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December 18, 2017

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Vegas pick’em: NFL Week 4 winners against the spread

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith passes against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Carson, Calif.

Updated Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 | 10:01 a.m.

Week 4: Raiders at Broncos

Game of the Week: Raiders plus-2.5 at Broncos (Poll consensus year to date: 2-1)
Broncos minus-2.5 — 60.2%
Raiders plus-2.5 — 39.8%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Bettors are hailing the Chiefs in every local sports book.

Kansas City was one of the only teams to come through for the betting public in a Week 3 dominated by the bookmakers when it beat San Diego 24-10 as 3-point favorites. The Chiefs drew 82 percent of the tickets in the matchup at William Hill sports books, an uptick from their 69 percent ahead of a 27-20 victory against Philadelphia as 5-point favorites the week before.

The Chiefs are the only team in the NFL to start the season both 3-0 straight-up and against the spread, and as long as they continue at their current clip, casinos will suffer. Losses could really mount for the house this week with Kansas City at home in a stand-alone primetime game, which always draws more action, as 7-point favorites against Washington on Monday Night Football.

It’s been many years since the Chiefs were such a popular play in Las Vegas — potentially since 2003 when they went 13-3 behind 2,000 total yards and 27 touchdowns from running back Priest Holmes. In future odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, Kansas City has dropped from 20- to 10-to-1 to win the Super Bowl.

Check below to see if Talking Points will try to ride the Chiefs, along with picks on every other game. The blog went 11-5 against the spread last week to put the season record at 30-17. Lines are the best currently available locally on the chosen side, and picks are separated into three confidence categories. Come back for an update later when a line posts on Detroit at Minnesota.

Plays (8-2)

Tennessee Titans minus-1 at Houston Texans Take everything quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Texans’ offense did in last week’s 36-33 loss at New England skeptically considering the Patriots’ defensive struggles. The Titans’ early-season brilliance on offense — they’re second in the league by Football Outsiders’ DVOA — is much more believable..

Green Bay Packers minus-7 vs. Chicago Bears Despite beating the Steelers 23-17 as 7-point underdogs last week, the Bears were outplayed and heavily aided by fumble luck. It was still a great win for the young team, but not one strong enough to push this line from minus-11.5 where it was on the look-ahead to only a touchdown.

Washington Redskins plus-7 at Kansas City Chiefs At third in the league by DVOA, Washington’s defense is one of the biggest revelations of the first three weeks of the season. There might not ever be a better time to sell high on Kansas City than right now after it’s played almost flawlessly so far.

Leans (6-8)

Denver Broncos minus-2.5 vs. Oakland Raiders With two turnovers in last week’s 26-20 loss at Buffalo, Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian reverted to old ways, but he’s been efficient against bad defenses. Having given up 6.2 yards per play on the year to rank 30th in the NFL, Oakland qualifies as a bad defense.

Los Angeles Chargers minus-1 vs. Philadelphia Eagles Going to stubbornly continue to back the Chargers, which have performed much better than their 0-3 straight-up record indicates. After the Eagles used a game-winning 61-yard field goal from Jake Elliott to defeat the Giants 27-24 as 6-point favorites last week, there’s a similar argument that they haven’t played as well as their 2-1 record indicates.

Los Angeles Rams plus-6.5 at Dallas Cowboys Don’t look now, but Rams quarterback Jared Goff is leading the NFL with 10.02 yards per passing attempt. He should be able to continue his dramatic year-two turnaround against a mediocre Cowboys’ pass defense on a short week after playing on Monday Night Football.

Arizona Cardinals minus-6.5 vs. San Francisco 49ers Betting public has turned on the Cardinals after three straight spread losses to start the season, with the majority of tickets coming in on the lowly 49ers here. There’s no bigger red flag than a public underdog, let alone one with as little talent as San Francisco.

New York Giants plus-3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Looks like a plus-matchup for the Giants, given that the Buccaneers haven’t been able to generate any semblance of a pass rush with only one sack in their first two games. The Giants’ offense remains a punch line for the tabloids, but it’s improved in every game so far.

Detroit Lions plus-2 at Minnesota Vikings Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum was brilliant last week in relief of Sam Bradford, throwing for 11.2 yards per attempt with three touchdowns to no interceptions, but that was out of the ordinary. The Lions' pass defense ranks fifth in DVOA, and will pose more of a challenge than the Buccaneers.

Guesses (16-7)

Atlanta Falcons minus-8 vs. Buffalo Bills Bills are the only team other than the Chiefs at 3-0 against the spread and have delivered for Talking Points in back-to-back weeks, but part of smart sports betting is knowing when to jump off of a team. Buffalo’s defense has looked much-improved but consider the competition — New York, Carolina and Denver — and how much of a step-up Atlanta will pose.

Cleveland Browns plus-4 vs. Cincinnati Bengals Early money has forced the vast majority of sports books to move this line down to minus-3, making the chance to get a point in value locally with the home team too much to pass up. The Bengals will have a defensive edge, but the Browns have been more efficient on offense this year.

Carolina Panthers plus-9 at New England Patriots Until evidence emerges of the Patriots fixing a defense that’s given up a league-worst 7.1 yards per play, there’s no reason to back them laying a large amount of points. The Panthers’ defense — fifth in the league at 4.7 yards per play allowed — can slow the Patriots enough to keep the game close.

Indianapolis Colts plus-13 at Seattle Seahawks Too many points. The Colts are terrible, but also an overtime loss away from coming into this game 2-1 straight-up, in which case this line would be as much as a field goal lower.

New York Jets plus-3.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars are a road favorite for the first time in six years, so even though it looks like they’re a real threat for once, bettors should be hesitant about laying a decent number. The Jets also might not be as woeful as expected with solid efforts in two of their first three games.

Baltimore Ravens plus-3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Contrary to popular belief, teams coming off of London trips have shown no appreciable decline in the following game as they’re actually 9-1 against the spread over the last two years. The Ravens’ defense remains a strength despite the 44-7 loss to the Jaguars as 3-point favorites — the offense deserves as much of the blame for giving them horrendous field position — so look for the type of low-scoring matchup typical of this rivalry.

New Orleans Saints minus-2.5 vs. Miami Dolphins in London Wary of backing the side that will wind up with in excess of 80 percent of the tickets, but the Dolphins might be one of the worst teams in the NFL if last week’s 20-6 loss at the Jets as 6-point favorites is any indication. A few sports books are yet to move the line to a field goal, which makes the Saints a more convincing proposition.

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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