Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:02 PM
Sunday Blitz - Week 4
GAMES TO WATCH
Dolphins at Patriots (-6 ½, 48) – 1:00 PM EST
One of these teams is 3-0 and it isn’t New England. Miami (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) is the leader of the AFC East after three weeks, while owning a three-game edge over the Jets, Bills, and yes -- the Patriots. The Dolphins rallied past the Raiders last week, 28-20 to cash as three-point favorites thanks to a pair of long fourth quarter touchdowns. Miami has racked up three touchdowns from scrimmage this season of 50 or more yards, while offseason acquisition Albert Wilson has hauled in a pair of scores from Ryan Tannehill.
The Patriots (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) held off the Texans in Week 1, but have gone backwards the last two weeks in road defeats at Jacksonville and Detroit. The New England defense has yielded 57 points in the past two losses, while the offense scored its fewest points last Sunday (10) with Tom Brady at quarterback since 2015. Dating back to 2009, the Patriots are 5-0 off consecutive losses, while not dropping three straight games since 2002, Brady’s second year as starting quarterback.
Miami will try to end its Foxboro hex as the Dolphins last won at Gillette Stadium in the infamous “Wildcat” game in 2008 as 12 ½-point underdogs, 38-13. Brady didn’t play in that game as he tore his ACL two weeks prior, as Miami last beat New England on the road with the four-time Super Bowl MVP in the lineup back in the 2005 season finale. However, the Patriots will look to slow down Tannehill, who is 10-1 in his past 11 starts since 2016.
Best Bet: Patriots 24, Dolphins 21
Browns at Raiders (-2 ½, 44 ½) – 4:05 PM EST
These two teams have combined for only one win, but yet this is one of the most intriguing games on the Week 4 card. Cleveland (1-1-1 SU, 3-0 ATS) won first time since 2016 in a Week 3 comeback victory over the Jets. The Browns fell behind, 14-0 only to be saved by top pick Baker Mayfield, who replaced the injured Tyrod Taylor at quarterback and led Cleveland to a near-improbable 21-17 victory as three-point favorites. The most impressive part of Cleveland’s start is covering all three games, while limiting all three opponents to 21 points or less.
The Raiders (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS) had high hopes as Jon Gruden returned to the sidelines this season, but Oakland enters Week 4 as one of three winless teams in the league. In the last two weeks, the Silver and Black has held a fourth quarter lead, only to give it away late in road defeats to the Broncos and Dolphins. In fact, Oakland limited Denver and Miami to seven points in the first half, but were outscored in the second half of those games, 41-17.
Oakland is listed as a favorite for the first time this season, as 0-3 teams laying points since 2008 have compiled a 5-6 SU and 4-6-1 ATS record. The Raiders have been an excellent UNDER team by cashing in nine of the past 10 games dating back to last season, while scoring 20 points or less in seven straight contests. The Browns are making their first trip to the Black Hole since 2012 when Cleveland edged Oakland, 20-17.
Best Bet: Raiders 19, Browns 17
Saints (-3 ½, 50 ½) at Giants – 4:25 PM EST
New Orleans (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) has rebounded nicely from an opening week loss to Tampa Bay to pick up consecutive close victories over Cleveland and Atlanta. Drew Brees was responsible for five touchdowns, including the game-winning scamper in overtime, while the Saints’ quarterback threw for 396 yards and three scores. The Saints have topped the 40-point mark in two games already this season, marking the third consecutive campaign that New Orleans has reached this scoring level in multiple contests.
The Giants (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) finally broke through the win column in last Sunday’s 27-22 victory at Houston as 6 ½-point road underdogs. New York jumped out to a 20-3 lead thanks to rookie Saquon Barkley’s second touchdown of the season, while Odell Beckham, Jr. eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for the second time in three weeks. The Giants scored more than 27 points only once last season, so the offense finally clicked last week, just in time to face a New Orleans defense that is allowing 421 yards per game, which ranks 30th in the league.
The previous two matchups between these teams in 2015 and 2016 were each decided by three points and won by the home squad. The Saints outlasted the Giants at the Superdome in 2015 by a 52-49 count as Brees and Eli Manning combined to throw 13 touchdown passes. New York picked up revenge the next season in a lower-scoring affair, 16-13 as the home team has won five straight matchups.
Best Bet: Giants 23, Saints 20
Kevin Rogers (4-1 last week, 7-7-1 on season)
Chris David (3-2 last week, 9-6 on season)
Browns +2 ½
(Disclaimer: Both selected the Vikings last week, which didn’t work out too well. We will still provide selections for the rest of the season.)
Kevin Rogers (2-1)
Chargers over 49ers
Chris David (2-1)
Packers over Bills
BEST TOTAL PLAY (1-0 last week, 2-1 this season)
OVER 38 ½ - Jaguars at Jets
The UNDER has been the preference the first three weeks, including the Broncos and Ravens putting together a low-scoring second half to cash last week. However, we’ll switch it up to a higher-scoring affair at TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars’ offense tries to get on track after scoring only six points in a home loss to Tennessee last week. The Jets faced a tough defense last week in Cleveland, but still managed to take an early 14-0 advantage. Unfortunately, New York’s offense was shut down in the second half as the Jets posted only three points in a four-point loss. The Jets are seeing their lowest total of the season but this is a spot where both teams can score 20 points apiece and eclipse the OVER.
TRAP OF THE WEEK
The Cowboys’ offense has struggled to get going through three games by scoring 41 points, while coming off a road defeat at Seattle last week. Although Dallas isn’t an overwhelming public favorite in this game against Detroit, there is a strong sentiment that the Lions are in a letdown spot after upsetting the Patriots last Sunday night for their first win of the season. Last season, five teams were listed as an underdog after facing New England. In those five cases, those squads finished 4-1 SU and 4-0-1 ATS, so Detroit is definitely worth a look as it owns a 2-0 ATS mark this season in the underdog role.
BIGGEST LINE MOVE
The 49ers had big expectations coming into this season with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback after he won the final five games of 2017. However, Garoppolo tore his ACL late in last Sunday’s loss at Kansas City, sidelining the San Francisco quarterback for the remainder of the season. Back in May, CG Technologies released the Chargers as a 3 ½-point favorite over the 49ers. Fast-forward to this week and the Westgate Superbook put out Los Angeles as a hefty 10 ½-point favorite thanks to the Garoppolo injury. C.J. Beathard will start at quarterback for San Francisco, as both teams come in at 1-2 on the season with this being the largest line on the Week 4 board.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW
The Falcons have not had the best luck against the AFC recently. Dating back to the 2016 season, Atlanta has compiled an ugly 0-7 ATS record against interconference foes, which includes the famous meltdown to New England in the Super Bowl. In this span, the Falcons have lost four consecutive games to the AFC at Mercedes Benz Stadium, including defeats to the Chiefs and Chargers in 2016, followed up by shocking setbacks to the Dolphins and Bills last season. The Bengals invade Atlanta on Sunday, looking to bounce back from a loss to another NFC opponent as Cincinnati lost at Carolina last Sunday.
Want FREE picks for Week 4 in the NFL? Check them out here for the top three games of the weekend along with other insider selections.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.