Football Five: Which Teams Are Covering The Spread As NFL Week 5 Approaches?

Bettors may be looking at the Eagles’ odds of +7 vs. the Steelers. But as NFL Week Five arrives, the Birds and Giants are not winning against the spread.

The Philadelphia Eagles finally have some winning momentum on their side. The Birds picked up their first victory of the 2020 NFL season with a 25-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

From an NJ sports betting perspective, Philly bettors cashed in big time as the Eagles went off as 9-point underdogs. And the moneyline paid out, too. And it’s a big change from the previous three weeks.

Now that most teams have played four games, this is a good time to look at which teams are faring the best against the spread.

The New York Giants and Jets are two teams you won’t see on this list, as both franchises are still seeking that first win.

Time to take a closer look at the latest NFL odds with the Football Five heading into Week Five.

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Eagles, Giants and Jets Week 5 odds

The Philadelphia Eagles are traveling to Pittsburgh for a game against the Steelers.

The Birds opened as a surprising +7 against the host Steelers after upending the defending NFC champion 49ers. The Eagles defense did its part with three turnovers that led to 17 total points in a pivotal victory.

But that was last week.

FanDuel Sportsbook added a significant half point to the Eagles line on Tuesday, moving the line to 7.5. It was back to 7 as of Wednesday morning.

That extra half point is important for any Eagles backer.

Despite losing 17-9 to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the Giants actually covered the spread and showed a stout defense.

But offensively, they haven’t scored a touchdown since Week Two. That should change against the Dallas Cowboys, who were scorched for 49 points against the Cleveland Browns. The visiting G-Men are getting 10 points at DraftKings Sportsbook, while FanDuel has the line at 9.5.

The Jets played with heart in last week’s Thursday Night Football game before falling to 0-4 with a 37-28 loss to the Denver Broncos.

A dropped pass by tight end Chris Herndon on the final drive probably prevented victory.

But Jets bettors jumped on a +7.5 number at FanDuel Sportsbook against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday morning. That line quickly dropped to 6.5 at the two books. Fox Bet still had the Jets +7  on Wednesday morning.

Which NFL teams are beating the spread?

Bettors like to know who is covering the number.

Here are top teams and their upcoming schedule compiled by NJ Gambling Sites. Results are determined by DraftKings odds at game time.

Odds for the upcoming week are from DraftKings and FanDuel unless otherwise noted.

Cincinnati Bengals, 4-0

Yes, sir, this 2-12 team from last year is climbing upward with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. The Bengals are +13.5 against the high-flying Baltimore Ravens this week. You know expectations are high when the bookmakers gave the Jacksonville Jaguars three points when Cincinnati is entering Sunday’s game winless. The Bengals then prevailed 33-25.

Seattle Seahawks, 4-0

As partially expected, this is an excellent team. Seattle is -7 against the visiting Minnesota Vikings this week. Closest calls to not covering?

First, they stopped Cam Newton on the 1-yard line to preserve a five-point lead on the final play. The Seahawks were 4.5-point favorites to the New England Patriots. They provided a gift to bettors the next week in a 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys, again giving 4.5. They were losing 31-30 late and had third down from the Dallas 29.

Go for the field goal, right? Nope.

Quarterback Russell Wilson threw deep, secured a touchdown and Seattle -4.5 bettors rejoiced.

Green Bay Packers, 4-0

Green Bay is 4-0 against the spread and in the standings. The system is clicking with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and whoever steps up plays a role. The Packers have bye week.

Buffalo Bills, 3-0-1

The Bills are the real deal this year. They stole the push at -3 in a miraculous late-second win over the Rams in Week Three. And they beat a good Las Vegas Raiders team on Sunday. The Bills are scheduled to play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. However, there is no early line, as last week’s  Titans game against the Steelers was postponed due to several players testing positive for COVID-19.

Indianapolis Colts 3-1

Good defense is helping Indy overcome a Week One setback to Jacksonville. Last Sunday, the Colts stifled the previously undefeated Chicago Bears, 19-11. Now the Colts are getting ready to invade Cleveland and are giving up  1.5 at FanDuel and -2  at DraftKings. This one will pit one of the NFL’s top defenses against a red-hot Browns offense. Can’t wait for this one.

