben Roethlisberger’s play decline precipitously, thanks, in part, to a leaky offensive line.
The Denver Broncos (3-1, 3-1 ATS) took their first loss of the season in Week 4. Once Teddy Bridgewater exited the game as part of the concussion protocol, Denver’s offense stalled against the Ravens. The Broncos tried to contain Lamar Jackson but fell short 23-7 in their first stiff test of the season. Denver took an early 7-0 lead against the Ravens, but Drew Lock couldn’t manage any points in his time at QB.
The Broncos offense was never the team’s strong suit, even with Bridgewater helming the team. It’s been the defense, which ranks top-5 in scoring, total yards and rushing yards allowed, that’s led the way. Denver’s defense is tied for the league lead in red zone defense, allowing opponents to score touchdowns just 33 percent of the time. They’ve allowed a league-low six red zone tries to opposing offenses.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3, 1-3 ATS) dropped their third straight game with the 27-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 4. The Steelers also took an early 7-0 lead in their game, before getting blown away. It’s the third straight game in which the offense was held to 17 or fewer points. And the only one they did better in resulted in just 23 points.
Roethlisberger went 26-of-40 for 232 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He completed nine passes to Diontae Johnson, who registered 92 yards and the score. Rookie Najee Harris looked okay at times, gaining 62 yards on the ground and getting a rushing touchdown along the way.
Pittsburgh’s defense has been solid, ranking 11th in rushing yards allowed (99.0) and 13th in scoring (23.2), but the offense has been too inconsistent to be competitive. The Steelers offense ranks 29th in points per game (16.7) and face a stiff test in Denver’s great defense.
The Broncos enter this one 4-1 against the spread in their last five games overall, and their last five road games. Pittsburgh checks in at 1-4 against the spread and 1-4 straight up in its last five games. The Steelers are also 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games. These two teams are among the four who’ve seen the under hit in each of the first four games this season.
The status of Teddy Bridgewater will dictate the betting movement in this game. If Bridgewater remains in the concussion protocol and Lock starts, the odds favor Pittsburgh. But if Teddy Two Gloves can go against the Steelers, Denver should be able to pick up the win.
The Miami Dolphins play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this matchup of in-state rivals headed in opposite directions. The Dolphins dropped their Week 4 game as a home favorite, putting up an anemic offensive performance. The Buccaneers also struggled to score in their Week 4 game, but Tom Brady came away with the win in his return to Foxboro. This game features the widest spread of the week, with the Buccaneers laying 10.5 points to Miami.
The Miami Dolphins (1-3, 2-2 ATS) anemic offense resulted in a third straight loss, this time a 27-17 defeat at the hands of the winless Indianapolis Colts. Jacoby Brissett failed to move the ball consistently as Miami’s quarterback, and the Dolphins didn’t do enough defensively. Miami’s lost three in a row after their Week 1 win
Miami started a different offensive line configuration for the fourth straight game, and despite the change, the Dolphins didn’t find traction on the ground and couldn’t consistently protect Brissett. No matter the five-man grouping, Dolphins quarterbacks have been sacked 13 times, fourth most this season. Miami’s running game is also non-existent, ranking 28th with 78.2 yards per game.
The Dolphins defense lead the NFL in third-down efficiency last season, but so far this year, Miami’s allowed the second-worst third-down conversion rate (54.2 percent). The Dolphins allow 27.2 points per game, seventh-most. That doesn’t bode well against Brady, who has a familiarity with them from his Patriots days.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1, 1-3 ATS) survived their Week 4 game in New England thanks to a missed field goal by the Patriots. Brady was held without a touchdown pass and the Bucs scored a season-low 19 points, but escaped with a 19-17 win after Nick Folk missed a game-winning 56-yard field goal. Tampa Bay has underwhelmed in their two showcase game this year, losing in Los Angeles then narrowly beating a subpar Patriots team. As a result, their Super Bowl odds have taken a hit.
Tom Brady broke the all-time passing mark while playing in New England, which is fitting. Brady ranks second in the league in passing yards this season, with 1,356 yards so far. Tampa Bay sports the best passing offense and the worst passing defense in the league. Amazingly, both the offense and the defense posts averages of 327.5 passing yards per game.
