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Thread: NFL Trends and Indexes - Week 4 (Thur. Sep. 27 - Mon. Oct. 1)

  1. #16
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    DIGGIN’ DIGGS

    Stefon Diggs had his worst game of the season last week — though you could say that about almost every Viking not named Adam Thielen — but there’s reason to think he’s going to have a big game tonight.

    Diggs is a perimeter receiver, running 80 percent of his routes on the outside so far this season. And while the Rams have a vaunted defense, they are much better at bottling up slot receivers as opposed to guys on the outside. Last week, Chargers’ perimeter receiver Mike Williams ate up the Rams defense for four catches, 81 yards, and two touchdowns. Add in the Rams’ cornerback issues (Aqib Talib is out, and Marcus Peters is doubtful) and that oddsmakers think this could be a shootout with a total of 49.5, we’re thinking Diggs is in for a big night. Let’s grab the Over on his receiving total of 75.5.


    HILTON OWNS HOUSTON

    Sometimes a player just owns a certain opponent and that is certainly the case with T.Y. Hilton when he faces the Houston Texans. Hilton has faced Houston 12 times in his career; and has at least 50 receiving yards in nine of those games, including 100-plus receiving yards in five. This season, Hilton’s yardage is down as he is running shorter routes but still has double-digit targets in each game and has games of five, seven, and five receptions. Last week, the Texans gave up nine catches to Odell Beckham Jr. and six to Sterling Shepard. Bettors should bank on Hilton getting at least six catches and take the Over 5.5 on his receptions total.


    GRAHAM IS GOING GOOD

    Last week, we mentioned how it seemed that the Aaron Rodgers-Jimmy Graham connection was growing, and we got a winner by backing Graham to go Over 4.5 receptions. After a quiet Week 1, Graham pulled in six catches on eight targets in Week 2 and followed that up with five catches on seven targets last week. This Sunday, he faces a Buffalo defense that has allowed 18 receptions to tight ends so far this season, including five to Kyle Rudolph last week. Let’s double down on Graham by taking the Over 4.5 receptions total once again this week.


    COWBOYS TO SLOW STAFFORD

    Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford put up passing-yard totals of 286 and 347 in Weeks 1 and 2 as the Lions were playing from behind in both those games. That fell off to 262 when they played with a lead in Week 3. This week, Detroit travels to Dallas where it looks to be a tight, low-scoring game with the Cowboys favored by three and the total set at 43.5.

    There are a couple of reasons why it could be a low passing total for Stafford this week. First, Dallas plays slow by running the ball a lot and that has resulted in passing totals of 161 from Cam Newton, 279 from Eli Manning, and 192 from Russell Wilson. Second, Detroit will want to build on last week’s success in the running game where Kerryon Johnson became the first Lions running back to break the 100-yard plateau since 2013. Stafford's passing-yards total of 303.5 just seems too high for this week and we’re leaning on the Under.


    PICKING ON DARNOLD

    If you’ve been reading these notes on a daily basis you might have noticed that we’re 2-0 while fading Sam Darnold, with winners on the Under for his passing-yards total in Weeks 1 and 3. This week, Darnold takes his Jets into Jacksonville to take on the league’s third-best passing defense. You can probably guess what's coming.

    The Jaguars are allowing just 171 passing yards against per game with totals of 224 to Eli Manning, 234 to Tom Brady, and 108 to a combination of Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert. Darnold, meanwhile, has only broken the 200-yard mark once this season and that was at home in Week 2 after the Jets had fallen behind 20-0. His total against the Jags is set at 241.5 and we’re looking to the Under for another winner.

  2. #17
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    NFL Underdogs: Week 4 pointspread picks and predictions
    Jason Logan

    Injuries are a tough thing to stir into the NFL pointspread pot. Most injuries – even when involving star players – have minimal impact on the odds, if any.

    Sure, when it’s a starting quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo going down for the Niners, you see big adjustments: like San Francisco moving from a projected 4.5-point road underdog in L.A. facing the Chargers to as big as +10.5 with C.J. Beathard under center this Sunday. However, beyond QBs and a sparse handful of skill guys, most player injuries don’t make a blip on the betting radar.

    Now, cluster injuries – a rash of missing pieces at one position or specific unit - those are different beasts. When the Atlanta Falcons lost safety Keanu Neal to a knee injury and linebacker Deion Jones to a bum foot in Week 1, football fans in the know recognized that Atlanta was in trouble. Then, when the Falcons’ other starting safety Ricardo Allen suffered a torn Achilles last week, alarm bells started ringing.

    Atlanta is missing its top three non-cornerback coverage players: the type of players that are invaluable when it comes to nullifying an opponent’s mismatches, like pass-catching running backs and route-running tight ends. And it showed versus New Orleans in Week 3.

    The Saints scored 43 points (Atlanta scored 37 points at home and still didn’t win!), completed 39 of 49 passes to nine different players, converted seven of their 14 third-down snaps and went 1-for-1 on fourth down, en route to a 6-point overtime win as 1.5-point underdogs (opened +3). New Orleans’ running backs totaled 125 yards receiving while its tight ends posted a collective 88 yards. RING! RING!

    The Falcons face another formidable offense in the Cincinnati Bengals, giving 5.5 points to the visiting non-conference foe in Week 4. The Bengals will give Atlanta’s defense plenty of headaches in those “mismatch” spots, with versatile running back Giovani Bernard, tight end Tyler Eifert, and a dynamic duo of receivers in A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.

    Much like last week, Atlanta will need a ton of points to keep pace in this game (a big reason why the total has ticked up from 48 to 52 points). The Bengals defense is much tougher than the high-level stats would indicate (playing two of first three on the road) and is focused on improving its dreadful third-down defense (opponents converting at 52%), something that has haunted this team the past two seasons.

    That said, Atlanta is sending foes to the sideline on third downs just 51 percent of the time – right behind Cincy at the bottom of the league. Those cluster injuries on defense are quickly going to turn into a cluster f--k for the Falcons.

    Pick: Cincinnati +5.5


    Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers (-10, 45)

    Two important happenings have occurred with the Bills since halftime of that loss to the L.A. Chargers in Week 2. You know, the game where veteran corner Vontae Davis up and retired with Buffalo down a 28-6 hole at the break.

    1. Head coach Sean McDermott took over defensive play calling from coordinator Leslie Frazier for the remainder of that game. And while he has since turned the keys back over to Frazier, the power move has sparked this unit and lit a fire under Frazier’s ass.

    2. Rookie Josh Allen replaced Nate Peterman as the Bills' starting quarterback. Not that tough to see the upgrade there…

    Since those moves, Buffalo has outscored opponents 41-9 over the past six quarters of football, including that crazy 27-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings as 16-point pups last Sunday. I don’t expect another stunner from the Bills in Lambeau in Week 4, but Buffalo isn’t as bad as this spread indicates. And the Packers are definitely not as good as this lofty pile of chalk would lead us to believe.

