NFL Picks For Week 5: Chiefs-Raiders, Colts-Browns, More Spreads & Totals

NFL Picks For Week 5: Chiefs-Raiders, Colts-Browns, More Spreads & Totals article feature image

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Amari Cooper

Chris Raybon, a senior NFL and fantasy football analyst, highlights his favorite Week 5 NFL picks below. He has a 282-220-17 (56.2%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action app.

Week 5 NFL Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead to that analysis.

Bet Now
Chiefs -11.5 vs. Raiders
1 p.m. ET
Raiders Under 21.5
1 p.m. ET
Bengals +12.5 at Ravens
1 p.m. ET
Panthers +2.5 at Falcons
1 p.m. ET
Panthers-Falcons Over 53.5
1 p.m. ET
Rams-Washington Over 45
1 p.m. ET
Giants +9 at Cowboys
4:25 p.m. ET
Giants-Cowboys Under 54
4:25 p.m. ET
Browns +1 at Colts
4:25 p.m. ET
Browns-Colts Over 47
4:25 p.m. ET

Chiefs -11.5 & Raiders Team Under 21.5

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

With a couple of COVID-19 scares impacting the Chiefs, the books have taken big money on the Raiders, which has moved the line three points from what I think the true line of Chiefs -14 should be.

And even at Vegas +14, I might be being too generous to the Raiders.

Jon Gruden and Derek Carr have now faced the Chiefs four times in the Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes era. The Raiders have been outscored, 143-55.

  • Week 13, 2019: Chiefs 40, Raiders 9
  • Week 2, 2019: Chiefs 28, Raiders 10
  • Week 17, 2018: Chiefs 35, Raiders 3
  • Week 13, 2019: Chiefs 40, Raiders 33

Carr has always struggled against the Chiefs (2-10 straight up), but Arrowhead brings out peak bad Carr. In six games, he’s thrown only four touchdowns while tossing seven interceptions, taking 19 sacks and averaging a paltry 4.92 yards per attempt.

Despite already facing Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson, the Chiefs haven’t allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points through four games, nor have allowed a division rival to top 20 points in seven games since defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took over. The Raiders’ top receiving threat is tight end Darren Waller, and we just saw this defense take away Mark Andrews and stymie Jackson and Co.

On the other side of the ball, Mahomes should carve up a Raiders’ pass defense that ranks 30th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. In his last 12 games as a favorite (including the postseason), Mahomes is 10-1-1 against the spread (ATS).

Reid is 7-0 straight up (SU) and 6-1 ATS against the Raiders at Arrowhead, failing to cover the seventh by a mere half-point.

Short week? No problem: Per Bet Labs, Reid is 16-11-2 ATS on a short week since 2003, including 11-5-1 at home.

I locked this in at Chiefs -11 and would bet it to -12.5 pending no new COVID-19 news.

[Bet the Chiefs -11.5 and Raiders Under 21.5 at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

Bengals +12.5 at Ravens

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

John Harbaugh is a great coach, but this is one of the few spots where the market has consistently overrated him. Harbaugh is just 11-20-1 (35%) ATS as a division home favorite, including 1-4 with Lamar Jackson.

The Bengals are just just 1-2-1, but they’ve been competitive, playing opponents to a dead-even point differential while going 3-0-1 ATS.

The offense has improved since Joe Burrow stopped wasting targets on a washed-up A.J. Green (14/133/0 on 33 targets) and draft-bust John Ross (2/17/0 on 7 targets) and began focusing on his top three playmakers, Tyler Boyd (caught 28 of 34 targets), Tee Higgins (averaging 4.5/58.5/1.0 in two games since becoming a starter), and Joe Mixon (caught 12 of 13 targets for 86 yards and a TD over his last three games).

The Bengals defense has been sneaky decent this season, rating top-10 in DVOA against the run and 15th overall. Jackson missed two out of three days of practice this week, so Harbaugh will likely continue to try and pick up the win while shortening the game. The Ravens are averaging 58.0 plays per game — third-fewest in the NFL — which makes it easier for a large dog to cover the spread.

I bet this at Bengals +13, but like it down to +11.5.

[Bet the Bengals +12.5 at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

Panthers +2.5 at Falcons

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

We’re at the point in the season when we have enough data to effectively throw out preseason perceptions.