Having no luck against the spread

Only the Jets and Houston Texans are winless against the spread.

If the Jets show the same effort against Arizona that they did against Denver, they should at least cover the number.

The Texans will likely be motivated by Monday’s coaching change. Bill O’Brien is out. Romeo Crennel is in as an interim head coach. And the players won’t feel safe. Houston is giving six points to the Jaguars.

Browns attracting betting attention

The Cleveland Browns’ 49-38 over the Dallas Cowboys was a coming-of-age, get-over-the-hump triumph.

As they prepare to host the Indianapolis Colts, the Browns have cleared a big hurdle. They have won three straight and gone to 3-1 on the moneyline, 2-2 on the spread.

Sunday’s victory recertified the Browns as a playoff contender instead of the underachieving group from last year. Remember that Cleveland improved to 7-8-1 under quarterback Baker Mayfield two years ago. And then they acquired playmaker Odell Beckham Jr. at wide receiver. Playoff expectations came, but the combo did not click last season as the Browns went 6-10.

Sunday, the combo worked. In his finest game as a Brown, Beckham scored three times. The last was pure beauty as he helped Cleveland protect a lead that had shriveled from 41-14 to 41-38 late in the final quarter.

Beckham took an end-around handoff, circled wide to avoid being tackled in the backfield and stormed upfield for a 50-yard score. First down, touchdown, ballgame.

The Browns may have blown the entire lead if they had to punt there. Instead, they found the putaway play that was lacking the last two years. This was an emotional step forward.

The Browns also surpassed 30 points for the third straight week. That has not happened in 50 years.

The line on Justin Herbert + LA Chargers

Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert looked good for the Los Angeles Chargers in their 38-31 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The final score resulted in a push on the official line.  The Chargers had a 24-7 lead, but a mistake at the end of the first half cost them.

They got the ball back on a punt with 50 seconds to go at their own nine. Rather than kneel on the ball and take a 17-point lead into the locker room, the Chargers decided to run a play.

The running play resulted in a fumble. Tampa Bay recovered the ball and scored just before intermission. That changed the momentum. If a team runs the ball into the line, it is essentially running out the clock anyway. Why not kneel there?

Regardless, you can trust Herbert going forward.

NFL betting trend heading into Week 5

The prolific offensive records through the first four weeks are telling us something. Pass defenders are at least a couple of steps behind the receivers.

Keep this in mind going forward regarding the totals, or over/under,  in NFL games. Same goes with the enticing props like a player to produce certain numbers offensively and his team to win.

Take note that there is one fewer game this week, as the Packers and Detroit Lions are off.

AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

NFL Week 5 Odds: Philadelphia Eagles Fly Into First Place Before Steelers Battle

The Philadelphia Eagles finally have a win, and the team is seeking another in NFL Week Five. They enter the Eagles-Steelers game as a 7-point underdog.

News flash: The previously winless Philadelphia Eagles now sit atop the NFC East with a 1-2-1 record.

Up next is a Keystone State battle at the 3-0 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday (1 p.m. kickoff).

By the way, the Birds are the only NFL team leading a division with just one win. The other seven first-place squads, including the Steelers, all have at least three victories apiece.

The perceived weakness of the NFC East is reflected in a surprising opening NJ sports betting line. DraftKings Sportsbook installed Pittsburgh as a 7-point favorite. Same deal with FanDuel.

Looking at NFL Week Five odds as a whole, all three teams with Garden State ties opened the week getting a minimum of seven points.

NFL Week 5 odds updated

Below are the odds for NFL Week Five from the top NJ sportsbooks as of 9 a.m. EST Oct. 6.

