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There is a free 10K Sportsbook Pool for NFL Week 5. You have to pick each of the 13 games on Sunday against the spread and the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the more money you earn.
Let’s take a look at all 13 contests slated for Sunday, including my five personal favorites.
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Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) @ New York Jets
The Jets have been nothing short of a dumpster fire to start the season and they will be without starting quarterback Sam Darnold this week. That said, Darnold has not exactly played well when he’s been on the field. You can blame his receivers or blame his offensive line if you want to, but the fact remains that Darnold ranks 31st out of 33 QBs in Adjusted Yards per Attempt (AYA) this season. Joe Flacco probably isn’t an upgrade at this point in his career, but he realistically can’t be much worse.
Most people want absolutely nothing to do with the Jets at the moment – they’re currently receiving just 33% of the spread bets – but I think this is a good spot to get contrarian. The Cardinals are one of the most overvalued teams in football at the moment and they have no business being favored by more than a touchdown on the road against anyone.
Additionally, the Jets are currently sitting at 0-4 straight up and against the spread, which has happened just 17 previous times since 2004. Those teams have actually posted a mark of 12-5 against the spread in Week 5, so this seems like a nice opportunity to buy low on the Jets.
The Pick: Jets +7.5
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans (-5.5)
The Texans are another team that has gotten off to a brutal start this season. They also sit at 0-4 straight up and against the spread, so they fit the same trend that I mentioned above for the Jets.
The Texans also made the decision to move on from Bill O’Brien earlier this week, which could breathe new life into this franchise. O’Brien has survived this long by making the playoffs in a weak division, but his teams have still had a history of underperforming. Add in the fact that he made one of the worst trades in recent memory by shipping DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals, and it was clearly time to go.
That should hopefully rejuvenate this franchise for a very winnable matchup vs. the Jaguars. Jacksonville has been a bit better than expected this season, but this line would have been set at double-digits just a few weeks ago. That makes it tough to pass up on the Texans laying less than a full touchdown.
The Pick: Texans -5.5
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (-9.5)
I honestly couldn’t believe this line when I first saw it — 9.5 points?!? What in the world have the Cowboys done to be favored by this much?
Obviously, the Cowboys’ offense has been fantastic to start the year, with Dak Prescott throwing for at least 450 yards in three straight games. That said, as good as their offense has been, the defense has been even worse. The Cowboys currently sit at just 1-3 and they were pretty lucky to secure the one win that they actually have.
Now Dallas will have to navigate the rest of the season without Tyron Smith, which leaves a huge void on the offensive line. The Cowboys were already down three other starters on the offensive line, so they are basically holding things together with duct tape at this point.
I’m expecting the Giants to keep this game close.
The Pick: Giants +9.5
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots (-10.5)
This is another line that feels too high. It seems like the Patriots were able to avoid the disaster scenario after Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19 following Monday’s contest vs. the Chiefs, but they’re still going to be shorthanded for this contest. Gilmore obviously won’t be able to suit up and Cam Newton is expected to miss his second straight game after testing positive last week.
That means Jarrett Stidham will likely draw the start after Brian Hoyer was benched in Week 4. Stidham might be an upgrade over Hoyer, but he is pretty clearly a downgrade compared to Newton. He was just 5-of-13 for 60 yards with one score and two interceptions in relief of Hoyer last week.
With that in mind, I can imagine laying 10.5 points with Stidham likely making his first career start. Bill Belichick has been known to make lemons into lemonade, but this might be too much for even him to overcome.
The Pick: Broncos +10.5
Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) @ Cleveland Browns
There is a lot of optimism in Cleveland at the moment after winning three straight games, but they’ll face a major step up in weight class this week against the Colts. The Colts have quietly been one of the best teams in football to start the season, particularly on the defensive end. They currently rank first in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA and they’re also top five in DVOA vs. the run and vs. the pass.
The Browns’ recent success has stemmed largely from their ability to run the football. They racked up 215 rushing yards vs. the Bengals, 158 vs. Washington, and 307 vs. the Cowboys. They had three players rush for at least 70 yards in their last game, and none of those players was starting RB Nick Chubb.
Speaking of Chubb, they will be without his services for this matchup. Kareem Hunt is one of the best backups in the league, but that still leaves the Browns without one of their top offensive weapons. That absence will be felt vs. an elite defense like the Colts.
If the Browns can’t run for big yardage in this contest, I haven’t seen any evidence that Baker Mayfield can win this contest with his arm. He was only asked to throw in one previous contest this season and that was a 38-6 loss to the Ravens. Mayfield was dreadful in that contest, finishing with just a 4.21 AYA.
The Pick: Colts -1.5
Here’s who I’m targeting for the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (-13.5)
Pick: Bengals +13.5
Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5)
Pick: Steelers -7.5
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)
Pick: Panthers +2.5
Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5)
Pick: Chiefs -13.5
Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) @ Washington Football Team
Pick: Rams -7.5
Buffalo Bills (-1.5) @ Tennessee Titans
Pick: Bills -1.5
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers (-8.5)
Pick: Dolphins +8.5
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks (-6.5)
Pick: Vikings +6.5
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