Note: Sports gambling advice is intended for recreational purposes only. All odds and lines are from William Hill US Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.
Welcome into Week 4, potentially a 14-game slate with multiple positive COVID tests around the NFL beyond just the Tennessee Titans. With the news breaking late Saturday night that a Saints player has tested positive after landing in Detroit, who knows how Sunday will unfold.
We’ll do our best to pick the games that may or may not be played. Our Best Bets went 3-2 last week, putting us above .500 for the season. It was also a pretty good week for me personally as I hit a 9-team teaser. I don’t even recommend betting 9-team teasers, but sometimes I end up liking a lot of lines. Last week was that kind of week, and this one is too. Let’s get into it.
Broadway Season Record: 8-7
Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7)
A couple weeks ago I wrote about disliking lines greater than a touchdown. That was after the opening weekend when the outlook of each team was still very foggy. It’s only been three weeks, but the picture is clearer for some teams, and much like how a mirror unfogs after a nice steamy shower, the edges are coming into focus a little more quickly. Meaning, we’re learning who the best and worst teams are.
The Bucs are good. Yes, they lost in Week 1 to a Saints team that can’t attack down the field, but they’ve looked great since. And while they’ve beaten up on softer matchups the last two weeks in the Panthers and wounded Broncos, the Chargers are another soft matchup. Justin Herbert’s second performance was not as inspiring as his debut, and while there are some pieces missing from the Bucs’ offense, the defense should allow Tampa Bay to run away with the game.
The Pick: Tampa Bay -7
New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams (-13.5)
As I mentioned above, we have a pretty good idea about the worst teams in the league. The New York Giants are one of those teams. Without Saquon Barkley, they put forth an embarrassing effort against the 49ers’ backups last week. Now, they have to make a long road trip to play against a pissed off team that barely lost their previous game on a questionable 4th-down penalty after storming back from a 20+ point deficit.
I can’t see any scenario where the Rams don’t win by at least two touchdowns. Aaron Donald is going to have a field day against the Giants’ offensive line, and Darrell Henderson is in line for another huge day against New York’s putrid defense. Plus, Sean McVay is 6-1 against the spread as a double-digit favorite.
The Pick: L.A. Rams – 13.5
Buffalo Bills (-3.5) at Las Vegas Raiders
Speaking of the Rams, Buffalo proved their legitimacy as one of the AFC’s top teams with their harrowing late-game victory over L.A. in Week 3. They also showed that their defense may not be as vaunted as we’ve come to expect from the Bills in recent years, and the Raiders defense is much worse.
Both of these teams can put up points; the Bills are 3rd in scoring while the Raiders are 9th. The over has cashed in all three Bills games this year AND all three Raiders games. In Buffalo’s last 12 road games, the over has hit 9 times.
The Pick: Over 53
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-7.0)
Atlanta has been fun to watch, right? I mean, probably not for Falcons fans, but for the rest of us… what a hoot! Meanwhile, the Packers have found whatever was missing from the offense last year, as they lead the NFL in points per game. Atlanta is not far behind at sixth in scoring while the Falcons allow the most points in the NFL against them.
There’s a reason this game has the highest total of the week at 56.5 (it actually opened at 58). It’s getting more dangerous to bet overs each week — overs have hit 29 times compared to 19 losses, so oddsmakers are correcting by shifting the lines higher — but I don’t think this is the over to fade.
According to ESPN, Atlanta has covered five straight road games going back to last year. And last season, Atlanta won both games outright in which they were underdogs of seven points or more. I like Atlanta to cover even if I like Green Bay to win, and I also think this game is going well into the 60s.
The Pick(s): Atlanta +7, Over 56.5
Lock of the Week
Baltimore Ravens (-14) at Washington Football Team
Baltimore is coming off their first regular season loss since Week 4 of last year after the Chiefs throttled them on Monday night. The Ravens have routinely dominated bad teams since the start of last year, and they should be licking their chops for the chance to cleanse themselves of last week’s loss. The Football Team is not good and will be without Chase Young. Dwayne Haskins has been terrible, and the Ravens defense should make him miserable.
According to ESPN, in the past 40 seasons, five teams have been favored on the road by at least 13 points in the first four weeks of the season, and those teams are 5-0 against the spread. Baltimore will make it six, and Lamar Jackson might not even need to play the fourth quarter.
The Pick: Ravens -14
How Betting Lines Work
A quick reminder for anyone unfamiliar with betting lines. “Favorites” are listed next to a negative number, which represents how many points they must win by to “cover the spread.” Titans -2.5, for example, means that Tennessee must beat the Broncos by 3 points or more for bettors to win. Gamblers can also bet on the game’s “total,” betting on whether or not the teams’ combined score in the game is over or under a pre-selected number of points.
“ML” or “moneyline” is not against the spread, just picking the winner of the game. Many people refer to the moneyline as “straight up,” but this can be confusing, because if you’re ever at a betting window in Vegas, a “straight bet” means you are betting on the point spread. Instead of saying “straight up,” you’d want to say “moneyline” when you mean to pick the winner of the game regardless of the point spread to avoid any possible confusion.