    By all accounts, Green Bay is a couple plays away from being 0-3 on the season. The Cheeseheads needed an Aaron Rodgers’ miracle to leave Chicago with a win in Week 1, were lucky to get a tie versus the Vikings in Week 2, and were exposed in a 31-17 loss to Washington last weekend.

    Circle the wagons and gimmie the points.

    Pick:
    Buffalo +10


    New Orleans Saints at New York Giants (+3.5, 50.5)

    Speaking of teams that should be 0-3, the Saints are getting more respect from bookies than they deserve heading to East Rutherford Sunday.

    New Orleans was trounced by Tampa Bay in Week 1, got let off the hook by poor kicking from Cleveland in Week 2, and then needed Drew Brees to do his best Cam Newton impersonation to steal an overtime victory at Atlanta last Sunday. The Saints are a mess defensively – ranked near the bottom in yards and points allowed – and match up with a dangerous Giants offense that’s finding its groove.

    And let’s not forget about the New York defense. The G-Men are allowing an average of just under 21 points per play, and gave up some garbage time tallies versus Houston last week, which skews those stats. Big Blue is doing a fine job on third down defense and holding their own inside the red zone.

    Considering the Saints’ last two outings have come down to the wire, I love the half-point hook on the home dog here with the Giants.

    Pick:
    N.Y. Giants +3.5

    Last week: 3-0 ATS
    Season: 7-2 ATS
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 09-29-2018 at 10:40 PM.

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    JETS WEREN’T READY FOR MAYFIELD

    Baker Mayfield looked great in relief of Tyrod Taylor in Week 3. There’s no denying that. But Jets safety Jamal Adams had something interesting to say about it earlier this week: “We had to be open to knowing that Baker could come in, but we were prepared for Tyrod. When Baker came in, obviously we didn't have a game plan for him.”

    It makes sense that the Jets didn’t plan for Mayfield. Taylor was the starter and Mayfield might not have touched the field had it not been for Taylor’s injury. Mayfield starts this week, however, and you can bet that Jon Gruden will have the Raiders ready for him. Reports out of Oakland are that Gruden is spending almost every waking moment studying game tapes. We mentioned earlier this week that we’re leaning on the Under for Mayfield’s passing-yards total of 260, mostly because coach Hue Jackson will continue to be run-first and not set Mayfield up for failure. Mayfield might have a great career, but bettors should expect a pedestrian debut. In addition to the passing-total Under, we’re also leaning towards the Raiders at -2.5.


    ELI HITTING HIS STRIDE?

    A funny thing happened last weekend: Eli Manning resembled a decent NFL quarterback! After two lackluster performances in Weeks 1 and 2, Manning led the Giants to their first win of the season in Houston with a line of 25 for 29, 297 yards, and two touchdowns. Yes, he was still sacked four times, bringing his season total to 12, but luckily for Manning, he’s playing the Saints this weekend.

    After playing like a decent defensive unit last season, New Orleans has regressed this season and is currently 30th in the NFL, giving up 421 yards per game. The only team they’ve been able to slow was Tyrod Taylor’s Cleveland Browns, as the Buccaneers scored 48 against them and the Falcons put up 37. The Giants aren’t quite at the offensive level of Tampa Bay and Atlanta, but you could make the argument that their skill-position players are just as good, if not better. The other thing we can bank on in this game is that the Saints will score — they’re averaging just shy of 35 points per game. If Eli isn’t terrible in this one, it’s going to be a shootout, so we’re leaning towards the Over 50.5.


    SLOW START IN ARIZONA?

    In Week 1, Russell Wilson threw the ball 33 times and the Seahawks lost. In Week 2, 36 times and another loss. Then in Week 3, Wilson threw just 26 times and running back Chris Carson had 32 carries — and Seattle got its first win. We should have seen this coming, as coach Pete Carroll had this to say after the Week 2 loss: “I just got a little impatient and we threw the ball a little more than we needed to. I’m just owning up to it, I need to be a little less impatient.” Obviously, Carroll knows he needs to run to be successful and he’ll likely try to get the run game going early against Arizona on Sunday.

    On the other sideline, rookie Josh Rosen makes his first start of the season. He did see the field for two drives last week and threw one interception and another pick-six that got called back due to a defensive penalty. Coach Steve Wilks is going to be very cautious with his play calling, especially early on, and that could mean a lot of David Johnson. With both teams leaning heavily on the run early, we’re going to take the Under 7.5 points for the first quarter.


    CARSON TO CRUSH CARDINALS

    There’s one sentence in the note above that we need to talk more about: Seahawks running back Chris Carson carried the ball 32 times last week. Heading into Week 2, Carson had just 13 carries on the season. The Seahawks made a commitment to the run and it worked; they controlled the game from start to finish and won.

    As Carroll game plans for this week, he’s going to notice that the Cardinals aren’t great against the run. In fact, they’re terrible. They’re giving up 131.3 yards per game and have allowed a league-high five rushing touchdowns already. All signs point towards the Seahawks trying to control the game with the rush once again this week, so we’re going to go big by backing Carson to go Over 58.5 on his rushing total and to score a touchdown at any time.


    FALCONS ARE HURTING

    Atlanta’s defense is an absolute mess of injuries, with safety Ricardo Allen joining safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones with multiple-game injuries. Drew Brees took full advantage of this last week, posting 396 yards and three touchdowns. Cam Newton did the same in Week 2 with 335 yards and three touchdowns. This week, it’s Andy Dalton’s turn.

    The Bengals’ quarterback looked bad with four interceptions last week against Carolina, but he still managed 352 yards through the air on 46 attempts. That happened to be his first full game without running back Joe Mixon, who is expected to miss this week as well. This game is primed to be a shootout with the game total set at 53.5, which means there should be plenty of passing once again from Dalton. Bettors should look to the Over 265.5 for his passing-yards total.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 09-29-2018 at 10:41 PM.

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    FLACCO TO CASH IN

    Sunday Night Football is going to be fun with an AFC North battle between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. All eyes, as usual, will be on Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, but we’re going to look to Joe Flacco for a winner. Flacco has quietly been one of the top touchdown-producing QBs on the season with six through three games (three in Week 1, two in Week 2, one in Week 3).

    On Sunday night, Flacco gets to go against a unit that ranks 31st in the NFL in red-zone defense since the beginning of 2017. It’s also a unit that ranks 29th in total defense so far in 2018. Offensively, the Steelers always put up points at home and oddsmakers expect that to happen again this week as the game has a total of 50. Flacco will be throwing a lot to keep pace and should have success in the red zone against a soft Steelers defense. Let’s back him to throw for Over 1.5 passing touchdowns (-122) on Sunday Night Football.


