Week 5 of the NFL season is already upon us, and it’s the last full slate for a few months as the bye weeks start next week. We start the day today with another London game as the Packers finally make it across the pond to take on the Giants in London, while the highlight of the day is, of course, the Bengals v Ravens in the late-night game.
The bookmakers aren’t expecting a high-scoring weekend with only one game lined over 50, that being the Monday night affair between the Chiefs and Raiders which we’ll look at tomorrow.
If you’re playing DraftKings today then check out NFL-DFS.com for Jack’s views on the Showdown match in London and the main slate, and enter our league – $5 – 30 person contest
Giants +7.5 at Packers: 41.5 (London)
So the UK public finally get a chance to see Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in London and don their £60 cheese helmets at Spurs stadium. This is likely to be a run-heavy game on both sides of the ball, hopefully with LOTS OF KICKING, because you know, the UK fans love kicking…
The Packers will use Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon a lot as they have done in every game this season, but they are getting something together through the air after a rough start with a lack of talent, Lazard is getting the looks and rookie Romeo Doubs looks like he’ll go on to be the highest-yardage rookie in the Rodgers era as he seems to have gained the trust of his QB having scored a couple of games in a row now.
The Giants look like they’ll start Daniel Jones with an ankle injury, he seems to have been moving OK in training but his mobility is his main strength and if it’s limited then that will affect them. They’ll be run heavy due to the fact that David Sills is one of their leading targets in the passing game in a WR room which has been decimated with injuries this season. Basically it will be 75% Saquon Barkley as he’ll look to get 25+ touches on the ground and a few receptions mixed in there, and he’s going up against a Packers defense which has been weak against the run this year.
The Packers will win and should cover, but I’ll be betting Saquon Barkley o78.5 rushing yards, I also like the Paddypower boost on this, Jones and Barkley both 50 rush yards and a TD at 9/1 – £10 max on that
Dolphins -3.5 at Jets: 45.5
Teddy two-gloves starts for the Dolphins after their idiotic actions saw Tua suffer yet another “back or knee injury” against the Bengals, fucking idiots. It is a downgrade but it’s minimal, Teddy showed he could at least hit the deep ball as he found Tyreek Hill 60 yards downfield last week. They’ll have Hill and Waddle playing although both were on the injury report this week. It looks like Mostert could be getting more of the ball on the ground with Chase Edmonds behind him.
The Jets beat the stinking Steelers last week in unlikely fashion as Zach Wilson led them on a game-winning drive, it wasn’t a pretty game for them though and it looks like they’ve been upgraded a lot off the back of it, Garrett Wilson looks good, Corey Davis is doing his bit and Breece Hall is now the RB1 there and looking good at it.
I like the Dolphins to win and cover this spread, they’re the better team. Let’s lean under on the total. Mostert longest rush o14.5
Falcons +10.5 at Buccaneers: 47.5
Shit week for Tom Brady off the field, but he seems to have decided that football is his life so he’ll be looking to bounce back here against a team he has smoked in his time in Tampa, averaging 35 points in each of the 6 games he’s played against them, some times things just work against certain teams. They have their wide receivers back with Evans and Godwin both playing and Julio probably making it out there, and they’ll look to get Lenny Fournette more than 3 touches on the ground this week against a poor rushing defense.
The Falcons are without Cordarelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts, their two most noticeable players, but they ran the ball down the Browns’ throats last week with Tyler Allegier and Caleb Huntley and rookie Drake London has been playing well too.
This is too much for a battered Falcons team and while I’m sure they’ll get to 14+ points, I can’t see them keeping up with the Bucs. Bucs cover and over on the total.
Texans+6.5 at Jaguars: 43.5
The Jaguars are nearly a TD favourite against another NFL team, amazing stuff. The biggest favourite they’ve been since Oct, 2019 and you’ve got to say it’s a fair line, they’ve looked very good this year with Trevor Lawrence showing that he maybe does have what it takes to do well in the league.
