September 25, 2013

NFL Betting: NFL Matchups for Week 4

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2013 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 4!

San Francisco 49ers (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) @ St. Louis Rams (1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS)
Spread: San Francisco -3, Total: 42

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO – Thursday, September 26th, 8:30 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

It’s strange to think that both the 49ers and the Rams, both of which were trendy Super Bowl picks this year, are 1-2 after just three weeks of play. Of course, there is a ton of season left to be played, but this is a very crucial game and could be very bad for the loser, especially knowing that the Seahawks are favored to move to 4-0 this week and will quite possibly be favored in every game that is played this QB Colin Kaepernick got his first go around last year in the tie game between these two, as he came in to replace an injured QB Alex Smith, who never got his job back. These two teams played a close one in St. Louis as well, a game that the Rams won. St. Louis has been the underdog in three straight games against San Fran, and though it is only 1-1-1 SU in those games, it is 3-0 ATS. The Rams are also 5-1 ATS in the last six dating back to 2010 against the Niners.

Indianapolis Colts (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS)
Spread: Indianapolis -9, Total: 43

EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL – Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

It’s funny how things change in just a few weeks. The Colts were considered a team in trouble when they barely beat Oakland and then lost to Miami at home in consecutive weeks, but now that they were able to go on the road and beat the 49ers, they are a legitimate threat to win the AFC South. The truth of the matter is that it is probably somewhere in the middle. This may or may not be a playoff team in this conference. There’s no debate about Jacksonville. The Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL, and there is a real threat to go 0-16 this year. QB Blaine Gabbert gets the nod as the starter after QB Chad Henne played in two games. Jacksonville had covered three in a row in this series before losing 27-10 last year here at home against the Colts. The road team has covered nine of the last 13 between these two.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1 SU, 2-0-1 ATS) @ Cleveland Browns (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Spread: Cincinnati -5, Total: 42

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH – Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Bengals and the Browns are only separated by a game in the standings in the AFC North, but it feels like the Grand Canyon separates them. QB Brian Hoyer has apparently taken over the starting quarterback role at least for the time being, and after throwing for over 300 yards and three scores last week in the comeback win against Minnesota on the road, he deserves to get the nod. Cincy made its own comeback last week, becoming the first team in NFL history to win a game in which it allowed another team to score 30 consecutive points. The home team has won six of the last seven SU in this series, and Cleveland actually holds a 5-2-1 ATS edge in the last eight dating back to the start of the 2009 campaign.

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) @ Minnesota Vikings (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Spread: Pittsburgh -1.5, Total: 42

Wembley Stadium, London, England – Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The luck of the poor Londoners definitely isn’t there at this point. These poor people have to sit through the Jaguars later in the season, and they get the 0-3 Vikings and 0-3 Steelers this time around. Minnesota probably looks the part of the slightly better team at this point, as at least RB Adrian Peterson has the ability to take over a game. Of course, if you take away that very first run of the season, Peterson hasn’t done a thing of note, and he is averaging under three yards a carry since that run. QB Christian Ponder is ailing, but he is expected to play in this game. Meanwhile, the Steelers remain a wreck along the offensive line, and they are going to struggle to find men to run the ball. Pittsburgh has covered back to back games in this series, including winning a very odd 18-3 game in 2005 in the Metrodome.

Seattle Seahawks (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) @ Houston Texans (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS)
Spread: Seattle -2.5, Total: 41.5

Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX – Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Seahawks are clearly the best team in the NFC right now, and they are going to try to win one for the conference against one of the best in the AFC as well. Houston was beaten for the first time last week by Baltimore, but that was the third straight game in which the team trailed at halftime and was losing by more than seven in the fourth quarter. The Texans just don’t pass the eye test right now as a great team, but they will have a shot in this one for sure. The Seahawks have covered five straight games on the road dating back to the end of last season, but they clearly aren’t as good on the road as they are at home. The home team in this series has won both of the two meetings that these two have ever had, and by huge margins. Houston won 34-7 at Reliant Stadium in 2009, and it was beaten 42-10 up in Seattle in 2005.