Miami went a league-best 11-5 against the spread last season, but sport a 2-2 mark so far this season. Although they’ve been outclassed at home so far this season, the Dolphins are 1-1 on the road and have covered both times. Miami’s covered six of their last nine road games, and seven of eight overall following straight-up losses. The Dolphins have seen the over hit in their last two games, after the under hit in their first two.
The Bucs have covered six straight games against Miami, and sport a 5-1 against the spread mark in their last six home games. The over has hit in four of Tampa Bay’s last games, including three times so far this season.
Despite the double-digit spread, the Bucs shouldn’t have any problem covering in this contest. Brissett has failed to consistently move Miami’s offense, and the line has failed to protect either quarterback. The Dolphins also have no semblance of a running game and a defense that isn’t as sharp as last season.
The New Orleans Saints play the Washington Football Team in a matchup of playoff teams from a season ago. The Saints Jekyll and Hyde season continued last week with a terrible loss at home to the winless New York Giants. Washington, meanwhile, scored one of the more thrilling wins from the NFL Week 4 slate with their stirring comeback against the Atlanta Falcons.
The New Orleans Saints (2-2, 2-2 ATS) dropped their second game of the season, this one a maddening overtime loss to the New York Giants. The Saints held a 21-10 lead in the fourth quarter before allowing 17 straight points to New York in the 27-21 defeat. One would think this was a result of a bad Jameis Winston performance, but Winton didn’t turn the ball over. The Saints defense, which had been pretty good this season, gave up huge plays late and couldn’t get the necessary stops against the Giants.
Winston completed 17-of-23 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown. Alvin Kamara ran up 120 rushing yards, but the defense surrendered an 11-point fourth quarter lead.
Despite the poor performance, New Orleans still sports the No. 2 defense against the run this season, allowing just 66 yards per game. The Saints defense also ranks fifth in scoring, surrendering just 17.2 per contest. But the offense, which has hummed in years past with Drew Brees at the helm, remains inconsistent through the air. The Saints rank 31st in passing yards per game, with 144.0 per.
The Washington Football Team (2-2, 1-3 ATS) scored the game-winning touchdown with 33 seconds remaining in their 34-30 thanks to Taylor Heinicke and J.D. McKissic. Washington scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes of their game against the Falcons to pull off the win. Heinicke continued his suitable play, going 23-of-33 for 290 yards and three touchdowns. Terry McLaurin had six catches for 123 yards and two scores.
But Washington’s touted defense continued its struggles, surrendering 374 yards and 24 first downs to one of the league’s lowest-ranked offenses. Washington ranks 29th in yards allowed per game (417.5) and 30th in scoring defense (30.5). Those figures are huge surprises considering the personnel on that side of the ball.
Although they didn’t cover last week, the Saints are 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 games, and 11-4 straight up in their last 15 games against NFC opponents. The total has hit the over in each of the last seven meetings between these two clubs. But last week was the first over the Saints have seen this season.
Washington has alternated wins and losses this season, and has only covered once so far. That said, Washington’s 5-1 against the spread following a straight up win going back to last season. They’ve also covered in seven of the last 10 games against the Saints.
This game is another one that’s tough call considering the inconsistencies out of New Orleans. But if there is any pattern to their topsy-turvy season, that signals a good game is due from the Saints. Their two wins this season have both come away from home, and they should be able to get another here. That is, if good Jameis shows up.
Picks and Predictions
New Orleans 23, Washington 20
ML: NO -125 (BetMGM); Spread: NO -2.5/-105 (DraftKings); O/U: Under 44/-105 (FoxBet)
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers Picks and Predictions
The Cleveland Browns play the Los Angeles Chargers in this matchup of potential AFC playoff opponents. This is the game of the week record-wise, as a pair of 3-1 teams face off in this intriguing battle. The Browns head west after a pair of dominant defensive performances. The Chargers, meanwhile, enter after their Monday Night Football victory over Las Vegas, handing the Raiders their first loss of the season and seizing control of the AFC West.
