Week 5 NFL Picks Consensus Reports: Who’s Wrong?

Jason Lake

Sunday, October 5, 2014 4:20 PM GMT

Putting in some last-minute shopping? Let’s take another look at the Week 5 NFL odds board and see if the consensus numbers can tell us where the square action is. Spoiler alert: It’s probably in New Orleans.

Jason’s Record After Week 4: 12-14 ATS, 5-4-1 Totals

Profit: minus-5.6 units

 

We’ll always have fond memories of the Superdome. This is where Roberto Duran said no mas, where “Pistol Pete” Maravich played for the New Orleans Jazz, and most importantly, where Kevin VanDam was declared the winner of Bassmaster Classic XXXI. But we’ll always remember it most as the place the NFL truly jumped the shark. Super Bowl XLVII, Beyoncé at halftime, 34-minute blackout in the third quarter. We’re pretty sure Ted McGinley performed the coin toss, too.

This Sunday, we revisit the scene of the crime for our latest look at the weekend consensus reports. The New Orleans Saints are 1-3 SU and ATS, but they’re still the most popular team in the NFL, and our Week 5 NFL odds board doesn’t disprove it. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (also 1-3 SU and ATS) had 100 percent consensus at the open as 12-point puppies (–125); the action has predictably swung in the other direction, with the Saints jumping from 49 percent consensus on Wednesday morning to 57 percent on Friday. Tampa Bay was down to +11.5 (–125) as we went to press.

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(This Byrd Has Flown)
This is about as square as a square bet can be. We’ve already discussed the inherent betting line value in double-digit dogs, but you don’t find too many of these matchups where the underdog and favorite have exactly the same record (Week 1 notwithstanding). The Saints defense, which made such big strides last year under new co-ordinator Rob Ryan, has fallen to dead last on the efficiency charts (No. 30 pass, No. 21 rush). And now their big free-agent signing, safety Jarius Byrd, is out for the season with a torn meniscus.

On the other side of the ball, the Buccaneers were scraping bottom after three games, but they made the necessary quarterback switch from Josh McCown to Mike Glennon, and they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers (–7.5 at home) 27-24. There are still plenty of flaws on this team, and they could easily honk Sunday’s matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX), but from what we’ve seen so far, New Orleans isn’t built to take advantage.

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New England is Sinking
The New England Patriots have also been picking up steam heading into the weekend, but they’re still only getting 42 percent on our latest consensus reports for their Sunday Night Football tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals (–1 away). Fans have already started to recognize how screwed up the Pats offense is; in a way, they’ve stumbled into having a sharp attitude about how bad the offensive line is – if only to protect the reputation of their hero, Tom Brady (79.1 passer rating).

We’ve also got the Denver Broncos gradually moving the needle for their late Sunday afternoon game (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX) against the Arizona Cardinals. Denver started with 38 percent support as a 9-point home chalk (+105), then got over the 50-percent hump on Monday before reaching 53 percent on Friday. We made our NFL pick on the Cardinals already, and we’re encouraged by all the talk about how this is a matchup between Drew Stanton and Peyton Manning. That’s not how football works.

Interesting as well to see the Cleveland Browns edging upward to 59 percent support for their game against the Tennessee Titans (–1.5 at home). If this had been Week 1, we would have been all over the Titans, but they’ve got Charlie Whitehurst (65.8 career passer rating) at quarterback now, and the Browns offense is No. 3 in the league with Brian Hoyer (97.5 passer rating this year) at the controls. Who does No. 3 work for?! Also, the Browns were getting 90 percent support out of the gate, so it looks like the sharps and squares are in agreement here. Peace and harmony rule the land. Hmmm… must be a trap game.

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