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AFC East: Week 4 Preview

Geno Smith and the New York Jets face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon.

Geno Smith and the New York Jets face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon.

Schedule makers have done right by the AFC East in Week 4, staggering the start time of all four games featuring the division’s representatives. From a 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday to a Monday Night Football showdown, fans will be able to see all four teams without the need to channel surf.

Read on for the BettingSports.com preview of all four games.

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY (Sun. 1:00 p.m. ET) (matchup)

C.J. Spiller will lead the Buffalo running game.

C.J. Spiller will lead the Buffalo running game.

Sunday’s AFC East action gets underway with the Buffalo Bills (1-2, 1-1 home) hosting the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens (2-1, 0-1 road).

The Bills lost a close game on the road against the New York Jets last weekend, failing to build momentum after defeating the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. The Ravens shocked a lot of observers by handing the Houston Texans a definitive 30-9 defeat, marking the team’s second straight win after being routed by the Denver Broncos in Week 1.

The Bills lost DE Alex Carrington to a season-ending injury in the Jets game. Carrington tore his quadriceps and underwent surgery on Monday. The Bills expect to replace the lineman with Alan Branch, who joined the club as a free agent this offseason after two years with the Seattle Seahawks.

Ravens WR Jacoby Jones made headlines of the wrong sort in the wake of the team’s impressive victory, finding himself involved in an incident celebrating teammate Bryant McKinnie’s birthday. Jones has subsequently apologized but this is the sort of distraction the Ravens, who some expect to crumble this season, need to avoid. Jones would do well to catch a Joe Flacco pass or two on Sunday afternoon.

The Ravens have made the journey to Ralph Wilson Stadium just once in franchise history, losing 19-14 to the Bills on October 21, 2007. Baltimore narrowly leads the all-time head-to-head 3-2.

Baltimore (-184) opened as the favorite over Buffalo (+164) on the moneyline. The spread opened at 6 but has slipped as low as 2.5. Both teams are 2-1-0 ATS so far this season, so something has to give.

The over/under opened at 44.5 and currently sits at 44 with most sportsbooks. Buffalo (2-1-0) has favored the over while Baltimore (1-2-0) has favored the under.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

LP Field, Nashville, TN (Sun. 4:05 p.m. ET) (matchup)

The Jets will need to stop Tennessee's Nate Washington.

The Jets will need to stop Tennessee’s Nate Washington.

The New York Jets (2-1, 0-1 road) will look to build on last week’s success over the Bills with a trip to Nashville to take on the surprising Tennessee Titans (2-1, 1-0 home).

Jets WR Santonio Holmes had 154 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s win, but has been reported to say his health is yet to reach 100 percent after missing 12 games last season with a foot injury. Those 154 yards represent a career-high. Head coach Rex Ryan and rookie quarterback Geno Smith will be hoping for similar numbers in Nashville.

The Titans scored a narrow victory over the San Diego Chargers in their home-opener last week. That makes it two wins from three for Mike Munchak’s side, a team largely expected to struggle this season. Both wins came over teams considered superior to the Titans, a tag that has not been placed on the Jets this season.

Historically, the Jets have struggled on the road against the Titans, posting a 6-16 record away from New Jersey. However, much of that damage came when the Titans were still the Houston Oilers. The Jets are 3-2 on the road since their opponents upped sticks to the Volunteer State.

Tennessee defeated the Jets 14-10 in this fixture last season (Dec. 17, 2012), snapping a streak of five Jets wins in six games.

The Jets (+195) opened as underdogs to the Titans (-225) on the moneyline but the gap has been closing as the week has gone on. The spread opened at 6 and currently stands at 3.5. The Jets (3-0-0 ATS) are perfect against the spread so far this season, while the Titans (2-0-1) were a push (against the Chargers) away from being flawless.

The over/under opened at 38.5 and has subsequently risen to 41. Both teams have favored the under this season.

New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA (Sun. 8:30 p.m. ET) (matchup)

Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins caught two TDs last week.

Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins caught two TDs last week.

After a pair of close divisional games against the Bills and Jets to start the year, the New England Patriots (3-0, 1-0 road) made sure things weren’t quite so close last week against the seemingly-doomed Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, the Patriots will look to polish off another NFC South opponent in the form of the Atlanta Falcons (1-2, 1-0 home).

