NFL Week 4 Betting Picks: Ravens, Washington, Buccaneers, Patriots, More Spreads & Over/Unders
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson.
Week 4 NFL Bets
Baltimore Ravens +1.5 at [SugarHouse]
The Denver Broncos have been downright dominant this season, winning by an average of 16 points per game. Of course, they’ve been fortunate to play one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, facing the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets. These teams are a combined 0-6 straight up and are ranked 22nd, 31st and 28th in Football Outsiders DVOA this season.
Now they take a big step up in competition against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with an NFL record, 66-yard field goal from Justin Tucker. The preseason lookahead line on this game was Ravens -3.5, and now we’re sitting at a consensus Ravens +1.5 with there also being +2s and a single +2.5 in the market.
Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel like this is an overadjustment given the competition these teams have faced. Did we forget the Ravens did knock off Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs? This is a game where the injuries to Bradley Chubb, KJ Hamler, Jerry Jeudy and Ronald Darby come back to bite them. With the Ravens having cornerback Jimmy Smith back, in addition to wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Miles Boykin, I think they’re being undervalued in this spot so I’ll grab the +1.5 here.
Washington Football Team -1.5 at [DraftKings]
Given the performance of the Washington Football Team defense this year, I really didn’t want to bet this game. Digging into the numbers, this is an ideal spot for this team to get its second win of the season. The key matchup in this game is the Washington Football Team’s defensive line facing off with the Atlanta Falcons offensive line which is just 22nd in adjusted sack rate and 25th in ESPN’s pass block win rate.
While Washington’s defense has largely disappointed this season, Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne should be able to capitalize on this offensive line that struggles to protect Matt Ryan. Although the secondary has struggled, I’m not seeing how this Falcons offense capitalizes on it.
Ryan is just 28th in EPA/play, 26th in Success Rate (45.3%)and 30th in Air Yards (4.6) while leading an offense that is scoring just 16 points per game and ranks 30th and 29th in EPA/play and Success Rate (39.7%), respectively. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s defense isn’t much better, and Taylor Heinicke should be able to do enough to lead Washington to a win here. Lay the 1.5 points.
Tennessee Titans/New York Jets Under 22.5 at [SugarHouse]
The struggles of the New York Jets offense have been well documented as its dead last in points per game (6.7) and 32nd in EPA/Play. Although things should improve against a Titans defense that ranks 26th in Defensive EPA/play and is giving up 28 points per game, I still think there’s reason to believe we aren’t getting a high-scoring game here.
The Tennessee Titans come into this game missing both starting wide receivers, A.J. Brown (hamstring) and Julio Jones (leg), which means we should see a run-heavy attack from a Titans team with Derrick Henry that already has the seventh-highest rush rate (47%) in the league.
Nevertheless, this Jets defense is actually equipped to slow down the run, ranking 10th this season in Rushing EPA/Play. As a whole, I’m not expecting many points, so I’ll play the first half under 22.5.
New Orleans Saints/New York Giants Under 21 at [William Hill]
We’ve seen this full game total get pounded down from 47 to where it currently sits now at 42. Although you never want to bet a game that has moved five points, there is some value on the first half, getting this at the key number of 21.
The New York Giants are just 26th in points per game (18.5), 14th in Offensive Efficiency, 18th in Offensive Success Rate (46.2%) and 20th in Early Down Success Rate (43.2%), and now they’re dealing with injuries to guard Ben Bredeson and wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton who will all miss Sunday’s game.
They’ll be facing a New Orleans Saints defense which is fourth in EPA/Play and seventh in Success Rate (41.0%). The Saints offense has had its struggles as well, given the lack of receiving threats on this roster, and New Orleans is just 20th in EPA/Play and 19th in Success Rate (46.0%). With the Saints having the highest run vs. pass ratio in the league (57%-43%), I’m expecting this game to go under. I’ll play the first half since we missed the full game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers/New England Patriots Under 49.5 at [DraftKings]
Primetime overs are 8-2 on this NFL season, with only the last two Thursday NFL games going under the total. That said, I think we’re due for some regression going forward as oddsmakers begin to shade these numbers. Trends and what we expect from oddsmakers aside, there’s plenty of reasons to take this under.
First things first, the New England Patriots don’t have an offense that can take advantage of this Buccaneers secondary which is struggling with injuries to Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean.
Teams are passing 77% of the time against the Bucs and 68% of the time on early downs. Although New England has a 64:36 pass-to-run ratio, it’s just 28th in Passing Success Rate and 27th in Passing EPA/play, so I’m not seeing how Mac Jones finds success against this Buccaneers defense.
The Patriots will also likely struggle to run the ball against a Buccaneers defense that has been ranked first in Defensive Rushing Efficiency for the past two seasons. There’s a reason teams aren’t attempting to run on this defensive line headed by Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh, which means that this Patriots offense could find itself in a lot of third downs, which it’s converting just 25% of the time, dead last among NFL teams.
Of course, Tom Brady and this Buccaneers offense is one of the best in the league, but this Patriots defense is sixth in EPA/Play, and with Bill Belichick being familiar with Brady and the system they’re running, I think that’s enough to suppress the offensive output to make this game go under the total.
Kansas City Chiefs -1
The Kansas City Chiefs come into this game with a 1-2 record after losing back-to-back games against the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers. Contrary to what people might think, the sky is not falling in Kansas City. While the Chiefs may have a defense that ranks dead last in Success Rate (57.2%) and EPA/Play, their losses have more to do with negative variance than being a poor football team.
The Chiefs held an 11-point, second-half lead over the Ravens in Week 2 before a Patrick Mahomes interception left the door ajar for Baltimore to come back. Even after the Ravens took the lead, the Chiefs were a Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumble away from kicking the game-winning field goal.
In the Chiefs’ Week 3 matchup against the Chargers, they had four turnovers, with two coming in the red zone as they were about to score. Still, the Chiefs held a 24-21 lead with 6:56 left in the fourth quarter. We can expect these uncharacteristic turnovers to regress, and when they do, this Chiefs offense ranks fifth in points per game (30.7) and second in both EPA/Play and Success Rate (53.6%).
They’ll be facing an Eagles defense that comes off a game in which they gave up 41 points to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football and has an offense that struggled to keep pace with Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. Sometimes things are that simple. This Chiefs team is much better than the Eagles, and Jalen Hurts and company will have trouble keeping pace with Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. You can feel safe teasing the Chiefs down from -7 to -1.
Seattle Seahawks +9
While the San Francisco 49ers have the reputation of having a better defense than the Titans and Vikings, as I’ve stated many times over the past few weeks, this is a banged-up defense that has lost Jason Verett to a torn ACL in Week 1 and has issues everywhere.
Emmanuel Mosley has returned to the lineup, but nickel CB K’Waun Williams is dealing with a calf strain, while Josh Norman is dealing with two bruised lungs, along with tissue damage which may have caused some internal bleeding. This is a unit which gave up a 7.4 yards per pass and a 53% Passing Success Rate in its 30-28 loss to the Packers on Sunday night.
Things aren’t going to get any easier against the Seahawks with Russell Wilson throwing to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. All that said, the Seahawks should be able to keep this within the teaser spread and possibly even win this game outright.