Week 4 of the 2020 NFL season has been adversely impacted by COVID with the cancellation of the Steelers and Tennessee Titans. Additionally, the NFL has tentatively moved New England and Kansas City to Tuesday, as quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID. We should consider ourselves lucky any of this is even happening because America needs the distraction of the NFL and fantasy football.
The thirst for content, any content, on any kind of projections for NFL games is insatiable. The sports betting explosion drives this thirst independent of fantasy football.
Cleveland at Dallas (-3.5)
As of Saturday night, there was apparently a steam move on Cleveland compressing the line from Dallas -4.5 to the current line. Tedious searches revealed little news to drive this line compression.
There’s data to support fading a steam move. 20 years of data suggest fading the Cleveland Browns. Sure, they won by ten points against a Washington Football Team decimated on the defensive line by injury and few options on offense. Washington was competitive in their 34-24 defeat this past week until the offense imploded on itself and Cleveland was able to put the game away running the ball, again.
Dallas, meanwhile, should be 0-3 and have failed to cover the spread in 2020. The public is heavy on Dallas with 68% of the bets representing 88% of the money. And the line is compressing, usually an indicator of heavy action on the Browns.
Does anyone foresee Cleveland matching Dallas in a shootout? Ezekiel Elliott should have his way with Cleveland, Dak Prescott will not make Dwayne Haskins mistakes, and Baker Mayfield can be counted on for an untimely turnover or two.
Dallas 38, Cleveland 27. Over 56.
Jacksonville at Cincinnati (-3)
The betting public has a short memory. They simply remember Jacksonville getting destroyed by Miami 31-13 nine days ago. Jacksonville will be returning wide receiver DJ Chark which should help quarterback Gardner Minshew.
Cincinnati is weak at linebacker with tight end Tyler Eifert being a good second option for Minshew. Cleveland and Philadelphia rushed for a combined 395 yards against Cincinnati Week 2 and Week 3. The public has a short memory on Jaguars’ running back James Robinson because he played ten days ago, rushing for 46 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns. Game flow dictated Robinson’s quiet day.
James Robinson is unstoppable and Minshew Mania rolls, despite Burrow better with every rep.
Jacksonville 27, Cincinnati 24. Over 49
Seattle at Miami (+6.5)
Here’s a case where the betting public has a long memory. They remember Miami winning convincingly nine days ago. The betting public remembers Seattle giving up monstrous yardage and points, especially through the air. And, Seattle will be missing key pieces in a secondary getting absolutely bombed the first three weeks, notably safety Jamal Adams, acquired for a ludicrous two first round draft picks.
Russell Wilson is the MVP of the first three games. Cornerback Byron Jones is listed as doubtful and while Xavien Howard is an outstanding corner, DK Metcalf and Wilson and Company shredded Stephone Gilmore and Bill Belichick’s secondary.
The “West Coast Team” playing “East Coast 1pm” game and some kind of biorhythmic disadvantage? You bet your money on hocus pocus.
Russell Wilson rolls with the danger of a backdoor cover.
Seattle 34, Miami 24. Over 54.5.