Three early Week 4 NFL lines to consider

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

September 26, 2022 06:13 AM
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The decrease in scoring has been a big story around the NFL through three weeks, as we’ve seen a lot of games come nowhere close to the total. It seemed like we were going to have a high-scoring Sunday in Week 3 based on the first halves of the early games, but then everything went stagnant and points were at a premium in the second half.

The further we get from the preseason, the likelier points are going to be, but it sure seems like a lot of teams are trying to figure things out on the offensive side of the ball. We’ve had our fair share of drama, but it sure would be nice to see some more touchdowns.

In any event, here are some early lines to consider for Week 4:

Arizona Cardinals (+ 1.5, 44.5) at Carolina Panthers

The Cardinals are making the long trip across the country to take on the Panthers, but this is a line that looks to be off a little bit. Carolina owns a win over the Saints, who have been really disappointing to this point in the season. While the Cardinals have some problems defensively, Kyler Murray is still a dynamic player that has the chance to be a real game-changer in a matchup such as this.

Through three games, Baker Mayfield has thrown for just 550 yards and only completed 52% of his passes. He’s had two long catch-and-run plays that have dramatically altered the yards per play numbers for Carolina. This is not a very good football team and the Cardinals, despite their warts, have at least played a tougher schedule and have the chance to go on the road and steal an upset against a team that really doesn’t have much to fall back on offensively.

The lookahead line had Arizona a clear road favorite and it seems like an overreaction to flip the favorite when Carolina played a New Orleans team that has not lived up to expectation and the Cardinals played the reigning Super Bowl champs.

Pick: Cardinals + 1.5

Detroit Lions (-6, 48.5) at Seattle Seahawks

The Lions fell short against the Vikings, but it is really obvious what Detroit is building this season. This is a team planning for the future with a quality offensive line and a lot of individual pieces on defense. Meanwhile, the Seahawks should be 0-3 and have not looked like a team capable of contending in the majority of their games.

Seattle came into Week 3 getting outgained by over a yard per play and gave up 7.1 yards per play to a Falcons team that is very limited on offense. It is undoubtedly hard to look at Detroit from an historical standpoint and be interested in laying almost a touchdown with a franchise that has been marred by futility for a long period of time, but the reality is that the Lions deserve this big favorite role and should revel in it against a team that may very well be bad enough to contend for the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Pick: Lions -6

New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers (-9.5, 42)

The injury to Mac Jones looks like a huge problem for the Patriots. While this is a team that went into the season looking to win with the running game and a stout defense, that isn’t the way that the NFL works in 2022. You have to have a quarterback and some skill players capable of making plays to create some explosive gains and some momentum that keeps the opposing defense on its heels.

The Patriots were going to struggle with that anyway, but the Jones injury really limits their upside on offense. Meanwhile, the Packers obviously don’t have a ton of weapons for Aaron Rodgers, as they’ve scored just 48 points through three games. Green Bay’s defense has only allowed 45 points and was really the star of the show last season, as the Packers failed to win by margin often, but still won 13 games in the regular season.

With Bill Belichick’s commitment to playing defense, you know that he’ll do whatever he can to keep this close and give his team as much of a chance as possible.

Pick: Under 42

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