Monday Morning Moneyback: NFL Week 4

Monday Morning Moneyback: NFL Week 4 article feature image
  • Following last Sunday’s 75 percent ATS performance, underdogs finished 9-5 ATS yesterday. Seven of those nine dogs won outright, including the Bills and Panthers, who won straight up as eight-point underdogs. Road teams fared even better than underdogs at a 10-4 clip, and total bettors saw an equal split (7-7) between overs and under.

  • You went 2-0 ATS if you faded the Jaguars and Ravens, both of whom played a week after their game in London. Keep in mind that only one of 34 previous teams did not have a bye week after playing across the pond.

  • Overall, we experienced a pretty exciting day of football, especially if you remove the morning and night blowouts; the 12.1 point average margin of victory on Sunday decreases to 10.1 if you exclude both bookends. Nine of the 12 afternoon games were decided by a touchdown or less, two of which ended in overtime.

  • The Giants, 49ers, Browns and Chargers all dropped to 0-4 on Sunday, which essentially ended their chances of a playoff run. The 1992 San Diego Chargers are the only team in NFL history to make the postseason after an 0-4 start.

  • With a cover tonight, the Chiefs can join the Bills as the only two teams undefeated ATS through four weeks. The Cardinals and Chargers are the only two teams that have not covered a game in 2017.

  • Make sure you pay close attention to the injury report this week, since we saw a number of injuries to key skill players, including two starting quarterbacks.

Key Injuries on Sunday:

49ers WR Marquise Goodwin – Head (?)
Bengals C T.J. Johnson – Kneck (?)
Bills WR Jordan Matthews – Thumb (?)
Bucs S Keith Tandy – Hip (?)
Chargers C Matt Slauson – Tricep (?)
Chiefs LB Dee Ford – Hip (?)
Colts C/G – Deyshawn Bond – Knee (?)
Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu – Hamstring (?)
Falcons WR Julio Jones – Hip (?)
Giants DE Olivier Vernon – Ankle (?)
Giants C Weston Richburg – Concussion (?)
Giants RB Paul Perkins – Ribs (?)
Raiders QB Derek Carr – Back (?)
Panthers S Kurt Coleman – Knee (?)
Panthers DE Mario Addison – Knee (?)
Seahawks RB Chris Carson – Ankle (?)
Seahawks DE Cliff Avril – Neck (?)
Titans QB Marcus Mariota – Hamstring (?)
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook – ACL (IR)
Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon – Ankle (?)

Saints (-4) at Dolphins

  • The Saints recorded their first shutout in five years on Sunday, as they rolled a lifeless Dolphins team 20-0 at Wembley Stadium.

  • Miami opened the game with an eight-minute drive that ended with a Jay Cutler interception in the endzone. From that point on, Saints -4 and under 52 backers never really had to sweat.

  • The Dolphins, who were outgained 347-187, have scored three total points before halftime this season, an average of a single point per first half. Last week, Miami scored a garbage touchdown as time expired against the Jets, which is the only reason they have not been shutout in consecutive games.

  • Drew Brees, who finished 28-of-41 with 268 yards passing, threw a touchdown to both of his favorite targets, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Thomas had eight catches for 89 yards, and Alvin Kamara caught 10 balls out of the backfield for 71 yards.

  • New Orleans, who still has not turned the ball over in 2017, can become the first team in NFL history to have zero turnovers in its first five games of a season.

  • The banged up Saints secondary has really turned it around during the last two weeks, starting with their two cornerbacks, Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley, both ranked in PFF’s top three at the position.

Bills (+8) at Falcons

  • Your first place Buffalo Bills, who just played their third straight 3-1 opponent, are one dropped pass away from a 4-0 start after defeating the Falcons 23-17 in Atlanta on Sunday. Atlanta actually won the box score, accumulating 100 more total yards and eight more first downs, but the Bills won the critical turnover battle 3-0. Props to under 48 backers, who got to the window without much worry.

  • Tyrod Taylor finished with a pedestrian stat line of 12-of-20 for 182 yards, but he simply didn’t make any mistakes. T-Mobile found Charles Clay, who caught five balls for 112 yards, on a number of deep passes down the field at critical junctures during the game.

  • A week after becoming the first kicker in Bills history to make two 50-plus yard field goals in the same game, Steven Hauschka connected on field goals of 55 and 56 yards in the final seven minutes to break a 17-17 tie. Hauschka has now connected on eleven 11 from 50-plus, one away from tying Matt Prater’s NFL record of 12 straight, which actually ended yesterday when he missed from 59.

