Without a doubleheader on Monday night, the NFL is back to its usual 3-game prime-time lineup for Week 4. While seeing the Jets and Giants in action again may make NFL fans groan, we think both games present good betting value. The Thursday night game is also legitimately good between the Lions and Packers.
Can Daniel Jones Light Up Seattle’s Defense?
As if NFL fans haven’t gotten enough of MetLife Stadium and the New York teams in prime time, we get a double dose this week with the Giants hosting the Seahawks on Monday night. It is a rematch from last year when the Seahawks won easily, 27-13, in Seattle.
The Giants are a 1.5-point home favorite with a total of 46.5 points. We are looking at New York’s scoring (Over/Under 21.5 points).
Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants
Monday, October 02, 2023 – 08:15 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium
Daniel Jones’ Night to Shine?
Regardless of running back Saquon Barkley returns for this game, the Giants need to let Daniel Jones cook as he did in the 2nd half in Arizona in the 21-point comeback win. That was led by Jones, not Barkley, and it was the only quality 300-yard passing game he’s had under Brian Daboll that was not against a poor Minnesota defense.
The Giants have looked awful against the Cowboys and 49ers, but those are elite defenses with incredible talents at all levels. Arizona’s lack of talent is more in line with what the Seahawks have going on for Pete Carroll this year.
This should be a game where Jones is allowed to run more too. He only had 6 carries for 20 yards against the Seahawks last year while Barkley gained just 53 yards on 20 carries. That didn’t get it done in 2022 and it won’t work this year. Jones needs to use his receivers, who are better than the cast he had around him against Seattle last year.
Seattle Cures Ills
Again, this is not a pick for Jones but a pick for the matchup. Seattle is free money for 300-yard passers right now as Matthew Stafford (Rams), Jared Goff (Lions), and Andy Dalton (Panthers) have all passed for 300 yards and put up at least 27 points against this defense.
Dalton was +750 at the best sportsbooks to throw for 300 yards last week if you want an idea of the betting value on this Seattle defense. Dalton had 361 yards with a disclaimer that he did throw 58 passes.
The Panthers scored 27 points, matching the 27 they scored in Weeks 1-2 combined, but if the Seahawks are having a good night offensively, Jones will have to pass to keep up. If the Giants are having a good night, then the over 20.5 points should come naturally.
We’ve seen this team score 31 points in one half, and that Arizona win no longer looks that bad when you consider what the Cardinals did to Dallas a week later. The Giants have upgraded their weapons from last year, but they just need a more consistent performance from the start of the game.
We think the Seattle defense is bad enough that it can make Jones and the Giants look competent. If things look any worse from last week, Daboll might snap. Take the over 21.5 points on Sunday night.
NFL Pick: Giants Team Total Over 21½ Points (-145) at Bovada
Take Us Under, Zach Wilson
It looks like we may never get an Aaron Rodgers vs. Patrick Mahomes game after all. This was going to be a big one for Sunday Night Football, but now it looks like a one-sided affair with the Chiefs coming in hot following a 41-10 win over Chicago. The Jets have scored 10 points in each of Zach Wilson’s starts for the team.
The Jets are a 9.5-point home underdog with a total of 42.5 points, but we are going to focus on the 1st quarter total (Over/Under 9.5 points).
Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Jets
Sunday, October 01, 2023 – 08:20 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium
What Does Wilson Have on the Coaching Staff?
Even though the Jets continue to struggle offensively, the coaching staff is still not bringing in competition or benching Zach Wilson, who ranks next to last in QBR (26.7). He gets another start this week, but the Chiefs may actually have a great defense this year. Kansas City allowed a solid Detroit offense to only score 14 points – the Lions got to 21 thanks to a pick-6 on a dropped pass by Kadarius Toney.
Chris Jones ended his holdout in Week 2, and the Chiefs only allowed 9 points in Jacksonville, another pretty solid offense. Last week, the Chiefs had an easier opponent in Chicago, but that game was 41-0 going into the 4th quarter before Patrick Mahomes and the starters sat out. The Bears scored 10 points in the garbage time.
That means this defense, which gave up 35 points in the Super Bowl (the most ever by a winning team in the big game), has only allowed 33 points in 3 games this season.
More importantly for our bet, the Chiefs have allowed 7 points in the 1st quarter, including 2 shutouts of the Jaguars and Lions. We are looking for a 3rd in a row against the Jets, which is what should happen as long as the Chiefs do not muff a punt or lose a fumble to give Wilson and the Jets short fields for easy field goals or touchdowns.
Even though the Jets have Dalvin Cook and Breece Hall, their running game has flat-out stunk the last 2 weeks, producing 102 total yards (37 by Wilson). They are unlikely to run all over the Chiefs, but Kansas City is playing legitimately good pass defense, allowing 56.6% completions and holding quarterbacks to 5.7 yards per pass attempt.
