Cam Newton is back to playing Superman again. Can he keep carrying the 3-0 Carolina Panthers?
There’s an old adage in football that you don’t know anything about an NFL season until at least the fourth week of the season. Well, welcome to Week 4, where the rubber hits the road.
UPDATE: 2 p.m. Sept. 30
Thursday Night Football
Point spread: Ravens -3 / Ravens move to -2.5
Over/under: 44.5 / 44
Ben Roethlisberger is out for a while with a sprained knee so Michael Vick will take over as the starting quarterback. That’s far from ideal, but the Steelers still have a lot of playmakers. They’ll have to employ a more run-heavy attack and try to control the clock.
Pick against the spread: Steelers +3
Sunday October 4
Point spread: Jets -1.5 / Jets move to -1 / Jets move -2
Over/under: 41 / 41.5
The Dolphins were hammered by the Cardinals at home last week and now have to fly to London for a date with a Jets team that will be playing mad after an uninspired effort in Week 3. Until you see something from this Miami team, it’s hard to have much support in the Fish – especially with this weird travel week complicating matters.
Pick against the spread: Jets -1.5
Point spread: Panthers -3
Over/under 40 / 39.5
Remember all those pundits who worried that Cam Newton wouldn’t have the receivers to be successful this year? So far he has thrown for five touchdowns with two interceptions and ran for two more scores to lead the Cats to a 3-0 record.
Pick against the spread: Panthers -3
Point spread: Falcons -6 / Falcons move to -6.5
Over/under: 46 / 47
The Falcons rank among the top five in total offence, passing yards and points scored as Julio Jones continues to impress. Houston’s defence is good, but Atlanta’s attack will be too much here.
Pick against the spread: Flacons -6
Point spread: Colts -9 / Colts move to -8.5 / Colts move -9.5
Over/under: 47.5 / 48
While the Colts squeaked out a win to avoid an 0-3 start, they still have some major issues. Andrew Luck is still under siege in the pocket and is forcing way too many passes. The Colts just aren’t executing like they did last year and until they get some problems ironed out, there’s no way they should be favoured by nine points on the point spread.
Pick against the spread: Jaguars +9
Point spread: Bengals -4 / Bengals move -4.5
Over/under: 44.5 / 45
You may not like Andy Dalton – heck, does anybody really like Andy Dalton – but he’s doing exactly what the Bengals need him to do. The Bengals have firepower outside and a ground game that eat up a ton of yards and clock. Plus, their defence is allowing fewer than 19 points per game.
Pick against the spread: Bengals -4
Point spread: Bills -6 / Bills move -5.5
Over/under: 47.5 /47
Just when you think the Giants are about to implode, they pull out a win to take a little pressure off. They got off to a quick start against Washington and had some big defensive plays to hold on for their first win of the season in Week 3. However, this Bills defence is nasty though and Buffalo is going to be a tough place to play this year.
Pick against the spread: Bills -6
Point spread: Bears +2.5 / Bears move to +3
Over/under: 44 / 44.5
Cheer up Bears bettors, it can’t get much worse. Or can it? After last week’s shutout loss at Seattle, Chicago hosts an up-and-coming Raiders club. The Bears should be able to stretch the field a little better with Alshon Jeffery in the lineup and this might be one of their few real chances for a home win.
Pick against the spread: Bears +2.5
Point spread: Eagles -3
Over/under: 47.5 / 46
Washington’s strong defence and ground attack is a great way to control the clock, which is a major point of emphasis against Chip Kelly’s offence. Washington isn’t getting enough respect here on the point spread as 3-point underdogs.
Pick against the spread: Washington +3
Point spread: Chargers -8 / Chargers move to -7.5
The Chargers’ offensive line is a total mess of injuries and the Browns will bring the pressure on Sunday. The Browns normally struggle against the run but it remains to be seen if San Diego can pound the ball with the problems on the line. Too many points.
Pick against the spread: Browns +8
Point spread: Packers -9 / Packers move -9.5
It seems like the 49ers could be a decent home team bet in spots where they’re getting some points. They aren’t as bad as their last two efforts suggest and the Packers aren’t going to risk injury to any of their big stars if they get a solid lead. Could be a backdoor San Francisco cover.
Pick against the spread: 49ers +9
Point spread: Broncos -6.5
The Vikings haven’t shown much in the passing game and Teddy Bridgewater will be running for cover against Denver’s ferocious defence. Now that Gary Kubiak seems to have seen the light with Peyton Manning running the offence out of the shotgun, the Broncos will start piling on the points once they find their rhythm.
Pick against the spread: Broncos -6.5
Point spread: Cardinals -6.5 / Cardinals move -7
Keep it simple with this AFC West matchup: the Cardinals rank first in the league averaging 42 points per game and third in the NFL giving up just 16.3 points per game.
Pick against the spread: Cardinals -6.5
Sunday Night Football
Point spread: N/A
Pick against the spread: N/A
Monday Night Football
Point spread: Seahawks -9.5
It’s getting close to now or never for the 0-3 Detroit Lions and if it weren’t for a bunch of bonehead plays and turnovers, they might be 2-1. The Lions will be playing to save jobs on Monday night.
Pick against the spread: Lions +9.5