  • The Bills’ defense proved once again that they are one of the best units in the NFL, adding three more sacks and returning a forced fumble for a touchdown. Additionally, Micah Hyde intercepted two passes thrown by Matt Ryan, who, to be fair, lost his two top wide receivers to injuries during the game.


Panthers (+8) at Patriots

  • Graham Gano connected on a game-winning field goal as time expired to give the Panthers an enormous 33-30 road win against the Patriots. Over 48 backers were able to sit back and relax halfway through the fourth quarter.

  • Cam Newton, who finally looked healthy, finished the day 22-of-29 for 316 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also added a rushing touchdown, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 50 touchdowns. Kelvin Benjamin caught four balls for 104 yards, and Devin Funchess added seven catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Tom Brady did his usual thing on Sunday, throwing for 307 yards on 32-of-45 passing without an interception. Brady even led another game-tying touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots’ defense fell on its face again. The New England defense, which came into the week ranked dead last in the NFL, gave up 444 total yards of offense to Carolina.

Lions (+2.5) at Vikings

  • The Lions bounced back from a heartbreaking loss last week to defeat the Vikings 14-7 on Sunday in one of the more boring games of the day. If you bet the under 43.5 yesterday, pat yourself on the back for one of the best calls of Sunday.

  • Vikings running back Dalvin Cook suffered an ACL injury early in the third quarter on a play where he lost a fumble in Vikings territory, literally adding insult to injury. The Lions capitalized with a touchdown and subsequent 2-point conversion to take a 14-7 lead with eight minutes to go in the third quarter, which would turn out to be the final score.

  • Ameer Abdullah, who left with a minor injury late, rushed for 94 yards, six shy of ending the current 56 game streak the Lions have gone without a 100-yard rusher; the next longest active streak is 16 games.

  • Free safety Glover Quin, who forced a fumble to seal the Lions’ win, might be the most underrated player in football right now. Along with cornerback Darius Slay, Quin continues to quietly lead one of the better defensive backfields in football.

Titans at Texans (+2.5)

  • The Texans absolutely hammered the Titans 57-14 on Sunday in Houston. The Texans’ 57 points was not only a franchise record, but also the most scored by a team since 2012. This game was an absolute breeze for over 44 backers from start to finish.

  • Houston dominated in all phases of the game: total yards 445-195, first downs 32-9, time of possession 39:41-20:19 and turnovers forced 5-1.

  • Deshaun Watson, who tied the NFL record of five touchdowns in a game, sparkled in a 25-of-34, 283-yard and four-touchdown performance; he also rushed for a score. DeAndre Hopkins added 10 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.

  • Marcus Mariota did rush for two touchdowns before exiting with a hamstring injury, but 6-of-10 for 96 yards and 0 TD/2 INT is nothing to write home about. Mariota did at least have a better day passing than Matt Cassell, who finished 4-of-10 for 21 yards, 0 TD/2 INT.

Steelers (-3.5) at Ravens

  • For the first time since 2012, Pittsburgh won in Baltimore. The Steelers, who won by a final score of 26-9, controlled the game throughout against a Ravens team that has simply been devastated by injuries. Under 42 backers had this winner in cruise control from the opening kick.

  • Le’Veon Bell might have finally found his legs, as he carried the ball 35 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns and also added four receptions for 42 yards.

  • Once again, Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith shut down Antonio Brown, holding the All-Pro receiver to only 34 yards on four catches. Brown threw a cooler at one point on the sidelines in frustration, and even complained about getting the ball on snapchat after the game.

  • Joe Flacco inexplicably threw the ball 49 times, without much success. Baltimore only ran the ball 16 times for 82 yards, a yardage total skewed by one 50-yard Alex Collins run.


Rams (+6) at Cowboys

  • In one of the easiest overs (50.5) of the day, the Rams held on for a 35-30 road win in Dallas. The box score looks almost dead even, but the two Cowboys lost fumbles proved to be the difference against a Rams team that did not turn the ball over.

  • Jared Goff continues to impress (21-of-36, 255 yards, 2 TD/0 INT). However, Todd Gurley stole the show on offense, accumulating over 200 total yards of offense. The former Georgia Bulldog did it in all phases, rushing for 121 yards on 23 carries and catching seven balls for 94 yards.

  • Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein converted on all seven field goal attempts, improving his streak to 14 in a row this season.

Bengals (-3.5) at Browns

  • Andy Dalton shined against a winless Browns team on 25-of-30 passing for 286 yards and four touchdowns. Since the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, Andy Dalton is 46-of-57 for 498 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions. Dalton also actually led Cincy in rushing yards on a day the Bengals could never get their ground game going (86 yards on 30 carries).

