TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CHICAGO BEARS
This Thursday night showdown features a pair of 3-1 teams. But one is riding a winning streak and the other is looking to bounce back after its first loss. The Bucs (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) have won three straight, most recently beating the Chargers 38-31, although they failed to cover as 7.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, the Bears (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) are coming off a 19-11 loss to the Colts, failing to cover as 3.5-point dogs. This line opened with Tampa Bay listed as a six-point road favorite. The public is all over Tom Brady and the streaking Bucs. However, despite two-thirds of bets laying the points, this line has fallen from Bucs -6 to -5.5. This sharp reverse line move was a result of wise guys buying low on the Bears plus the points. Chicago has value as a home contrarian dog on a short week without having to travel. The Bucs are + 28 in point differential this season. Chicago is + 4.
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS
These NFC South rivals are trending in opposite directions. After dropping their first two games, the Panthers (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) have rebounded to win two straight, most recently beating the Cardinals 31-21 as three-point dogs. Meanwhile, the Falcons (0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS) have been a disaster. Atlanta is one of only four winless teams, along with the Jets, Texans and Giants. The Falcons are coming off a 30-16 loss to the Packers as five-point dogs. This line opened with Atlanta listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. Pros and Joes have loaded up on the road dog Panthers, which has dropped this line from Falcons -3.5 to -2.5. Carolina has value as a road divisional dog with a line move. The Panthers also enjoy a rest advantage as the Falcons are coming off a Monday night game. Carolina is -3 in point differential, and the Falcons are -32. Respected money has also come down on the Under, dropping the total from 54.5 to 53.5.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
This AFC West matchup features teams on opposite paths. The Raiders (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) raced to a 2-0 start but have dropped two straight, most recently falling to the Bills 30-23 and failing to cover as three-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Chiefs (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) look unstoppable and poised for another Super Bowl run. Kansas City just beat the Patriots 26-10, covering as an 11-point favorite. This line opened with the Chiefs listed as 11.5-point home favorites. We’ve seen smart money lay the points with the steaking Chiefs, pushing K.C. up from -11.5 to -12.5. The Raiders have value as road divisional dogs with an inflated line and enjoy extra rest as the Chiefs played Monday night. Sharp action has hit the Under, dropping the total from 57 to 56.5. This Under matches a profitable system that focuses on divisional Unders that drop. The forecast also calls for 10-mph winds at Arrowhead. Kansas City is + 47 in point differential. Vegas is -9.
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT WASHINGTON
The Rams (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) took care of business in Week 4, beating the Giants 17-9 but failing to cover as 13.5-point favorites. Washington has been in a tailspin as of late. After posting an impressive come-from-behind win over the Eagles in Week 1, Washington (1-3 SU, 1-2-1 ATS) has dropped three straight, most recently falling to the Ravens 31-17, pushing as 14-point underdogs. This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a 9.5-point road favorite. The public has no problem laying the points, but sharps seem to think this line is a little high and have gotten down on Washington as a live home dog, which has dropped the line from 9.5 to 9. The Rams are at a disadvantage as a West Coast team going east for an early 1 p.m. ET game. Los Angeles is + 26 in point differential. Washington is -33.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT HOUSTON TEXANS
This AFC South matchup features bottom-feeders looking to turn their seasons around. The Jaguars (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) shocked the Colts in Week 1 but have dropped three straight since. Most recently, Jacksonville fell to the Bengals 33-25 as a one-point dog. It has been an even worse season for the Texans (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS), who just fired longtime coach Bill O’Brien. This line opened with Houston listed as a 6.5-point home favorite. We’ve seen the Texans fall from -6.5 to -6, signaling wise-guy money grabbing the points with the Jaguars. Jacksonville has value as a road divisional dog. Historically, divisional dogs getting about a touchdown have been profitable bets as the built-in familiarity levels the playing field and benefits the team getting points. The Jaguars are -22 in point differential. Houston is -46.
BUFFALO BILLS AT TENNESSEE TITANS
This early afternoon showdown features undefeated teams with postseason aspirations. The Bills (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) are coming off a 30-23 win over the Raiders, covering as three-point road favorites. The Titans (3-0 SU, 0-3 ATS) are playing for the first time in two weeks after several players tested positive for COVID-19. Essentially, Tennessee is coming off a bye. This line remains off the board at several shops, so we’ll have to wait to see how it moves once the line is available. The public will likely circle the wagons with the surging Bills, which might create a buy-low opportunity on the rested Titans. Buffalo is 2-0 on the road. Tennessee is 1-0 at home. Buffalo is + 23 in point differential, and Tennessee is + 6.
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT NEW YORK JETS
After jumping to an impressive 2-0 start, the Cardinals (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) have dropped two straight, most recently falling to the Panthers 31-21 as three-point favorites. The Jets (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS) have been an absolute disaster and have the worst point differential (-66) in football. New York is coming off a 37-28 loss to the Broncos as a one-point favorite. This line opened with Arizona listed as a 7.5-point road favorite. The Jets are an auto-fade for the public, and more than two-thirds of bets are laying the points with Kyler Murray and company. However, despite this lopsided betting, the line has fallen from Cardinals -7.5 to -6.5. This sharp reverse line movement was a result of pro money buying low on the winless Jets at home. New York enjoys a rest advantage, having last played Thursday night while Arizona played Sunday.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Welcome to the battle of Pennsylvania. After going winless in their first three games, the Eagles (1-2-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) bounced back with a huge 25-20 win over the 49ers on “Sunday Night Football,” winning straight up as 7.5-point dogs. The Steelers (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) are coming off a forced bye after their Week 4 game against the Titans was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. This line opened with the Steelers listed as seven-point home favorites. The public still doesn’t believe in the Eagles, and they’re all over the rested, undefeated Steelers at home. Despite this lopsided betting, this line has remained frozen at 7. Anytime it has crept up to 7.5, it has immediately been hit by sharps backing the Eagles and the hook. This signals some liability on the road dog Eagles. The Eagles are -23 in point differential. The Steelers are + 22.
