Week 4 NFL: Late Afternoon Games and Sunday Night Football!
We have a lot of heavy favourites in the late afternoon and Sunday night game, so we will have to pick some spreads for value picks. Let's just hope that COVID doesn't affect the NFL season too much because the commish has already had to re-adjust the schedule for this week... and next.
Late Afternoon Games
San Fransisco 49ers (-420) vs. Miami Dolphins (+310)... Spread: 49ers (-8)
The 49ers are a tough team to bet for, and against at the moment. Once again, the 49ers are a heavy favourite at -420 despite having a lot of injures. Last week they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 25-20 and are off to a modest 2-2 start in 2020. However, we should see the return of QB Jimmy Garoppolo and RB Raheem Mostert in this game as QB Nick Mullens struggled last week against the Eagles in relief. Injuries have arguably devastated the 49ers more than any other team. On the defensive side alone, they will be without DL Nick Bosa, DL Solomon Thomas, DE Ziggy Ansah, DE Dee Ford, and more... Luckily for them, they will be up against the 1-3 Miami Dolphins in week 5 and looking to get their season back on track.
The Dolphins have been decent this season and are still led by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.. but for how long. The 1-3 Dolphins may need their rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa to step in soon as fans will start to get restless if they keep losing. They are coming off a 31-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in week 4 where Fitzpatrick had 0 TD's and 2 INT's. Their offense severely lacks playmakers and RB Myles Gaskin has been surprisingly one of the few bright spots so far. On the defensive side of the ball, the Dolphins pass defense has been solid, but they have allowed teams to run all over them and that's where I see the 49ers taking control in this game, especially if Mostert is healthy. Despite the Injuries on the defensive side of the ball for the 49ers, they still have an elite unit that is amongst the top of the league in scoring defense. Fitzpatrick seems to be getting worse every game and I can see him really struggling on the road against this 49ers unit. After this blowout, we may see the debut for Tagovailoa in week 6.
Prediction: 49ers Cover Spread -8 (-110)
Dallas Cowboys (-370) vs. New York Giants (+285)... Spread: Cowboys (-7.5)
Someone should check on Jerry Jones. The Cowboys are 1-3 and are underachieving this season so far. Luckily for them, they are in the worst division in football and have a chance to get back on track against their division rivals in week 5. Simply put, the Cowboys defense has been horrendous. Over their last 3 games, the defense has allowed on average 42 points per game. They can blame injures for now, but allowing 49 points to the Cleveland Browns in week 4 is inexcusable. But, it's been a different story on the offensive side of the ball. QB Dak Prescott is on pace to break passing records with his outstanding performances in 2020. The offense has many weapons that includes RB Ezekiel Elliott, and WR's Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Micheal Gallup. Looks for all of these offensive weapons to get their fair share of opportunities to expose a poor New York Giants defense.
This Giants defense had a difficult time containing QB Nick Mullens and their 3rd-string offense in week 3. However, in week 4, they had a better performance against the Los Angelas Rams and only allowed 17 points. Also, this Giants team should be amped up for this divisional matchup, which will result in better gameplay. After RB Saquon Barkley went down with an injury, the Giants have been looking for people to step up. Newly signed RB Devonta Freeman seems to be getting more comfortable week-to-week. He made his debut in week 3 and only had 10 yards on 5 carries. But, in week 4, he managed to get 68 yards from scrimmage against a stingy Rams defense. Look for him to have his best performance in this game against a Cowboys defense that struggles against the run. At this point in the season, I have no idea which Cowboys team will show up. The Giants haven't been impressive either, but these divisional games are usually close contests because it's a heated rivalry. I think the Cowboys should win this game, but I will take the Giants to make it a competitive one and cover the wide 7.5 point spread.
Prediction: Giants Cover Spread +7.5 (-115)
Cleveland Browns (-115) vs. Indianapolis Colts (-105)... Spread: Browns (-1)
Are the Browns finally the team everybody thought they'd be? The answer: probably not. Beating up on the Cowboys 49-38 in week 4 was impressive, but the Cowboys defense is awful and the Browns have had pretty easy wins this year. But, we're seeing shades of vintage WR Odell Beckham JR. as he went off in week 4 against the Cowboys. He had 154 yards from scrimmage with 3 TD's. He likely won't post those numbers this week against the Colts, but it's a positive sign for Browns fans that he looks confident on the field. Also, the Browns will be without RB Nick Chubb in this game, so RB Kareem Hunt will see lots of work in the backfield. QB Baker Mayfield will be the x factor in this game because the Colts will likely force him to beat them and nullify the running attack.
Like the Browns, the Colts are 3-1 to start the season. After losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 1, they bounced back with 3 straight wins. In week 4, they managed to beat the Chicago Bears 19-11 in a game that was underwhelming, but enough to get the win. QB Philip Rivers has been really struggling with his new team so far and is due to have a breakout game. But, their stars on offense like WR TY Hilton and RB Jonathon Taylor need to help out Rivers if they want to be a contender. However, despite the Colts struggles on offense, they are still managing to win games. Their defense is ranked the best in the NFL and are ranked 1st in scoring. They will be the x factor for the Colts once again as they look to get after the Browns offensive line and Mayfield. I like the Colts as an underdog in this game because their pass defense is too good and Mayfield really isn't that good when he's under pressure and forced to throw the ball. Also, look for Rivers to finally have a breakout game and give their defense much needed help.
Prediction: Colts Moneyline (-105)
Sunday Night Football
Seattle Seahawks (-310) vs. Minnesota Vikings (+255)... Spread: Seahawks (-7)
The undefeated Seahawks will look to go 5-0 and continue their dominance. They have been on a roll and QB Russell Wilson is having an MVP season so far. The Seahawks are coming of a 31-23 win over the Miami Dolphins in week 4 and WR DK Metcalf is emerging as one of the stars in the NFL. He had 106 receiving yards last week and is always a threat to create a big play. Also, RB Chris Carson has had a superb season and is coming off a 2 TD performance over the Dolphins. But, the Seahawks defense will be a major question mark in this game due to injuries. They will now be without Safety Jamal Adams, and their secondary will be needing people to step up in his absence.
The Vikings are coming off their first win of the season in week 4 with a win over the Houston Texans 31-23. They are led by their star RB Dalvin Cook who is coming off a 2 TD performance with 146 yards from scrimmage. QB Kirk Cousins has been bad this season and if he doesn't turn it around quick, they will be 1-4 and will have a near impossible task of making the playoffs. One bright spot of the Vikings has been WR Justin Jefferson who has shown big play making ability and is a good compliment to Adam Thielen. The spread is quite wide in this game at 7 points for the Seahawks, and I believe the Vikings can cover the spread with the abundance of injuries on the Seahawks defense. Look for Cook to have another huge game and Cousins to have another mediocre game to keep this one close.
Prediction: Vikings Cover Spread +7 (-120)