Week 4 NFL Sport Betting Predictions
Total Bankroll: $3,965
Ben Roethlisberger out. Drew Brees out. DeMarco Murray out. Tony Romo out. Dez Bryant out. Jordy Nelson out. Jay Cutler out.
Those are some significant impact players whose presence decides games. And the lines for those players’ teams will reflect their impact. Unless there is a tasty money line or a serious mis-match out there involving any of those teams, I’m probably going to stay away.
My Week 3 Betting Recap will let you know how I fared last week. After 3 weeks, I have a pretty good idea of teams that I am a buyer (undervalued), and teams that I’m a seller (overvalued):
Atlanta Falcons at home, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans
Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams
I have notably left off teams like the New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers. They are so good, that there just won’t be any value in any of games with those teams. Plus, I don’t bet Patriot games, because I bet with my head, and not with my heart. However, Tom Brady and the Patriots do have something to prove this year, and they could possibly cover every single week.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+375) over Indianapolis Colts for $100
I stated in my recap of Week 3 that I have no idea what kind of team the Colts are right now. Their offense is inconsistent, and their defense gives up points to teams that they should dominate. I had the Colts as a pick as 10 game winners, and to make it to the AFC Championship game prior to the season. They are fortunate enough to be in a (currently) weak AFC South where they could possibly take the division. Otherwise, I would have a hard time even picking them right now for an AFC Wild Card spot.
So do the Jaguars have a shot? Absolutely! They are currently 9 point underdogs, with a very tasty money line. These are the types of games that I salivate over. They haven’t shown that they’re great by any stretch. But they played Patriots last week and got crushed. As Indy will in Week 6. They lost to Carolina in Week 1 when they were just stretching their legs, and they won an intra-state game against the Dolphins.
The Jaguars have had a slightly more difficult schedule than the Colts, because they had to play the Patriots. But the Jaguars have actually won a game, and Colts are still looking for that first win.
Am I banking on the Jaguars to win this game? Not really, but I also don’t think they’re 4 to 1 underdogs, so there is great expected value in this matchup, even if it is in Indianapolis.
Atlanta Falcons (-6) over Houston Texans for $110
Lock of the week.
The Falcons are starting to do some damage. They are 3-0, playing at home, and they’re healthy. The Matt Ryan to Julio Jones connection is in full effect, and not Kareem Jackson nor Johnathan Joseph is going to stop that.
The Texans, on the hand, are in a downward spiral. Their schedule has been fairly easy through the first 3 weeks of the season, but their defense hasn’t been able to contain anybody. And their quarterback situation is a serious situation. Sitting Brian Hoyer for Ryan Mallett, and now Ryan Mallett is questionable against the Falcons. The only thing they have going for them is that Arian Foster may actually play this week.
Less than a touchdown spread at home is a safe bet on the Falcons.
Buffalo Bills (-5) over New York Giants for $110
I know I sound like a broken record, but the Giants are terrible. The only hope for the Giants is that Rex Ryan hands them this game with the hopes the Giants make it to the Super Bowl so they can beat the Patriots for the third time. That sounds like a conspiracy theory, but Rex Ryan is a strange man.
The Bills aren’t too bad. But the Giants are terrible…the Giants are terrible…the Giants are terrible…the Giants are terrible.
Less than 2 field goals? I have confidence that the Giants can’t cover that.
Oakland Raiders (-3) over Chicago Bears for $110
The Raiders are showing a spark that they can be a good team. Oakland fans have waited a long time to witness that. And Derek Carr looks to be maturing into a legitimate NFL quarterback.
The Bears unfortunately have been struggling for air since losing Jay Cutler. Jimmy Clausen isn’t earning his paycheck right now. Is the loss of Jay Cutler the thing that Jay Cutler needs to finally get some respect in Chicago and around the league? It’s rare that a team in the NFL gets shutout, but that happened last week with Jimmy Clausen under center.
It’s only a 3 point spread, and the Bears have proven that they can’t score. So it’s not going to take many points from the newly awakened Raiders offense to cover this spread.
Washington Redskins (+150) over Philadelphia Eagles for $100
The Redskins are terrible. The Eagles are terrible. But there is value in the Redskins being less terrible against the Eagles this week in DC.
I don’t know what else to say, except both teams are terrible, and this is an expected value bet.
Cincinnati Bengals (-4) over Kansas City Chiefs for $110
The 2015 Bengals have a fire lit under them. They are 3-0, and on top of the AFC North. They haven’t had a tough schedule through the first 3 weeks of the season, but anything can happen in the NFL. Andy Dalton is having a career year so far.
The Chiefs can’t seem to close out games. The offense is struggling under Alex Smith, and it’s the defense that is keeping them in the games. Jamaal Charles is putting up serious points to take the heat off of A-Smith, but he can’t seem to control the ball when the game is on the line.
The Bengals are on a roll, and they’re going to take down the Chiefs. But it’s probably going to be another close one for the Chiefs.
