Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM

Total Talk - Week 4

Editor's Note: Don't miss out on NFL Winners from Joe Williams on this season. Click to win!

It's time for Week 4 in the National Football League, and we're hitting the quarter pole already. Where has the time gone? We're getting a great idea of who the contenders and pretenders are, especially in terms of effectiveness on offense and defense.

2019 Total Results - Game & Halves
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 3 10-6 9-7 8-7-1
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 20-28 19-28-1 26-21-1

The public scored big in Week 3, sinking books with a 10-6 over record. It was a nice rebound for the masses after watching Joey Public get killed in Week 2, with the under hitting in 13 of 16 outings. Through 48 games, the under sits at 28-20 (41%).

Savvy bettors playing the halves noticed a scoring spike in the first 30 minutes as the 'over' went 9-7 in the first-half last weekend. The high side went 8-7-1 in the second-half and that's been a solid lean overall (26-21-1) for 'over' bettors chasing points this season. 

Division Bell

We had just two divisional battles in Week 3, and the total results split. The New York Jets-New England Patriots (43) game likely should've gone under, but with 21 seconds left in the third quarter the Jets came up with a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown. Then, they had a pick-six of 61 yards with 6:23 to go in the game to flip the result. The Jets scored zero points, but the Patriots backup on offense coughed up 14 points, prompting QB Tom Brady to be re-inserted into the game after backup Jarrett Stidham relieved him. 

Divisional Game Results Week 3
Tennessee at Jacksonville Under (38) Jacksonville 20, Tennessee 7
N.Y. Jets at New England Over (43) New England 30, N.Y. Jets 14

Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 4 based off our VI Odds as of Saturday morning.

Washington at N.Y. Giants: 46 to 48 ½
Seattle at Arizona: 48 to 46
Dallas at New Orleans: 45 to 47
Carolina at Houston: 46 to 47 ½
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: 43 ½ to 45
Cleveland at Baltimore: 46 ½ to 45
New England at Buffalo: 44 to 42 ½
Oakland at Indianapolis: 44 to 45 ½

Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 4 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

Minnesota at Chicago: Under 88%
New England at Buffalo: Under 82%
Washington at N.Y. Giants: Over 81%
Dallas at New Orleans: Over 76%
Carolina at Houston: Over 70%
Seattle at Arizona: Over 69%

There is also a heavy lean on for the 'over' (64 percent) in the Cincinnati-Pittsburgh matchup on Monday Night Football, and heavy lean on the 'under' in Tennessee-Atlanta (66 percent) battle on Sunday.

Handicapping Week 4

Week 3 Total Results
Year Over/Under
Divisional matchups 1-1
NFC vs. NFC 5-0
AFC vs. AFC 1-2
AFC vs. NFC 3-3

Week 4 is kicked off with a high-scoring Thursday night battle, as the Philadelphia-Green Bay matchup went 'over'. Through 11 primetime battles the 'under' is now 8-3, but the 'over' has connected in the last two games played at night.

Taking a look at the divisional battles for Week 4:

Cleveland at Baltimore: The Browns and Ravens square off in the first divisional game for both sides. The Browns entered the season with a lot of hype due to massive additions on offense. However, the new-look offense has struggled to gain any momentum through the early going. They're averaging just 16.3 points per game through three contests, although they did manage 23 points in their only road game, a win against the Jets on Monday Night Football back in Week 2. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has passed for more touchdowns in his short career on the road, and he's been sacked less too. In eight road starts under Mayfield, the Browns are averaging 24.3 PPG.

The Ravens are having no such problems on offense, averaging 36.7 points per game to rank No. 1 in the NFL. They're also No. 1 in total yards per game (511.7) and No. 1 in rushing yards (216.7) per contest. They're also No. 7 in passing yards per outing, posting 295.0 yards per game through the air. Defensively, they have only been so-so, coughing up 350.7 total yards per game, giving up 290.3 passing yards to check in 26th. Most of that is skewed, however, as teams have passed frequently to get back into the game. Baltimore has shut down the run, allowing just 60.3 rushing yards per game to check in second in the NFL. The under has hit in four of the past five in this series, and six of the past eight in Charm City.