Chiefs Not Firing Away Early This Year
For as great as Kansas City is offensively, this team has had some slow starts over the years. It’s later in the game when the avalanche of 21-to-35 points can hit you which destroys teams. However, for 1st-quarter scoring, the Chiefs sometimes start flat and make up for it in the 2nd quarter.
This season, the Chiefs were very sloppy in the first 2 games, dropping too many passes against Detroit, and coughing the ball up in Jacksonville. They did put it together against Chicago last week, but even that game was only 7-0 Chiefs after the 1st quarter.
The Chiefs were scoreless in the 1st quarter against the Lions and Jaguars. We’ll be more than content with a 1st quarter that ends 7-0 with the Chiefs (or Jets) leading, but we just need to avoid the Chiefs doubling up early on scores.
With the Jets in the national gaze again, let’s just hope the defense knows it has to play an incredible game to give the team a chance, and they will make things hard on Mahomes right away so that he doesn’t have multiple scoring drives early.
But with the way the Chiefs attack so methodically now instead of the quick strikes, we’ll assume one long scoring drive is all they get early at best. Take the Under for the 1st quarter at the NFL odds.
NFL Pick: Under 9½ 1st Quarter Points (-145) at Bovada
Lions and Packers Shootout?
Detroit was no stranger to shootouts last season, but 2 of the team’s lowest-scoring games came in the sweep of Green Bay, which ended the Aaron Rodgers era short of the playoffs after the Lions won 20-16 at Lambeau Field in Week 18. Now, it is Jordan Love’s turn to enter this rivalry, and he is fresh off a 17-point comeback win over the Saints.
The Packers are a 2-point home underdog to Detroit, which is something you basically never see, but we are focusing on the total of 45 points going over.
Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Thursday, September 28, 2023 – 08:15 PM EDT at Lambeau Field
Lions Crank Up the Offense
Detroit was 5th in the NFL last year with 26.6 points per game scored and 28th with 25.1 points per game allowed. This team loved getting into shootouts, but the wins over Green Bay were largely decided by the defense intercepting Rodgers. The Lions won 15-9 at home and then 20-16 in Green Bay to end the season.
This year, the Lions have scored at least 20 points in each game, though it took a pick-6 on a dropped ball by Kadarius Toney to get to 21 points in Kansas City in the opener. The Lions dropped 31 points at home to Seattle in an overtime loss, but they were held to only 20 against Atlanta in a low-scoring win Sunday.
Detroit is developing multiple ways to win under coach Dan Campbell, but with rookie tight end Sam LaPorta scoring his first touchdown against the Falcons, rookie back Jahmyr Gibbs having his best game rushing, and Amon-Ra St. Brown continuing his great run at WR1, the Lions have a legitimately strong offense.
Green Bay’s defense held up well at home last week against the Saints, but Derek Carr has not been playing great and left the game injured. Jared Goff is a much stronger test, and despite his numbers dropping on the road, the Lions should be a good bet to score into the 20s here.
The Packers & Their Health
The judgments on Jordan Love are incomplete this year as we have yet to see the Green Bay offense operating at full strength. With that said, it was very impressive for Love to hang in there Sunday and deliver an 18-point 4th quarter to come back and beat a New Orleans team that has been playing great defense since the midpoint of 2022.
Love got the job done despite not having his best wide receiver (Christian Watson), running back (Aaron Jones), and left tackle (David Bakhtiari). Love’s 17-point comeback in the 4th quarter is larger than any comeback win in Brett Favre’s career.
But with a short week before this game, we again do not know if the Packers will be at full strength or still have those players out. With how close they were to getting to play Sunday, it may be optimistic that barring any setbacks, we can see Jones and Watson play with Love this week.
Detroit’s defense looks improved from last year, but it still does not look like a great unit. The Lions got lucky in Week 1 that Travis Kelce was injured for the Chiefs, and the wide receivers could not catch.
The Seahawks shredded Detroit in Week 2, though Love may not have the touch or accuracy of Geno Smith just yet. The Lions did a great job against the run-heavy Falcons in Week 3, but the Packers have shown they can rely on Love to win games.
The health of the Green Bay skill players deserves monitoring, but at least one of those key injured starters should be back this week. Watson would be a great addition after the big-play ability he showed as a rookie, but even without him, Love helped produce 4 plays of 20-plus yards against a tough New Orleans defense.
Last year, it was low-scoring slugfests between these teams with many missed opportunities because of turnovers. Let’s go with the opposite for this matchup and expect an offense crisp enough to cover an over-45 score.
NFL Pick: Over 45 (-110) at Bovada
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