Eight Bets for NFL Week #5

NFL Oct 10, 2020

Note:  All numbers are based on lines at SPREADS.CA (Saturday Afternoon)

I had a small win last week, going 6-4-1, but the Arizona Cardinals' upset loss at Carolina was a bankroll killer.  That game represented a big swing.  Looking back, those are the bets you have to cash, or it's tough to have a winning week.

Here's my weekly video discussion in this week's games.  The video runs about 35 minutes.  FF to the 6-min mark if you want analysis on each game:


CAR at ATL -1.5 [O/U: 54]: I wanted to play CAR +3.5 but missed the send-out number and by the time I had money in hand, the line dropped to +1 to +1.5.  That's like jumping on a missed flight.  Some advice:  Don't try to board after the plane left the gate.  As far as the total at 54, that looks about right.  It's tempting to play this total OVER given the propensity of ATL games to soar over most numbers, especially with that horrid defense surrendering avg. of 35 points-per-game.  However, I'm passing on this one.  No bets.

LV at KC -11 [O/U: 55.5]:  It's KC -11 or nothing for me here, as LV is outmatched in just about every area.  I was repulsed by what I saw from Raiders last week and can easily see a slide downward as the season wears on.  That's New Orleans upset by Las Vegas in the opener was a mirage.  This is a subpar team.  Surprisingly, KC has gone UNDER the total in three straight games despite its reputation for points -- any other year I'd bet the UNDER, but not this season given how the scoring numbers are way up.  Raiders split their first four games, which all went OVER the total.  LV is just is 9-15 ATS in its last 24 games as a road underdog.  Short week for the Chiefs, after beating New England on MNF.  No bets.

DEN at NWE -10 [O/U: 48.5]: I have no interest in this game.  QB Stidham reportedly is getting his first NFL start.  Pass.

LAR -7 at WAS {O/U: 45.5]: Rams -7 looks too easy, but I'd be careful about laying that number here.  LAR sleepwalked to an easy win last week and haven't been tested much (wins versus three soft opponents, plus BUF--which they lost).  I'm also concerned about LAR travel here with their third game in five weeks in the East time zone.  WAS is a mess with QB change this week and it's hard to make a case for betting them, but there's some chance LAR don't take this opponent as seriously as other games, which ends up being closer than the spread indicates.  Also, WAS has been outscored 75-24 in the first half this season, which shows poor game preparation.  No wagers.

JAX at HOU -5.5 [O/U: 55.5]: HOU is laying -5.5, yet they're winless at 0-4 and fired their polarizing head coach midweek.  This is a very strange number that would normally make me lean to JAX.  But the Jags have steadily deteriorated in performance the last three weeks so I can't back them either, as tempting as the points do appear.  Hard to believe this stat, but it's true:  Texans don’t have a takeaway yet, are minus-5 in turnovers.  No bets.

BUF -1 at TEN [O/U: 49]: I have no interest in this game, but lean do lean to TEN based on the second straight week of travel for Bills, plus Titans being more rested.  TEN, despite being 3-0, in my view has underperformed and due for a solid effort.  This is an opponent they won't take lightly.  BUF won its first four games, scoring 31 PPG. All four games went OVER the total.  Meanwhile, TEN won its first three games by combined total of just six points.  No bets.

ARZ -7 at NYJ [O/U: 47.5]: ARZ played a horrible game last week and now plays another roadie, this time versus the NFL's worst team.  The matchup seems like a perfect spot for Cardinals to gain some confidence and bounce back with a big win.  But I'm off the ARZ train, for now.  Cardinals were held to 133 passing yards last week; they gave up 444 yards to Carolina!  Not sure they deserve to be laying a full touchdown after blowing two games in a row, versus weak competition -- Detroit and the Panthers.  No bets.

MIN at SEA -7 [O/U: 57.5): Here's the highest total of the week based on two high-scoring offenses combined with two defenses that can't seem to stop anybody.  I'd normally throw caution to the wind and try to stand up to the storm winds -- fading expectations of points being scored and take the contrarian value -- but I can't do that right now.  I lean to MIN plus the 7, but won't be making any wagers.


