Our best bets for every NFL Week 5 game

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

October 9, 2022 01:17 PM
USATSI_19166220

Welcome to Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season.

Throughout the season, our VSiN experts will combine to give their best bets on every game. Check back for more as we get closer to kickoff.

Odds are from DraftKings (unless noted) as of Thursday night.

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers (-7.5, 41) in London

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET

Dave Tuley: We successfully faded the Packers at home last week and see no reason not to fade them again on a neutral field in London. Aaron Rodgers and his receivers still look out of sync after not working much together in the offseason or preseason. Rodgers somehow rallied the Packers past the Patriots 27-24 in OT last week but were never close to covering as 9.5-point faves. The Packers’ biggest weakness continues to be their run defense, and Giants RB Saquon Barkley comes in as the league leader with 463 rushing yards. QB Daniel Jones (ankle) is expected to play, though the focus should be on letting Barkley run wild against the Packers defense.

Pick: Giants + 7.5

Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints (-5.5, 46)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Ben Wilson: With four games of data, conventional wisdom tells us we have a pretty good idea of what most teams’ identities are at this point in the season. Take Seattle: on the surface, the Seahawks look like a dynamic offense (third in yards per play) behind a resurgent QB in Geno Smith coupled with a brutal defense that should lead to shootouts and overs galore.  

But look deeper into the quality of opposition and it quickly becomes apparent that these offensive numbers are highly matchup dependent.  Against bottom-five defenses in Atlanta and Detroit, Seattle put up a combined 71 points with Smith passing for over 315 yards in each outing.  Matched up against top ten defenses in Denver and San Francisco Weeks 1 and 2, the Seahawks mustered 24 total points on 4.9 yards per play (T-23rd in the league at the time).  

That leads us to this week in New Orleans.  The Saints enter 1-3, but defense hasn’t been the issue.  Dennis Allen’s squad ranks ninth in EPA/play allowed, T-8th in yards per play allowed and 11th in yards/drive allowed.  This massive step up in class combined with a great situational spot (New Orleans limping home after back-to-back losses away from home and Seattle riding high following its win in Detroit last week) makes me think points will be a lot harder to come by for the Seahawks on Sunday.  I’m not interested in chasing a big line move here with the Saints being bet in the market from -4 to -5.5, but I’ll look to fade Seattle in the team total market instead.

Pick: Seahawks Team Total Under 20

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-7, 43.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: The Jaguars are -7 almost across the board, which would mark the first time since Week 8 of the 2019 season that they were favored by that much. They were actually favored by more than a touchdown three times during the 2018 calendar year, including a playoff game against the Bills. That being said, this is still rare air for this team.

It appears to be deserved though. The Texans have gotten very little out of Davis Mills, have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league and have one major weakness that might lead to this game getting out of hand. Houston is 31st in third-down conversion rate at 26.9%, and extra possessions are what the Jaguars need to be able to cover this spread.

The Jaguars are coming off of an outlier performance with five turnovers, including four lost fumbles, against the Eagles. I’m not saying they should have won the game, but the Eagles scored the majority of their points off of turnovers and the game could have gone very differently had the oblong-shaped ball bounced in another direction. It was the first game in which we saw the Jacksonville offense held in check after racking up at least 330 yards in each of the first three games.

The Jaguars should get back on track this week with the Texans. Houston’s 5.1 yards per play on offense were boosted by over nine yards per carry last week against the Chargers. The Jags have defended the run well. 

The Texans have allowed opponents 15 trips into the red zone but have allowed just seven touchdowns. They’ve been fortunate in that regard. Add up red-zone regression on defense and a bad third-down offense and you have the conditions for a blowout.

Pick: Jaguars -7

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-14.5, 46)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: I think this number has been adjusted too high after it was Bills -9.5 on the advance line last week. It reopened -14 on Sunday afternoon and that’s where it remains everywhere except DraftKings, which has added the hook. The Bills are certainly capable of blowing teams out, but they’ve played close games the last two weeks (loss at Dolphins, win at Ravens). While the Steelers aren’t as good as those teams, parity still exists in the NFL and their defense should keep this relatively close (I trust Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin to have a game plan to contain Buffalo QB Josh Allen) and rookie Kenny Pickett should be better prepared with a full week of reps with the first team. He already seems to have a good rapport with fellow rookie George Pickens.

