We sift through the opening NFL odds for week 5 matchups in search of value to spot on your NFL picks. Find out what lines bookies conceived and how they are taking shape at early doors.
We are a quarter of the way into the NFL season and the comings and goings are quite remarkable already. Dolphins became the first team to fire their coach this season, letting Joe Philbin go after the Dolphins lost abysmally to the NY Jets in London. While the Texans appear to be prevaricating at the quarterback role, with Brian Hoyer looking likely to start in week 5 after the Falcons hung a 42-0 lead on Ryan Mallet and the Texans.
Broncos, Packers, Falcons, Panthers and Bengals are 4-0 SU going into week 5, looking to extend their perfect run of form. While the Patriots, coming off a bye week, look to extend their winning form and keep pace with these aforementioned trendsetters in the league.
At a glance, week 5 serves up several intriguing divisional clashes. Mostly it serves up what appear to be rather lopsided matchups between big bad faves and massive underdogs. So what should NFL bettors spot?
Table 1: Opening NFL Odds
Matchups To Spot On Your NFL Picks
Colts vs. Texans
The last couple of meetings between these divisional rivals in Houston have been shootouts. However, with Andrew Luck listed as day-to-day – at best a 50-50 starter on Thursday –and the Texans mulling over their quarterback dilemma, this game looks to be up for grabs. As it is, it’s off the Odds board for the time being. However, if there is no Luck for the Colts and Hoyer gets the start for the Texans (a deserved second chance after he saved the Texans from the huge embarrassment of a bagel in week 4 NFL betting), this could be a game the Texans win. Colts lead the AFC South 2-2 SU, but they’re hardly playing at the level they are expected to. Plus, they got really lucky without Luck last week in the overtime win over the Jaguars. That luck might run out if the Texans start turning things around in week 5 NFL betting.
Browns vs. Ravens
The AFC North clash between the Browns and Ravens pits two 1-3 SU teams in a must-win game. The Ravens got rather lucky in their win over the Steelers in week 4 NFL betting but they’re hardly going to apologise for it. It’s the way the ball rolls. The Browns put up quite a fight in San Diego and gave Philip Rivers and the Chargers a run for their money in a 30-27 loss which saw them cover as the hefty 7-point road underdogs (or thereabouts depending on your sportsbook of choice). It’s hard to get a true sense of either of these teams; that being said the Ravens swept the series last season and boast a 5-0 SU record over the Browns in their last five meetings in Baltimore. In short, this isn’t a good matchup for the Browns on the road, which makes the Ravens a solid SU NFL pick to win outright one would think.
Seahawks vs. Bengals
The clash between the Seahawks and Bengals is sure to draw a lot of attention from NFL bettors. As it is, these two sides haven’t met in recent seasons, certainly not when Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom were on a tear in the league. This season the Seahawks are off to a rather poor start on the season with back-to-back losses to the Rams and Packers. They did bounce back with a 26-0 win over the Bears, but with the Bears playing with the predatory sense of the Care Bears it’s hardly a recognisable result. What’s more, the Seahawks are set to take on the winless Detroit Lions on MNF, which is a matchup most NFL bettors expect them to win but isn’t going to give us a sense of who the real Seahawks are this season. If there’s a matchup that’s going to be illuminating it’s this one. The 4-0 SU Bengals are the notional home favorites and if they do actually pull off the win over the Seahawks it’ll be touted as a signature win for Andy Dalton, as well as a gauntlet throwing win for the entire AFC. If the Seahawks roll into Cincy and hand the Bengals their first loss of the season, it’ll take the shine off their perfect start and drudge up all the stuff that’s been said about them over the past few seasons, about their inability to play up to their opponents and how it’s all smoke and mirrors in Cincy.
The Undefeated Teams To Spot
In week 5 NFL betting, some of the heavy favorites trading on the NFL odds board are (quite rightly) the undefeated. Falcons and Packers are 9-point or higher home favorites against the spread while the Patriots are 7.5-point road faves or higher and the Broncos are 6-point favorites or lower (depending on your sportsbook of choice).
Of these four matchups, the Falcons appear to have the most straightforward clash of the lot against a Redskins side that has played above its head so far. The Packers might face more than they bargained for from the Rams, who’ve masterminded two upsets this season already with wins over the Seahawks and Cardinals. Then again the Packers record at home speaks volumes. If there were a team that could be trusted with a point spread that is on the cusp of double-digits it’s the Packers at home.
Preseason analysts had the Patriots vs. Cowboys clash circled because it was supposed to mark the return of Tom Brady from suspension. That’s not the case anymore as Brady’s been in action since the start of the season after winning his appeal. What’s more, this game has lost most if not all of its appeal now that Tony Romo is side-lined. To all intents and purposes, this should be another straightforward, awe-inspiring win by the defending champions so jump on the 7.5-point spread before it goes higher on the NFL odds board.
Finally, the Broncos opened as the 6.5-point road favorites but the NFL betting line is dropping down in early NFL betting markets. It’s now down to 5.5-points at Pinnacle and could potentially drop lower as the public continues to weigh in on this game. More likely than not the Broncos will win SU – they are 6-1 SU over the Raiders in their last seven meetings in Oakland – and they’re surely the smart NFL pick to cover as well.
The 5.5-points currently trading look to be too low. In the last five meetings, bookies have rolled out double-digit spreads on this matchup. So why so low now? Granted the Raiders are 2-2 SU and look to be a much better team this season, but let’s not get carried away here just yet. They are 2-2 SU with wins over the 1-3 SU Ravens and Browns, two of the AFC North stragglers. What’s more, they are coming off a loss to the previously winless, hapless, punch-less Bears in week 4 NFL betting. This NFL betting spread looks to be a steal right now. If it continues to slip down further, it’ll be like Christmas coming early.