The Cleveland Browns (3-1, 3-1 ATS) traveled to Minnesota for a matchup of high-powered offenses, and came away with a 14-7 victory in a surprisingly low-scoring game. The Browns defense has found another level in recent weeks. In their last 10 quarters of play, Cleveland’s D has surrendered a grand total of 13 points.
Myles Garrett leads the league with six sacks so far this season, and the Browns has registered a league-leading 35 quarterback hits and 14 sacks. Cleveland’s defense ranks fourth in scoring (16.8), third in rushing yards per game (66.5), and second in total yards per game (250.3).
The Browns rushing offense tops the league with its 177 yards per game average. Nick Chubb ran up another 100 yards in Week 4, while Kareem Hunt chipped in with 69 and the only touchdown of the contest. The passing offense, though, hasn’t been clicking as well. Baker Mayfield has only two touchdowns on the season, and completed just 15-of-33 passes for 155 yards against the Vikings. Over the past two weeks combined, Mayfield has thrown 30 incompletions (34 of 64) and completed just 53.1 percent of his passes. The Browns rank 26th in passing yards per game (212.2).
The Los Angeles Chargers (3-1, 3-1 ATS) dominated the Las Vegas Raiders in their 28-14 Week 4 victory in what was something of a coming out party for Justin Herbert. Last season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year threw three first half touchdowns. He now has nine touchdown passes to just three interceptions this season, and over 1,100 passing yards so far. Austin Ekeler had a nice game on the ground, running up 117 rushing yards and a score against the Raiders.
Herbert leads a passing attack that ranks 6th in the league, and their defense has held up their end of the bargain as well. The Chargers D ranks fifth in passing yards allowed per game (192.5) and seventh in scoring (18.5). The real worry is Los Angeles run defense though, which allows the fourth-most rushing yards per game (139.5).
The Browns enter this one 5-1 against the spread in their last six games, and 6-1 against the spread in their last seven road games. Cleveland’s been good on the road of late, winning six of their last nine straight up away from home. The Browns have seen the total hit the under in their last two weeks, and it’s gone under in four of their last six road games. They’ve covered the spread in six of their last seven meetings with the Chargers. But Cleveland’s struggled on the west coast, going 1-9 straight up in their last 10 trips to the Pacific Time Zone.
The Chargers are one of four teams that’s seen the under hit in each of their games so far this season. Los Angeles enters 7-1 both against the spread and straight up over its last eight games. But the Chargers are just 4-2 straight up in their last six home games, including their only loss this season.
Defense travels, and Cleveland’s covered six of its last seven road games, including both so far this season. And since this spread is basically a pick ‘em, the Browns should be able to leave Los Angeles with another win if they can ride Chubb and Hunt to the end zone.
The Chicago Bears play the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Nevada. This interconference matchup comes after the Raiders were dealt their first loss of the season and the Bears managed a confidence-boosting win for Justin Fields. Both of these teams have playoff aspirations they come to this contest needed another win.
The Chicago Bears (2-2, 2-2 ATS) jumped out to a 14-0 first half lead in their Week 4 game against the Lions, then managed to hold on for the 24-14 win over Detroit. Their offensive performance quieted the doubters for a time, especially following their Week 3 debacle against Cleveland. Against the Lions, Chicago took control early, scoring touchdowns on their first two series. All told, the Bears put up rang up 373 yards after being held by Cleveland to 47, the ninth-lowest total in league history.
Fields looked better in his second start, completing 11-of-17 passes for 209 yards. David Montgomery ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns before exiting with a serious knee injury. The Bears defensed forced two early turnovers by Detroit, which helped the offense. But that offense remains among the league’s worst. Chicago ranks 32nd in total offense and passing offense, and 30th in scoring, putting up just 16 points per game. The rushing offense ranks ninth, but has lost Montgomery for the time being.
The Las Vegas Raiders (3-1, 2-2 ATS) suffered their first defeat of the season with their 24-14 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4. The Raiders found themselves down 21-0 at the half. They rallied in the second half to within seven, but ultimately lost.
Derek Carr, who leads the league in passing yards through four weeks of play with 1,399 so far, looked pedestrian against the Chargers. He completed 21-of-34 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The running game couldn’t muster much against LA, with Josh Jacobs registering just 40 yards in his first game back from injury.
