Don’t look now, but the Chicago Bears (2-1) are leading the NFC North through the first three games of the season after finishing in the division’s cellar in each of the previous four years. In Week 4 on Sunday, the Bears host another surprising team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1), who are listed as three-point road underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Tampa Bay suffered its first loss on Monday Night Football.
Of course Chicago’s stunning early rise to the top of the NFC North would be even more impressive had the team not blown a 20-0 lead on the road against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. Yes, the Bears could easily be unbeaten at 3-0, and so could the Buccaneers had they completed a Packers-type comeback in a 30-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers to wrap up Week 3.
Instead, both teams will be looking to avoid falling back down to the .500 mark. It is worth noting that Tampa Bay has lost 20 of the past 25 meetings at Chicago, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. However, the Buccaneers have covered the spread in three of their last four trips to Soldier Field.
Other teams with somewhat shocking starts include the Miami Dolphins (3-0), who visit the disappointing New England Patriots (1-2) as seven-point road underdogs on Sunday. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill is 10-1 in his last 11 starts, and he will be opposed by a future Hall of Famer in New England’s Tom Brady. As you would expect though, the Dolphins have lost nine consecutive games to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, and they have gone 0-6 against the spread in the previous six played there.
The Tennessee Titans (2-1) saw quarterback Marcus Mariota come off the bench in a 9-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) last week, handing them their first loss as 10-point road underdogs. Tennessee next hosts the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) as a four-point home underdog. The Eagles got quarterback Carson Wentz back from a torn ACL in a 20-16 victory against the Indianapolis Colts (1-2) last week as well, but the visiting team is on a 1-5 ATS run in this matchup.
The Colts will look to even their record at 2-2 when they host the winless Houston Texans (0-3) as one-point home favorites. Houston has not only dropped 14 of its last 16 at Indianapolis SU but has also gone 0-8 ATS in its previous eight games overall.
The Jaguars hope to rebound as 7.5-point home betting favorites hosting the New York Jets (1-2), who blew a 14-0 lead last Thursday in a 21-17 setback to the Cleveland Browns (1-1-1). The Jets have won the past four meetings but are 3-7 ATS in the previous 10.
The Browns have not won back-to-back games since 2014, and they will try to do that again when they visit the Oakland Raiders (0-3) as 2.5-point road underdogs. The good news for Cleveland is the team is 7-1-1 ATS in the past nine meetings with Oakland. The bad news is the Browns have lost 22 in a row on the road, going 6-15-1 ATS.