Another 2-1 record with my underdog picks in Week 4 improved my overall mark for the season to 8-4. There are no double-digit underdogs for Week 5, which could make for some close contests. Here are three options to consider when placing your wagers.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings: Lions +8.5
The Vikings are off to a disappointing start at 1-3. Their schedule hasn’t done them any favors, though, considering they’ve had to face the Bengals, Cardinals, Seahawks and Browns. Those teams have a combined record of 12-5. This should be their most favorable matchup yet given that the rebuilding Lions are winless on the season.
While it would be a major upset for the Lions to win this game, this is a hefty line for any team facing a division rival. Also, despite their 0-4 mark, the Lions have lost two of their games by eight points or fewer and three of them by 10 points or fewer. Add in the fact that the Vikings have failed to cover the spread in each of their last six games as favorites and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Lions keep this contest fairly close.
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals: Bengals +2.5
It hasn’t always been pretty for the Packers, but they have still managed to start out 3-1. They had a convincing win over the Steelers in Week 4 with Aaron Rodgers once again leading the charge. After throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns in an embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Saints, he has accumulated eight touchdown passes without throwing an interception over the last three weeks.
A reason that this pick might give some people reason to pause is that Joe Mixon (ankle) might not be able to take the field. However, it looks like the Bengals might get back Tee Higgins (shoulder), who has missed their last two games. Added to that, is the likely absence of Packers’ cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder), who might even have to undergo surgery. The Bengals are 3-1 with all four of their games decided by four or fewer points, so taking the points could be the way to go here.
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers: Broncos +1
The Steelers might be in trouble. After an impressive win on the road against the Bills in Week 1, they’ve reeled off three straight losses. Their offense has been one of the main culprits since they didn’t score more than 17 points in any of those games. The end might be near for Ben Roethlisberger, who looks like a shell of his former self. During their three-game losing streak, he completed three total touchdown passes and was picked off four times. Things won’t get any easier for him in this game considering the Broncos have only allowed an average of 12.3 points per game.
After three straight wins to open their season, the Broncos fell to the Ravens last week. Some of that can be attributed to the loss of Teddy Bridgewater, who had to leave the game early because of a concussion. His status is key for this game because his backup Drew Lock would provide a significant downgrade for their offense. With that being said, Bridgewater appears to be trending in the right direction towards being cleared to play this week. If that’s the case, the Broncos have a chance to pull off a win here on the road.
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