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Sunday Scaries: The Week 4 bets you should avoid

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We’ve stumbled into another scary Sunday.

Every week I bet ugly lines and, usually, bad games. At the end of each slideshow I’ll give you my picks because… I don’t have anything to lose. Well, so far, I’m winning 63 percent of my bets.

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Still, there will always be a number of games I’ll tell you to stay away from.

First — definitely stay away from the Pittsburgh and Tennessee game, if you’re duped into betting it. Both teams received an unexpected bye today after 18 Titan staff members and players tested positive for coronavirus. New England and KC have postponed their game due to team infections as well.

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With 28 other teams in action, here are the games you should avoid.

Browns @ Cowboys (-4.5)

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The number scares me here.

I would argue that the Cowboys (1-2) with quarterback Dak Prescott are the better team in this matchup. But Dallas is 0-3 against the spread. Vegas may be inflating the value of America’s team, as oddsmakers tend to do early in the season. I really like the Cowboys to beat Baker Mayfield and the Brown, but betting a number between a touchdown and field goal can be tricky — especially when every Cowboy game has been decided by seven points or less. Because of the number, I’d stay away.

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Vikings @ Texans (-4)

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These 2019 playoff teams suck. Both are 0-3 heading into week four and could basically end their season’s playoff hopes with a loss today. The only team in the NFL to go 0-4 and make the playoffs was the 1992 San Diego Chargers.

So who can you trust in this game? Kirk Cousins who has thrown six picks in three weeks? Or a Texans defense that’s been bulldozed in its first three games? Both teams are bad against the spread, too. The Texans and QB Deshaun Watson are 0-3 ATS and the Vikings are not much better with a 1-2 record ATS. This is not a bet I’d be confident locking in.

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 Ravens @ Washington Football Team (+13.5)

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This is the largest spread of the season so far.

Yes, this game is a mismatch between one of the best and worst teams in the league, but are you really comfortable laying 13.5 points in this one? The Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh are coming off a short week after losing to the Chiefs on Monday night football. Washington is 1-2 against the spread and looking worse as the weeks go on. Despite expectations that this game is going to be a blowout, I wouldn’t be shocked if Ron Rivera’s team kept it close(ish). You should stay away from a number as big as this one.

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Eagles @ 49ers (-7)

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When the NFL season schedule dropped this summer, NBC Sports executives must’ve been giddy at the prospect of two NFC title contenders in Week 4. An injured Niners ballclub versus a winless Eagles team is probably not what the suits, or NFL fans, hoped for.

You will avoid watching this primetime garbage and I’d say avoid betting this game too. San Fran has wins over two of the worst teams in the league. With Nick Mullens at QB, do you trust the Niners to win by a touchdown or more for the third week in a row? On the other side of the ball, what makes you think the 0-2-1 Eagles and a struggling Carson Wentz, coming off a tie with Cincinnati, will suddenly click on offense?

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There are better games to put your money on than this one.

If you can’t resist...

As I always say, these are bad games and they’re even worse to bet. But if you really can’t resist, here’s who I like this week.

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Last Sunday, I went 2-2, but I’m 7-4 on the season betting games I tell you to avoid.

  • I hate myself for doing this, but I’m going to pick the Cowboys to cover here. I still detest this line, but Dallas is simply the better team. They’ll prove that today with a touchdown win over the Browns.
  • I took Houston (+4) last Sunday so I really should stay away from them this week… But I won’t. With respect to the Texans, they have played one of the toughest schedules in the league through three weeks facing the Chiefs, Ravens, then Steelers. Plus the Vikings could not practice for two days this week as they awaited COVID test results. That time off will show during the game. I think Deshaun Watson leads his team to their first win today. I’ll take Houston to cover at home in front of their fans. 
  • In 2019, Baltimore lost their only two games in weeks three and four. That won’t happen again this year. I like the Ravens to win big and cover.
  • I did not take the Eagles last week and I won’t take them this week. Philly has fallen. Niners to win and cover.

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