- The undefeated Carolina Panthers open as 4 point underdogs against the Dallas Cowboys.
- The Cleveland Browns are a slim 2-point favorite over the Minnesota Vikings after a strong showing against the Bears in Week 3.
NEW YORK – Week 3 of the NFL season has concluded, which means early betting lines for Week 4 have been released. As always, the opening lines are ripe with value, and sports bettors would be well-served in jumping on some of these advantageous wagers early. There are four lines in particular that may quickly shift as the public begins to submit their wagers.
Dallas Cowboys (-4) Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers (+175), are one of five remaining undefeated teams in the NFL, are opening as 4-point underdogs against the Dallas Cowboys (-200).
One reason the Panthers have opened as underdogs with online sportsbooks is undoubtedly because of the injury to star running back Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey went down with a hamstring injury in Week 3, and Carolina expects him to be out for at least two weeks. The 2021 fourth-round pick Chubba Hubbard has stepped into the lead back role in his stead.
Hubbard performed admirably in Week 3, logging 52 rushing yards on 11 carries and hauled in 3 receptions for 27 reception yards, easily surpassing his rushing yards prop of 15.5 yards and his receiving yards prop of 2.5 yards.
Though there are question marks around the running game with McCaffrey’s injury, the passing game has greatly improved with newcomer Sam Darnold under center and the emergence of DJ Moore as a threat in the passing game. Dallas has a middling pass defense (14th in the NFL), opening up the possibility for a big showing from the duo.
Cleveland Browns (-2) Minnesota Vikings
The 2-1 Cleveland Browns (-135) open as slim 2-point favorites over the 1-2 Minnesota Vikings (+115).
The Cleveland Browns decimated the Chicago Bears in Week 3, limiting them to under 50 total yards of offense as they easily covered the 7.5 point spread.
The Browns’ running game has been a strength as expected, with both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt averaging 5.5 yards per carry or better in 2021.
On the other hand, the passing game has been better than expected. This can be expected to improve even further, as Odell Beckham Jr. played for the first time since 2020 in Week 3, logging 5 receptions for 77 yards, exceeding his props of 3.5 receptions and 43.5 receiving yards. If Beckham can continue to step back into his WR1 role for the Browns, there may be no more balanced offense in the NFL.
Los Angeles Rams (-6) Arizona Cardinals
The 3-0 Arizona Cardinals (+210) take on the also-undefeated Los Angeles Rams (-250) in Week 4 as 6-point underdogs as both teams fight for a Super Bowl shot.
The Cardinals have sprinted out to a 3-0 start behind an explosive offense that has averaged 34.3 points per game, the best in the NFL.
Quarterback Kyler Murray has led the high-flying offense, surging to (+800) odds to win the 2021 NFL MVP award, the fifth-best odds.
The receiving corps have also been incredibly effective for Murray and the Cardinals, with DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and Christian Kirk each tallying over 10 receptions, over 150 yards, and at least 1 touchdown.
The Cardinals have covered the spread in both of their last two games and look to keep that streak alive against the Rams in Week 4.
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Jerad began his interest in sports betting after finishing his athletic career in college. As the closest thing to playing, he quickly developed a passion for the industry. When he is not writing about sports, you can find him coaching high school baseball, reading political theory, or playing his guitar.