NFL Week 4 Opening Odds Analysis
Let’s take a look at a few games that are sure to draw bettors attention for Week 3. We will just be discussing the matchups. If you are looking for more concrete predictions and projections, be sure to check back throughout the week for our game picks. With some teams dealing with key injuries, not all of the totals were available at the time of writing.
All odds are courtesy of our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Football Team
Odds: -13.5 Ravens, no over/under
The Baltimore Ravens will travel to Washington for what was set to be an unexpectedly exciting matchup. Lamar Jackson vs. Dwayne Haskins isn’t the top billing; it was set to be Washington’s defense versus the Ravens offense.
Baltimore does not seem to have missed a beat through two weeks of the season and has shown flashes of being an even more dominant version of the team who had the best record in the NFL in 2019. Dwyane Haskins struggled in Week 3, throwing three interceptions against the Browns.
Washington was well on the way to an upset before two massive injuries would strike the defense. Hopefully, both players can make it back for Sunday. The -13.5 spread is massive, but understandable given Haskins issues throwing the ball against a significantly less stacked defensive team like the Cleveland Browns.
Baltimore has been excellent this season and will have their chance to make their only statement of the season by defeating the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3. The only other positive statement a team many think of as the best team in football could make would be to go undefeated. The Ravens improved on both sides of the ball this offseason, but have not really had the chance to put either to the test entering Week 3. However, if Washington is healthy in Week 4, they will get to test themselves against one of the top defenses in the league.
The Washington Football Team had a tumultuous offseason, to say the least, but that was all off the field. On the field, they welcomed the consensus top talent in the 2020 NFL Draft in Chase Young. Young has been an immediate difference-maker. So much so that Washington legitimately has one of the best defenses in the league through three weeks of play. They are five deep upfront on a line littered with first-round picks. They were good without him, and now they are elite. Incessant pressure and an ability to stomp out even the league’s top rushing attacks are their new hallmarks. Washington is going to need to be healthy to cover the spread against Baltimore.
On the injury front for Baltimore, it is pretty clean. Of course, the biggest news is the team releasing Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas due to fighting with his teammate. This was likely not the first issue for the mercurial defensive back, as the Ravens letting go of a key defensive piece (and then failing to address the position) for one incident is not very likely. The Ravens will likely look to see what they have in DeShon Elliott and rookie Geno Stone before making a final decision regarding whether to pursue a street agent or a trade for a veteran safety.
Washington is dealing with some major injuries stemming from their Week 3 contest. Prized rookie Chase Young was knocked out of the game with a groin injury. The hope is that he will be cleared for Week 4, but right now, nothing is certain. Fellow defensive end Matt Ioannidis was also knocked out of the game with an arm injury. Washington has yet to activate impressive rookie Bryce Love, who is still working back to full form after an ACL tear suffered in college. Week 3, two-touchdown scorer Dontrelle Inman was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter and will need to be monitored. Rookie guard Saadiq Charles missed Week 3. These injuries are major storylines to monitor ahead of this matchup.
Cleveland Browns vs. Dallas Cowboys
Odds: -4.5 Cowboys, 55.5 over/under
This is the only game with an over/under in our preview, and it is a massive one. Dallas has proven their ability to score with almost anyone, but their defense holding up through four quarters has been and will continue to be an issue. Dealing with the Browns two-headed monster at running back will present a unique challenge for a team that will already have its hands full with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. The -4.5 points at home for Dallas seem somewhat fair, but there is no doubt that this line will see some movement, possibly by the time Week 3 wraps up. The total seems destined to see some movement, especially with how bad these teams defenses have looked at times this season.
The 2-1 Cleveland Browns have impressed this season, especially when one considers all the injuries they have had to deal with in the secondary to open the season. While most of the secondary has healed, they still are without starting corner Greedy Williams (week-to-week) and presumed starting safety in rookie Grant Delpit is out for the season. The Browns were without Olivier Vernon for Week 3 due to an abdomen injury, and they will hope to have him back to help slow down Dak Prescott in Week 4. On offense, the Browns have David Njoku on injured reserve
The 1-2 Dallas Cowboys could easily be 0-3 on the season, and they are running out of excuses. Yes, their defense has been decimated by free agency and injury, but a complete lack of depth at key positions is an organizational failure. No one would have expected both Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee to be on injured reserve prior to Week 3, but not preparing for that after missing both for most of last season was shortsighted.
