Last week’s bets started strong yet again, only to collapse down the stretch to finish at 4-3. Still, we’ve successfully gone above .500 in each of the first three weeks of the season, and our Lock of the Week is finally staying true to its name and remains undefeated thus far.
I’m growing tired of these mere slight victories in recent weeks, and while we now sit at 13-9 on the year, it feels like it’s time for me to have a dominant betting week and perhaps run the table here in Week 4.
Philadelphia Eagles -6.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
I have to give Jacksonville a lot of credit. They've been the biggest surprise to me, in the positive sense, over the first three weeks of the season. They were competitive at Washington in their opener, they shut out the Colts in Week 2, and they dominated the Chargers in Los Angeles last week. But I love the Eagles so far this season. I've now missed two overs in games involving Philadelphia because they keep getting out to sizable first half leads and then slowing down the game and stifling the opposing offenses. The Jags have been great against the run of far this season, but it's yet to be seen how they'll perform when they have to worry about a running threat at the quarterback position. To be honest, this is probably the bet I'm least confident in out of the seven I'm giving for this week, but I just have a gut feeling that the Eagles will cover and get to 4-0 on the year.
New York Jets +3.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh's offense is so bad that it's hard to imagine they could be favored to beat anyone in the NFL by 3.5 points. And while their defense seems to be performing well from simply a scoring standpoint, they've given up a ton of yardage both through the air and on the ground. The Jets have shown signs of potential with Joe Flacco under center, and with Zach Wilson returning this week for his first start of the season, I think he'll provide a spark to this young New York offense. I actually believe the Jets will win this game outright, but taking them to cover is a much safer bet.
Chicago Bears at New York Giants Under 39.5
It's always so tough to bet the under on a game with a number this low, but that's how strongly I feel about these two offenses, particularly Chicago. To be fair to this New York team, they've looked serviceable this season on the back of Saquon Barkley, who has rebounded nicely so far. But their pass attack is rather pitiful. And on the other side, the Bears are averaging only 99(!) passing yards per game. The biggest threat to our under bet would be any untimely turnovers or defensive/special teams scores, but if we avoid those relative anomalies, these two teams will be lucky to get anywhere near 39.5.
Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders Under 45.5
If you were unfortunate enough to witness the travesty that occurred last Sunday night, I know you'll agree with this pick. Denver and San Francisco each gained just over 260 yards all night and combined to punt 17(!) times. I mean, we're talking the epitome of offensive inefficiency. And it wasn't like this was a fluke for Denver. Neither they nor their opponents have reached 20 points in any of their first three games this season. And the winless Raiders haven't performed much better himself. If you listen closely, no matter where you are, you can actually hear Davante Adams pleading the Mark Davis to send him back to Green Bay. This is going to be another low-scoring, grind it out game where one team will probably win on a field goal as time expires. I'll call it something like 20-17.
New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers Under 40.0
This is our third under bet of the week here, but it might actually be the most likely of the three to hit. All three of Green Bay's games so far have stayed under the point total, and after holding the Bucs to just 12 points last week, it's hard to imagine that the Mac Jones-less Patriots are going to do any better at all. Due to the lack of weapons on Green Bay's offense, it appears that they're going to be relying more on their defense to win games. I still like Aaron Rodgers, but I'm sure he's totally fine with playing more conservatively if it means higher numbers in the win column. The Pats defense always shows up and without their QB1, I would imagine Bill Belichick will put together a run-heavy scheme to milk the clock and shorten the game as much as possible. Neither team will hit 20 in my opinion.
Kansas City Chiefs +1.0 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I'll say it. Tom Brady does not look like the same guy when he doesn't have the league's best offensive line and receiving corps around him, like he has in his previous two seasons in Tampa. The Bucs are so beat up already that they have essentially no offensive firepower. And while the Chiefs dropped a disappointing game in Indianapolis last week, I expect them to bounce back in a big way in primetime on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City's offense has still looked strong for the most part even without Tyreek Hill, certainly more so than Tampa Bay. I still think this will be a pretty low-scoring affair, but I'm on the Chiefs to pull off the road victory, knocking the Bucs to just a 2-2 start with an already depleted roster.
Lock of the Week: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens Over 51.0
It's somewhat difficult for me to even put money on any over this NFL season with how dominant the defenses have been so far, but this is a game that could potentially reach 65 or 70 by the time it's all said and done. Both offenses feature electric quarterbacks who tend to dominate regardless of who else is in or out of the lineup, or what their opposing defenses look like. Each team is averaging north of 30 points per game, and the Ravens are exceptionally vulnerable through the air. While Buffalo's defense is definitely more formidable, they're also a bit banged up. They just lost Micah Hyde for the season and DT Jordan Phillips has already been ruled out of Sunday's game. Additionally, defensive backs Jordan Poyer and Dane Jackson are listed as questionable. On the other hand, Baltimore's secondary is just not good. They got absolutely torched by Miami two weeks ago and surrendered 26 to a mediocre Patriots offense last week. This game is going to be a shootout, and that's why it's my Week 4 Lock of the Week.
Written by Nick Swatson