The Las Vegas offense still ranks second overall in passing yards per game (326.0), fifth in total yards (406.5), and ninth in scoring (26.0). The defense, though, ranks in the bottom half of the league in total yards, rushing yards, and scoring.
Chicago comes to this one 2-4 both against the spread and straight up in its last six games. But the Bears have failed to cover in both road games so far this season and six of the last seven road games dating back to last season. Chicago’s seen the total go under in each of its last three games this season. The Raiders, meanwhile, have seen the over hit seven of their last nine, including twice so far this season. The over has hit in each of Las Vegas’ last six home games.
With inconsistencies in Chicago’s offense, and the Bears now missing a major player for them in David Montgomery, the Raiders should be able to bounce back from their first loss of the season.
The San Francisco 49ers play the Arizona Cardinals in this important matchup of NFC West division opponents. The Cardinals jumped all over the Los Angeles Rams early in Week 4 and didn’t let up. Arizona’s off to its best start since 2012, and looked well on their way to their first winning season since 2015. The 49ers, meanwhile, saw their starting quarterback exit the game early and couldn’t muster enough offense to keep pace with Seattle in their Week 4 loss.
The San Francisco 49ers (2-2, 1-3 ATS) lost starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a calf injury and couldn’t manage enough offense in their 28-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Rookie Trey Lance took over for Garoppolo and connected on a 76-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel, but the Niners only crossed midfield one other time before scoring on a late touchdown to close the final gap.
Thanks in large part to that long touchdown, Samuel now leads the league with 490 receiving yards. Lance finished 9-of-18 for 157 yards with two touchdowns, 41 yards rushing and a 2-point conversion run. The 49ers lost kicker Robbie Gould to an injury pregame, and Garoppolo has already been ruled out for the game on Sunday. The move to Lance will likely hurt San Francisco’s offensive production, which has been near the top-third of the league so far.
The Arizona Cardinals (4-0, 3-1 ATS) scored a surprisingly convincing 37-20 victory on the road in Los Angeles against the Rams. The Cardinals now stand as the only undefeated team in the NFC, and they’ve seen their odds to be the NFC Champion continue to improve.
The Cardinals rode Kyler Murray and the offense once again to the victory. Murray threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another 39 to help Arizona get the win. He connected on a 41-yard TD pass with A.J. Green. Chase Edmonds rans up 120 rushing yards and James Conner scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the victory. Conner is now tied for second with four rushing touchdowns this season.
Murray seems like the odds-on favorite to win NFL MVP at the moment, considering his play so far. Murray leads the league in completion percentage (76.1), ranks third in passing yards (1,273), and is responsible for league-high 12 touchdowns so far.
Arizona’s owned this matchup of late, winning seven of the last 10 straight up. The Cardinals are 5-1-1 against the spread in their least seven games versus San Francisco, but just 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games overall. The total’s hit the over in six of Arizona’s last seven home games, while the 49ers have seen the under come in in four of their last six road games. San Francisco is 4-9 both against the spread and straight up over its last 13 games.
This is another important divisional game, but it’s hard to envision a rookie leading the Niners to an upset victory on the road against an undefeated opponent. Especially after Arizona’s defense kept the Rams to just 20 points in LA.
Picks and Predictions
Arizona 30, San Francisco 21
ML: AZ -227 (BetMGM); Spread: AZ -5.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Over 50.5/-104 (FanDuel)
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Picks and Predictions
The New York Giants play the Dallas Cowboys in this matchup of NFC East archrivals. The Cowboys come to this one as the only undefeated team against the spread so far this season, although they have one outright loss. The Giants finally got their first victory, rallying in New Orleans to do so in overtime.
The New York Giants (1-3, 2-2 ATS) took home their first win of the season with a thrilling come-from-behind effort in New Orleans. The Giants scored 17 unanswered points to steal the 27-21 overtime victory from the Saints. Daniel Jones had another good performance in this one, completing 28-of-40 passes for 402 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. It was Jones’ first career 400-yard game. New York now averages 282.5 passing yards per game, ranking seventh in that category.
