Peyton Manning and the Broncos have been rolling this season. Can they keep it going against the Eagles? (Joe Mahoney/AP)
Week 4 of the NFL season is here. Time to place your bets.
Week 4 NFL Betting Odds
Jimmy Traina:Broncos -10.5 vs. Eagles. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm rattled after last week's performance. Sure, I hit on my first two Best Bets, but last week I was confident the Giants would come out and easily defeat the Panthers. Final score: Carolina 38, New York 0. Not pretty. When you're rattled, you need to be careful with the wagers. Having said that, this is the perfect time to play the best team in football. The Broncos' offense is unstoppable. They've scored 49, 41 and 37 points, respectively this season, and 37-year-old Peyton Manning somehow looks as good as ever. The Eagles have allowed 27, 33 and 26. I can't see this being the game in which the Philly defense turns things around. It'll also be interesting to see how Chip Kelly's high-octane, no-huddle offense holds up in the thin Mile High air. The altitude could slow the Eagles down more than the Broncos defense. The line is high and I hate that half point, but it’s hard to imagine the Broncos not putting up 38-plus points.
Tom Mantzouranis: Giants +4 at Chiefs. I know, I know. You think I'm crazy. In reality, when it comes to football betting, I'm a big believer in the law of averages. Do I think the Chiefs are a better team than the Giants? Yes. In a vacuum, I pick the Chiefs. But do I think the Chiefs are 4-0 good, and do I think the Giants are 0-4 bad? No. Those quirks always begin to correct themselves at this point in the season. The Giants are coming off of a humiliating loss, but it's really the only one of their three losses that seems out of place, and they've still got a locker room full of proud veterans who have won before. They'll quiet the doubters a little bit with a workmanlike win.
Stay Away From
Traina:Pittsburgh -3 at Minnesota. The entire world thought the Vikings would breeze past the Browns last week, but we know how that turned out. Good luck figuring out this team. Christian Ponder is out this week, but does that matter? With Ponder out with a broken rib, Matt Cassell will get the call. I have no idea if that's good or bad. It's hard to think the Steelers could be 0-4, but they have issues on both sides of the ball.
Mantzouranis: Broncos -10.5 vs. Eagles. Again, the law of averages here. The Broncos are scoring 42 points a game. That's not going to continue. There's lots of talk about how bad the Eagles defense is (and it is), but Denver's unit isn't the '85 Bears. My general thinking is that when you have two very good offenses, and two very bad defenses, a double-digit spread is far too big. The Eagles have enough firepower to at least be competitive with the Broncos on the scoreboard.
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Best Of The Rest
Traina:Buccaneers -2.5 vs. Cardinals. I have no idea if Mike Glennon is any good. Nobody knows if Mike Glennon is any good. But sometimes a team needs to make a change just to make a change and light a spark. And you always do that when you have a home game against a bad team. In this case, I think it will work. Mainly because I have to assume the insertion of Glennon will mean 25-plus carries for Doug Martin, and that can only be a good thing for Tampa Bay. I'll never trust Arizona and Carson Palmer on the road, so the low line seems like one to grab here.
Raiders +3 vs Redskins. Washington is a mess. The defense can't stop anyone and RGIII hasn't looked good. Now they travel across the country to face a Raiders team that usually puts up a good fight at home. Terrelle Pryor has played better than anyone expected, but Oakland needs to get Darren McFadden going, especially if Pryor can't play. The porous Redskins defense could be the remedy to fix that.
Mantzouranis: Saints -6.5 vs. Dolphins. I love the Dolphins defense. But the Saints are just ridiculously difficult at home in primetime. A year after BountyGate, their fans will be amped to let the Monday night audience know how much they're loving this 3-0 start. The fact that the line is under a touchdown only makes it more appetizing.
Jets/Titans under 39.5. The two teams have combined to average 19.1 points per game this year. They've combined to allow less than that. The Jets defense is quietly starring; their front seven is more than good enough to stifle the Titans' stout line (New York is allowing just 3.2 ypc so far), and despite any talk of improvement Jake Locker won't be able to handle the Jets' complex fronts if the Titans' run game is taken away. Bilal Powell should have a big game against a Titans defense that is getting gashed on the ground, but this one has 17-10 written all over it.
Colts -7.5 at Jaguars. New rule: The Jaguars will never cover the spread. Ever.
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