Darren’s Dimes: NFL Week 4 Odds and Backing the Home Teams
Mark this down as the third straight week that I am going to be giving my opinion on the New England Patriots since beginning my Darren’s Dimes column. Speaking of which, I am 4-2 on the season, picking against the spreads of various games. Last week was a near loss with the San Francisco 49ers and a Tennessee Titans team that failed to show up against Jacksonville. However, the New York Jets did complete the cover against the Patriots despite looking like a team that wants to compete with the Miami Dolphins for title of which franchise can most successfully tank in 2019.
Take The Bills In The Battle for AFC East Supremacy
The Patriots will have their biggest test of the season in Week 4. The three teams that the Patriots have thus far beaten are a combined 0-9 on the season (the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dolphins and Jets). However, the club now travels to Buffalo, which is never an easy place to play, and matches up against a 3-0 team in the Bills. I believe that the Patriots match up well against the Bills on paper and are more likely than not to provide the Bills their first loss of the season. That said, I think that giving up seven points against an undefeated team, at their home, is way too much.
This should be the first game of the season for the Patriots that is not a blowout. The club is still thinking about off-field issues surrounding Antonio Brown, and the Bills will likely be coming into the game with their rookie running back Devin Singletary in the backfield. The Bills have not given up more than 20 points to a team this season, and could prove to frustrate quarterback Tom Brady, who has yet to be challenged in 2019. Take the points and pick the Bills.
Chicago Bears Should Edge Minnesota Vikings In What Looks Like An Even Matchup
The Minnesota Vikings against Chicago Bears is a tough game to pick. Both teams are going into the game with a 2-1 record, and both teams have only lost to the Green Bay Packers. Interestingly, each club also only lost to the Packers by one score.
The Bears come into this game with a little more momentum, winning their last two games. The defense really showed up in those two games, with the Bears holding the Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins to 14 and 15 points, respectively. Further, both of those wins came on the road. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ last win, against the Oakland Raiders, was at home.
I like the Bears giving up only 2.5 points at home in this game. The home field advantage is a big reason for my confidence in the Bears covering this very small spread.
Don’t Get Caught Up With The Cowboys’ Record; Take The Saints
If you need a confidence booster, play the Dolphins. That’s exactly what the Dallas Cowboys were fortunate to do last week and, while the Cowboys didn’t seem to show up in the first half of that game, they ended up with an easy 31-6 win. The club is 3-0 going into a Sunday night featured matchup against the New Orleans Saints and backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who gave his team enough to beat the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 33-27 in Week 3. The Saints’ two wins were close calls, which includes a Week 1 30-28 victory over the Houston Texans. They lost Week 2 against a very strong Los Angeles Rams team.
The Saints have had a much more challenging schedule than the Cowboys to start the 2019 NFL season. They have also been challenged by their starting quarterback Drew Brees going down with a serious injury. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have played the New York Giants (when Eli Manning was at quarterback), Redskins (0-3) and Dolphins (0-3). The Cowboys are likely not as good as their 3-0 record would lead many to believe, and the Saints are probably going to survive with Bridgewater running the offense. Add an electric atmosphere in New Orleans on Sunday night and Alvin Kamara looking like the best running back in the league, and I like the Saints getting 2.5 points at home.
Darren Heitner is the Founder of HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C., where he serves as legal counsel to some of the most successful athletes, sports agents and other individuals and companies. He is the founder of Sports Agent Blog, a niche publication that covers the entirety of the sports agency industry. Darren contributed to Forbes for 6 years and Inc. Magazine for 4 years, covering the business of sports. He wrote published 2 sports law treatises published by the American Bar Association.