Please keep in mind that by the time you’re reading this, the line may have shifted depending on breaking news during the week, or money flowing through the market. Good luck in Week 5!
Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Tennessee at Buffalo, +3.5
The Titans picked up a huge upset in overtime against the defending Super Bowl champions with some impressive coaching by Mike Vrabel. The Bills, on the other hand, may have stolen a win from the Vikings in Week 3, but didn’t manage to score at all against the Packers in Week 4 and I think it’s safe to say they have turned back into a pumpkin. I certainly have concerns about Marcus Mariota’s health, but he looked strong against a tough Eagles front seven last week. He’ll face a much easier defensive matchup this week against the one-hit-wonder Bills, and while I hate to lay road chalk, it’s Titans or nothing for me.
NY Giants at Carolina, -7.5
Eli Manning and the Giants had trouble scoring against a Saints defense that was ranked 32nd against the pass, losing 33-18 on Sunday. Their 2-1 opponents, meanwhile, will be well-rested coming off of a Week 4 bye, at home in Carolina. They’ve added safety Eric Reid to their roster, which will be huge for the Panthers’ secondary, and right guard Trai Turner was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. This line suggests that Carolina would only be favored by 4.5 points on a neutral field. I would like this game more at 7, but I’m going with the Panthers to cover the 7.5 point spread.
Miami at Cincinnati, -6.5
The Bengals came out on top of their 37-36 shootout against the Falcons this Sunday, but unfortunately lost tight end Tyler Eifert for the season with a gruesome ankle injury. Running back Giovani Bernard was a nonparticipant in Wednesday’s practice, and both Joe Mixon and John Ross were limited. Miami suffered an embarrassing loss to the Patriots on Sunday, but are still first in the AFC East and should bounce back this week. This line feels like a bit of an overreaction to the blowout against the Patriots, so I’m taking the Dolphins to cover the 6.5 spread.
Jacksonville at Kansas City, -3.5
The 4-0 Chiefs looked strong once again on Monday night in Denver and will go home for only the second time this season to face the 3-1 Jaguars. This will be Patrick Mahomes’ first real test of the season, going against “Sacksonville” and defensive stars Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, Malik Jackson, and A.J. Bouye. Jacksonville, however, will be without star sophomore running back Leonard Fournette, who has been ruled out with a lingering hamstring injury, and will have to rely on T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant, as well as Blake Bortles in the passing attack. As odd as it is to say with Jacksonville’s defense, I see this game being high scoring, and at home with the Jags not being at full strength, I am leaning toward the Chiefs to win and cover the 3.5 point spread.
Atlanta at Pittsburgh, -3.5
Pittsburgh lost an important divisional game at home against the Ravens in Week 4 and have dropped to 4th in the AFC North. Their “off the field” drama, as well as their lack of on field discipline continue to plague them, though contract holdout Le’Veon Bell says he will report after the Steelers’ Week 7 bye. The 1-3 Falcons lost a tough game to the Bengals on Sunday 37-36, but the good news is that star running back Devonta Freeman, who has been dealing with a knee injury, was a limited participant Wednesday’s practice and seems to be trending in the right direction. Coach Dan Quinn says he hopes he’ll be available for Week 5 against the Steelers, and although they are in last place in the NFC South, they have kept every game fairly close. Give me the Falcons getting the field goal on the road.
Denver at NY Jets, -1.5
The Broncos had a decent showing on Monday against their AFC West rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, despite taking the loss. This said, they’ll have to travel across the country on a short week to play a 1PM EST game. The Jets won’t pose nearly the offensive threat, but with the road trip and short rest, give me the Jets to pick up their second win of the season and cover the 1.5 point spread.
Green Bay at Detroit, +1.5
The Packers dominated the Bills on Sunday 22-0, but still find themselves looking up at the 3-1 Chicago Bears in the NFC North, who are on bye this week. They will face division rivals, the Detroit Lions, this week on the road, who are coming off of a disappointing 26-24 loss to the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliot ran all over a weak Lions’ defense for a total of 4 receptions, 240 yards, and a touchdown, and while Green Bay doesn’t quite have a star rusher of his caliber, Detroit will most likely be without Ezekiel Ansah, who was injured in Week 1, and Quandre Diggs, who suffered a broken hand on Sunday. The line suggests that Green Bay would only be favored by around 2 points on a neutral field, and while Aaron Rodgers’ health concerns me, I am taking the Packers to win and cover this game.
Baltimore at Cleveland, +3.5
The Browns almost stole a win from the winless Raiders in a 45-42 shootout on Sunday, but came up just short and fell to 1-2-1. They’ll come home to face their AFC North division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens, who picked up a big win against the Steelers in Week 4. Ravens’ rookie tight end Hayden Hurst was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, but intends to make his NFL debut on Sunday. On the Browns side of the ball, Tyrod Taylor, who began the season as the starter but left their third game with a concussion, was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, though he’s not expected to start in Week 5 given rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield’s impressive performance. Give the Browns as 3.5 point home underdogs this Sunday to cover the spread and maybe even win this game outright.
