NFL Week 5 ATS, O/U, Moneyline Picks & Analysis
Welcome to my first article on NFL weekly betting picks with analysis to support. Now just like anyone else's picks, these are just my opinions that I have come to through researching each individual matchup based on historical results so far this year, among other things. Below you will find about a paragraph, sometimes more, on each game this week to help you formulate a decision. At the bottom of the page there will be a small chart with each game pick if you are just interested in that or you can go to the "Weekly Picks" page.
-- Bills @ Titans, Spread: Titans -3, O/U 39.5 --
Tennessee is one of the more difficult teams to predict just because of how terribly inconsistent they are. Week 1 they blow out a hype surrounded Browns on the road 43-13, then Week 2 they come home to play a team they are very familiar with in the Colts and lose 19-17, lose the next week 20-7 @ Jacksonville, then somehow turn around and dominate Atlanta on the road 24-10. Both defenses are legit so moving the ball for both teams is going to be rough, hence the rather low 39.5 O/U. Personally I'd stay away from this game, however if you must pick one, I'd go with the Titans -3 at home because I think this game comes down to who has the most scoring opportunities, and with the Bills turning the ball over 10 times in 4 games to just 1 turnover for Tennessee. We saw Josh Allen exposed by Belichick where Allen threw 3 picks, now he goes on the road to play another Belichick disciple and defensive minded coach in Mike Vrabel, Titans -3, U 39.5.
-- Falcons @ Texans, Spread: Texans -4, O/U 50 --
Last year the Falcons lost Keanu Neal in Week 2 to injury that put him on IR. That year, the Falcons finished 27th in passing yards allowed, 29th in passing touchdowns allowed, and 24th in net yards per attempt. This year those trends have seemed to turn around, however, the Falcons just lost Keanu Neal again to a torn achilles for the year and that really hurts against a team with one of the best WR cores in the NFL. With that said, Houston has also been struggling against the pass this year, with teams clearly targeting that weakness in 156 pass attempts in 4 games, good for 25th league wide. I expect this game to be a close, back & forth, high scoring game due to a lack of strong secondary play from both teams, while both possessing some of the best WRs and QBs in the league. Atlanta has struggled on the road over the last 2 years being 3-7. That along with losing Keanu Neal makes the Texans -4, O 50, the right pick here.
-- Ravens @ Steelers, Spread: Ravens -3, O/U 43.5 --
Would you believe me if I told you the Ravens are currently giving up the 3rd most passing yards in the NFL? Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, & Baker Mayfield have all put up over 330 passing yards vs. Baltimore in their last 3 games. Luckily for the Ravens, they get Mason Rudolph this week & a banged up James Conner. While Rudolph had a 124.6 QBR vs. the Bengals last week, the Ravens are a different beast. If Brandon Williams can go this week for Baltimore (DT), that gives a huge boost to their run stopping capability, which is what the Steelers relied on heavily to win the game last week vs. the Bengals. I expect the Ravens to force Mason Rudolph to beat them through the air and I think that spells trouble for the Steelers chances in this game, Ravens -3, O 43.5.
-- Patriots @ Redskins, Spread: Patriots -15, O/U 41.5 --
To be frank, I can't come up with any way the Redskins keep this game within 15 points. While the Patriots offense and Tom Brady looked horrific last week @ Buffalo, that was Buffalo, a place where Tom Brady has historically struggled, and the Bills allow the second fewest total yards in the NFL. The Bills also allow the second shortest average time per drive for opponents in 2:14. Now, the Patriots go to Washington to play a team that allows the 4th most total yards, gives up the longest average drive time, average amount of plays per drive, points per drive, and yards per drive. If that wasn't bad enough, Josh Norman is also banged up and even if Terry McLaurin can play, he's been dealing with a hamstring injury that is scary for WRs, especially when lining up against one of the best corners in the NFL, Stephon Gilmore. This game reminds me a lot of the week 2 matchup of the Patriots @ Dolphins where New England was up against a questionable quarterback situation & a lack luster offense as a whole, the Dolphins put up the goose and the Patriots covered a 22.5 point spread comfortably 43-0. I think this game ends in a similar fashion with New England covering comfortably, NE -15, O 41.5.