NFL Week 5DraftKingsFanDuel Fox Bet
Buccaneers
Bears
-5.5
44
-5.5
44
-5
44
Panthers
Falcons
OTB+3.5
54
OTB
Bills
Titans
OTBOTBOTB
Raiders
Chiefs
+12
56.5
+12.5
55.5
+12.5
55.5
Cardinals
Jets
-6.5
47.5
-6.5
47.5
-7
48
Eagles
Steelers
+7
45
+7.5
44.5
+7
45
Rams
Washington
-9
45.5
-8.5
45.5
-8.5
45.5
Bengals
Ravens
+13.5
51
+13.5
51.5
+13.5
51
Jaguars
Texans
+6
54
+6
54.5
+6.5
54.5
Dolphins
49ers
OTB+8.5
OTB
OTB
Colts
Browns
-3
47.5
-2.5
47.5
-3
7.5
Giants
Cowboys
+9.5
54
+9.5
54
+9.5
54.5
Broncos
Patriots
OTBOTBOTB
Vikings
Seahawks
+7
57.5
+7
57.5
+8
58
Chargers
Saints
+8
52
+7.5
52
+8
52.5

Finding value in early Eagles odds

Getting back to the Eagles-Steelers line, the NFL betting odds came out after the Birds stunned the San Francisco 49ers 25-20 on Sunday Night Football.

Philly went off as a 7- to 9-point underdog across the major NJ sportsbooks.

In terms of this week’s game, the Eagles moved to +7.5 on Monday morning at FanDuel Sportsbook and +285 on the moneyline.

As of this afternoon, they are +245 on the DraftKings moneyline, and the over-under is 45.

This line is a big invitation to Eagles bettors who may want to get some early value and see where the spread goes.

Keystone State bragging rights

The rare battle of Pennsylvania only takes place once every four years (unless the two teams happen to meet in the Super Bowl). The game has additional intrigue this week.

The undefeated Steelers did not play Sunday. Their game against the Tennessee Titans was postponed until Oct. 25 after several Titans players tested positive for COVID-19.

Bettors can view this scenario as the Steelers being rested or being rusty.

As a result of the schedule change, this will be Pittsburgh’s third consecutive home game.

They defeated the Denver Broncos 26-21 as a 7.5-point favorite in Week Two and followed it up by toppling the Houston Texans 28-21 while giving three points. The Steelers are 2-1 against the spread.

The Eagles, meanwhile, are 1 -3 against the number.

Eagles vs. Steelers: So, how does this game shape up?

Here is a  look at the intangibles.

The Eagles come off an inspiring victory against the defending NFC champion 49ers. The win is the result of a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns ignited by the defense.

After Malik Johnson recovered a fumble for the Eagles, quarterback Carson Wentz tossed a 42-yard touchdown pass to Travis Fulgham. He was signed off the practice squad on Saturday.

The second was a pick-six by Alex Singleton on the ensuing possession. A 14 -11 deficit had become a 25-14 lead.

The game wasn’t locked away until the final play. A desperation heave by backup 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard bounced among several hands in the end zone before falling incomplete.

The Philadelphia effort revealed some character. A second-quarter interception by Rodney McLeod saved at least three points. The fourth-quarter turnovers led to 14 more. Five sacks helped, too.

Even though San Francisco dominated the game in total yards, 417-267, Philadelphia’s defense gave the team a chance to pull this out.

Eagles + NJ sports betting action

Jumping ahead to this week’s game, the Eagles are likely to gain strong betting action.

Their betting support often increased substantially after a win last season.

The Eagles were even backed pretty well in the 49ers game, despite entering with no victories.

FanDuel reported Sunday that 72% of its moneyline bets and 58% of the handle rode with the Eagles.

That’s an unusually high percentage of moneyline bets for a 9-point underdog. The spread bets were evenly split, while the over 45 at FanDuel was a push.

Bettors were ready for the Eagles to turn the corner against the banged-up 49ers. They may be more supportive as a result of this game.

A playoff team from last year getting a touchdown?

Philadelphia bettors just cashed tickets on the exact same wager.

Steelers have a talented offense

Philadelphia has given up five touchdowns to tight ends this season, one of the highest totals in the league. Sunday night, 49ers tight end George Kittle returned from injury and caught an amazing 15 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown.

This brings a prop spotlight to Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald of the Steelers. Ebron caught five passes and scored in Week Three against the Houston Texans. He was targeted a healthy seven times.

McDonald had three catches. Watch both players for yardage or scoring props.

