NFL Best Bets: Week 4
With sports betting gradually becoming legal in more and more places across the country, NFL football is becoming one of the prime betting targets. Of course, there are surprises aplenty across the NFL every single week, so one has to be informed in order to make the right betting decisions. To help with that, let’s go through the five best bets you can make in Week 4.
1. New England Patriots (-7) vs. Buffalo Bills
The Patriots and Bills both are 3-0 on the season, each beating bad teams on the way. Buffalo defeated the hapless Jets, Giants and Bengals, which have combined for a single win through three weeks. The same goes for New England beating the Steelers, Dolphins and Jets, each failing to win a single game so far.
The past five games between these teams all ended in a Patriots victory by an average of 17.6 points. The Bills have only one outright win against New England since 2016, and it came against Jacoby Brissett while Tom Brady was suspended.
The Patriots are an easy pick here, as the Bills are getting only seven points in large part due to their hot start. This is a great value pick, because the Bills are only a paper tiger. The spread should really be New England -10, but the Bills have helped out bettors by inflating value.
Josh Allen has looked better but remains inconsistent, and while Buffalo’s defense looks good, the Patriots offense is on another level. As long as Tom Brady doesn’t get hurt and the typically stout defense shows up, the Pats will cover the spread in the first half.
2. Dallas Cowboys (-3) vs. New Orleans Saints
New Orleans is 2-1 and just came off an impressive victory against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys have dominated their opponents to get to 3-0. Dak Prescott is on his way to playing himself into the huge contract he wants with nine touchdowns, only two interceptions and an unbelievable 128.0 passer rating so far this year.
The betting logic for this game changed completely once Drew Brees went down with his thumb injury. New Orleans got dominated by the Rams after Brees left the game. Last week’s impressive win against the Seahawks is why this spread is so close, but Alvin Kamara won’t be able to rip off 161 scrimmage yards against Dallas like he did against Seattle.
Dallas is a lock to cover because the run game with Ezekiel Elliott will open the play-action game, and it will tear the Saints defense apart. Teddy Bridgewater will not be able to score enough points against Dallas’s high caliber defense. The Cowboys run defense is 10th best in the league, conceding only 90 rushing yards a game. If the Cowboys stack the box against Kamara, then it feels like they will be an easy cover Sunday night.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (-6) vs. Detroit Lions
At 3-0, the Chiefs are a Super Bowl contender, and Patrick Mahomes looks like he’s making a run to be the MVP again. The Lions are 2-0-1 and should be undefeated, but they choked away an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter of their Week 1 game in Arizona.
Kansas City’s offense looks unstoppable, even with Tyreek Hill out with a shoulder injury. The Chiefs’ quick-strike offense can score from anywhere, and it feels like it would take another high-octane offense like the Patriots to make a game against Kansas City feel competitive.
Mathew Stafford and the Lions offense do not have the firepower to keep up with the Chiefs. This game will not be close past the first quarter, and the Chiefs will be winning by more than six at halftime. Mahomes’ passing prowess will be too much for the Lions defense, and Kansas City cover easily.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (-16.5) vs. Miami Dolphins
The Chargers are 1-2, losing two close contests due to careless turnovers. Many people believe the Dolphins are tanking for Tua Tagovailoa, and they are the consensus pick as the least talented team in football at 0-3. If Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense can clean up their fourth-quarter blunders, they can still be contenders like everyone previously thought.
Melvin Gordon's holdout has not bothered the Chargers’ ground game one bit, as Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are helping Los Angeles average over 100 rushing yards per game. Rivers has his main man Keenan Allen healthy, and a deep threat in Mike Williams lining up opposite of Allen only boosts the passing attack. The Dolphins offense has put up an abysmal 5.3 points per game, while the defense has allowed 44.3 points per game. Both are dead last in the league.
If the Chargers are just solid on offense and defense for the whole game, it will be enough to cover against a Miami team that looks like it might go 0-16. The only spark that Miami had against Dallas last week was the rushing attack, but Joey Bosa and the Chargers defensive line will not allow that to open up. Incredibly, the Chargers will cover a monstrous 16.5-point spread on the road.
5. Houston Texans (-4.5) vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 1 saw the Texans blow a one-point lead with 37 seconds remaining. Without that, Houston would be 3-0 right now. The Panthers are 1-2 with last week’s win in Arizona, which was led by backup quarterback Kyle Allen due to Cam Newton’s foot injury. Carolina might be the most disappointing team this year, due in large part to Newton’s health issues.
Allen starred in the Week 3 victory with four touchdown passes, but that happened against a below average Arizona defense. It will be much tougher against a Houston team led by pass rush extraordinares J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
As long as Deshaun Watson keeps making big plays for his offense, the Texans will cover easily. It will be difficult for Allen to do much against the Texans defense, and Carolina will likely have trouble finding the end zone. Watson will be too much for the Panthers defense to handle, and Houston will win by at least seven points.
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Ben Geller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.