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NFL Week 4: Opening Odds Roundup

Not many people would have pegged the Pittsburgh Steelers (without Ben Roethlisberger), the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Chicago Bears as the NFL’s three undefeated teams at the end of Week 3. But it’s been a crazy season so far, and the upcoming week should be no exception.

Two of the week’s most interesting and unexpected opening odds come in two AFC North matchups. Cincinnati is favored by only three points on the road against Cleveland, while Pittsburgh opened favored by three at home against Baltimore.

And favorite bettors, who suffered through a 5-11 ATS where eight dogs won outright, have to decide if this is finally the week New Orleans covers a regular season point spread. Going back to last season, they have failed to cover eight in a row!

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With an 0-3 record with losses to Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Baltimore, Cleveland receiving only three points at home is a bit surprising against a 2-1 Cincinnati team coming off two straight wins including a big victory in Carolina last week. This line may move against the Bengals, who have won their last three meetings against the Browns.

The line in the Baltimore @ Pittsburgh game has already moved down to Pittsburgh -1.5. Considering Pittsburgh’s defensive dominance this season (allowing only 11 PPG), it’s hard not to consider them a solid favorite at that number, even against the tough Ravens.

Two opening lines that are likely to move are the Oakland Raiders (+3.0 at

) hosting the Houston Texans, and the Washington Redskins (+6.0) heading into Philadelphia.

Bettors that want to take a shot on Oakland will likely get a better number if they are willing to wait. The line opened at +2.5 for the Raiders and is now at +3.0. The opening line may be factoring in Houston’s big loss to Dallas, but over the course of the week, bettors will likely trend towards Houston, who is having the much more impressive season.

Washington (+6.0 at

) may see their number go down as the week goes on. Michael Vick has the Eagles playing at a high level right now, but the return of Donovan McNabb to Philadelphia is dominating the headlines. Last year we saw Brett Favre return to Green Bay as a Viking and beat his former team; can McNabb do the same with the Redskins?

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Three games opened with a favorite of over a touchdown; New Orleans -13.0 at home against Carolina, San Diego -8.0 at home against Arizona, and Indianapolis -7.0 on the road against Jacksonville. The Indianapolis line has moved to -8.5 already, and may move further as bettors pile on to the Colts; but over a touchdown’s worth of points for a home division dog?

Seems like an awful lot to pass up on. Interesting too that San Diego is such a large favorite, considering they are coming off a loss and Arizona is coming off a win.

Other opening lines this week include home favorites Tennessee -8.5 (down to -6.5) over Denver and Atlanta -6.5 over San Francisco, and road favorites Seattle -1.5 over St. Louis and the NY Jets -4.5 over Buffalo. New England at Miami opened as a pick’em.