    EIFFERT GAINING STEAM

    Cincinnati had high hopes for talented tight end Tyler Eifert when it drafted him out of Notre Dame in the first round of the 2013 draft. Eifert has had a rough go recently and hasn’t played in more than eight games in a season since 2015. This year, he’s finally healthy and is trending up as the season moves on.

    In Week 1, he played on just 45 percent of the snaps but that number moved to 65 percent in Weeks 2 and 3. His routes-run total has also increased from 18 to 34 to 36 over the first three games. This week, he faces a beat-up Falcons defense that allowed New Orleans’ tight ends to grab six balls for 88 yards last Sunday. Yesterday, we wrote about liking the Over on Dalton’s passing yards, and we’re going to stack that with the Over 4.5 for Eifert’s receptions total.


    TOUGH SLEDDING FOR HENRY

    If you’ve been reading our NFL betting notes on a regular basis then you know that we love fading the Titans offense. We got a winner with the Under on the Titans team total last week and we’ve already suggested that same bet for this week. So now let’s double down and take the Under on Derrick Henry’s rushing total.

    Henry hasn’t cracked the 60-yard mark in any game yet this season. Starting in Week 1, he has gone 10 carries for 26 yards, 18 for 56, and 18 for 57. This week, he faces his toughest challenge to date in Philadelphia. The Eagles own the league’s best rushing defense at 61.7 yards allowed per game. There’s also the fact that Dion Lewis continues to take away snaps from Henry as he’s rushed 39 times and caught nine balls through three weeks. Things aren’t looking great for the Titans offense or Henry, so we’re taking the Under on both.


    THOMAS SLOTS IN

    Denver QB Case Keenum has quickly developed a nice rapport with Demaryius Thomas. The Broncos’ top target has games with six, five, and five receptions so far this season. On Sunday, he’s in the perfect spot as Denver takes on the Kansas City Chiefs - a team with an amazing offense and a terrible defense.

    It doesn’t take an expert to tell you that the Broncos are going to throw a lot to keep up with a Chiefs team that is tops in the NFL at 39.3 points per game. But we can add that the Chiefs are tied for dead last in the NFL in passing defense in giving up 1,088 yards through three weeks. They’ve also given up more targets to slot receivers than any other team since the start of 2017 and Thomas leads the Broncos in slot targets with Keenum at QB. We’re thinking a lot of passes head in Thomas' direction and we're liking the Over 5.5 on Thomas’ receptions total.


    IT’S NOT ABOUT THE BENJAMIN

    The Bills traded for Kelvin Benjamin at the 2017 deadline to finally solve their receiver woes but it just hasn’t worked out. Benjamin has only topped three receptions once since his acquisition and through three games this season his stats look like this: 1-10-0, 2-19-1, 3-29-0.

    The Bills have a lot more attention on them after last week’s shocking upset of the Vikings. But a look into the stats sheet shows us that Josh Allen certainly didn’t light it up in last week’s win. He only threw for 196 yards and his top wide receivers were Benjamin and Andre Holmes, who both posted three catches for 29 yards. Allen did check down to Chris Ivory a lot, as the running back had three catches for 70 yards. We’re expecting a similar passing distribution as the Bills play at Green Bay on Sunday and we’re leaning to the Under 50.5 yards for Benjamin’s receiving yards total.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 09-29-2018 at 10:42 PM.

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    Top 6 picks in the Westgate SuperBook NFL handicapping contest (3,123 entries)

    1) Raiders -2.5 (1,110)

    2) Bengals +5 (952)

    3) Broncos +5 (863)

    4) Giants +3.5 (846)

    5) Colts -1 (813)

    6) Seahawks -3 (740)

    Season record: 9-8-1

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    Dolphins' odds improve, but there are plenty of NFL Week 4 bets on favored Patriots
    Patrick Everson

    Tom Brady and the New England Patriots haven't shown championship form of late, as evidenced by the pointspread for Week 4 at home vs. Miami. The Pats opened -9.5 and are down to -6.5.

    NFL Week 4 Sunday includes a key AFC East clash, particularly for a perennial Super Bowl contender off to a slow start this year. We check in on the action and line movement, with insights from John Murray, sportsbook manager at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

    Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots – Open: -9; Move: Off; Move: -7; Move: -6.5

    Defending AFC champion New England dropped its last two games and didn’t look very good in doing so. After getting dominated at Jacksonville, the Patriots (1-2 SU and ATS) lost to Detroit 26-10 as a 7-point road chalk last week.

    Miami actually stands atop the AFC East and is delivering for bettors too, at 3-0 SU and ATS. Last week, the Dolphins held off Oakland 28-20 laying 3 points at home.

    The Superbook initially opened New England -9.5 last Sunday night, an hour or so before the Pats kicked off at Detroit. The line was then taken down during that game and rehung Monday morning at a significantly adjusted -7.

    “Tickets are about 3/1 on the Patriots, but the line has come down to 6.5,” Murray said of pointspread activity for this 1 p.m. ET kickoff. “The Dolphins can open up a three-game lead in the AFC East with a win here. I think the public is still skeptical of Miami because it has played such a weak schedule.”


    Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons – Open: -5.5; Move: -6; Move: -5.5; Move: -4.5; Move: -4

    Cincinnati got out of the gate with a pair of 34-23 victories, at Indianapolis and against Baltimore, cashing in both. But the Bengals (2-1 SU and ATS) backed off a bit in the scoring department in Week 3, losing at Carolina 31-21 as a 2.5-point underdog.

    Atlanta’s high-octane offense got back in order the past two games, but its defense gave up a mountain of points in Week 3. The Falcons (1-2 SU and ATS) went off as 1.5-point home chalk against New Orleans and lost in overtime, 43-37.

    “Sharp money came in on the Bengals on Thursday and pushed this number from 5.5 to as low as 3.5 in some spots. We held it at 4,” Murray said of action on another 1 p.m. ET start. “We have liability on the Falcons from a $30,000 bet on them earlier in the week.”


    New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars – Open: -9; Move: -8; Move: -7.5

    Jacksonville looked like a world beater in a Week 2 home victory over New England, then looked just the opposite in Week 3 against a much lesser opponent. The Jaguars (2-1 SU and ATS) were 10-point home faves against Tennessee, but mustered just two field goals in a 9-6 slog of a loss.

    New York and rookie quarterback Sam Darnold were brimming with optimism after a Week 1 wipeout of Detroit, but that’s been tempered by a pair of SU and ATS setbacks. In Week 3, the Jets (1-2 SU and ATS) fell to Cleveland 21-17 as a 3-point pup, becoming the first team to lose to the Browns since Christmas Eve 2016.