-- Cardinals @ Bengals, Spread: Cardinals -3, O/U 47.5 --
This game should turn out to be which offense can move the ball against the opposing terrible defense better. While losing John Ross hurts the Bengals, I still lean towards them in this matchup, particularly because of the low spread and home field advantage. The Cardinals currently give up the 2nd most total yardage in the NFL and the 4th most points in the NFL. I expect Zac Taylor to utilize Tyler Eifert and CJ Uzomah more in this game as they will need targets to go somewhere now that John Ross is out, and what better team to test that theory against the Cardinals who have been torched by tight end's through the first 4 games of the year. They've allowed stat lines like 6-131-1 to Hockenson, 8-112-1 to Andrews, 6-75-2 to Olsen, and 7-57-1 to Dissly. I think the Bengals do enough in this high scoring game to pull out their first win, Bengals -3, O 47.5.
-- Jaguars @ Panthers, Spread: Panthers -3, O/U 40 --
Who would've thought that by week 5 the Carolina Panthers would be a statistically better defense than the Jaguars. The Panthers give up the 4th fewest yards total, fewest passing yards, fewest net yards per attempt, and 4th fewest passing touchdowns. I think Carolina will be able to play man coverage confidently in this game and be able to frequently stack the box to make someone other than Leonard Fournette beat them. Minshew has thrown for 178, 204, and 186 yards against the Texans, Titans, and Broncos. If the Jags hadn't gotten 269 yards from their run game last week, I think they would've lost to a worse Denver Broncos team, I'll take Carolina -3, U 40.
-- Buccaneers @ Saints, Spread: Saints -3, O/U 45 --
To start, this feels like a trap game because you could probably convince me why you wanted to take either team in this matchup and I'd probably say that's fair. For example, you could say you want to take the Bucs because they have shown strength on defense against the run game and Teddy Bridgewater has yet to throw for over 200 yards. You could also tell me that fact doesn't matter because now Bridgewater is going up against a defense that gives up the second most passing yardage in the NFL. I think this game will come down to which team gameplans better and I find it hard to believe that Sean Payton can't come up with a better gameplan given he's seeing a familiar QB and WR duo in Winston and Evans in comparison to Arians who has to figure out how to stop whatever New Orleans tries to do with an unfamiliar Bridgewater. I'll take the Saints by 3, but not very confidently, O 45.
-- Jets @ Eagles, Spread: Eagles -14, O/U 43.5 --
The Eagles are extremely banged up in the secondary and this has made them what typically is a feared defense due to a strong run defense and a pretty good secondary. Everyone knows you don't try to run against the Eagles, just ask Matt LaFleur who opted to throw 4 times on the goal line without Davante Adams in the game last week. This bodes well for the Eagles this week as it will be another week of Luke Falk who threw for just 69 yards in week 3 against the Patriots. Not only that, but they also couldn't run the ball against the Patriots either with only 36 yards. I think the Eagles get plenty of opportunities to score in this game due to Falk and the Jets WRs being worse than the Eagles practice squad secondary, and being unable to run against a tough Eagles run defense. I'll take the Eagles -14, U 43.5, comfortably.
-- Bears @ Raiders (London), Spread: Bears -5.5, O/U 40 --
This game is in London so you can scrap whatever slim advantage or boost the Raiders might have had if the game was in Oakland. Besides the Vikings absolutely torching the Raiders on the ground for 211 total yards, the Raiders haven't allowed the likes of the Broncos, Chiefs, or Colts to surpass 100 rushing yards. This is tough because I would imagine the run game to be a focal point of the Bears offense with Chase Daniel leading the offense. While Chase Daniel is a competent backup QB, I feel more confident in the Raiders defense keeping the game within 5 points to take the Raiders +5.5, U 40.
-- Vikings @ Giants, Spread: Vikings -5, O/U 43.5 --
I'm not really sure why this game is only a 5 point spread, but hey, I'll take it. It's tough to take anything away from the Giants vs Redskins game for the Giants defensive side of the ball as I'd be surprised if the Redskins in that state could put up points on a college defense. The Giants looked just okay on offense against one of the worst defenses in football, and I think the latter portion of that statement has been disregarded by vegas as this is only a 5 point spread. Daniel Jones has looked okay for a rookie, however, has only seen lackluster secondaries in the Bucs & the Redskins. Now he'll be tested by one of the smarter defensive minded coaches in Mike Zimmer & the Vikings top 10 rated pass defense. What is most concerning is that the Giants RB core of Gallman, Hilliman, & Penny ran a combined 31 times for 99 yards for just over 3 YPC against a Redskins rush defense that has given up the 4th most yards rushing in the NFL. I think the Giants will have to lean on Daniel Jones more than they'd like to in his third game and I don't see it turning out well, Vikings -5, U 43.5.
