- Week 4 of the NFL season saw the underdogs howl, with the Buccaneers, Browns, Raiders, and more all winning their games outright.
- This week, the Rams and Seahawks kick off the action in Seattle on Thursday night, followed up by a full slate of games on Sunday.
- Once again, we’re picking every game of the week against the spread with the hopes of making a little money.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It took four weeks, but the underdogs finally howled on Sunday in the NFL.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers served up the biggest surprise of the day, taking down the Los Angeles Rams 55-40 as 10-point road underdogs, while Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns also silenced their doubters as touchdown underdogs against the Ravens. The Oakland Raiders even got in on the fun.
Beyond those outright upsets, teams like the Bills and Lions were able to keep things close enough to cover against their superior opponents. All together, Week 4 was proof that just when you think you have the league figured out, things are bound to change.
With Week 5 action fast approaching, we’re once again picking every game on the schedule against the spread.
Take a look below at our best bets against the spread for Week 4 of the NFL season (* indicates home team).
LAST WEEK: 7-8 OVERALL: 34-29
Los Angeles Rams (+1.5) over Seattle Seahawks*
The Rams got punched in the mouth last week by a Tampa Bay Buccaneers offence that scored at will. On a short week, expect head coach Sean McVay to keep things simple, which should work to the team’s advantage. Los Angeles has the best receiving trio in the NFL, and as long as Jared Goff can not look lost out on the field, the Rams should have enough to pull off the win in Seattle.
Tennessee Titans* (-3) over Buffalo Bills
Quarterback Josh Allen was still in concussion protocol on Wednesday after taking a brutal hit from the Patriots last weekend. This Titans team is tough to figure out, and the Bills defence looks like one of the best in the NFL, but with Buffalo either playing a questionable Josh Allen or a healthy Matt Barkley on Sunday, it feels like the Titans are the only bet here.
Houston Texans* (-5) over Atlanta Falcons
The Houston Texans came up short last Sunday, and Deshaun Watson was quick to explain his offences failings. This week, they face an Atlanta team that has been trying to figure out its offence for over a year now to no avail. It feels like Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is not long for the job, and this could be a breaking point.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers*
The Baltimore Ravens’ honeymoon period might be over, taking two straight losses after starting the season on fire with wins against what looks like two of the worst teams in the NFL in the Dolphins and Cardinals. Still, the Steelers might be just as bad, and one win over the lowly Chiefs isn’t enough to convince me that Pittsburgh has righted the ship just yet.
New England Patriots (-15.5) over Washington Redskins*
When asked what his quarterback plan was for Sunday, Washington head coach Jay Gruden said, “We don’t have one right now.”
The Patriots have failed to cover two straight weeks on long spreads, but it’s impossible to back a Washington team with no clear quarterback and a roster that looks mighty close to quitting on its head coach.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) over Carolina Panthers*
Gardner Minshew continues to prove he’s the real deal at quarterback. In a battle of promoted backups, I’d rather have my money on him than Panthers signal-caller Kyle Allen.
Arizona Cardinals (+3) over Cincinnati Bengals*
The Cardinals have burned me nearly every week so far this season, but the Cincinnati Bengals should not be favoured over any team in the NFL that’s not the Dolphins. If I’m going to bet this game, I’m betting the team I can at least stand to watch.
New Orleans Saints* (-3.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The New Orleans Saints pulled out a gutsy win at home against the Dallas Cowboys last week. This Sunday, in a divisional matchup against the Buccaneers, they will have the coaching advantage and the home crowd behind them once again. I’m more inclined to think that Tampa Bay’s scoring explosion was a single-game aberration rather than the sudden emergence of the league’s next great offence.
Chicago Bears (-5.5) over Oakland Raiders
It’s Khalil Mack’s first game against his former team, and the Bears defence looks ready to eat the Raiders alive. This game is in London, and I’m inclined to trust the defence to travel better than the offence. As long as Chase Daniel doesn’t crumble as Mitch Trubisky’s replacement, Chicago should roll.
Philadelphia Eagles* (-14) over New York Jets
The Eagles are still nursing themselves back to full health, but are coming into this game with a bit of extra rest after their big win over the Packers last Thursday night. The Jets have looked utterly lost all season and still won’t have starting quarterback Sam Darnold back from his mono diagnosis. After a statement win in Green Bay, the Eagles will run up the score for the Philly faithful against an overmatched Jets team.
Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) over New York Giants*
Kirk Cousins plays well against bad teams and plays badly against good teams. Last week, he was about as bad as could be facing a relentless Bears defence, but on Sunday, he will get the chance to bounce back against the Giants, whose defence ranks among the worst in the NFL. After getting called out by wide receiver Adam Thielen for his misses, this feels like a spot where Cousins comes up big.
Denver Broncos (+6.5) over Los Angeles Chargers*
The Broncos are a dismal 0-4, but two of those losses have come from their opponents hitting game-winning field goals as time expires. Denver is far from a good team this year, but they’re closer to 2-2 than you might think. Take the points and hope Joe Flacco and company can keep things tight.
Green Bay Packers (+3.5) over Dallas Cowboys*
Dating back to 2009, the Green Bay Packers have won seven of eight meetings with the Cowboys, averaging 30 points per game from Aaron Rodgers and company. Both teams are coming off losses, but I expect the Packers to be a bit more desperate after falling at home to the Eagles.
Kansas City Chiefs* (-11) over Indianapolis Colts
I honestly expected this line to be closer to seven rather than a full two scores. But it’s been a while since the Chiefs had a convincing win, and if the bookmakers in Las Vegas see this one as a potential blowout, I’m inclined to believe them.
Cleveland Browns (+3.5) over San Francisco 49ers*
The Cleveland Browns have been playing with a chip on their shoulder since their shaky start, and thrashed the Ravens on Sunday. This week, they will get their chance at nationally televised redemption, playing on the big stage for the first time since falling to the Rams on Sunday night in Week 3.
San Francisco may be undefeated, but I’m unconvinced the team is as good as their record indicates thus far.
Now check out where you team ranks as we dive into Week 5…
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