Boy, that was fast. We’re already through three weeks of the 2020 NFL season, and there’s no shortage of storylines so far.
Either the Vikings or Texans will be 0-4 to start the year and more than likely miss the playoffs. The Bills and Bears could both be 4-0 after this week. The Cowboys and Saints are looking to avoid 1-3 starts after preseason Super Bowl expectations. There’s plenty to unpack here, so let’s get into it, shall we?
NFL Week 4 betting odds
The schedule for Week 4 and odds for every game are as follows:
Indianapolis Colts (+2.5) at Chicago Bears (43.5)
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Detroit Lions (54)
Arizona Cardinals (-3.5) at Carolina Panthers (51)
Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals (49)
Cleveland Browns (+4.5) at Dallas Cowboys (56)
Baltimore Ravens (-13) at Washington Football Team (45)
Minnesota Vikings (+4.5) at Houston Texans (54.5)
Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) at Miami Dolphins (53)
LA Chargers (+7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (43)
New York Giants (+13) at LA Rams (48)
Buffalo Bills (-3) at Las Vegas Raiders (52.5)
New England Patriots (+7) at Kansas City Chiefs (53)
Philadelphia Eagles (+7) at San Francisco 49ers (46)
Atlanta Falcons (+7.5) at Green Bay Packers (56.5)
All betting odds courtesy of Sportsline
Best bets for NFL Week 4
Chicago Bears +3
Are the Bears a fraudulent 3-0? Probably. But there’s something to be said about the fight this team has and the never-give-up attitude they’ve shown so far this season. Chicago has come back from late deficits to win every game this season, and they did so last week after pulling their starting quarterback mid-game.
It’s the Nick Foles show in Chicago now. Foles steps in to start his first game for the Bears against the Indianapolis Colts, who are coming off a dominant win against the New York Jets. Before that, they beat a struggling Vikings team and lost to the Jaguars, who are almost actively tanking this season.
The Bears defense will be the best Indy has seen so far. They’ve grabbed at least one interception in every game this season and they should be able to turn Philip Rivers over and create easy points for their offense. Foles takes the lead late, and the defense picks off Rivers for the second time in the game to ice it.
Bears 23, Colts 20
No one is rushing to the window to bet the Vikings this week. After the Titans announced eight members of the team tested positive for COVID-19, Minnesota was forced to shut down its practice facility, meaning the team will only get a few practices before Sunday’s game against the Texans.
But maybe a break is just what this Minnesota team needs. The Vikings have started 0-3, and they look nothing like the team they’ve been the past few years with Kirk Cousins at the helm. One thing the Vikings do well, though, is run the ball. They are averaging 146.7 rushing yards per game so far in 2020.
Enter the Houston Texans, who are allowing a league-high 188.3 rushing yards per game this season. They also haven’t looked any better than the Vikings, and Deshaun Watson has no help offensively. These are equally bad teams disguised as playoff contenders from years past. This should be no higher than a three-point spread. Take the points.
Texans 31, Vikings 28
This is a classic buy low, sell high spot for the LA Chargers. Anthony Lynn and company are coming off their worst performance of 2020, falling to the Carolina Panthers, 21-16.
Even with how poorly the Chargers played last Sunday, they still had a chance to win the game late. Their defense kept Carolina out of the end zone enough to give the offense a chance, but Justin Herbert couldn’t put enough points on the board.
The Buccaneers, on the other hand, are coming off an easy win against the struggling Denver Broncos. Tom Brady looked crisp, and the defense dominated from whistle to whistle.
But Brady will be without his favorite weapon, Chris Godwin, against the Chargers on Sunday. Leonard Fournette will also be on the sidelines. If the Chargers can play sturdy defense again and Herbert can avoid turnovers, the Buccaneers could be on upset alert.
Chargers 26, Buccaneers 24
Teaser of the week
Six-point teasers can be extremely valuable in the NFL. The focus when choosing teaser legs should be to pass through as many key numbers as possible. The most important numbers in football are 3, 7, and 10, so let’s use that strategy to find a winning teaser for Week 4.
Browns +10.5/Vikings +10.5
The Cowboys were a popular Super Bowl pick going into the 2020 season, but those believers can’t be feeling too great after three weeks. Dallas has surrendered 277 passing yards per game on defense so far, which is good for 29th out of 32 teams. Baker Mayfield and his weapons should be able to exploit this secondary all day, and Nick Chubb will also get his on the ground. The Browns have a chance to win this high-scoring affair outright.
See above for the Viking’s handicap. Minnesota will be able to run the ball at will against Houston on Sunday. The Vikings can run the clock and keep the ball out of Deshaun Watson’s hands for most of the game. Even if their defense struggles to stop Watson and company, Dalvin Cook alone should keep this game inside single digits.