Best spot bets for the NFL Week 4 odds: Life is a highway for the road-weary Chiefs

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In the daily battle against the big bad bookies, sports bettors have an arsenal of weapons at their disposal – some more effective than others. 

One of the most popular methods of getting a leg up on the sportsbooks is situational handicapping: factoring in unique situations for the teams involved. Some of the more common situational plays – or spot bets – are “letdowns”, “lookaheads”, and “schedule” spots.

Covers’ Senior Industry Analyst Jason Logan combs through the Week 4 schedule and highlights the best opportunities for spot bettors to take advantage of the NFL odds.


This letdown spot started setting the table back on April 25. That was Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft, on which the Giants selected Duke QB Daniel Jones with the sixth-overall pick. It was a baffling pick that was instantly criticized and continued to be so until Jones showed flashes of brilliance in the preseason.

New York finally pulled the plug on Eli Manning’s time as the starter versus the Buccaneers in Week 3, turning the keys to the franchise over to the 22-year-old rookie. And Jones stepped up, passing for two touchdowns and running in two more with RB Saquon Barkley on the sideline with an ankle sprain. The Giants got the win thanks to a botched last-second field goal attempt from Tampa Bay, and the G-Men’s front office breathed a collective sigh of relief. They were right and everybody else was wrong. Suck it.

That thrilling win (and “I told you so!” moment) sets up New York for a letdown spot in Week 4, hosting the rival Redskins as a 3-point favorite. As mentioned, Jones doesn’t have Barkley to draw the eye of the defense and was sacked five times in the squeaker at Tampa last Sunday. The Redskins’ rotten defense has been roughed up, but they’ve also been on the field an average of 33:08 minutes per game (fourth most) thanks to turnovers from the offense. If the stop unit can force some turnovers of its own versus a rookie QB, the Giants could fall for this longgggggggg-running letdown.



Even the pros get caught fantasizing. Given their circumstances entering the season (you know? Their franchise QB abruptly packing it in), a 2-1 start to the 2019 schedule has to have the Colts feeling good about their chances in the AFC South. And hell, if not for Adam Vinatieri finally showing cracks in his once-unflappable leg, Indianapolis could be 3-0 in the post-Andrew Luck era.

The Colts have great shot at jumping to 3-1 with the road-rashed Raiders coming to town in Week 4. Oakland (which is on a crazy 49-day gap between home games) lost at Minnesota in an early 1 p.m. ET starts in Week 3 and travels to London, England for Week 5 (vs. Chicago) after this 1 p.m. ET game in Indy Sunday. Shouldn’t be too much trouble for the red-hot Colts, right?

Indianapolis could get caught looking past the tarnished Silver and Black and ahead to Week 5 when they travel to dreaded Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. There are also key injuries on both sides of the ball for the Colts heading into this Sunday’s game, with top WR T.Y. Hilton dealing with a nagging quadriceps injury, safety Malik Hooker out of action (knee), and LB Darius Leonard in concussion protocol.



The Chiefs find themselves back in the visitors locker room for the third time in the first four weeks of the season when they take on the “undefeated” Lions in Detroit this Sunday. Kansas City opened 2019 with back-to-back road games in Jacksonville and Oakland before a grueling home opener against Baltimore in Week 3.

Not only does a road heavy schedule weigh on players and staff, but this is the Chiefs. The AFC’s No. 1 seed from a season ago was able to catch plenty of teams off guard at the start of 2018 campaign (which led to a perfect 7-0 ATS mark through the first seven games), but now have a huge target on its back as teams get up to play the conference’s elite.

Kansas City’s offense also limps into Week 4 with WR Tyreek Hill out (collarbone), LT Eric Fisher sidelined (hernia), and running backs LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams listed as day-to-day with their respective ailments. The rigors of the road could compound those issues come Sunday, especially with K.C. giving a near touchdown as the visitor.

Running up the points with Rockets, and the college football bets you need to make in Week 12

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Are you ready for some more MAC-tion? Because there are two more games on the schedule Wednesday night. We break down the best bets for these games and take a look at the weekend ahead in college football – from sides and totals to props and everything in between.


The Toledo Rockets might be only slight favorites for Wednesday night’s MAC tilt with visiting Northern Illinois, but they have a significant advantage in at least one area – and it could turn this one into a bit of a laugher. The Rockets come into the game with the nation’s No. 12 rushing offense, averaging nearly 251 yards per game on the ground – and they’ve been especially dominant over their previous two games, racking up a combined 664 rushing yards in narrow victories over Eastern Michigan and Kent State. The Huskies, meanwhile, are coming off getting routed 48-10 to Central Michigan in which the Chippewas posted 327 rushing yards.

An edge like this makes Toledo a terrific option in a variety of different bet scenarios; we recommend buying a few points in their favor and taking an alternate line of -6.5.


The Miami (OH) Redhawks should have little trouble filling the board Wednesday night as they host a Bowling Green defense that ranks among the worst in the nation in points allowed. But while the Falcons have surrendered a mind-boggling 33.8 points per game so far this season, the Redhawks might not necessarily be headed for a parade to the end zone. Miami (Ohio) has one of the worst touchdown-to-field-goal ratios in the country coming into Week 12, having scored 22 TDs compared with 16 FGs – six of those coming over the course of their current three-game winning streak.