Pick: Steelers + 14.5

Adam Burke: The Steelers face long odds against the Bills this week. In fact, as many have noted, this is likely to be the first time the Steelers have been 14-point underdogs since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. Big spreads can lead to lower-scoring games, especially with an underdog that has an inefficient passing offense. Buffalo can get ahead and just salt the game away.

That’s what the Bills will likely look to do in this one. The spot is not a good one, coming off of the big Ravens win with the Chiefs on deck in a playoff revenge game. Josh Allen should be instructed not to take any unnecessary risks or hits here, which means he’ll stay in the pocket and throw instead of running around. With over six yards per carry this season on 30 attempts, Allen’s legs have been a big part of the offense.

For as bad as the Steelers are offensively, their defense is still extremely competent, even without T.J. Watt. Pittsburgh has only allowed 5.1 yards per play and has eight takeaways. They’re right in the middle of the pack in points per drive against, despite being 29th in opponents’ average starting field position. All of their games have totaled 46 points or fewer, and there was the “garbagest” of garbage-time touchdowns against the Browns to push that game as high as it went.

With Kenny Pickett set to start after a three-interception effort against the Jets, it’s hard to put a high projection on the Steelers offense. He’s got a chance to be better than Mitch Trubisky, but that is a low bar as the offense that has mustered just 4.8 yards per play and ranks 25th in Offensive DVOA.

The Steelers have a knack for playing a lot of close games. For this game to be close, scoring will have to stay on the lower side. I could certainly see a Steelers + 14.5 bet coming through, but I prefer the Under 46.5.

Pick: Under 46.5 (widely available)

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10, 46)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: The Falcons are one of the most improved teams in the league. Watching the Colts offense struggle, you can’t help but wonder if Matt Ryan is limited at this stage of his career and was holding Atlanta back. Marcus Mariota hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers by any means, but the Falcons have scored on over 44% of their possessions and put up at least 23 points in every game.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, are in shambles. The offense is averaging 5.2 yards per play and has scored on less than 35% of its possessions. Tom Brady’s going through a very public divorce, which is enough to affect anybody’s performance. More than that, though, the Buccaneers’ offensive line and a litany of injuries have hurt this team in a big way. Some of those guys return this week, but it may take some time to get back up to game speed. 

The injury to Cordarrelle Patterson is probably going to scare some people off of the Falcons, but Tampa Bay doesn’t deserve to be laying more than a touchdown against anybody. Brady looks hurt, old and simply doesn’t appear to be enjoying himself. As the leader of the team, that has a trickle-down effect.

He’s not getting any help. The Bucs rushed for three yards last week against the Chiefs — not 3.0 yards per carry, three yards total — on the heels of rushing for 34 yards against the Packers. They’re a one-dimensional offense that has become easier to defend with Brady’s declining skills and the wide receiver absences. Maybe they get it together this week, but Atlanta has a good running game that can control the clock and play keep-away to keep this game close.

Pick: Falcons + 10

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-7.5, 44)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: The Vikings fall under the category of being a good teaser leg against the Bears this week. We’ve got a low total of 44 and the opportunity to take Minnesota down from -7.5 to -1.5, crossing through the key numbers of 3 and 7.

The Vikings have underwhelmed to this point. There was a ton of buzz in the preseason about how their offensive potential would be unlocked on Kevin O’Connell’s watch. They’re 3-1, but they’ve been outgained by 0.6 yards per play and the offense has only managed 5.4 YPP. They’ve allowed at least 111 rushing yards in every game but have flipped the script and come out on the winning end of some close decisions.

I’m not sure if this game will be close or not against a very limited Bears offense, but the math lines up here for a teaser and the Vikings should absolutely win this game at home.