Minnesota Vikings (+260) over Denver Broncos for $100
Overrated. That’s what I think of the 2015 Broncos. I’m not going to be one of those people saying that Peyton Manning is done, because despite his age, his limited mobility, and his diminished arm strength, he’s still one of the smartest quarterbacks playing today. Manning’s football acumen is the crutch for the decline of his athleticism.
The Broncos have won their games this year with defense. There have been more than their fair share of fluke or perfectly timed defensive plays to give the Broncos their wins. But I’m also a believer that we make our own luck, so the defense has put the Broncos in positions to have those fluke plays go in their direction. That can only last so long.
Now the Vikings come to town. Teddy Bridgewater is still cutting his teeth, so I’m not sure which version will show up. But he sure is glad to have Adrian Peterson back to give him some time and move the ball down the field.
I think the Vikings have a legitimate shot. And I also think they are way less than 2.5 to 1 underdogs, so there is some expected value taking the Vikings this week.
Total Bankroll: $3,955
Last week was a nice bounce back week for me, getting 4 out of my 5 picks correct, one of them being a double wager. The only thing that kept me from a perfect week was a last minute touchdown from Tennessee to cover the spread against the Colts. Weird thing, gambling. I watched the Titans move down the field in the last minute, down by 8, hoping that they would be denied and my pick would be correct. They ended up punching the ball into the end zone and my opinion immediately flipped to hoping they would get the 2-point conversion so the Colts could score a touchdown in overtime to still cover the 3.5 point spread. It didn’t work out that way, but I’ll take 4 out of 5 every week for the rest of my life. The Steelers covered over the Rams despite losing Ben Roethlisberger in the middle of the game, the Patriots could have covered a 35 point spread, the Pope did his magic and helped the Eagles win their first game of the year and the Cowboys had one good half in them before wilting to the Falcons. Not too shabby for me last week, bringing my backroll nearly back to even. Let’s keep this going!
Baltimore Ravens (-3) over Pittsburgh Steelers for $110
If Roethlisberger were playing, the Steelers would take this easy, but he isn’t and Mike Vick is playing in his place. That is a huge difference and the gambling world sees it too as the line opened as a “pick” and had shifted the Ravens to three-point favorites in a couple days. Vick is not the Michael Vick from 2003 and the Steelers will have to have an absurd day from LeVeon Bell to counteract the huge drop in play from the quarterback position. The Ravens need a win this week to avoid being essentially eliminated from playoff contention after 4 weeks. They lost a crazy game last week against the Bengals, but finally showed a little offensive punch in the second half that should carry over to this week. The Joe Flacco to Steve Smith combo proved to be dynamic and they will need more of that to beat a very good Steelers team. In the end, the drop from Roethlisberger to Vick is going to be the difference in the game.
Denver Broncos (-6.5) over Minnesota Vikings for $110
Peyton Manning is far removed from his dominant play of the last few years. His passes look weak and decisions aren’t as sharp as prior years. C.J. Anderson has struggled mightily this year after gaining the starting running back role. So, why pick the Broncos? They have quietly built an elite defense, which they have relied on all season, allowing only 49 points through three games. And those games were against the Chiefs, Lions and Ravens, all of which have at least a solid offense. Combine that with the Vikings only able to put up an average of 15 points per game, and Peyton can cover this spread with only an average performance. Adrian Peterson has looked much better since being shut down in Week 1 in San Francisco, but Teddy Bridgewater is going to have a hard time finding open receivers against the best secondary in the league. Home field advantage is worth at least a field goal when the home field is a mile high. I like the Broncos by double digits.
New England Patriots over BYE week
Seems cruel to give the hottest team in the AFC a bye week already, but there you go. I hope you’ve been taking the Pats so far this season as they have the look and feel of the Patriot team that went undefeated a few years ago.
New York Giants (+5) over Buffalo Bills for $110
The Giants looked real good last Thursday night, whipping the Washington R******s. The other benefit to finally getting a win on the season, is the early game last week gives them extra time to prepare and rest for this week. Eli Manning looked good, playing virtually mistake free ball and the defense and special teams did enough to lead them to victory. The Bills have scored a ton of points this year, but LeSean McCoy is doubtful, taking away a valuable threat and weapon of that offense. The Giants do enough in this game to keep it close and maybe even sneak a road win out.
San Diego Chargers (-7.5) over Cleveland Browns for $110
The Browns laid an egg last week and looked bad in a loss to the Raiders, making everyone think they are further along in their rebuild than they really are. Josh McCown is still starting at quarterback, for some reason, because, why else would you use a first round pick on a quarterback like Johnny Manziel but to hold a clipboard? San Diego hasn’t lit the world on fire, but Phillip Rivers should do wonders agains the weak secondary in Cleveland. If this game were in Cleveland, we would be hearing “Johnny, Johnny!” chants by the third quarter. McCown has been extremely average (not a shock) and their running game has been non-existent so far. If San Diego can keep them under 25 points, this is an easy cover.