Pittsburgh is enjoying a fine start after missing the playoffs with an  8-8 record last year.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues to rebound from a shoulder injury that shelved him last year. He has shown strong game management, hurling seven touchdowns against only one interception.

Roethlisberger has always enjoyed the luxury of speedy receivers, and JuJu Smith-Schuster is emerging as a star this season. James Washington and Chase Claypool are the other deep threats.

James Conner gives the Steelers offense a strong slashing runner in the backfield. Pittsburgh is one of the league’s more disciplined teams.

With many offensive weapons, the Eagles defense will need to step up once again. Wentz and crew will need to do their part, too.

And as far as Keystone bragging rights go, the Eagles dominated the last matchup (back in 2016), 34-3.

AP Photo/Scot Tucker

Philadelphia Eagles Add DraftKings To Growing List Of Betting Partnerships

The Philadelphia Eagles joined forces with DraftKings, and the result is a new DraftKings Field Club at Lincoln Financial Stadium.

The Philadelphia Eagles have scored again, annexing a second deal with a major sportsbook operator during the young NFL season.

On Thursday, the Eagles announced a multiyear deal making DraftKings their official daily fantasy sports and sports betting partner.

This follows an earlier agreement announced with Fox Bet for a branded interactive studio at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles-DraftKings deal underscores a major trend sweeping sports and gambling companies.

Eagles-DraftKings partnership details

Consistent components of this DraftKings-Eagles deal include naming rights, hospitality, private club space, branding and prizes awarded to fans through a weekly game.

Ezra Kucharz, the chief business officer for DraftKings, lauded the arrangement.

“Philadelphia is home to some of the most passionate football fans, and we could not be more excited to join forces with the Eagles,” he said.

“Be it fans at home, on the DraftKings mobile app or inside Lincoln Financial Field, we look forward to introducing Eagles fans and DraftKings customers alike to an all-encompassing DraftKings experience.”

A big part of the deal is a new DraftKings Field Club at the Linc. The premium lounge will offer “a true VIP experience and exclusive game day access.”

The DraftKings club will include an on-field viewing area in the north end zone, hospitality arrangements in the private club space and other benefits.

Lincoln Financial Field is closed to the public, with no fans allowed at Eagles games this year. This means the new DraftKings Field Club won’t open until the fan experience returns to the Linc, likely in 2021.

DraftKings branding will also be integrated throughout several of the Eagles’ social media channels and digital assets, including practice livestreams, in-game branding, video boards and signage at Lincoln Financial Field.

DraftKings will also have a strong branding presence on Eagles-affiliated broadcasts.

“Our partnership with DraftKings presents many new and exciting opportunities that will help drive the fan experience at Lincoln Financial Field to the next level,” said Catherine Carlson, senior vice president of revenue and strategy for the Eagles.

“DraftKings has established itself as an emerging leader in the sports and entertainment space, with an already strong presence in Philadelphia.”

Free-to-play game for Eagles fans

For fans and customers, there is one other weekly benefit.

Eagles Stat Showdown, a new free-to-play game via DraftKings, will give fans the opportunity to win weekly prizes throughout the NFL season.

In the game, fans play for a shot at $500.

The free Eagles game consists of eight questions that must be answered correctly. A bonus question gives double points.

If the game is played every week, the contestant has a chance at the $5,000 grand prize at the end of the season.

More information about the free-to-play game is available on the DraftKings website.

NFL teams, sportsbooks and an emerging trend

The Eagles are part of a long line of teams and leagues reaching working relationships with multiple sportsbook operators.

Partnerships between professional sports teams and sportsbook operators have grown rapidly during the second half of 2020.

The PGA Tour made news this summer with major marketing agreements involving two NJ online sportsbooks, DraftKings and FanDuel.

NFL teams, one by one, are following with marketing partnerships of their own. They’re taking unique additional steps of engaging fans in contests, not merely advertising to them.

The partnerships include:

Fox Bet’s deal with the Eagles includes a similar presence at the Linc.

Why all the partnerships of late? It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.

It’s good for the betting industry and professional sports leagues to have platforms for cross-promotion. And of course, it’s money.

