NFL Week 4 best bets: Spread, moneyline, total, and teaser
The start of Week 4 showed the difference between good market ratings and the standings. Despite the fact that the 1-2 Bengals were playing the 3-0 Dolphins, Cincinnati closed as 4-point favorites, suggesting the team is viewed as at least Miami's equal.
As we continue into Week 4, not getting caught up in what the standings say will be paramount in keeping the season profitable.
|BET TYPE||LAST WEEK||SEASON (units)|
|ATS trio||1-2 (-1.2)||5-4 (+0.6)|
|ML upset||+2||2-1 (+2.9)|
Best bets ATS
Saints +3 (+100)
Andy Dalton in, Michael Thomas out - what could possibly go wrong? I don't see Dalton as a big downgrade over a hampered Jameis Winston, and the Saints have enough other weapons with the emergence of Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Olave.
Kevin O'Connell flew his Vikings team to London late in the week, whereas Dennis Allen got his club settled in England early. The Saints' secondary can copycat the Lions' and Eagles' ability to shut down Justin Jefferson, and their defensive line will torment Kirk Cousins. So, now that we're getting a full field goal, there's value in backing New Orleans.
Ravens +3 (+100)
We try not to double down on the round-robin underdog moneyline parlay, but we're still seeing a little too much credit assigned to the Bills. Their health issues in the secondary will get more of a test this week given they'll have to keep an eye on what's going on in the Ravens' backfield.
The Bills will score through the air, but Baltimore's front seven can contain anything Buffalo tries to do on the ground. This game might come down to a field goal as the line suggests, and the Ravens' special teams are more reliable, especially in potentially sketchy weather.
Buccaneers PK (+100)
The Buccaneers' receivers kept fumbling the ball. Tampa Bay's defense kept giving Tom Brady a chance to get back in last week's game, but Breshad Perriman and Russell Gage had key fumbles on either side of halftime. So, while all the attention goes to the failed two-point conversion, it shouldn't have come to that.
The Chiefs were lackluster offensively for a second straight week, but bettors will always overlook that for Kansas City. With no fear of the run game, the Bucs' defense slows Patrick Mahomes. Plus, Brady has at least one reliable target with Mike Evans back, freeing up the rest of the group to succeed Sunday night.
Moneyline upset of the week
Our defined parameter for this section is underdogs paying at least +150.
Geno Smith's 77.5% completion percentage and 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio since his first start last season suggest he's not the reason to fade the Seahawks. With the most yards per play allowed against, Seattle's defense is. However, Jared Goff will be missing both Amon-Ra St. Brown and D'Andre Swift, arguably the Lions' two biggest difference-makers offensively.
The Seahawks will test Detroit's defense - which has given up five rushing yards per game - with Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker, who we'd expect to get more run. If that creates one-on-ones for DK Metcalf against the Lions' secondary, Seattle can steal this game.
Best total bet
Cardinals / Panthers over 43.5
This is a game about matchups. The total is low because neither team has shown much offensively. However, the game script for this tightly lined matchup shapes up as a back-and-forth affair similar to the Panthers' first contest of the season against the Browns.
Kyler Murray can create offense against a Carolina team that gave up 426 yards last week better than Jacoby Brissett, Daniel Jones, or Jameis Winston. And even if Christian McCaffrey can't play, the Panthers will still contribute points against a soft Cardinals defense, making an over on such a low total a reasonable expectation.
Best 6-point teaser
Eagles -0.5 / Broncos +8.5 (-120)
Normally, we like to put our optimal favorite in the ATS section, but since the Eagles are my would-be survivor pick in Week 4, we'll tease them down from -6.5 to -0.5. You're not getting amazing value on Philadelphia since its moneyline is around -280, which suggests a 73.7% win probability. However, that's a fair price for me in a game that might expose the Jaguars as merely improved but not outstanding.
I really just want to use an Eagles moneyline bet to get the Broncos up to +8.5. Bettors appear repulsed by Denver's offense after watching it in prime time in two out of three weeks. As he did in Seattle, Russell Wilson will constantly find himself playing close games. Daring the 0-3 Raiders to win by this margin is the best use of a teaser this week.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.