NFL Week 4 best bets: Tightly lined clashes the order of the day
Week 4 of college football was only playing the hits, and Week 4 of the NFL has its fair share of bangers. However, a game like Dolphins-Bills is more interesting as an assessment of how valuable various futures bets on Miami are. Before you rush to take points with the team that scored 70 last week and is getting Jaylen Waddle back, know that there's a reason Buffalo is favored.
We'll have the popcorn ready for that clash, but with seven other games lined at three points or fewer, our ability to pick outright winners will be put to the test.
Best bets ATS
We've already discussed the five underdogs with a shot to win outright relative to their price, and as always, they're worth a look against the spread.
However, there are more plays worth making this week.
Despite previous preparation, the Rams were buried Monday night against the Bengals. Cincinnati defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo relied on Trey Hendrickson to create pressure and moved Sam Hubbard around to confuse the Rams' offensive line. The Colts won't be able to replicate that. That means Matthew Stafford should have a similar day to Week 1, when the Rams threw the ball early and often on the Seahawks. Anthony Richardson and the Indianapolis offense aren't built for a shootout. If L.A. gets a lead, it won't let the Colts hang around as they did in Baltimore last week.
Which would you rather be - the team that broke or the team that's broken?
Things got out of hand for the Broncos, who turned the ball over repeatedly as the Dolphins stepped on their throats by pouring in touchdown after touchdown. The Broncos broke.
However, the Bears are completely broken in every way. Oddsmakers rate Chicago as the worst team in the NFL, and there's nothing about the Bears' organizational infrastructure to indicate they'll bounce back.
The Broncos have at least functioned this season, scoring on explosive plays and slowing opponents for a half at a time. This early into the Sean Payton era, I can't imagine he's lost the room already. Matt Eberflus, on the other hand, may have.
The numbers bettors will take the Texans at a field goal because of where the Steelers' point spreads have closed the last two weeks. However, given those wins came as an underdog, Pittsburgh might be undervalued based on poor offensive showings against the 49ers and Browns - two defenses we now know might be the best in the league.
Laremy Tunsil suffered a setback before Week 3 and will likely miss this game as well. C.J. Stroud will be behind the Texans' backup offensive linemen.
Browns moneyline (-120)
The Ravens might be getting healthier, but I can't rely on Ronnie Stanley staying that way, and there's little threat coming from the Baltimore run game. That means the Browns' defense gets to tee off on Lamar Jackson with a compromised offensive line, setting him up for one of his turnover-laden games.
The Browns' offense should have more success running with Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt than it did last week, so if Deshaun Watson can be remotely responsible with the ball, he'll eventually be able to take a few deep shots on the Ravens' secondary.
Moneyline upset of the week
Our defined parameter for this section is underdogs paying at least +150.
Let's say I'm lower than the betting market on the Vikings. They're 0-3 and are at best 1-2 against the spread - depending on what number you bet in their Week 2 game with the Eagles. Now they've gotten bet up to as high as -5 in Carolina?
Maybe the assumption is that Bryce Young is a downgrade from Andy Dalton, but how would we know? A debut in Atlanta wasn't an easy task. The quarterbacks to have faced the Saints' defense have ratings of 28.8, 87.1 and 66.4. Young had a better rating than Ryan Tannehill and Jordan Love. The Vikings' season is slipping away, and Young can take advantage of their porous defense. There's value longer than +150 on betting that upset.
Best 6-point teaser
Titans +8.5 / Chiefs -2.5
It might not be long before we look back at every team that played the Browns' defense and forgive them for a sorry performance. The Steelers and Bengals looked far more functional the week after facing Cleveland. I expect the same for the Titans.
This is a tough spot for the Bengals after their must-win contest Monday night. Their "just pass it to Ja'Marr Chase" game plan for their immobile star quarterback is out of the bag. Mike Vrabel and the Titans' defense should be ready for that one trick. Tennessee's run defense has only allowed 2.6 yards per carry - the best mark in the NFL.
Getting the Chiefs down under a field goal feels like a godsend, with the point spread moving down to -8.5 late in the week.
Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.