Week 4 was not a total win for the books, but given last week’s gut wrenching results, they will take what was offered up over the weekend. Denver, Oakland, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Arizona and Seattle all came up short against the spread, and some of them just came up short, period (hello Raiders, Eagles and Cardinals).
However, the Packers, Jets, Falcons, Panthers and Bengals kept it from being a completely disastrous weekend for the public. Green Bay, Atlanta and Carolina were all drawing over 80-percent of the spread betting money, and they all delivered, especially the latter two.
The Falcons hosted the Texans and they entered the inter-conference contest a -6 favorite. Dan Quinn’s troops brought a paddle with them and they spanked Houston 48-21 to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Cam Newton and company, playing as a -3 road favorite, embarrassed NFC South rival Tampa Bay 37-23 at Raymond James Stadium.
They were drawing 80 and 87-percent, respectively, of the spread betting take.
The Packers played things a bit tighter in San Francisco, but they still cleared the 8.5 line by 5.5 points, defeating the hosting 49ers 17-3. Green Bay had 84-percent of the money coming in on it, and why not? Aaron Rodgers and company improved to a perfect 4-0 both straight up and opposite the number with Sunday’s win over the gold diggers.
The Bengals, another team looking to remain unbeaten, hurt bookmakers as well. Cincinnati easily covered the four point line in its meeting with Kansas City, knocking off Andy Reid’s crew 36-21.
Seattle, or Russell Wilson I should say, scored one for the house on Monday night, though. The Seahawks were heavily backed (73-percent) at -9.5, but they just edged the still winless Lions 13-10 thanks to Wilson’s ball handling faux pas, one of which resulted in a defensive score for Detroit.
While the past couple of weeks have featured some rather large discrepancies in public backing, early Week 5 lines appear to be more modest. There are still some very obvious public teams, though, and none more so than the Patriots, who are favored at -9 in their upcoming clash with the Cowboys in Dallas. New England is getting 96-percent of the spread wagering share at that number.
News and Notes from Around the League
Mutiny on the Bounty?
It is too early to declare Jameis Winston a bust, but it would not be out-of-line to call his performance through four games unremarkable. Okay, that’s being kind. Outside of an impressive showing at New Orleans, Winston’s pro career has resembled his student union behavior. Which is to stay his timing has been a little off and his judgment nothing short of poor.
Philbin gets the Hook
Last week I mentioned Joe Philbin was fishing for a pink slip. Turns out he’s better with a rod and reel than managing a football team. Miami made him the first coaching casualty of the 2015 season yesterday, showing him the door after the Dolphins 14-27 loss to the Jets in London. The setback dropped Miami to 1-3 for the season. Not the kind of start most Fins fans expected, especially those wielding the power in South Florida. Taking Philbin’s place, for the time being, is former tight ends coach Dan Campbell.
Six Teams still Undefeated
The Patriots, Bengals, Broncos, Packers, Panthers and Falcons all head into Week 5 action with unblemished records. Only one of those teams is assured of perfection after this weekend, though, and that only because Carolina has a bye. Four of the other five are -5.5 or more favorites in spite of two of them, Denver and New England, taking to the road. A line has not yet been released in the Seahawks/Bengals game, but Cincinnati should be favored by at least two or three points over the defending NFC champions with the game taking place at Paul Brown Stadium.
New England still the cock of the walk in the AFC East
There was some speculation prior to the start of the season that the Patriots stranglehold over the division could be in jeopardy. Perhaps Miami or Buffalo might be able to end New England’s reign of terror. It’s okay to laugh at those prognostications now. The Dolphins just fired their head coach and Buffalo, which already owns a loss to the Pats, just got embarrassed on its home field by the Giants. Meanwhile, Tom Brady and company lead the league in scoring, yards per game and they have yet to taste defeat. So go ahead and pencil in New England for its 12th AFC East title in the last 13 years; no one will laugh at that.
The Fall of Colin Kaepernick
A couple of years ago Colin Kaepernick looked like a superstar in the making, but he has quickly gone from hero to goat in San Francisco. It remains to be seen if the fifth year pro can turn things around, but it’s not looking good. Through four games this season Kaepernick owns a 67.7 passer rating and he has two touchdowns to five interceptions. And the Niners decline has mirrored the quarterback’s fall from grace. San Fran went from 12 wins in 2013 to eight last year and it is off to a 1-3 start this season. The schedule does not look good for the 49ers either. Realistically, the team may not be favored in a game until it travels to Chicago on December 6th.