The betting public may love the New England Patriots, but so do sharp bettors. They're loading up on the Pats versus the Dallas Cowboys for their Week 5 football picks.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 4: 17-8 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 10-13 Total
Bad beats, bad beats, what'cha gonna do? We had the Dallas Cowboys as 3.5-point road dogs for Sunday night's game against the New Orleans Saints, and things looked pretty good here at the ranch, as Saints kicker Zach Hocker lined up for the game-winning field goal from 30 yards out and the score tied 20-20. Shtoink~! Off the left upright and out. New Orleans won the coin toss for overtime and scored a touchdown on the second play.
That's football, folks. Luck plays a much larger role in these outcomes than people care to admit. That's why it's critical not to be results-oriented – and to exercise proper bankroll management. Besides, every once in a while, fortune smiles upon you. Like when the Miami Dolphins fired head coach Joe Philbin on Monday. That's a 16-1 payout for the good guys.
I'm Just Looking for New England
Dallas didn't quite get the job done, but the sharps made a mint in Week 4 by putting key underdogs like Chicago and Washington in their NFL picks. So what's the plan for Week 5? Chalk, baby, chalk. Only 10 games have been published on our NFL odds board as we go to press, but the biggest consensus is on the New England Patriots, who were the unanimous choice as 7.5-point road faves (+110) against the Cowboys.
There's still room for underdogs, though. The Saints opened as 5.5-point road dogs versus the Philadelphia Eagles, then 93 percent of early bettors jumped on New Orleans, moving the spread to 4.5 points at press time. Again, just because the Saints got “lucky” against Dallas doesn't mean we should dismiss their chances in Week 5. Their defense was a lot better with the return of safety Jarius Byrd and CB Keenan Lewis to the secondary, among others.
Keeping track of these injuries can feel like chasing butterflies sometimes, but it's worth the effort. Look what the Bears were able to accomplish on Sunday with QB Jay Cutler back in the fold; he led the game-winning drive as Chicago (+3 at home) beat the Oakland Raiders 22-20. The sharps definitely noticed. They've got the Bears back in their sights for Week 5, with the slumping Kansas City Chiefs supplying the opposition as 9.5-point home faves. Our early consensus reports show nearly 70 percent support for Chicago.
We're also looking at strong leans toward the Buffalo Bills (-3 at Tennessee), the Denver Broncos (-5.5 at Oakland) and the New York Giants (-7 vs. San Francisco). It might be overthinking things to intentionally eat chalk this week, just because the first four weeks of the season went square-sharp-square-sharp. But the right favorite in the right situation can pay off handsomely – as the Patriots often do.