It is still relatively early in the year, but so far, the National Football League has been quite polarizing.
Going into week four, there are eight undefeated teams — if you count the 2-0-1 Detroit Lions and seven winless teams.
Teams begin to get desperate with each passing week, and if you add in matchup against a divisional opponent, that raises the stakes even higher.
This week includes six divisional games: Washington at New York, Cleveland at Baltimore, New England at Buffalo, Seattle at Arizona, Minnesota at Chicago and Cincinnati at Pittsburgh.
Good matchups are across the board and it all begins in Green Bay on Thursday night.
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (-5)
The Eagles suffered a bad loss at home last week against the Detroit Lions. They are now 1-2 after losing one-score games in consecutive weeks. For the Packers, their season is spotless so far, improving to 3-0 after beating Denver 27-16.
This is a must-win game for the Eagles as a potential 1-3 record would make it hard for them to catch up with the division-leading Dallas Cowboys who enter this week at 3-0.
If Philadelphia loses by five or more, it will be a bad beat. Expect Eagles head coach Doug Pederson to throw the kitchen sink at the Packers in a close game — take the Eagles.
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons (-4)
The Falcons dropped a tough game on the road in Indianapolis last week, losing to the Colts 27-24. Meanwhile, the Titans are also coming off a loss on the road, losing 20-7 to Jacksonville.
Marcus Mariota has yet to throw an interception this year, yet he always seems to leave big plays on the field. It is especially important for him to cash in on these plays as his contract expires after this season.
Atlanta is a different team at home, but the Titans have had three extra days of preparation gained from playing on Thursday last week.
The Falcons should be able to handle Tennessee, but it is conceivable to think the margin of victory will not cover the spread. Stay away.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-3)
The winless Redskins lost to the Bears on Monday night last week, 31-15. They have lost 16 out of their last 18 primetime matchups on Monday night.
What a performance from rookie quarterback Daniel Jones last week. He threw for two touchdowns, ran for two more and led the Giants to a comeback win from an 18-point deficit in Tampa Bay. The recently demoted Eli Manning has never won a game after trailing by more than 17 points in his 16 years as a Giant.
If Jones is the real deal, he should beat the Redskins by more than three here. Bettors must be comfortable with the rookie starting in his first divisional game.
Los Angeles Chargers (-16.5) at Miami Dolphins
Playing the Dolphins could not have come at a better time for the Chargers. They are 1-2 after losing to Houston at home last week, making it two straight losses by a one-score margin.
Miami is 0-3, and at this point, bettors should explore placing money on this team to lose every game this season.
As bad as Miami is, betting on the Chargers as 16.5-point favourite is a sketchy proposition. It should be an easy win for Los Angeles but stay away from the highest point spread of the week.
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-7)
The Raiders got bullied in Minneapolis last week, losing 34-12 and falling to 1-2.
Jacoby Brissett and the Colts earned a 27-24 win at home against the divisional rival Atlanta Falcons.
After last week’s big win, this is a good opportunity for Indianapolis to take care of Oakland in an impressive fashion before they go on the road against one of the best teams in the league next week, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Colts are a likeable team right now — betting on them here is a decent play but beware of the backdoor cover.
Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans (-4.5)
Deshaun Watson threw for three touchdowns and 351 yards against the Chargers. Watson produced without the presence of a solid running game as the top Texan rusher finished with just 19 yards.
What a debut last week for Panthers QB Kyle Allen who stepped up in place of the injured Cam Newton and threw for four touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 38-20 win on the road in Arizona.
Newton has been declared out this week. Going forward, if Allen continues to play as he did last week, head coach Ron Rivera is going to have to deal with questions around Newton’s future as a Panther.
Allen played too well last week to justify betting on the Texans to cover here. Stay away and enjoy this one.
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Detroit Lions
The Lions are technically undefeated this year. After last week’s upset win on the road in Philadelphia, they have now won two games and tied the third.
