The fourth week of the NFL season is going to give gamblers something they rarely have the opportunity to do, which is the chance to bet on the New England Patriots as a big underdog.
In the early odds for Week 4, the Patriots have opened as a seven-point underdog to the Kansas City Chiefs, which marks just the third time over the past 18 years that New England has been an underdog of at least a touchdown.
The good news for the Patriots is that they have the best coach In NFL history on their side in Bill Belichick and Belichick almost never gets blown out, even if his team is a huge dog. The last time the Patriots were an underdog of seven or more points came in 2016 when Tom Brady was suspended. In their season opener against Arizona, the Cardinals were favored by nine and the Patriots responded by not just covering, but winning outright.
Overall, since Belichick was hired in 2000, the Patriots have been an underdog of seven or more points a total of 11 times -- including the playoffs -- and they've gone 9-2 against the spread in those games.
The Patriots' status as a big underdog isn't the only surprise of Week 4. The winless Bengals are favored to win a game for the first time this year. Since Zac Taylor was hired in 2019, the Bengals have been favored to win three games and they've lost all three. There are also two other winless teams favored to win this week.
To find out who those teams are, let's get to the early odds and find out.
NFL Week 4 early odds
(All lines from William Hill Sportsbook, all games on Sunday unless noted)
Opening line: Broncos, -2.5 points
Betting on the Broncos in a prime-time game is usually a pretty easy way to lose money. In their past 15 games played at night, the Broncos are 3-12 straight-up and just 3-11-1 ATS. As for the Jets, they're one of just five teams in the NFL that still has yet to cover the spread in a game this year (0-3). They're also 0-4 both straight-up and ATS in their past four prime-time games. Basically, it kind of seems like there's no good team to bet in this game.
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Opening line: Colts, -3 points
In their past 20 games against NFC teams, the Colts have been covering machines, going 14-5-1 ATS. However, they've gone just 12-8 straight-up in those games. This game will mark just the ninth time since the start of the 2015 season that the Colts have been a road favorite. In the eight previous games, they went 2-6 ATS and 3-5 straight-up. As for the Bears, who will likely be starting Nick Foles after Mitchell Trubisky was benched on Sunday, they're actually pretty good as a home underdog. In their past 15 games as a home dog, the Bears have gone 12-3 ATS (7-8 straight-up).
Jaguars (1-2) at Bengals (0-2-1)
Opening line: Bengals, -3 points
The Jaguars always seem to struggle when they leave the state of Florida, which isn't great news for them this week. In their past 20 road games, the Jags are just 5-15 straight-up and 7-12-1 ATS. As for the Bengals, they've lost three straight games as a favorite and they went 0-3 ATS in those games. The Bengals are also just 3-12 ATS in their past 15 home games overall (4-11 straight-up).
Opening line: Cowboys, -5 points
If there's one team you want to bet against when they play on the road, it's the Cleveland Browns. In their past seven games played away from Cleveland, the Browns are 0-7 both straight-up and ATS. The Browns are also 0-10 straight-up in their past 10 road games against teams from the NFC (2-8 ATS). The Browns haven't won a road game against an NFC team since November 2014. As for the Cowboys, they're 17-3 straight-up and 14-6 ATS in the past 20 games where they were favored by five or more points.
Opening line: Saints, -3.5 points
If you've been betting on the Saints in October games, then you're probably rich off of all the money you've made, and that's because they have one of the wildest betting streaks going: New Orleans has covered the spread in 17 straight October games dating back to Week 6 of 2015 (They're 16-1 straight-up in those same games). As for the Lions, they're just 1-11 straight-up in their past 12 games (3-9 ATS). The Lions are also 1-9 straight-up in their past 10 games as a home underdog (4-6 ATS).
Opening line: Titans, -1.5 points
The Titans are the most perplexing team to bet on in the NFL this year. Although they're 3-0 straight-up, they're 0-3 ATS on the season and if that pattern holds, that means they're going win by exactly one point in Week 4. The Titans are also 1-5 ATS in their past six regular season games dating back to last year. As for the Steelers, they've absolutely dominated the AFC South over the past few years. Since the start of the 2014 season, the Steelers have gone 13-1 straight-up against the division (10-3-1 ATS), including Sunday's win over Houston.
Opening line: Seahawks, -7 points
If there's one time you might not want to bet on the Seahawks, it's when they're a favorite of seven or more points. In the past 12 games where Seattle has been favored by at least a touchdown, the Seahawks have gone 3-9 ATS (9-3 straight-up). As for the Dolphins, since the start of the 2017 season, they've gone 3-9 straight-up against NFC teams and just 4-8 ATS. In a somewhat odd stat, the Dolphins have been horrible in Week 4 over the past decade. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Dolphins have gone 1-9 straight-up during the fourth week of the season (2-8 ATS).
