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NFL Week 4 betting breakdown: Predictions for every game


Scott Kellen, @SixthSenseNFL, SixthSenseSports.com

Raiders (1-2) at Chargers (1-2)

Time: 1:05 p.m., KLAS-8

Line/total: Chargers -5, 48½

Analysis: Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is in concussion protocol but has a chance to play. Raiders star receiver Davante Adams spoke out this week about a lack of effort from players, while coach Josh McDaniels is making questionable decisions at the end of the game. With all that said, should the Chargers really be laying five points to any team? Whether Garoppolo plays or not, the Raiders have skill position players who can move the ball. The Raiders’ biggest issue is a -7 in net turnover margin. Maybe that doesn’t get cleaned up and they lose again. But if they can play a somewhat clean game, they will stay in it. Neither team is pressuring the quarterback, which leaves the door open for plenty of points. Both teams are in the top seven in the league in yards per pass attempt, while both are in the bottom 10 of the league in yppa allowed. Chargers QB Justin Herbert has a 7-2-1 over record as a home favorite of four points or more.

Pick: Chargers 30, Raiders 27

Jaguars (1-2) vs. Falcons (2-1), at London

Time: 6:30 a.m., ESPN+

Line/total: Jaguars -3, 43

Analysis: Atlanta wants to run the ball, but Jacksonville has been stout against the run, ranking sixth in yards per run allowed (3.4). Falcons QB Desmond Ridder has the sixth-lowest air yards intended per pass, which means a lot has to go Atlanta’s way to move the ball down the field without any mistakes. But Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is eighth-lowest in the league in air yards intended, so he’s not taking shots down the field, either. When he does, he’ll find an improved Atlanta secondary that is ninth in the league in yppa allowed. If Ridder wants to take shots down the field, he might find open receivers against a Jacksonville pass defense that ranks 25th in yppa. I’d prefer taking points than laying them with a team that’s not playing well.

Pick: Jaguars 23, Falcons 21

Dolphins (3-0) at Bills (2-1)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/total: Bills -3, 53½

Analysis: Miami isn’t playing against Denver’s porous defense this week. It’s facing a Buffalo team that can actually play defense and has allowed only 29 points this season (not counting a punt return TD). The Dolphins have faced only one good defense this season at New England, where they scored 24. These teams played three times last season, with Miami winning by two points at home and losing by three twice in Buffalo. Teams such as the Bills that have scored 31 points or more and allowed 13 or less in two straight weeks are 10-36-1 against the spread in their next game. Miami’s 70-point explosion last week has kept this line in check. The total also has been adjusted higher than it should be.

Pick: Bills 26, Dolphins 23

Vikings (0-3) at Panthers (0-3)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/total: Vikings -4½, 46½

Analysis: A year after Minnesota went 11-0 in one-score games, the Vikings are 0-3 in one-score games. Minnesota went 13-4 overall last season, but its numbers are better this year from the line of scrimmage. The Vikings aren’t winning close games because they’re -7 in net turnover margin. Carolina is a bad team at the line of scrimmage and is dealing with a cluster of injuries at linebacker and in the secondary. That’s not good when facing a team that’s fifth-best in yards per pass. This line has started to get a little rich, but the matchups are favorable for the Vikings.

Pick: Vikings 26, Panthers 22

Broncos (0-3) at Bears (0-3)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/total: Broncos -3, 46

Analysis: Which team is worse? Neither 0-3 squad puts pressure on the passer, and both teams allow plenty of pressure. The Broncos are eighth in the league in yppa and will face a Chicago defense that is 31st in yppa allowed and dealing with a cluster of injuries in its secondary. Denver has been competitive in a couple of games. The Bears have not. If the Broncos can’t turn it around this week, they may never turn it around.

Pick: Broncos 23, Bears 20

Ravens (2-1) at Browns (2-1)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/total: Browns -1½, 39

Analysis: The Ravens are banged-up again, though they may get their two best offensive lineman back this week. But they could be missing two key receivers and are still missing key pieces in their secondary. Baltimore’s offensive line might improve, but it has been below average in allowing sacks and now faces the NFL’s best team at applying pressure. But don’t underestimate Lamar Jackson, who is 9-1 ATS as a road underdog. The Browns’ defense has been fantastic and Baltimore looked horrible last week, but Jackson seems to rise to these occasions. The line dropped Friday when Cleveland QB Deshaun Watson was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.

Pick: Ravens 25, Browns 23

Steelers (2-1) at Texans (1-2)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/total: Steelers -3, 42

Analysis: This is a perfect spot for a letdown for the Steelers, who are coming off back-to-back wins in prime time and have the Ravens on deck. The biggest issue for Houston is its injury-ravaged offensive line facing a Pittsburgh defense that ranks third in the league in pressure rate. Week 4 underdogs such as Houston that are off a win following losses in their first two games are 49-23-1 ATS. It’s a great spot for Houston, but not necessarily a great matchup. Pittsburgh has a 24-6 under record as a regular-season road favorite.