-- Broncos @ Chargers, Spread: Chargers -6, O/U 44.5 --
This is another interesting spread that I don't quite understand why it isn't something more like LAC -7.5 or even LAC -8.5. The Broncos do not matchup well on either side of the ball in this game. On defense you have Chris Harris Jr. who has been pretty good so far this year who you would hope could somewhat shutdown Keenan Allen, however, Harris Jr. doesn't travel into the slot (only ~3% of the time) while Allen lines up in the slot nearly 45% of the time especially when Mike Williams is healthy, which last I saw, he is likely to play. So you're unlikely to stop the pass, maybe they can stop the run? Nope. Not only do they have to worry about Austin Ekeler who has been great so far this year, but now you have a fresh, elite RB in Melvin Gordon ready to feast on a Broncos defense that gives up the 3rd most rushing yards, 9th most rushing touchdowns, and 3rd most yards per attempt rushing. I don't see the Broncos offense ranking 26th in points for being able to keep up with the points that stem from the mismatches on the defensive side of the ball, LAC -6, O 44.5.
-- Packers @ Cowboys, Spread: Cowboys -3.5, O/U 46.5 --
This game is going to say a lot about both teams based on the result. There are plenty of question marks around both teams given their latest results. Dallas' offense looked suspect against a New Orleans front 7 that shut down Zeke, and ultimately their entire offense. In Green Bay's last game vs. the Eagles, they were forced to rely heavily on the passing game to move the ball as there is simply no moving the ball on the ground vs. the Eagles. Without Davante Adams, even the terribly banged up Eagles secondary managed to stop Rodgers from winning that game at home. What makes people think he's going to walk into Dallas, again without Davante Adams, and be able to move the ball through the air? Worst of all, that's his only choice, because Dallas is no slouch against the run either having only given up 4 YPC to Alvin Kamara on 17 carries last week while the Packers average 3.5 yards per attempt as a team. Zeke will have a much easier time in this game as the Packers give up 5 yards per attempt rushing, the 4th most in the NFL, in comparison to last week against a middle of the pack rush defense in New Orleans. I'll take Dallas -3.5, O 46.5.
-- Colts @ Chiefs, Spread: Chiefs -10.5, O/U 56 --
Did you know that 3/4 of Chiefs games so far this year have totaled over 60 points, clearing the O/U each time? The Colts did not look good on defense last week allowing 31 points to the Raiders at home, though one score was a pick-6, so 24 points allowed on defense. The Raiders don't even play the same sport on offense as the Chiefs, and they put up 24 on the Colts on the road. Now the Colts get Patrick Mahomes and one of at least the top 3 most explosive offenses in the league, at Arrowhead, on sunday night football. The problem on offense for the Colts is that the Chiefs have been okay with defending the pass, and for me the game script shouldn't allow the Colts to try to run the ball. Malik Hooker and Darius Leonard, two impact players for the Colts on defense, have been ruled out along with Parris Campbell at WR ruled out. Then you have T.Y Hilton potentially returning from injury to play, though I would doubt he's entirely 100%, which is also likely the case for Marlon Mack who has been nursing an ankle injury all week and is questionable. I don't see how the Colts keep up on offense or defense, so I'm taking the Chiefs -10.5, O 56.
-- Browns @ 49ers, Spread: 49ers -4, O/U 47 --
There is less information regarding player availability for this game given it is the Monday night game, but if both Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward are out again for the Browns, this is another telling test for the young team. The Browns have been all over the place being blown out in week 1, to dominating the Ravens defense on the road 40-25 last week. The 49ers have taken the ball away 7 times in 3 games so far this year, and now they get Baker who has thrown 6 picks in 4 games against some good, but some suspect defenses. I think giving Kyle Shanahan 2 weeks to gameplan for the Browns this Monday night, along with the early rest for the players, is going to be a lot for the road team Browns to handle, but I think they compete in this game and keep it within around a touchdown, so I'll take the 49ers -4, O 47, but cautiously.