Baltimore Ravens (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) @ Buffalo Bills (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Spread: Baltimore -3.5, Total: 44

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY – Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Ravens and the Bills probably aren’t separated by as much as you would think. Baltimore only played its first truly good game last week against the Texans, and even that wasn’t a game that the team was all that special in. RB Ray Rice likely will play after sitting out last week’s game with a hip injury, but there are several key contributors on this defense that are questionable with various ailments. RB CJ Spiller left last week’s loss to the Jets with a thigh injury. The big problem here is going to be protecting QB EJ Manuel. Manuel was sacked eight times last week, and don’t think for one second that DE Terrell Suggs, DE Elvis Dumervil, and DT Haloti Ngata didn’t notice that. This is going to be a rough game for the Bills, even at home. The home team has won four straight and covered three of the last four in this series dating back to 2004.

New York Giants (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) @ Kansas City Chiefs (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Spread: Kansas City -4.5, Total: 44

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO – Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Giants are 0-3 and are in all of the trouble in the world. Losing this game is a distinct possibility, and this schedule isn’t getting any easier from here. Head Coach Tom Coughlin could be in some trouble again, and as we know from the past, that’s when the Giants usually start to go on a bit of a run. Kansas City meanwhile, has nothing to worry about. It has won more games already this season in three weeks than it did all of last year, and the team is really playing great football. The offense isn’t stellar, but the defense is doing its job. The biggest stat? The Chiefs haven’t turned the ball over a single time yet this year. That’s why they’re winning, and that’s why they’ll continue to win games. New York is 7-0 SU and ATS in this series over the course of the last 19 years, though.

Chicago Bears (3-0 SU, 1-1-1 ATS) @ Detroit Lions (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Spread: Detroit -2.5, Total: 47.5

Ford Field, Detroit, MI – Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

Every time that the Bears and Lions come up, we think about the game where WR Calvin Johnson caught what should have been the game-winning touchdown pass except for the fact that he didn’t keep position of the ball through his contact to the ground, which made it an incomplete pass. It came known to be the Calvin Johnson rule, and it has plagued many receivers since that point. Fast forwarding to the here and now though, these two teams are both stellar. Chicago can open a two game lead in the NFC North with a win in this one, while the Lions can pull even with the Bears and a game and a half up on the Packers if they can prove to hold home field. Detroit covered both games last season, but the Bears won both games, and that was part of what really plagued the Lions and their losing season in 2012.

Arizona Cardinals (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Spread: Tampa Bay -2.5, Total: 40.5

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL – Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The saga with QB Josh Freeman appears to be over with for the time being. Freeman is going to be benched in favor of QB Mike Glennon, who will be making his first career start on Sunday. We can’t blame Head Coach Greg Schiano for ditching his presumed franchise quarterback, because for lack of better terms Freeman has stunk. Glennon is clearly the better man for the job, and the hope is to rally the team around him. Arizona never had a shot on the road last week, and it has to take an even longer trip this week all the way to Tampa Bay. We don’t often talk about how teams do going from the West Coast to the East Coast as we do vice versa, but perhaps we should. This is a tough spot for the Cards, who are just 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS in the eight games played in this series since 1989.

New York Jets (2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS) @ Tennessee Titans (2-1 SU, 2-0-1 ATS)
Spread: Tennessee -3.5, Total: 39

LP Field, Nashville, TN – Sunday, September 29th, 4:05 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

We’ve said this before, but we aren’t all that sure that the Jets and the Titans are separated by all that much. Tennessee is going to be trying to run the ball up the gut against a great New York front seven, and the Jets are going to try to figure out how to keep QB Geno Smith on his feet and off of his back against a Titans front seven that is as aggressive as any unit in the league. These two teams are both 2-1, and both could be shockingly in the playoff picture deep into the season at this rate. The Jets have a 6-1 ATS record and a 5-2 SU mark in the last seven games in this series, though last season, the Titans won 14-10 here at LP Field. Keep in mind though, that the only reason Tennessee won that game was a 94-yard scamper by RB Chris Johnson that gave the Titans one of just the three touchdowns on the day.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) @ Denver Broncos (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Spread: Denver -11.5, Total: 58

