Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for Week 5 to help build your bankroll, highlighted by a late afternoon affair where Tom Brady and the undefeated Patriots visit the Cowboys.
After a huge 10-5 week two weeks ago, we followed up by going 5-4 over all of our NFL picks in Week 4, leaving us at a profitable 22-19-1 for +2.59 units YTD as documented in the Sportsbook Review Forum. This comes on the heels of s great NFL season last year when we went 79-57-2, 58.1 percent, +21.50 units. Now let us hope that the winning continues as we are back again with another of our Friday 5-Packs of Sunday plays for Week 5.
As usual, Week 5 began with Thursday Night Football where the underdog Indianapolis Colts improved to 2-0 with 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck starting at quarterback in place of the injured Andrew Luck, upsetting the Houston Texans 27-20 as 4½-point dogs. The teams ended up going ‘over’ the closing posted total of 40 ½.
But now we move on to Sunday, where we atypically have three totals among our five plays for Week 5. All three totals are ‘unders’ though, so we are keeping to our naturally contrarian nature in that regard. The two sides are comprised on one underdog and one big favorite, with the latter again being against the grain for us. And as has become our custom in recent years, all of these NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, October 11th
Jacksonville Jaguars +2½ (+112) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1:00 ET): Yes, we totally realize that this is one of the ugliest matchups of the week on paper, but we are fans of money first and foremost and we feel the Jaguars present value as underdogs vs. a poor Tampa Bay team here that has not won a game at home in two years! Jacksonville did some good things on the road vs. the Indianapolis Colts last week despite losing 16-13 in overtime, actually outgaining the Colts by 105 total yards. The Jags have the makings of a pretty good offense as rookie running back T.J. Yeldon rushed for 105 yards in the narrow loss and wide receiver Allen Hurns had 116 receiving yards on 11 catches, giving quarterback Blake Bortles a reliable second option on the opposite side of Allen Robinson, who is averaging a whopping 22.0 yards per reception on his 15 catches in his second season out of Penn State. Jacksonville now has a chance to score more points vs. a Tampa Bay team ranked 30th in the NFL in scoring defense allowing 29.2 points per game. The Buccaneers lost their 11th straight game here at Raymond James Stadium last week 37-23 to the Carolina Panthers in another ugly performance that left them winless at home since December of 2013. Moreover, the Bucs have never been reliable as favorites regardless of the venue, going just 7-17-1 ATS and a losing 12-13 straight up in this role since 2008.
Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens ‘under’ 43 (-109) (1:00 ET): The Ravens were desperate for a win last Thursday night vs. the Steelers in Pittsburgh as they were looking to avoid an 0-4 start, and although it was not easy, they did manage to break through with a 23-20 victory in overtime to go to 1-3. However, they also suffered a huge loss when wide receiver Steve Smith broke several ribs in the game and he has now been declared out for this game. On a Baltimore team severely lacking in good wide receiver depth, Smith was having a monstrous season with his 29 receptions in a bit less than four games for 373 yards, with those 29 catches being almost as much as all of the other Ravens’ wide receivers combined (34). In other words, this could be a crippling loss that could make Baltimore mostly a one-dimensional running team this game. The good news there is that Justin Forsett broke out with 150 rushing yards last week, and he will now be running against a 31st ranked Cleveland rushing defense allowing 141.5 yards per game on the ground. That should also lead to time-consuming drives that are always a boon to the ‘under’. Meanwhile the Browns do not figure to do much offensively with Josh McCown being one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL and Cleveland also ranking 26th in the league in rushing at only 89.8 yards per game.
Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs ‘under’ 45 (-106) (1:00 ET): The Bears can make a case for being the worst team in the NFL, as this is a club that is ranked 28th in the league in points scored with 17.0 per game and 31st in points against at 31.2 per contest. With that being said, Chicago did break into the win column last week following an 0-3 start 22-20 over the Oakland Raiders back home in Soldier Field. However, that was vs. a bad Oakland defense and the Raiders may have gotten caught looking ahead to a division game vs. Denver this week, while also being a west coast team playing a 1:00 ET game. None of that applies here so look for Chicago to be as inept offensively as it was the first three weeks. The Chiefs actually moved the ball well last week with Alex Smith passing for 386 yards vs. the undefeated Bengals, although the team kept bogging down in the red zone while not scoring a single touchdown in the 36-21 loss. That’s right, Kansas City scored 21 points on seven field goals by Cairo Santos! Smith also threw 45 passes in the game though while playing from behind, so look for the Chiefs to establish Jamaal Charles and the run early here, resulting in a much lower scoring affair.
St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers ‘under’ 45½ (-104) (1:00 ET): The 2-2 St. Louis Rams have been giant-killers in their two wins this season, first opening the year by beating the two-time NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks at home and then going on the road last week and knocking the Arizona Diamondbacks from the ranks of the unbeaten, containing an offense that entered the game with the most points scored in the NFL in a 24-22 win. Now the Rams face yet another giant in the Packers at Lambeau Field, so do that they have another upset in them? Well, maybe not but they can do their part in keeping this a relatively low scoring game. And the reason is not only because of the very good St. Louis defense, but also because the Rams now have the ability to play keep-away on offense after the unveiling of first round draft pick Todd Gurley last week, who showed why he was the first running back taken in the first round since Trent Richardson with 146 rushing yards on 19 carries. Look for the Rams to feed Gurley even more often here as the Rams try to do all they can to keep Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense on the sideline. That is not to say that the defense cannot contain the Packers also, as Green Bay was held to just 17 points with Rodgers passing for an ordinary 224 yards by the San Francisco 49ers last week while still winning 17-3, thanks to the Packers holding San Francisco to 196 total yards while rushing for 162 yards offensively.
New England Patriots -8½ (-101) over Dallas Cowboys (4:25 ET): We are generally not fond of larger favorites like this, not to mention it being a very popular public team favored on the road no less, and yet here we are! Oftentimes, you have to throw some betting rules out the window when it comes to the New England Patriots, having had two weeks to prepare for the Dallas Cowboys here off of a bye after scoring 91 points in the last two games. It could be that the whole Deflategate scandal is motivating Tom Brady & Co. much like Spygate did a few years ago, and we do not see the Cowboys being the team slowing the Patriots down after the Dallas defense allowed 65 points and 876 total yards over the last two weeks. Meanwhile the Dallas offense was already without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, and now it also lost third down specialist Lance Dunbar for the season last week vs. the Saints. The Cowboys figure to play from behind in this game and Dunbar would have been a key part of an offense trying to keep pace as he had 21 receptions out of the backfield in a little over three games on the season for 215 yards. With the Cowboys now severely lacking on playmakers, we expect a New England blowout in Arlington.