Week 4 of the NFL season has a lot of big tests for teams that have gotten off to a hot start, and we will soon find out just how good certain teams are. Through a few weeks, we start to gather some data that can lead us to believing teams are good or bad in certain spots.
However, strength of schedule can be very different for these teams through a few weeks, and that will skew these ideas a bit. Let’s try to use these skewed vantage points to take advantage of some underdogs in Week 4 of the NFL season.
Washington Redskins (+2.5) at New York Giants
The Redskins just got embarrassed on Monday Night Football in front of the entire country, and that is definitely moving the line here. To add onto that fact, Daniel Jones’ come-from-behind performance only added to the Giants hype train heading into this one.
The fact of the matter here is that the Redskins are the better football team getting 2.5 points on the road, and I want in. It seems as though Case Keenum will continue to start for the Redskins, although he was in a walking boot at practice on Wednesday.
If Keenum is out, I actually like the Redskins more. Dwayne Haskins has more big-play ability than Keenum, and the Giants got torched by the Cowboys and Bucs down the field multiple times. Haskins to Terry McLaurin would be a scary sight for a poor Giants secondary that will already struggle with Keenum.
The Giants are starting a rookie QB, and they will be without their best player by a country mile in Saquon Barkley. Barkley is one of the most talented players in the world, and the Giants are likely to replace him with Wayne Gallman?
I know Jones had a great come-from-behind win, but the Bucs’ scheme was really bad to stop Jones. The overuse of man-to-man coverage with no spy allowed the Giants to run routes to the sidelines and let Jones escape up the middle if need be. I expect Jones to garner a little more attention as a runner this week, which should make this whole offense less effective.
Cleveland Browns (+7) at Baltimore Ravens
The Browns have struggled to start off the season on the right foot, but I think that this is an overreaction to their poor play on Sunday night and an overreaction to the play of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. The Ravens stopped what looks to be one of the worst teams in recent NFL history in Week 1, a win that should get almost no credit at this point.
In Week 2, they could never pull away from the Cardinals, a team that I believe will prove to be bad as they showed against Carolina and Kyle Allen last weekend. In Week 3, they trailed the Chiefs all game before making a bit of a comeback to cover the six-point spread in a game that was never really close.
The Ravens are one of the most overrated teams in the NFL right now, and the Browns are currently underrated in the betting markets. This one is a no-brainer for me.
Carolina Panthers (+4.5) at Houston Texans
The Panthers and Kyle Allen are one of my favorite stories of the young season because I think that an accurate distributor is all this team needs to be really good on the offensive side of the ball. The combination of McCaffrey, Moore, Samuel, and Olsen provides a really scary combination of consistency and big-play ability, and I think that Allen is capable of just letting his playmakers thrive.
The Texans secondary is slow and just not good. I expect the Panthers to exploit this secondary similar to the way they thrashed Arizona last week, and I think that they have a great chance to win this game outright. The team total of 21.25 for Carolina is pretty insane as well.