Our Favorite NFL Picks for Buccaneers-Rams, Jaguars-Broncos
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp
- Our staff reveals their favorite NFL bets for Sunday's main slate of Week 4 games.
- See how they're betting Patriots-Bills, Chiefs-Lions and three other games.
Tom Brady and the Patriots will battle it out with Josh Allen and the Bills for control of the AFC East. The Rams will host the Buccaneers in a matchup featuring the highest total of the week. And the Chiefs will look to extend their perfect record against the spread against the Lions as 6.5-point road favorites.
Our staff reveals how they’re betting those three games and more with their seven favorite Week 4 bets for Sunday’s main slate. Here are the games they’ll cover:
- Chiefs at Lions: 1 p.m. ET
- Patriots at Bills: 1 p.m. ET
- Raiders at Colts: 1 p.m. ET
- Buccaneers at Rams: 4:05 p.m. ET
- Jaguars at Broncos: 4:25 p.m. ET
Now let’s dig in!
Odds as of Friday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Our Favorite Week 4 NFL Bets
Matthew Freedman: Chiefs -6.5 at Lions
I’m not saying that you should blindly bet the Chiefs — but they are 3-0 against the spread, covering by an average of 7.3 points per game. And I still think the market is undervaluing them.
Since head coach Andy Reid joined the franchise in 2013, no team has had larger offensive reverse home/away splits than the Chiefs. Most teams score more points at home than on the road. But not the Chiefs. Under Reid, they have averaged 2.69 more points on the road than at Arrowhead Stadium.
In other words, the home-field advantage that most teams have when they play pretty much any other team — that’s drastically diminished when they host the Chiefs.
As a result, we might expect the Chiefs to be a great team ATS on the road — and that’s exactly what we see in the historical data. Reid’s Chiefs are 33-16-1 ATS away from home, good for a 32.3% ROI (per Bet Labs). Since joining the Chiefs, Reid has been the most profitable coach to back on the road.
And from a football perspective, I like this line regardless of Reid’s ATS history. As highlighted above, the Chiefs offense should be able to exploit the Lions deep via the passing game. They could easily score 30-plus points.
As for the Lions on offense, they have a mediocre 5.6 yards per play, and that’s despite the points-friendly matchups they had in Weeks 1 and 3 against the Cardinals and Eagles. They’re 2-0-1, but their record seems fraudulent.
Given the road advantage they have under Reid, their explosive passing game and the mediocre opposing offense, the Chiefs could win by double digits.
I wouldn’t bet this past -7, because I want a margin of safety, but I would definitely take this to -7 with even a little extra juice if necessary.
Sean Koerner: Bills +7 vs. Patriots
The Patriots probably should not be getting a full touchdown at home. They have an insane +89 point differential, which ties for third -best since 1940 over the first three games. But the Bills will be the Patriots’ first real test as the winner of this game will take over the top of the AFC East.
Bookmakers floated Patriots -7.5 to open — a strategic opening number that paves the way for instant feedback on where sharps stand with a key number like 7 fully exposed on the underdog. Despite more than 70% of tickets and money pouring in on the Pats as of Friday afternoon (see live public betting data here), the line has moved to -7 at some books while others have opted to leave it at -7.5, requiring a bit more juice to back the Bills.
It’s pretty clear the sharp money has been hitting Bills +7.5 here.
Chris Raybon: Patriots-Bills Under 42.5
I’m expecting this highly-anticipated matchup (who would have thought) between two 3-0 teams to be a low-scoring defensive struggle.
Bill Belichick knows the Patriots won’t be able to beat Sean McDermott’s defense over the top: The Bills defense ranked top-five in lowest explosive pass rate allowed in each of his first two seasons, and keyed by the strong play of safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, they are ranked No. 2 this season at 5%, per Sharp Football Stats.
Last season, Tom Brady targeted running backs on 37% of his passes against Buffalo and chain mover Julian Edelman got another 31% of the looks as Brady dinked and dunked to the tune of 6.5 yards per attempt — 1.3 fewer than he averaged in his other 14 games.
The only defense ranked better than Buffalo in explosive pass rate allowed this season? That would be the Patriots, who have allowed all of 17 points in three games, with even that figure inflate due to a garbage-time Jarrett Stidham pick-six last week. The Patriots are capable of playing lights-out man coverage pass defense, but Belichick will likely sit back in zone more than usual so Josh Allen can’t rip off big plays in the run game, which should further work in the under’s favor, as the Bills offense isn’t necessarily equipped to drive the length of a field against good defenses.
