Here’s a look at the three best betting matchups of Week 4:
Carolina Panthers (-3) at Atlanta Falcons
Carolina (1-2) has gotten off to a troubled start this season, and things won’t get any better for them at the Georgia Dome (the site of their only regular season loss last year) this Sunday. Atlanta’s offense, commandeered by Matt Ryan, has propelled them to a 2-1 start. They’re first in the league in scoring (34.7 PPG) as well as yardage (448.0 YPG). And while Carolina’s defense is still strong in terms of yards allowed per game (third-best), they’re just middle-of-the-road based on points allowed this year, surrendering an average of 23.3 PPG to some less-than-explosive offenses (Denver, San Francisco and Minnesota). Carolina has also failed to cover in their last five road contests. Once their rushing game is stifled by the Falcons’ underrated run-prevention squad, Cam Newton will be forced to drop back behind a line that’s allowed him to be sacked a league-high 12 times in three games. Atlanta is the best bet of the week.
The pick: Falcons +3
Denver Broncos (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
To the surprise of many, the Broncos (3-0) have picked up right where they left off last year. They’re not winning with style (just 21st in offensive YPG) but their fearsome defense is wreaking havoc on their opponents. They’ve registered 12 sacks in just three contests, which does not bode well for Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay’s O-line has allowed just five sacks but 22 QB hits, which puts them among the league’s worst in that department. The INT-prone Winston could have his hands full attempting to move the ball against the NFL’s sixth-best defense by YPG while trying to avoid ball-hawking CB Aqib Talib. And after the Bucs’ defense allowed 37 points last week to the Rams, who hadn’t recorded a single touchdown in two games, it seems unlikely their stoppers will keep the team in the game. Expect the Broncos to keep on rolling.
The pick: Broncos -3
New Orleans Saints atSan Diego Chargers (-4)
The Saints could register their first win of the season as road underdogs this week. San Diego has already coughed up two fourth quarter leads in just three games this season and have allowed over 400 YPG on defense, so Drew Brees should have no problem putting points on the board. New Orleans has been a good bet away from the Superdome lately, covering in their last three road contests, while the Chargers are just 3-7 ATS in their last ten games at Qualcomm Stadium. The Saints’ defense might keep things interesting, but the four points of insurance make New Orleans worth supporting.
The pick: Saints +4
Best of the rest (picks in bold)
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (London)
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) @ New York Jets
Detroit Lions (-3) @ Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins (-7.5)
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans (-5)
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (-4.5)
Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)
Dallas Cowboys (-2) @ San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals (-8)
Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
New York Giants @ Minnesota Vikings (-5)