(CBS Local)- Week 4 of the NFL season kicks off tonight with the Denver Broncos visiting MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Jets. Another week of games means another week of opportunities for fans to pick up some wins while their team does. And to help do so, we’ve brought in SportsLine analyst and “Wizard of Odds” Kenny White to break down all of the games from the AFC East with his analytical eye.
All times listed are Eastern
Denver Broncos @ New York Jets (-1), Thursday @ 8:25 p.m. NFL Network
The Broncos and Jets each enter this game at 0-3, and neither team has looked overly impressive in their first couple of outings. Both rank in the bottom three of the league in points per game. The Jets are dead last averaging 12.3 points per outing, while the Broncos are 30th in the league at 15 points per game. (The other New York team, the Giants, is in between them at 12.7).
It is that lack of firepower that has White looking at the point total of just 41 and thinking the under is the best play.
“Last week, the average total was 51 points, and here we have a total of 41,” said White in an interview with CBS Local’s Katie Johnston. “But, I like an under. It’s going to be a low-scoring game. Sam Darnold and the Jets are very sluggish on offense, the Broncos defense has been great, so my play is under. Sooner or later, the scores have to start coming down a bit.”
Looking more long-term for the two teams, the playoffs seem like a far-fetched idea, as only six teams ever have started the season 0-3 and made the postseason. But, there is some recent history of it with the Houston Texans accomplishing the feat in 2018. With Broncos quarterback Drew Lock set to come back in the coming weeks and the aforementioned solid defense, White sees Denver as having the better chance of making the postseason.
“The Broncos right now 10-1 to make the playoffs. You can get 20-1 on the Jets though,” said White. “The Broncos have the better chance of making the playoffs at that 10-1 price.”
Seattle Seahawks @ Miami Dolphins (+6), Sunday @ 1:00 p.m. FOX
This game would appear, on paper at least, to be an easy win for the Seahawks. Seattle has one of the leading candidates in the MVP discussion in Russell Wilson and they enter with a 3-0 record against Miami’s 1-2. But, White sees some value in the Dolphins this Sunday because of the long trip that the ‘Hawks have to make for this one.
“They come in off a win but they’re making Seattle travel. Seattle to Miami is the longest travel of any NFL team to another NFL team,” said White. “Plus, that 3-0 start by the Seahawks, they played some really good football teams. They may be overlooking the Dolphins a little bit. And in those games, they were very fortunate. So, if Miami can win the turnover battle in this game or just stay even, I think they can stay close and maybe pull an upset here.”
An upset Sunday would be surprising, though it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a West Coast team falter after making the long trip to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start. Either way, White has been very impressed by the play of Russell Wilson, calling him his favorite to win MVP over Patrick Mahomes.
“Russell Wilson has played amazing and I think Russell Wilson has the edge right now. I can’t believe the games he’s had. All the touchdown passes, he’s had five touchdown passes back to back weeks. Mahomes has numbers as well but not quite as good as Russell Wilson’s,” said White.
New England Patriots @ Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5), Sunday @ 4:25 p.m. CBS
We’ve seen this matchup before, but this year is not quite the same. The Patriots enter with a new quarterback under center in Cam Newton, following Tom Brady’s departure for Tampa Bay. New England also had several players opt out of the season including a couple of key leaders on the defensive side of the ball.
Still, the Patriots are 2-1, and that’s good enough to earn them a B+ grade from White.
“Good start to the season, I’m going to say a B+. Can’t give them an A because they did lose a game, but I’ll give them a B+ because they have lost a lot of pieces,” said White. “The defense is down a little bit, the offense is still trying to get to know each other, but here we have Bill Belichick 2-1 out of the gate, so B+. Bill would probably rate them lower than that, and he’s going to try and get them to an A. He’s a great coach, the Patriots have a good chance to make the playoffs.”
While the Patriots are considered among the playoff contenders, their opponent is currently considered to be in a higher tier. Patrick Mahomes and company are 3-0 following last Sunday’s 34-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens, and they are the favorites to make a clean sweep of their team objectives this year.
“4-1 right now to win the Super Bowl, +220 basically 2-to-1 to win the AFC, and to win their division? -1300, so you’d have to put up $130 dollars to win $10, so, yeah, they’re big favorites to win all three,” said White.
Buffalo Bills @ Las Vegas Raiders (+3), Sunday 4:25 p.m. CBS
If the Patriots were to make the postseason, as of right now they’d be a Wild Card team, because the Buffalo Bills have gone undefeated through three weeks. It hasn’t been easy, or necessarily good for Bills’ fans blood pressure, but the team stands 3-0.
The question, however, is whether or not observers can trust this team considering they held off the Dolphins 31-28 and then needed a late drive to beat the Rams last week after giving up a 28-3 lead. Still, it was that poise shown by Josh Allen to bring the Bills back late against the Rams that has White believing the Bills are for real.
“The amazing comeback last week against the Rams, I was really shocked about that, because when you relinquish a lead like that 28-3 and the opponent comes back to take the lead, 31-28, it’s hard to come back and win a game like that. But, Josh Allen did. He took his team right down the field. That has to be great for confidence,” said White. They have a great defense and Josh Allen has been impressive. The Bills are for real this year, they are going to be a fun team to watch all the way down the stretch.”
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