Football is ideal for this arrangement, containing numerous interactive areas such as tailgate parties as well as pregame, halftime and postgame shows.

And there are the actual games, too, in which sportsbooks and teams can connect with customers.

Diavata / Dreamstime.com

Bargain Hunting: NFL Week 4 Odds Boosts Include An Eagles-49ers Free Bet

Philadelphia Eagles bettors frustrated by the team’s 0-2-1 are desperate for a win, and Fox Bet may have just the solution for the San Francisco 49ers game.

Ready to go shopping?

Bargain hunting is half the thrill of NFL betting and a core part of one’s budgeting.

In the NJ sports betting world, sportsbooks compete for your business the way credit card companies do. Odds boosts, or special offers, are designed to spike wagering activity and recruit new business.

When bettors find offers that play into their feelings about the games, they obtain value.

Here’s a look at NFL Week Four odds boosts.

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Fox Bet rolls out can’t-lose Eagles offer

For once, the Philadelphia Eagles can’t lose, even as 7-point underdogs to the San Francisco 49ers.

Really.

This Fox Bet NJ offer entitles new and existing customers to get their money back as a free bet. Yep, even if the Eagles lose on Sunday.

Here are the basics:

  • The maximum wager is $50.
  • Offer applies only to an Eagles moneyline wager.
  • No opt-in necessary.
  • Only one bet per customer.

This is one method bettors like to use to pad their bankrolls. Free bets have become a significant part of NJ sports betting offers.

Compile them, use them wisely and try to turn a freebie into a nice wagering hit.

Scoring with Alvin Kamara + Nick Chubb

What are the chances Alvin Kamara and Nick Chubb each score a touchdown this week?

Before answering that question, Fox Bet has boosted the player prop up to +300 from +200.

This one is tempting, because Chubb is a force for the new-look Cleveland Browns offense. His team is facing a Dallas Cowboys defense that has given up 77 points in its last two games.

Kamara is the New Orleans Saints offense. He handles the ball so often that he’s a good bet to score — especially against the Detroit Lions

Why You Like It: The boost from +200 to +300 makes this one worth considering. The players simply need to score a touchdown. The final scores are irrelevant.

Why You Sweat It: Chubb splits carries with Kareem Hunt. And while he’s a powerful back, Cleveland does not block well for him on the goal line. Hunt, who is more elusive and hits the line a little faster, gains a considerable share of carries near the end zone.

That cuts into Chubb’s action.

Chubb scored twice last week against Washington, on runs of 16 and 20 yards. That’s the area of the field bettors generally need him to score from.

More NFL odds boosts from Fox Bet

Sunday’s game between the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots is a biggie.

So here’s a Fox Bet odds boost worth pondering.

Will Patrick Mahomes throw three touchdowns and his Chiefs beat the Pats? It has been upgraded to +200.

Then there is the Monday Night Football game.

Will the 3-0 Green Bay Packers to win every quarter against the 0-3 Atlanta Falcons?

It has been hiked to +850. It’s tough for any team to sweep all four quarters, but it happens.

DraftKings Sportsbook + vig busters

Any offers that boost the price by 10% or more remove the vig. This is the price paid to the books for the privilege of handling your action.

Here’s a good one from DraftKings Sportsbook if you like the Seattle Seahawks, Saints and Tampa Bay Bucs to triumph on Sunday. Hit all three, and it’s boosted from +168 to +210.

That’s a significant hike over general market odds for this offer, if that package appeals to you.

Seattle visits the Miami Dolphins. Tampa Bay hosts the Los Angeles Chargers, and New Orleans visits the Detroit Lions.

Here’s another odds boost that has taken a bet from unplayable to playable.

Quarterbacks Russell Wilson of Seattle and Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans each throwing two touchdowns has been boosted from -147 to -115.

Wilson is usually a lock for two scores. Watson often is iffy, but he does have a porous Minnesota Vikings defense in front of him in Week Four.

FanDuel Sportsbook + alternate line bonanza

This one is fun.

