Week 4 – Okay everyone. I’m trying something new as a way to track my weekly success for both my personal benefit and to further benefit my readers. Every week going forward – this week included – I will give you my safest 3 bets of the week. I will track my success on these bets as though I had wagered $500 on each game and I will keep a running total throughout the season. I haven’t come up with a cool name for this section of my posts yet but It will always be at the end and I am indeed picking my first three games this week! Well, let’s get into the week 4 match-ups!
Cleveland @ Baltimore (-12) o/u 44
It appears by all accounts that this is finally the season experts have been waiting for Joe Flacco to emerge. He is clearly a Top 10 Quarterback at this point in the season and although it is still early, all signs point to Flacco finally realizing the potential that prompted the Baltimore Ravens to draft him with their 1st Round pick, 18th overall in 2008. With an offense featuring Ray Rice, a young emerging tight end and a burner in Torrey Smith, the Ravens offense seems to finally be ready to match the performance of their vaunted D. The Browns on the other hand looked less than mediocre against the Bills last week. They could muster almost no offense going in to the 3rd quarter and this will not change this week with Mohammed Massaquoi out. This week does not look good for the Browns.
Line: Baltimore -12
Total: Over 44
New England (-4) @ Buffalo o/u 51.5
Although New England lost a heartbreaker to the Ravens last week, I think they will be more than ready to come back with a vengeance this week in Buffalo. Billy B was fined $50,000 for his referee incident and the Pats have a long history of dominance over the Bills. With CJ Spiller being hurt, Fred Jackson’s status up in the air and an ANGRY Pats team coming to town, things spell disaster for the Buffalo Bills this weekend. I really like Tom Brady and company to come in to Buffalo and show the Bills the difference between their Week 2 & 3 opponents (KC & Cleveland) with a dominant performance in Week 4 in Orchard Park. Take the Pats and rest easy on Sunday.
Line: New England -4
Total: Over 51.5
Minnesota @ Detroit (-4.5) o/u 46
Things have been up and down for both of these teams this year and the Detroit Lions have not lived up to expectations as of yet. I do not predict this to be an issue for much longer. This team has much too much talent to choke away and entire season and WAAAY too much offense not to be able to cover a simple 4.5 points at home against the lowly Vikings. Quarterback play will be the deciding factor in this game and I see no reason to doubt Matthew Stafford’s ability to outgun Christian Ponder and his mediocre offense.
Line: Detroit (-4.5)
Total: Over 46
Carolina @ Atlanta (-7) o/u 48.5
Carolina looked very overmatched during their Thursday night home performance against the NY Giants and the Atlanta Falcons looked near flawless in a blowout over the San Diego Chargers. Although I expect a better performance from the Carolina Panthers in Week 4, the fact of the matter is, the Panthers are still a team looking up and the Atlanta Falcons are a team poised to win a title. Atlanta has the talent, coaching, experience and chemistry of a team that is built for a very deep playoff run. Carolina and Cam Newton will show flashes of promise in this game, but I think the Falcons will ultimately win. My biggest concern about this game is the -7 line which forces Atlanta to win by more than a touchdown and I think this might be a bit tricky. This is a tough one to pick, but at +7 points I’ll take Carolina
Line: Carolina +7
Total: Under 48.5
San Francisco (-4) @ New York Jets o/u 40.5
This game is a line that you should jump on early. This line will not stay this way for long as I see a HUGE movement towards money on the 49er’s ESPECIALLY considering the recent news of Darelle Revis’ ACL injury. San Francisco is a monster on defense and can score enough to overpower almost any team in the NFL. With Jets RB Joe McKnight switching to a defensive back in practice this week for the Jets, things in the New York secondary are clearly in disarray. I expect the 49’ers to win this game and win this game big. I’ll take my own money on them covering 4 points.
Line: San Francisco -4
Total: Over 40.5
San Diego @ Kansas City (-1) o/u 44.5
Kansas City responded in a big way during a Week 3 upset of the reeling Saints in New Orleans. Even more impressive than the win was the fact that the Chiefs went on the road and did it in New Orleans. San Diego was handled by the Falcons and although both of these teams could win this game by at least ten, the line of -1 tells you that Vegas sees this game as a coin toss. In my world, and the world of betting, barring a freak pregame injury to a star player, a toss up game is one to stay away from. I don’t even like the over in this game. Las Vegas has this one nailed down 100% and the chances of you making money on this game are slim to none. Stay away.
