NFL Week 5 Pick: New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:27 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 10:27 PM UTC

The New England Patriots lost just twice in 2016 on the way to another Super Bowl title. They could lose a third game already Thursday night in Tampa. But I’ll say they don’t. Survivor Pick: New England.

New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5, 54.5)

Yeah, I fully expected the Patriots to be 2-2 through four games, in second place in the AFC East and with the same record as the supposed-to-be-awful New York Jets. Yep, I sure called that one! Not. Tom Brady is playing like an MVP and leads the NFL in several statistical categories, but the defense that led the NFL in points allowed in 2016 is dead last in yards given up only the Colts have surrendered more points. That’s shocking for a Bill Belichick team. Tampa is 2-1 – it had a Week 1 game postponed – following a 25-23 home win over the Giants in Week 4. Nick Folk likely saved his job with the game-winning 34-yard field goal as time expired. He earlier had missed two field goals and a PAT. This is the Patriots’ first regular-season look at Jameis Winston as he was still at Florida State when the franchises last met in 2013. The Bucs don’t like Thursday night Football. They are 1-5 in Thursday night games -- the second-worst TNF record in the NFL. I’m expecting the Pats to play desperate here.

  • Buccaneers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games.
  • Patriots are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win.
Free NFL Pick: Patriots -5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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How can you not recommend that over despite the highest total of the week? That New England defense has been that bad. The Pats have surrendered 128 points through four games, one shy of the 1987 New York Giants for most allowed by a defending Super Bowl champion. All four quarterbacks they have faced – Alex Smith, Drew Brees, rookie Deshaun Watson and Cam Newton – have thrown for at least 300 yards. I can’t explain it, but I’m not betting under on a Pats game until they fix things. Winston, meanwhile, has been much better in two home games this year with a 103.6 rating compared to 80.0 and three picks in his lone road game. Tampa also welcomes back starting RB Doug Martin from a four-game suspension.

  • Over is 7-0 in Patriots last 7 games overall.
  • Over is 7-0 in Buccaneers last 7 Thursday games.
Free NFL Pick: Over 54.5Best Line Offered: BetDSI

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