Week 5 NFL Bets: Jets, Ravens, 49ers, Panthers/Eagles More Spreads & Over/Unders
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson.
Week 5 NFL Bets
New York Jets +3 vs. Atlanta Falcons [William Hill]
The Atlanta Falcons aren’t a good football team on either side of the ball. Despite the hiring of former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith who led an offense that was fourth in points scored (30.7), second in EPA/play and third in success rate, this Falcons offense has been downright abysmal.
The Falcons are just 26th in Offensive EPA/play and 28th in Success Rate (41.4%) and will be missing wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage who are out with injury this week. They’ll be facing a Jets defense that is 12th in EPA/play and Success Rate, so the Falcons will be at a disadvantage here.
Considering the Falcons’ best offensive performance came against the Washington Football Team that has struggled defensively, I’m not expecting much from this Falcons offense this week.
Without two of their top receivers, the Falcons will be relying on a defense that is 28th in EPA/play and 30th in Success Rate (51.5%) while giving up a league-leading 32 points per game.
Although the Jets have struggled offensively, this is a team that started off the season with one of the toughest schedule of opposing defenses, facing the Panthers, Patriots and Broncos before finally getting a reprieve against a Titans defense. Zach Wilson and the Jets should be able to do more than enough to cover, if not beat the Falcons outright here.
New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans +9 [DraftKings]
This is as ugly as it gets. I know, it’s not pretty betting on Davis Mills and the Houston Texans, but this is a spot where I feel like the New England Patriots are being overvalued coming off their performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Laying nine points in the NFL is tough for any team, but you certainly don’t want to do so with Mac Jones who is just 24th in Football Outsiders DVOA and leads an offense that is just 19th in Offensive Efficiency, 28th in EPA/play and 24th in Success Rate.
Making matters worse, the Patriots come into this game down four offensive lineman, as they have ruled out starting RG Shaq Mason (abdomen) and starting right tackle Trent Brown (calf). In addition, starting LT Isaiah Wynn and starting LG Mike Onwenu are on the COVID list which means this team will have a totally revamped offensive line own Sunday.
One of the angles, I’ve always liked to play is fading teams that were a home underdog in the previous week that become a road favorite. If you were to blindly fade those teams, you’d be 194-165-12 (54%) according to our BetLabs database.
With the low total of 39.5, oddsmakers are expecting a lower-scoring game, making the nine points extremely valuable. I’ll back the Texans here to keep this within the number.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Miami Dolphins Over 48 [DraftKings]
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their offensive output suppressed by bad weather last week, and they also happened to play against Bill Belichick who coached Tom Brady his entire career. That won’t happen this week against a Miami Dolphins defense that is giving up 27.3 points per game and ranks 21st in EPA/play. Nonetheless, I expect Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to have no problems putting up points on this Dolphins defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Buccaneers secondary is riddled with injuries. Sean Murphy-Bunting has been out since suffering an elbow injury in Week 1, cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Safety Antoine Winfield Jr both missed practice this week and Jamel Dean has also been dealing with a knee injury as well. The Buccaneers are relying on a 33-year-old Richard Sherman who allowed receivers to catch nine-out-of-nine targets last week against the Patriots.
With opposing teams unable to run against this defense, teams are passing 73% of the time and 71% of the time on early downs against the Buccaneers. I expect Jacoby Brissett and the Dolphins to pass early and often. With them looking to keep up with the Buccaneers offense, this is a clear over.
San Francisco 49ers +5.5 vs Arizona Cardinals [William Hill]
This is the biggest overreaction of the week. The Arizona Cardinals are coming off their biggest win of the season, a dominant 37-20 win over the L.A. Rams on the road. The lookahead line on this game last week was Cardinals -2.5.
In the preseason, this line was Cardinals -1.5. Now they host the 49ers as 5.5-point favorites. Is it warranted?
From my view this is a clear over-adjustment for a Cardinals team that trailed 19-10 in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars and was a missed field goal away from losing against the Minnesota Vikings.
An Aaron Rodgers game-winning drive and an injury to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in a game in which they out-gained the Seahawks in yards per play (6.3 to 4.3) is all it took to drastically alter the perception of a Niners team that many believed was among the best in the NFC.
Trey Lance will start at quarterback for the 49ers, and his dual-threat ability should add an element of playmaking that Garoppolo couldn’t provide.
With Arizona struggling to stop the run — it ranks 29th in Rushing Success Rate — we could see Kyle Shanahan implement an offense to take advantage of the speed of Lance and wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
While Shanahan has struggled as a favorite, he’s been impressive as a dog with a 23-16 (59%) record ATS:
Overall, I’m expecting the 49ers to find some success offensively with a week to game plan for the strengths of Lance, and they should keep this within the number.
New Orleans Saints -2 vs. Washington Football Team [DraftKings]
The New Orleans Saints are in a prime position to go into their bye week with a victory against the Washington Football Team who’s defense might be the most overrated unit in the league.
While many expected this defense to exert its dominance with Chase Young and Montez Sweat, the unit is 29th in points allowed, giving up 30.5 points per game while ranking 29th in EPA/play, 20th in Success Rate, 30th in Dropback EPA/play and 23rd in Dropback Success Rate.
Washington also ranks last in third-down conversion percentage (59.68%) and can’t get off the field. Add in a struggling secondary and I expect Jameis Winston and the Saints to put up a solid performance on offense this week.
Washington was hit with the injury bug this week and will be dealing with the absence of tight end Logan Thomas who suffered a hamstring injury Sunday. Pro-Bowl guard Brandon Scherff suffered a sprained MCL on Sunday as well.
