• Bet the Bills (-4.5) to ruin the Jaguars' London party: The Buffalo Bills officially made their case to be reinstated as the best team in the NFL with an all-around dominant performance against the Miami Dolphins at home in Week 4.
• Bet the Ravens (-3.5) in a rivalry matchup with the Steelers: The Ravens' defense is one of the NFL's best and should have no issue dominating the Steelers' offense next Sunday.
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Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
If you are betting on NFL spreads, you better do it early. After reviewing each line on the PFF Forecast Podcast, we are here to share our favorite early bets to make before the market catches on and lines move.
We went 39-30-4 last year and are sitting at 6-5 (+0.3 units) on the year with the Seattle Seahawks–New York Giants over 45 still to play on Monday Night Football. Make sure not to miss anything by joining in on the action with the PFF Betting Discord.
If you are wondering why we bet early, here is a great primer.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills (-4.5, -110) — London
• The Buffalo Bills officially made their case to be reinstated as the best team in the NFL with an all-around dominant performance against the Miami Dolphins at home. Not only did their offense put up one of the most efficient performances of the Josh Allen era (0.46 expected points added per play and a 57% success rate), but their defense forced Tua Tagovailoa to average -0.09 EPA per play, which is a big drop-off from his numbers across the first three weeks.
• The Jaguars did cover the -3 spread across the pond, but it felt like their offense struggled for every yard. Trevor Lawrence had a 6.3-yard average depth of target with a 2.48-second average time to throw, and it seems like Doug Pederson and Press Taylor have little faith in the offensive line to hold up in pass protection.
• On the year, the Jaguars rank 24th in EPA per play and 16th in success rate. And while Lawrence’s PFF grades indicate he’s playing better than the efficiency numbers say, Jacksonville's offense as a whole is worse than where the Bills are at.
• One thing to be worried about is the Tre’Davious White injury for the Bills. In a matchup against Calvin Ridley, having a cornerback like White is important, but the team's cornerback room is deep with players who have starting experience, as well as former 2022 first-round pick Kaiir Elam.
Bills' Highest-Graded Defenders | Through Week 3, 2023
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5, -110) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
• The Steelers won their Weeks 2 and 3 games despite having lower net success rates when compared to the Browns and Raiders. Against the Texans in Week 4, the inefficient Steelers' offense reared its head and put up a dismal performance, averaging -0.25 expected points added per play and recording a 36% success rate. After the first review, both Kenny Pickett and Mitchell Trubisky put up sub-55.0 PFF passing grades in the loss.
• The Ravens have been hit very hard by injuries but have been able to overcome them on the road to three wins this season. Despite missing multiple starters along the offensive line and in the secondary, they put up a dominant performance against the Browns. While his stats may not jump off the page, Lamar Jackson will likely finish with an 80.0-plus PFF passing grade and multiple big-time throws.
• The Ravens' defense is one of the best in the league right now, ranking in the top three in both expected points added per play allowed and success rate allowed. This unit should have no issue dominating the Steelers' offense next Sunday.
Teaser (-120): Houston Texans (+8.5) @ Atlanta Falcons & Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions (-2.5)
• This is a Wong Teaser, which happens when each side you tease crosses both the numbers three and seven, as is the case here with the Texans moving from +2.5 to +8.5 and the Lions moving from -8.5 to -2.5. Because three and seven are the most common end-of-game point differentials, crossing those numbers gives the bettor more outcomes for which each side wins.
• The Texans have been dynamic offensively the past two weeks despite missing four starting offensive linemen. This past week’s performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ pass-rush unit that ranked in the top 10 in pressure rate through Week 3 was extremely impressive. Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud averaged 10.2 yards per attempt with zero turnovers and, somewhat shockingly, zero sacks taken.
• Houston could get starting tackles Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard back for this game, which would provide a massive boost to an offense that has produced in spite of their absences. Houston is also quite banged up on defense, but the Atlanta Falcons‘ passing attack is arguably the worst in the NFL, with a switch at quarterback to Taylor Heinicke maybe our biggest threat here.
• The Lions put together a dominant win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football and now get extra rest heading into a major mismatch with a Carolina Panthers unit that ranks 25th in expected points added per play on offense, with that ranking boosted by an Andy Dalton outing in Week 3. Detroit has the league’s best success rate against the run in the NFL, so Bryce Young won’t get a reprieve there. Carolina has allowed pressure on 40% of dropbacks, the fourth-highest rate in the NFL, and Detroit ranks in the top seven in pass-rush win rate and pressure rate.
• On the other side of the ball, Carolina’s 27.9% pressure rate is 29th in the NFL, and Detroit’s offensive line should be getting healthier coming into this matchup while currently ranking eighth in pressure rate allowed. Detroit will also be adding the recently reinstated Jameson Williams back into the lineup at wide receiver.
New York Jets @ Denver Broncos OVER 41 (-110)
• The Denver Broncos‘ defense followed up perhaps the worst performance in NFL history in Week 3 with a first half against Chicago that was arguably just as embarrassing, allowing Justin Fields to match his total touchdown output through the air on the season and throw for more yards than he had in any full game thus far (231). Denver was able to settle in, turn the ball over and make a few critical stops late in the game, but this is undoubtedly one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
• Jets quarterback Zach Wilson may have had the best performance of his NFL career on Sunday Night Football against a Kansas City Chiefs defense that ranks in the top five in expected points allowed per play and in the top 10 in success rate allowed on the season. There’s no reason to believe he can’t put up points on Denver’s defense, with the lone bright spot of the unit in cornerback Pat Surtain II having back-to-back poor outings in his own right. The Broncos also rank 26th in expected points per rush allowed, so they can be beaten in every way imaginable.
• On the flip side, while the Jets' defense is a top unit and gave Patrick Mahomes fits throughout Sunday night, Denver's offense ranks in the top 15 in the NFL in expected points added per play and success rate. There has been some reliance on explosive plays, with a lot of small gains mixed in between, but Russell Wilson has taken care of the football and boasts the highest big-time throw rate in the NFL through Week 4 (6.8%).