Week 4 was not kind to home teams as 11 of them came away with a loss. That included a surprising road win by the Browns, who won despite being heavy underdogs against the Ravens. Nick Chubb was the driving force behind their success, rushing for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Even in the loss, Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson continued his impressive start with three more touchdown passes.
Another surprising win came from the Buccaneers, who defeated the Rams in a 55-40 shootout. The normally interception-prone Jameis Winston threw only one pick and led the way with four touchdowns. On the other side of the field, Jared Goff had a whopping 517 passing yards to go along with two touchdowns, but his line was marred by three interceptions.
As far as home teams who took care of business, the Giants remained perfect in the Daniel Jones era with a victory over Washington. The Bears improved to 3-1 by defeating the Vikings in what was an impressive defensive showing, holding them to only six points. Not only did they bottle up Dalvin Cook, but they sacked Kirk Cousins six times.
With only two teams on a bye, we have another packed schedule for Week 5. While there is the potential for some lopsided affairs, we also have some intriguing matchups, including the Cowboys hosting the Packers. Among those two who enter as underdogs, here are three to consider placing a wager on.
The Jaguars are another one of the road teams who won last week, defeating the Broncos 26-24. Leonard Fournette might not have found his way into the end zone, but he dominated on the ground by carrying the ball 29 times for 225 yards. Gardner Minshew wasn’t great, but he did just enough by throwing for 213 yards and two touchdowns. With a record of 2-2, the Jaguars are still very much in the playoff hunt despite losing Nick Foles (collarbone).
The Panthers have had their own injury issues at quarterback having lost Cam Newton (foot). Luckily for them, Kyle Allen has still been able to guide them to victories in his two starts. He torched the Cardinals for four touchdown passes in Week 3, but he didn’t record a score last week in a defensive slugfest against the Texans. On a positive note, he still hasn’t thrown an interception and completed at least 70.6% of his passes in both contests.
Don’t be surprised if this is another defensive battle between a couple of 2-2 teams with young quarterbacks. The Panthers being favored might not actually be a good thing for them since they have lost each of their last five games as favorites. The road team has also covered the spread in each of the Panthers’ last six games. I think the Jaguars can win this game, so I especially like taking the points.
Cardinals (+3) at Bengals (O/U 47)
It’s been all downhill for the Cardinals since they finished with a tie in Week 1 against the Lions. They’ve lost each of their three contests since, including 27-10 beat down at the hands of the Seahawks last week. Kyler Murray finished with only 241 passing yards to along with an interception, but he did somewhat salvage his line with a rushing touchdown. They clearly are in the early stages of a rebuilding process despite having the talented David Johnson at running back and veteran Larry Fitzgerald among their wide receivers.
As bad as the Cardinals have been, the Bengals are right there with them. They are still looking for their first win of the season and are coming off of an embarrassing 27-3 loss to the Steelers. Their offensive line continues to be a problem with little hope of getting any better as the season progresses. Injuries have started to take their toll, as well, with A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (shoulder) sidelined.
This might not be an exciting matchup, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t come away with a winning wager. The Cardinals are winless, but they have faced four tough teams in the Lions, Ravens, Panthers and Seahawks. Murray will now get a chance to show what he can do against a suspect defense. Like the Jaguars, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Cardinals win this game outright, leaving the points as an appealing option.
Falcons (+5) at Texans (O/U 49)
The Falcons find themselves in a 1-3 hole after losing to the Titans at home last week. They couldn’t get much going on offense, scoring just 10 points in the contest. They were behind 24-7 at the half, which resulted in them trying to play catch up and Matt Ryan attempting 53 passes. He finished with 397 yards, but no touchdown passes or interceptions. Their defense couldn’t slow down A.J. Brown, who finished with 94 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
In the aforementioned defensive battle between the Texans and Panthers, the Texans scored their only touchdown on a one-yard run from quarterback Deshaun Watson. It was rough performance from Watson, overall, who finished with just 160 passing yards and was sacked six times. The Texans’ offensive line isn’t doing him any favors considering he’s already been sacked a whopping 18 times through four games.
As bad as the Falcons have looked, it’s not as if the Texans have been some sort of juggernaut. Two of their four games have been decided by two or fewer points and no contest has been decided by more than seven points. The Texans have won eight of their last nine home games in October and I do think they come away with a victory here. However, given the fairly large spread, taking the Falcons and the points could prove to be the most profitable option.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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