Most teams in the NFL will complete the first quarter of their 2014 season when they take the field in Week 4. The one unbeaten team on the schedule is expected to lose for the first time, and all three winless teams are expected to go 0-4, according to the betting lines at Las Vegas casinos.
Last week, both the favorites and underdogs covered eight of the 16 games. Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 4.
New York Giants (+3.5) at Washington Redskins
The Giants finally had a strong offensive game in their first win, but they’ve yet to prove they can do so in consecutive games. Eli Manning could have trouble with an improved Washington defense, and Rashad Jennings isn’t likely to have a repeat performance from Week 3, in which he had the best game of his career. The Redskins have totaled 75 points with Kirk Cousins at quarterback in the last two games, and they could have another big scoring game on “Thursday Night Football.”
Prediction ATS: Washington
Miami Dolphins (-4) at Oakland Raiders
Despite talk of sitting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins still have a far better offense than the Raiders. Behind rookie Derek Carr, Oakland has scored the fewest amount of points in football. Tannehill was more than adequate last season, and he should have a bounce-back game against one of the league’s worst teams in 2014.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Green Bay Packers (-1.5) at Chicago Bears
The Packers began Week 4 as underdogs, but the betting odds have shifted in their favor over the last few days. The Bears have been the better team in 2014, but recent trends do not bode well for the home team. Chicago is just 1-9-1 against the spread in their last 11 home games, according to OddsShark. Jay Cutler is historically bad against Green Bay, going 1-8 and throwing six more interceptions than touchdowns. The two rivals could find themselves both at 2-2 after Week 4.
Prediction ATS: Green Bay
Buffalo Bills (+3) at Houston Texans
Both the Bills and Texans suffered big losses in Week 3 after starting the year at 2-0. Houston lost 14 straight following two wins to start last season, and they could be in for another losing streak in 2014. Arian Foster has been limited by a hamstring injury, and might not be very effective if he’s able to play. Buffalo was able to beat the Bears in Chicago, and the smart play might be to take the points.
Prediction ATS: Buffalo
Tennessee Titans (+7.5) at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have dominated their last five matchups with the Titans, winning each game straight up and against the spread. Andrew Luck should have a big game against Tennessee, and Jake Locker can’t be relied upon. The Titans have lost by a combined 42 points in their last two games, and Week 4 could be more of the same.
Prediction ATS: Indianapolis
Carolina Panthers (+3) at Baltimore Ravens
The Panthers were exposed in Week 3, getting blown out by the Steelers at home. Their lack of offensive weapons came back to bite them, and the same could happen in a difficult road environment. The Ravens haven’t been slowed down by the loss of Ray Rice, and Steve Smith is proving to be one of the best offseason acquisitions. Baltimore is terrific at home and they have a good chance to improve to 3-1.
Prediction ATS: Baltimore
Detroit Lions (-1.5) at New York Jets
The Jets would have been favorites in this game, had it not been for their loss to the Bears on “Monday Night Football.” Despite their back-to-back losses, they can be competitive with any team in the league. They were able to move the ball well against Chicago, but turned six red-zone appearances into just one touchdown. New York should be able to have a higher rate of success in Week 4.
Prediction ATS: New York
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Buccaneers could see some improvement with quarterback Mike Glennon likely to replace an injured Josh McCown, and running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy are expected to return from injuries. The Steelers are coming off one of the most impressive wins of Week 3, but they lost some of their best defensive players in the process. Tampa Bay had a chance to win their first two games, and they should bounce back from a 42-point loss to the Falcons.
Prediction ATS: Tampa Bay
Jacksonville Jaguars (+13) at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are the only team on the Week 4 schedule that has covered every point spread in 2014, and the Jaguars are one of five teams that have failed to cover a single betting line. Jacksonville has lost by at least 17 points in each game, and things might not get much better with rookie Blake Bortles making his first start against one of the NFL’s top defenses.
Prediction ATS: San Diego
Philadelphia Eagles (+5.5) at San Francisco 49ers
The Eagles are fortunate to be one of the three remaining unbeatens in the NFL. They’ve trailed by double-digits in each game, and they might not be able to make another comeback on the road against a team like the 49ers. Colin Kaepernick should have a big day against one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
Prediction ATS: San Francisco
Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Minnesota Vikings
The Falcons might end the season with the biggest turnaround from last year, which saw them win just four games. Teddy Bridgewater could put up decent numbers in his debut as an NFL starter, but the Vikings have very little offensive-firepower without Adrian Peterson. They won’t be able to keep pace with the league’s No.1 scoring offense.
Prediction ATS: Atlanta
New Orleans Saints (+3) at Dallas Cowboys
The Saints have been the most predictable team since the start of last season. In that time, they have covered every regular-season point spread at home, and failed to cover all but one spread on the road. New Orleans is 0-6 in their last six games as road favorites, and there is little reason to think that won’t continue on Sunday night, considering the Cowboys have played well of late as home underdogs.
Prediction ATS: Dallas
New England Patriots (-3.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
There are concerns about the New England offense, which only scored 16 points against the Raiders and ranks 14th in the NFL. Tom Brady hasn’t put up impressive numbers, but he doesn’t need to throw three touchdowns for the Patriots to win in Kansas City, The Chiefs’ strength is their run game, and New England has allowed just 121 yards on the ground in the last two games. The Patriots covered the spread as a road favorite in Week 2 and they should be able to do the same in Week 4.
Prediction: New England
Season Record: 28-20