Pick: Vikings -1.5/Commanders + 8.5 (FanDuel) Teaser

Tennessee Titans (-1.5, 43) at Washington Commanders

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: The Titans have been outgained in all four games but sit 2-2 after wins over the Raiders and Colts. They’ve had a hard time getting Derrick Henry going, as he has 4.0 yards per carry on 76 attempts. Ryan Tannehill doesn’t really strike fear in opposing defenses, which have been able to stifle the running game.

This seems to be a decent matchup for the Washington defense. The Commanders rank sixth in Rush DVOA on defense but have been shredded by the pass. The Titans don’t have much of a passing game to speak of and continue to be a team that goes as Henry goes.

The Commanders have their issues with Carson Wentz and some of his awful turnovers, but this is a team that ranks in the top six in third-down conversion rate both offensively and defensively. That should lower the chances of a blowout. We’re crossing the key numbers of 3 and 7 to take Washington up to + 7.5 and pair them with the Vikings for a Week 5 teaser.

Pick: Commanders + 8.5 (FanDuel)/Vikings -1.5 Teaser

Miami Dolphins (-3, 46) at New York Jets

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Danny Burke: Teddy Bridgewater’s record against the number as a starting quarterback is 42-20. Now, even though hitting over 67% ATS is incredibly impressive, it’s not the sole reason you should look to back Bridgewater and the Dolphins on Sunday. 

There is a reason Miami chose Bridgewater to be Tua Tagovailoa’s backup. And that is because if Tagovailoa should not be able to play, which he isn’t, it would be a seamless transition to put in Bridgewater. The skillset, athleticism and playmaking ability between these two quarterbacks is not far off. That is why this line movement, after Tua’s injury, from Miami -6 to -3, seems like an overreaction. Bridgewater is a more than capable backup, especially against a Jets squad that ranks 29th in DVOA pass defense. Plus, the Dolphins have had a longer prep week than usual, since they last played two Thursdays ago. 

The Jets barely overcame a poor Steelers team that featured a hybrid offense of Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. Are we supposed to think differently of New York now? Did Zach Wilson actually wow anybody in that game? Of course not. It’s the same old low-level Jets team that we’ve witnessed in the past. And we are getting a bargain to go against them because the market is underrating Teddy Bridgewater. Statistically, as solid as Tagovailoa has been, he’s gotten away with some sub-par throws. That is thanks to having two of the fastest receivers in the NFL in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. So, no, I’m not concerned about this Dolphins offense whatsoever, because even if Bridgewater is struggling, he has dynamic threats around him to help. 

I realize that Miami’s pass defense has been struggling, but Wilson isn’t necessarily a quarterback you have to fear in a potential shootout. This will be a get-right game for the Dolphins defense, Bridgewater will be more than sufficient and Mike McDaniel will start off his first five weeks as an NFL head coach with a record of 4-1. 

Play: Dolphins -3

Los Angeles Chargers (-2, 47.5) at Cleveland Browns

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: The result was wrong last week on the Browns/Falcons Over, but I’m not sure the handicap was. The silver lining is we’ve got a lower total than I anticipated with this week’s game, where I like the forecast for points even more. 

The Browns averaged 5.7 yards per play and the Falcons 6.1 yards per play last week. The problem was the teams combined to go just 3-for-7 in the red zone. Cleveland had a turnover on downs at the 4-yard-line and there were three field goals of 30 yards or fewer. Short field goals kill Over bets and that’s what happened in that game.

This week, these two teams may rank in the middle of the pack in yards per play, but their strengths correlate to the opponents’ weaknesses. The Chargers rank 31st in yards per carry allowed at 5.4 and we know the Browns have one of the league’s highest success rates running the football. We also know the Chargers have one of the game’s top passing attacks with 7.8 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, which ranks fourth, while the Browns are a bottom-10 pass defense by that metric.

Cleveland has had several blown coverage assignments leading to big plays. Last week, the Falcons ran the ball down their throats. Maybe the Browns fare better if Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are healthier this week, but Justin Herbert gets the ball out quickly and accurately.

The Browns are in the top 11 in both Pass and Rush DVOA offensively. The Chargers are sixth in Pass DVOA, while Cleveland is 30th in Defensive DVOA. The Chargers’ defensive numbers have taken a tumble the last two weeks against non-division opponents and they draw another one here. I like points in this one.