Miami (Ohio) is a big-time favorite here, and is a good bet to open the scoring given BGSU’s 2.5 first-half-points-per-game average on the road this season. We like the Redhawks FG to kick off the point parade.


Kansas State’s premier rushing threat might be back on the field this weekend. Wildcats senior James Gilbert practiced on Tuesday and is trending in the right direction as he recovers from an undisclosed ailment that kept him out of last week’s 27-24 loss to the Texas Longhorns. It was originally thought that Gilbert would be in the lineup vs. Texas, but he was a late exclusion – and Kansas State struggled in his absence, finishing with a paltry 51 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Gilbert ranks ninth in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards (558) while adding five touchdowns on the ground.

Gilbert’s return would invigorate a Kansas State rush attack that has a favorable matchup against a West Virginia defense allowing 173 rushing yards per game. We recommend the hosts ATS if Gilbert is deemed fit to return.


The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have seen their season take a terrible turn with word that standout wide receiver Sage Surratt will miss the remainder of 2019 with an undisclosed injury. Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson confirmed Tuesday that Surratt, who wasn’t featured on the team’s depth chart ahead of its Week 12 encounter with Clemson, would be out for the rest of the season – though he wouldn’t specify what was wrong with the star wideout. Surratt finishes the year with 1,001 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 66 receptions as the premier target for quarterback Jamie Newman.

The absence of Surratt should give bettors even less of a reason to bank on Wake Forest, which has seen the line shift as far as four points in Clemson’s favor. Look for the Tigers to keep the undermanned Deacons below their team total.

Too late to start fading the Fins, and the NFL bets you need to make in Week 11

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This may require a double-take, but listen up. The Miami Dolphins have been the best bet in the NFL since the start of October. Yes, those Miami Dolphins. We break down the odds and let you know what bets we like in Week 11 of the NFL as we dive into sides, totals, props and more. 


The hottest team in the league right now is Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. After knocking off the Patriots in Week 9, they turned their crosshairs on the winless Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. The Ravens ran just 48 offensive plays but managed to put up 49 points. Lost in the 49-13 win was the fact that Baltimore moved to 8-1 against the first-quarter spread after winning the first 15 minutes 14-0.

This week, Baltimore is a 4-point home favorite versus a Houston team that is coming off their bye. If you don’t trust a team coming off a blowout win versus the worst team in the league and/or covering their last three games, take a look at the 1Q Ravens -0.5 (-105) as an alternative.

Baltimore is second in the league in first quarter points per game at 9.5 and third in the league in points against in the first quarter at 3.67 while the Texans are 0-3-1 on the road this year in the first quarter. Take the Ravens 1Q -0.5.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a very motivated New Orleans Saints team Sunday, but NOLA will be without their top cornerback in Marcus Lattimore. The third-year CB is week-to-week with a hamstring injury meaning Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will face sub-par corners in P.J. Williams and Eli Apple.

As Brad Evans pointed out on twitter, this is especially great news for Mike Evans who has struggled over his career versus Lattimore. Evans put up a donut early this year in Week 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and averaged 9.5 targets for three catches and 34 yards in two games in 2017 (last year Lattimore struggled following up his 2017 DROY but has been much better this year).

Even with Jameis Winston getting sacked nearly four times a game, Evans is averaging 139 yards a game over his last four contests. Jump on Evans’ receiving yard total on any number below 85 and check in on his reception total, hitting the Over on any number below 7.


No team in the league relies on the screen game more than the Minnesota Vikings. Per ESPN, Minnesota is averaging 9.8 yards per screen attempt which is 3.5 yards more per attempt than the No.10 team.

The beneficiary of this is running back Dalvin Cook who gashed the Cowboys in primetime every time he got the ball with blockers ahead of him. Over the last three games, Cook has amassed 193 yards receiving and will face a Denver Broncos’ defense that is giving up 8.6 yards per pass to RBs since Week 8.

Grab the Over on Cook’s receiving yards on any total less than 40 yards.


If you’re tailing the Cook receiving yards play and want some action on the other side of the ball, maybe look to fade the Broncos’ backfield in receiving yards. Denver is the worst team at generating yards on the screen game (3.7 yards per attempt) and neither Phillip Lindsay nor Royce Freeman has topped 17 yards receiving in the last two weeks. In the only game Brandon Allen has started at quarterback, Lindsay wasn’t targeted at all and Freeman saw one target which he lost a yard on.

Feel confident in taking Lindsay’s Under receiving yards on anything greater than 19 and Freeman’s Under on any number greater than 25.


The best team ATS over the last five weeks has been the Miami Dolphins. The former 0-7 team has rattled off five-straight wins ATS and face a Buffalo Bills team that has zero offensive identity of late and trailed the Dolphins by five points heading into the fourth quarter just four weeks ago.

We are a little bearish on Miami hitting a sixth-straight win ATS but have no problem fading Josh Allen’s Bills who are putting up just 288 yards of total offense over the last three weeks, good for sixth-worst. Their once stellar defense now sits 12th in Wtd DVOA — 9th against the pass and 27th against the run.

The Bills needed 22 4th-quarter points in their last meeting to cover their team total and we don’t see Brian Daboll’s offense clearing 23.5 points since they are 2-5 O/U that total in their last seven.

Get on the Bills’ team total Under 23.5 now, as it may drop under this key number later in the week.