    “Not much to report in this game,” Murray said, implying the line adjustment was more of a market move for the 1 p.m. ET matchup. “The Jaguars will be a very popular teaser option for players looking to cross 7 and 3. They will also be included in many moneyline parlays, despite their showing last week in a loss to the Titans.”


    Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders – Open: Pick; Move: -1; Move: -1.5; Move: -2; Move: -2.5; Move: -3

    As noted above, Cleveland is coming off its first victory since the 2016-17 season, a stretch that included going 0-16 SU and 4-12 ATS last year. Rookie QB Baker Mayfield came on for the injured Tyrod Taylor during the Week 3 Thursday nighter, helping engineer a 21-17 victory for the 3-point favorite Browns (1-1-1 SU), who have cashed in all three games this year.

    Mayfield will get his first NFL start in this 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff.

    Meanwhile, Oakland is still seeking its first victory of the season, in the second run of Jon Gruden as coach. The Raiders (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS) went to Miami as 3-point ‘dogs last week and left with a 28-20 loss.

    “Straight-bet tickets on this game are about 5/1 in favor of the 0-3 Raiders, despite the Browns’ impressive second-half comeback win over the Jets and the Browns having three extra days to prepare for this game,” Murray said. “The Raiders were also the No. 1 choice in the SuperContest this week, which again is strange for an 0-3 team. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The book will need Cleveland!”
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 09-30-2018 at 10:36 AM.

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    NFL Essentials - Week 4
    Tony Mejia

    Sunday

    Miami at New England (-7/48.5), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Dolphins have a chance to go up three games on the Patriots in the AFC East inside the first month with a victory here, joining on the Rams in establishing that large a lead. With the offense routinely breaking off chunk yardage via speed and a few perfectly executed gadget plays that have paid off handsomely, the Patriots have to be concerned coming off last Sunday night’s disaster where they looked slow and disjointed. Pats safety Patrick Chung and defensive end Trey Flowers are both expected to play, which should give the defense teeth it didn’t have in Detroit.

    Tackle Marcus Cannon should also play to help give Tom Brady more time to operate, but it remains to be seen if Josh Gordon will be able to improve a mediocre receiving corps due to Julian Edelman’s absence since he’s still learning the offense and working his way back from the hamstring injury that contributed to the Browns cutting him loose. The Patriots had just 209 yards of total offense against the Lions but will have Rob Gronkowski out there despite an ankle issue that’s been bugging him for the last week-plus. New England has an eight-game winning streak working and Miami hasn’t won in Foxborough since 2009, so history is playing a role in this spread. It was colder overnight than the Dolphins have grown used to in sunny South Florida, but conditions for the game will be ideal with highs in the low 70s. In other words, bitter cold won’t be a built-in advantage for New England this early in the season.

    Houston at Indianapolis (PK/48), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck have only resembled their best pre-injury versions in occasional flashes as both appear to be laboring. Luck’s arm is healthy enough to get things done in front of him but he struggles to stretch the field. That contributed to 209 yards of total offense in the loss to Philly as Luck managed a minuscule 4.9 yards per completion. He won’t have tight end Jack Doyle as a weapon to lean on but will have his offensive line healthier than it has been this season. Luck came up one pass short of pulling off an upset of defending champion Philly, so whoever wins this duel is going to feel like October offers countless possibilities. The world won’t feel quite as conquerable for the loser here, especially if it’s Houston remaining winless.

    Watson is moving around better but accuracy remains an issue. Throwing a last-gasp “meaningless” TD pass in last week’s loss to the Giants not only delivered the ‘over,’ but helped his offense see that he’s out there battling and trying to figure things out. Guard Senio Kelemete couldn’t go last week due to knee pain and is a game-time decision. A receiving corps that has been dealing with hamstring issues is getting healthier, so DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Sammie Coates should be more productive and rookie Keke Coutee finally gets a chance to make an impact. Houston has lost 14 of 16 in Indianapolis against its AFC South rival and has dropped 10 straight outright. The Texans haven’t even covered a spread since Nov. 27 of last season, .

    Cincinnati at Atlanta (-4/53), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Even though he’s reportedly close to returning, Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (knee) isn’t ready to so today, so Tevin Coleman will again get the work. Despite losing to New Orleans in OT, last week’s developments were largely positive since Matt Ryan threw five touchdowns and found himself a shiny new weapon in Calvin Ridley. Steve Sarkisian hasn’t gotten a lot right since being hired to run the Falcons offense but last week’s work was impressive. Ridley’s emergence means the Bengals can’t key in on Julio Jones, so expect the Falcons to build on a run of nine touchdowns over the past two games.

    Cincinnati is seeing Todd Boyd emerge in similar fashion as Andy Dalton has utilized the respect A.J Green commands as a weapon to get him and speedy John Ross more touches. Green came off the injury report after dealing with groin soreness earlier in the week, while Dre Kirkpatrick will also be in the mix after overcoming back pain and is looking forward to reuniting with fellow ‘Bama products and former teammate Mohamed Sanu, calling this matchup “personal.” Linebacker Preston Brown is also back, while Atlanta will have pass rusher Takk McKinley back. The Falcons’ attrition on defense has been well-documented and now includes DE Derrick Shelby (groin) and Justin Bethel (knee) missing games since neither will participate here.

    Buffalo at Green Bay (-9.5/44) 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    This game features banged-up superstars playing to their strengths in order to help their teams avoid disastrous starts. LeSean McCoy is suffering from cracked ribs and has been limited in practice but should play, splitting carries with Chris Ivory. Aaron Rodgers will take every snap he needs to but isn’t doing much moving around on his injured knee. The Packers couldn’t get out of their own way in Landover last week, losing to the ‘Skins due to a drop epidemic from Rodgers’ receiving corps and a defense that got pushed around all day. The injury news isn’t great either since Bryan Bulaga (back) is a game-time decision and guard Justin McGray (shoulder) has been ruled out, which means Rodgers will have to deal with suspect offensive line play. That’s nothing new but disconcerting since the franchise isn’t moving fluidly. The expectation is Bulaga will play to give an offensive line that has already surrendered 12 sacks a fighting chance to block the disruptive Bills’ defensive front. Buffalo excelled in harassing Vikings QB Kirk Cousins into miscues and will have Shaq Lawson and Trent Murphy on board to help make life difficult for Rodgers on a day where the hope is the rain will stay away.

    Rookie Josh Allen delivered at a high level in his first career start, executing a game plan that was designed to take advantage of Minnesota being aggressive and underestimating his poise. He’s still going to have the element of surprise at his disposal here, but it remains to be seen whether last week was a fluke or if he’s capable of accurately hitting his mark and applying touch to his passes, both big concerns. The Packers won’t be as stacked defensively as they’ve been, having lost DT Muhammad Wilkerson to IR last week and potentially missing LB Nick Perry, CB Kevin King and safety Josh Jones.