FanDuel Sportsbook changes and essentially teases the lines on three games by about a touchdown each in the bettor’s favor. And it boosts the odds to +170.

How would you like the Patriots at +14.5 against the Chiefs, or the Baltimore Ravens only -5.5 against the Washington Football Team? How does the Packers at +0.5 against the Falcons sound?

You have to hit them all in order for this bet to pay out, but this provides bettors about an extra touchdown on all three teams.

Alternate lines change prices. Gamblers are paying for the better odds, but when the price is then boosted, a player obtains value.

In a smaller version of this format, the Eagles get 8.5 against the 49ers, the Chiefs give 5.5 to the Patriots and the Buffalo Bills give the Las Vegas Raiders -2.5.

This is a minor tweak, but the tinker in the line boosts the payout from +405 to +450.

FanDuel also has a super boost regarding the Baltimore-Washington game on Sunday.

The Ravens are giving 12.5 rather than the posted -14.

Patrons who take them and hit will get +110 rather than the original -115.

There’s a premium of 25 base points in that formula. Rather than paying the book 15% to take the bet, gamblers are getting 10%.

If you like the Ravens to cover that number, this is an excellent wager.

Listen to these words: BetMGM has a free-to-play offer

Here is something risk-free.

BetMGM sportsbook has a promotion that issues free bets for patrons who can predict the first touchdown scorer of three specified games.

Here’s the best part: There is no cost to enter.

This is how it works:

  • BetMGM will feature three games in its Pick 3 First TD Challenge every week.
  • Pick one correctly and you receive $5 in free bets.
  • Two correct predictions equal $10 in free bets.
  • Hit all three and that’s $100 freebies.
  • The free bets can then be redeemed via online or mobile and must be used as a single bet within seven days of being credited to your account.

That will usually be within 24 hours of the correct selections. So figure you will be playing them in the following week’s games.

Of course, free bets cannot be redeemed for cash.

Call it a long shot with no risk.

Sometimes risk-free NFL betting can be a win-win.

AP Photo/Chris Szagola

Football Five: It’s Time To Bet With Your Head, Not Your Heart, As NFL Week 4 Dawns

It’s NFL Week Four, and with the Jets and Giants at 0-3 and the Eagles nabbing a tie, it’s time for NJ sports betting fans to rethink their home-team bets.

The underdogs toppled the favorites 8-7-1, according to game-time spreads in a wacky and wonderful leadup to NFL Week Four.

With NFL Week Four odds showing heavy favorites for a select few and a Steelers-Titans game that is off the board at most NJ online sportsbooks due to COVID-19 concerns, it’s good to look back at the previous week for lessons learned.

So as Week Four of the NFL dawns, here is your Football Five.

1. Team sentiment vs. gambling reality

New Jersey online bettors are passionate about their local teams, but the reality isn’t so forgiving right now.

The New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets are a combined 0-6 against the spread through three weeks.

And no team has a win. It’s a combined zero for September for all three. Bettors will need to shelve sentiment and assess games strictly by numbers.

What do the lines say this week?

The Eagles get nearly a touchdown at DraftKings Sportsbook when they visit the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants receive almost two TDs when they invade the Los Angeles Rams.

And the Jets get less than a field goal in a Thursday home game against the Denver Broncos in which they have a reasonable chance to win. The Broncos are 0-3 as well.

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2. Think over before under in NFL Week 4

Over-under bettors: The offense is up in the NFL over the past years. In fact, there were more points scored in the first two weeks of this year than in the first two of any of the last 50 years.

The average total per game through Week Two was 50, and it will rise slightly after Week Three. Fully half of the schedule — eight games — exceeded 50 points, and two more were at 49.

One major reason is receivers shaking loose for long touchdown passes. The receivers are ahead of the defenders right now. That led to some exciting shootouts.

For instance, the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys combined for 69 in a 38-31 Seattle victory. Seattle visits the Miami Dolphins this week and may be without injured star runner Chris Carson.

The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints supplied 67 in an excellent 37-30 shootout won by the Packers. Green Bay, 3-0, hosts the winless Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football in NFL Week Four.

And surprise, surprise, the Pack is the favorite with a total of 57.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook.

