NFL Week 5 Picks
Some trends I've learned about through research that don't necessarily pertain to Week 5 but are just in general.
Some trends I've learned about through research that don't necessarily pertain to Week 5 but are just in general.
"Homefield and Byes"
Home Teams coming off of a bye covered the spread 18% of the time in the last two years (4 -18)
Home Teams coming off of a bye covered the spread 41% of the time since 2011 (43-62)
Away Teams coming off of a bye covered the spread 69% (25 - 11) in the last two years.
Away Teams coming off of a bye covered the spread 59% of the time since 2011 (83-57)
Before the new CBA 2005-2010, Home Teams off of a bye covered the spread 62% of the time.
Before the new CBA 2005-2010, Away Teams off of a bye covered the spread 55% of the time.
DEN Broncos +6.5 @ -110 (3 units) (BetMGM)
DEN Broncos Moneyline +240 (0.5 units)(BetMGM)
DEN Broncos Team Total OVER 19.5 @ -110 (3 units) (Bet365)
Notable Chargers Injuries: WR Mike Williams (Questionable/Doubtful), WR Travis Benjamin (Questionable/Doubtful), WR Dontrelle Inman (Questionable/Doubtful), TE Hunter Henry (OUT), TE Virgil Green (Questionable), DE Melvin Ingram III (OUT), K Mike Badgley (Questionable), T Russel Okung (IR), S/LB Derwin James (IR), S Adrian Phillips (IR)
Notable Denver Injuries: Bradley Chubb (IR), CB Bryce Callahan (OUT)
The Chargers are completely decimated by injuries on both sides of the ball. Broncos getting T JaWuan James their best OL back this week.
Chargers allowed Rosen and the awful Dolphins to have a 106 passer rating in the first half last week. They’re without 3 starters in the secondary and without stud DE Melvin Ingram. The Broncos QB Joe Flacco has quietly put up career numbers against the 3 of the top 4 pass defenses in the NFL in GB, CHI, and Jacksonville the last three weeks. The Broncos have also been moving the ball well on the ground and should be able to do so against the injured Chargers defense who struggle against the run anyway. Chargers will also be down to just 3 receivers, Keenan Allen and their bottom two on the depth chart Geremy Davis and Andre Patton plus whoever plays injured. They’re also out Hunter Henry at Tight End and IF two of their injured receivers play they’ll be extremely limited. In their 3 meetings Chris Harris has limited Keenan Allen to 1 for 5yds and a TD, 2 for 22yds and 0 TDs, 6 for 69yds and a TD.
Everyone is off Denver because Chubb is out but the Chargers are so much worse off from injuries and have been generally overrated all season because when healthy they should be good but they're not healthy, they're far from it. I put next to no weight on most homefield advantage anymore for many reasons but the Chargers have the worst homefield as well for those that like that angle. This is a great spot for the Broncos.
Money: 45% of the tickets but 65% of the money on the Broncos here.
Notable Trends: Chargers are 11-22 ATS in their last 33 home games.
TB Buccaneers +3 @ -120 (2 units)(Bet365)
TB Buccaneers Moneyline +145 (0.5 units) (BetMGM)
Bucs/Saints UNDER 47 @ -110 (2.5 units) (DraftKings)
The Buccaneers have the top rush defense by DVOA in the entire NFL. The Saints have been playing a ball control, running + defense style game to limit Teddy Bridgewater from having to throw further down the field while Brees is out (as we saw the other night against the Cowboys where they scored no touchdowns but stole a win). Bridgewater has the 3rd lowest air yards per attempt this season (Luke Falk not far from him) for a reason, they don't want him throwing it. The Saints are going to have a lot of trouble moving the ball downfield and this misdirection/dink and dunk offense is going to struggle just like it did against Dallas against a similarly built run funnel Bucs defense.
