2021 Week 5 NFL Betting Preview: A Prediction For Each Game

The Bills and Chiefs highlight this week’s slate, as the winner will solidify themselves as the team to beat in the AFC. There are plenty of other intriguing games before we get to that Sunday Night Football affair.

Here is my favorite bet for each game this week. Odds courtesy of DraftKings on Oct. 8.

Jets (+2.5) vs. Falcons

The pick: Falcons (-105) under 23.5 points 

The reason: Atlanta is last in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ offensive efficiency, while the Jets are a respectable No. 18 on defense after a nice showing last week against the Titans. The Jets’ offense isn’t very good, which means this could be a punt-a-palooza.

Dolphins (+9.5) at Buccaneers

The pick: Dolphins quarterback Jacoby Brissett (-115) over 238.5 pass yards

The reason: Tampa Bay is allowing 2.7 yards per rush attempt this season, and teams aren’t even really trying to carry the ball. Opponents have thrown it 186 times and carried it 70 times. That pattern figures to continue, especially because the Bucs should jump out ahead in this one. Brissett is not playing well but should have enough pass attempts to surpass this total.

Packers (-3) at Bengals

The pick: Packers (-105) to cover the spread

The reason: Cincinnati is a surprising 3-1, and the defense has vastly outperformed expectations to this point. Aaron Rodgers is a different kind of test, though, and this game may show the Bengals aren’t as far along in their rebuild as some believe.

Lions (+10) at Vikings

The pick: Lions (-110) to cover the spread

The reason: The Vikings are basically middle of the pack in every phase of the game this season. Detroit is near the bottom, but has a good enough quarterback to stay within striking distance. The talent gulf between these teams doesn’t feel like it should equate to a double-digit spread, even with Minnesota at home.

Patriots (-9) at Texans

The pick: Texans (-110) to cover the spread

The reason: This is another game that seems like it will be closer than the oddsmakers envision. Houston will be bad on offense again, but the Patriots could be missing as many as four starting offensive linemen in the contest. This one could be a low-scoring slugfest, which should help Houston stick close enough to cover.

Titans (-4.5) at Jaguars

The pick: Jaguars (+170) on the moneyline

The reason: The Titans can’t lose back-to-back games to the Jets and Jaguars, can they? It might happen. Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer had a heavily-distracting week, but that shouldn’t matter much when the Jaguars hit the field. They have been playing better of late, and Tennessee won’t have Julio Jones on offense. This is the upset special of the week.

Broncos (-1) at Steelers

The pick: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (-115) under 251.5 passing yards

The reason: I will continue to keep fading Big Ben. He is averaging 6.1 yards per pass attempt and would be under serious consideration to be benched if not for his name recognition. The Broncos have a good defense and this game could be close, which wouldn’t force him to air it out.

Saints (-2.5) at Washington

The pick: Saints (-110) to cover the spread

The reason: Both of these teams are 2-2, but the Saints have been more impressive in basically every phase. Washington has been a mess defensively and its offense may not be able to make up for it in this one.

Eagles (+3) at Panthers

The pick: Panthers (-110) to cover the spread

The reason: This is an interesting spread, as the oddsmakers are saying the teams have similar talent levels since home teams generally get three points based on the location. Carolina likely won’t have star running back Christian McCaffrey, but should still take care of business.

Bears (+5) at Raiders

The pick: Bears quarterback Justin Fields (-120) under 28.5 rushing yards

The reason: Fields is a dual threat, but this is a pretty high bar. He has impressive straight line speed, so a scramble could result in a big chunk of yardage if it happens. However, Fields is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry with a long of 11 on 17 carries. This total seems unlikely to be topped.

Browns (+2) at Chargers

The pick: Browns running back Nick Chubb (-120) over 7.5 receiving yards

The reason: Chubb is a prolific runner, and Kareem Hunt is Cleveland’s pass-catching back. However, the Chargers play a bunch of two-high safety looks, which will make it hard for quarterback Baker Mayfield to throw the ball deep in this game. Chubb is averaging one catch per game this season, and will likely be in line for at least one checkdown in this one, and maybe two, making this a worthwhile wager.

Giants (+7) at Cowboys

The pick: Kadarius Toney (-115) over 50.5 receiving yards

The reason: The Giants’ first-round pick got off to a slow start this season but had six catches for 78 yards on nine targets last week. Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton are both going to miss this game for New York, opening up a ton of playing time and opportunity for Toney. He is an electric player who should have a nice day.

49ers (+4.5) at Cardinals

The pick: 49ers (-110) to cover

The reason: The Cardinals have looked great on both sides of the ball this season, but this isn’t the best matchup. The presence of dual-threat quarterback Trey Lance will allow coach Kyle Shanahan a bevy of options in the run game, and play-action should also be effective. The 49ers should be able to limit possessions with time-consuming drives and keep this one close enough to cover the spread.

Bills (+2.5) at Chiefs

The pick: Chiefs (-115) to cover the spread

The reason: Kansas City’s defense is a mess and the Bills have looked fantastic the past three games, but Patrick Mahomes has repeatedly shown no one can stop him when things are clicking. Wide receiver Josh Gordon’s presence brings yet another wrinkle that the Bills must account for.

Colts (+6.5) at Ravens

The pick: Scoring total (-110) over 46 points

The reason: The Colts’ defense looked good last week, but that was against backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Lamar Jackson should have the type of success the Seahawks, Rams and Titans did against Indianapolis. Colts quarterback Carson Wentz will be good for one of two things during a late comeback attempt: either a touchdown for Indianapolis or a turnover that sets up Balimore for a score. Either way, it will help the over.

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