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Week 4 is separation time. The teams that are undefeated still at this point in the season almost always end up making the playoffs, while the teams that are winless virtually never make the postseason. There will be a handful of teams playing to either try to prove or avoid that this week.
One of the oldest rivalries in the NFL kicks off the action Thursday Night football when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears. These teams have met 194 times with the overall record tied at 94-94-6, but the Packers have gotten the better of this series recently, winning 14 of the last 17 meetings.
The parity in the NFL remains out of this world. There are just two teams who have yet to lose a game on the young season and five who have yet to win a game. That means the mass majority of the league is either 2-1 or 1-2, so few teams can feel too good or too bad about their situations at the moment.
We'll start at the very back of the week this time around when the Chiefs put their perfect record on the line against Washington. The Redskins just made the Raiders look like losers on Sunday Night Football in a lopsided affair, yet they're going to be amongst the biggest underdogs of the week at Arrowhead Stadium on MNF. Kirk Cousins has started off the year in good form, and he's going to have to be great on Monday, especially if both Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley are out of the fold injured as could possibly be the case.
KC is laying 9-points in this one, the biggest spread it has faced since December 27, 2015 against Cleveland.
The reaction to the Chiefs has obviously been a positive one from the oddsmakers. The same can't necessarily be said for the Jaguars and Titans in the AFC South. Both teams are coming off of huge victories against contending teams, and both are out on the road against somewhat inferior teams in Week 4. Jacksonville is only -3.5 against the Jets at MetLife, while Tennessee is -1 against the Texans in what might be the biggest game of the whole season in the AFC South.
Meanwhile, the Colts are 14-point dogs against Seattle in spite of their win last week against Cleveland. The last time Indianapolis was a dog of this magnitude came when Peyton Manning was wearing a neck brace, Andrew Luck was still at Stanford and Dan Orlovsky was quarterbacking the Colts in 2011.
One of the more intriguing games of the week will pit the Panthers up against the Patriots in a battle of two teams that have played in the Super Bowl in the last two years. New England is fortunate to be 2-1 after playing a sluggish game last week against Houston, while Carolina can't seem to get out of its own way offensively. Greg Olsen is surely out of the lineup in this game, and Kelvin Benjamin might be, too. That leaves Cam Newton with two rookies in Curtis Samuel and Christian McCaffrey as his two most trusted offensive weapons, and that's not a good look going into Foxboro. There's a reason why the Panthers have opened up as double-digit underdogs for the first time in a regular season game since September 18, 2011.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field - 8:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Packers -7.5, O/U 45.5
Preview: A good old fashioned black and blue division battle is set to go down on Thursday Night Football when the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers get it on from Lambeau Field to open the Week 4 slate. Each of these clubs come off overtime victories with the Bears getting the best of the Pittsburgh Steelers at home, and the Packers coming back to hand the Bengals a gut wrenching road defeat. The Packers swept last year’s rivalry. Continue...
New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins, Wembley Stadium - 9:30 a.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Saints -1.5, O/U 50
Preview: After last week’s matchup across the pond turned into a romp, the NFL hopes both the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins each give fans across the world something to actually tune into when they collide in Week 4. The Saints picked up a decisive road win last week at division rival Carolina, while the Dolphins laid a huge egg in New York after winning their season opener the previous week. These teams haven’t met on the gridiron since 2013. Continue...
Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium - 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Patriots -8, O/U 47
Preview: After running up against the 49ers and Bills their first two games of the season, the Carolina Panthers found the going a bit tougher last Sunday when it got blitzed by division rival New Orleans in its own house. Now, it has to hit the road in Week 4 for Foxborough where the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots awaits. This is an arduous road trip for Riverboat Ron’s squad whose managed just three outright wins in its last 10 road games. Continue...
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium - 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Cowboys -7.5, O/U 46
Preview: The NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams – let that sink in for a second – will be out to snare back-to-back road wins on Sunday in Big D where the Dallas Cowboys return home after a successful showing on Monday Night Football against Arizona. These teams haven’t run up against one another in “Jerry World” since 2013, and the Cowboys have dominated the recent rivalry by taking three straight both straight up and against the spread. Continue....
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium - 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Check Back Later
Preview: The winner of this Week 4 matchup between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings will remain in first place atop the NFC North standings. The Lions would have entered this game an unblemished 3-0 if not for a controversial call at the end of their tough luck home defeat to the Atlanta Falcons last week. The Vikes bounced back from their ugly loss in the Steel City by kicking the tar out of Tampa Bay to remain undefeated at home. Detroit has swept this rivalry two of the last three seasons. Continue...
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, NRG Stadium - 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Titans -1, O/U 44
Preview: In one of the best matchups of Week 4, the Tennessee Titans will jump back into divisional play where they’ll look to snag a second road win against a Houston Texans outfit looking to pull even for the season. These AFC South rivals partook in a pair of thrillers last season with each holding serve at home. The Titans have dropped five straight in NRG yet find themselves installed short road chalk to come out on top. Continue....