On the other side of the ball the Bucs offense has been a bit two-faced due to Jameis "The Turnover Machine" Winston but he's been a lot more controlled in recent weeks. You could read this as "he's due for a disaster game" or that Arians has him a bit under control. I expect this to be a low scoring slugfest. There's a chance this blows up but with both defenses playing extremely well I'm expecting a lot of action in the running game and a shortened game.
Money: Bucs have 43% of the tickets but 53% of the money
Notable Trends: Total has gone UNDER in 7 of Bucs last 10 games. Total has gone UNDER in 9 of Saints last 13 games. Total has gone UNDER in 14 of last 20 meetings between these two. Saints are 2-7 ATS in their last 9.
(The worrying trends): Bucs are 4-16 straight up in their last 20 road games. Bucs are 4-11 straight up against the Saints in their last 15 meetings. Saints are 16-4 straight up in their last 20.
Packers/Cowboys UNDER 46.5 (2 units)
Ezekiel Elliot OVER 85.5 rushing yds @ -124 (2 units)
Notable Packers Injuries: WR Davante Adams (Doubtful), T Bryan Bulaga (Game time decision), CB Kevin King (Questionable/Doubtful, groin)
Notable Cowboys Injuries: T Tyron Smith (Doubtful/Out), WR Michael Gallup (Questionable)
I'm bucking an over trend here and looking at this injury report thinking how this doesn't go under. Rodgers is Rodgers and can make even weaker receivers look good but Adams has been his bread and butter this season and he's struggled mightily without him. Rodgers is 91/146 for 1069 yards this season. 25 of his 91 completions and 378 of his passing yards have been to Davante Adams. Xavier Rhodes has gone on record saying he thinks Adams the best receiver in the league only behind Julio Jones and Antonio Brown calling him "unbelievable" and stating that he just keeps improving. Adams has been absolutely ridiculous this season and having him out of the picture will expose the lack of talent at the receiving position for the Packers offense who was already struggling to move the ball on non-big plays this season. The vast majority of their offense has come from explosive plays, other than that they've been terribly inefficient and after the first half have scored only 26 second half points all season.
With injuries to two of the best tackles in the game on both sides of the ball in Bulaga and Smith I think the pass rush could be quite effective for both squads in this game. Combine that with the lack of receiving talent for the Packers and I think we could see a running/ball control style game here. You saw what the Eagles offensive line was able to do to the Packers with Jimmy Howard, imagine with the Cowboys can get done with Zeke. I'll admit this has potential to backfire because both teams will be expecting the run but that hasn't phased Zeke in the past as he's had a solid success rate against stacked boxes.
Money: Pretty even spread. Packers 56% of tickets 52% of money.
Notable Trends: Packers are 4-2 straight AND ATS in their last 6. Packers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 against the Cowboys. Packers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 following an ATS loss. Cowboys 7-0 straight up in their last 7 home games. Total has gone OVER in 5 of Cowboys last 7.
PHI Eagles -13 @ -110 (0.5 units) (Nitrogen, earlier in the week)
PHI Eagles -14 @ -115 (2 units) (Bet365)
NY Jets Team Total UNDER 14 @ +100 (5 Dimes)(2 units)
This one is pretty straight forward. It's not looking like Sam Darnold is going to play and is aiming for a week 6 return against Dallas so he can fully recover from the side effects of mononucleosis. This means poor Luke Falk and this offensive line that ranks dead last in the NFL in adjusted line yards AND adjusted sack rate get to face an Eagles defensive line that, despite only having 3 sacks on the year, boasts the best adjusted line yards (by a mile) and best stuff rate. The secondary is still injured and will likely be without Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones AND Avonte Maddox but with limited time to throw and the inability to run Falk is going to be forced to throw quickly which will make presses and short zone concepts tremendously effective. He won't have time to throw deep to beat the injured secondary. LOVE this UNDER almost as much as the Redskins under. Poor Falk.
