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  • The Patriots are big favorites to a Dolphins team that they trail by two games in the AFC East, while the Cardinals and Titans are underdogs at home—with good reason. What else should bettors look out for in Week 4?
By Scott Gramling
September 28, 2018

After several huge upsets in last week's action, are there any underdogs that catch our eye in Week 4? Our favorite plays revealed in the Sunday Roundup.


Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-6.5)

1:00 p.m. ET

Miami comes into this one with the NFL’s 29th-ranked pass defense despite having faced the Titans’ Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert in Week 1, Jets rookie Sam Darnold in Week 2 and Derek Carr of the 0-3 Raiders in Week 3—not exactly anybody’s bet for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2037.

Betting Trend: New England is 12-2 against the spread since the start of 2016 when facing teams allowing 350 or more yards per game.

Pick: Patriots (-6.5)

Confidence Level: Very High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)


Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-1.5)

1:00 p.m. ET

The key matchup here is likely to end up being Houston’s front seven against a weak Indianapolis offensive line. While only Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes are averaging more yards per completion than Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s 13.8 mark through the season’s first three weeks, the Colts’ Andrew Luck has become a dink-and-dunk machine who’s the only NFL quarterback with more than 20 pass attempts to be averaging fewer than 8 yards per completion.

Betting Trend: Houston is 15-5-1 against the spread under coach Bill O’Brien when facing a defense allowing a completion percentage of at least 64%.

Pick: Texans (+1.5)

Confidence Level: Very High


Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons (-4)

1:00 p.m. ET

No NFL quarterback had thrown more interceptions than the five Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton had racked up through Sunday, and all but one of those interceptions came in this past Sunday’s 31-21 loss to the Panthers. With the Falcons coming off a clean game against New Orleans, one in which they didn’t turn the ball over during a 43-37 overtime loss, the following betting system is in play: Home favorites of between 3.5 and 10 points are 24-5 against the spread since the start of the 2009 season when a) coming off a game with no turnovers and b) facing an opponent coming off a game with a turnover margin of -3 or worse. The average point differential over those 29 games has been 13.9 despite the fact that the average point spread has been 6.6.

Betting Trend: Atlanta is 6-1 against the spread and 7-0 straight up since the start of the 2016 season when coming off a game in which it allowed 30 more points.

Pick: Falcons (-4)

Confidence Level: Extremely High


Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers (-10)

1:00 p.m. ET

Green Bay won’t be caught off guard by Buffalo the way Minnesota seemed to be last week in its 21-point loss to the Bills as a 17-point favorite. Road underdogs coming off a win by 14 or more points as an underdog are 3-11 against the spread since the start of 2009 when facing an opponent coming off a road loss.

Betting Trend: Green Bay is 22-13 against the spread as a home favorite of between 7.5 and 14 points under head coach Mike McCarthy.

Pick: Packers (-10)

Confidence Level: Moderate


Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (-3)

1:00 p.m. ET

Although much is being made about the Dallas defense being without linebacker Sean Lee for this one, it used to be that the drop-off from Lee to players like Rolando McClain and Anthony Hitchens was significant. That’s unlikely to be the case anymore with the Cowboys’ athletic young linebacker duo of pair of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.

Betting Trend: Home teams off a road loss are 5-0 against the spread this season in games where the line is between +3 and -3.

Pick: Cowboys (-3)

Confidence Level: Moderate


New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars (-7.5)

1:00 p.m. ET

It’s tough to envision the Jets being able to move the football against Jacksonville’s formidable defense. It’s also hard to believe that the Jaguars won’t opt to go back to a more aggressive offensive approach like the one that played such a big role in them beating the Patriots in Week 2 as opposed to the more conservative approach that resulted in a 9-6 home loss to the Titans in Week 3.

Betting Trend: Jacksonville is 6-2 against the spread when coming off a loss under head coach Doug Marrone.

