Week 3 of the NFL season featured a great comeback by the Bears in Atlanta and almost a classic choke by the Bills before they held on to beat the Rams in Buffalo. The Giants and the Jets are absolutely awful. And there are still eight teams looking for their first win. How long will that last? Well, here’s the initial betting lines and over/unders for Week 4.
Denver Broncos at New York Jets, +21/2 (40)
The NFL is likely sorry it put this snooze fest together for primetime. The Broncos have been killed by injuries and the Jets have statistically the worst offense in the NFL. Take the Broncos to cover. Who knows, this might be the last game Adam Gase ever coaches in the NFL.
Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears, +3 (45)
The talk this week was supposed to be about whether the Bears should stick with Nick Foles at quarterback or go back to Mitch Trubisky. But the suspense ended Monday when coach Matt Nagy tapped the former Super Bowl MVP. Still, it shouldn’t matter against the NFL’s top defense. Take the Colts to cover and the under.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals, -3, (471/2)
The Bengals did good drafting Joe Burrow. You can sense his progress and his team’s growing confidence in his leadership. It’s likely he’ll be able to pick apart a defense that’s allowed a 73 percent conversion rate on third down. The Bengals will cover.
Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys, -5 (55½)
The Cowboys are 1-2 and not happy about it. That means Dak Prescott and defenders like Aldon Smith, who had three sacks against the Seahawks last week, are going to want smack down the Browns, who are over .500 for the first time in six years. This is an easy cover for Dallas.
New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions, +4 (55½)
The Lions ended an 11-game losing streak on Sunday in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean they’ve solved all their problems. Meanwhile, the Saints have lost two straight for the first time since 2017. The Saints will punish the Lions. Take the over, too.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans, Pick ‘em (47½)
This top-notch battle of the unbeatens will be one the weekend’s best games. If it comes down the last second, remember that Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski had already had three-game winners. But we think the Steelers will stick it to a defense that’s allowed 944 yards in the last two weeks. Run with the Steelers.
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins, +7 (54½)
We’re glad the Dolphins won last Thursday night against Jacksonville. They are a very likeable team, led by charismatic QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. But they’ll have no chance of derailing the Seahawks. Did you know that Russell Wilson is the first QB in league history to have at least four TD passes in his team’s first three games? Now you do. Ride Russ, who will cover.
Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, – 7½ (45½)
As it turned out, Chargers QB Justin Herbert is not the next Tom Brady. He almost beat the Chiefs in his debut two weeks ago, but he only looked so-so in Sunday’s loss to the Panthers. Meanwhile, all is well with Brady. He even hooked up for 48 yards passing with The Gronk. Look for the Bucs to cover.
Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins, +131/2 (TBD)
Look, if the Ravens lose to Redskins this week, something will have gone very wrong in the world. Quarterback Dewayne Haskins may be playing for his starting job with the Washington Football Team just a few days after the Ravens had to deal with Patrick Mahomes. Take Bucs to cover in one the season’s most lopsided games.
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers, +4 (52)
Kyler Murray may be one of the most exciting players in the NFL, but he’s still prone to mistakes and his three interceptions led to the Cardinals home loss to the Lions on Sunday. But he’ll have enough to beat the Panthers. Take the Cardinals to cover and the under.
Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans, -4 (531/2)
No teams in the NFL have more to lose this week than the Texans and Vikings, who are both 0-3. Not even Deshaun Watson has been able to do anything about it in Houston. But we think the Texans will have what it takes this week, dropping the Vikings virtually out of the playoff race. Look for the Texans to cover.
New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams, -13 (481/2)
The 49ers were without 10 likely starters on Sunday and the Giants still lost by 27 points at home. They really stink. And they will arrive in Los Angeles at the worst possible time to play a Rams team stinging from the circumstances surrounding their loss in Buffalo. The Rams will win by three touchdowns.
New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs, -7 (531/2)
The Patriots gained 250 yards rushing in their home win against Las Vegas on Sunday. Rex Burkhead had three touchdowns. This kind of ball control will be critical against the Chiefs, who have the potential of routing anyone. But we can’t see any team coached by Belichick losing by more than seven. Take the Pats.
Buffalo Bills at Las Vegas Raiders, +21/2 (511/2)
The Bills understand they almost blew it on Sunday, squandering a 28-3 lead to the Rams, winning only thanks to a dubious pass interference call on the Rams that kept a game-winning drive alive. Just a hunch, but we think the Raiders are going to beat them and cover while they’re at it.
Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers, -6 (45)
Eagles coach Doug Pederson passed up a potential game-winning field from 63 in the final seconds against the Bengals, which led to a rare tie. And all anyone in Philly wants to do now is blame Carson Wentz. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, backup QB Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards against the Giants. The Eagles are pissed. They will cover.
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers, -7 (58)
For the second straight week, the Falcons blew a huge second half lead and lost to the Bears. There’s not a tool in owner Arthur Blank’s Home Depot kingdom to fix all the problems. The Falcons are the first team in NFL history to blow fourth quarter leads over 15 points in consecutive games. Look for Aaron Rodgers – and his new best buddy Allen Lazard – to march through Atlanta. Take the over.