NFL capsules for Week 4


Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals

Week 4 starts Thursday night as the last two No. 1 overall picks square off in an otherwise unappealing matchup. The Jaguars (0-3 SU and ATS) are looking for the first win and first cover of Urban Meyer’s tenure. They let a nine-point third-quarter lead slip away last week against the Cardinals, failing to cover as big underdogs. The Jaguars led 19-10 but ultimately fell 31-19,

committing four turnovers, including one for a touchdown. The Bengals (2-1 SU and ATS) are coming off an impressive 24-10 win over the Steelers, holding Pittsburgh to just over 4 yards per play. The lookahead line was Bengals by 1.5, but their surprise start coupled with the Jaguars’ ineptitude have this line all the way up through the key number of 7 to 7.5. The total is 45.5.

Washington Football Team at Atlanta Falcons

Washington (1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS) is looking for its first cover of the season, facing the Falcons (1-2 SU and ATS) in a pick-’em game after neither team has done much to inspire confidence in bettors. The Falcons won 17-14 on the final play of their last game, coming back to defeat the Giants despite being outgained. After a disastrous opener and a misleading final score against the Bucs in Week 2, the Falcons have played respectably despite being 1-2 and having been outscored by 46 points. Washington has been one of the more disappointing teams so far, its only win coming after a controversial offsides call against the Giants extended the game. Washington will be looking to rebound after allowing 481 yards and 43 points to the Bills. Chase Young was a front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year coming into the season but has yet to record a sack. The total is 48.5.

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

The Lions (0-3 SU, 2-1 ATS) look to rebound from a heartbreaking defeat as they seek their first win of the season against the Bears (1-2 SU and ATS). The gold jacket for Justin Fields will have to wait after the Bears netted just 1 passing yard in the rookie’s first start when factoring in loss of yardage due to sacks. The Bears remarkably were held to 47 total yards as they were completely throttled by the Browns, averaging 1 yard per play and losing 26-6. The Lions lost on a record-breaking Justin Tucker field goal as time expired moments after allowing the Ravens to convert a fourth-and-19 to keep the game alive. The line has the Bears favored by 3, down from the opener of 5.5, amid doubt as to who will play quarterback this week. Coach Matt Nagy said all three quarterbacks on the roster — Andy Dalton, Nick Foles and Fields — were in consideration. The total is down from 47 to 42.5 after last week’s poor offensive display.

Tennessee Titans at New York Jets

The Titans (2-1 SU and ATS) held off a late back-door cover attempt to defeat their steepest AFC South competition, beating the Colts 25-16. The game was closer than it perhaps should have been. The Titans ran for 180 yards and held the Colts to 4.6 yards per play but turned the ball over three times without forcing a Colts turnover. The Jets (0-3 SU and ATS) have yet to win a game or cover a spread and were completely shut down and shut out by the Broncos, throwing for just over 100 yards. The line opened with the Titans as 5.5-point favorites, but predictably bettors want no part of the Jets, as the line is now over the key number of 7. The total is 46, and WR A.J. Brown is unlikely to play with a hamstring injury he suffered early in Sunday’s win.

Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings

The Browns (2-1 SU and ATS) silenced the Bears’ offense last week, holding them to astounding final tallies: 47 yards of offense and 1 yard per play. Meanwhile, the Browns piled up over 400 yards of offense, including 215 on the ground. Their only loss was in the opener at Kansas City, where they led by double digits in the second half. The Vikings (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) finally got a victory and have to feel some regret that they aren’t 3-0, with their two losses coming on a missed 37-yard field goal as time expired and the other on a controversial overtime fumble in Bengals territory. They shut out the Seahawks in the second half and scored the final 23 points last week to win 30-17. The status of Dalvin Cook will be something for bettors to watch after he sat out against the Seahawks. In his absence the Vikings gained 463 yards, including 140 on the ground. This line opened as a pick-’em, with the Browns now small 2-point favorites. The total is 53 as the Vikings did allow over 7 yards per play last week.

Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins

Two desperate teams take the field this week as the Colts (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS) face their former quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. They seek their first win as they already trail the Titans by 2.5 games in the AFC South while battling a plethora of injuries. All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson looks to be headed to injured reserve, and despite forcing three turnovers against the Titans, the Colts’ offense generated only 19 points. Carson Wentz played despite being questionable with two sprained ankles. The Dolphins (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) lost in OT to the Raiders. After jumping to a 14-0 lead, they needed a late touchdown and two-point conversion to extend the game. The close final was a bit misleading as the Dolphins allowed nearly 500 yards and were held to 4.2 yards per play. The Dolphins are 2-point favorites, and the total is 43. Both teams were expected to compete for playoff spots, but the loser will be forced to dig out of an early hole.

Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys

It’s a battle of two unbeaten ATS teams as the Cowboys (2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS) host the Panthers (3-0 SU and ATS). The line opened with Dallas laying 3.5, but an impressive performance in front of a national audience Monday night against the Eagles has bumped it up to 5. The Panthers were also impressive in a standalone game, but defeating the helpless Texans with a third-string quarterback doesn’t inspire the same confidence from the market. Star running back Christian McCaffrey left Thursday’s game with a hamstring injury and will likely sit out, while rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn broke his foot and will be out as well. The Panthers held the Texans to under 200 yards and have been one of the league’s top defenses. They are allowing 10 points per game, which is second in the league, and 191 yards per game, which ranks first. The Cowboys, who will be on a short week, look to be much improved on defense this year. They held the Chargers to 14 points and allowed just two touchdowns to the Eagles, both with the game out of reach. The total is 50.5.

Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles

Bettors may have finally seen value with the Chiefs (1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS) this week in a buy-low spot off two losses. But the Eagles (1-2 SU and ATS) were blown out Monday night, driving this line up over the key number of 7 as the visitors are now favored by 7.5. The Chiefs’ lack of ability to cover has been well-documented. They have failed to cover 12 of their last 13 games, depending on when and where you bet them (games against the Saints and Bucs last year landed right around the closing number). While not covering has been a chronic issue for the Chiefs, they are now failing to win on the field and at 1-2 are under .500 for the first time in Patrick Mahomes’ career. The Chiefs allowed nearly 6 yards per play in their loss to the Chargers and were done in by four turnovers. The Eagles scored on defense Monday night against the Cowboys, but their only two offensive touchdowns came with the game out of reach as they were beaten soundly 41-21. The total is set at 54.5.

Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills

This is one of the biggest spreads we will see all season, as anything over two touchdowns is incredibly rare in the NFL, and the Bills (2-1 SU and ATS) open as 17-point chalk. After a disappointing Week 1 loss to the Steelers that might look fluky as the year plays out, the Bills have put together consecutive blowout victories. The Texans (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) won in Week 1 but look like they may be waiting a while for their next victory with rookie quarterback Davis Mills at the helm and Tyrod Taylor on IR with a hamstring injury. The Texans, who were playing spirited ball with Taylor at quarterback, were totally shut down last week at home, failing to gain 200 yards and converting only 1 of 9 third downs. The total is 48.

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

In one of the more exciting and important matchups of the weekend, the Cardinals (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) visit the Rams (3-0 SU, 2–1 ATS). The Cardinals trailed the lowly Jaguars 19–10 in the second half last week but rallied and not only won but covered the closing number of 9. The Rams were in control throughout in one of the more impressive performances we’ve seen this season, handling the Buccaneers 34-24 and giving them their first loss since November. The Rams are favored by 5.5, and the winner will get an early leg up in the division and the conference. This game also features two early candidates for MVP with Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford. Rams running back Darrell Henderson was out of last week’s game and might not play this week. The total has been bet up from 50 to 53.5, with both teams displaying explosive offenses.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