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO – Sunday, September 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Eagles are going to be playing on a real week of practice and prep for the first time this year, as they have had back to back short weeks before getting this one in. The Broncos are going to have just six days to prepare for this game, and prepping for a Head Coach Chip Kelly offense can take a heck of a lot longer than that. That being said, the Broncos are running a ridiculous offense in and of themselves. QB Peyton Manning has set the league record for the most touchdown passes in three games to start a season at 12, and he is looking to destroy the record books this year. Denver is just 0-7-1 ATS in its last eight games played on Sundays following a Monday Night Football game the prior week, and that trend could really come back to bite it in the backside in this one, especially against a well-rested Eagles outfit.

Dallas Cowboys (2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS) @ San Diego Chargers (1-2 SU, 2-0-1 ATS)
Spread: Dallas -2, Total: 46.5

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA – Sunday, September 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Chargers could make the gripe that they should be a 3-0 team right now, as they blew late leads in both of their defeats to teams from the AFC South. Dallas could argue that it could be 3-0 as well, as its one loss came by just a single point on the road against KC. This is going to be a tough game for sure, as someone is going to get their first ATS loss. You have to go all the way back 1990 to find the last time that a home team covered a game in this series, as the visitors are 4-0 SU and ATS. The most recent game though, was back in 2009 when the Bolts won 20-17 on the road in Big D at the end of the season as a part of a charge towards the postseason.

Washington Redskins (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) @ Oakland Raiders (1-2 SU, 3-0 ATS)
Spread: Washington -3, Total: 43.5

O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA – Sunday, September 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

This has the potential to be one of the ugliest games of the day. The Raiders might not have QB Terrelle Pryor, and as far as we’re concerned, that might be the end of their season if that’s the case for any period of time. He suffered a concussion last week and had to be replaced by QB Matt Flynn, who is the only man that we know that has blown two starting quarterback gigs without ever really getting a chance to start a game. This might be his chance to prove his worth, but it will be interesting to see if he can do so or not. The Skins haven’t gotten much out of QB Robert Griffin III this year in terms of a runner, though he does have three straight 300+ yard passing games. The road team has gone 5-0 SU and ATS in this series since 1989, and if that doesn’t hold true in this one, Head Coach Mike Shanahan might get run right out of town in DC.

New England Patriots (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) @ Atlanta Falcons (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Spread: Atlanta -2, Total: 49.5

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA – Sunday, September 29th, 8:20 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Patriots and the Falcons have probably both underachieved just a bit this year. It is clear in terms of wins and losses that this is a far more important game for Atlanta, which has only started off the campaign at 1-2. New England probably doesn’t totally know what it has, as it has played three awfully bad teams, two games of which came at home. TE Rob Gronkowski is hoping to get back in the fold for this one, and that would be a huge piece to the puzzle for a team that badly needs a receiver in the red zone with some potential. Atlanta is a really banged up team as well though, and that is part of the reason that it is failing miserably, especially in crucial spots in games. The Pats have covered three in a row in this series and have amassed an average of just under 425 yards per game in those efforts.

Miami Dolphins (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) @ New Orleans Saints (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Spread: New Orleans -6.5, Total: 48

Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA – Monday, September 30th, 8:40 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The last time that Dolphins and the Saints met in a game, New Orleans rolled off 36 points in the second half to win 46-34. It was a wild game for sure, and it was the only time that the Saints covered a game in this series since 1995. QB Drew Brees is always strangely connected to the Dolphins, knowing that this was the team that he essentially spurned to go to New Orleans, where he ultimately led the team to the Super Bowl just a couple of years later. This year though, these teams are both 3-0, and this is the only game of the week that features a pair of 3-0 teams. This one is like playing with house money for the Fins, as they already have a pair of road wins this year and are already at least a game or two better off than most figured they would be at this point in the campaign.

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Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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