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Essential Week 4 Betting Tips for NFL Sunday
Looking for some quick-hitting betting info for Week 4 of the NFL slate? We break down all the need-to-know facts and figures for Sunday’s NFL matchups.
New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins (+1, 42.5) (London, England)
* Running back Chris Ivory (quadriceps) hopes to get his uniform dirty on Sunday after being a spectator last week versus the Eagles. New York’s ground game suffered as a result with just 33 yards on 10 carries, a far cry from the 91 yards on 20 rushes that Ivory accumulated in a 31-10 victory over Cleveland on Sept. 13.
* This will be the Dolphin’s third game at Wembley Stadium. Miami has proven to be a good wager in these games going 2-0 against the spread (1-1 straight up), including a 38-14 win over the Oakland Raiders as 4-point faves last season.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5, 48)
* Jacksonville upset the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 but came crashing back to Earth in last week’s 51-17 setback at the New England Patriots. The Jaguars set two dubious franchise records, surrendering their highest point total and failing to force an opponent to punt for the first time.
* Indianapolis has dominated in recent meetings, posting a record of 5-0 SU and ATS, winning by at least 20 points in the past four matchups with the Jags.
New York Giants at Buffalo Bills (-5, 45.5)
* While clock management has been a problem, Eli Manning has thrown four touchdown passes without an interception and is a proven winner, beginning just one season with a 1-3 record or worse since entering the league 12 years ago. The Giants have won their past two trips to Buffalo but need to improve their ground game, which has not had a 100-yard rusher this season.
* LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins might be out, but the offense has been clicking in Buffalo. Tyrod Taylor has seven passing touchdowns in his first three games and Karlos Williams became the first player to score a touchdown in each of his first three games since Percy Harvin did so in 2009. Williams rushed for 110 yards last week and, even though McCoy has been injured, the Bills are the No. 1 rushing team in the NFL.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3, 39.5)
* New Panther Jared Allen had been trying to transition to a standup end in a 3-4 defensive front in Chicago but is going back to his more familiar position of right end in a 4-3 alignment. “I understand the game with my hand on the ground,” Allen told reporters. “I feel like I can play faster, stronger, better leverage, better technique. This is where my heart and my home is, in a 4-3 defense.”
* Some of Jameis Winston’s struggles against the Texans last week stemmed from his tendency to lock in on receiver Mike Evans, who was targeted 17 times and hauled in only seven passes. “This team needs better from me, and I will get better,” Evans told reporters. “But it’s in the past; the game’s behind us… I’ll work hard in practice this week and hopefully I’ll make those plays come Sunday.”
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+3, 44)
* While Sam Bradford has been less than impressive, Philadelphia is getting a big contribution from Darren Sproles thus far. The veteran running back was named the NFL’s Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a punt 89 yards for a touchdown and rushing for another score against the Jets.
* After a dismal rushing display versus the New York Giants in Week 3, the Redskins may have to rely on the arm of Kirk Cousins, who will make another start despite throwing four interceptions in the first three games. Cousins is unlikely to get much help in the form of former Eagle DeSean Jackson, who has missed two contests with a hamstring injury and is day-to-day.
Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears (+3.5, 44)
* While optimistic about its start, Oakland cannot be too pleased with its defense thus far. The Raiders surrendered fewer than 33 points for the first time this season last week but rank last in the league with an average of 414.7 yards allowed.
* During the 2014 regular season, teams coming off a game against the hard-hitting Seahawks were just 3-11 SU and 3-9-1 ATS in their next contest (excluding Denver, which had a bye after its Week 3 loss to Seattle, and St. Louis in the season finale). The Bears were blanked 26-0 by the Seahawks one week ago.
Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-5.5, 46.5)
* The Atlanta Falcons look for their second 4-0 start in four years when they host the Houston Texans on Sunday. The Falcons could stand to win with a bit more ease, though, after becoming the first team in NFL history to capture their first three games after trailing in the fourth quarter of each.
* Atlanta’s hot start has been built on the strength of its high-powered passing game led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, but the Texans have been tough against the pass. Houston has limited opponents to 53.8 percent passing, the lowest mark in the NFL.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5, 45)
* The Chiefs’ struggling secondary gets back Sean Smith from a three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, which will help the Chiefs make up for the loss of fellow cornerback Phillip Gaines, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Packers.
* Andy Dalton’s maturity as a quarterback has stabilized Cincinnati’s offense, as the fifth-year signal-caller leads the AFC with a 121 rating, and A.J. Green had a game for the ages last week with 10 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns – including the game-winner.
Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers (-7.5, 44.5)
* Travis Benjamin continued his strong start to the season by reeling in his fourth touchdown in three games last week. The 25-year-old only has 10 catches to share the team lead with tight end Gary Barnidge.
* An ailing offensive line has been part of the problem for Philip Rivers, who has been sacked four times in San Diego last two games – a 24-19 setback to Cincinnati in Week 2 and a 31-14 loss to Minnesota on Sunday. When protected, Rivers routinely has found a familiar target in Keenan Allen, as the third-year wideout ranks third in the NFL with 29 receptions and sixth with 315 yards.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (+7.5, 48)
* Aaron Rodgers has completed 73.6 percent of his throws through three games, significantly better than his career-best mark of 68.3 in 2011 and Drew Brees’ NFL record of 70.62 in 2009. The two-time NFL MVP has thrown a league-high 10 touchdowns and has yet to toss an interception
* With Colin Kaepernick struggling, San Francisco needs to receive a jolt from its ground game in order to ignite an offense that is averaging a league-low 15 points per contest. Carlos Hyde set the NFL on its ear with a 168-yard, two-touchdown performance in the season opener, but has been limited to just 94 yards on 28 carries in a pair of blowout losses to Pittsburgh and Arizona.
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-7, 43)
* The Rams need to get their offense untracked after scoring a combined 16 points in consecutive defeats against the Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers.
* The Cardinals have been dominant at the betting window in recent meetings with the Rams. Arizona is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings with their NFC West rivals.
Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (-7, 42.5)
* Adrian Peterson managed 31 yards in Minnesota’s season-opening loss at San Francisco but totaled 260 in home wins over Detroit and San Diego. The former MVP will be going up against a Denver front that ranks sixth in the NFL against the rush, allowing an average of 82.7 yards.
* While Peyton Manning and the offense are just starting to round into form, the Denver defense has been one of the top units in the NFL from Week 1. The Broncos are limiting opponents to league-leading averages of 259 total yards and 176.3 passing yards while sitting second in the NFL with 10 takeaways, led by Aquib Talib’s two interceptions.
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (-3.5, 48)
* Dallas can establish a franchise record with 11 consecutive road victories with a win Sunday. The Cowboys have gone 8-2 ATS in their previous 10 road games.
* Coach Sean Payton told the team’s official website that they’d like to expand the role of running back C.J. Spiller, who has been limited to four rushes for 11 yards and three receptions for 41 yards in two games since returning from knee surgery.