NFL Week 4 early odds: Jaguars open as road favorites for first time since 2011
Here's an early look at the lines for all NFL games being played in Week 4
It looks like oddsmakers might finally be sold on the Jacksonville Jaguars after they pulled off one of the biggest wins of Week 3.
In the early odds for Week 4 that were released on Sunday night, there was one big surprise and it involved the Jags. The oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook have tabbed the Jaguars as a 4.5=point favorite for their game against the New York Jets this week. The surprise there is that this is the first time in six years that the Jaguars have opened as a road favorite.
Betting on them might not be a great idea though, and that's mainly because they struggle in America.
The last time the Jags were favored on the road came in 2011, when Jacksonville was favored by three points over a Indianapolis Colts team that was starting Curtis Painter at quarterback. If you don't count 2011 -- and let's not because Painter was the starting QB -- then the last time the Jags were favored in a road game came in 2008, when Jacksonville was a 7.5 point favorite for a game in Cincinnati, according to Pro Football Reference.
Overall, the Jags have only been favored in a total of four road games over the past 10 years.
In an odd coincidence, that 2011 Colts team actually has ties to a second point spread this week: Indianapolis at Seattle.
The 2017 Colts have opened as a 12.5-point underdog against the Seattle Seahawks , which is the biggest opening spread Indy has faced since November 2011, when Dan Orlovsky and the Colts were a 16.5-point underdog to the Baltimore Ravens .
With Orlovsky and Painter as their starting quarterbacks, the 2011 Colts were without a doubt one of the least intimidating teams in NFL history.
Anyway, let's check out the rest of the Week 4 early odds.
NFL Week 4 early odds
Chicago Bears (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (2-1), Thursday
Opening line: Packers, -7.5 points
This has been one of the most one-sided division rivalries in the NFL over the past six years. Since 2011, the Bears are just 3-14 straight-up against the Packers, including the playoffs. In that same timespan, the Packers are 31-17-2 ATS in home games, which is the best mark in the NFL over the span. Oh, and the Packers are also 25-12 ATS against divisional opponents since 2011, which is also the best mark in the NFL in that span. The one upside for the Bears is that they're 2-2 straight-up and ATS in their past four trips to Lambeau.
New Orleans Saints (1-2) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-1) in London
Opening line: Saints, -1.5 points
The Dolphins looked like the worst team in the NFL on Sunday in a 20-6 loss to the Jets and now they have to face a Saints team that put up 34 points on a Carolina Panthers defense that didn't give up a single touchdown through the first two weeks of the season. This will be the Dolphins' third trip to London, where they're 0-2, with losses in 2007 and 2015. This will be the Saints' second trip after picking up a win in 2008. The Saints have won their last two meetings against Miami (2009, 2013), but betting against the Dolphins could be dangerous. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Miami is 5-2-1 ATS against NFC teams, which is the best mark of any AFC team over that span. In that same time period, the Saints have gone 3-5-1 ATS against the AFC.
Buffalo Bills (2-1) at Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
Opening line: Falcons, -8.5 points
The Bills' reward for pulling off one of the biggest upsets of Week 3 is a trip to Atlanta, where they'll face a Falcons team they haven't beaten since 1995. That's right, it's been roughly 22 years since the Bills have beaten the Falcons. Although the undefeated Falcons have looked unbeatable lately, that doesn't necessarily apply to covering the spread. Since Dan Quinn was hired in 2015, the Falcons have gone 6-10 ATS as home favorites, which ranks 24th in the NFL over that span. Of course, if the Bills are going to win, they can't let this game turn into a shootout. The Bills are 0-28 straight up since 2012 when they allow an opponent to score 25 or more points, which is bad news for Buffalo because the Falcons have scored 25 or more points in nine of their past 10 games, including the playoffs. One thing to keep in mind about Buffalo, they're one of only two teams this season that's 3-0 ATS (Kansas City is the other).
Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) at Cleveland Browns (0-3)
Opening line: Bengals, -2.5 points
If you've ever wanted to bet against a home underdog, the Browns are the team to bet against. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the Browns are just 3-10 ATS as home dogs, which is the second worst mark of any NFL team over that span. FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland has basically been a second home for the Bengals lately, with Cincy winning three straight games there by an average score of 30 to 4.3. That means the Bengals are averaging a 25.7-point margin of victory in their past three trips to Cleveland. Overall, the Bengals have won five straight games in this series. Of course, in a battle of winless Ohio teams, flipping a coin is also probably a safe option when trying to decide who to bet.
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Opening line: Cowboys, -8 points
The suddenly-hot Rams are an 8-point underdog in this game despite the fact that they lead the NFL in scoring at 35.7 points per game, and despite the fact that the Cowboys have a banged-up defense. One thing the Rams don't do well is cover as a road underdog, going 9-17-1 ATS since 2013, which is the worst mark the NFL over that span. However, most of those ATS failures came under Jeff Fisher, and if we've learned one thing this year, it's that the Rams are much better with Sean McVay than they were with Fisher. Overall, the Cowboys have won three straight in this series dating back to 2011 and are averaging 33 points per game in those wins.
Detroit Lions (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
Opening line: Off the board
For the second straight week, the Vikings' opening line is off the board because oddsmakers have no idea yet if Sam Bradford is going to play. Bradford suffered an injury in the Vikings' opener, which has kept him out the past two weeks. The Lions won both meetings last season with one win (at Minnesota) coming in overtime and one win (at Detroit) coming on a last-second field goal. Bradford was quarterback in both games and the Lions covered both times.
Panthers (2-1) at New England Patriots (2-1)
Opening line: Patriots, -8.5 points
After watching the Patriots burn them last season with a 16-3 record ATS, oddsmakers have been throwing some huge spreads at the Patriots this year that New England has struggled to cover. Through three weeks, the Patriots are just 1-2 ATS. If there's one time when the Patriots do cover, it's against an NFC team. Since 2013, the Patriots are 14-5 ATS against the NFC, which is the best mark of any team in the NFL over the span (Carolina is 7-10-1 ATS against the AFC over that same span).
Jaguars (2-1) at Jets (1-2)
Opening line: Jaguars, -4.5 points
After watching the Jaguars demolish the Ravens on Sunday, oddsmakers seem to be in love with Jacksonville -- or they don't really like the Jets, either one is possible. In recent years, the Jets haven't done well as an underdog, going 7-10-1 ATS since 2015, which ranks 26th in the NFL over that span. The Jets will be hosting the Jaguars at Metlife Stadium where they've never lost to Jacksonville (2-0).
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) at Ravens (2-1)
Opening line: Steelers, -2.5 points
This game matches up two previously undefeated teams that suffered the most inexplicable losses of Week 3. The bad news for the Steelers is that they're getting a Ravens team that they've gone 2-6 against over their past eight meetings. That bad news actually gets worse for the Steelers because they're going up against a Ravens team that almost always covers the spread against divisional opponents. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the Ravens are 10-3-1 ATS, which is tied with the Saints for the best divisional record ATS over that span. One thing the Ravens don't do well, though, is cover after a loss. Since 2015, Baltimore is an NFL worst 4-11-2 ATS coming off of a loss (The Steelers are 6-5 ATS in that same span).
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated the Steelers have gone 6-2 against the Ravens in their past eight meetings. That number got reversed, the Steelers are actually 2-6 in their past eight meetings against Baltimore.
Tennessee Titans (2-1) at Houston Texans (1-2)
Opening line: Titans, -2.5 points
The Titans are favored in this game despite the fact that Marcus Mariota is 0-2 all-time when playing in Houston. As a matter of fact, the city of Houston has been a nightmare for the Titans lately, with Tennessee going just 2-5 straight-up in their past seven trips. One thing the Texans don't do well, though, is cover as a home underdog. Since Bill O'Brien took over as coach in 2014, the Texans are just 3-6 ATS as home dogs, which ranks 29th in the NFL over that span. Of course, O'Brien has been dominant against divisional opponents, going 11-6-1 ATS and 14-5 straight-up since 2014. The Titans have only been road favorites three times since 2014 and they're 1-2 ATS in that span.
