Week 4 of the NFL season is in the books, and it was a great week for the bookies. The four biggest public sides (Chiefs: 81%, Patriots: 76%, Cowboys: 67%, Texans: 66%) all failed to cover their respective spreads. Just three undefeated teams remain, with the Patriots and Chiefs beating fellow unbeaten teams on the road, and the 49ers remaining at 3-0 after a bye week. In addition, the Raiders and Buccaneers both pulled off big upsets as road underdogs. Two more teams lost starting quarterbacks to injury (Bears and Bills), so there will certainly be a lot of news to monitor this coming week. Here is a look at the early NFL Week 5 lines and their predicted movement throughout the week. (odds courtesy of FanDuel)
Thursday, October 3rd: 8:20 PM EST
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-2) — O/U 49
Predicted Movement: The Rams likely would have been favored in this game if not for a complete meltdown last week. They surrendered 55 points to Tampa Bay at home en route to a 15-point loss. Meanwhile, the Seahawks took care of business on the road in Arizona in a game they dominated from the start. CenturyLink Field is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Sharps and the public will likely be on opposites sides on this one. The sharps will likely bet the Seahawks due to their more consistent play and homefield advantage, while the public still loves the Rams since they are defending NFC champions. Los Angeles is 1-5 ATS in their last six Thursday games, while the Seahawks are 7-0-2 ATS in their last nine Thursday games. Look for this line to creep closer to -3 by kickoff.
Sunday, October 6th: 1:00 PM EST
Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals (-4) — O/U 48
Predicted Movement: Aside from an 18-point fourth quarter comeback against the Lions in Week 1, the Cardinals offense has looked rather pedestrian. Rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury has yet to truly get rookie quarterback Kyler Murray in rhythm with his playmakers. Aside from the 41 points that they let up to the 49ers, the Bengals defense has looked solid and has kept them in games. The under is 14-6 in the Cardinals’ last 20 games following an ATS loss, and the under is 5-1-2 in the Bengals’ last eight games overall. Look for the O/U to tick down closer to 46 by kickoff.
Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans (-5) — O/U 49
Predicted Movement: It is hard to say whose home loss between these two teams was more disappointing last week. The Falcons were dominated by the Titans 24-10 while the Texans struggled in a 16-10 loss to the Panthers. The Texans once again struggled to protect Deshaun Watson, allowing six sacks and countless other pressures. Thankfully for the Texans, the Falcons rank 25th in the league in sacks. I expect bettors will assume the Texans offense will get back on track against a struggling Falcons defense, pushing this spread closer to a touchdown by kickoff.
Baltimore Ravens (-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers — O/U 42.5
Predicted Movement: There is suddenly doubt that Baltimore is the class of the AFC North after surrendering 40 points to the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens rank 25th and the Steelers rank 31st in the league in yards allowed per game. Given the struggles of both defenses, there is no way the O/U stays as low as 42.5.
Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans (-3) — O/U 38.5
Predicted Movement: The Buffalo Bills gave New England all they could handle last week, though a special teams blunder proved the fatal blow in a 16-10 loss. Meanwhile, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota silenced critics for at least a week with a solid three-touchdown performance. Mariota’s passing was complemented by a 100-yard rushing day by Derrick Henry. Bills quarterback Josh Allen remains in the concussion protocol and is questionable for the game. His status will single-handedly shift this line in one direction or the other, off the key number of three.
Chicago Bears (-5) at Oakland Raiders — O/U 41.5
Predicted Movement: The Bears and Raiders both head to London for this clash coming off somewhat surprising victories. It was not shocking that the Bears beat the Vikings, but it was shocking that they did it so comfortably after losing Mitchell Trubisky to injury early in the first quarter. Trubisky will travel with the team but is unlikely to play after he dislocated his shoulder and suffered a slight labrum tear. The Raiders went to Indianapolis and topped a Colts team that had started to play better of late. Given that the Bears will look to play a conservative game under Chase Daniel, look for them to rely on their stout defense to win this game. Add in the extra travel and fatigue from long travel, and this O/U should creep closer to 40 by kickoff.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers (-3.5) — O/U 41
Predicted Movement: This is another matchup of two teams who scored impressive road victories last week. Minshew mania reached new heights after he led the Jaguars on a last-second field goal drive to beat Denver. Carolina’s defense smothered Deshaun Watson and Houston on their way to a 16-10 victory. Suddenly, Carolina’s loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday in Week 2 doesn’t look so bad anymore. Though the public is high on the story of Gardner Minshew, look for sharps to be all-in on Carolina, especially considering that this will be the Jaguars’ second road game in a row. I can see this line closing around -4.5 or -5.
