Week 4 NFL best bets and predictions
Each week, I'll be looking through Sunday's NFL games to try and feed my readers three winners. And that continues with the three best bets I have for the Week 4 slate, which includes a pick on a meeting between the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars in London. I also have a play on an exciting AFC East battle between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. Keep reading to find out what I have and make sure you also check out what my talented VSiN colleagues are playing. Those plays, along with all of our NFL content for the week, are available at our Week 4 NFL Bet Hub. You can also get all of our picks for the week on the Pro Picks page.
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The Under is 2-1 in the three games the Falcons have played this year, and it isn’t all that hard to figure out why. Atlanta has the seventh-highest run percentage in the NFL this season, with the team expectedly pounding away with the combination of Tyler Allgeier and stud rookie Bijan Robinson. The Falcons are also playing like a middle of the pack defensive team this season, which is a lot better than last year. Atlanta was 31st in the league in Defensive DVOA in 2022, so being 20th through three games is a significant improvement. And overall, the combination of a run-heavy offense and an average defense will make it hard for games to go Over.
The Jaguars also haven’t been playing very well offensively this season, as they’re just 23rd in the league in Offensive DVOA. They’re also averaging just 19.0 points per game. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t been quite as bad as his traditional stats would suggest (736 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT), but this offense just hasn’t been able to get it going. The group has been plagued by drops and a simple inability to finish drives. That makes it hard to expect an offensive explosion this week — especially against a team that will make it hard for the Jags to find a rhythm.
These London games can also be hard for players to adjust to, as it’s a long trip over and a completely different experience when it comes to preparing for the week. The Jaguars have played in London more than any other team, yet they haven’t been able to use it to their advantage. They have been sluggish in their most recent four trips to England, going 1-3 straight-up. And all four of those games saw the teams combining to score less than 44 points, which is what we’ll be rooting for here. If Jacksonville can’t be trusted to figure out how to perform in London, why should anyone?
Bet: Under 43.5 (-110)
The Bengals were able to sneak by the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football last week, but the performance wasn’t entirely impressive. Outside of Ja’Marr Chase finishing with 12 catches for 141 yards, it’s hard to find many positives with Cincinnati’s offense right now. The only real thing you can say is that it’s big Joe Burrow escaped that game without reinjuring his calf. But Burrow was said to be extremely sore the next day, and he now has to play this one on only six days rest. So, I’m not overly confident that he’ll turn in a good performance here. And that would make it hard on the Bengals to win this game, as the Titans don’t seem like the type of team that will let Joe Mixon get hot. Tennessee is third in the league in Defensive DVOA when it comes to the running game.
The question here is whether the Titans offense will be able to score enough points to win. But I do think they’ll find a lot of success on the ground here. Before giving up just 71 rushing yards against Los Angeles last game, Cincinnati gave up 206 rushing yards to the Cleveland Browns and then 178 to the Baltimore Ravens. And while the Rams didn’t run for a lot of yards last game, they did rush for 5.5 yards per carry. That said, this rushing defense is something of a disaster right now. And that’s not what you want against a team with Derrick Henry and Tyjae Spears. I can see both having good games in this one. And that would then open the door for Ryan Tannehill to have a solid passing day, as he’s very effective out of the play action.
Tennessee is also 8-1 against the spread in October games since the start of the 2021 season. And while I’m not playing the Titans to cover, they have won those games by an average of 8.0 points per game. So, I feel pretty good about them on the moneyline.
Bet: Titans ML (+120)
I know I’m supposed to think the Dolphins are the best team in the world after last week’s 70-point performance against the Denver Broncos, but I’m still not completely buying Miami as one of the league’s truly elite teams. Of course, if they go on the road and beat the Bills in this game, I’d happily change my mind on that. But for now, I think you’re getting a really good number on Buffalo in this game.
This season, the Bills are second in the league in overall Defensive DVOA, and they’re second against the pass and sixth against the run. So, this Buffalo defense is good in all facets of the game, which makes it hard for me to believe Miami will easily move the ball down the field in this one. And I do think the Bills will be able to get some pressure on Tua Tagovailoa in this game, even with the lefty having one of the quickest releases in the NFL. Buffalo is just loaded along the defensive line, so I trust the group to get into the backfield here.
As for the Bills offense, I have no doubts they’ll have success against the Dolphins. Miami is just 21st in the league in Defensive DVOA, and the team is particularly weak at defending the run. So, James Cook should be able to pick up chunk yardage on the ground throughout this game, and Josh Allen should also successfully use his legs here. In the passing game, I can’t imagine the Dolphins giving Allen much trouble. Allen put up huge numbers against Miami last year, including one game in which he threw for 304 yards with four touchdowns and no picks while also rushing for 77 yards. He has liked what he has seen from this defense, and I don’t think that’ll change with Vic Fangio now in Miami. The Dolphins have looked a little better on that side of the ball, but things are still far from perfect.
Bet: Bills -2.5 (-115)
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