49ers (0-3) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Opening line: Cardinals, -6 points
For the past two years, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has shown no mercy against any new coach of the 49ers. In 2015, he went 2-0 against Jim Tomsula. He followed that up in 2016 by going 2-0 against Chip Kelly, which probably isn't good news for Kyle Shanahan. The one thing to keep in mind here is that although the 49ers are 0-3 this year, they're 2-1 ATS. Also, the Cardinals will be coming off a short week after playing on Monday against the Cowboys.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (0-3)
Opening line: Eagles, -1 point
The Chargers' move to Los Angeles hasn't been working out well for them, but it has been working out well for anyone who's betting against them in home games. Not only are the Chargers 0-2 straight up in two homes games this year, but they're also 0-2 ATS. Overall, the Chargers are just one of two teams that have not covered a game this year (Along with the Seahawks and Cardinals). As for the Eagles, they're probably looking forward to playing an AFC team. Philly is 9-4 straight up and 10-3 ATS against the AFC since 2014. That 10-3 mark is tied for the best in the NFL over that span.
New York Giants (0-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
Opening line: Buccaneers, -4.5 points
If there's one team that Eli Manning has owned during his 14-year career, it's the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since his rookie year in 2004, Manning has started a total of five games against Tampa, including the playoffs, and he's 5-0 against them. Manning should have some extra confidence going into this game after throwing for 366 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles. Although the Giants have had some trouble scoring over the past season and a half, one thing they've done well is cover the spread after a loss. In 2016, the Giants went 3-1-1 ATS after a loss, which was the second-best mark in the NFC. On the other hand, the Bucs were a horrible bet after a loss last season, going 2-5 ATS.
Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Denver Broncos (2-1)
Opening line: Broncos, -1 point
Both of these teams are coming off of ugly losses, which is good news for Oakland and not so great news for Denver as far as the spread is concerned. Since the beginning of last season, the Raiders have gone 3-1 ATS after a loss, which is the fifth-best mark in the NFL over the span. On the other hand, the Broncos have gone just 4-3. One thing the Broncos did do well last year is cover as a home favorite, The Broncos went 4-2-1 ATS as a home favorite, which was the second-best mark in the NFL behind only the Vikings (5-2 ATS). The Raiders-Broncos series has basically been dead even over the past two years with both teams going 2-2 straight-up and ATS.
Colts (1-2) at Seahawks (1-2)
Opening line: Seahawks, -12.5 points
This is the largest point spread of Week 4, and it's easy to see why. The Colts will be starting a backup quarterback against a Seahawks team that's known for destroying opponents in primetime games played at home. Since Russell Wilson rookie year in 2012, the Seahawks are 9-1 straight up in home night games and they've won those nine games by an average of 18.5 points. The Seahawks also have a seven-game winning streak going against AFC teams. Oh, and did I mention that Wilson has never lost at home to an AFC team (10-0)? Well, Wilson's never lost at home to an AFC team (10-0).The Colts haven't won in Seattle since 2000.
Washington Redskins (2-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-0), Monday
Opening line: Chiefs, -8 points
if there's been a sure bet over the course of NFL history, it's taking the Chiefs over the Redskins. Since playing their first game against each other in 1971, the Chiefs have gone 8-1 straight up against Washington. The Redskins haven't beaten the Chiefs since 1983 and they've never beaten them in Kansas City. Although eight points might seem like a big spread here, keep in mind that the Chiefs have been the safest bet in football in 2017. Kansas City is one of only two teams that's still unbeaten (3-0) against the spread this year. (The Bills are the other). As for the Redskins, they went 3-1 ATS as a road underdog last season and also went 3-1 ATS against AFC teams.
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