Line: Kansas City (-1)
Total: Under 44.5
Tennessee @ Houston (-12) @ o/u 44
Tennessee pulled out one of the craziest wins I’ve seen in the NFL in the last 3 or 4 years and it might be time to take a look at the Titans as far as betting is concerned. Coming in to the season I could not see myself betting on the Titans but after Week 3 it might be time to put them on your watch list and watch list ONLY. After two 20+ point beat downs to San Diego and New England in Weeks 1 & 2, the Titans responded with an offense outburst in Week 3. Don’t buy in. Last week’s point total was an anomaly. The Lions, despite their recent drafting and defensive upgrades, have given up 23, 27 & 41 points in the first three weeks of the season. The Titans will not have as easy a time putting up points in Week 4 against the Texans D but I think the Titans offense is underrated and I like the Titans with a +12 point cushion.
Line: Tennessee +12
Total: Over 44
Miami @ Arizona (-6.5) o/u 39.5
It’s going to be hard argue against a 3-0 team going on the road to a 1-2 team with a rookie QB and banged up RB and only needing to cover 7 points for a win. This game though has all the red flags of a trap game. If you ask me I think this game came out with such a low line for that reason. West Coast teams traveling East for 1 PM are NOTORIOUS for underperforming and don’t think the money makers in Las Vegas don’t know this. Arizona is one of only three currently undefeated teams (with Atlanta and Houston) but are considerably less talented that almost any team sitting at 2-1 and a few teams with 1-2 records. I’m not discounting the Cards opening the season with 3 wins, but my gut tells me smart money gets put on the Dolphins in this game.
Line: Miami +6.5
Total: Over 39.5
Oakland @ Denver (-6.5) o/u 47.5
Oakland will finish this season as one of the organizations drafting in the Top 5. Take the Broncos covering a touchdown. Bet the total at your own risk. I want no part of it. That is all you need to know about this game.
Line: Denver -6.5
Total: Under 47.5
Cincinnati (-2.5) @ Jacksonville o/u 42.5
This is another game I absolutely do not like and this will be my avoid pick for the week. I’m avoiding this game like the plague but being forced to choose I like
Line: Cincinnati (-2.5)
Total: Over 42.5
New Orleans @ Green Bay (-7.5) o/u 54
Both of these teams are reeling after heart breaking Week 2 losses. The Saints and Packers both entered 2012 as potential NFC Super Bowl favorites but both find themselves entering this game on the bottom looking up. With a combined 1-5 record both teams entire seasons could be riding on a Week 4 game, as improbable as that may sound. A loss for either of these teams, as tough as both of their respective divisions are, might mean the difference between a playoff berth and an early end to 2012. The Saints are clearly struggling. Losing AT HOME to a KC Chiefs team a week off a complete dismantling by the one again and off again Buffalo Bills is not a sign that this team is handling the Bounty Gate fiasco as well as most thought. Almost all expert opinions landed on the Saints being about the same team this season, maybe with two or three more losses but getting by on the shoulders of offensive captain and team leader Drew Brees. This has not happened and the pressure is no bigger on any team after 3 weeks than New Orleans. I like them to keep it close, but also see this game being a sequel of last year’s matchup with a high scoring shootout
Line: New Orleans +7.5
Total: Over 54
Washington @ Tampa Bay (-3) o/u 47.5
This is going to be a great game to watch on TV or at a bar but it will NOT BE a game you should bet one. Both teams have young exciting QB’s who could single handedly steal a game. Although this is great for fans of the Bucs and Skins, this week….it’s not good for your money. When it comes to betting you ALWAYS want to put money on safe games. This game is NOT a safe game as it could go either way. Because TB is at home I’d usually take them covering 3 points but I love Robert Griffin III. He is a beast. I’ll take the over based off the fact both offenses have the ability to score 40 by themselves but not the ability to do it consistently.
Line: Washington +3
Total: Over 47.5
NY Giants @ Philadelphia (-2) o/u 41.5
Anyone who waited too late to draft a real QB because they got on the Mike Vick band wagon will be kicking themselves at the end of the season when the dog murderer is either injured, or replaced by the rookie backup from Arizona Nick Foles. As per the quote in an article by Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger Andy Reid said “Right now, we’re with Michael. That’s what we’re doing. We’ll evaluate as we go on.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. This has the feel of a team that might suffer two more losses and lose their whole identity and fall apart. The Giants on the other hand are ALWAYS to be taken seriously. Going on the road and GETTING a 2 point bump should tell you the Giants are the team to bet on this game.
Line: New York Giants +2
Total: Over 46.5
Chicago @ Dallas (-3.5) o/u 41.5
Placing A Monday night bet any earlier than an hour before the game is normally a sucker bet but because my game rides on it…here it is..
Line: Dallas (-3.5)
Total: Over 46.5
Week 4 Safest Bets:
(1) Detroit -4.5
(2) New England -4
(3) San Francisco -4
-Thanks for reading and best of luck this week! Follow @ErikTheLineMan