The New England Patriots may be the most vulnerable 3-0 team in the NFL. With an empty cupboard of weapons, Tom Brady's contribution to New England's normally explosive offense is more similar to a band aid's contribution an open wound.
Atlanta should be one of many teams this week likely to cover a small point spread by a significant margin.
Week 4 features a tempting slate of home underdogs and several games with point spreads hovering around field-goal range. Given the blowouts that have already been seen through three weeks of NFL play, many games may not be as close as their teeny-tiny point spreads indicate.
Atlanta (-2.5) over New England (via 5Dimes)
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons are 1-2. A team with Super Bowl aspirations cannot afford to start the season 1-3, especially with the New Orleans Saints a likely 4-0 team once all is said and done with Week 4.
The Falcons get an emotional edge as a home team on a nationally televised game with Matt Ryan coming off a loss in which he dueled Miami Dolphins' second-year quarterback, Ryan Tannehill.
Atlanta's two losses have come against undefeated teams in the Saints and the much-improved Dolphins. Two of New England's three wins have come against teams with losing records, with the exception being the depleted 2-1 New York Jets, who should eventually come down to earth.
The Falcons rank fourth in the critical yards-per-play category, while the Patriots are a dismal 29th. Belichick's smoke and mirrors with a talent-deficient team may work against weak divisional foes, but Atlanta is too talented and too good at home for New England to hide its glaring flaws.
Prediction: Atlanta, 30-13
Houston (+3) over Seattle (via BOVADA)
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off back-to-back blowout wins at home, but in Week 4 they are playing a road game in the central time zone. Seattle's record-setting homefield crowd noise will not be traveling with the team to Houston. Coming off a 30-9 blowout loss, the Texans gain value as Seattle's 28-point blowout win over the Jacksonville Jaguars makes for a 49-point swing.
The chances of Seattle continuing to win big are much slimmer on the road, while Houston will be looking to bounce back after a rout.
Houston is a talented home underdog more than capable of hanging with Seattle. The Seahawks aren't the same team on the road, and Houston's top-ten run defense should bottle up Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawk's run-first offense.
Prediction: Houston, 20-16
There is a reason Andy Reid is 2-0 against the NFC East this season. The former Philadelphia Eagles coach spent 14 years watching countless hours of film to game-plan for teams within this division. This familiarity gives Big Red and the Kansas City Chiefs a distinct advantage.
Facing one of the toughest home-field advantages, an incompetent Giants offensive line will go head-to-head with one of the NFL's best defensive lines. The Chiefs lead the league in sacks, and their constant pressure on Eli Manning should force yet another turnover-riddled game for the football Giants.
At -9, the New York Giants are currently dead last in turnover differential. At +9, the Chiefs lead the league.
Prediction: Kansas City, 28-17
Week 3 ATS: 1-2
Season ATS: 3-5-1
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