October 2, 2020

NFL Best Bets: Week 4

It took until the third week of the NFL campaign, but we finally had our first winning week in Week 3, putting us at 7-8 on the season.

With three games worth of information on every team, it should get a little easier to pick games. By this point, it’s becoming clear the handful of teams stand out from the pack while a few teams are clearly more than a little below average. Granted, betting lines in the NFL are tight and most games could go either way, we’re starting to feel good about our selections.

Without further delay, here are our best NFL betting options for Week 4 of the 2020 season.

Chicago Bears +2.5 vs Indianapolis Colts

Is Nick Foles going to be a savior for the Bears? Probably not, but he should be a more reliable option than Mitch Trubisky. Keep in mind that the Bears are 3-0 with Trubisky playing two and a half games before Foles took over to lead an impressive comeback over the Falcons. To be fair, all three of Chicago’s wins have come by a margin of four points, but that shouldn’t matter with the Bears set as underdogs at home.

Regardless of Foles and the offense, the Chicago defense has been solid this year. Akiem Hicks has 3.5 sacks from the interior of the defensive line, which should help open up opportunities for Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn and Barkevious Mingo on the outside. The Bears have done a nice job limiting the Lions and Falcons, two teams with far better playmakers than the Colts.

Philip Rivers has just three touchdown passes in three games, so it’s unlikely that Indy is going to pull away and win this game by a comfortable margin. With Foles settling in as the starter, the Bears have a good chance to win this game, making them a good underdog pick at home.

Seattle Seahawks -6.5 at Miami Dolphins

If there’s one coach who knows how to prepare a West Coast team to play an early game on the East Coast, it’s Seattle’s Pete Carroll. The Seahawks were 5-0 in such games last season and also beat the Falcons by a comfortable margin in Week 1. More importantly, the Seahawks have Russell Wilson, who has been immaculate thus far. He has 14 touchdown passes in three games, which is why the Seahawks have scored at least 35 points in every game.

To be fair, Ryan Fitzpatrick has led the Dolphins to 28 and 31 points in the past two weeks, respectively. But he also tends to be a little inconsistent from week to week. He tossed three interceptions against the Bills in Week 1 and is due for another poor outing any week now. Meanwhile, the Seattle defense has faced the Falcons, Patriots and Cowboys this year, so they’ve played far better offenses than the one they’ll see in Miami.

The Seahawks haven’t been great defensively — especially in the passing game — but they’ve done enough to win two of their three games by at least a touchdown, and they can do the same against the Dolphins.

Baltimore Ravens -13 at Washington Football Team

Typically, it’s best to stay away from double-digit favorites in the NFL, but this is one of the exceptions. Obviously, the Baltimore offense struggled Monday against the Chiefs, but that’s not likely to be a common occurrence. Even on a short week, the Ravens should be eager to get back on the field and get the offense rolling again. After all, they had no problem scoring 30-plus points in Weeks 1 and 2 and a Washington defense that’s allowed 30 or more points in back-to-back games isn’t likely to have an answer for Lamar Jackson.

Meanwhile, the chances of the Washington offense keeping up in a shootout are minimal. Ron Rivera’s team ranks 29th in passing yards and 25th in rushing yards this season. As a result, Washington has lost by at least two touchdowns in each of the last two weeks. Over three games, Dwayne Haskins has been sacked 10 times and thrown three interceptions. It doesn’t take much to derail the Washington offense, which should give Jackson plenty of opportunities to help the Ravens build a comfortable lead. Even with the threat of a garbage-time touchdown, there’s a strong chance that the Ravens beat their Beltway rivals by at least two touchdowns.

Buffalo Bills vs Las Vegas Raiders: Over 52

Defense has been optional in Las Vegas this season, as the Raiders are giving up 30 points per game. That number could increase even more this week against Josh Allen and the Bills. Outside of the usual suspects like Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson, Allen might be the MVP of the league right now. Allen has already surpassed 1,000 passing yards on the season with 10 touchdowns. He’s also done it with only one interception. With the Raiders struggling to pressure opposing quarterbacks, Allen should have plenty of time to look downfield for Stefon Diggs and John Brown, giving the Bills a good chance to score 30-plus points.

At the same time, the Buffalo defense has been a bit of a disappointment. They’ve conceded a total of 60 points over the last two weeks and probably won't do much better against the Raiders. Derek Carr has put together a solid season, and he’s done it without throwing an interception, which will put the Raiders in a good position to come away with points on most of their drives. After all, the Raiders are averaging 29 points per game and have scored a minimum of 20 in every game. If Las Vegas scores a least 20 points and the Bills surpass 30, there’s a good chance the total will surpass 52 points.

Atlanta Falcons +7.5 at Green Bay Packers

On paper, the 3-0 Packers facing the 0-3 Falcons seems like an obvious mismatch. But it’s not that simple. Atlanta’s M.O. early in the season has been getting a lead and collapsing late in games. As a result, they’ve lost the last two weeks by a combined five points. Keep in mind that the teams they’ve played are a combined 7-2, so they’ve played quality competition.

That being said, things could get ugly with the highest-scoring offense in the NFL playing the league’s worst defense. But the Green Bay defense has been far from stout, allowing 28 points per game. That isn’t likely to change this week with the way Matt Ryan has been slinging the ball. We haven’t even seen the best out of Julio Jones, who should get more opportunities now that teams have to pay more attention to Calvin Ridley. The Falcons probably aren’t going to win, but they’ll score enough points to make it hard for the Packers and keep the game within a touchdown.

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