Pick: Jaguars (-7.5)

Confidence Level: Low


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears (-3)

1:00 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay is far better offensively than either of the teams—Arizona and Seattle—Chicago has beaten in 2018. The Buccaneers, in fact, have nearly as many total yards (1,420, of which more than 1,200 have been through the air) through three games as the 1,448 for which the Cardinals and Seahawks have combined for. The Bears’ secondary is likely to be without starting cornerback Prince Amukamara, who suffered a hamstring injury in the second half of Chicago’s Week 3 win at Arizona. Amukamara’s backup, Marcus Cooper, is also expected to miss Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, which means that nickel corner Bryce Callahan is likely to start across from Kyle Fuller in Chicago’s base defense. In situations where the Bears put three cornerbacks on the field—likely often against the NFL’s top-ranked passing offense—Callahan would move back to his normal nickel spot inside while undrafted rookie cornerback Kevin Toliver would play outside.

Betting Trend: Chicago is 1-8 against the spread since the start of 2016 when coming off game in which the team allowed 75 or fewer rushing yards.

Pick: Buccaneers (+3)

Confidence Level: High


Philadelphia Eagles (-4) at Tennessee Titans

1:00 p.m. ET

Philadelphia could have Alshon Jeffery on the field for the first time this season—the wide receiver underwent surgery in February to repair a torn rotator cuff practiced in full on Wednesday before missing Thursday’s practice with what was deemed an illness. Tennessee comes into this one having been outgained by an average of 53 yards per game in 2018.

Betting Trend: Tennessee is 6-14-1 against the spread as a home underdog since the start of the 2013 season.

Pick: Eagles (-4)

Confidence Level: Low


Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) at Arizona Cardinals

4:05 p.m. ET

This game features two of the seven NFL teams that are averaging fewer than 300 total yards per game through the season’s first three weeks. Arizona rookie quarterback Josh Rosen makes his first NFL start against a Seattle defense that ranks seventh in the league against the pass and 30th against the run.

Betting Trend: Seattle is 2-12-1 against the spread in September road games under head coach Pete Carroll.

Pick: Cardinals (+3.5)

Confidence Level: Moderate


Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders (-2.5)

4:05 p.m. ET

Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, the top pick of the 2018 NFL draft, makes his first start against an Oakland team that has made strides offensively the past two weeks. It’s been nearly three calendar years since the Browns last won a game on the road.

Betting Trend: Cleveland is 1-9 against the spread since the start of the 2016 season against teams that are completing at least 64% of their pass attempts.

Pick: Raiders (-2.5)

Confidence Level: High


San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Chargers (-10.5)

4:25 p.m. ET

San Francisco quarterback C.J. Beathard replaces Jimmy Garoppolo, who in Sunday’s loss against the Chiefs suffered a torn ACL that will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season. Beathard went 1-4 both straight up and against the spread as a starter last season before giving way to Garoppolo at the start of last December.

Betting Trend: San Francisco is 1-9 against the spread since the start of the 2016 season when facing an opposing defense that’s allowing an average of 350 or more total yards per game.

Pick: Chargers (-10.5)

Confidence Level: Low


New Orleans (-3.5) at New York Giants

4:25 p.m. ET

Each of the Giants’ first three opponents are among the 14 NFL teams that have allowed an average of fewer than 240 passing yards per game through three weeks. That group includes the Jaguars and Cowboys, New York’s first two opponents this season, which each rank among the league’s top four passing defenses. New Orleans, which comes into this one allowing an average of 336.7 yards per game, is one of only three NFL teams allowing an average of more than 300 yards per contest—and that’s despite the fact that one of the three games the Saints have played was at home against a Browns team with Tyrod Taylor under center. New Orleans is allowing 11.2 yards per pass attempt—no other NFL team in allowing as much as nine yards per throw.

Betting Trend: The New York Giants are 6-0 against the spread at home since the start of 2016 when facing a team that’s completing at least 64% of its pass attempts.

Pick: New York Giants +3.5

Confidence Level: Very High

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)