This NFC West rivalry renews Sunday with both teams coming off losses and the Seahawks (1-2 SU and ATS) looking to avoid a 1-3 start. They led Minnesota 17-7 and moved the ball efficiently with 7.5 yards per play but converted only 38 percent of their third downs. After winning in Week 1, they led by 14 late in Week 2 against the Titans and were headed for a 2-0 start. But they blew that game and now look to avoid falling into an early hole. The 49ers clawed back from a 17-0 deficit to take a 28-27 lead against the Packers but left Aaron Rodgers 37 seconds to get his team into field-goal range, and the Packers converted for the victory as time expired. The 49ers were held to 4.6 yards per play and for the second straight year are seeing key injuries begin to pile up on both sides of the ball, most notably at cornerback. The line opened at 3.5 but is down to 2.5, perhaps due to the injuries for the 49ers and desperation for the Seahawks. The total is 52.

New York Giants at New Orleans Saints

The Saints (2-1 SU and ATS) bounced back from a poor showing against the Panthers and won at New England 28-13, forcing three turnovers, including a pick-six. They were 6-point favorites on the lookahead line, but a strong performance coupled with another dud from the Giants (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS) have driven this line up to 8. The Giants outgained the Falcons but scored only one touchdown in three red-zone opportunities, losing 17-14 on a field goal as time expired. The Giants also suffered some injuries at wide receiver, as Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard left early and did not return. Their status will be something to monitor. The total is down from 47 to 43.5.

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

It will be a fun matchup between two of the better teams in the AFC and a potential playoff preview as the Broncos (3-0 SU and ATS) will face their first big test after dismantling the dregs of the league in the Giants, Jets and Jaguars. The only loss for the Ravens (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) came in overtime in Week 1 in a game they led until the final seconds of regulation. They could easily be 3-0. But they could just as easily be 0-3 as they needed a fourth-and-19 conversion and a record-shattering field goal from Justin Tucker to avoid a monster upset against the Lions, and they trailed the Chiefs by 11 in the fourth quarter two weeks ago before coming back to win. The line opened with the Broncos getting a point at home, but they are now giving a point, as they have been impressive and very difficult to beat at altitude early in the season in recent years. The total is 44.5.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers

The Packers (2-1 SU and ATS) are 6.5-point favorites and have rebounded nicely after a blowout loss to the Saints in Week 1. The Steelers (1-2 SU and ATS), on the other hand, won as big dogs against the Bills in Week 1, but that game now looks like an aberration, as they have been thoroughly outplayed in the two games since. The Steelers were held to 10 points last week against the Bengals and averaged a modest 4.4 yards per play. Bettors have to factor in 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger’s deteriorating play. The Steelers not only lost but got banged up, as wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson suffered injuries, joining the already sidelined T.J. Watt. The total has been bet down to 45.5.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots

The Bucs (2–1 SU, 1-2 ATS) are coming off their first loss since a few days after Thanksgiving as they were beaten soundly by the Rams last week. Despite the loss, the Bucs open as 6.5-point favorites as Tom Brady visits his old stomping ground. It will be interesting to see if this line ticks up to the key number of 7, as the Patriots (1-2 SU and ATS) are coming off a lackluster performance in their home loss to the Saints. The Patriots held the Saints to 4.1 yards per play but were sunk by three turnovers, including a pick-six, losing their second straight at home. Brady off a loss and Bill Belichick off a loss — something has to give in one of the most-watched games of the season. Rob Gronkowski was banged up last week but is expected to play. The total is 49.5, down from 51.

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

Week 4 wraps up with two teams that have relocated recently. That could be more than a side note, as the Raiders (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) might be the more popular team in California. They erased an early 14-0 deficit to beat the Dolphins in overtime and improve to 3-0. They dominated on the stat sheet, piling up 500 yards of offense on over 6 yards per play while holding the Dolphins to 4.1 yards per play. The Chargers created four turnovers and upset the Chiefs 30-24 but did miss two extra points, which is something for bettors to keep in mind. The Chargers opened as 3-point favorites and are now favored by 4. Getting the best of the number may be pivotal here as the line vacillates between 3 and 4. Raiders running back Josh Jacobs has been out since Week 1 but might return this week. The total is set at 53.5.

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