Saquon Barkley scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime. He had 52 yards rushing as well as a 54-yard receiving touchdown. But the points haven’t come consistently, and the Giants average 20.7 per game good for 23rd in the league. The Giants rank 32nd in red zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns on just 33 percent of their trips so far (4-of-12).
New York’s defense was supposed to be the team’s strength, but they’ve been below league average in most categories. Although in the one that counts most, scoring, they rank 15th, allowing 23.7 points per game.
The Dallas Cowboys (3-1, 4-0 ATS) are the last remaining undefeated team against the spread in 2021. The Cowboys gave the Carolina Panthers their first straight up loss this season with their 36-28 victory in Week 4. Dak Prescott threw four touchdowns, and now has 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions so far this season.
Prescott ranks second in the league in completion percentage (75.2) and is tied for third in passing touchdowns (10). Cornerback Trevon Diggs leads the league in interceptions (5) and passes defensed (8). Ezekiel Elliott finally looked like himself in Week 4, gaining 125 yards and getting a score against the Panthers. Dallas’ offense has scored at least 29 points in three of their four games this season, and rank fourth in scoring at 31.5 points per game.
The Cowboys’ impressive offense outbursts this season have resulted in an improvement in the team’s odds to win the NFC. The defense has been uneven so far this season, ranking sixth against the run, but 31st against the pass. Dallas’ D ranks 16th in scoring (24.2).
The Giants come to this one 11-2 against the spread in their last 13 road games, but 2-6 against the spread in their last eight against Dallas. The Cowboys have owned the matchup of late, winning seven of the last eight meetings straight up. Dallas is 7-1 against the spread in its last eight games. The Cowboys have seen the over hit in eight of their last 11 games, including three of four this year. The Giants, though, have seen the under hit in nine of their last 11.
With Daniel Jones’ improved play, and Barkley bouncing back from his injury, the Giants can make this game interesting. But Dallas’ offense should be enough to carry them to both the win and cover.
Picks and Predictions
Dallas 34, New York Giants 24
ML: DAL -312 (UniBet); Spread: DAL -7/-105 (PointsBet); O/U: Over 52.5/-105 (FanDuel)
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Picks and Predictions
When: Sunday, October 10th, 8:20 PM
Where: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
The Buffalo Bills (3-1, 3-1 ATS) posted yet another dominant victory with their 40-0 win over the Houston Texans in Week 4. The Bills have outscored opponents 118-21 over the last three weeks, with two shutouts along the way. It’s the first time since 1990 that Buffalo’s posted at least two shutout wins. The Bills now sport the third best odds to win the Super Bowl.
Buffalo dominated a clearly overmatch opponent, holding Houston to just 109 total yards of offense. Rookie quarterback Davis Mills didn’t know what hit him. The Bills held Mills to 87 passing yards on the day and intercepted four passes. Buffalo’s offense didn’t need to do too much, considering the defense set them up so well. Josh Allen completed 20-of-29 passes for 248 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The Bills must clean up their offense some if they’re going to score this upset. Allen does have three turnovers through four games, something he’ll need to avoid against the Chiefs. Buffalo leads the league with 10 fumbles so far this season, and rank just 23rd in Red Zone Efficiency, scoring touchdowns 57.1 percent of the time.
The Kansas City Chiefs (2-2, 1-3 ATS) stopped a two game straight up skid and picked up their first win against the spread this season. Andy Reid returned from a health scare to become the first coach in NFL history to win 100 games with two different franchises, ironically scoring the victory in Philadelphia, where he won so many games prior to his time with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs took it to the Philadelphia Eagles, winning 42-30. Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdowns, three of which went to Tyreek Hill, who caught 11 passes for 186 yards. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 102 yards on 14 carries. The Chiefs put up a season-high 200 rushing yards in Philly.
After his Week 4 performance, Mahomes vaulted to the league lead with 14 passing touchdowns. Tyreek Hill ranks second in the league in receptions (30), receiving touchdowns (4), and receiving yards (453). The Chiefs rank fifth in passing yards per game (297.3), and third in scoring (33.5). They didn’t punt once in Week 4.
