It’s time for another NFL betting primer with Week 5 on tap. Let’s run the board for week five in the latest installment of the Mile High Sports Betting primer. Last week we had a couple of nice hits, mainly in the NFC East, with solid reads on the Cowboys, Giants, and Football Team. Now, let’s turn the page and look forward to a fresh slate.
Thrilled to announce the world-famous SuperBook Sports will be a sponsor for the primer this NFL season! SuperBook sports is a premier sports betting operation in the United States with extensive Colorado connections. The SuperBook Sports team is led by sports betting industry icon Jay Kornegay, a Colorado native and one of the most respected and successful operators in the sports book industry. fh
The overall goal of this primer is to paint a picture of the weekend NFL betting slate so you can dive into it with your head on straight. Sports betting is here, and if you are going to bet, you might as well get an edge, right?
Manage your bankroll. Stick to your units. Watch the lines.
New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons: NYJ +3, ATL -3, o/u 46.5
A degenerates dream. This game is set to start at 7:30 a.m. local time and will probably be one ugly football game between two bad football teams. The Jets earned their first victory of the season last week against the Titans, and the Falcons choked away a game against Washington last week.
The underdog has covered in the last three head-to-head matchups between these two. The public is pretty much split on this one ATS, and for good reason. I’ll be passing this game and locking in my bets for the rest of the slate while enjoying a nice cup of coffee with this one.
At first glance, the total seems a bit low for two teams whose internal clocks are sure to be off. The over has cashed four times in the last 10 games between the two teams. Betting aside, I am interested to see what Zach Wilson does, as last week’s victory was impressive. Curious to see if there’s any momentum.
Please don’t blow your bankroll on this game.
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers: DEN +1.5, PIT -1.5, o/u 39.5
This is an excellent matchup to gauge where the Broncos are at following last week’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Denver had no life in the second half of that game once Teddy Bridgewater was knocked out with a concussion, but it’s looking like he will be back in the saddle when the game kicks off.
Pittsburgh continues to sputter, although it did manage to hang around at times last week in Green Bay. I’ve tried to convince myself that there is still some gas left in the tank for that team, but I’m just not sure. This is a game the Broncos should absolutely win if they want to contend for the playoffs this season. It’s a buy-low spot if you want to ride with the Steelers, but Denver has the fixings to go into a hostile environment and come out with a win.
This game is a pick ’em, and the public is leaning towards the Steelers, but that could be do the “uncertainty” of Bridgewater. I fully expect him to play come Sunday, and the line might shift if/when that becomes official, so you might want to bet this sooner rather than later if you like Denver.
The Steelers are averaging 16.8 points per game this season, which is actually the second-lowest mark for a team the Broncos have played this year. Denver has covered five of their last eight games on the road and are 5-0-1 ATS in their previous six head-to-head meetings with the Steelers. These two clashed last season, with the Steelers winning 26-21 although Denver covered the +6.
The under has cashed in every Broncos game this season, although the total is at a disgusting number of 39.5. How am I supposed to feel good about the total either way here? The under is 5-1 in the Broncos’ last 6 games away from the Mile High City. Let’s see if Denver can get back on track.
New England Patriots @ Houston Texans: NE -8.5, HOU +8.5, o/u 39.5
Another game with a total of 39.5. This is an underwhelming game. It’s a big spread for a Patriots team that has been unable to run up the score this season, but at the same token, the Texans are god awful with Davis Mills at quarterback. If Tyrod Taylor is in at QB, this line is probably closer to NE -5.5, and the Texans could be a live play, but I don’t know how anyone could have confidence taking the points after the Texans lost 40-0 last week.
New England has struggled in Houston historically, covering the spread just one time in their last six trips there. Additionally, the home team is 10-2-1 ATS over the last 13 meetings. I’m passing this one ATS and want to play the under for the game, but that number is tough. So perhaps a teaser is the way to go with this one.
Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: MIA +10, TB -10, o/u 47.5
The only double-digit spread of the week. The Bucs look to make it two in row after sneaking past New England last week, and the Dolphins continue to rock with Jacoby Brissett under center. Will he look more comfortable this week or continue to look like a true backup?
The Dolphins typically rally coming off a loss, covering seven of their last eight following a defeat. The Bucs are going to be the publics’ darling so long as Tom Brady is playing there, and I really have not been all that impressed with them this season.