Sunday 4:05 PM EST
Oakland at LA Chargers, -5.5
Jon Gruden’s Raiders managed to pick up their first win of the season against the Browns last week, but will face a much tougher opponent against the Chargers, whose pass rush is much improved this year with the addition of rookie Derwin James. Derek Carr will be under pressure and won’t have much help from his offensive line, much of whom were either non-participants or limited participants in Wednesday’s practice. The Chargers do have one of the weaker home field advantages in the league, and keep an eye on the injury report for wide receiver Keenan Allen, who is questionable for this week’s game. The line is moving in the Oakland direction at 5/4.5, but give me the Chargers laying the 5.5 points at home.
Sunday 4:25 PM EST
LA Rams at Seattle, +7.5
The Rams bested the Vikings on Thursday night in a 38-31 shootout, with quarterback Jared Goff throwing for 465 yards and 5 touchdowns. They have improved their record to 4-0 on the season and have moved into the top spot as Super Bowl favorites according to Odds Shark at +350, but will face a challenge on the road in Seattle with their “12th man.” The Seahawks, on the other hand, grabbed a win against the Cardinals on Sunday, but lost safety Earl Thomas and tight end Will Dissly for the season. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks has also been suspended indefinitely due to insider trading allegations. All this said, it’s very tough to pick this game, but I think LA’s front seven get after Russell Wilson and their weak offensive line early. I am leaning Rams in this spot, but I don’t love it.
Arizona at San Francisco, -4.5
The 49ers surprised everyone on Sunday and kept it relatively close in their 29-27 loss to the Chargers, whose defense is much better than the Cardinals’, who are still winless through four games. Arizona slot receiver Larry Fitzgerald was a non-participant in Wednesday’s practice and their offensive line continues to be plagued with injuries. On the San Francisco side of the ball, Marquise Goodwin was a non-participant in Wednesday’s practice, and Matt Breida was limited with a shoulder injury. Keep an eye on the injury report throughout the week for both squads, but it’s 49ers or nothing for me against a team that is quickly jockeying for a draft position next year.
Minnesota at Philadelphia, -3.5
The Vikings fell to the Rams on Thursday night 38-31 and face a tough matchup against a fierce Philadelphia front seven. Sophomore running back Dalvin Cook was kept on a very limited pitch count in Thursday’s game and is on this week’s injury report, complaining of the same lingering hamstring issue. Meanwhile, the Eagles also lost their Week 4 matchup against the Titans, but are slowly inching back to full strength with Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery returning, as well as Jay Ajayi recovering from a back fracture. Keep an eye on the injury report for this game as there are a ton of high-profile starters who are questionable for Sunday’s matchup, but give me the Vikings with the additional time to prepare and getting the 3.5 points on the road.
Sunday 8:20 PM EST
Dallas at Houston, -3.5
The Texans picked up their much needed first win of the season against the Colts on Sunday 37-34. Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is recovering from an ACL injury, completed 69% of his passes on Sunday for 375 yards and 2 touchdowns. He will face a tougher front seven from Dallas’ defense, which has proven to be a competent unit through four games. Houston’s defense is also improving with J.J. Watt back and a pass rush led by Jadeveon Clowney. Meanwhile, the Cowboys also won on Sunday against the Lions 26-24 and move to 2-2 on the season, but remain very thin at skill positions. Keep an eye out for running back Ezekiel Elliot on the injury report this week who was seen limping off the field in last week’s game, but I lean towards the Texans to win this game at home and cover the 3.5 point spread.
Monday 8:15 PM EST
Washington at New Orleans, -6.5
The Saints are coming off of three straight wins, two of which were on the road. They handled the Giants easily in Week 4, winning 33-18, and Drew Brees will add running back Mark Ingram to his already impressive arsenal of weapons. The Redskins, meanwhile, are coming off of a Week 4 bye, but all the rest in the world may still not help their defense against the Saints. Give me the Saints to win and Saints to cover the spread at home in primetime.
Thursday 8:20 PM EST
Indianapolis at New England, -10.5
With all this talk about the Patriots “demise” this year (which, by the way, happens every year), they handled their undefeated divisional opponents, winning 38-7, and easily covered the 7 point spread. Meanwhile, the Colts are coming off of a disappointing overtime loss to the Texans and will be without T.Y. Hilton, Marlon Mack, Jack Doyle, and tackle Denzelle Good, as well as a handful of defensive players for this game. This plethora of skill position injuries doesn’t bode well for a team that looks like it will be throwing 50 times a game, and with Tom Brady getting wide receiver Julian Edelman back from suspension, I feel like I have to lay the points with the Patriots at home.