 Other important divisional games with important trends to note:

Washington at N.Y. Giants: The Redskins offense has been a train wreck, posting 336.3 total yards per game to rank 23rd in the NFL, and they're putting up a dismal 48.0 yards per game on the ground to check in 30th. That's not good. They're still managed to post 21.0 PPG, good for 21st in the NFL. Defensively, the 'Skins have been a wreck, as well, ranking 25th with 402.7 yards per game, and they're yielding 31.3 PPG, second-worst in the NFL. Make a note that Washington is the only team to see the over cash in all three of its games.

The Giants gave rookie QB Daniel Jones his first NFL start and it went well. Granted, if the Bucs had a kicker, the G-Men and their rookie go home with a loss in Tampa last week. However, the kicker shanked it, and 'Danny Dimes' is being hailed as the second coming for Big Blue. He passed for 336 yards and two touchdowns while running for 28 yards and a pair of scores. It will be interesting to see what the rookie does in his first home start, and his first game against a divisional opponent. However, while Jones was the good news from last week's road win, the bad news is RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) is expected to miss several weeks due to a high-ankle sprain. The Giants defense is ranked 31st in total yards (460.3) and that combined with Washington's unit is one of the main reasons this total has been pushed up.

Minnesota at Chicago: The trends all point to the 'under' for both the Vikings and the Bears. the under has cashed in 23 of the past 30 divisional battles for the Vikings, while hitting in four of the past five against winning teams and four straight on the road. The Bears have hit the under is four straight divisional battles, while cashing in four straight at home. They're also 6-2 in the past eight at home agaisnt teams with a winning road mark.

Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky finally showed a little consistency, hooking up with WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion) for three touchdowns in the second quarter alone in Week 2 at Washington. However, Gabriel was lost to a concussion, and remains in the protocol. They're still 29th in total yards (275.0), 29th in passing yards (178.7) and 26th in the league in points scored (16.7). Defensively the Bears have locked it down, giving up just 13.0 PPG to rank second in the league, and they're just fifth in rushing yards allowed (68.7). Will the unders continue?

Seattle at Arizona: The 'over' has connected in five straight divisional games for the Seahawks, and they're fairly consistent overall on offense .They're ninth in total yards (390.3), while going 10th in passing yards (280.0) and points scored (25.3). The over has hit in each of the past two for the Seahawks, including a 28-26 win at Pittsburgh in their only road trip of the season so far.

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray had some growing pains, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense isn't the up-tempo, high-scoring juggernaut that was expected. In fact, they're 26th in the NFL with 328.0 total yards per game, while middle of the road in passing (243.7), ranking 15th. The 'over' is 2-0 in their two home games so far, averaging 23.5 PPG while yielding 32.5 PPG. The last three meetings from the desert between this pair have watched the 'under' go 3-0. 

Heavy Expectations

There are four games listed with spreads of a touchdown or greater for Week 4, with one road team listed as a double-digit favorite. The totals are ranging from 42 to 54 in these contests and cashing a total could come down to which teams lay off the gas in the second-half.

L.A. Chargers at Miami (1:00 p.m. ET): The Chargers look to add to the woes of the Dolphins. Miami was a little more competitive at Dallas last week, if you count 31-6 as more competitive. That's how bad things have been for the Dolphins. They have managed a total of 16 points, hitting the under in their past two. The Chargers have also struggled a bit on offense, averaging 20.0 PPG while giving up just 21.3 PPG. You can expect another lopsided score, as they're more than a two-touchdown favorite in South Florida. Second-half bettors or Live Betting enthusiasts might want to jump in on the final 30 minutes of this matchup with the Chargers averaging 3.3 PPG in the final two quarters of the season while Miami is at 0 PPG.

New England at Buffalo (1:00 p.m. ET): The defending champs hit the road for Western New York, a place they have fared very well over the years. However, they're facing a new-look Bills team which enters the game with an identical 3-0 record and huge expectations these days. These aren't the same Bills which have been pushed around by the Pats in the past. 