Per Bet Labs, the under is 10-4 in Allen’s career starts and 18-7 since 2016 when New England goes on the road, including 2-0 in Buffalo in the McDermott era. The Pats won 24-12 and 25-6 in the two meetings last season, meaning neither game topped 36 points and the teams combined to average 33.5.
This line should be closer to 41, and I would bet the under down to that.
Stuckey: Raiders +6.5 at Colts
Linebacker Darius Leonard’s potential absence could really hurt the Colts’ rush defense, but don’t sleep on the impact of losing safety Malik Hooker — their best defensive back and integral ballhawk on the backend of their zone-heavy Cover 2 scheme.
Khari Willis taking over at free safety takes it from a strength to a potential glaring weakness. I expect either communication issues or even more simplistic schemes from the bend-but-don’t-break Indy D. Hooker was playing much more single high safety this season, which allowed the Colts to play more man than in years past. I don’t think they’ll have that same luxury here, so their defensive game plan and flexibility will certainly be limited.
Look for a big day out of tight end Darren Waller over the middle of the field. And while not known for doing so, hopefully Derek Carr will take some shots down the field after Oakland establishes its short passing and rushing attack.
As a result of a few schematics changes and personnel additions, the Raiders should be better against the run, which is paramount against Marlon Mack and Indy’s dominant offensive line. But Jacoby Brissett and a banged-up Colts receiving corps is not the group that will crush a very weak Oakland secondary.
Colts tight ends do scare me as Raiders linebackers — a unit dealing with a number of injuries — struggle to defend, but this is simply too many points.
Don’t be fooled by the records. Accounting for injuries, these teams are much closer than those indicate. Oakland has actually averaged more yards per play (5.9 vs. 5.7) while both defenses have allowed 6.7 yards per play.
Factoring in all of the injuries, I make this line only 4, so I gladly scooped Raiders +7 and would take them at anything 6 or better.
Mike Randle: Rams -9 vs. Buccaneers
Tampa Bay would need to play its best defensive game of the season, and it still might not be enough.
The Rams are better than the Buccaneers on both sides of the ball.
Jared Goff has been prolific at home and the Rams defense is one of the NFL’s best. They’re fifth-best in Football Outsiders’ team defense DVOA including the fifth-best pass defense. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Nickell Robey-Coleman are poor matchups for Tampa Bay’s receiving core.
The Buccaneers’ offensive line has also struggled in pass blocking. The Rams’ defensive personnel has shined with defensive tackle Aaron Donald (third), linebacker Cory Littleton (fifth) and safety Eric Weddle (10th) all ranking in the top 10 at their position as per Pro Football Focus.
Los Angeles is likely to continue its prolific scoring ways at home while its highly efficient defense will slow the mistake-prone Jameis Winston. Take the Rams to score big and win big at home.
John Ewing: Buccaneers-Rams 1H Under 24.5
Early in the season, it’s been profitable to bet first-half unders with high totals. This strategy works because offenses typically need a few games to hit their stride and it is just easier for an under to hit in a high total game.
This system performs better when the full game total has decreased by at least a 0.5-point. The line decreasing in an indication of sharp action on the under. Since 2005, in games matching this scenario the under has gone 76-41-6 (65%).
This first-half total is 24.5 points making it a match for this system. The full game total has also decreased from 50 to 48.5.
PJ Walsh: Jaguars-Broncos Under 38
It probably won’t take much for me to convince everyone that this is going to be a low-scoring game. In fact, the total sits at 38, so oddsmakers see a defensive battle as well.
But even with the low number, I still think there’s enough value to play the under. Why? Because the market has yet to react to what appears to be a brutal weather forecast in Denver.
Sports Insights’ hourly weather forecast is calling for sustained winds of 19 mph blowing across the field throughout the game.
According to Bet Labs, NFL games played in double-digit winds have gone under the total 56% of the time since 2003. But as I mentioned, breezes are expected to be much heavier than just “double digits,” and gusts could be downright troublesome.
The National Weather Service says gusts could reach 40-50 mph Sunday in Denver, which certainly won’t help any of these passing offenses.