PHI at PIT -7 [O/U: 44]: A rested PIT team that's played excellent defense, so far, should be able to handle an injury-plagued opponent coming off a false win versus a decimated opponent (SFO) last week.  Really bad situation for PHI here, still struggling on offense and now facing a tough test.  I'll lay the -7 and also look for points to be scored, particularly in the first half.  I found a 20.5 (first-half total) so I'm counting on these two teams to produce at least three touchdowns.  A 14-7 Steeler lead at the half would be nice.  Two bets here -- the favourite and OVER in the first-half.  PIT -7 and IH OVER 20.5.  Also, TEASE PIT to -1.

CIN at BAL -13.5 [O/U: 49.5]: Give me the AFC North division dog getting nearly two touchdowns.  CIN has shown steady improvement every week (one tie, and one win) and as the Bengals offense gels with more experience, they should be able to stay within the margins of games like this, which may have a jaded line based on outdated perception (yeah, CIN still has much to prove).  BAL looked sloppy at times last week, despite the easy win at WAS, and could take this opponent lightly.  I think any capper who understands betting value has to play CIN here, so I will.  CIN +13.5

IND -1 at CLE [O/U: 47.5]: This looks like one of the best games of the week with a matchup of CLE which is scoring lots of points versus one of NFL's best defenses, allowing just 11 PPG its last three contests.  Tempting to play the home dog here, but I'll pass on the side.  Instead, given how scoring is up, I''' play OVER 23 in the first half of this game.  Both of these teams have been solid offensively in the first halfs, so anything under the league average (25 PPG in 1H) looks bettable.  1H OVER 23.

MIA at SFO -8.5 [O/U: 50.5]: QB Garoppolo isn’t expected to play here; could be 3rd-stringer Beathard.  QB issues and injuries haven't stopped the 49ers from scoring points.  But they're just 2-2 and I'm not sure a team that's lost both their home games this season should now be laying more than a TD to anyone, especially since MIA does occasionally show up with a solid effort.  Dolphins did have SEA on ropes in 2H last week before a killer interception.  They could very well be 4-0 ATS, but as many young teams do -- they make mistakes.  Given SFO injury issues, I'll count on Dolphins to be able to put enough things together to get the cover.  MIA +8.5

NYG at DAL -8.5 [O/U: 54]:  Dallas should win this game by four touchdowns.  But will they?  I'm counting on the talent disparity and motivation to created a lopsided game from the openning kickoff.  Keep in mind DAL is the #1 ranked offense in the NFL and should get into the 30+ range versus a weak defense.  Meanwhile, the Cowboys terrible defense finally faces an opponent they should be able to shut down.  It's hard to see how Giants with a horrid offensive line and no rushing game will keep up with DAL, which is absolutely desperate for a win.  It also hurts the Giants to play on the road a second straight week while DAL has been at home, in their own training facility, and stewing over a terrible performance last week versus CLE.  I expect they'll take it out on the Giants here, who have lost the last three visits to DAL by an average of 17 points.  Former DAL head coach and current NYG offensive coordinator J. Garret simply doesn't have the weapons here to take advantage of any presumed insider knowledge based on his years with the Cowboys.  I'm laying the chalk and also teasing DAL down to -2.5  DAL -8.5 and DAL teased on two plays (with New Orleans and with Pittsburgh)  BEST BET (DAL/NOR TEASER)

LAC at NOR -8.5 [O/U: 50]: Saints appeared to get their confidence back last week with a big win at DET and back home now, they'll be motivated to get to 3-2 on MNF.  LAC, losers of three straight, play another road game here, and young QB is getting just his fourth NFL start.  I'll fade the Chargers prospects of pulling off the possible upset here.  NOR is a notoriously poor early-season team (ATS) but once they get a few games under their belt, under Sean Peyton they turn into a winning and covering machine.  I do have some concern LAC defense could be a factor and NOR does occasionally fall short when laying big spreads versus bog dogs.  But here, on MNF even without the boisterous home crowd, NOR should be in good shape to take care of business.  I think the better value rather than laying -8.5 now, is to tease this down to -2.5 (I got this early in the week teased down to -1 when the line was -7).


PITTSBURGH -7 vs. Philadelphia -- Laying $220 to win $200


CINCINNATI +13.5 vs. Baltimore


MIAMI +8.5 vs. San Francisco

DALLAS -8.5 vs. NY Giants