Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate
- The Action Network's NFL experts give their favorite bets for Week 5 of the 2018 season, including picks for both Sunday and Monday night.
- Find out if we think Patrick Mahomes can keep it rolling in Kansas City and if the Seahawks have any shot against the undefeated Rams.
I think a Colts receiver just dropped another pass.
With another ugly Thursday night game and rather predictable result (although Josh Gordon!) in the rear view, we can now focus on some more intriguing storylines on the Week 5 slate, including:
- Can Patrick Mahomes continue his laser show in Kansas City against the elite Jacksonville secondary, or will the Jaguars finally hand the Chiefs their first loss — and non-cover — of the season?
- In the NFC, the question is can anybody stop the high-flying Rams? Seattle will have a tough time doing so with secondary that has no resemblance to the “Legion of Boom” — but a few of our staffers think this game might just be closer than many think.
- Will the Vikings get their NFC Championship revenge and avoid an ugly 1-3-1 start, while also sending the defending Super Bowl champions to 2-3 on the season?
You will see those first two questions touched on in-depth as you read through our staff’s favorite Week 5 NFL bets, which include picks for both Sunday and Monday Night Football. And make sure to check out our betting guides for every single game this upcoming weekend.
Let’s jump right in with three picks for the highly anticipated AFC showdown in Arrowhead — and hopefully we can come close to duplicating last week’s 12-1-3 collective effort. — Stuckey
All odds pulled overnight on Oct. 5, so slight line variations are possible. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets.
SUNDAY’S EARLY ACTION
John Ewing: Jaguars +3 (at Chiefs)
1 p.m. ET on CBS
There are two reasons why I’m betting on Blake Bortles against Patrick Mahomes — and neither has anything to do with my confidence in Bortles outgunning the current MVP favorite.
- The Denver defense was the best unit Kansas City had faced this season, and the Broncos only rank 17th in Football Outsiders DVOA. The Chiefs offense, which averaged 39.3 points per game before Monday’s night game, was held to a reasonable 27 points.
The Chiefs are the only team to go 4-0 against the spread through four weeks, covering by an average margin of 7.1 points. I believe this has led to an inflated line and history backs up my theory.
Since 2003, betting against teams with an average season ATS margin of five or more points after the first month of the season has been very profitable: 354-287-18 (55%) ATS per Bet Labs.
I think K.C.’s offense will struggle (relatively) against Jacksonville’s defense, which ranks first in the NFL in yards/game allowed (259.2) and points per game (14.0). Also, Mahomes has yet to throw an interception this season — but that streak could come to end against a Jags secondary that finished second in interceptions a season ago.
A great defense and an inflated line? Give me the Jags.
Stuckey: Jaguars +3 (at Chiefs)
1 p.m. ET on CBS
I concur. Not only is this not an ideal situational spot for the Chiefs, who come off a short week after a Monday night game in the Denver altitude, but I also think the Jags match up very well. They can generate pressure on Mahomes and possess the talent in the secondary to stick with Kansas City’s pass catchers. This will be a major step up in competition compared to the pass defenses the Chiefs offense saw in the first quarter of the 2018 season.
From a net yards per play perspective, the Jaguars actually rank second (+1.3) in the NFL — trailing only the Rams. Meanwhile, the Chiefs actually have a negative net yard-per-play differential on the season.
On the other side of the ball, the Jags shouldn’t have issues moving the ball against one of the three worst defenses in the NFL in my book. Keep an eye on the red zone, which is where I think the Jaguars will win this game on both sides of the ball. (In 2017, the Jaguars finished second in the NFL in red-zone touchdown scoring percentage — both for and against.)
Evan Abrams: Chiefs 1H -2.5 (vs. Jaguars)
1 p.m. ET on CBS
I’m going against Stuck and Ewing because a few factors have forced me to lay some points in the first half with the Chiefs here.
For starters, Kansas City actually heads into this game healthier despite being on short rest. Jacksonville will be without running back Leonard Fournette, although the Jags have averaged 26.4 PPG in five games without him. However, backup T.J. Yeldon is also banged up this week.
In addition to the running backs, almost the entire Jags offensive line has been listed on the injury report all week and the ability to block and protect for Bortles has been crucial this year. Keep an eye on Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford, who practiced early this week. Ford leads the Chiefs in literally every defensive pressure category and could cause some havoc Sunday.
Here are few other notes to consider:
- With Bortles, Jacksonville has only faced two teams on the road that average at least 28 PPG, the 2015 Patriots and ’14 Colts. Jacksonville lost the first half in both games.
- Under Andy Reid, Kansas City is an absurd 29-9-2 straight up at home in the first half, including 23-6-2 SU when the Chiefs are over .500.
- If you are scared off by the short week, K.C. has averaged 15 points per first half in three home games on short rest under Reid.
With both teams coming off wins and covers in Week 4, take K.C. first half.