The Chiefs are 3-0 after beating Baltimore 33-28 last week. Patrick Mahomes continues to perform at a higher level than any QB in the league right now. He leads the league with 1195 passing yards and 10 touchdown passes.
This line would be much higher for Kansas City if they were at home. Beating Detroit by at least one touchdown on the road is a reasonable ask, so count on the Chiefs to cover here.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-7)
The Browns off-season hype train has run out of gas. They are now 1-2 after losing to the Rams last week, and this team has not lived up to the high expectations placed on them.
It was a tough game for the Ravens travelling to Kansas City last week. They took an initial lead but wound up trailing for the majority of the game.
Bet on Lamar Jackson to lead Baltimore to win by more than a touchdown.
New England Patriots (-7) at Buffalo Bills
Antonio Brown is no longer a Patriot and his tenure with the team will end up being a mere blip on the storyline of their season.
Last week, New England took care of business as they always do. They are now 3-0 after a 30-14 win against the Jets.
For the first time since 2011, the Bills have started a season with three wins and no losses.
This should be New England’s toughest task so far this year as the Bills have a decent shot at beating the Patriots in Buffalo for the first time since 2011.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams (-10)
With no time left on the clock, Tampa Bay missed a 34-yard field goal that would have won the Buccaneers the game against New York. Instead, they add a bad loss to their record which now sits at 1-2.
Los Angeles beat the Browns handily with 20-13 thanks to two touchdowns from Cooper Kupp. It is hard to believe that Kupp is just 10 months removed from tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
The Rams do not look like their peak selves thus far this year, which is why bettors should stay away from this double-digit point spread.
Seattle Seahawks (-5) at Arizona Cardinals
The Saints stunned Seattle last week by a score of 33-27, marking the Seahawks’ first loss this season. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are still searching for their first win after losing 38-20 to the Panthers.
The Cardinals have not beat the Seahawks in Arizona since 2012. Look for that trend to continue here as Seattle should cover this line if they play well.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-2.5)
This is a revenge game for Minnesota as the Bears knocked them out of playoff seeding in the final week of the season last year.
Chicago is 2-1 after beating Washington on the road in week three.
This line is one of the most curious ones of the week. Typically, teams are allotted three points for the home-field advantage, so this line is telling bettors that vegas thinks these teams are evenly matched.
This is a very important divisional matchup. The Vikings are the better team and should be expected to beat the Bears in Chicago. Take Minnesota here.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos (-3)
The state of the Denver Broncos is not great right now. They remain winless after last week’s lacklustre performance in Green Bay, losing 27-16.
For the Jaguars, the Gardner Minshew show is off and running. He is the second QB in Jaguars’ history to throw a touchdown pass in each of his first three games.
Bettors should jump all over this game and buy into Minshew mania.
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at New Orleans Saints
The Dallas Cowboys are in control of the National Football Conference East Division with a perfect 3-0 record.
Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater stepped up in the absence of Drew Brees last week, winning a very tough road in Seattle.
Bridgewater could burn gamblers who bet the Saints as an attractive home underdog option. NFL fans have seen very little of him over the past three seasons, so there is no telling what he is capable of right now.
Stay away from this game unless you are a confident fan of either team.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
Last week, QB Ben Roethlisberger suffered an elbow injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season. The very next day, Pittsburgh opted traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Miami Dolphins for a 2020 first-round draft pick.
They are now 0-3 after losing to the 49ers in San Francisco 24-20.The pick that was sent to the Dolphins could become a top-10 selection if the Steelers do not turn things around soon.
Meanwhile for Cincinnati, their rookie head coach Zac Taylor has yet to know what a win feels like.
This matchup is not the most exciting matchup on paper but something has got to give for these teams who have been losing games by close margins. Stay away and hope for a good show on Monday night.
These point spreads are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, last updated on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 5 p.m.
Tanner Michalenko/ Sports & Health Editor
Graphic: Shawna Langer/ Graphics Editor