But they’re facing the top defense in the league. The Bills rank first in scoring defense (11.0), total yards allowed per game (216.8) and passing yards allowed (148.8). Buffalo has forced the most turnovers so far (11) and is tied for first for the best red zone defense, allowing opponent TDs just 33 percent of the time (3-of-9). They’re fourth in rushing yards per game (68.0).
Conversely, Kansas City’s defense has been one of the league’s most porous. The Chiefs D ranks 31st in total yards per game (437.7) and scoring (31.2), and 30th in rushing yards (146.0).
The Bills enter 12-3 against the spread in their las 15 games, and 5-1 against the spread in their last six road games specifically. Buffalo is 4-1 straight up in their last five road games, with the lone loss coming in Kansas City in the AFC Championship game. The Bills will be underdogs for the first time this season in this game.
The Chiefs come to this one having finally covered a spread this season. KC’s 2-12-1 against the spread in its last 15 games, but have won most of those straight up. The Chiefs are 20-5 straight up in their last 25 contests. KC’s just 1-7 against the spread in their last eight home games, though.
This is far and away the game of the week, and it will be a truest test of Buffalo’s potential. The Bills have looked unstoppable outside of their Week 1 loss to Pittsburgh, but their last three wins have not come against opponents at Kansas City’s level. The Chiefs, meanwhile, suffered rare back-to-back losses earlier this season and have been uncharacteristically sloppy on offense. The defense has also been a big issue, so there’s room for a Buffalo upset here.
The Indianapolis Colts play the Baltimore Ravens in the final matchup of the NFL Week 5 slate. This Monday Night Football game pits one of the most exciting offensive forces in the league against a squad coming off their first victory of the season. With their excellent play this season, including a come-from-behind upset win of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Ravens find themselves with improving Futures Odds. The Colts, meanwhile, finally put together a suitable offensive performance, despite missing two important offensive linemen, in their Week 4 win.
The Indianapolis Colts (1-3, 2-2 ATS) used a dominant defensive effort to come away with their first win of the season. The Colts outpaced Miami 27-17, withstanding a 14-point fourth quarter flurry from the Dolphins. Caron Wentz completed 24-of-32 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Taylor ran for 103 yards and a score.
This offensive outburst saved Indy’s season for the time being, considering being 0-4 would have been too steep a climb for the playoffs. The offense remains in the league’s bottom third in most statistical categories, but Wentz at least looked good against the Dolphins. The Colts defense has been better of late, too, ranking top-10 in both total yards and passing yards. But Indy has their hands full with Lamar Jackson and this dynamic Ravens offense.
The Baltimore Ravens (3-1, 2-2 ATS) used a 17-point second quarter to create the necessary cushion they needed to come away with a 23-7 win in Week 4. The Ravens gave Denver its first loss of the season, with Lamar Jackson leading the way once again. Jackson completed 22-of-37 passes for 316 yards and touchdown.
The Ravens offense checks in top-5 in both total yards per game (420.0) and rushing yards per game (164.5). Baltimore ranks eighth in scoring (26.2). The defense has been solid against the run, allowing just 85.7 rushing yards per game (7). Baltimore’s D ranks 11th in scoring, allowing 23 point per contest.
The Colts have controlled this rivalry of late, winning nine of the last 13 games straight up in this series. Indy’s actually 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 against the Ravens, but the Colts will again be without two starting offensive linemen. The Ravens enter 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games. Baltimore’s 4-1 both against the spread and straight up in their last five home games. The Ravens have seen the under hit in their last two games, and six of their last eight overall. The Colts, meanwhile, have seen the over hit in four of their last five road games, including last week in Miami.
The Ravens should have control of this contest from start to finish. Baltimore’s the better team and it took an anemic offensive performance at home from the Miami Dolphins for the Colts to come away with their first win of the season. Baltimore covered in the last meeting between these two clubs, a 24-10 victory last season. Something similar should happen this week.
Picks and Predictions
Baltimore 31, Indianapolis 21
ML: BAL -303 (BetMGM); Spread: -7/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Over 46.5/-105 (FanDuel)