The Patriots might have their most powerful offense in years, though, and that's a scary thing. They're averaging 35.3 PPG through three outings, including a 43-0 win on the road in Week 2 in their only road outing, albeit against the sorry Dolphins. New England is averaging 311.3 passing yards to rank second, and they're second in the NFL behind the Ravens in scoring. While all of that is good for the over, the defense has been on fire. They're No. 1 in the NFL in total yards (199.0), passing yards (162.3), rushing yards (36.7) and points allowed (5.7). The under has cashed in seven of the past nine inside the division for the Pats, while going 5-2 in the past seven meetings in this series.

Kansas City at Detroit (1:00 p.m. ET): The unbeaten Lions (2-0-1 SU) have hit the over in two of their three games, both on the road, while grinding out a 13-10 win and under in their only previous home game against the Chargers in Week 2. The offense has been on fire for the Chiefs, as expected, going for 28 or more points in all three games, including 34.0 PPG in their two road contests so far. These Lions have been surprisingly effective on defense, but this will obviously be their biggest test of the season. As far as trends go, Kansas City has watched the 'over' go 8-2 in their last 10 road matchups. However, Detroit is on a 6-0 'under' run its last six at Ford Field. 

Tampa Bay at L.A. Rams (4:05 p.m. ET): The Bucs could easily be going into this game at 2-1, but a missed kick at the buzzer meant a tough loss. They were able to score 31 points, though, the most of the season and their first 'over'. The Rams struggled in Cleveland on SNF despite the fact the Browns were missing their entire secondary. The Bucs have yielded 25.7 PPG through their three games, and that makes the 'over' rather attractive in this one. The Rams have racked up 25.7 PPG on offense, while the defense has allowed just 11.0 PPG in the past two after a 30-27 win in Week 1.

Under the Lights

Dallas at New Orleans (8:20 p.m. ET - Sun.): In the Sunday Night Football game, the Cowboys and Saints promised to be a high-flying affair. QB Drew Brees went down, and the offense was expected to struggle. However, the Saints adjusted quickly in Seattle last week, posting a 33-27 win with QB Teddy Bridgewater leading the charge. The 'over' is 5-0 in the past five for Dallas against NFC foes, but the under is 5-1 in the past six on the road against teams with a winning home record. The under is 8-2 in the past 10 against NFC foes for the Saints, and 10-3-1 in the past 14 at home against teams with a winning home mark.   

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): The Monday Night Football game this week is a bit of a stinker, as two 0-3 teams face off. The Bengals have really missed WR A.J. Green, as the offense has averaged just 18.0 PPG, while hitting the 'under' in each of their two road games this season. The Steelers have struggled mightily on both sides of the ball, and they're figuring out their identity with QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) done for the season, so QB Mason Rudolph gets his feet wet. Pittsburgh is averaging 16.3 PPG through three games, hitting the 'under' twice in three tries. With 'Big Ben' under center last season, Pittsburgh put up some crooked numbers in night games as it averaged 32.3 PPG and the 'over' went 3-1 in those games.

Fearless Predictions

I took a bit of a beating again in Week 3, as the net loss was (-$220). The Rams-Browns game ruined what would've been a nice teaser win. That's (-$660) for the season, too. We'll look to improve heading into Week 4. As CD (see below) would say, always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Jacksonville-Denver 37 ½
Best Under: Seattle-Arizona 48
Best First-Half Over: L.A. Chargers-Miami 22 ½

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
Over 30 ½ Jacksonville at Denver
Over 43 Tampa Bay at L.A. Rams
Over 40 Dallas at New Orleans

CD's Best Bets

Unfortunately for Chris David, he posted his second straight 1-2 week in his "Best Bet" selections on the "Bet And Collect" podcast last week and he now sits at 5-4 on the season. 

For this week's Podcast, he offers up his opinion on every game with Kevin Rogers plus he provides his top selections on the below games:

Tennessee at Atlanta
Minnesota at Chicago
Cleveland at Baltimore

Listen Here as he provides his thoughts and selections starting at 35:12 of Episode 7.

Bet and Collete Podcast

Joe Williams can be reached on Twitter at @JoeWilliamsVI

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