    Detroit at Dallas (-3/44), 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    Jason Garrett looks more and more like a lame-duck coach by the quarter. Despite averaging six yards per carry, the Cowboys’ offense has been anemic. Dax Prescott has already been sacked five times in a game twice this season, something that happened to him only once in his first two years under center. That reflects poorly on the suspect offensive line, but don’t lose sight of the fact receivers have struggled to get open, forcing Prescott to hold it longer. Cole Beasley will shake off an ankle injury to play today, but there hasn’t been much to get excited about from a group that badly needs someone like rookie Michael Gallup to take off.

    Rookie Kerryon Johnson was a spark plug for the Lions last Sunday night, becoming the first Lions running back in 70 games to top the 100-yard mark, snapping a streak that dates back to Thanksgiving 2013. He’s capable of catching the ball out of the backfield, but the presence of Theo Riddick and LeGarrette Blount means the Auburn product won’t take the job full-time but certainly serves to upgrade the position. Matthew Stafford should be able to take advantage here and benefits from not having to match wits with standout Cowboys LB Sean Lee, who has long been the lynchpin of the Dallas defense. He’s out 2-4 weeks due to a bum hamstring, so the Lions have an opportunity to win outright and get back to .500 after suffering demoralizing losses to the Jets and 49ers.

    N.Y. Jets at Jacksonville (-7/39) 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    Jags RB Leonard Fournette has been a full participant in practice this week and will return to at least split carries with T.J. Yeldon. After not throwing the ball downfield against Tennessee following a breakout game against New England, Blake Bortles is counting on Fournette’s return to loosen up the Jets defense so he can take some shots against their secondary, which comes in vulnerable since safeties Doug Middleton and Marcus Maye are nursing injuries and CB Buster Skrine is working his way back from a knee injury suffered against the Browns.

    Speaking of which, there are probably some bruised egos to deal with if you’re New York’s defense, getting picked apart by a rookie coming in cold off the bench. Maybe that’s why Jets safety Jamal Adams was so quick to admit that the staff hadn’t prepared players to contend with Mayfield, focusing solely on Tyrod Taylor. Rookie Sam Darold will be facing a Jags defense that comes in close to full strength, but the absence of rookie corner D.J. Hayden was felt against Tennessee and could factor in a once again. Temperatures on the field will feel like they’re in the high 90s, so conditioning and stamina over four quarters should be major factors.

    Tampa Bay at Chicago (-3/46.5), 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    Mitchell Trubisky has been the subject of criticism since the Bears had a tougher time than they should’ve against overmatched Arizona due to how many plays last year’s first-round pick left out on the field. It’s too early to call for Chase Daniel, especially given how vital Trubisky’s development is for the future of the franchise, but an offensive mind like Matt Nagy doesn’t want his defense to do the heavy lifting in carrying the Bears into contention even though they’re definitely equipped to. In this one, Chicago needs to produce offense to pull off a win since corners Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper will be sidelined by hamstring injuries.

    That’s good news for Ryan Fitzpatrick as he looks to stretch his NFL-record streak of 400-yard passing game to four. He’s getting the nod ahead of Jameis Winston, though Tampa Bay isn’t publicly admitting it. The Bucs are hoping that Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin continue to create explosive pass plays, but the offensive line will need to buy time for plays to develop downfield, so count on an interesting chess match there. Tampa Bay will see first-round pick Vita Vea, a powerful defensive tackle, make his debut after missing most of the preseason with a calf injury. Be advised that it’s expected to rain most of the day in Chicago but the forecast is that large portions of this game should be unaffected.

    Philadelphia (-3/41) at Tennessee, 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Titans have given up just 50 points over their first three games and should give Carson Wentz some trouble with their aggressive schemes. The presence of new head coach Mike Vrabel and coordinator Dean Pees has immediately impacted the defense they’re playing in Nashville since the new coaching staff is making good use of all their athleticism. LB Kemalei Correa and safety Kendrick Lewis are going to play, so the unit will be at full strength.

    Philly’s offensive line surrendered five sacks of Wentz in his debut against the Colts. Wentz’s debut was rocky all the way around, but he did find a new tight end to mold in rookie Dallas Goedert, getting him his first pro touchdown. He also engineered a go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth, making it a wildly successful debut, albeit bumpy. A virus going around the Eagles facility may keep Alshon Jeffery from making his return. Marcus Mariota’s elbow prevents him from throwing much, but he’s still able to move the offense by using his legs and making solid reads in running the spread option alongside Derrick Henry , who has been quiet of late. Philly will have its bellcow, RB Jay Ajayi, back to anchor a ground attack that also has Corey Clement available but will again be missing versatile veteran Darren Sproles. If Mariota is unable to finish for any reason, newly acquired Austin Davis will take over.

    Seattle (-3/40) at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Seahawks earned their first win of the season against Dallas by utilizing Russell Wilson’s ingenuity, a strong running game and a stifling defense that grows empowered by a blissfully conspiratorial 12th Man. Same recipe, new faces. Chris Carson can be this team’s Marshawn Lynch if he stays healthy and Earl Thomas can guide this group as long as he’s still in town. It was easy to be engaged last week against his hometown Cowboys that he wanted to be traded to. We’ll see whether winless Arizona warrants the same intensity. Linebacker K.J. Wright is out again and pass rusher Dion Jordan is questionable, but the Seahawks are otherwise pretty healthy on both sides of the ball.

    Seattle hopes to make Josh Rosen’s starting debut as forgettable as the Bears made his first appearance, which came in crunch time in relief of an ineffective Sam Bradford. Chicago came after him relentlessly and Rosen didn’t handle it well, so we’ll see how he fares with a full week of normal reps and preparation with the knowledge he’d be starting. Tackle Andre Smith is a game-time decision while WR Larry Fitzgerald should be available to help play safety valve despite not being 100 percent. The Cards are going to need their defensive front to play a large role here and expect Robert Nkemdiche, Corey Peters and Olsen Pierre to be available despite being listed as questionable.

    Cleveland at Oakland (-3/44.5), 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Raiders haven’t been able to establish a pass rush since trading Khalil Mack and have ran out of gas in the second half of games. Oakland has been outscored 37-3 in the fourth quarter of its three losses this season and have been unable to cover when it counts or move the ball effectively. Part of the issue is the continued lack of chemistry between Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, who haven’t grown like they were expected to. Tackle Donald Penn, who has been in concussion protocol, has been cleared and will play, but the Raiders have major concerns in the secondary since they’ve been victimized by big plays and will again be missing suspended corner Daryl Worley, serving the last of a four-game suspension. Safety Karl Joseph won’t play due to a hamstring, which is the same issue rendering veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie a game-time decision.