I remember listening to the SuperBook Sports podcast last week. Oddsmaker John Murray made a remark along the lines of the book had Tampa right around -4/-3 for their matchup with New England last week before the season started. Still, due to the heightened nature of the game, Tampa’s stature in the league, and the Bucs coming off a loss the week before, you saw that number blossom to Tampa -7 with well over 90 percent of the tickets on the Bucs spread. Well, the book made out alright on that game last week as Tampa won by just two points.
The point being you need to really consider public perception with a team loaded with star power like Tampa. Ten points is a lot this week, and if the Dolphins’ offense can get going, they can absolutely cover this spread. Big over trends here as it’s cashed in the last 12 games where the Bucs are a home favorite. The over is also 7-1 in the Dolphins’ last eight games following an ATS loss.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers: PHI +3.5, CAR -3.5, o/u 45.5
This is a pretty good matchup between two teams that I think are on relatively similar playing fields. I think the Panthers got a dose of reality last week, and head coach Matt Rhule did look a little clueless at times on the sideline. On the flip side, the Eagles lost to the Chiefs, which was expected, although they did manage to put up 30+ points which was a significant increase compared to what they produced the week before against the Dallas Cowboys. Christian McCaffrey could return to the field this Sunday, so I probably won’t lock in a wager on this one until right before kick-off.
If the Eagles can come out and play like they did last week, I think they come out and cover this spread. The key here is the half point, as this could very well end up being a field goal game, so the hook is vital. I think many people at first glance expect Carolina to bounce back after a tough game last week against Dallas.
That said, I believe Carolina’s record was a little inflated through the first three weeks, considering the level of talent it has played against. I think what we saw last week is a little bit more realistic in regards to who Carolina will be over the course of the season. That said, Philly has struggled on the road, covering just once in their last 8 road games.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings: DET +8.5, MIN -8.5, o/u 49.5
After scoring seven points against the Cleveland Browns last week, the Vikings are primed for a breakout performance against a division opponent. The Lions are still searching for their first win of the season, which comes as a surprise to nobody, and the Vikings have been up and down per usual. Detroit is decimated with injuries on both sides of the ball, particularly the secondary where Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins can feast. The Lions have allowed an average of 29.8 points per game, which is in the league’s bottom half. If the Vikings come to play, they should dominate this one.
Head coach Mike Zimmer is 32-15 ATS following a loss, and he is 4-0 ATS after a loss when the Vikings are favored by more than a touchdown. The favorite has covered six of the last seven head-to-head matchups, and the Lions are 4-10-2 ATS in their previous 16 games in Minnesota.
Tennesse Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars: TEN -4.5, JAX +4.5, o/u 48.5
The Tennessee Titans allowed the New York Jets to earn their first victory of the season last week, and are looking like a team primed for regression this season. Ryan Tannehill has not been great, and Julio Jones has been pretty much nonexistent in their offense when healthy. Now they get to go to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars in a divisional game. This should absolutely be a get-right game for Tennessee against a team in Jacksonville that has some serious questions about the state of the locker room with Urban Meyer as head coach.
There are plenty of questions looming with the Titans’ offense, so if you were going to bet this game, I would suggest waiting until the final injury report is released.
That said, will the Titans really lose to the two worst teams in the league in consecutive weeks? I don’t think so, But I am not definitively sold. I’ll be passing the spread here and will probably end up throwing Tennessee in a moneyline parlay for the weekend. I’m generally curious to see how the Jaguars play this week after all of the drama unfolded with Meyer. I will say this, I think the Jaguars have improved, even if subtly, over each week of the season to this point.
Green Bay Packers @ Cincinnati Bengals: GB -3, CIN +3, o/u 51.5
This is sure to be a great game between one of the young up-and-coming quarterbacks in the league and one of the best ever to do it. The Packers continue to cruise as they have yet to lose a game since getting steamrolled by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. Now they get to take on a Bengals team that is led by the dynamic duo on offense of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase.
At first glance, the spread seems a little bit low for a team in Green Bay that is capable of imposing their will on damn near any team in the NFL.
Zac Taylor is one interesting head coach, and I wonder if his shortcomings will result in a Bengals loss here soon enough. Remember, the Bengals were down multiple scores to the Jaguars heading into the half last week, and there are still some kinks to be worked out on both sides of the ball, although the upside is there.
I just think the Packers are the more put together a team, and I think they should figure out a way to go into Cincinnati and come out with a victory. This is a total gut play for me right now, but I just think the Packers are the better team here, and they should be able to cover a field goal spread on the road against a team who is still playing for the future. Bengals are 1-6 ATS in their last seven following a straight-up win.