The Cowboys are also dealing with several injuries on the offensive line with Tyron Smith being sidelined for Week 3 and joining fellow starters La’El Collins and Connor Williams on the injury report. Dallas failed to address the tight end position once again, deciding to go into the season with just Blake Jarwin. The young tight end was lost for the season in the first game of the season and forced the team to go four wide in Week 3 when they found themselves in catchup mode.
New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Odds: -7 Patriots, no over/under
The 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs will host the new-look New England Patriots on Sunday. Kansas City has yet to play this week (they play tonight on Monday Night Football), but have looked strong to this point of the season. They will face the toughest test they will see all season in the Baltimore Ravens, and if they can pull off the upset (they are the road underdogs), they will likely become the new favorites at FanDuel to win the SuperBowl.
The 2-1 New England Patriots have proven they will be a force this season and are putting heat on the 3-0 Buffalo Bills in the AFC East. The -7 spread for this contest is likely larger than anyone expected, so expect to see considerable movement on one side or the other.
Kansas City unveiled their shiny new toy in Week 1 in Clyde Edwards-Helaire but chose to hang their hat on their defense in their Week 2 overtime victory. They had problems dealing with the Chargers pass-rush but could still pull out the narrow victory. The defense has received a massive boost from an unexpected source in fourth-round rookie L’Jarius Sneed, the NFL interception leader after the two weeks of the season. Dealing with Cam Newton will be a new problem all to itself, and not even facing someone like reigning MVP Lamar Jackson will prepare them for Cam. Lamar and Cam’s running styles could not be more different.
New England has been better than almost anyone expected this season. Their opt-outs left many believing that Cam Newton would be crushed on a weekly basis and that tanking for Trevor was the impetus behind Belichick telling his players to opt-out if they were worried about their families or their health. They are 2-1, but losing to the 2020 version of the Seattle Seahawks due to a goal-line stand in the dying of the seconds, should, and is likely considered to be the pinnacle of moral victories. Whether or not the Patriots are built to defeat the Chiefs is one question. However, staying within seven points is the other. This contest’s final score may come down to healthy bodies.
With the Chiefs playing on Monday night, our injury analysis will be centered on the key players questionable for Week 3. Sammy Watkins is questionable with a concussion. There has been no news yet regarding if he even cleared the league’s protocol, but he has been cleared to return to the practice field. He is also dealing with a neck injury from the same hit. Charvarius Ward, who missed Week 2, is questionable with a hand injury. He also returned to practice but had his fractured hand heavily wrapped this weekend.
Of course, New England is dealing with massive opt-out related absences, but are also missing James White due to a tragic car accident his parents were in last weekend. Center David Andrews is on short-term I.R. after surgery, and running back Damien Harris remains on injured reserve. James White is likely going to tend to his mother indefinitely during his family tragedy. Damien Harris is eligible to come off of I.R. and may have a roster spot waiting with Andrews on I.R. Friday’s final injury report will help bettors decide which way to lean.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers
Odds: -7 Packers, no over/under
The hard-luck Atlanta Falcons will take on the Green Bay Packers in Week 4. Green Bay is 3-0 after an exciting Sunday night battle against the New Orleans Saints. Atlanta had yet another tough loss as they blew yet another commanding lead in Week 3. It is fair to wonder if head coach Dan Quinn will make it through the season.
The spread for this contest has been set at a surprising -7. This contest is sure to generate a lot of action as one of the week’s marquee matchups that features two brand name teams. Teams like Green Bay often attract casual money, and when they face a well-known team like the Atlanta Falcons, we could see significant interest in this spread. The over/under has yet to be posted as massive injuries will indeed affect the totals for this contest. FanDuel will not wait much longer to post them, but they will likely wait until the afternoon in the hopes of learning what Davante Adams and Julio Jones’ prospects of playing next Monday are.
On the injury front, there are a few key names worth monitoring this week on both sides. As mentioned, Green Bay was without Davante Adams in Week 3 due to a hamstring injury. They were also without defensive tackle Kenny Clark, who was out with a groin injury. The Packers will also need to worry about top middle linebacker Christian Kirksey. The oft-injured, but talented linebacker left Week 3’s contest with a shoulder injury.
Atlanta is also dealing with significant injuries worth monitoring, but none more so than star player Julio Jones who missed Week 3 with a hamstring injury. The Falcons have some other notable names that missed Week 3, including offensive lineman Kaleb McGary, pass rushers Takkarist McKinley and Foye Oluokun, and defensive backs Ricardo Allen and Kendall Sheffield. They will be without rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell. Terell was the first player to test positive and end up on the reserve/COVID list in season. He will miss at least one more week of play.
Be sure to check out the rest of Week 4’s NFL lines at FanDuel Sportsbook.