Redskins Team Total UNDER 13.5 @ -13 (DraftKings) (2.5 units)
Patriots to SHUTOUT Redskins @ +950 (Bet365) (0.25 units)
I put this one in earlier in the week but it turns out the Redskins are starting Colt McCoy which makes me like this quite a bit less but I'm not going to hedge it. This Patriots defense has allowed one touchdown this season and are on pace for a historic performance. I don't think people realize just how good this defense is on paper. They're deep and versatile at every single position with a perfect blend of young and old. They're also able to play multiple formations and have the bench depth to function against any offense. Also they're coached by Belichek.... I'm gonna let this one ride anyway but it goes from my STONE COLD LOCK OF THE WEEK to just a solid bet now. Feeling less good about the shutout now too but no use hedging that at the odds it's at.
NFL Football (Sunday) (late night adds)
CHI Bears/OAK Raiders UNDER 41.5 (or 41) (0.5u)
PIT Steelers +3.5 @ -117 (1.1u)
BAL Ravens/PIT Steelers UNDER 44 (1.1u)
ATL Falcons +4 (0.5u)
Bears/Raiders is approaching 40 in a lot of places but theres still 41's floating around and I got 41.5 at BetMGM locally. London game is usually a total shitshow. Between 2012-17 the OVER went 11-5 but last year the UNDER hit in all three games. This should be an ugly one with two poor quarterbacks and OAK with particularly limited weapons due to injury/lack of talent as well as a menacing Bears pass rush.
The other three plays here were already leans for me and I noticed an absurd differential in tickets vs money on both this evening. They both make a lot of sense. Mike Tomlin has gone 30-17 ATS as an underdog in his tenure with the Steelers and after their defense finally showed signs of figuring things out (albeit against an awful Bengals team) we can expect a competitive game. Ravens/Steelers games are historically close slugfests, I'll take the points in what I'm expecting to be a defense, running, and ball control game.
Falcons is strictly a money allocation play hence the lower wager. I'm seeing 45% of bets on the Falcons but 61% of the money on the Falcons. I don't usually go entirely based off of this for a number of reasons but it can be a clue and as I said I was leaning the Falcons way anyway. These are two completely inept coaches, two poor defenses (especially in the secondaries), and two poor offensive lines. This game could go any number of ways. It could be low scoring because neither team can protect the QB or it could be high scoring with good QBs torching awful secondaries. The Texans tend to be overly conservative with their leads, I've had a lot of success betting against them with leads this year and last year and it's let to a lot of backdoor covers. I could see the Falcons winning a shootout.
CIN CB Dre Kirkpatrick OVER 4.5 tackles+assists @ +120 (0.5u)
CIN CB William Jackson OVER 2.5 tackles+assists @ -125 (0.5u)
CIN ILB Preston Brown OVER 6.5 tackles+assists @ -120 (0.5u)
ATL S Kemal Ishmael OVER 3.5 tackles+assists @ -160 (0.5u)
PIT ILB Terrell Edmunds OVER 5.5 tackles+assists @ -140 (0.5u)
TEN ILB Rashaan Evans OVER 5.5 tackles+assists @ -150 (1u)
CAR ILB Shaq Thompson OVER 7.5 tackles+assists @ -150 (1u)
JAX OLB Quincy Williams OVER 6.5 tackles+assists @ -120 (1u)
WAS S Landon Collins OVER 6.5 tackles+assists @ -120 (0.5u)
WAS S Montae Nicholson OVER 5.5 tackles+assists @ +120 (0.25u)
WAS ILB Jon Bostic OVER 6.5 tackles+assists @ -150 (0.25u)
TB ILB Devin White OVER 4.5 tackles+assists @ +125 (0.5u)
CHI CB Kyle Fuller OVER 4.5 tackles+assists @ +120 (0.5u)
LAC WR Keenen Allen UNDER 90.5 receiving yards @ -112 (0.5u)
TB RB Ronald Jones OVER 47.5 rushing yards @ -124 (0.5u)
NE QB Tom Brady OVER 1.5 passing TDS @ -175 (2u)
As always, player props are a blend of projections, pricing, game script, and anticipated strategic approach.