We are officially a quarter way through the NFL season, and as we go into the NFL Week 5 betting lines, it is clear who is ahead of the pack and who will be left behind with higher hopes for 2021. We are 10-10 with our picks after a second straight 2-3 week. That said, we are going into Week 5 with the mindset of finding the best NFL odds and getting that record above .500 once again and recapturing the 4-1 magic from Week 2. Without further adieu, here are the teams you should bet on in Week 5.
NFL Betting Lines 2020: Official Plays
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4.5) at Chicago Bears, O/U 44
It seems that Tampa Bay has found offensive chemistry. Tom Brady is fresh off his best game as a Buccaneer, torching an excellent Chargers defense for 369 yards and five touchdowns. Tampa gave up 31 points, but it was an offense led by a fearless, young quarterback with good weapons. This week they’ll be facing the Bears, who are the complete opposite of what the Chargers are. If the Chargers are a meat lovers pizza- filled with different toppings and flavors- the Bears are the ham and pineapple; sure, it works sometimes but definitely not the greatest. While it is a short week and Chris Godwin is out for Thursday, the Bucs still have a plethora of talent on offense.
I think Chicago is stumped either way at quarterback. Mitch Trubisky is all but done in the windy city, while Nick Foles is a strong reliever, not a go-to ace. The Bears rank 24th in total offense, and while the storyline around this game will be the rematch between Foles and Brady from their Super Bowl matchup in Super Bowl LII, these Bears aren’t exactly the Eagles from 2017.
Both teams enter Week 5 2-2 against the spread, but the Bears are 0-2 in covering as the home team this season. I expect more of the same this weekend at Soldier Field.
Jarrett’s Official Play: TB -4.5 (-105)
Tampa Bay simply has too much talent on offense. Sure the Bears defense is stout, but the Bucs are simply going to say “outscore us,” which the Bears cannot do.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6) at Houston Texans, O/U 54.5
The Jags getting six here seems like a steal. While they are 1-3, they are playing much better than the dumpster fire nearly everyone expected them to be. They are the 10th best passing offense in the NFL, guys like James Robinson and Laviska Shenault have emerged as prominent members of their offensive attack, and Gardner Minshew is much more than just a stop-gap meme. With a 2-1 touchdown to interception ratio, Minshew is showing that he is a legitimate starter in the league and is keeping this team competitive.
Houston is off to an 0-4 start for the first time since 2008. They rank 27th in offense, their defense can’t stop anybody, and they just fired head coach/GM Bill O’Brien. Mix it all together, and you’ve got a level of dysfunction that could lead to them having a top 10 pick- OH WAIT- they don’t have a first or second-round pick because they gave them to Miami for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. By and large, Deshaun Watson seems trapped in a horrible situation with a team that has no draft capital, no star talents, and seemingly no hope for the foreseeable future.
The Jaguars are 2-2 against the spread this season, and 1-1 on the road. Houston has yet to cover as the home team, as they are 0-2 thus far.
Jarrett’s Official Play: JAC +6 (-105)
The Jags have many weapons on offense that the Texans secondary won’t be able to keep up with. Expect a shootout in Houston, which, more often than not, means the game will be decided by less than a touchdown.
George Templeton’s Bet: Jaguars-Texans U 54.5 | -110 for 1U
What an interesting number this is. No Houston game has gone over that number but two of them have made it to 54. Two of Jacksonville’s games have surpassed that number. Both offenses are capable of taking it over that but I am banking on a more conservative game plan from the Texans with Romeo Crennel in charge to keep this total under.
Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) at Cleveland Browns, O/U 47.5
The Browns looked great against Dallas, scoring 49 points against a Cowboys defense that couldn’t slow down their run game, and the unit as a whole looks like they couldn’t stop a nosebleed. Cleveland netted an astounding 307 yards on the ground. Even when Nick Chubb went down with an injury, they were perfectly capable of running the ball. Seldom-used backup running back D’Ernest Johnson had one carry coming into the game and led the team in rushing this past week with 95 yards on 13 carries.
While Cleveland was impressive and seems to be able to run at will, they will be facing the second-best run defense in the NFL when the Colts come to Cleveland. If the Colts can slow down the Browns ground attack, Baker Mayfield will have to make plays with his arm that will win the game, which frankly he hasn’t done. The Colts defense will give the Browns fits, and the Browns defense, outside of the pass rush, hasn’t given anyone fits. While Cleveland’s front four has been very good, the Colts have arguably the best offensive line in football, which should provide Philip Rivers enough time to pick apart the Browns 30th ranked pass defense.
The Colts are an impressive 3-1 against the spread, while the Browns are 2-2. A bad Browns pass defense, and the Colts top overall defense will determine how this one plays out.
Jarrett’s Official Play: IND -1.5 (-105)
The Colts top tier defense is far better than that of the Browns, and Indy will also keep the Browns running game in check. The Colts will begin to take hold of the AFC South with a win Sunday.
Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) vs. Carolina Panthers, O/U 53.5
Don’t bet on the Falcons. Don’t bet on the Falcons. Okay, I’m betting on the Falcons. They are far more talented than the Carolina Panthers. If Christian McCaffrey were playing, I’d be a little more hesitant to believe in Atlanta, but as long as Julio Jones is back, the Falcons are far more loaded on the offensive side of the ball.
The Panthers have won two straight, but they are still a very inexperienced team on defense. That’s not to say the Falcons are anything spectacular because their defense is the polar opposite of great, but one has to think something has got to give sooner or later.
The Panthers are 2-2 against the spread while the Falcons are a mere 1-3. Expect a high scoring game between two of the game’s best passing offenses in terms of passing yards and two of the game’s worst defenses.
Jarrett’s Official Play: ATL -2.5 (-105)
The Falcons have to get a win. They are the more talented team, are playing at home, and my goodness, they’ve been so close in two instances. They get their first win in a high-scoring matchup between NFC South rivals.
George Templeton’s Bet: Panthers-Falcons O 53.5 | -110 for 1U
Jones’ potential absence doesn’t scare me off this over. Both offenses are playing well and both defenses haven’t stopped many people this season. Ergo take the over.
Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) at Washington Football Team, O/U 45.5
The Rams had an underwhelming performance against the Giants, but a win is a win, and they are 3-1. They could very well be 4-0 after scoring 29 unanswered points against the Bills after trailing 28-3 if not for a questionable pass interference call that led to the Buffalo go-ahead touchdown. That aside, the Rams seem like a much better version of themselves than last season. Sean McVay’s play designs utilizing screens and creating space for Tyler Higbee, and the rest of the weapons on offense have Los Angeles clicking on all cylinders.
Washington is still a big question mark. While Ron Rivera is the easiest man in the league to root for right now, the team simply lacks talent on several fronts, with Terry McLaurin being the only threat at receiver. Yes, Steven Sims has been a solid complement, and Antonio Gandy-Golden is starting to get more snaps, but they aren’t quite there yet. Defensively I love their front seven, but Chase Young is dealing with a groin injury, their linebackers are decent at best, and Landon Collins hasn’t nearly lived up to expectations since he signed with the team from the Giants in 2019.
Both teams enter Week 5 2-2 against the spread. Washington has done well at home, covering in both games at FedEx Field. That said, I don’t expect that to be the case this Sunday. The Rams are more talented, and Washington doesn’t have the personnel to keep up.
Jarrett’s Official Play: LAR -7.5 (-110)
The Rams are simply better than Washington. While Jack Del Rio has done great things for the Washington defense, the boy wonder known as Sean McVay will have the Rams offense in full swing.
NFL Betting Lines 2020: Official Leans
New York Jets (+7) vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Jets are the joke of the NFL. There is no mistaking that. Somehow, Adam Gase is still employed after yet another week of chaos, and watching the promising career of Sam Darnold slowly drift into obscurity before our very eyes. That said, Darnold showed everyone that while the Jets are full of issues, he is not one of them. He dodged, dipped, dove, ducked, and dodged his way to the end zone on a 46-yard touchdown run to give the Jets the early lead against the Broncos before the Jets did what the Jets do and screwed everything up before taking a late lead and then screwing it up again- ah, New York, you are quite the roller coaster.
The Cardinals started hot, but they have dropped two straight in rather sloppy fashion. Coming into their Week 5 matchup with the Jets as seven-point favorites seems somewhat heavy-handed. Their defensive holes have been exploited, Kyler Murray has thrown bad interceptions, and they haven’t looked anything like the team we saw in Weeks 1 and 2.
Jarrett’s Official Lean: NYJ +7 (-110)
My pure belief in Darnold is what would make me bet the Jets here. My pure disbelief in every other member of the Jets is what ultimately keeps me away from this game.
Minnesota Vikings (+7) at Seattle Seahawks
While the Seahawks are 4-0, their pass defense has allowed a staggering 401 yards per game. This will eventually come back to haunt them. Russell Wilson may be the front-runner for MVP and is playing out of his mind, but he can’t pass for 400 yards and five touchdowns every week.
The Vikings are a big question mark. If not for a blown lead to the Titans, they could be 2-2 instead of 1-3 and having some murmur about possibly drafting Trevor Lawrence. That aside, Justin Jefferson is starting to show he was worthy of his first-round selection, doing a fine job complimenting Adam Thielen. While the run game for Minnesota, led by Dalvin Cook, is always reliable, the passing game is not. Whether or not they can get their air attack going is what will determine the outcome
Jarrett’s Official Lean: MIN +7 (-110)
The Vikings will need to be able to keep up with the Seahawks scoring. If the game is a shootout, they have a great chance of covering. If they can’t find success in the passing game while Wilson has his way with their secondary, it will be a blowout.