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A few large spreads are on the board for Week 4. Will there be a repeat of Week 3, or will the favorites hold serve?
We’ll take a closer look at some ‘dogs picked to cover the spread as well as all of the Week 4 odds (via OddsShark).
All odds are as of 11:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Week 4 NFL Picks Against the Spread
Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams (-7): LAR
Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers (-12): BUF
Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons (-5.5): CIN
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5): DET
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5): IND
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-9.5): MIA
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars (-10): JAX
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Tennessee Titans: PHI
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears (-2.5): CHI
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders (EVEN): CLE
Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Arizona Cardinals: SEA
New Orleans Saints (-3) at New York Giants: NYG
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Chargers (-10.5): LAC
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3): PIT
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at Denver Broncos: KC
Underdogs Picked To Beat Spread
Cincinnati Bengals +5.5 over Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons defense allowed 534 yards against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in a 43-37 overtime loss. Granted, the Saints offense is one of the most explosive in the league when clicking, but New Orleans converted 32 first downs and pulled off a 15-play, 80-yard, eight-minute touchdown drive to end the game.
As shown Sunday, the losses of safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones to injury have hurt the Falcons defense, even if they still have some notable talent (e.g. edge-rusher Vic Beasley) on that side of the ball.
However, Atlanta will get another tough test when the Cincinnati Bengals roll into town. The Cincinnati aerial attack features star wideout A.J. Green, emerging wide receiver Tyler Boyd and running back Gio Bernard, who is adept at catching passes out of the backfield. Tight end Tyler Eifert (13 touchdowns in 13 games in 2015) is also a tough draw.
The Cincinnati defense has been hit or miss thus far, with their latest effort a disappointing 31-21 defeat to a Carolina Panthers team that rushed for 230 yards on the ground. The Bengals may struggle against the Falcons, but they are getting 5.5 points off the bat. That’s an enticing offer to take the road ‘dog, especially considering Cincinnati could beat Atlanta outright in a shootout.
Miami Dolphins +9.5 over New England Patriots
Minus allowing six catches for 173 yards and a touchdown to Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson, the Miami Dolphins defense has been sensational thus far, allowing just 14 points per game through three weeks. The Fins are a surprise 3-0 team heading into a tough Week 4 matchup at the New England Patriots.
While beating the Pats on the road is never an easy task, it’s possible for Miami to beat a fat 9.5-point spread. The biggest reason is cornerback Xavien Howard, who is making a case as the league’s next shutdown cornerback.
Per Pro Football Focus, Howard accomplished these feats through two weeks:
PFF MIA Dolphins @PFF_Dolphins
#Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (@Iamxavienhoward) is allowing just a 28.2 passer rating when targeted this season, good for the 5th-best mark in the league through 2 weeks⬇️ #FinsUp https://t.co/T8NczFDzYq https://t.co/2WD8fKbMLP
But he saved his best game of the season for Oakland, as he shut down No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper (two catches, 17 yards).
Howard also has a fan in Dolphins beat writer Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald:
The 25-year-old should help shut down part of the Patriots passing attack, which looked anemic against the Detroit Lions on Sunday night in a 26-10 loss.
It’s never wise to count out the Pats (see their 2-2 start in 2014 before they rolled to a Super Bowl win). However, the Dolphins’ tough defense (they ranked first in defensive efficiency through two weeks, per Football Outsiders) should help them stay within double digits.
New York Giants +3 over New Orleans Saints
The New York Giants offensive line struggled mightily in their first two games, but it fared well in Week 3 (minus three J.J. Watt sacks) versus the Houston Texans. Watt is one of the best players in the league when healthy, so that’s not too embarrassing.
But the run blocking was tremendous, helping rookie Saquon Barkley go for 82 rushing yards and one score.
Quarterback Eli Manning was kept clean enough to complete 25-of-29 passes for two touchdowns. He re-established his rapport with wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who followed a quiet four-catch, 51-yard night vs. the Dallas Cowboys with a stellar nine-catch, 109-yard afternoon against Houston.
Beckham may not be the reason why the Giants pull off the upset, however. The Saints have had trouble defending No. 2 wide receivers all year, which means the Giants’ Sterling Shepard could have a monster performance.
In Week 1, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wideout DeSean Jackson had five catches for 146 yards and one touchdown.
In Week 2, Cleveland Browns pass-catcher Antonio Callaway caught three passes for 81 yards and a score (his 47-yard touchdown catch tied the game at 18 late).
In Week 3, Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons was the week’s best statistical producer at wideout as he caught seven passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns.
Shepard started slow but caught six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown Sunday. He can dwarf those numbers against New Orleans, and despite the Saints’ penchant for offensive explosions, the G-Men can win a shootout here.