Entering the season, the consensus was that the Falcons were middling and the Panthers were one of the worst teams in football. Turns out, a lot closer to the reverse is true: The Panthers rank 19th in overall DVOA, while the Falcons are 27th. The Falcons are also the only team to rank bottom-20 in all three facets: 21st on offense, 25th on defense and 28th on special teams.

Usually a team that suffers two one-possession losses on blown leads of epic proportion isn’t as bad as its record looks, but underlying metrics don’t vindicate the Falcons. That’s partly due to injury — their secondary is banged up and Julio Jones (hamstring) is laboring — and partly due to a coaching staff that has consistently led this team to underperform expectations.

Under Dan Quinn, the Falcons are just 18-33 ATS as a favorite, including 9-26 before December, which is when the market finally catches on to the ineptitude.

Not only have they consistently failed to take care of business, but they’ve struggled to overcome adversity, going just 15-24 ATS the game after a straight-up loss.

Early returns on the Matt Rhule era have been positive: The Panthers are 2-2, and despite Rhule being a defensive minded-coach, his offense is playing efficiently even without Christian McCaffrey.

Teddy Bridgewater, who is now 30-9 ATS as a starter, is averaging 8.1 yards per attempt and is moving the offense efficiently enough to give the Panthers a chance every week despite a young defense that isn’t there yet.

Of the Panthers’ two losses, one was by four points to the Raiders that could have been a win if not for an (ill-advised) fourth-and-1 carry by fullback Alex Armah getting stuffed, and the other was 31-17 defeat to the Bucs (who entered the week rank No. 1 in overall DVOA) that was closer than the final score implies, as Leonard Fournette broke a long TD run late with the Bucs attempting to run out the clock in a one-possession game.

The Panthers are the better team, and the Falcons’ home-field advantage has dwindled to essentially nothing since Kyle Shanahan left. Their ATS margin at home went from +4.7 in 2016 to -0.4 in 2017, -1.6 in 2018, and -5.3 since the start of last season.

I would bet the Panthers as long as they’re a dog.

It’s also been profitable to fade 0-4 teams at home in Week 5. Per our Bet Labs data, road teams are 16-4-1 ATS in Week 5 against winless home opponents since 2003:

[Bet the Panthers +2.5 at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

Panthers-Falcons Over 53.5

In terms of scores per drive, both the Panthers (47.6%, eighth) and Falcons (44.7%, 13th) rank above-average on offense. On defense, both rate below-average, with Atlanta (44.7%) clocking in 20th and Carolina (47.6%) 25th. Atlanta is No. 2 in situation-neutral pace, and while Carolina has been a bit more methodical (22nd), the projected close game script works in favor of the over here, as Carolina jumps to the 12th-quickest pace when the score is +/- 6.

In the Quinn era, Falcons totals of 50-plus have gone 21-12. Julio Jones (hamstring, questionable) hasn’t been a factor since Week 1, catching six passes across Weeks 2 and 4 and missing Week 3 entirely, and Falcons games still averaged a combined 60.3 points over those three games, with a median of 56.

I would bet the over up to 54.5.

[Bet the Over 53.5 at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

Rams-Washington Over 45

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

I would bet this if you can still find it 46 or below.

The Rams left 21 points on the table in Week 4 against the Giants after playing to combined scores of 56 and 67 over the prior two games, while I expect the Football Team to play faster and looser with Kyle Allen.

Washington’s average combined score is 47.75, and I have Allen worth more to the total than benched former starter Dwayne Haskins. The over is 10-3 in Allen’s 13 career starts, including 7-0 with a total below 47.

The median score in an NFL game this year is 49, so I’m keen on betting overs for totals that fall short of that based on small samples.

Giants +9 at Cowboys

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Game Info

Over the first four weeks of the season, the Giants offense couldn’t have looked worse with the ghost of Eli Manning, but they’ve had a brutal opening slate.

According to DVOA, they’ve faced three top-seven units — the Steelers (third), Bears (seventh) and 49ers (sixth) — and a fourth that ranks in the top-half (Rams, 15th). The Cowboys rank 24th, and they’re one of only five teams (Packers, Panthers, Raiders, Dolphins) that ranks 20th or worse versus both the pass (25th) and run (23rd).

