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NFL Week 4 Best Bets: Back the Browns Defense and Vikings Offense

Max Gilson
Written by Max Gilson
September 28, 2023
NFL Week 4 Odds and Best Bets

We’re back for Sunday’s slate in NFL Week 4 that’s filled with plenty of important divisional games. After analyzing the entire slate of NFL Week 4 odds, two bets stand out as offering the most value.

Best Bet: Cleveland Browns -2.5 over Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens head into Cleveland at 2-1 after a disappointing loss at home to the Colts in overtime. Through two games, the Ravens looked like they were about to run away with the division, but injuries have slowed this team down. The Ravens failed in pass protection for Lamar Jackson as they were missing LT Ronnie Stanley and C Tyler Linderbaum.

Jackson was sacked four times and fumbled twice in their Week 3 loss. WR Rashod Bateman also seemed to aggravate a hamstring injury to go along with missing WR Odell Beckham and concussed RB Gus Edwards. Adding to their offensive injury woes, CB Marlon Humphrey and S Kyle Hamilton did not practice on Wednesday.

Browns DC Jim Schwartz is coordinating the league's best defense by defensive DVOA, and the Browns rank fourth in overall DVOA. Myles Garrett has 4.5 sacks through 3 games and will look to continue his hot start against a banged up Ravens line. The Browns will have a bigger test in the Ravens this week after their offense adjusts to life without star RB Nick Chubb.

The Browns handled the Titans easily, winning 27-3 against a Tennessee team that’s severely struggled on offense, despite being strong against the run-on defense. I haven’t been too impressed with Deshaun Watson’s decision making and ability so far through the season, but it’s fair to say he used the Titans game as a get right spot and take full control of the offense.

Given the Ravens injuries in the secondary Watson should once again be able to get the ball to Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore, while the RB tandem of Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt will look to be more efficient in their second week leading this unit.

With the Ravens injuries surmounting and the relative health of this Browns defense, I’m looking towards Cleveland in this AFC North Matchup. I’m surprised to see markets still below 3 at this point and I’ll gladly lay it. I’ll be playing the Cleveland Browns -2.5 (-110) at PointsBet for a 1% play.

Best Bet: Vikings Team Total Over 24.5

The Vikings come into Carolina for this matchup between two 0-3 teams in the NFC. In Week 3 we saw the Panthers lose 37-27 to the Seahawks as a defense that was a sleeper to be sneaky good this year has been decimated by injury and poor play in the secondary.

Andy Dalton stepped in for injured rookie Bryce Young and was an upgrade for this offense, however, Young is expected to return to play in Week 4. Young has not been able to get anything going under center for Carolina but perhaps can take a step forward against a very poor Vikings defense with veterans Adam Thielen and DJ Chark healthy and playing well.

The total opened up at 46 in this one and has been slightly down, perhaps partly due to the offensive downgrade of Bryce Young under center. I think we can use this angle to our advantage and look at a team total over here for a desperate Vikings team.

Turnovers have been brutal for Kirk Cousins and company, but they still remain a league average offense in terms of offensive DVOA. We know that the Cousins and Jefferson combination has an extremely high ceiling and it’s encouraging that Jefferson’s injury in the final minutes of Week 3’s loss to the Chargers was just a cramp.

The Panthers defense is already without star CB Jaycee Horn and LB Shaq Thompson who were both placed on IR before Week 3. Out of their four remaining defensive players that rank as a positive impact, S Xavier Woods is expected to miss time, while LB Frankie Luvu was limited in practice with a hip stinger.

CJ Henderson is on the injury report with an ankle injury and if he’s able to go, he’ll be asked to be the lead corner against Justin Jefferson which needless to say is a brutal matchup for the Panthers secondary. Derrick Brown and Brian Burns might be able to get pressure on Kirk Cousins at some points during the game, but overall, I have a very hard time seeing how the Panthers will be able to stop the Vikings aerial attack.

I’m looking for the Vikings offense to show up in a big way this Sunday as they cannot afford to risk going 0-4 to start their season. I’ll take the Vikings team total over 24.5 (-105) for a 1% play. Not all markets have opened up their alternate team totals early in the week, but Caesar’s is showing over 27.5 at +140. I would look back at this market on Sunday morning, especially if the game total drops any further. I think the Vikings are a great play this week and am reserving another unit to deploy on an alternate total.

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