The NFL season moves into October. Week 4 has arrived.
Let’s take a look at some applicable trends for the early spreads.
Although I am not a trends bettor, I find that trends help me identify spots I should consider further when analyzing games. Using our Bet Labs database, I have uncovered some intriguing NFL trends for five games this week.
All lines are from our NFL Odds page.
Early Week 4 NFL Picks
Click on a pick to skip to that analysis.
Steelers +1.5 at Titans
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: CBS
The Steelers and Titans are both 3-0, so it’s not a surprise to see the Titans favored at home — but they have a wholly fraudulent record.
In each game this year, they’ve won thanks to a field goal within the final two minutes. There’s something to be said for teams that consistently win close games — but the Titans have outscored their opponents by just six points.
They could easily be 0-3.
The Steelers, meanwhile, have a point differential of +22. They are a solid team with above-average play in all three phases, and they tend not to beat themselves, which is a sign of good coaching.
With head coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have historically done well as underdogs, going 34-18-2 against the spread (ATS), good for a 28% return on investment (ROI) and an A grade within Bet Labs.
In fact, Tomlin straight up is 28-26 (31% ROI) as an underdog and 28-22 (41.5% ROI) as a dog of no more than seven points.
If you like the Steelers, you can consider betting them to win on the moneyline, but there’s still plenty of value on them with the spread as well.
- Action: Steelers +1.5 (-110) at DraftKings
- Limit: PK (-110)
Seahawks -6.5 at Dolphins
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: FOX
The Dolphins had a big 31-13 win on Thursday Night Football, and they’re coming into Week 3 with 10 days of rest — but I’m not worried about the Dolphins.
The undefeated Seahawks are 3-0 ATS (93.2% ROI) on the year, and opponents have been unable to stop quarterback Russell Wilson in this new #LetRussCook era. With the way he has played so far, he is easily the MVP frontrunner.
- Week 1 (at ATL): 31-of-35 passing for 322-4-0 | 3-29-0 rushing
- Week 2 (vs. NE): 21-of-28 passing for 288-5-1 | 5-39-0 rushing
- Week 3 (vs. DAL): 27-of-40 passing for 315-5-0 | 6-22-0 rushing
Wilson should have no problem scoring at will against the Dolphins, who are No. 31 with a 42.5 coverage grade (per Pro Football Focus). They are without No. 2 cornerback Byron Jones (groin), and in each game this year they have used a different cornerback in the slot.
The Seahawks are a West Coast team traveling east and playing in the early game, which theoretically means they should have some sort of biorhythmic disadvantage.
There might have been an edge with that angle years ago, but nowadays the market tends to account for cross-country travel.
In fact, it’s possible that bettors now put too much weight on the west-to-east angle, creating value on the team that should be hindered. With the Seahawks, HC Pete Carroll has had 23 East Coast games with a start time of 1 p.m. ET: He’s 13-7-3 ATS (24.6% ROI).
Bottom line: For his career, quarterback Russell Wilson is 71-53-7 ATS (11.4% ROI) in the regular season. You tend not to make money if you bet against him.
- Action: Seahawks -6.5 (-120) at FanDuel
- Limit: -8.5 (-110)
Bills -2.5 at Raiders
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: CBS
If the Bills had lost in Week 3, there would be more value on them now against the Raiders. Instead, they built a massive 28-3 lead, squandered all of it and then came back in the final minute to secure the 35-32 win over the Rams.
But even with the Week 3 victory, I think the market hasn’t reacted enough to what we’ve seen out of the Bills this season: They are good, and they’re likely to get even better as quarterback Josh Allen continues to develop as a passer and solidify his connection with new No. 1 wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
I hope you invested in Allen at 50-1 to win the MVP when you had a chance.
As for the Raiders, they return to Las Vegas after a 36-20 loss to the Patriots for just their second home game at Allegiant Stadium.
As diminished as home-field advantage is across the league this year because of COVID-induced attendance restrictions, the Raiders might be at even more of a relative disadvantage at home: They just moved to Vegas this offseason, so the players are still acclimating themselves to the city and stadium.
With no fans in attendance, it’s arguable that the Raiders have almost no home-field advantage.
And the Bills have been good on the road under HC Sean McDermott, going 14-9-2 ATS (16.2% ROI) as the visiting team.
And in quarterback Josh Allen’s road starts, the Bills are 9-3-2 ATS (38.3% ROI). It’s no wonder they went to the playoffs last year.
McDermott’s Bills are also 17-12-2 ATS (13.2% ROI) outside of the division.
- Action: Bills -2.5 (-110) at DraftKings
- Limit: -5 (-110)
Eagles +6.5 at 49ers
Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: NBC
Only a fool would bet on the Eagles against the 49ers this week — and I am that fool.
The Eagles are lucky to be 0-2-1 with their point differential of -28. In Week 3, they played the Bengals to a 23-23 tie. The Bengals. The team that was a league-worst 2-14 last year.
Meanwhile, the 49ers in Week 3 had an inspired 36-9 road victory over the Giants to win their second game in a row despite missing a whole host of key offensive and defensive players.
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle)
- RBs Raheem Mostert (knee) & Tevin Coleman (knee, IR)
- WR Deebo Samuel (foot, IR)
- TE George Kittle (knee)
- EDGE Nick Bosa (knee, IR) & Dee Ford (back)
- LB Dre Greenlaw (quad)
- DT Solomon Thomas (knee, IR)
- CB Richard Sherman (calf, IR)
With how well they played last week, the 49ers are bound to have an inflated line against the Eagles.
And it’s not as if 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan has done well in the past when laying points at Levi’s Stadium. Road underdogs are 9-3-1 ATS (42.5% ROI) against Shanahan’s 49ers.
Packers -7 vs. Falcons
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday | TV: ESPN
For the second week in a row, Falcons HC Dan Quinn has seen his 0-3 team blow a big lead and lose in hilariously ignominious fashion.
Sunday Night Football is just ending as I write this, but as of now are we sure that Quinn will even be coaching this team against the Packers in Week 4?
Not to make light of the situation, because it’s unfortunate anytime someone loses gainful employment, but I kind of hope that Quinn keeps his job for the entire season — because I want to keep betting against him.
Now that Jason Garrett is no longer with the Cowboys, Quinn tops my personal “Bet against him no matter what” rankings.
During Quinn’s tenure of five-plus years with the Falcons, opponents are 46-37 ATS (7.7% ROI) — and 40-27 ATS (15.9% ROI) if we remove the Kyle Shanahan-spurred 2016 season.
Even though Quinn is a defense-focused coach, his unit simply cannot get any stops. As of writing, the Falcons have allowed a league-high 108 points on the season.
And now they travel to Lambeau Field, where Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is an A-graded 54-30-3 ATS (25% ROI) in the regular season for his career.
In all reality, this might be our last opportunity ever to bet against Quinn as a head coach. If the Packers blow out the Falcons, he might be fired.
Wherever this number opened, there was zero chance I wasn’t betting it.
- Action: Packers -7 (-110) at FanDuel
- Limit: -8.5 (-110)
Matthew Freedman is 632-509-24 (55.4%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
He’s the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Rosemount, Minnesota, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.