Daniel Jones had three four-plus TD outings last season and is a good bet to regress upward toward the mean after throwing just two scores in his first four games. The best time to back high-variance quarterbacks such as Jones is after they’ve mucked things up for a few games, leading to inflated large underdog spreads, usually on the road.

Case in point: Jones is 1-7 ATS at home, but 6-2 on the road, including 5-1 as a road underdog.

The Cowboys aren’t 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS just because of their defense, though. Losing center Travis Frederick, left tackle Tyron Smith and right tackle La’el Collins has left Dak Prescott vulnerable — his sack rate is up to 4.3% from 3.7% in 2019, and he’s lost a fumble in each of the past three games — and has failed to open lanes for Ezekiel Elliott, who is averaging a career-low 3.9 yards per carry.

You can now also add Joe Looney (MCL, out 2-3 weeks) to the injury fray, which forces head coach Mike McCarthy to go with fifth-round rookie Tyler Biadasz at center, which is never ideal.

Prescott has weapons galore to exploit the Giants secondary when he gets time, but he has always been better putting up huge point totals in comebacks than he has at blowing teams out. The Giants have played stout run defense, ranking 11th in DVOA, which can make it difficult for an opponent with the lead to pull away, as we saw with the Rams in their 17-9 victory over New York last week.

The Giants, facing a step down in defensive competition, coupled with a decimated Cowboys O-line, and their own strong run defense, have enough going for them to keep this to a one-possession game. I would take the points at anything outside of one possession (+8.5 or better).

[Bet the Giants +9 at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

Cowboys-Giants Under 54

I already talked about the Cowboys’ injury-ravaged O-line and the Giants strong run defense, and for those same reasons, I like this game to go under the total.

Both teams scored 30-plus in each of the last three Cowboys games, but those type of game scripts are unsustainable. I make this number 51.5 and would bet it at 53 or higher.

[Bet the Under 54 at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

Browns +1 at Colts

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Game Info

I like this if you can still find the Browns as a dog, as I have them as 0.5-point favorites.

I see red flags on both sides of the ball for the Colts. On offense, they rank 24th in DVOA and 30th in third-down conversion rates (34.6%). And their top-ranked defense has come against the Jags, pre-Justin Jefferson breakout Vikings, Jets and Bears.

The Browns’ 38-6 Week 1 loss to the Ravens makes their underlying metrics look worse than they really are, and they’ve had a 64% rushing success rate with Kareem Hunt compared to 49% with Nick Chubb while averaging 39.3 points per game over their last three weeks.

[Bet the Browns +1 at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

Browns-Colts Over 47

I make this total 49.5 and would bet it at 47.5 or below if you can find it. As mentioned, the Colts defense has played a weak schedule, and the Browns have piled on points since getting stymied by the Ravens.

[Bet the Over 47 at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

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Teaser: Steelers -1, 49ers -2, Panthers +8.5, Saints -2

I already talked about why I like the Panthers, and I also like all three of the favorites listed above to cover, but prefer to tease them down six points through the key numbers of 3 and 7.

The Steelers are much healthier than the Eagles, and their No. 3 defense in DVOA should cause issues for an Eagles offense averaging 4.5 yards per play, tied for last in the NFL. As I wrote in our Sunday Night Football preview last week, I liked the Eagles as a contrarian bet to cover against a banged up San Fran team, but now they’re overrated coming off the upset win.

The 49ers offense is finally healthy, with Jimmy Garoppolo back at QB and George Kittle and Deebo Samuel joining sick hurdling rookie Brandon Aiyuk in the pass catcher corps. They should be able to outscore a Dolphins defense ranked 31st in DVOA.

I’ll have more on Saints-Chargers in my Monday Night Football preview, but I would suggest locking in a Saints teaser at under a field goal now in case the line moves due to injury news.

The Chargers are a pesky team that won’t necessarily get blown out much, but while they scored 31 points against the Bucs last week, all four TDs came via unsustainable means:

  • 53-yard TD catch from No. 4 WR Tyron Johnson
  • 78-yard Tom Brady pick-six
  • 19-yard TD catch from No. 4 tight end Donald Parham on his only target of the season
  • 72-yard TD catch from No. 3 WR Jalen Guyton on his only catch of the day

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