There were 56 points scored when the Chicago Bears eked out a 30-26 triumph over the Falcons. Chicago, 3-0, hosts the 2-1 Indianapolis Colts.

Bottom line, sportsbooks like offensive explosions, which bring more special bets. They include yardage totals and the score-and-win concept of a player to notch a TD and his team to win.

3. Betting bust: Atlanta Falcons fumble basic football

The Atlanta Falcons remain the hard-luck team of the NFL. Or maybe hard-headed.

The loss to the Bears gave them two straight weeks of having a 98%-win probability in the fourth quarter and losing, according to NextGen stats. They have scored 90 points in three weeks but are winless.

Atrocious play-calling helped them blow a 26-10 lead with 10 minutes remaining Sunday.

Atlanta had three possessions to work some clock. But veteran quarterback Matt Ryan threw deep incomplete passes that stopped the clock. Atlanta did not secure a single first down when it had the ball and leads of 26-10, 26-16 and 26-23.

How do you score 26 points and then not register a single first down in the fourth quarter?

Even if Ryan had run the ball three times in those third-down situations, he would have burned two more minutes of time and at least denied Chicago one possession.

Atlanta also missed an extra point and a field goal. This team has forgotten how to win, which may soon cost coach Dan Quinn his job.

It will be tough to bet the Falcons with confidence in the short term. Think about that before you finalize your bet slip in Week Four.

4. Betting trust? Bengals are 3-0 vs. the number

We talked about new quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert last week.

While Herbert scuffled and his Los Angeles Chargers lost to the Carolina Panthers as six-point favorites, Burrow delivered again for Cincinnati.

Burrow passed another test, guiding his team to a 23-23 tie against the Eagles as six-point dogs. The number was pounded to +4.5 by game time amid Cincinnati betting support.

The winless Bengals are 3-0 against the spread but may be a secret no more. They are “rewarded” with a tougher number this week. They opened as a -3 favorite for the first time this year in hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A favored winless team against a team that has a victory? Go figure.

5. First really bad call of the year

Will the Rams be angry this week against the Giants? They should be after being flagged for a highly questionable pass interference call after seemingly stopping the Buffalo Bills’ last-ditch pass to the end zone.

Without a penalty, the game would have ended in a Rams victory, after they rallied from a 28-3 deficit.

With the penalty, Buffalo got the first down and a game winner with just seconds to go in the game.

As we head into NFL Week Four, be careful about the bad calls that could change a game — and flip the script.

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

NFL Week 4 Odds: Flightless Eagles Face A Tough Fight Against 2-1 Niners

NFL Week 4 odds at New Jersey sportsbooks don’t have a lot of faith in the Eagles or the NFC East. Eagles vs. 49ers odds put the injured Niners on top.

No victory, no problem. The Philadelphia Eagles played a tie Sunday and moved up in the standings. In fact, the NFC East continues to underachieve as NFL Week Four dawns for an entire division under .500.

But NFL Week Four odds aren’t looking good for most of New Jersey’s favorite teams.

NFL Week 4 odds (updated)

The odds for NFL Week Four below are from the top NJ sportsbooks as of 5 p.m. EST Sept. 28.

NFL Week 4DraftKingsFanDuel Fox Bet
Broncos
NY Jets
-2.5
40
-3
39.5
-3
40
Seahawks
Dolphins
-6.5
54
-6.5
54
-6.5
54.5
Browns
Cowboys
56
-4.5
56
-4.5
56.5
-5.5
Colts
Bears
-2.5
45
-2.5
44.5
-3
45
Chargers
Buccaneers
45
-7.5
45
-7.5
45
-7.5
Cardinals
Panthers
-3.5
52
-3.5
51.5
-3.5
52
Steelers
Titans
-1
47.5
-1
47.5
-2
47
Saints
Lions
-4.5
54
-4.5
54.5
-4.5
OTB
Vikings
Texans
54.5
-3.5
54.5
-3.5
54.5
-4
Jaguars
Bengals
47.5
-3
47.5
-3
48
-3
Ravens
Washington
-13.5
OTB
-13.5
OTB
-13
OTB
NY Giants
LA Rams
47.5
-13
47.5
-12.5
47
-12
Bills
Raiders
-3
52.5
-3
51.5
-3
52.5
Patriots
Chiefs
OTB
-7
OTB
-7
OTB
-6.5
Eagles
49ers
45
-6.5
45
-6.5
45.5
-6.5
Falcons
Packers
58
-7
OTB
-7
57.5
-7

NFC East or NFC Least?

