Tom Brady was asked earlier this week about NFL parity and the fact nearly half the teams in the league were 2-2 entering Week 5 action.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star quarterback’s response was somewhat unexpected but right on the money: “I think there's a lot of bad football from what I watch. I watch a lot of bad football. Poor quality of football. That's what I see.”
The very next day fans were treated to an instant Thursday classic. A hilarious dumpster fire that ended with the Colts limping past the Broncos 12-9. Seven field goals, 12 punts, four interceptions, zero touchdowns.
Yet another game that saw the underdog not only cover but win outright and with no players crossing the goal line the under was predictably the correct play.
Underdogs are now 37-25-3 ATS on the season and the under is 39-25.
Brady and the Bucs have lost two in a row. Brady hasn’t lost three consecutive regular-season games in 20 years. Seriously. Not since a four-game skid in 2002.
Despite being tied in the standings, the Bucs are two-score favourites over the Falcons, the only 4-0 team against the spread (ATS) this season. That’s one of many intriguing gambling-related storylines this week. Atlanta is on a winning streak that has helped our Weekly Ridley Parlay hit in back-to-back weeks.
Let’s take a gander at the Week 4 board with betting lines, totals and tidbits for each game, plus weekly picks and parlays.
SPREADS & TOTALS
New York Giants (+8.0) vs. Green Bay Packers (-8.0) | Over/Under: 41.5
Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) vs. Cleveland Browns (+2.5) | Over/Under: 47.5
Houston Texans (+7.0) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-7.0) | Over/Under: 43.5
Chicago Bears (+7.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings (-7.5) | Over/Under: 43.5
Detroit Lions (+3.5) vs. New England Patriots (-3.5) | Over/Under: 45.5
Seattle Seahawks (+5.5) vs. New Orleans Saints (-5.5) | Over/Under: 46.5
Miami Dolphins (-3.0) vs. New York Jets (+3.0) | Over/Under: 45.5
Atlanta Falcons (+10.0) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.0) | Over/Under: 46.5
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) vs. Washington Commanders (+2.5) | Over/Under: 42.5
Pittsburgh Steelers (+14.0) vs. Buffalo Bills (-14.0) | Over/Under: 46.5
San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) vs. Carolina Panthers (+6.5) | Over/Under: 38.5
Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals (+5.5) | Over/Under: 48.5
Dallas Cowboys (+5.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams (-5.5) | Over/Under: 43.5
Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) | Over/Under: 47.5
Las Vegas Raiders (+7.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) | Over/Under: 51.5
The under has hit in six of the past seven games between Buffalo and Pittsburgh.
The Giants and Packers play Sunday morning in London. It’ll be the first time Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have played in the NFL’s International Series. New York is the top rushing offence in the NFL, averaging 192.5 yards on the ground per game, while Green Bay’s defence ranks 22nd in both rushing yards allowed per game and per attempt.
The underdog has covered in seven of the past eight meetings between the Chargers and Browns.
Houston hasn’t lost to Jacksonville since 2017. Eight moneyline wins in a row.
The Bears have struggled mightily ATS against division rivals; 3-13 in the past 16 versus NFC North opponents.
Bailey Zappe gets the nod for New England after pushing the Packers to overtime. He plays a banged-up Lions team that both allows and scores the most points per game in the NFL.
New Orleans is getting Alvin Kamara back and Andy Dalton is expected to start against the Seahawks coming off a 48-45 win over Detroit. Kamara had 179 yards and one touchdown on 30 total touches against Seattle last year.
Teddy Bridgewater is starting in place of Tua Tagovailoa for the Dolphins. Bridgewater has been a cover machine during his NFL career: 43-21 ATS all-time and 24-6 ATS on the road.
Tom Brady has never lost to Atlanta in his career. He is 10-0 against the Falcons – 5-0 with New England, including the infamous 28-3 comeback Super Bowl win, and 5-0 since joining the NFC South with Tampa. He’s also 9-1 ATS playing the Falcons.
Tennessee is the most popular public play of the week with more than 75 per cent of bets on the Titans and the points.
Dallas ranked second in sacks entering Week 4 and visit a Rams o-line allowing four sacks per game.
49ers-Panthers is the lone total less than 40 points this week. Carolina is 3-1 on unders and San Francisco is a 4-0 under team.
The Eagles are the best first-half team in the NFL (averaging 23.0 points in the opening two quarters) and have the 28th-ranked second-half scoring offence. The Cardinals are lowest-scoring first-half team averaging just 4.0 points but are ranked second second-half points averaging 16.5.
Baltimore has trailed opponents for 14 total seconds this season yet are 2-2 after blowing leads of 17 and 21 points in two of the past three weeks.
Monday’s Raiders-Chiefs closes out the week with the highest total of the week. The past four games between these AFC West teams has gone over with an average combined score of 62.5 points in those four contests.
MIKEY J’S CARD…
(Each week throughout the regular season I’ll be sharing some of my picks for the Sunday/Monday slate and will track my record, so you can follow or fade responsibly all season long. 2022 overall record to date: 26-30)
Favourites ATS (7-9): Ravens -3.5, Saints -5.5, Eagles -5.5
Underdogs ATS (6-4): Cowboys +5.5, Giants +8.0, Falcons +10.0, Steelers +14.0
Overs (3-7): BUF/PIT 46.5, HOU/JAX 43.5
Unders (4-6): DAL/LAR 43.5, MIA/NYJ 45.5
Moneyline dogs (6-4): Browns, Commanders
Taking a chance on the three biggest dogs of the week to keep those games competitive and I'm fading the public on the two moneyline dogs. Those 2.5-point lines seem fishy to me.
THE WEEKLY RIDLEY
(Falcons star WR Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 campaign for betting on games. The NFL concluded he placed three multi-leg parlay bets (three-, five- and eight-game parlays) that included the Falcons winning. Each week throughout the regular season we will attempt to cash three levels of Ridley-inspired parlays. 2022 record: 2-2)
Ridley Parlay Level 1 (+582): Falcons (+375), Bills (-850), Vikings (-350)
Ridley Parlay Level 2 (+1220): Falcons (+375), Bills (-850), Vikings (-350), 49ers (-280), Saints (-235)
Ridley Parlay Level 3 (+2750): Falcons (+375), Bills (-850), Vikings (-350), 49ers (-280), Saints (-235), Chiefs (-340), Jaguars (-320), Packers (-370)
That’s two weeks in a row Level 1 has hit after the Falcons beat the Browns last week. Atlanta will need to defeat Tom Brady for the first time in order for our streak to extend.
Weekly Ridley Confidence Level: Despite being double-digit dogs and Brady having more success against Atlanta any other team, the Falcons have proven far more competent than off-season expectations suggested. Odds are stacked against them but the Bucs haven’t looked like a complete team this season.
(Odds and 2022 trends via Covers, moneyline odds via Bet365 as of Friday and subject to change)