    The Browns are looking to build off their first win in years and made the right choice in sticking with rookie Baker Mayfield after he delivered the goods when Tyrod Taylor got banged up. This will be his first road start, but anyone who has watched him work in college or in his brief pro career can assure you that he won’t be rattled by the Black Hole or Jon Gruden’s sideline glares. If he gets comfortable, the Browns could win outright in order to improve to 4-0 ATS. Taylor will be available to back up Mayfield, while the defense will be bolstered by the availability of safety Jabrill Peppers and LBs Christian Kirksey and Emmanuel Ogbah.

    San Francisco at L.A. Chargers (-10/46), 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS:
    After a tough 35-23 loss in the “Battle for L.A.” at the Coliseum saw them get outclassed, the Chargers again look to prove they’re a resilient group under Anthony Lynn. After last season’s near-misses, they rallied to nearly make the playoffs, so this year’s group will look to try and build on a favorable schedule over the next four weeks that will see them at “home” in Carson. While the advantage may not be meaningful – there will likely be more 49ers fans in the house today and more Raiders fans next week – not facing an undefeated league power should aid the cause considering their losses have come against the Chiefs and Rams. Keenan Allen will play through knee pain after not practicing most of the week, while Travis Benjamin (foot) will join the receiving corps for the first time. Up front, tackle Joe Barksdale (knee) won’t play but counterpart Russell Okung will.

    San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss in Kansas City and is done for the season. He was off to a rough start, but considering how much of an investment the 49ers made to get his services, this is a disaster. The tune 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is singing is ‘next man up,’ which is really all he can do but sounds hollow given how committed his offense was to Jimmy G. Beathard played at Iowa and had some nice moments last season but looked best suited for a backup role. We’ll see what he does with this opportunity. With Matt Breida and Alfred Morris both cleared to participate after knee injuries, Beathard will have his ground game to help ease him in.

    New Orleans (-3/53) at N.Y. Giants, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Drew Brees reconnected with Cameron Meredith, who is now ready to contribute after getting back to full strength from being limited most of the preseason. That gives the Saints yet another option in addition to Mark Ingram, who is serving out the last of a four-game suspension. The loaded Saints have been dominating through force-feeding Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas but will now be able to spread the ball around even more, which should make Brees even more formidable. Since the defense has looked so suspect in losing to Tampa and hanging on for tight wins against Cleveland and Atlanta, another shootout is expected here.

    The Giants won't have Olivier Vernon to help rush Wade and corner Eli Apple is set to miss another game, but DT Damon "Snacks" Harrison and LB Connor Barwin will play through knee injuries. The new-look offensive line got a game together last week and helped give Eli Manning a chance to get his key playmakers involved, Saquon Barkley has already shown he can break one whenever he touches the ball, while receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Sterling Shephard should be able to take advantage as Barkley becomes more consistent.

    Baltimore at Pittsburgh (-3/51), 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC:
    The Steelers have been carved up by opposing QBs and rank 28th in pass defense since Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Fitzpatrick each had big games against their zone coverage. You can stretch the field on them, which gives Joe Flacco an opportunity to continue his impressive start. Even Cleveland’s offensive success in Week 1 came on passes over the top to ultimately force OT. The Ravens have scored touchdowns the first 12 times they reached the red zone, becoming the first NFL team to ever do so. The addition of TE Hayden Hurst, who debuts after dealing with a foot issue, provides another big target that Flacco can utilize in the end zone.

    The Steelers aren’t far behind Baltimore, ranking third in red-zone efficiency despite Le’Veon Bell sitting out, which is a credit to the team’s offensive line. Tackle Marcus Gilbert and guard David DeCastro have been banged up with nagging injuries but have been cleared to participate. JuJu Smith-Schuster, dealing with an abdominal strain, will play and make life easier for James Conner as he continues to fill in for the absent Le'Veon Bell. The Steelers have won its last 13 night games and is 10-0-1 against the AFC North. Baltimore has dropped 24 of the last 33 in Pittsburgh.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 09-30-2018 at 10:37 AM.

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    Leonard Fournette is officially active today for the Jaguars vs. Jets.
    Pointspread: Jags -7.5
    Total: 40

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    Patriots back in betting form as double-digit faves in NFL Week 5 odds
    Patrick Everson

    Tom Brady had plenty to pump his fist about Sunday, when New England hammered Miami 38-7. That led to the Patriots opening as 10.5-point Week 5 home favorites against the Colts.

    Week 5 of the NFL season puts the Thursday night prime-time spotlight on the defending AFC champion. We check in on the opening lines and early action for a quartet of contests, with insights from John Murray, sportsbook manager at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
    Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-10.5)

    New England dropped two in a row and didn’t look good in doing so, at Jacksonville and at Detroit. But the Patriots (2-2 SU and ATS) looked like their old elite selves in Week 4, hammering previously unbeaten Miami 38-7 as a 6.5-point home favorite.

    Indianapolis has quarterback Andrew Luck back this season, but his presence isn’t showing up much in the win column through the first month. The Colts (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) staged a big comeback to force overtime against Houston on Sunday, but ultimately lost 37-34 as a 1-point home underdog.

    “We opened this one Patriots -10.5, which is up 3 points from our lookahead number (last week) of Patriots -7.5,” Murray said. “New England looked like the defending AFC champion, and the Colts are coming off an overtime loss and have to go on the road in a short week. Tough spot for Indianapolis here.”

    That said, the line ticked down a half-point to 10 on Sunday night.

    Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)

    Atlanta could certainly be 3-1 at this point, and arguably even 4-0, but the football gods definitely haven’t been on the Falcons’ side the past two weeks. After falling at home in overtime to New Orleans in Week 3, Atlanta (1-3 SU and ATS) gave up a final-seconds score to Cincinnati in a 37-36 Week 4 home loss as a 3.5-point fave.

    Pittsburgh has plenty of discord this season, coupled with a lack of Le’Veon Bell, the stud running back who continues to hold out. The struggle continued in the Week 4 Sunday nighter, with the Steelers (1-2-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) losing to Baltimore 26-14 as a 3-point home chalk.

    “We opened it Steelers -4 and closed it when the Sunday night game kicked off,” Murray said. “Really tough loss for Atlanta. The Falcons’ secondary looked awful, and they’re in for an even tougher test next week at Heinz Field against Big Ben, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. There will be a lot of scoring in this one.”


    Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs (-3)

    Jacksonville looked like the new “It” team when it rolled past visiting New England in Week 2, only to muddle through a 9-6 home loss to Tennessee the following week. However, the Jaguars (3-1 SU and ATS) got back on track in Week 4, drilling the New York Jets 31-12 laying 7.5 points at home.

    Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes has been a huge eye-opener early this season, throwing 13 TD passes with zero interceptions through three weeks. The Chiefs (3-0 SU and ATS) averaged 39.3 points per game in those three wins, but they still have work left to do in Week 4, traveling to face Denver in the Monday nighter.

    “We opened Chiefs -3 (-110), took some money on Kansas City and moved it to -3 (-120),” Murray said. “This line could change, depending on how the Chiefs look in Denver.”


    Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (-3)

    It’s a rematch of last season’s NFC final, though neither team is in quite that form. Philadelphia, which lost only three games all of last year en route to winning the Super Bowl, already has two losses on its 2018-19 record. In Week 4, the Eagles (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) tumbled at Tennessee 26-23 in overtime giving 3 points.

    Minnesota got a nice Week 1 win over a then-Jimmy Garoppolo-led San Francisco squad, but is winless since then. The Vikings (1-2-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) couldn’t quite keep pace with the high-octane Los Angeles Rams last Thursday, losing 38-31 as a 7.5-point road pup.

    “We opened Eagles -3 in the NFC Championship Game rematch,” Murray said. “Philly is coming off a really disappointing loss to the Titans, and the Vikings need a win as well to avoid a 1-3-1 start. Minnesota with three extra days to prepare here, in a big game for both teams.”

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    MNF - Chiefs at Broncos
    Kevin Rogers

    LAST WEEK

    The Chiefs (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) have put together the most impressive start through three weeks of the season by beating the Chargers, Steelers, and 49ers. Kansas City’s offense continued to click in last Sunday’s 38-27 victory over San Francisco as the Chiefs topped the 38-point for the third time this season. Patrick Mahomes tossed three touchdown passes in the second quarter alone for Kansas City, while moving his season total to 13 touchdowns compared to zero interceptions.

    Mahomes is leading this Kansas City squad to plenty of touchdowns (16), while the Chiefs have kicked only two field goals in their three wins. Last year’s rookie sensation Kareem Hunt has struggled to rack up yards through three games (173), but the running back found the end zone twice against San Francisco. Kansas City covered each of the first two weeks in the underdog role, while cashing as a 5 ½-point favorite against San Francisco for the club’s second consecutive season with a 3-0 start.

    The Broncos (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) suffered their first loss of the season at Baltimore after picking up consecutive home wins over Seattle and Oakland. Denver scored 14 quick points in the first quarter but was held scoreless in the final three quarters in a 27-14 setback in rainy Baltimore as a 5 ½-point underdog.

    Quarterback Case Keenum put together an unimpressive effort in his third start with the Broncos by throwing for 192 yards, while getting intercepted once. Emmanuel Sanders rushed for a 35-yard touchdown to give the Broncos a 14-7 advantage, but couldn’t post another score for the final 53 minutes. The loss was the eighth in nine tries on the road since Vance Joseph took over as head coach in 2017.

    MILE HIGH TIMES

    If the Broncos are playing at home in the first four weeks of the season, you can pretty much mark down a “W.” Dating back to 2013, Denver has won 15 consecutive games at home in games during the first four weeks, including the early victories this season against Seattle and Oakland. The Broncos have covered 11 times in this stretch as several of the non-covers came as heavy favorites when Peyton Manning was the man under center. This is the third time the Broncos are listed as an underdog in this situation, winning outright against the Panthers in 2016 and over the Cowboys in 2017.

    REID IT AND WEEP

    Under head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs have been a fantastic team to back on the road against AFC West foes. Since 2015, Kansas City owns a 9-1 record in this situation, including an opening week victory over Los Angeles. The only loss in this stretch came at Oakland last season on the final play of a 31-30 setback, but the Chiefs have compiled a 5-1 ATS mark as a favorite.

    SERIES HISTORY

    The Broncos won five consecutive meetings with the Chiefs from 2013 through 2015, capped off by the famous Thursday night comeback at Arrowhead Stadium in which Denver scored two late touchdowns to stun Kansas City. However, the Chiefs have turned the tide in the series by capturing five straight matchups, including sweeps the last two seasons.

    The Chiefs cruised past the Broncos in a Monday night affair last October at Arrowhead, 29-19 to cash as seven-point favorites. Denver turned the ball over five times, while Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker booted five field goals in the victory. Kansas City held off Denver in Week 17 at Mile High, 27-24 in Mahomes’ first NFL start, playing in place of the resting Alex Smith. Although Mahomes didn’t throw a touchdown pass, the Chiefs posted 379 yards of offense, while grabbing their third straight victory in Denver.

    TOTAL TALK

    Heading into Week 3, only four teams cashed the OVER in each of the first three games. The Chiefs were among that group, while the Broncos have finished UNDER the total in back-to-back contests since their high-scoring affair against the Seahawks. Dating back to 2015, the OVER has hit in five of six meetings between Kansas City and Denver, but none of those games saw a total above 42.

    LINE MOVEMENT

    The Chiefs opened up as 4 ½-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook, but that number has dropped to four at several books and even down to 3 ½ at offshore outfit 5Dimes. The total sits at a whopping 54 ½, the highest total for Denver since finishing UNDER 50 at New Orleans in 2016.

    GAME PROPS

    Total Gross Passing Yards - Patrick Mahomes
    OVER 295 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 295 ½ (-110)

    Total Touchdown Passes – Patrick Mahomes
    OVER 2 ½ (+115)
    UNDER 2 ½ (-135)

    Total Receiving Yards – Tyreek Hill
    OVER 74 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 74 ½ (-110)

    Total Completions – Case Keenum
    OVER 23 (-110)
    UNDER 23 (-110)

    Total Touchdown Passes – Case Keenum
    OVER 1 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 1 ½ (-110)

    Will Royce Freeman score a touchdown?
    YES (EVEN)
    NO (-120)

    HANDICAPPER’S CORNER

    NFL expert Joe Nelson checks in on this AFC West matchup and says that the ground game will be critical for a win, “Despite playing with a lead nearly the entire season, the Chiefs have only 310 rushing yards on 3.9 yards per carry as Denver can expect an edge on the ground in this matchup. The Broncos are fifth in the NFL with 5.2 yards per carry and third in the NFL with 153 rushing yards per game. The Broncos also have allowed just 3.3 yards per rush on the season for the second best run defense in the NFL with Kansas City 30th in yards per rush allowed at 5.2.”

    From the turnover perspective, Nelson points out that the Chiefs in spite of their undefeated mark are not forcing many takeaways, “The Chiefs had one of the best turnover margins in the NFL last season at +15, but are just +1 this season while the Broncos have managed to start 2-1 despite five turnovers this season with a -2 margin after being second worst in the NFL last season at -17. The Broncos have a suspect resume with -9 scoring differential on the season as they won a pair of very close games at home to start the season including a great comeback vs. Oakland.”

