Now that I’ve double-checked last night’s score and stats about five times to make sure I’m not dreaming, I think we can get down to business. It’s Fri-yay, which means a lot of you have probably already started thinking about your bets for the weekend. This morning, we’re going to take a look at the top ten best bets of Week 5 in the NFL. Disclaimer: This is called “gambling” for a reason. Winning isn’t a sure thing. Capiche?
1. Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at Detroit Lions
I’m expecting Palmer, Peterson, Fitzgerald, and the rest of the team to have a big game against the winless Lions, especially coming-off last week’s painful loss to the St. Louis Rams. Also, Bruce Arians is 9-2 ATS following a loss over the course of his career. The smart money’s on the Cards.
2. New England Patriots (-9) at Dallas Cowboys
This is a lot of points in an NFL game. However, the Pats have easily covered the spread for the past two weeks. Fresh off their bye week, I look for them to steamroll the banged-up 'Boys with Brandon Weeden at the helm. I expect Bill Belichick and Co. to get at least a 14-point win.
3. Cleveland Browns (+6.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have won just a single game so far this season and it was by three points. Even their losses have all been six point or fewer contests. I just don’t see them beating the Browns by seven, especially with Kamar Aiken as wideout No. 1 this week. Even if Cleveland adds another L to their collection, I don’t think it will be by this many points.
4. Oakland Raiders (+5) v. Denver Broncos
The Broncos defense has been carrying them so far this season, but that could change at Oakland, where Jack del Rio knows the team’s personnel and defensive scheme better than anyone. He spent the past three seasons as their defensive coordinator, in case you’d forgotten. Peyton Manning could miraculously figure out his offense and get it done on the road, but I look for this to be a close contest no matter who takes the W.
5. Tennessee Titans (+2.5) v. Buffalo Bills
I think the Bills are a very good team this year. I also think they’re a very banged-up team right at this moment. Boobie Dixon may be starting at running back, if you’re looking for a concrete example. Tennessee is coming-off its bye week, so everyone should be rested and ready to go for a home contest. I’m not willing to call the Bills winners on the road this week.
6. Washington Redskins (+7.5) at Atlanta Falcons
The undefeated Falcons have been playing good ball this year; nobody can deny that. They’ve also been relying heavily on their running game, with Devonta Freeman scoring three rushing touchdowns last week alone. As mentioned yesterday, the Redskins have allowed the fewest rushing yards of any team in the NFL so far this year. If they can contain Freeman, they certainly have a chance to keep this one closer than the line would indicate.
7. Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have been playing like a legitimate Super Bowl contender so far in 2015. Even though the Seahawks aren’t quite the team they once were, however, I look for them to hand Andy Dalton and Co. their first loss of the season on Sunday. Kam Chancellor is fired up and that’s all it takes to get the rest of the Legion of Boom going. I think Seattle takes the W.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (-5) v. New Orleans Saints
Despite Drew Brees and his Hall of Fame career, the Saints are just a mess again this year. They’ve been allowing their opponents a 116.3 passer rating, which is welcome news for Sam Bradford. Not to mention, Chip Kelly’s 1-3 team desperately needs a win. In front of a home crowd, I like the Eagles to win by at least at touchdown against this New Orleans squad.
9. Green Bay Packers (-9) v. St. Louis Rams
As I mentioned yesterday, the Rams' Robert Quinn and Chris Long are sure to pressure Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. That said, I still like the Pack to advance to 5-0. Their biggest obstacle will be containing Todd Gurley. They held Carlos Hyde to 20 yards last week, so they’ll need a repeat performance. In the end, I think Mike McCarthy’s team will get it done by at least 10.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) v. Jacksonville Jaguars
This pick boils down to one simple fact: I don’t trust Blake Bortles on the road anywhere, even against Jameis Winston. 70% of the betting public is laying money on Jacksonville right now, which is probably due largely to the aforementioned Winston situation. He’s thrown six home interceptions that have led to an astounding 38 points over the course of four weeks. Nonetheless, Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson still exist and the Bucs are simply a better team overall.