Lawrence has formed a good partnership with Christian Kirk who has 3 TDs already this year and uses his tertiary pieces well with the Jones boys providing good support. The run game has been very good led by James Robinson, but they’ll probably want to get Travis Etienne more of the ball in coming games with so much expected of him and playing the worst team in the league might be a good place to do that.
The Texans aren’t good. Davis Mills is below average and that hurts the passing game, which in fairness is mainly Brandin Cooks and no-one else, but they do seem to have found a good running back in Dameon Pierce who broke off a long one last week. Not a whole lot more to say about them.
Jaguars should win and cover, but the Texans have won the last 8 against them, so it’s a no bet for me.
Steelers +13.5 at Bills: 45.5
The Steelers… are two TD underdogs. That’s even rarer than the Jaguars being a TD favourite, in fact the oddshark.com database only has two games in it where they’ve been 13 point underdogs or higher, 1992 and 1996. So it’s been a while since they’ve been facing this kind of challenge.
They are giving rookie Kenny Pickett (who lived up to his name with 3 INTs last week) his first start, you’ve got to think he’s an upgrade on Trubisky who was leading a horrible offense, and he has said this week he’ll be aggressive, that probably means more turnovers but it means they’ll at least be interesting to watch and the George Pickens OROY train can finally leave the station, the two had a good connection in camp and as much as I dump on the boring narrative of the Steelers and rookie WRs, I do think it’s a huge upgrade for him.
The Bills have been hit by injuries on the defense but came back against the Ravens in a rain storm last week to affirm their position atop the AFC odds standings, they’re fairly healthy on offense, the loss of Crowder isn’t too major and should be able to put up the points needed here. Not much more to say on the best team in the league really.
I can’t take the Bills to win this by two-scores despite the fact they win by 10+ or lose their games, they played the Ravens last week and have an AFC #1 seed game against the Cheifs next week, classic look-ahead/sandwich spot, Steelers cover. George Pickens o40.5 rec. yards
Titans -1.5 at Commanders: 42.5
Good luck finding more than 2 people who will be watching this game. The Titans lost rookie Treylon Burks for at least 4 weeks last week leaving them even weaker at WR, it should mean more for Bobby Trees (Robert Woods) who found the endzone last weekend, but it probably means more Derrick Henry who is looking like the beast we thought he would be and has been getting involved in the passing game in increasing amounts.
The Commanders are not a good team, probably bottom three with the Texans and Bears, but they may have a little spark with Brian Robinson making his NFL debut after being shot in pre-season, a pretty remarkable recovery and the coaching staff love him, he might not get the full workload here but it probably won’t be too long with Antonio Gibson not doing much to take that role. They are without Jahan Dotson here, so Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel get a small bump especially in endzone looks, although Logan Thomas may be the man to look at in TD betting.
Titans should win and cover, but the B Rob debut could muddle things, it’s a stay away game for me. I do love the Titans to win 1st Quarter though – 5/4
Seahawks +5.5 at Saints: 45.5
Geno Smith is the best QB in the NFC? PFF seem to think so, he’s been efficient and accurate and that’s all they wanted, keep the ball safe and make plays when required, fair play to him. DK Metcalf had a day last week against Okudah who had been locking down WRs, but he’ll face tougher coverage in this one against Lattimore. They’ll look for another big day from Rashaad Penny who dominated last week and the Saints run defense isn’t what it used to be.
The Saints will be starting Andy Dalton again, the red rifle did well in London and OROY favourite Chris Olave frequently. He’ll have to do that more with Michael Thomas once again out with a broken fingernail or something, the guy got his big pay cheque and seems to try and miss as many games as possible now… Callaway and TE Adam Trautman got more looks than normal last weekend too and could be worth a look in props.
