NFL Line Watch Week 4

By: Art Aronson | Monday, September 25, 2017

Game to bet now

New York Giants at Tampa Bay (-4)

Has a team ever stayed in the locker room for the national anthem and then decided not to come out for the game? It may be getting close to that point for the 0-3 Giants, who had hopes of making the NFC East into a two-team race with the Cowboys and now are rotting at the bottom of the division. The main problem for the Giants is that they can’t score (fewest points in the conference), and the main problem for the offense it that it can’t move the ball on the ground. At all. New York broke out with 24 points in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia on Sunday, but had scored only 13 total in the previous 11 periods. An 0-3 hole is bad enough, but 0-4 is toxic for a team that was thinking division title less than a month ago.

Game to wait on

Pittsburgh at Baltimore (+2.5)

Seems like every game these teams have played for the last decade has featured a line in the 2.5- to 3.5-point range. This one is no different. Neither team has shown enough to be considered the early favorite to be the alpha dog in the AFC North, and the Ravens in particular are wondering what hit them in London last Sunday when the Jags put a 37-point beating on them.  Baltimore is not that used to those types of beatdowns. Ravens fans have to be wondering what the heck is going on with Joe Flacco, who threw for just 28 yards on Sunday and was picked twice before giving way to Ryan Mallett. Maybe the Ravens will be able to run the ball against the Steelers’ shaky defense, which gave up 220 of their own on the ground in losing to the Bears. Might be worth waiting on this one to see if any early money surge causes the books to budge on the half-point one way or the other.

Total to watch

Buffalo at Atlanta (48.5)

Interesting study in contrasts at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Georgia, where the high-flying Falcons are off to a 3-0 start and hope to start creating a little separation in the NFC South. The Falcons have shrugged off their Super Bowl loss and again boast one of the best offense in the league. The Bills, meanwhile, are 2-1 and doing it with defense. Two of their games have gone under, and Sunday’s victory over Denver barely covered the minuscule 40 posted by books. Buffalo has a very soft schedule after this one, and doesn’t have to face the suddenly-vulnerable Patriots until December.

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