Pick: Steelers 22, Texans 20

Rams (1-2) at Colts (2-1)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/total: Pick, 46½

Analysis: The Colts are coming off consecutive wins over the Ravens and Texans. Home teams coming off two straight wins as underdogs have a 29-8 over mark. Indianapolis could be without its best defensive lineman (DeForest Buckner) and offensive lineman (Quenton Nelson). The Rams’ offensive line has done a better job protecting QB Matthew Stafford, and that could open up the passing game for Los Angeles, which is ninth in yppa. The Colts’ defense ranks in the bottom half of the league in pressure and is 21st in yppa allowed.

Pick: Rams 27, Colts 24

Buccaneers (2-1) at Saints (2-1)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/total: Saints -3, 40

Analysis: Jameis Winston will likely replace injured Saints QB Derek Carr. I make Winston a negative 1½-point adjustment for New Orleans, which will get back RB Alvin Kamara following a three-game suspension. Tampa Bay has been good at protecting Baker Mayfield, ranking sixth-best in sack percentage allowed. The Saints are 26th in sack percentage allowed. Winston brings a higher ceiling than Carr but also a much lower floor because of a high interception rate. If he plays a clean game, the Saints will likely win. If not, they could have trouble. New Orleans has allowed 20 points or fewer in 11 straight games.

Pick: Saints 23, Buccaneers 21

Commanders (2-1) at Eagles (3-0)

Time: 10 a.m., KVVU-5

Line/total: Eagles -9½, 43½

Analysis: Washington had the right recipe last season when it controlled the clock with its running game at Philadelphia as a 10½-point underdog en route to a 32-21 win. The Commanders are the worst team in the league at protecting the QB (Sam Howell), while the Eagles rank second in the league in pressuring the QB. Both teams rank in the top five in rushing. The difference is that Washington is 27th in rush defense while the Eagles are fourth. Jalen Hurts is on a 17-1 run as a starter in the regular season, with the lone loss to the Commanders last year.

Pick: Eagles 29, Commanders 19

Bengals (1-2) at Titans (1-2)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/total: Bengals -2½, 41

Analysis: The Titans’ offensive line is 31st in sack percentage allowed. Cincinnati is 25th in pressure rate, but it could cause issues for Tennessee with its edge rushers. The Bengals have protected Joe Burrow well, but he’s fifth-worst in the league in intended air yards per pass, likely because of the lingering calf issue. There are plays to be made down the field against this Tennessee pass defense that is 26th in yppa allowed. But Cincinnati is 32nd in the league in yppa. Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill is 7-2 ATS at a home underdog.

Pick: Bengals 20, Titans 19

Patriots (1-2) at Cowboys (2-1)

Time: 1:25 p.m., KVVU-5

Line/total: Cowboys -6½, 43½

Analysis: Dallas should get help this week from a healthier offensive line. The Cowboys are moving the ball but couldn’t convert their drives into TDs in last week’s loss at Arizona. Dak Prescott is second-worst in the league in intended air yards per pass. Dallas has scored at least 24 points in 21 of its last 24 games as a home favorite. The Patriots should be able to move the ball on the ground against a Cowboys rush defense that ranks 30th in the league. Both teams should be able to score points and get over a fairly low total.

Pick: Cowboys 31, Patriots 20

Cardinals (1-2) at 49ers (3-0)

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/total: 49ers -14, 43½

Analysis: The Cardinals have been a surprise and are playing with great energy. They rank second in the league in yards per rush and are in the middle of the pack throwing the ball. But they’ll face the best team on their schedule in the 49ers, who are riding an 11-1 cover streak as home favorites, including 3-0 ATS as double-digit home favorites. Teams such as Arizona with a win percentage of at least .250 off a win as an underdog of more than 10 points are 21-58-6 ATS in their next game. The Niners might be without injured wideout Deebo Samuel.

Pick: 49ers 30, Cardinals 12

Chiefs (2-1) at Jets (1-2)

Time: 5:20 p.m., KSNV-3

Line/total: Chiefs -9, 41½

Analysis: In the Chiefs’ last 14 games as road favorites of seven points or more, they’re 14-0 straight-up with every win by at least three points. Kansas City, which scored at least 23 points in all 14 games, sounds like a perfect teaser leg, though it went only 6-8 ATS in those games. The Chiefs don’t allow sacks, and the Jets are 22nd in pressure rate. New York allows plenty of sacks, and Kansas City is 11th in the league at pressuring the passer. Those metrics make it hard to find a way for the Jets to win or bust a teaser under three points in this one.

Pick: Chiefs 27, Jets 20

Seahawks (2-1) at Giants (1-2)

Time: 5:15 p.m. Monday, KTNV-13, ESPN

Line/total: Seahawks -1½, 47

Analysis: Neither team is putting pressure on the QB, as the Seahawks rank 30th in that category and the Giants 29th. New York is 28th in the NFL in sacks allowed, while the Seahawks are 10th-best at protecting the passer. Both teams are in the bottom six in yppa allowed. The Giants should get some help on the offensive line this week and might get running back Saquon Barkley back. Both teams should find time to throw the ball and make plays down the field.

Pick: Seahawks 23, Giants 21

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Las Vegas handicapper Bruce Marshall is an analyst at VegasInsider.com. Each week, he provides the Review-Journal with NFL tech notes and trends.