Minnesota Vikings (-4.5) at New York Giants — O/U 44.5
Predicted Movement: Minnesota’s offense looked dreadful for three full quarters in their loss to Chicago last week. The Vikings currently rank 25th in total offense, but they still rank third in rushing yards per game. That is not a good recipe for the Giants defense, as they rank in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed per game. Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones faces his stiffest test yet, as Minnesota ranks sixth in yards allowed per game. While New York is a public team, expect sharps to pound Minnesota as they won’t trust Jones to look as crisp against this stout defense. This spread should tick up a couple of points by kickoff.
New England Patriots (-14.5) at Washington Redskins — O/U 44.5
Predicted Movement: The Patriots offense was finally contained against a Buffalo defense that allowed less than four yards per passing attempt to Tom Brady. However, the New England defense has allowed just one touchdown through four games. Bettors may wait and see which Redskins quarterback they will face before making their bets. If rookie Dwayne Haskins is announced the starter, look for the public and sharps to hammer New England and drive up the spread.
New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles (-13.5) — O/U 44.5
Predicted Movement: The Eagles silenced critics in a big way in Week 4 as they scored an impressive win at Lambeau Field over the Packers. Perhaps most impressive was how the offense looked, scoring 34 points and finding a healthy balance of run and pass. The health of Jets quarterback Sam Darnold will be one to monitor this week. He has been cleared to throw, but not to take contact. If Luke Falk starts again for the Jets, look for this spread to be bet through the key number of 14.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5) — O/U 47.5
Predicted Movement: The Buccaneers and Saints both scored impressive victories last week, albeit in different fashions. Tampa Bay put 55 points on the Rams, while the Saints won their first game in two decades in which they did not score a touchdown. Bettors will be wary of the Bucs, who now own impressive road victories at the Rams and Panthers. However, it would take a lot of one-sided Bucs money to move this through the key number of three. Instead, look for buy-back on the Saints who always are tough in the Superdome, and this spread will close more likely at -4 or -4.5.
Sunday, October 6th: 4:05 PM EST
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-6) — O/U 44
Predicted Movement: The Chargers come off their bye week (sorry, they played the Dolphins) and take on an 0-4 Denver team who lost another game in the last minute. The Broncos received bad news as one of their best defenders, Bradley Chubb, will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. One should monitor the Chargers coaching staff’s plans with how they will use Melvin Gordon this week. Either way, this spread should creep closer to a touchdown as there is much more faith in Philip Rivers than in Joe Flacco at this point.
Sunday, October 6th: 4:25 PM EST
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) — O/U 47
Predicted Movement: In what many considered their first true test of the season, the Cowboys offense couldn’t generate enough big plays to beat the Saints on the road. Green Bay comes into this game off extra rest having played last Thursday night, but with major injury concerns. Jamaal Williams was released from the hospital Friday after a vicious blow to the head forced him to be carted off the field. Keep an eye on Davante Adams’ injury, as he dealt with turf toe late last game. If Adams cannot play, look for the O/U to tick down a couple of points, as this would be a huge blow to the Packers’ offensive attack.
Sunday, October 6th: 8:20 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (-11) — O/U 57
Predicted Movement: Every week, Patrick Mahomes does something to amaze. Last week, it was the fact that he could throw for 300 yards, no touchdowns, but still lead his team to 34 points in an impressive road victory. Perhaps the Colts were looking ahead to this game last week, as they suffered a disappointing loss to the Raiders. Mahomes at Arrowhead is a bettor’s delight, but sharps may not be ready to write off the Colts so quickly. Sharp money should move this line down closer to 10 by kickoff.
Monday, October 7th: 8:15 PM EST
Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) — O/U 46.5
Predicted Movement: The Browns are another team that silenced critics in a big way last week. The offense finally woke up en route to a 40-point outburst against division-rival Baltimore. Betting-wise, there are two factors at play here. Are bettors going to fall back in love with the Browns, or will they give the undefeated 49ers respect at home coming off a bye? The spread may not move, but expect the O/U to rise given that the Browns offense showed signs of life.