The Eagles will visit the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night after an unusual and dubious feat in Week Three.

They failed to triumph as a six-point home favorite across New Jersey online sportsbooks, playing a 23-23 tie with the winless Cincinnati Bengals. Yet they still picked up ground against every team in the NFC East. Or NFC Least.

How did that happen? No team in the NFC East won. None even covered the spread. A tie was the gold standard in this division for Week Three. And thus the Eagles moved up.

They are 0-2-1 and have a tough assignment this week. They play the 2-1 Niners with initial DraftKings odds of +6. A win would jump-start their season, but the betting faithful are getting restless.

FanDuel Sportsbook reported that the Eagles had received 70% of the bets against the Bengals.

NFL Week 4 odds: Let’s break down Eagles-Niners

We have good news and bad news for Eagles fans in New Jersey.

The good news

The Eagles face an injury-riddled team. The Niners lacked a slew of star players Sunday, yet still managed to crush the host New York Giants 36-9.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who made the initial line go to San Francisco -4.5 amid rumors he would play, eventually sat out and the spread went to -3 at kickoff.

If he returns against the Eagles, will he put all of his weight down with confidence? He is battling a high-ankle sprain. That can take weeks to heal properly.

A QB can make some throws in the pocket but will be hesitant to scramble on a bad ankle.

The 49ers may elect to rest him and ride out this difficult stretch, hoping to get Garoppolo back later in the season. If they rush him back now and he gets hurt, they have huge problems.

The bad news

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz, now in his fifth year, was outplayed by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, who was playing in his third NFL game on Sunday.

Burrow threw for 312 yards with no interceptions. Yes, he couldn’t guide the Bengals into the end zone when they could have put the game away late. And yes, Wentz did rally the Eagles to a tying touchdown in the final minute with a nice running play.

But Wentz also threw two interceptions. And this was a Bengals team that was 2-14 last year.

The Eagles still don’t have a back with a 100-yard game this season. They have the second-lowest point total in the entire NFC, with 59 points. They have been outscored by 28 points in three games. Wentz has yet to throw for 300 yards in one game this year.

When will they show fire?

The gray area

Jake Elliott was lined up for a potential game-winning 59-yard field goal late in overtime before the Eagles were flagged for an offensive penalty. They had to punt.

It’s easy to believe the penalty took a victory away from the Eagles, but it was an extremely long kick. If he misses that, the Bengals take over needing one medium-range completed pass to kick a game-winning field goal themselves.

Good signs to take forward

Greg Ward emerged as a receiving threat for the Eagles, corralling a 29-yard touchdown pass just before halftime. He was also targeted 11 times and wound up with 72 yards.

That made it easier for Wentz to look for tight end Zach Ertz 10 times for 70 yards.

Wentz also rushed for 65 yards, a pretty high number.

Miles Sanders provides backfield speed and did churn out 95 yards on 18 carries.

The opponents: 49ers are injured but not out

The 49ers showed in the past two weeks that they have an excellent offensive scheme: good line blocking, few mistakes and strategic play-calling. They used an end-around play to score against the Giants.

The Niners had a backup quarterback in Nick Mullens who threw for 343 yards and no interceptions. That’s why little-known, skill-position players such as Brandon Aiyuk, Jeff Wilson and Jerick McKinnon shredded the Giants. Each scored a touchdown.

Meanwhile, on defense, the 49ers held both the NY Jets and Giants to a grand total of one touchdown in two consecutive games at MetLife Stadium. They have two more wins at the shared home of the Jets and Giants than either of those teams.

The Eagles are 0-3 against the spread, and their games are 2-1 on the over.

The Niners are 2-1 against the spread, and all three of their games have gone over.