With the first-quarter mark of the season rapidly approaching in Week 4, hamstring injuries are dominating the injury report and swaying betting lines. With several top players already ruled out or likely to be limited if they do play, having a licensed physical therapist to interpret the NFL Week 4 injury reports will help you gain an advantage.
Below are the top NFL Week 4 injuries to consider when placing your Week 4 NFL betting picks. Please note that all NFL Week 4 odds and lines are current as of Thursday, September 30.
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NFL Week 4 Injuries & Betting Tips
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (Left Hamstring Strain)
Carolina Panthers @ Dallas Cowboys
Christian McCaffrey left last Thursday’s game against the Houston Texans with a left hamstring strain in the second quarter, which comes after he missed most of the 2020 season with ankle, shoulder, and quadriceps injuries. These injuries do not appear to be related, but there’s a concern for a recurrence when he returns.
McCaffrey has already been ruled out for Week 4 but has not been placed on IR, suggesting that this is a Grade 1 strain and he’ll miss 1-3 games. In the meantime, Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman will take over his multi-purpose role in the Panthers’ backfield.
McCaffrey is a versatile weapon in both the running and receiving game, but the main reasons for Carolina’s 3-0 start are the improved play of Sam Darnold as well as their defense. The loss of McCaffrey has already been factored into the betting lines, which makes my betting pick 1.5 units on the Cowboys Moneyline (-200) at BetMGM.
- Read our full Week 4 Panthers vs Cowboys betting picks & tips.
Sterling Shepard & Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants (Hamstring Strain)
New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints
Both Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton exited Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons with hamstring injuries. Even if they tried to return, they would’ve lacked the ability to sprint deep, cut over the middle, or jump effectively for 50-50 balls. Both have had prior hamstring strains, but both instances were several years ago early in their careers.
It’s unlikely that both play Sunday, but even if one can suit up that might tilt the line away from the favored Saints. Shepard has been the Giants’ leading receiver thus far, pacing the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards.
Even if both are out, Daniel Jones still has enough weapons in Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, and Evan Engram to succeed. New York has been outscored by just four total points over its last two games combined, so I think this game will be closer than our NFL gameday odds indicate. My betting pick is 1 unit for the Giants to cover the +7.5 spread (-110) at BetMGM.
- Read our full Week 4 Giants vs Saints betting picks & tips.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bruised Ribs)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Green Bay Packers
JuJu Smith-Schuster left in the fourth quarter of Week 3’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals with bruised ribs but is back at practice this week. This is more of a pain-limiting issue when it comes to playing, so he may require an injection and extra padding. He will be a ripe target for Green Bay’s defense, however.
Looking at Smith-Schuster’s impact for Sunday, it is one of many on a banged-up Steelers squad that’s also dealing with injuries to Ben Roethlisberger, Diontae Johnson, and TJ Watt. Those ailments will be too much to overcome against the Packers, so my NFL bet of the day is 2 units on the Packers Moneyline (-300) at BetMGM.
- Read our full Week 4 Steelers vs Packers betting picks & tips.
AJ Brown & Julio Jones, WR, Tennessee Titans (Hamstring Strain)
Tennessee Titans @ New York Jets
The theme heading into Week 4 appears to be hamstring injuries, as AJ Brown and Julio Jones are also dealing with hamstring strains. Brown has been deemed week-to-week and has not been placed on IR as of yet. Jones missed seven games last year while battling a hamstring injury, but it’s not clear whether this is the same side.
Brown is expected to miss Sunday’s game but Jones may still play, giving Tennessee an additional weapon. Even if Jones sits out as well, Tennessee should still be able to defeat New York. I expect this game’s total to be on the lower side, however, which makes my betting pick 2.5 units for the Under 44 Total Points (-110) at BetMGM.
- Read our full Week 4 Titans vs Jets betting picks & tips.
Quenton Nelson, G, Indianapolis Colts (Right High-Ankle Sprain)
Indianapolis Colts @ Miami Dolphins
Colts All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson went down with a right high-ankle sprain against the Titans on Sunday. A high-ankle sprain occurs when the tissue connection between the tibia and fibula becomes forcefully disrupted due to the foot getting twisted outward, causing instability within the ankle complex.
This is an incredibly difficult injury to play through, though it’s possible Nelson tries to suit up this week. He will lose a lot of leverage against defensive linemen, possibly slowed in planting off the affected side to open lanes for the running game. If he’s absent or limited, that could diminish the effectiveness of Jonathan Taylor and Carson Wentz, who’s hampered by ankle injuries of his own.
Regardless of whether Nelson plays or not, both teams can put up points and have leaky defenses, which makes my betting pick 1 unit on the Over 42 Total Points (-110) at BetMGM.
- Read our full Week 4 Colts vs Dolphins betting picks & tips.
Other Week 4 Notable Injuries
- Carolina Panthers CB Jaycee Horn moved to IR following surgery to fix several broken bones in his foot and is questionable to return this season.
- Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields suffered a contusion to his right throwing hand that may impact his availability for Week 4.
- Denver Broncos WR KJ Hamler suffered a torn left ACL with additional damage, ending his season and eliminating the Broncos’ backup slot receiver while Jerry Jeudy is out.
- New England Patriots RB James White sustained a subluxed hip — the same injury that Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered in Week 1 — and has been ruled out for the season.
- New Orleans Saints OT Terron Armstead suffered a hyperextended left elbow and is ruled out for several weeks, signifying additional damage.
Kyle’s Injury Report Betting Record: 12-8, +12.15 units