Through three weeks of the NFL season, five teams are yet to record a win. The New York Jets, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts enter Week 4 looking for their first victory. The Jets and Jaguars are looking for their first win against the spread.
With public perception starting to form, oftentimes it's the ugly picks that offer the most value. There's nothing uglier than having a 0 in the win column. Which of the winless teams offer potential value in Week 4?
We kick Week 4 off on Thursday night when the Jaguars travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. The Jaguars are 7.5-point underdogs.
I don't mind the Jaguars this week in an underdog role. The Bengals are an average team coming off a big divisional win over Pittsburgh on Sunday and now need to turn around on a short week. Week-to-week emotional fluctuations are often more apparent on young or average teams.
Jacksonville hung with Arizona for most of their game in Week 3, but then Trevor Lawrence made one of the more ill-advised throws you'll see this season on a busted trick play. Rookie mistakes from the first overall pick are to be expected, but that was an ugly game-changing turnover.
I'm not going to give up on Lawrence after three weeks. One of these games, he will flash why he was such a hyped prospect. Jacksonville has slowly improved over the last three weeks. They're still bad, but 7.5 points against the Cincinnati Bengals is a lot.
Nobody expected the Colts to be on this list, as they were expected to compete for the AFC South title prior to the season. Nevertheless, they've played a tough schedule and they've dealt with some injuries and here they are.
It's now or never for the Colts. They are 2-point road underdogs in Miami against a very average Dolphins team that's being quarterbacked by backup Jacoby Brissett. The same Jacoby Brissett that the Colts moved on from because they decided that Phillip Rivers and Carson Wentz were better options.
I understand that Wentz is banged up and the Colts are dealing with other injuries, but their season depends on them being able to beat a quarterback they discarded because he wasn't good enough.
New York Giants
The Giants have lost back-to-back games on last-second field goals. Now, they find themselves at 0-3. In Week 4, they hit the road and will be 8-point underdogs against the New Orleans Saints.
I'm not particularly sold on the Saints offense. Jameis Winston is yet to throw for over 150 yards in a game this season and he's light on weapons not named Alvin Kamara. Daniel Jones has actually played decently well this season for New York, but offensive play calling leaves a lot to be desired so it hasn't turned into points.
I think we might see a defensive battle here, and getting 8 points in a defensive brawl isn't a bad situation to be in.
Of all the teams on this list, the Detroit Lions might be the most impressive. They almost mounted a comeback in Week 1 against San Francisco. They led Green Bay at halftime of Week 2. In Week 3, they would have beaten the Ravens if Justin Tucker wasn't an alien freak.
They get the Chicago Bears in Week 4. Detroit is a 3-point underdog on the road in the Windy City.
Chicago is a mess on the offensive side of the ball. Matt Nagy named three potential starting quarterbacks for this game. Andy Dalton has proven to be not very good. Nick Foles is still living off his Super Bowl performance from 2018. Justin Fields had no chance against the Browns in his first career start.
It seems like a good spot for the Lions, but there's one area of concern. Jared Goff struggled immensely with pressure when he was with the Rams. The Bears defense sacked Baker Mayfield five times against the stout Browns offensive line in Week 3.
New York Jets
There's a lot of negative talk about the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the New York Jets might be even worse. They find themselves as 7.5-point home underdogs against Tennessee.
Zach Wilson is on pace to get sacked 85 times this season while adding 40 interceptions with his arm. Wilson hasn't led a touchdown drive since garbage time against the Panthers in Week 1. His offensive linemen are deflecting blame to Wilson by saying he needs to get rid of the ball faster. It's already getting ugly in Florham Park.
New York has scored just three points in the first half of their three games. One can say they've played three elite defenses with the Panthers, Patriots and Broncos. Well, they'll get a much easier matchup this week with the Titans.
The Jets defense has been fine, but I don't expect Tennessee to struggle to put some points on the board. This is also the best offense the Jets have faced.
I think we'll get a much clearer picture of just how bad the Jets offense is after this week. Currently, I wouldn't back a team that has proven incapable of scoring, no matter how many points they are getting.