  • DeShone Kizer appears to be regressing after a 16-of-34, 118-yard performance, although he was not at fault for the one red zone interception. The Browns could only muster 215 yards of total offense on Sunday, and only avoided the shutout on a meaningless Duke Johnson touchdown with under two minutes left in the game.

Jaguars at Jets (+3.5)

  • The Jets secured their second consecutive home win in overtime over the Jaguars, 23-20 in OT. Under 38.5 backers could not have been pleased with the three 60-plus yard touchdowns, two of the fluke variety.

  • New York finished with almost 500 yards of offense, including over 250 on the ground against a Jaguars defense that started the day 28th in the NFL against the run. Bilal Powell, who ran for 163 yards on 21 carries, had the longest touchdown run in Jets history, a 75-yard sprint after falling down. **Elijah McGuire ** also added a nice touchdown run of 69 yards.

  • Blake Bortles looked awful all day, throwing for only 140 yards on 15-of-35 passing. Leonard Fournette, the lone bright spot from the Jacksonville offense on Sunday, finished with 150 total yards.

49ers (+6.5) at Cardinals

  • The Cardinals walked off the 49ers with under a minute to go in overtime by a final score of 18-15 in one of the ugliest offensive games of the day.

  • The two teams combined for 35 points in regulation, nine field goals and 13 punts despite the fact that Carson Palmer and Brian Hoyer combined for 100 passing attempts. These numbers all sound ugly, but they are music to the ears of those who bet the under 43.5.

  • The Cardinals’ red zone woes continued on Sunday, as they started the game with an interception in the end zone and settled for field goals on a few other occasions.

Giants (+2.5) at Bucs

  • The Bucs dropped the Giants to 0-4 on a game-winning field goal as time expired from Nick Folk, who atoned for two earlier misses. Over backers turned into Bucs fans when Folk lined up for the game winner, which he drilled to give Tampa a 25-23 victory, pushing the game over 46.5.

  • Eli Manning, who did all he could to get the Giants their first win, finished 30-of-49 with 288 yards and two touchdowns while also adding a rushing score, the first and only Giants rushing touchdown in 2017.

  • Jameis Winston showed out on 22-of-38 passing for 332 yards and 3 TD/0 INT.

Eagles (+2) at Chargers

  • The Eagles, who doubled up the Chargers in time of possession, fittingly ran out the clock over the final six minutes after the Chargers cut their lead to 26-24, which is where the game ended. Over 47.5 backers had to work, but ultimately got to the window.

  • The Eagles, who finished 1-6 in games decided by seven or less in 2016, have won their second consecutive game by three points or less.

  • The Eagles ran all over LA, totaling 214 yards on 42 carries; Doug Pederson is now 8-1 in Philadelphia when they run the ball 30-plus times.

  • Phillip Rivers had himself a day, throwing for 347 yards on 22-of-38 passing with 2 TD/0 INT. He connected with Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams 10 total times for 253 yards.

Raiders at Broncos (-3.5)

  • Derek Carr injured his back with five minutes to go in the third quarter with the Raiders trailing 16-7. EJ Manuel, who replaced Carr under center, actually drove the Raiders into the Broncos territory down six with a few minutes left, but eventually threw a game-clinching interception. Under 44 backers nailed this 16-10 final score.

  • Amari Cooper, who led the NFL in drops coming into the week, was limited to just two receptions for 9 yards.

  • The Broncos have the NFL’s most dominant run defense, a unit that could be historically elite. Marshawn Lynch ran the ball nine times for 12 yards on Sunday, and the Raiders, as a team, had 24 total rushing yards. In the first four games of 2017, Marshawn Lynch, Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon and LeSean McCoy ran for a combined 63 yards against the Broncos.

Colts at Seahawks (-12.5)

  • Over 42 and Seahawks -12.5 backers loved the 36-point Seattle explosion in the second half. The Seahawks, who actually trailed 15-10 at the half, rolled from the opening minute of the second half to a 46-18 blowout win over the outclassed Colts.

  • In a lopsided box score, the Seahawks outgained the Colts 477-237 in total yards, while also adding two defensive touchdowns, a pick six and a strip six.

  • Seattle running back Chris Carson appeared to go down with a serious injury in the second half, but the Seahawks might have found something with J.K. McKissic, who scored two touchdowns on five touches.

  • Keep an eye on Blair Walsh, who may have the yips again. He missed a 37-yard field goal to end the first half, and also apparently struggled in warmups and during halftime when he came out for more work.

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