Pick: Over 47.5

Detroit Lions at New England Patriots (-3.5, 46.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: I already went on record as loving the Lions as a teaser play when I gave it out on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night (paired with the Rams + 7.5 as the opening leg on Monday night). Unfortunately, the Rams lost 24-9 to the 49ers to lose that early bet, but we’re taking the Lions in new teasers this week with the Vikings and Browns in the early games. In addition, we also like the Lions on the spread at + 3 or higher. The Lions have the No. 1 offense in the league at 436.8 yards per game, though they’re also No. 32 in total defense (allowing 444.8 yards per game). However, we’re not so sure the Patriots offense can keep up, whether they go with Brian Hoyer or rookie Bailey Zappe.

Pick: Lions + 3.5

San Francisco 49ers (-6.5, 39) at Carolina Panthers

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: You hate to kick a man while he’s down, but Baker Mayfield is down bad and so is Panthers coach Matt Rhule. The former Baylor boss came into this season on the hottest of hot seats and nothing has transpired yet to cool down his burning buttocks. The Panthers are 1-3 and haven’t managed 300 yards of offense in any of their four games.

Reporters are starting to ask a lot of questions about Mayfield, and this may be the week Rhule pulls the plug and goes with Sam Darnold in an attempt to save a sinking ship. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo didn’t have inspiring comments this week either, as the focus was on all of the batted balls that Baker has had. As a short quarterback, those have always been a problem, but they’ve been in the spotlight even more with this inept offensive start.

No quarterback likes pressure, but as a Browns fan that watched a ton of Baker, I can tell you he handles it worse than most. He draws a 49ers defense with 15 sacks and the highest Pressure% in the NFL at 34.2% per Pro Football Reference. The 49ers generate pressure mostly with their front four, which means they’re stout in coverage as well, and Baker is known to force the ball.

Whether he plays badly or gets benched, the projections should be very low for him this weekend.

Pick: Baker Mayfield Under 195.5 Passing Yards (-115)

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams (-5.5, 43)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: The Cowboys are actually one of the surprise teams at 3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS, with three straight wins by backup QB Cooper Rush, the placeholder for Dak Prescott, who still isn’t ready to return from his thumb injury. The Dallas offense is averaging just 312.8 yards per game to rank No. 26, but that’s been good enough with the defense stepping up, allowing just 308.5 yards per game to rank No. 7. The defending champion Rams are 2-2 after losing Monday night when they only scored nine points against the 49ers, and the Cowboys defense will cause similar problems.

Pick: Cowboys + 5.5

Wes Reynolds: The Cowboys getting 5.5 looks too good to be true for most bettors, but beware of taking the points because some regression is coming, especially for Cooper Rush. Dallas has won three in a row but has been fortunate during the win streak. The Cowboys beat the Bengals in the first game without Dak Prescott, but Cincinnati dropped three interceptions. 

Last week versus Washington, the Commanders had two picks nullified by penalty. Rush has managed the game and taken care of the football, but he has dodged several bullets as well. 

Bettors are lukewarm on the Rams after they did what they usually do — lose to the 49ers in the regular season. Plus, the Rams lost another primetime game to the Bills in the opener. 

Sean McVay is 16-9 ATS after a loss and this is an opportunity to buy low on a dead-zone number that looks attractive on the surface. 

Pick: Rams -5.5

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-3, 48.5)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: I already gave this out at + 3.5 earlier in the week at VSiN.com, so I hope a lot of readers bet it as the line is down to 3 just about everywhere. I obviously agree with the move and still like the Bengals at the current number. The Bengals have struggled a little with the Super Bowl-loser hangover, but they’ve clawed their way back to 2-2 with wins over the Jets and Dolphins. Meanwhile, the Ravens are also 2-2 as Lamar Jackson has looked like an MVP candidate, however, their defense has twice given up leads of 17 points or more. I expect the defending AFC champion Bengals to be in this game the whole way with a great chance at the SU win against a team they swept by a combined 44 points last season.

Pick: Bengals + 3

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