· Bet Jaguars +6.5 at Eagles (-110 BetMGM): Easy number to get behind as surprisingly efficient Jaguars look to put NFL on notice.
• New users who bet $10 or more at BetMGM will receive a free year’s subscription to PFF+ — a $79.99 value.
Estimated reading time: 5 min
There's arguably no sport more difficult, nor exciting, to bet on than NFL football. Information is both scarce in utility, and abundant in opinion. Markets are so finely tuned and so heavily wagered that there are few opportunities to gain an edge over the oddsmakers.
Enter: a model capable of making ATS picks with long-term success.
A majority of the most profitable NFL bettors use some kind of projection tool to help guide their wagers. Such a tool will be provided to the reader today, and for the rest of the NFL regular season. It is important to note that these projections are not gospel, but merely a compass toward identifying an edge in a razor-thin market that is betting NFL spreads.
NFL Week 4 Best Bets (Last week: 1-2):
Denver Broncos (+2.5) @ Las Vegas Raiders
Model Line — Broncos (-3.5)
· Denver’s early-season struggles: They've been highlighted by the spotlight of prime-time football and are being exaggerated by the oddsmakers. The Broncos are still a 2-1 football team with playoff aspirations, and the Raiders are a reeling 0-3 team with no right being a favorite in this game.
· Bad matchup for Las Vegas: It would be surprising if the Raiders' own offensive struggles were remedied versus a stout Broncos defense. For context, Denver has the sixth-highest-graded defense per PFF (73.5), and fifth-ranked defense in EPA / Play (-0.202).
· Outstanding spot to back Denver: Take the better team and take the points.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Model Line — Eagles (-3)
· Jaguars are … really good!?: In case readers haven't noticed, Jacksonville's offense has been efficient in every facet, and second-year QB Trevor Lawrence is establishing himself as one of the better young players in the game. Lawrence currently ranks second in the NFL in CPOE, and should be able to keep his offense on track in Philly.
· Defense might be even better: Conversely, the most promising attribute of this Jaguars team may be its defensive prowess. The unit currently ranks eighth per PFF, fourth in Football Outsiders' DVOA, and third in EPA / Play. The defensive line has consistently created pressure, stifling opposing rushing attacks. If they can make life hell for opposing QB Jalen Hurts, the Jaguars will have a chance to win this game outright.
· Making a statement: This is an opportunity for the Jaguars to put the NFL on notice, and it's an easy number to get behind from a betting perspective.
Buffalo BIlls @ Baltimore Ravens (+3.5)
Model Line — Bills (-1.5)
· Game of the Week boasts betting allure: QBs Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson are rightfully the favorite and second favorite, respectively, to win the MVP trophy, and it should be expected that both players find success versus depleted secondaries. However, it is likely that unfavorably rainy conditions are detrimental to an otherwise offensive explosion. If Mother Nature proves unrelenting, one should be more inclined to back the Ravens and their versatile run game.
· Baltimore thrives as home dog: The weather forecast notwithstanding, the Ravens have covered five consecutive games as home underdogs, and the Bills are overpriced because of their present status as Super Bowl favorites. By many notable metrics, these two teams should be held in similar esteem, and the opportunity to back Baltimore as a home-underdog is a welcome one.
· Take the points: Jackson should be able to exploit a depleted Buffalo defense in ways that the Dolphins could not, and the Ravens' home-field advantage is likely being undervalued. Gladly take Baltimore +3.5.
Model-Aligned Trend Picks
Green Bay Packers (-9.5) v. New England Patriots
Model Line — Packers (-11.5)
· Lambeau layups: Until further notice, the Packers at home remains a layup bet. It seems that oddsmakers have struggled to accurately quantify the Packers' advantage at Lambeau in recent years. Green Bay has gone 18-7 ATS in regular-season home games since Matt Lafleur became their head coach in 2019. Green Bay currently is riding an 8-1 ATS heater at home dating back to the start of the 2021 season.
Arizona Cardinals (+1.5) @ Carolina Panthers
Model Line — Cardinals (-3.5)
· Wrong team favored: The Panthers have no right being a favorite, and the Cardinals have historically thrived in this spot. Two key trends to know for this game:
· Arizona HC Kliff Kingsbury has an 18-6-2 ATS record on the road
· Carolina HC Matt Rhule has a 1-6 ATS record as a home favorite
Slam Time: When the active trends back up the model, it’s a slam-dunk bet. The Panthers beat the Saints on the back of their defense and likely would need to replicate such a performance to string together consecutive home wins.
Tommy's spread picks went 1-2 in Week 3, bringing the season mark to 4-3 (+.7 units).
How PFF contributor Tommy Jurgens' Projections Work:
A myriad of both objective, and subjective ratings are employed in a logistic regression model to determine the likelihood that each team will win the game outright. By this determined win-probability, a spread is assigned to each game and compared to the consensus line.
This model has successfully identified the outright victor at a near 67% rate, and has chosen the ATS winner at an efficiency greater than 53% since 2006.
One can find all of the projected picks for Week 4 here.