That said, if the public starts to load up heavy on the Packers, I may pass just out of principle. I genuinely hate riding with the public, especially on a line that seems too good to be true.
New Orleans Saints @ Washington Football Team: NO -2.5, WFT +2.5, o/u 44.5
I am looking at this as one of my potential upset games of the week. I don’t get why so many people are still convinced both the New Orleans Saints and Jameis Winston are going to be able to put together anything of substance this season.
I made a comparison in past primers that the New Orleans Saints will be much like the New England Patriots of last year, struggling to develop an identity following the departure of a franchise icon at the quarterback position. Winston has looked uninspiring, and there has been some regression through the first four weeks from New Orleans. Of course, people will still point to their Week 1 victory over the Green Bay Packers as their marquee moment of the year to this point, but I am putting absolutely zero stock into that.
The Washington defense has not been as daunting as we thought before the season, but that pass rush still can impact the game with Chase Young doing his thing. I know Washington doesn’t have the strongest home-field advantage these days, but I think Taylor Heinicke is a gamer at quarterback, and I love me some Ron Rivera as a home underdog.
That said, it is a bounce-back spot for New Orleans after they pissed away a game to the New York Giants last week, so if betting on vengeance is your thing, then New Orleans is your play.
Chicago Bears @ Las Vegas Raiders: CHI +5.5, LV -5.5, o/u 44.5
Here’s another game that I think should have people on upset alert. The Las Vegas Raiders were riding high after three weeks, but everything came crashing down on Monday Night Football when Justin Herbert led the Chargers to an impressive victory.
I do think the Raiders are an improved team, but everybody loves to sleep on the Chicago Bears. Chicago is a frustrating team, but when the line moes against them, I like to bet them as I did in Week 2 against Cincy and against last week against Detroit. Now, Justin Fields has been named QB1 and is locked and ready to go, so much so that he denied a celebration dinner with his parents when he was named the starter.
Chicago has struggled recently as an underdog, though, failing to cover the spread in the last four as a dog and failing to cover in their previous eight road games versus a team with a winning home record. I’m just kind of into fading Jon Gruden. Honestly, this game can go in either direction. It’s hard to have confidence in both of these teams, so I usually default towards taking the points here, especially with the almost 70 percent of the bets coming in on Vegas.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys: NYG +7, DAL -7, o/u 52.5
The Dallas Cowboys once again showed last week why they need to be taken seriously in the NFC. Yes, the Panthers manage to score some points there at the end, but the Cowboys have shown an ability to flex their power when needed on offense.
These division games are always challenging, and the Giants have actually been playing alright as of late. Daniel Jones looks to be a little bit more competent so far, and last week’s victory over the Saints is the type that can help establish momentum for a team.
Dallas has cleaned up as a home favorite, covering seven of the last eight games and beating the Giants six out of the last eight times they’ve met up. Additionally, the Giants are 0-4 against the spread in their previous four games following an against the spread win.
If Daniel Jones plays well and keeps the Giants’ offense moving, they can cover the +7. He’s thrown just 1 INT this season compared to 4 touchdowns, and he’s completing 66.7 percent of his passes.
Following the win last week, the Dallas Cowboys can start to get a little full of themselves as we have seen in years past. It is imperative that the Cowboys do not overlook the Giants this week because that is the recipe for a New Yorker cover and even potentially an upset victory. These division games are always challenging in the NFC East can get a bit wacky times. The Cowboys are the better team, but the Giants have looked a little bit more coherent the last few weeks. This is a big total as well, so I’ll also take a look at the under for the game.
Cleveland Browns @ Los Angeles Chargers: LAC -1.5, CLE +1.5, o/u 46.5
This will be a great game between two teams that have the potential to make some noise in the AFC. The news regarding Baker Mayfield‘s labrum is absolutely concerning and is also telling about why the Browns’ offense looked a little bit out of sync since playing the Kansas City Chiefs.
Personally, I think Justin Herbert is the truth of this league. Patrick Mahomes might be the best quarterback in the division, but Justin Herbert has the best arm hands-down. Maybe I’m a little extra bullish on the Chargers, but man, does this kid look impressive. Back-to-back weeks with back-to-back wins against division opponents, one of which came on the road in Arrowhead and the other at home in a hostile environment with over 50% Raider fans.
The Chargers have been known as a franchise that blows leads in the fourth quarter and fails to cover spreads as a favorite. So it was a little bit of déjà vu earlier in the year against Dallas, but I think Herbert is the type of guy that can right the ship and get this franchise on track and rid them of their sins in the past.
