NFL Week 5 picks against the spread

NFL Week 5 picks against the spread

Denver Broncos* versus Indianapolis Colts (-3.5)

Russell Wilson warms up prior to a game versus the Raiders of Las Vegas.

Photo: AP/Rick Scuteri

In the first four weeks of the season, the Broncos have already played in primetime twice. In Weeks 5 and 6, they will play two additional primetime games. Denver should already be accustomed to playing at weird hours.

This game is awful, and it is difficult to believe Denver, whose two victories have not been convincing.

However, it is even more difficult for the Colts to win on the road without Jonathan Taylor, their finest player.

Green Bay Packers are favored by eight points over the New York Giants.

Against the New England Patriots, Aaron Rodgers seeks to pass.

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

Last week, the Saints and Vikings played arguably the most entertaining game in the history of the NFL’s international series in front of a London crowd.

It seems unlikely that such a natural disaster will occur twice. Someone is likely to suffer from jet lag this week, and since the Packers nearly lost to a third-string quarterback in OT last week, it seems like a good time for a comeback performance.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+14) over Buffalo Bills*

Kenny Pickett is jubilant after scoring against the New York Jets.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

This is a tough betting game. Kenny Pickett will make his first NFL start on the road against a contender for the Super Bowl this season.

While he performed admirably in relief of Mitch Trubisky last week, he also threw three interceptions in the first half against a club that will be significantly inferior than the Bills on Sunday.

Still, 14 points is a significant margin in the NFL, and even games completely dominated by one team might end with a score of 24-13. Accept the points or leave.

Cleveland Browns* versus Los Angeles Chargers (+2.5)

Nick Chubb carries the football against the New York Jets.

AP Photo/Ron Schwane

Last week, the Chargers allowed rookie Texans running back Dameon Pierce to rush for 131 yards on only 14 carries.

This week, the Chargers will face the duo of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. The Browns’ offense couldn’t have asked for a better matchup.

Atlanta Falcons* (-9.5) versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers*

Tom Brady announces his offensive line prior to a play against the Kansas City Chiefs.

AP Photo/Alex Menendez

After struggling for the first three weeks of the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense scored 31 points against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. In the same game in which their offense awoke, their defense fell asleep, resulting in a 41-31 loss.

This is the week in which the Buccaneers re-emerge as a leading contender to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Seattle Seahawks plus six points over New Orleans Saints*

After scoring a touchdown against the Detroit Lions, Geno Smith celebrates.

AP Picture by Duane Burleson

Geno Smith has outperformed everyone’s expectations in Seattle. Through four games, he has displayed exceptional performance.

The Saints have recently returned from a trip to London, and it is still unclear if Jameis Winston or Andy Dalton will start at quarterback. Six points seems like a lot to give up against a jet-lagged team.

The Detroit Lions are favored by 3.5 points over the New England Patriots.

T.J. Hockenson is jubilant after scoring against the Seattle Seahawks.

AP Photo/Rick Osentoski

There are too many injuries on both teams to accurately predict the outcome of this game.

I wouldn’t make a serious play until shortly before kickoff, when it is certain who will be on the field and who will not. This column does not afford me the luxury, so I will close my eyes and accept the points.

Miami Dolphins are 3.5-point underdogs vs the New York Jets.

Tyreek Hill carries the ball while against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Photograph: AP/Joshua A. Bickel

Cooper Rush and Jimmy Garoppolo have already made significant contributions to their respective clubs as backup quarterbacks thus far this season.

The same could be said for Teddy Bridgewater in Miami. He is a fairly popular commodity. Bridgewater can move the ball well, and with as many weapons as the Dolphins have, he should be able to do enough to defeat the Jets.

Minnesota Vikings* over Chicago Bears (-7.5)

During a game against the New Orleans Saints, Kirk Cousins throws the ball to Dalvin Cook.

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The Chicago Bears are the second-worst scoring team in the NFL, averaging just 16 points a game. I’d like to like Justin Fields, but despite a few small glimpses of life over the last weekend, the Bears offense still appears to be in a state of disarray.

Justin Jefferson is scheduled to torch another team.

7-point favorite Houston Texans over Jacksonville Jaguars*

Dameon Pierce rushes alongside the Los Angeles Chargers’ sideline.

Photograph: AP/David J. Phillip

The Jaguars are stronger than many predicted they would be this season, but I’m not convinced they’re ready to be a touchdown favorite against a divisional foe.

I cannot recall the last time the Jaguars were a touchdown favorite against any opponent; perhaps during the Blake Bortles era. Regardless, it has been a while, and the Texans possess sufficient fight to at least keep the game close.

Tennessee Titans are favored by 1.5 points over the Washington Commanders.

A touchdown scored by Derrick Henry against the Indianapolis Colts.

AP Foto/AJ Mast

Derrick Henry has scored in three consecutive games and is coming off a 114-yard outing against the Colts.

This week, Henry will be the best player on the field, and he should have another excellent day.

Carolina Panthers (-6.5) over San Francisco 49ers

Jeff Wilson Jr. evades the Los Angeles Rams while running loose.

AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez

Currently, the Panthers have almost nothing going for them.

While their last two defeats were relatively tight, the 49ers defense they will face on Sunday should be their toughest opponent to yet.

It is unlikely that they will score 20 points against San Francisco.

Arizona Cardinals* (+5) over Philadelphia Eagles

Kyler Murray crosses the line of scrimmage against the Carolina Panthers.

AP Picture by Rusty Jones

It would be difficult to find two teams with more divergent vibes than the Eagles and Cardinals.

The Eagles are firing on all cylinders, spreading positivity throughout the locker room, and battling as one. Meanwhile, the head coach and quarterback of the Cardinals are openly arguing in the middle of a game, having spent the whole offseason arguing over trivial stuff.

Still, this seems like a few too many points for the Eagles to face on the road. They will inevitably fall at some point.

Los Angeles Rams* over Dallas Cowboys (-5.5)

Cooper Kupp carries the ball while opposing the San Francisco 49ers.

AP Image: Jeff Lewis

Cooper Rush will eventually lose a game. The man is not a magician, despite what his recent movie office results may lead you to believe.

The Rams will win this game with at least one, and possibly two interceptions from Jalen Ramsey.

Baltimore Ravens* vs Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

Lamar Jackson prepares for a game against the Buffalo Bills by warming up.

AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.

The Ravens are 2-2 on the season, but they have only trailed for a total of 14 seconds.

Last season, the Bengals dominated the Ravens twice, scoring 41 points in each victory.

Although it’s possible Cincinnati has Baltimore’s number, I believe the Ravens will find a way to avenge last year’s humiliating loss in front of their home fans in primetime.

Raiders of Las Vegas (+7) over Chiefs of Kansas City*

Davante Adams and Derek Carr observe a game against the Denver Broncos from the sidelines.

AP Photo/Abbie Parr

Unabashedly, this is a poor choice.

I am captivated by this play every year.

Eight of the Chiefs’ last nine games versus the Raiders have been victories. Only one of these victories has been by less than a touchdown. I prefer to believe divisional games will be tight, despite the fact that history insists on proving otherwise.

And yet, here I am, picking the Raiders once more because I believe a touchdown would be a bit much for Derek Carr and Davante Adams.

Perhaps they are due.

 

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