Watching Some NFL Action this Weekend
With that in mind, looking at Week #4 lines should give you a reason to celebrate. There are some strong picks out there this week, and hopefully, you are working with a good sports book that has favorable lines for you.
I’ll start our look at the bets of the week by looking at a few games, finding good value bets within those games. I will wrap things up with a look at a few long term prop bets that may be of value to you.
Betting on the Smart Money
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
The Patriots are 7 point favorites in this game. With home field, that’s a very realistic number, but don’t go and bet the spread on the favorite just yet. As a Patriots fan, this is tough for me to say, but the Dolphins have a better record than the Pats right now, and they have momentum on their side. Are the Patriots the better team? Yes. Are they in a place at this point in the season where they can easily cover 7 points? I’m not so sure. Any other year the Patriots would decimate their division rival, but lack of production on the offensive end has a lot of bettors worried. The fan in me says this will change, but fans are notoriously bad bettors. I am going to stay away from this bet.
The spread or the money line are not the bets that make this game interesting for the bettor in me. It’s the over/under. Most books currently have this set at 47.5 points, which seems really low. Even with the reduced impact that the Patriots offense has had this season, 47.5 points is on the low end of things, especially at home. With two under-performing defenses, I expect this game to venture up into the 50s for total points scored. An over bet, assuming that you can find a mark of 47.5 points or lower, is a surprisingly good find in a game of this profile.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are 1.5 point favorites against the visiting Texans. Historically speaking, the home team tends to have an edge of about 3 points, which means that the Texans are most likely the better team here. The Colts lost to the Eagles in Week #1, and then again to the Bengals in Week #3. While neither of these teams are slouches, the issues that the Colts are having with offense are disturbing. QB Andrew Luck doesn’t appear to be his old self after battling injury all of last season, and his connection with WR T.Y. Hilton isn’t what it should be, especially a few weeks into the season.
With that said, the Texans have a decent chance of covering, assuming you are getting odds of -110 or better. A larger spread in the Colts favor should be a warning sign that the bet is no longer a good choice.
This matchup also has a low over/under, set at 47. However, because the Colts are lacking in point production and the Texans can be an unknown on the road, this bet should be avoided. The Texans are averaging just 18.5 points on the road this season and the Colts are only averaging 20 points per game, indicating that the under is the stronger of the two choices. However, 47 is still a low number. If your book is offering 48 or higher, this suddenly becomes a strong bet. Keep your eyes open.
Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers
The Packers are the home team this weekend, holding a 10 point edge over Buffalo. This seems pretty generous, considering how poorly Buffalo performed in their first two weeks this season. The Week #3 win over Minnesota was a surprise to everyone, and definitely had an influence on this line. If you’re thinking about betting on this game (and you should be!), the question that you need to ask yourself is, was Week #3 a fluke? If it was, then the Packers should cover with ease. If it wasn’t, the Packers will still have a huge edge, but maybe not a 10 point edge. The Packers still have the advantage here, and luckily, the surprise success that the Bills saw last week has artificially moved the line.
Prop bets are often long shots, and for the most part, it’s a smart choice to stay away from them. However, every once in a while it can be valuable to see what’s available. The “Longest TD” bet is what has my attention this week. Ideally, this would be a top rated wide receiver who is going up against a weaker passing defense. This week, the players that fit into this category are Odell Beckham, Jr., who faces the #32 ranked Saints, Kenny Stills, who is up against the #31 ranked Patriots, and Allen Robinson, II, who will face the #30 ranked Buccaneers.
Of course, this bet is only worthwhile if you find a good price on the bet. Beckham is going to be poor value most everywhere because of the name recognition, but Stills and Robinson could be high value bets, depending on where you look. Of the three, Robinson has the highest potential for return thanks to the fact that he is playing at home and will likely be undervalued to begin with. He also has more yards per game than Stills at this point in the season. Beckham remains above these two but will most likely be too poor of a value pick to justify the bet. If you’re looking for a decent prop bet, this is probably going to be your best bet.