I didn’t think I’d say it, but I’ve got to lean Seahawks at least covering and maybe winning out right. Adam Trautman o9.5 rec. yards is a very low line that I’ve got to go over.
Chargers -1.5 at Browns: 46.5
Justin Herbert is another week into his rib cartridge problem and looking more comfortable but the run game was where they thrived against a shit Texans team last week with Ekeler finally getting off the mark on the season, and they’ll surely look to do the same here against a Browns team who got run over by the Falcons last weekend.
They’re once again without Keenan Allen with his niggling hamstring injury so Mike Williams and Gerald Everett will have to do the heavy lifting once more and it’s a decent matchup for them against a Browns defense which has not lived up to expectation so far.
Nick Chubb has lived up to expectations though and will continue to do so while Jacoby Brissett is under center for them. He has another 100-yard game last week and they’ll look to keep the ball away from the Chargers by using him and KHunt as much as possible. Amari Cooper is officially the WR1 here but the passing game can’t be trusted.
This is the first real opponent the Browns have faced and they’re 2-2, I’ve got to take the Chargers winning
Lions +3.5 at Patriots: 45.5
The Lions games so far have seen the most points through 4 games in history as they can’t defend and despite injuries on offense still manage to put up points no matter who they have out there as Goff proves he can do well with good protection.
They should have Amon-Ra St. Brown back here and if he plays he’ll go straight back into being the WR1 for them after he started the season on fire. TJ Hockenson was the man last week with 179 yards and 2 scores, he obviously won’t put up those numbers again but he should do OK and Josh Reynolds showed up well in the passing game too. The run game was Jamaal Williams and not much else with D’Andre Swift out and that seems like the same plan here.
The Patriots are probably starting 4th round rookie Bailey Zappe who played well after coming in early last week, although there was chat of Mac Jones being back, they’d be stupid to rush him back in a season where they’re not going anywhere.
This will be a heavy run game with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson sharing the load on the ground, Stevenson usually the more involved in the passing game, and both should do well against a Lions team who allowed 150+ to Penny last weekend. The passing game is practically non-existent as you’d expect from a group led by Devante Parker.
If it wasn’t Bill Belichick and wasn’t the first outdoors game the Lions have played this year then I’d be all over them getting the points, but as it is, I’m not taking that. Rhamondre Stevenson anytime – 7/4 (Betfred, 11/8 Hills) and 2+ – 13/2 (Skybet)
Bears +7.5 at Vikings: 43.5
Da Bears. Fair play to them, they won a game and haven’t been destroyed against anyone, but they’re garbage. They will have David Montgomery back which at least gives them options on the ground. Justin Fields probably isn’t it, but he will look for deep shots to Mooney and their host of incredibly talented receiving options like Dante Pettis and Cole Kmet.
The Vikings come home from London without taking the bye week, but they’re playing in a 1pm game so Kirk Cousins should be fine. They moved the ball well in London until the redzone, but Justin Jefferson found the endzone on a jet sweep and Thielen got a lot of action too as they trotted up and down the field. Got to expect more of the same here with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison mixing it up on the ground.
As long as Cousins doesn’t turn it over multiple times the Vikings should win and cover, but they have a habit of keeping games very close so I won’t be backing the spread.
49ers -6.5 at Panthers: 39.5
The 49ers stumped the Rams as they always do on Monday Night Football last weekend and should be able to pressure Baker Mayfield enough in this one to get the win on the road.
Jimmy G is fine, Deebo Samuel still as electric as always and they’ve got options with Aiyuk and Kittle in the passing game although the lack of counting stats for Kittle is killing fantasy owners (he did have one just out of the endzone last weekend) – They’ll look to run the ball a lot with Jeff Wilson and have their defense stuff the Panthers.
Did I say the Bears, Texans and Commanders were bottom three? I need somewhere in there for the Panthers. They are horrible to watch with Baker Mayfield under center, Christian McCaffrey is their one bright spark and he’s not shining this year either. It’s not really worth talking DJ Moore or Robbie Anderson as Baker can’t get the ball past people at the line of scrimmage. They stink. Screw Matt Rhule.