The Browns will not be a pushover, though, and probably have a better roster across the board. It’ll be interesting to see how both of these young head coaches decide to scheme for this game, and I look forward to watching this one play out in the afternoon.
We’ve seen this total shrink over the course of the week, so the ship has sailed on playing the under at the best number, but I’ll look for some live betting in this one for sure if either team gets down early. I’m gonna lean towards the Chargers here just because I love the upside of Herbert and what he brings to the table each and every week, it’s a little bit more vital and game-changing compared to what Baker can do, especially if an injury hampers him. Coin flip game and I’ll take the home team.
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals: SF +5.5, AZ -5.5, o/u 50.5
This is sure to be one hell of a football game, and it could have enormous implications for how the NFC West shakes out at the end of the year. The Cardinals have undeniably been the most surprising team to start the season and are the only undefeated franchise remaining. Let’s call it like it is, this is a total letdown spot for the Cardinals. I am amazed they are still undefeated; as you’ve seen multiple times, the team has been on the ropes of dropping a game.
I’m still not sold on Kliff Kingsbury, and I do think at some point this team will come back down to earth and probably lose a game they should have won.
This is more about the Cardinals than it is the 49ers for me. Kyler Murray has been playing like an MVP, and if he keeps that up, it’s going to be tough for any team to beat them. That said, Jimmy Garoppolo is out, so San Francisco will be rocking with rookie quarterback Trey Lance. I kind of like the idea of Kyle Shanahan having a whole week’s worth of preparation to get his rookie quarterback ready for a game against a familiar opponent. Many people are down on San Francisco, considering Garoppolo just went down, and it dropped the game at home last week to the Seattle Seahawks.
The underdog is 5-0-1 ATS in the last six heads had meetings, and the road team is 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10. You all know how I feel about the Niners, but I’m willing and ready to fade the Cardinals this week. So I’ll take the points.
Sunday Night Football
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs: BUF +3, KC -3, o/u 56.5
This is one of the best games that we’ve had all year. I’m looking at this one as a potential preview of the AFC championship game for this season. The Chiefs got back on track last week against the Eagles and looked pretty damn good on offense. The Bills on the other hand, have not skipped a beat since losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, and I think they’ve looked like the best team overall in the AFC to start the season. I will continue to say the Chiefs have the highest ceiling of any team in the NFL, but it looks like their secondary will be a massive problem for them for the time being.
We have already seen Herbert going to Kansas City and get the win, and I really want to believe that Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are more than capable of doing the same. At first glance, I love the idea of taking the Bills with the points on the road, but the public is leaning towards this as well, and at the end of the day, we’re talking about a Chiefs team that could beat anybody at any given time.
The favorite is 5-2 against the spread in the last seven meetings, although the Bills are also 5-2 against the spread in the last seven meetings in Kansas City. Buffalo has just covered once though in their last six head-to-head matchups with Kansas City. There are plenty of trends that we can highlight on the Chiefs side of things, but the two that stand out to me most is that the Chiefs are just 1-7 against the spread and their last eight games at home and 1-8 against the spread in their last nine versus an AFC opponent.
This game is going to be an absolute banger, and I’m hoping for a lot of points. If the Chiefs play like they did last week and the Bills continue to play well, the over is definitely a live play here, although it’s a big number at 56. I’ll be taking the Bills with the points and probably on the ML. Public play for me, but we’re looking at the best team in the AFC in Buffalo.
Monday Night Football
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens: IND +7, BAL -7, o/u 46.5
Here we are, the last game of the Week 5 slate. Indianapolis attempt to win its second game of the season as it travels to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. The Ravens of course got the best of the Broncos in Week 4, and look to be settling into a little bit of a groove after some early-season hiccups due to a medley of injuries. Lamar Jackson is just insane and has the ability to take matters into his own hands at any given time.
The Colts have looked a little interesting, and have honestly lost me a nice chunk of money throughout the first portion of the season. I’ve been a big believer of theirs, but they’ve been unable to break through except for last week against Miami.
Carson Wentz definitely looks shaky, and the injury concerns are present as the offensive line struggles. This is a big point spread for the ravens to cover, but I think they are just a more consistent team across the board, and I’m not sold on Carson Wentz’s ability to establish a level of momentum for the Colts’ offense. Jonathan Taylor is an exceptional talent, and if they can develop some play action with Taylor and once they have a chance to keep the Baltimore defense guessing, I just think Baltimore is the more well-rounded team at the moment.