Bill Belichick is very fond of Rob Gronkowski and went into great detail to sing his deserving praises.
Week 4 is an especially interesting point in the 2016 NFL season. It's the last game for the Patriots without Tom Brady, of course. Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell makes his return after a three-game suspension. The first byes of the year are upon us, which deprives us of the opportunity to marvel at Eagles QB Carson Wentz this weekend. That's a shame.
Most importantly, three weeks of data means we're starting to get a sense of each team's true identity. After a 9-7 showing in Week 3, we're now 30-17-1 on the season -- and in Week 4, we're once again playing favorites.
(Lines courtesy of Bovada.com, except for Bills/Patriots and Seahawks/Jets, both of which were unlisted due to injury questions. In such cases, we use the Las Vegas Westgate Superbook. Pick listed first, with home team in all caps.)
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BENGALS (-7.5) over Dolphins (Over/under: 45)
Cincinnati has averaged fewer than 19 points per game so far this season, which isn't great. Even worse, though, is needing OT to beat the Browns, as was the case for the Dolphins last week. I'm not happy about laying more than a TD here, but I'd rather take that chance than count on Ryan Tannehill and Miami on a short week.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsAaron Doster
Colts (-2.5) over JAGUARS (Over/under: 49)
Apparently it's still early enough in the season for people to believe this Jaguars team is above-average. If Andrew Luck can't lead the Colts to a three-point win over Jacksonville, he might want to consider actually becoming a Civil War general.
PATRIOTS (-4.5) over Bills (Over/under: N/A)
Lesson learned last week: never, ever bet against Bill Belichick when his back is against the wall. Rex Ryan's squad was impressive against Arizona, but that success comes to a brutal halt in New England.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Lions (-3) over BEARS (Over/under: 47.5)
Betting against this current iteration of the Bears is basically free money, and the only thing I like more than free money is ... well, nothing. Laying just three points? Sounds good to me.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Panthers (-3) over FALCONS (Over/under: 50)
This feels like a trap, and for good reason. Carolina's shaky secondary would normally be a concern against Atlanta's passing game. With Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones banged up, though, I'll take the Panthers as narrow favorites, assuming that Cam Newton and the Carolina offense can get right against Atlanta's own questionable defense.
Getty ImagesGrant Halverson
Seahawks (-2.5) over JETS (Over/under: 40.5)
Ryan Fitzpatrick probably won't repeat his six-interception performance against Seattle, but I'm still anxious to see how much damage the Legion of Boom can do to the Jets QB. Russell Wilson could literally play this game with one leg and I'd still roll with Seattle's defense over New York.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY SportsTimothy T. Ludwig
Raiders (+3.5) over RAVENS (Over/under: 46.5)
Oakland boasts a top-10 offense -- and one of the worst defenses in the league through three weeks, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA. The Ravens are the exact opposite. When these two diametrically opposed teams square off, I'm taking the points.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
Browns (+8) over REDSKINS (Over/under: 46)
Pardon me; I'm going to grab a nice, tall, strong adult beverage to wash down this pick. I didn't foresee trusting the Browns very often -- if at all -- this season. Against Washington and Kirk Cousins, I'll very reluctantly fade the heavy favorites and choose Cleveland. How could this backfire?
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY SportsBenny Sieu
Titans (+5.5) vs. TEXANS (Over/under: 46)
The news of J.J. Watt's injury only moved this line by a point at the time of this writing, but his absence should be much more significant than that. I don't like betting on Marcus Mariota, and I'm not expecting the Titans to win. I am expecting this to be a close game, however.
Broncos (-3.5) over BUCCANEERS (Over/under: 44)
I tried trusting the Bucs for a few weeks this season, and that didn't go so well. Denver as a paltry 3.5-point favorite is the easy play, especially with QB Trevor Siemian looking like the real deal.
Ron Chenoy/USA Today
Cowboys (-3) over 49ERS (Over/under: 46)
Dallas' own defensive front seven might make Niners RB Carlos Hyde look like Barry Sanders on Sunday, but I'm counting on the Cowboys' offensive line to pave the way to a big win over the 49ers. Dak-mania rolls on.
Saints (+4) over CHARGERS (Over/under: 53.5)
New Orleans can hardly stop anyone. The Chargers, on the other hand, can hardly field a full roster of healthy players. The oddsmakers are expecting a lot of points, and that should favor Drew Brees' squad.
Getty ImagesWesley Hitt
CARDINALS (-8) over Rams (Over/under: 43)
Eight points is a lot to lay with a team that got crushed by the Bills last week, but L.A.'s offense remains a work in progress (to put it kindly). The Cardinals defense gets a big turnover in this one to seal a double-digit Arizona win.
Chiefs (+5.5) over STEELERS (Over/under: 47.5)
The Steelers welcome back Le'Veon Bell against Kansas City, and coach Mike Tomlin said to expect a heavy dose of the Pittsburgh running back. Assuming we can take him at his word, that run-based approach should mean a tight, low-scoring affair.
Getty ImagesGregory Shamus
VIKINGS (-4) over Giants (Over/under: 43)
As our own Chris Chase points out, Eli Manning is having a career season in terms of completion percentage. I'm betting that takes a drastic turn during a Monday night showdown with Minnesota's destructive defense.