Week 4 of the NFL season gets underway on Thursday night when the Miami Dolphins head to Cincinnati to meet the Bengals. The market has been moving the betting line on that game ahead of kickoff, but it's not the only game that has seen some notable movement. Let's take a look at how some lines across the league have moved since they were first released on Sunday night.
Bengals now favored by over a field goal
The Miami Dolphins are 3-0 to open their season. They have outright victories over the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills as a betting underdog. The Dolphins are one of just two 3-0 teams in the league as we enter Week 4. Despite that, they're an underdog on Thursday night and the market has been moving against them all week.
Miami originally opened as a 2-point road underdog against the Bengals. However, as the week has progressed, the market has been moving in one direction. Currently, Cincinnati is a 3.5-point favorite at home. The line has gotten as high as four points earlier this week, but has bounced back down a little.
This is not an ideal spot for the Dolphins. They've played back-to-back thrillers against the Ravens and Bills. Last week's game against Buffalo was played in 90-degree heat and came down to the wire. Of course, there's also the fact that Tua Tagovailoa is banged up, though he's expected to play. On top of all of that, their week's schedule was a bit wonky due to the hurricane in Florida.
Cincinnati got their first win of the season last week against the New York Jets. This week, they have a chance to get to 2-2. That makes a world of difference compared to 1-3. The Bengals have the advantage this week in terms of situation, and the market realizes that.
Is there worry with the Chargers?
The Los Angeles Chargers were a popular hyped team this offseason for many, including myself. They started the season with a win over the Raiders then followed that up with a close loss against the Chiefs. Those two results weren't worrying. However, things have not been good since then.
Justin Herbert fractured his rib cartilage late in the game against the Chiefs. He played through the pain last week, but it was obvious it impacted him as the Chargers were non-competitive in a 38-10 loss to the Jaguars. I'm sure Herbert will continue to play, but how much of an impact will it have on his performance? And how long will we see a downgraded version of Herbert?
Herbert isn't the only key Chargers player dealing with injury. Keenan Allen hasn't played since Week 1, though it appears he's on track to return this week. However, two other extremely important members of the team are out long term with injuries. Rashawn Slater is out for the season after tearing his bicep. Joey Bosa landed on IR after having surgery to repair a groin injury.
The Chargers opened the week as a 7-point road favorite against the winless Houston Texans. Quickly, that number moved. Los Angeles got down to as low as a 4.5-point favorite. Currently at BetMGM, the Chargers are 5-point favorites. The total for the game opened at 45.5-points, but has dropped to 44.
The vibes around the Chargers aren't great now. A lot of their most important players are either recovering from injury, playing injured or will miss multiple weeks due to injury. Can Los Angeles survive this stretch or will it be another promising season that fails to meet expectations? The market clearly isn't sold on Los Angeles right now.
Movement around the key number of three
If you trust the oddsmakers, expect a lot of close games and thrilling finishes this weekend. Of the 16 games on the Week 4 NFL slate, 12 of them have spreads of 3.5-points or lower. Let's take a look at how the market has moved around these toss-up games this week.
Buffalo opened as a 3.5-point favorite against Baltimore. That number has been bouncing between 3 and 3.5 all week, but currently, the Ravens are 3-point home underdogs. The total in that game is down 3.5 points from the opening number of 54.5.
The Cleveland Browns opened as 3-point road favorites against the Atlanta Falcons. Quickly, that number moved in favor of the home team. Currently, Cleveland is just a 1-point favorite.
In the London game on Sunday, the Vikings opened as 2.5-point favorites against the Saints. That line has not moved despite reports that Jameis Winston's status is in question.
Tennessee opened as a 3.5-point road underdog against the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams got their first win last week. The number has been jumping between 3 and 3.5 all week, though the hook has been present for most of the week.
Zach Wilson will make his season debut for the Jets this weekend in Pittsburgh. The Steelers opened as a 3.5-point home favorite. That number went up to four, then dropped to three when Robert Saleh announced Wilson was the starter. However, it's come back up to the opening number now. Pittsburgh is a 3.5-point favorite, though there's -115 juice on the Jets side.
Dallas opened as a 3-point favorite against the Washington Commanders. Though we have seen 3.5 a few times this week, it's been pretty steadily at three points all week.
It's been a similar situation for the Giants-Bears game. The Giants opened as 3-point favorites, we've seen 3.5 flash a few times, but the spread remains at three.
The matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers opened as a pick'em, but Carolina is now a 2-point home favorite. Kyler Murray is 2-0 in the NFL against Baker Mayfield, his former Oklahoma teammate.
Las Vegas opened as a 1-point favorite against the Denver Broncos. However, movement has been one-way and currently the Raiders are a 2.5-point favorite.
The Kansas City Chiefs opened as 2-point favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The line has moved slightly in favor of the Buccaneers, as they are now just 1.5-point underdogs. The total is down to 45 from the opener of 47.5-points.
The San Francisco 49ers opened as a 1.5-point favorite against the Los Angeles Rams. That number got up to 2.5-points at times earlier in the week, but has come back down to the opening number.