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    Betting Recap - Week 4
    Joe Williams

    Overall Notes

    National Football League Week 4 Results

    Wager Favorites-Underdogs
    Straight Up 11-3
    Against the Spread 7-6-1

    Wager Home-Away
    Straight Up 9-5
    Against the Spread 7-6-1

    Wager Totals (O/U)
    Over-Under 8-8

    National Football League Year-to-Date Results

    Wager Favorites-Underdogs
    Straight Up 38-22-2
    Against the Spread 27-33-2

    Wager Home-Away
    Straight Up 38-22-2
    Against the Spread 33-27-2

    Wager Totals (O/U)
    Over-Under 33-31

    The largest underdogs to win straight up
    Bengals (+3.5, ML +165) at Falcons, 37-36
    Ravens (+3, ML +140) at Steelers, 26-14
    Titans (+3, ML +130) vs. Eagles, 26-23 (OT)

    The largest favorite to cover
    Packers (-9) vs. Bills, 22-0
    Jaguars (-7.5) vs. Jets, 31-12
    Patriots (-6.5) vs. Dolphins, 38-7

    May Day Mayfield

    -- The Cleveland Browns probably should have come away with a 42-34 win against the Oakland Raiders in Week 5, as it appeared from every angle on the telecast that RB Carlos Hyde converted a first down which would have meant the Browns could simply take a knee. It's uncertain where the officials saw conclusive evidence, but they overturned the first-down call on the field and it brought up fourth down, giving the Raiders a chance. They picked up a touchdown and game-tying two-point conversion to force OT, winning it with a field goal, 45-42. Lost in the review controversy was Mayfield, who had two touchdowns in his first NFL start, but he also had two interceptions and two lost fumbles. Since 2002, quarterbacks who were No. 1 overall picks making the first NFL start are now 0-11 SU/ATS. Houston's David Carr is the last to successfully win and cover in his debut. It's ironic his brother, Derek, extended that streak by rallying to beat Mayfield.

    Second-Half Ravens

    -- The Baltimore Ravens blanked the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half at Heinz Field on Sunday Night Football, and they have now outscored their opponents 49-9 in the second half through four games in 2018. It was another 'under' result on Sunday night, too, as underdogs and the under are now 4-1 in five SNF games so far this season.

    Total Recall

    -- The two lowest totals on the board (40), N.Y. Jets-Jacksonville and Seattle-Arizona, split 1-1. The Jags nearly took care of the 'over' themselves with 31 points. 'Over' bettors were hoping for overtime in the Seahawks game, but Sebastian Janikowski banged home a long field goal at the buzzer to sink the Cardinals and save 'under' bettors. In the Philadelphia-Tennessee (41.5) game, it was OT which saved over bettors. A flurry of points in the fourth quarter had the Eagles and Titans tied 20-20. The Eagles struck first with a field goal, but WR Corey Davis walked it off with a touchdown in the 26-23 win.

    -- The highest total on the board in Week 4 was Cincinnati-Atlanta (52.5), and that game featured the most points outside of the Cleveland-Oakland tilt. The Bengals ralled for a 37-36 win to sink the Falcons, who have yielded 79 points over their past two home games, thanks largely in part to several key defensive season-ending injuries during the early going. The next three highest totals on the board, New Orleans-N.Y. Giants (52), Baltimore-Pittsburgh (51.5) and Miami-New England (50.5) each cashed under.

    -- The 'over' has now cashed in all four games for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers are the only two teams in the AFC with a 4-0 'over' mark so far, with the Kansas City Chiefs looking to join the club on Monday against the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, the under is 4-0 for the Arizona Cardinals so far this season, while the Dallas Cowboys saw their first 'over' result after a 3-0 'under' run to start 2018.

    -- There are two primetime games in the books so far in Week 4, with the 'over/under' 1-1 with the MNF game pending. Overall for the 2018 season the 'over' in primetime games is 5-7 (41.7%).

    Officially, the 'over' finished 25-23-1 (52.1%) in 49 games under the lights in 2017.

    In 2016, the 'over' in night games went (52.9%) through 51 games.

    In 2015, the over finished 20-28-1 (41.7%) in 49 primetime games.

    In 2014, the over went 33-17 (66.0%) in primetime games, and the over was 28-22 (56.0%) in 2013.

    Injury Report

    -- Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) suffered what is believed to be a season-ending broken ankle in Sunday's 37-36 win in Atlanta.

    -- Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (knee) left the blowout loss in Chicago and he will have an MRI on Monday, although head coach Dirk Koetter seemed optimistic that the injury isn't that bad.

    -- Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury in the team's OT loss against the Texans and head coach Frank Reich said after the game that Hilton's outlook isn't good for the quick turnaround Thursday in New England.

    -- Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) returned from a hamstring injury, but aggravated the ailment and was back on the shelf by mid-game.

    -- Patrioits TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle) left with an ankle injury and he did not return. However, with a lopsided score on the board, he might have simply been held out as a precaution.

    -- Seahawks S Earl Thomas (knee) suffered a broken leg in Sunday's game in Arizona, but nothing was wrong with his finger. TE Will Dissly (knee) suffered what is believed to be a season-ending injury, too.

    -- Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) left the team's game in the third quarter and he was unable to return.

    Looking Ahead

    -- The Browns host the Ravens in AFC North action. The Ravens have won and covered five in a row in this series, and the 'under' has connected in three consecutive meetings. However, the 'over' is 4-1 in the past five meetings at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland. The last time the Browns won at home against the Ravens came back on Nov. 3, 2013, a 24-18 win and cover.

    -- The Lions return home to face the Packers at Ford Field. The home team is just 3-4 SU in the past seven meetings in this NFC North battle. The 'over' has connected in five straight meetings, and three in a row at Ford Field. The Lions swept this series and covered both games in 2017.

    -- The Raiders will travel to the Los Angeles area to battle the Chargers, and they should have plenty of fans travelling with them. The Chargers franchise is 4-2 SU over the past six home games, and 9-4 SU in the past 13 battles in L.A./San Diego. However, the Chargers are just 2-7 ATS in their past nine home games against the Raiders. The 'under' is also 4-1 in the past five meetings in L.A./San Diego, and 10-2-1 in the past 13 battles in Southern California.

    -- The Cardinals travel to meet the 49ers in Santa Clara, and San Francisco is looking to snap a six-game losing skid in the series. They're also 1-3 ATS in their past four home games against Arizona, while the 'under' is 3-1 in the past four in the Bay Area and 6-2 in the past eight meetings overall in this series.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 10-01-2018 at 07:23 PM.

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