NFL Week 4 O/U best bets: Bills offense too hot to fade vs. Texans
We kept our winning ways alive with another 2-1 week on NFL total plays, and we're 7-4 on the season heading into Week 4:
Is this Bills offense a must-bet every week now? After a lousy showing in Week 1, Buffalo has scored a combined 78 points through two weeks against the Dolphins and Washington - which each ranked in the top five in points allowed per drive in 2020 and profiled as elite units coming into this season.
The key has been pass protection. The Steelers got to Josh Allen in Week 1, sacking him three times and forcing two fumbles in one of his worst performances in years. Miami and Washington both thrive on high pressure rates, yet Allen was sacked just once in those two games combined. The Texans rarely blitz and are tied for the fifth-fewest pressures (20) through three weeks, which means the Bills could pass this total on their own.
Games like this historically play out as over affairs, too. Since 1994, there have been 16 contests with a total of 48 and a favorite of at least 15.5 points. Those games went 14-2 to the over, with seven teams scoring 40 points or more on their own. When the margin is this lopsided because of an elite offense on one side, play the over.
Pick: Over 48
This ought to be the last time a Panthers game features a total above 50 this season because this team has the ideal profile of an under cash cow.
Carolina allowed a combined 30 points through three games and has surrendered an NFL-best 191 yards per contest. The results are surprising - and perhaps a bit inflated by weak competition - but this is still a unit loaded with former first-round picks and breakout stars.
On the other side, the Panthers' offense looked listless without star back Christian McCaffrey, and they'll struggle without him against an improved Cowboys front. Don't be swayed by Dallas' scoring explosion on Monday night; both of these offenses will meet their match in this one.
Pick: Under 50.5
Will Carson Wentz play in this game? And, perhaps more importantly, should he? The Colts quarterback played last week on two sprained ankles, and it showed. His completion percentage (51.4%) was the fifth-worst of his career, and it marked only the second game in his career with at least 37 attempts and fewer than 200 yards.
He also finished without a rushing attempt for only the second time in 71 starts, which is perhaps the biggest indication that Wentz isn't right. The Dolphins' defense - which leads the NFL in quarterback hits (19) and ranks second in blitzes (49) - will surely test that limited mobility behind Indianapolis' depleted O-line.
It's not like Miami will take this total over with its offense, either. The Fins have scored the third-fewest points in the league (15 per game), and Jacoby Brissett showed last week why he's a longtime veteran backup - for better and for worse. Defense will win this game, one way or the other.
Pick: Under 43