Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for Week 4 to help build your bankroll, including the early morning game in London, England and also the Denver Broncos trying to go to 4-0.
Now that’s more like it! After going 7-10-1 over the first two weeks of this season we busted out going 10-5 over all of our NFL picks last week, putting us at in the black at 17-15-1 for +1.74 units YTD as documented in the Sportsbook Review Forum. Hopefully that turnaround continues given our winning past in this sport, including going 79-57-2, 58.1 percent, +21.50 units last season, as we are back with another of our Friday 5-Packs of Sunday plays.
Week 4 began on Thursday night and the betting results may have varied based on timing. The Baltimore Ravens got by the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-20 in overtime, officially getting a ‘push’ on the closing line of -3 at Pinnacle Sports. The Ravens were available for -2½ for most of the week however. Also the game stayed ‘under’ the closing total of 44 by just one point, so it is possible the total result could have also been different with prudent line shopping.
Moving on to Sunday, our 5-Pack this week includes three sides and two totals, and contrary to our normal nature, all three sides are favorites! The two totals are more in line with our contrarian nature though as they are both ‘unders’. As has become our norm in recent years, all of these NFL odds come from Pinnacle.
Sunday, October 4th
New York Jets -1 (-105) over Miami Dolphins (9:30am ET): There is nothing like waking up to football from London at 9:30am ET on a Sunday morning, expect for maybe setting your alarms for a 6:30am kick-off on the West Coast! As for the game itself, the Jets tasted defeat for the first time under new coach Todd Bowles last week 24-17 to the Philadelphia Eagles, but they actually outgained the Eagles by 78 total yards as they were done in by an uncharacteristic three interceptions by Ryan Fitzpatrick and a punt return for touchdown by the Eagles’ Darren Sproles. The defense did its job holding the Chip Kelly offense to just 231 total yards, but the offense was too one-dimensional with Chris Ivory out as Fitzpatrick threw 58 passes in the game. Ivory is good to go this week though, so the offense should be balanced in support of a defense that leads the NFL in fewest points against at 13.7 per game and that ranks fourth in total defense at 298.3 yards per contest. The Dolphins have been out of sorts offensively with quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Lamar Miller both performing like busts for a team ranking 27th in points scored (17.0 per game) and 19th in total offense (344.3 yards). Look for the Jets to dominate defensively en route to victory.
Atlanta Falcons -6½ (+100) over Houston Texans (1:00 ET): If Coach of the Year Awards were handed out after three weeks, rookie coach Dan Quinn of the Falcons may be a runaway winner right now with his team standing at 3-0 after going 6-10 under Mike Smith last year. After opening up with a home win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Falcons have impressively gone on the road the last two weeks while impressively posting wins over two other NFC East teams in the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, most recently using a big second half to beat the Cowboys in Jerry-World 39-28. Yes, they are now facing the best defense they have faced so far in these Texans, but the Falcons have an unexpected balance this season with the emergence of running back Devonta Freeman to go along with the matchup-proof Julio Jones as the favorite target of Matt Ryan. Now, we get that the Texans are allowing only 20.0 points and 332.7 yards per game, but we simply do not see Houston matching those numbers vs. this offense on the fast track of the Georgia Dome. And when the Texans are not making stops, they are always in danger of getting blown out with their pedestrian offense that has managed just 18.7 points per game while already making a quarterback switch from Brian Hoyer to Ryan Mallett.
New York Giants, Buffalo Bills ‘under’ 45½ (-105) (1:00 ET): Coach Rex Ryan has always been a defensive mastermind, and his new team the Buffalo Bills has looked like it has the best defense in football in two games this season vs. quarterbacks not named Tom Brady, first making Andrew Luck look more uncomfortable than we have ever seen him in a 27-14 Week 1 win over the Colts and then suffocating the Miami Dolphins on the road in a 41-14 rout last week. Unfortunately, because Brady passed for 466 yards in the one outlier, Buffalo is a deceptive 30th in the NFL in total defense and 31st in passing defense. Those rankings will improve as the year goes on though as the defense is legitimate. The bigger surprise is an offense that is averaging 33.3 points with quarterback Tyrod Taylor playing like an MVP, but those are two things that we do not expect to continue, especially with LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins both out this week. Now, the Giants come off of their first win 32-21 over the Redskins, but unlike Brady and his quick release, Eli Manning does not usually respond well to pressure while standing statuesque in the pocket, so he may not have enough time to get the ball to Odell Beckham very often, especially with no help expected from a New York running game vs. the top ranked rushing defense of Buffalo.
Denver Broncos -7 (+106) over Minnesota Vikings (4:25 ET): So, Peyton Manning is washed up and C.J Anderson is running in quicksand this year. And oh by the way, the Broncos are 3-0 and have a great chance to get to 4-0 here vs. a bad road team! That is what happens when you just might have the best defense in the NFL like Denver does, as the Broncos lead the league in total defense and passing defense, as well as ranking sixth in rushing defense and fourth in scoring defense. Remember the days when the Broncos used to win with a potent offense that simply outscored the opposition? Well, those days are no longer as these Broncos actually rank dead last in total offense and 12th in scoring. We do not see that lasting though as Manning comes off of his best game of the year completing 31-of-42 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns vs. the Lions last week, and Anderson simply has to be better than he has looked after being the leading rusher in the NFL over the final eight weeks last year, as he has been hampered by a bothersome toe injury. The Vikings come off of two home wins, but they were blown out 20-3 by the pathetic San Francisco 49ers in their only road game this year and if Adrian Peterson struggles vs. the Denver front as expected, how will Minnesota score?
St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals ‘under’ 43 (-105) (4:25 ET): The Cardinals are coming off of back-to-back double-digit win seasons in which great defense carried mediocre offenses. The defense is still very good this year but now the offense is also doing its part with Arizona topping 40 points each of the last two weeks! However, we do not quite see that offensive barrage continuing vs. a good St. Louis defense here, and while Carson Palmer is an early Comeback Player of the Year candidate, he is still an immobile pocket passer that could be facing the best pass rush he has faced so far this year. The Rams are 10th in the NFL in total defense and seventh in passing defense, so the Cardinals may need a repeat performance from last week by another veteran in Chris Johnson after he rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries vs. the 49ers. And he just may do it too with the Rams allowing a more pedestrian 122.7 rushing yards per game on 4.0 yards per carry. Meanwhile, the struggling Rams offense should continue to have a tough time scoring on the stiff Arizona defense after managing only six points vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers last week and 10 points vs. the lowly Washington Redskins the previous week. Add this all up and it would appear that the ‘under’ is the best play in this game.