NFL Week 4 betting storylines: AFC East clash headlines the weekend
The Dolphins' explosion, the Jets' debacle, the Cardinals' upset victory. The storylines were endless last week. Here, we'll provide a couple of notable Week 4 storylines to look out for, including an AFC East battle and a matchup between bottom-dwellers.
There are always markets - whether it be game spreads, totals, or player props - to profit off of the weekend's most intriguing developments. Let's break it down.
AFC contenders clash
The Dolphins hung up 70 points against the Broncos last week, the most in a game since 1966. It was a masterful offensive clinic courtesy of coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and receiver Tyreek Hill.
It's almost unfathomable to think a team could score 70 points in a 60-minute NFL game. The Dolphins are lethal and are reinventing how offenses function.
Yet the Bills are 3-point favorites against the Dolphins in Buffalo on Sunday. It's rare to score 70 points, but it's even more rare to put up 70 and then enter the following week as an underdog. That's the reality of the NFL.
The Bills and the Dolphins are among the class of the NFL. They have the fourth- and sixth-best odds to win the Super Bowl, respectively. Tagovailoa is also the MVP favorite, while Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen is the fourth favorite.
Oh, and these two teams happen to play in the same division. The Dolphins (3-0) are currently -125 to win the AFC East, while the Bills (2-1) are +130. If Buffalo wins Sunday, those odds will surely flip.
Don't expect anyone in this game between evenly matched teams to score 70 points or outscore their opponent by 50. However, you can expect a ton of points from these high-powered offenses. The total is set at 53.5, which is the highest of the weekend.
But the defenses deserve attention, too, especially Buffalo's. This is the best defense Miami has faced, as the Bills are allowing the second-fewest points per game.
Tagovailoa's passing yards line is set at 276.5, while Allen's sits at 269.5. Allen has only hit that mark once this season, while Tagovailoa has hit his twice.
Stefon Diggs' receiving yards are set at 81.5. He's averaging 93 per game as Allen's top weapon. Hill's receiving yards are set at 86.5. He's averaging 137 yards on just over eight targets per game as Tagovailoa's top target.
Battle of the winless teams
What's more fun than watching two 0-3 teams battle it out for their first win? All the real NFL sickos are in luck. Broncos-Bears and Vikings-Panthers may not get the most eyeballs, but each club is playing for its season Sunday.
Just six teams since 1979 have made the playoffs after starting 0-3. But only one has ever made the postseason after starting 0-4 - the 1992 San Diego Chargers. Whoever loses these games can start focusing on the offseason.
Let's start with Broncos-Bears, where the game total is set at 46.5 and the Broncos are 3.5-point road favorites. The Bears are an absolute dumpster fire of an organization. They entered the season with promise, but they've been just as bad as the last couple of years. Justin Fields is certainly part of the problem, and now Chicago has to figure out what to do at quarterback following this season.
The Bears haven't been seriously competitive in any game this season, which includes a 31-point loss to the Chiefs last week.
The Broncos haven't been much better, though. It's one thing to lose to a superior opponent such as the Dolphins, but to lose 70-20 is an embarrassment. There are only two ways to respond to a loss of that magnitude: with vengeance, or with a sense of defeat.
A lot rides on head coach Sean Payton's shoulders to motivate his team. This is the same guy who trashed his predecessor a few weeks ago for struggling to win games in Denver.
As for the other game, it's no surprise the Panthers have yet to win with a rookie quarterback and a lackluster roster. Bryce Young is struggling as a passer. He sat last week with an ankle injury but is expected to play Sunday.
The Vikings are 4.5-point road favorites, while the total is set at 46.5. It's surprising Minnesota hasn't found its way into the win column after a playoff appearance last year. However, the Vikings' regression was predictable to some degree. They were 11-0 in one-score games last year, the best mark in NFL history.
This year, the lucky streak seems to have ended as Minnesota has lost all of its games by one score. But the Vikings couldn't ask for a better opponent to try and turn their season around.
Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @soshtry for more betting coverage.