ATS Pick of the Week
Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 @ Detroit Lions
The Westgate Superbook had KC listed as -4.5 favorites last week in the Week 4 look-ahead lines. Despite wins from both KC and Detroit, that line has moved a full two points this week to -6.5, with some sevens out there too.
Regardless of the line move, if you can still find KC at under a touchdown, I feel there is some serious value there.
The Lions have to be the least impressive undefeated team left in the league. Technically since they have a tie (2-0-1), I suppose they actually are.
Detroit gave away a commanding lead late to a quarterback and head coach in their first NFL game in Week 1 against Arizona. They were narrow 13-10 winners at home to the LA Chargers in Week 2, however the Chargers were 1/3 on field goals, had a touchdown called back on a penalty, lost a fumble on the goaline, and Philip Rivers threw a basically game-ending interception in the endzone on the Chargers’ final possession.
Last week the Lions nearly coughed up a 20-10 lead, but held on to win 27-24 in Philadelphia. The scoreboard may have shown a win, but the Eagles held an advantage in time of possession, first downs and both passing and rushing yards. Philly receivers had seven dropped passes, the Eagles had three fumbles, two lost, and gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown. The Eagles were also playing shorthanded with numerous key players missing to injury.
Statistically, the Lions rank 23rd in defense, allowing 394.7 YPG. That actually ranks above the Chiefs, who are 24th allowing 395.7.
The Chiefs’ second-ranked offense is unlikely to make the same sort of mistakes as Detroit’s previous opponents though. KC is averaging 487 YPG on offense and Patrick Mahomes leads the league with 1,195 passing yards. The Chiefs have put up 40, 28 and 33 points. They’re also 3-0 ATS, having already won by 14, 18 and 5 points. However, that five-point win over Baltimore last week, truthfully was flattering to the Ravens who were down 30-13 at one point.
Two-Team Teaser Play
LAC: -7.5 (from -14.5)
New England: Pick (from -7)
With A) how completely abysmal the Miami Dolphins have looked, and B), how out of this world the New England Patriots have looked, you could likely easily convince me to elevate either of these teams to regular ATS plays.
However, the Chargers keep doing Chargers things to give away games and I don’t want to start laying three scores on the road. And while New England have allowed exactly 20 points over their past four games and just six before heading into halftime last week, the Bills are 3-0, at home, and the line is hovering around a touchdown or more.
Let’s also remember the level of New England’s competition this year: a woeful Steelers team at home, a road blowout to the tanking Dolphins and a home win to a Jets’ team starting a third-string QB. The Pats are good. Real good. But they still qualify for a little insurance in this teaser play.
The first leg requires very little analysis. The Dolphins aren’t doing anything well. They’re 0-3 SU and ATS and have been outscored 133-16. Ouch.
The Chargers ‘should’ blow this team out. Yet somehow, they are
The markets don’t seem to be too excited to back Los Angeles at the opening -17 either, as the line’s dropping to -14.5. Perfect. The Chargers at -14.5, still seems a little scary. The Chargers at under 10 points? I like much better.
Tie that to a straight up Patriots win and we have this week’s two-team 7-point teaser play.
It’s not a sexy high-priced dog, but Week 4’s underdog play of the week has to come from an NFC North rivalry between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.
Division matchups generally produce tight games, and last year’s trip to Chicago
While the Bears barely broke a sweat Monday night in beating down Case Keenum and the Washington Redskins (31-15), they’ll still be coming off a short week to play this rivalry game.
The Bears’ defense has been outstanding so far this year ranking 8th overall in YPG. They’ve been especially strong against the rush, ranking 5th, only allowing 68.7 YPG.
That’s great and all, however let’s look at the offenses they’ve faced. Green Bay (22nd), Denver (20th) and Washington (23rd). Those team’s rushing offenses also rank 25th, 15th and 30h respectively. Starts to paint a bit of a different picture. The Bears’ D could and likely is one of the league’s best, but get back to me when they’ve played some better opposition.
That should come this weekend against the 14th ranked Vikings offense, which ranks 2nd in rushing YPG.
Of course the Vikings will likely need to do a better job of mixing their rushing and passing offenses as they rank a lowly 31st in passing YPG. However that is only just slightly below the 29th ranking of the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky is serviceable, but nothing special. He has completed exactly 7 passes of more than 20 yards this year and none of 40+.
In a divisional game where both passing offenses could be limited, I’ll side with the small road favorite.