Chargers (1-2) at Buccaneers (2-1)
Opening line: Buccaneers, -7 points
Although most west coast teams tend to struggle when they travel east, that doesn't seem to apply to the Chargers. In their past eight games played in the eastern time zone, the Chargers have gone 7-1 both straight-up and ATS. Also, their only loss came by three points. As for Tampa Bay, they haven't covered in an October home game since 2014. Since then, they've gone 0-7 ATS and 2-5 straight-up. Of course, that was before Tom Brady arrived and the Buccaneers will be hoping that Brady can end that drought this week.
Ravens (2-0) at Washington (1-2)
Opening line: Ravens, -14 points
Not including Monday's game against Kansas City, the Ravens have won 12 straight games while going 11-1 ATS in those wins. Even if they lose to the Chiefs, that's still an impressive streak. Although this is a huge point spread, it's against an NFC team, which could be worrisome for people who are thinking about betting on Baltimore. For one, the Ravens are just 5-12 ATS in their past 17 games against the NFC. The Ravens are also 5-12 ATS In the past 17 games where they were favored by double digits (16-1 straight-up). As for Washington, the Football Team is 1-5 ATS in its past six games and 0-3 ATS in their past three road games while losing 10 of the the past 11 games they've played on the road.
Cardinals (2-1) at Panthers (1-2)
Opening line: Cardinals, -3.5
During Kliff Kingsbury's first year as coach in 2019 the Cardinals played four games out in the eastern time zone and they went 4-0 ATS (2-2 straight-up). The Cards are also 4-1-1 ATS in their past six games. This game will mark the first time the Cardinals have been a road favorite since 2017. As for the Panthers, they're 1-8-1 ATS and 2-8 straight-up in their past 10 home games.
Opening line: Texans, -4 points
If there's one time to bet on the Vikings, it's after they lose. Since the start of the 2018 season, the Vikings are an impressive 12-2 ATS after a loss, which is the best record of any team in the NFL over that span. The Vikings are also 9-3 ATS in the past 12 games where they were an underdog of four or more. That being said, you might not want to bet the moneyline, because they're 1-11 straight-up in those same 12 games. As for the Texans, they almost always seem to struggle to cover against NFC teams. In their past nine games against the conference, Houston has gone 2-6-1 ATS (4-5 straight-up).
Opening line: Rams, -12 points
This game will mark the ninth time under Sean McVay that the Rams have been favored by double digits. In the previous eight games, the Rams have gone 7-1 straight-up and 6-2 ATS. The Rams are also 2-0 both straight-up and ATS against NFC East teams this year. As for the Giants, they haven't been winning on the road, but they have been covering. In their past 16 road games, the Giants have gone an ugly 4-12 straight-up, but a wildly impressive 13-3 ATS, including a game against the Bears in Week 2 where they covered as a 5.5-point underdog in a 17-13 loss.
Patriots (2-1) at Chiefs (2-0)
Opening line: Chiefs, -7 points
We already covered Belichick's record as an underdog of seven points or more, so you might be wondering how Andy Reid has done as a favorite of a touchdown or more. Since being hired as the Chiefs coach in 2013, Kansas City has been favored by seven or more a total of 31 times and in those games, the Chiefs have gone 24-7 straight-up, but just 10-20-1 ATS. If you just look at the numbers since Patrick Mahomes took over as the starting quarterback, the Chiefs are 12-1 straight-up, but just 6-6-1 ATS. Also, the Chiefs are 3-0-1 ATS in their past four HOME games when favored by a touchdown or more.
Opening line: Bills, -2.5 points
The Bills don't play out west often, which is probably for the best, because they rarely seem to win out there. Since 2010, the Bills have gone 1-6 both straight-up and ATS when playing in the pacific time zone. As for the Raiders, they actually seem to thrive as a home underdog. In their past nine games as a home dog, the Raiders are 6-3 straight-up and 7-2 ATS. One of those wins came back in Week 2, when the Raiders upset the Saints 34-24 as a four-point dog.
Opening line: 49ers, -6 points
There's a good chance that 49ers bettors will be watching this point spread closely and that's because six is the magic number for San Francisco. When they're favored by six or more, they almost never cover, but when they're favored by less than six, they almost always cover. Since the start of the 2014 season, the 49ers are 2-13-1 ATS when favored by six or more. On the other hand, the 49ers have won and covered in the past five games where they were favored by 5.5 points or less. As for the Eagles, they're one of just two NFC teams that has yet to cover the spread in a game this year (0-3).
Opening line: Packers, -7 points (via Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
No team has caused more depression for their fans this year than the Atlanta Falcons, who could very easily be 2-1 if they hadn't blown two big leads over the past two weeks. If you're still crazy enough to bet on the Falcons, there's some good news for you: The Packers haven't been good at covering home games in prime time. In their past six home prime-time games, the Packers are 0-6 ATS (3-3 straight-up). Of course, betting against this Packers team might not be so smart, and that's because Green Bay is 16-3 straight-up and 13-6 ATS since the start of the 2019 season. As for the Falcons, they've actually won five straight Monday games (3-2 ATS).