49ers win and cover.
Cowboys +5.5 at Rams: 41.5
The Cowboys have been spritely with Cooper Rush under center but they’ve not really played anyone in that stretch so it will be interesting to see how he goes in this one. Their defense has been to key to their wins and the ability to generate pass rush is something the Rams haven’t dealt with all year…
CeeDee Lamb is going to play despite being on the injury report and with Michael Gallup back, and Dalton Schultz getting healthier they have options through the air, but Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard will probably get a lot of work on the ground as they look to run the clock and keep the game short.
The Rams have been very disappointing so far with their offensive line issues killing them in games, but even without that when the opposition know that the ball is going to Cooper Kupp it’s a limited offense and it’s shown it. Akers and Henderson are struggling to run behind that line and the passing game isn’t clicking at all.
I’ve got to lean Cowboys getting the points. They have a pass rush, and it’s as simple as that from what we’ve seen so far from the Rams.
Eagles -5.5 at Cardinals: 49.5
The NFC favourites and only unbeaten team in the league travel to the place they’ll hope to be in February to take on the spluttering Cardinals.
The Eagles gave the Jags a 14 point head start last week yet still didn’t ever really look like losing as they dominated on the ground and Jalen Hurts did enough through the air to get them the win. Hurts is running this offense very well and his ability to run makes their run game the most dangerous in the league with Miles Sanders looking good too.
Devonta Smith and AJ Brown are showing up as one of the better duos in the league and with this being in a dome they’ll get more of the ball this week.
The Cardinals are yet to score in the first quarter of a game as they struggle to get going yet Kyler Murray has dragged them to a 2-2 start, mainly by targeting Marquise Brown a hell of a lot, usually 5 yards down the field as the speedster gets open quickly. Zach Ertz has had a fair few yards at TE as well while the run game hasn’t really got going after James Conner had his career year last season. They like Rondale Moore but still don’t seem to have figured out what to do with him other than end-arounds which seem to constantly be stopped for a loss.
Eagles should win and cover here, but with the Cowboys on deck they may have one eye looking ahead.
Bengals +3.5 at Ravens: 48.5
The AFC North decider? As you’ll know if you’ve read my posts for any time I am a Bengals fan, albeit a pessimistic one, so going into this one thinking they’ll win and do it comfortably is a weird feeling.
The Bengals seem to have got back on track after a poor start and the offensive line has protected Joe Burrow far better, he said it was the best protection he’s had at the Bengals last Thursday, although that wasn’t a high line to surpass. He found Higgins and Chase well and their speed going up against slow Ravens corners should be the key in this one. Higgins has started the season on fire as teams are fading coverage to Chase and they look for the open man. That man could be Tyler Boyd who had big games against the Ravens last year.
They’ll be wanting more from the running game as Mixon hasn’t got going at all this year, partly down to the offensive line, but he doesn’t seem to have the burst from what we’ve seen so far. I’d imagine they will continue to waste first downs with him.
The Ravens have led for all but 15 seconds (or so) of their games this season yet find themselves at the same record as the Bengals at 2-2. Lamar Jackson is playing mainly at MVP levels, but the way they’ve thrown away games recently will be a concern for them, and missing Rashod Bateman here limits them even further in the passing game, expect even more from Mark Andrews and maybe rookie Isaiah Likely will get more over the middle of the field.
JK Dobbins returned to form last weekend and will look to do similar with the Bengals missing DJ Reader, their main run-stuffer.
My confidence here comes from the way they stopped the Ravens last season, they have built specifically to stop the Ravens and have done it well while the speed they’ve got on offense can be an issue. No doubt if the Bengals do win it will get blamed on injuries to the other team.
I’ll be up at 1am for this, and looking forward to a good game.