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS
This AFC North game features two young quarterbacks going head to head for the first time. Joe Burrow and the Bengals (1-2-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) just picked up their first win of the season, beating the Jaguars 33-25 as one-point home favorites. The Ravens (3-1 SU, 2-1-1 ATS) bounced back from their Monday night loss to the Chiefs with a 31-17 win over Washington, although they pushed as 14-point road favorites. This line opened with Baltimore listed as a 13-point home favorite. We’ve seen smart money back the Ravens, which has pushed this line up to -13.5. It will be interesting to see if it reaches -14, in which case you will likely see some buyback on the Bengals at the key number of + 14. Cincinnati has value as a road divisional dog. Sharps seem to expect a lower-scoring game. This total has dropped from 52 to 51. The Bengals are dead even in point differential (0). Baltimore is + 49.
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
This nonconference matchup features teams looking to bounce back after home losses. The Dolphins (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) just fell to the Seahawks 31-23, failing to cover as 4.5-point underdogs. The 49ers (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) lost to the Eagles 25-20 on “Sunday Night Football,” failing to cover as 7.5-point favorites. This game remains off the board as we await word on who will start at quarterback for the 49ers. Nick Mullens was pulled last game in favor of C.J. Beathard. San Francisco is hoping to get starter Jimmy Garoppolo back sooner rather than later. Miami is 1-1 on the road and -3 in point differential. San Francisco is 0-2 at home but + 36 in point differential.
DENVER BRONCOS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
After starting the season 0-3, the Broncos (1-3 SU, 3-1 ATS) earned their first win last week, taking down the Jets 37-28 as one-point dogs. On the flip side, the Patriots (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) are coming off a 26-10 loss to the Chiefs, failing to cover as 11-point underdogs. This game remains off the board as we await word on who will start at quarterback for the Patriots. Cam Newton is questionable after testing positive for COVID-19. Brian Hoyer started against the Chiefs but was pulled for Jarrett Stidham. One thing is for sure: The Broncos will enjoy a big rest advantage. Denver last played Thursday, while New England is on a short week, having played Monday. The Broncos are -16 in point differential. New England is + 5.
NEW YORK GIANTS AT DALLAS COWBOYS
This NFC East grudge match features teams desperate for a win. The Giants (0-4 SU, 2-2 ATS) have yet to post a victory, though they kept it close last week in a 17-9 loss to the Rams, covering as 13.5-point dogs. After their miracle comeback win over Atlanta, the Cowboys (1-3 SU, 0-4 ATS) have dropped two straight, most recently falling to the Browns 49-38 as 3.5-point home favorites. This line opened with Dallas listed as a 9.5-point favorite. Some shops opened closer to Cowboys -11.5. The public sees a get-right spot for Dallas against a bad Giants team. But despite about two-thirds of bets laying the points, this line has fallen or stayed the same at -9.5. This signals liability on the Giants getting big points. New York has value as a contrarian road divisional dog. Also, Craig Wrolstad is the lead official. He has historically favored road teams (56.5% ATS). The Giants are -49 in point differential. The Cowboys are -20.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS
Both AFC foes are riding three-game winning streaks. The Colts (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) just waltzed into Chicago and beat the Bears 19-11, easily covering as 3.5-point favorites. The Browns (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) are riding high after crushing the Cowboys 49-38, winning straight up as 3.5-point dogs. This line opened at pick-’em, which means the oddsmakers view these teams as virtual equals. Despite a slight majority of bets backing the Browns at home, smart money has hammered the Colts, driving this line up to Indianapolis -2.5. The Colts have value as contrarian favorites. Road teams with a line move of at least a half-point in their favor are 17-10 ATS (63%) this season. The Colts are + 47 in point differential, and the Browns are -2. Cleveland will miss star running back Nick Chubb with a knee injury.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
This “Sunday Night Football” game features NFC playoff teams coming off postseason appearances. After a putrid 0-3 start, the Vikings (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) finally got off the schneid in Week 4, beating the Texans 31-23 as 3.5-point road dogs. Now they travel to Seattle to take on the undefeated Seahawks (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS). Seattle is coming off a 31-23 win over the Dolphins, covering as a 4.5-point favorite. This line opened with the Seahawks listed as 7.5-point home favorites. The Seahawks have covered every game this season, and the public is going back to the Seattle well. However, despite two-thirds of bets laying the points, this line has fallen from 7.5 to 7. This signals some sharp action on the Vikings getting the hook. Minnesota has value as a contrarian road dog in a heavily bet prime-time game. The Vikings are -19 in point differential. The Seahawks are + 33.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
“Monday Night Football” features a young pup quarterback in Justin Herbert against a grizzled veteran in Drew Brees. After posting a Week 1 win over the Bengals, the Chargers (1-3 SU, 3-1 ATS) have dropped three straight, most recently falling to the Bucs 38-31, although they hung on to cover as 7.5-point dogs. The Saints (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) bounced back from a two-game skid to beat the Lions 35-29, covering as three-point favorites. This line opened with New Orleans listed as a 7.5-point home favorite. The public is all over the Saints. However, despite two-thirds of bets backing New Orleans, this line has remained frozen at 7.5. This lack of movement signals some liability on the Chargers plus the points. Los Angeles also has value as a contrarian road dog in a heavily bet prime-time game. Some smart money has hit the Under, dropping it from 52 to 51. The Chargers are -12 in point differential. The Saints are dead even (0).