The first three weeks of the NFL season are in the books. Two of the biggest takeaways have been the profitable performance of underdogs and Unders. Dogs are 30-18 ATS (63 percent) to start the season. The best spot to back dogs has been if they’re short road dogs + 6 or less. These teams are 14-3 ATS (82 percent). Another interesting spot is buying low on dogs that are playing their second consecutive road game. These buy-low dogs are 7-0 ATS. Meanwhile, Unders are 28-20 (58 percent) to start the season. Low-total Unders of 45 or less are the top spot, going 12-2 so far (86 percent). Another notable takeaway: Betting against rookies quarterbacks has been extremely profitable, going 10-1 ATS.
Now we turn our attention to Week 4. Here are five games that pros are targeting.
Washington Football Team at Atlanta Falcons
These NFC opponents are 1-2 to start the season. Washington (1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS) got crushed by the Bills 43-21 last week, failing to cover as a 7-point road dog. On the flip side, the Falcons (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) just secured their first win of the season, beating the Giants 17-14 and winning outright as 2.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Atlanta listed as a short 1-point home favorite. The public is split down the middle and doesn’t know whom to back. But Washington has flipped from + 1 to -1.5, signaling sharp dog-to-favorite line movement in its favor. Washington has value as a buy-low 0-3 ATS team on which the public is souring. Road favorites off a loss against teams off a win are 78-54 ATS (59 percent) over the last decade. Also, teams coming off blowout losses of 20 points or more are 5-1 ATS this season and about 54 percent ATS the last decade. Those looking to back Washington but fearful of a one-point game might be better served to play the Football Team on the moneyline (-120).
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
This NFC West clash features undefeated teams looking to secure the top spot in the division. The Cardinals (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) are coming off a 31-19 win over the Jaguars, covering as 8-point road favorites. Meanwhile, the Rams (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) just dominated the Bucs 34-24, winning as 1-point home dogs. This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a 6-point home favorite. The public is happy to ride the high-flying Rams at home laying a short number, especially after their big win over the Bucs. However, Los Angeles has fallen from -6 to -5. This signals some wise-guy action buying low on the undefeated Cardinals plus the points. Short road dogs + 6 or less are 14-3 ATS this season and 119-73 ATS (62 percent) over the last two years. Arizona also has value as a divisional dog (56 percent ATS over the last two seasons) and a dog with a line move in its favor (59 percent ATS over the last two seasons).
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos
This AFC grudge match is one of the most heavily bet late-afternoon games. The Ravens (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) have won two straight but needed a 66-yard game-winning field goal by Justin Tucker to edge the lowly Lions 19-17, and Baltimore failed to cover as a 7.5-point road favorite. On the flip side, the Broncos (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) are one of just five undefeated teams in the league. Denver crushed the Jets 26-0 last week, easily covering as a 10-point home favorite. This line opened at a virtual pick-’em, with some shops even opening Baltimore -1. The public loves getting Lamar Jackson and company at such a short price and is absolutely hammering the Ravens. But despite lopsided betting on Baltimore, this line has stayed at Broncos -1. This signals a sharp line freeze with liability on the contrarian home favorite. Denver has an altitude advantage playing at Mile High against opponents not used to the thin air. Also, Teddy “Two Gloves” Bridgewater is 3-0 ATS this season and 38-14 ATS (73 percent) in his career as a starting quarterback.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers
This nonconference matchup is one of the most lopsided games of Week 4. The Steelers (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) have dropped two straight after upsetting the Bills in Week 1, falling to the Bengals 24-10 last week and losing outright as 2.5-point home favorites. The Packers (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) have rebounded from a Week 1 loss to the Saints to win two straight, including an impressive 30-28 victory over the 49ers last week, winning outright as 3-point road dogs. This line opened with Green Bay listed as a 7-point home favorite. The public sees an easy win and cover with the red-hot Packers against the ice-cold Steelers. Despite this lopsided betting, the Packers have fallen from -7 to -6.5. This signals some sharp reverse line movement on road dog Pittsburgh in the ultimate buy-low spot. Dogs with line moves in their favor are 59 percent ATS over the last two seasons. Mike Tomlin has done well in his career as a dog, going 39-19 ATS (76 percent) when getting points with the Steelers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots
This “Sunday Night Football” showdown will break records for ticket counts as it marks Tom Brady’s highly anticipated return to Foxboro and his first game against Bill Belichick since leaving the Patriots. The Bucs (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) suffered their first loss of the season last week, falling to the Rams 34-24 and losing outright as 1-point road favorites. Similarly, the Patriots (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) are coming off a disappointing loss in Week 3, falling to the Saints 28-13 as 3-point home favorites. This line opened with the Bucs listed as 5.5-point road favorites. Pros and Joes are both rushing to the window to lay the points with Tampa Bay, steaming the Bucs up from -5.5 to -6.5. Teams playing their second straight road game, like the Bucs here, are 7-0 ATS this season and 54 percent ATS over the last decade. Tampa Bay also has value as a nonconference favorite and a favorite with a high total (49). The lack of familiarity benefits the better team in nonconference play. Also, high totals benefit favorites as the more expected points scored makes it easier for the favorite to cover. The Bucs have a glaring edge offensively, averaging 34.3 ppg while the Pats are averaging just 18.