Once again it wasn’t pretty for the Patriots, but a 23-3 win over the Bucs at least saw Tom Brady connect with rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins on a pair of touchdowns, while fellow rookie Aaron Dobson had seven catches for 54 yards, hardly a lightning performance but evidence that the Patriots are moving forward, something that can’t be said of their Sunday Night Football opponent.

Having lost just three games all of last season, the Falcons have already dropped two this year. Mike Smith’s side fell 27-23 to the Miami Dolphins last weekend as injuries caught up with the team. With RB Steven Jackson (thigh/hamstring) and LB Sean Weatherspoon (foot) amongst those missing, the Falcons are definitely missing a beat. Jackson is not expected tp return Sunday.  WR Roddy White (ankle) and OT Sam Baker (foot) have also been limited in practice.

The Patriots have had their own share of injury woes and once again the team will be without TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) and WR Danny Amendola (groin). Gronkowski’s absence is starting to cause a stir in Massachusetts, with the Boston Herald reporting that the Patriots believe the tight end to be fit enough to play while his camp wants him to be cautious heading forward and only return when he feels 100 percent fully fit. Could we be about to witness another Derrick Rose-esque storyline?

Back on the field, the Patriots and Falcons have shared the all-time head-to-head six games apiece although the Falcons own a 4-3 record in games played in Atlanta. However, New England has won three straight dating back to 1998, including two at the Georgia Dome.

With so many injuries to consider and a multitude of questions surrounding both teams, the Vegas bookmakers opened with the two teams even on the moneyline. Atlanta has emerged as a (very) slight favorite since opening though, with the spread reaching as high as 3. Both Atlanta and New England are 1-2-0 ATS so far this season.

The over/under opened at 48 and has subsequently risen to 50. The Patriots (0-3-0) have yet to see the total go over while Atlanta (2-1-0) has favored the over.

Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA (Mon. 8:40 p.m. ET) (matchup)

Can the Dolphins remain undefeated?

Can the Dolphins remain undefeated?

The last time the Miami Dolphins (3-0, 1-0 road) played on Monday Night Football the team was 0-4 on the way to a 0-7 start to the 2011 season. What a difference a couple of seasons make. The Fins once again grace our television screens Monday night, this time unbeaten and up against the undefeated New Orleans Saints (3-0, 2-0 home).

The Dolphins used a fourth quarter comeback to clip the Falcons’ wings last week, adding to wins over the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts to keep pace with the Patriots at the top of the AFC East.

The Saints meanwhile gave up an early touchdown to the Arizona Cardinals before scoring 31 unanswered points to finish the game 31-7. Having been kept on the reins against division opponents Atlanta and Tampa Bay to open the season, Drew Brees and Co. were happy to see the scoreboard harassed on Sunday. With the fifth best defense (New Orleans, 12.7 PPG) meeting the eighth best defense (Miami, 17.7 PPG), the scoreboard may be getting a rest again this weekend, but then again with the firepower on the field we could see the exact opposite.

One thing is certain though; Miami needs to give more protection to QB Ryan Tannehill, who has been sacked 14 times this season, more than any other quarterback. The Miami Herald reports that the brain trust of head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman is working on rectifying that situation.

This will be the first time these two teams have met on Monday Night Football. Miami currently leads the all-time head-to-head 6-4, and has gone 3-3 in the Big Easy. The Saints defeated the Dolphins 46-34 the last time the two sides met (Oct. 2009), snapping Miami’s two-game winning streak in the game.

New Orleans (-250) opened as the favorite over Miami (+210) on the moneyline, with the spread opening at 3.5. The latter has increased to 7 with about 36 hours until kickoff. Miami (3-0-0 ATS) is perfect against the spread on the young season, while New Orleans (2-1-0 ATS) has fared well. The underdog has covered the spread in three of four Monday night games this season.

The over/under opened at 47 and currently stands at 48. Miami (2-1-0) has favored the over while all New Orleans (0-3-0) have gone under.

For a full list of Week 4 NFL odds, click here.

For a full list of NFL Futures, click here.

For NFL team prop bets, click here.

For NFL player prop bets, click here.

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