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets, MetLife Stadium - 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Jaguars -3.5, O/U 40
Preview: Holy butt kicking Batman! That’s what the few that actually tuned into the Jacksonville Jaguars game across the pond were saying as they ran roughshod upon an unsuspecting group of Ravens. Not to be outdone, the New York Jets completely dominated the Miami Dolphins in their home opener to log their first win of 2017-18. With both clubs coming off surprising results, the Jags find themselves installed favorites on the road for the first time since 2011. Continue...
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns - FirstEnergy Stadium - 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Bengals -4, O/U 40
Preview: A pair of 0-3 teams will battle it out in hope of staying out of the AFC North basement in Week 4 when the Cincinnati Bengals travel to FirstEnergy Stadium to run up against the Cleveland Browns. Two seasons had passed since the Browns went off the betting board favored, but they failed to live up to the line after getting handled by Indianapolis. The Bengals enter this tilt off a disappointing overtime loss to Green Bay in a game they led 21-7 at halftime. Cincinnati is favored to win this division rivalry on the road for a third straight season. Continue....
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium - 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Steelers -2, O/U 45
Preview: One of the best division rivalries in the NFL will write another chapter in Week 4 when Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers close their road trip out against John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens. Each of these teams enter this tilt off disappointing defeats with the Steelers falling in overtime to Chicago, and the Ravens failing to get off the bus in a head scratching 44-7 throttling at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars. These rivals split their pair of meetings a year ago with the home team coming out on top in each. Continue....
Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium - 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Falcons -8, O/U 49
Preview: The NFC’s lone undefeated will look to remain that way in Week 4 when the Atlanta Falcons return home to battle the upset minded Buffalo Bills. The AFC East has a surprise entrant atop the standings, and the Bills got there by coming up with a huge outright home win over Denver last week. The Falcons were lucky to get out of Motown with a win, and will likely look to put forth its first complete game of the season against an opponent it knows it can’t take lightly. Continue....
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium - 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Buccaneers -4, O/U 43.5
Preview: One of only two 0-3 NFC teams, the New York Giants will close their road trip out in the sweltering Florida heat where an ornery bunch of Tampa Bay Buccaneers will await after getting destroyed by Minnesota in their first road trip of the season. This Week 4 tilt will have much riding on it with Ben McAdoo looking to silence his naysayers, and the Bucs looking to bounce back from an ugly effort on both sides of the ball. Continue...
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers, StubHub Center - 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Chargers -1, O/U 46.5
Preview: The Philadelphia Eagles opened as short 1-point underdogs to the Los Angeles Chargers for the team’s Week 4 tilt in Tinseltown. That likely won’t end up being the case come kick off with the Eagles hitting the west coast on a high after taking the division rival Giants down at the last second. Pair that with the Bolts getting out to an 0-3 start, and you can see why early betting has mostly been one way traffic on the visitors. Continue...
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium - 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)
Opening Line: Cardinals -7.5
Preview: The San Francisco 49ers will have taken on all three of its division rivals once this Week 4 trip to the desert comes to a close. This will however be the Arizona Cardinals first go round against an NFC West opponent, and it’s safe to say the squad will be thrilled about that after managing just one OT win against the putrid Colts through three out of division games. Let’s just all hope Bruce Arians kicks the field goal if Arizona is down two points late in the fourth quarter. Continue...
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos, Sports Authority Field at Mile High - 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Opening Line: Broncos -2.5, O/U 47
Preview: Both the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos were humbled in a big way last week. The former forgot to get off the bus in Washington and got smacked 27-10, while the latter proved to be a huge boon to all sportsbook’s bottom line when they went into Buffalo and fell 26-16. With each squad looking up to Kansas City in the standings, each knows a win here in Week 4 is crucial so as to not let the Chiefs get an early jump in winning the AFC West for a second straight season. Continue...
Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks, CenturyLink Field - 8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Opening Line: Seahawks -13, O/U 43.5
Preview: With only a win over the lowly San Francisco 49ers to show for their work through the first three weeks, the Seattle Seahawks will take to their home gridiron in a Week 4 Sunday Night Football showdown badly in need of a good showing. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts will invade the west coast for the second time off tallying their first win of the season after laughing at linemakers for installing them home underdogs to the Cleveland Browns. This will be the franchise’s first run-in since 2013. Continue...
Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium - 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Opening Line: Chiefs -9
Preview: The Kansas City Chiefs are one of only two teams in the league to remain unscathed through three weeks of play. They will be put on the grand stage for all to see in Week 4 when Andy Reid’s squad collides with Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. The last time the Skins invaded Arrowhead, they got scalped and left on the wrong end of a 45-10 beat down which marked the beginning of the end for the previous regime. Continue...
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