Scherff is a big loss on the offensive line, and with wide receivers Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown and Cam Sims all missing practice, it’s tough to expect Taylor Heinicke and this offense to repeat last week’s performance against a against what will be a better defense in the Saints.
Philadelphia Eagles/Carolina Panthers Under 46 [Westgate]
Before their Week 4 game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers were first in both EPA/play and Success Rate. Of course things change when you play Dak Prescott and a Cowboys offense that is scoring 31.5 points per game, is first in Offensive Success Rate (56.0%) and fourth in EPA/play.
Now the Carolina Panthers face a Philadelphia Eagles offense that is just 16th in EPA/play. While we did see the Eagles offense wake up against a Kansas City Chiefs defense that ranks among the worst in the league, I’m not expecting this team to reproduce that offensive output this week.
This is an Eagles offensive line that is still dealing with injuries to Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata and will have to deal with a Panthers defensive line that is first in pass rush win rate (58%).
The Panthers should also struggle to produce last week’s offensive output as well, and that should be enough to keep this game from being the track meets that we saw both of these teams play in Week 4. My model makes this total 43.5, while the market is sitting at 46.5, so that’s enough of a discrepancy for me to play the under.
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 [DraftKings]
The chatter about the Chiefs’ struggling defense has been loud, but in the grand scheme of things, opposing teams need to score 30-plus points to beat K.C. on any given Sunday.
Their two losses came against the Ravens and Chargers where they lost the turnover margin 6-2, including a Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumble at the end of the fourth quarter in their game against the Ravens, before they could kick the potential game-winning field goal. Had the Chiefs won at least on of those games, the perception around them would be completely different.
Patrick Mahomes is still leading a Chiefs offense thank ranks first in Football Outsiders DVOA, first in EPA/play and second in Offensive Success Rate (55.8%).
The Bills rank first in Defensive DVOA, but they’ve played the 32nd-ranked schedule of opposing offenses, facing quarterbacks like Davis Mills, Jacoby Brissett, Taylor Heinicke and the current washed-up version of Ben Roethlisberger.
Mahomes is a different animal, however, and the Bills will have no answer for Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, particularly in the absence of linebacker Matt Milano. Keep in mind, these two teams played last season with the Chiefs laying -5.5 in Buffalo, so from my view this number is cheap.
I’ll take the Chiefs at a bargain at under a field goal.
Two Team 6-Point Teaser: Cleveland Browns +8.5/Baltimore Ravens -1
Cleveland Browns +8.5
If you watched the teaser video I released Tuesday, you know that I originally had the Minnesota Vikings as the first leg to my two-team teaser. Unfortunately, the NFL market moves fast and we’ve seen the Vikings go from 7.5-point favorites to 9.5-point favorites which removes them as candidate for teasers as you can no longer cross off the key number of 3 with a six-point teaser. Nevertheless, the Browns make a solid teaser candidate this week as well.
This is the perfect spot to sell high on the Los Angeles Chargers who have won back-to-back division games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders. They host the Cleveland Browns before flying out East to take on the Baltimore Ravens. The Chargers are likely to be one of the biggest public plays of the week, but I’m not buying it.
While Justin Herbert has shown that he’s a star in the making, the Browns will certainly be the best defense the Chargers have faced this season, ranking third in Football Outsiders Defensive DVOA, second in Success Rate and second in Dropback Success Rate.
The Browns should present a challenge for Herbert and the Chargers offense, which ranks 11th in Success Rate but has made its living on third down, converting almost 50% of its attempts, 10.1% above expectation.
On the other side of the ball, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt should find some success against this Chargers defense that ranks 30th in Rushing Success Rate.
While the Raiders couldn’t get the ground game going on Monday night, I expect this Browns offense to keep Herbert and this Chargers offense off the field. If Baker Mayfield can make a few plays, the Browns should win this game outright, so I’ll be taking them on six-point teasers, in addition to +2.5 on the traditional point spread.
Baltimore Ravens -1
This is a bad spot for a Colts team that is playing their third straight road game, coming off games against Tennessee and Miami. The Ravens and Lamar Jackson are certainly not the team you want to deal with at the end of a road trip.
Nonetheless, the Ravens have quietly won three straight games, including a 36-35 come-from-behind victory over Patrick Mahomes in Week 2 and a dominant performance over the previously undefeated Denver Broncos last week.
Lamar Jackson seems to be finding his groove in the passing game and is coming off his second 300-yard passing game of his career. He’s in a good spot to continue that against a Colts defense that is just 19th in EPA/play. While the Colts did cause problems for Jacoby Brissett in Week 4, I expect the dual threat of Jackson to be too much for this Colts defense.
The Ravens defense should also be able to generate pressure on Carson Wentz behind an offensive line that ranks just 29th in ESPN’s Pass Rush Block Rate, and that could be the biggest difference in the game. With Wentz struggling with the Ravens pressure and still having an issue with turnovers, I expect the Ravens to have no problems winning this game, moving to 4-1 on the year before their showdown with the Chargers.
Baltimore Ravens/Indianapolis Colts Under 46.5 [BetMGM]
I’ve previously broken down why I like the Ravens, but this feels like a prime spot for an under. The Colts haven’t been great offensively this season, ranking 23rd in EPA/play and 25th in Success Rate (43.1%).
I’m not expecting this team to replicate their offensive performance against the Dolphins against this Ravens defense which is getting healthier. The Ravens are a run-heavy team, and that, along with their defense, should be enough to keep this game under the total. My model makes this 43, so I’ll take the under at 46 despite missing the best of the number at 48.