Week 5: Part 1 was published Thursday, but now it’s time to go over our final eight games for Week 5.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling, and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800 GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL) Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN only) or 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA only) or 1-800-522-4700 (CO Only) *21+. NJ/IN/WV/PA/IA/CO only. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Offer not valid for users physically located in NH. Deposit bonus is in DK Dollars which have no cash value and must be used on DraftKings. Bonus requires 25x Play-Thru. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Lions at Vikings -10
The Lions looked terrible last week against the Bears. There’s no beating around the bush about it. This week, they travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings, who are looking to pick themselves up after a poor showing against the Browns.
On paper, this game probably shouldn’t be a ten-point spread. The Vikings are offensively potent, but haven’t probed a lot on the defensive side to justify such a margin. When we consider the health of the Lions secondary and the weapons the Vikings have outside, the Vikings make a lot more sense as heavy favorites.
Minnesota likely won’t get the same pressure they got last week, so the green light is on in this one. Even with Dalvin Cook ruled out, the line hasn’t moved. Expect a pass-heavy script this week for the Vikings.
Vikings 35 Lions 17
Dolphins at Buccaneers -10
This one is very simple. The Dolphins look dead in the water and the Buccaneers look incredible. Following a bad weather week, you know Tom Brady will be looking to put up huge numbers this week.
The Dolphins are going to have to challenge the Bucs secondary through the air, because running the ball is just a terrible option. With a negative game script in sight, the risk of this game snowballing is very high.
There’s not much else to say about this one. It’s time to ride with the Goat.
Bucs 41 Dolphins 19
Browns at Chargers -2.5
We talk often about how momentum doesn’t matter much in the NFL. This absolutely is not a momentum pick. The Chargers defense has been solid this season, despite the difficult opponents. Justin Herbert has also shown to be one of the best passers in the NFL under pressure.
The Browns defense has been especially impressive this season, but the Chargers are a different level opponent. The more alarming part of this is the lack of offensive effectiveness the Browns showed last week. The Vikings’ defense isn’t very good, and the shorthanded Browns managed just 14 points.
With Odell Beckham playing poorly, Baker Mayfield nursing a left shoulder injury, and Jarvis Landry on IR, the Chargers can focus on stopping the run. The Browns have yet to really prove they can be effective in the passing game against a decent defense, so I have to lean Chargers this week.
Chargers 24 Browns 20
Bears at Raiders -5
This game has all the makings of a make or break game for both teams. The Raiders need to respond following their Monday night loss against the Chargers. The Bears are hoping to build off their explosive performance against the Lions last week.
From what we’ve seen so far this season, the Rookies have had a rough go of things. This week, Justin Fields will have to face an active Raiders defense. The Raiders will also be eager to play within their friendly confines, following their faux home game last week.
Expect the Raiders to bring a balanced attack to this game, using a heavy mix of play action. The beauty of the Raiders this season is they are very balanced. Derek Carr has played well and the defense had played some inspired stretches. I like the Raiders to bounce back this week.
Raiders 26 Bears 16
Giants at Cowboys -7
The Giants, aside from last week, had been wildly mediocre on the season. Even with the big drop in turnovers, Daniel Jones hasn’t been able to carry this team like he’d have probably hoped or expected. Part of it is the health of his receivers and the other part is his own fault.
Regardless, Daniel Jones looked remarkably better in the second half of last week’s comeback win over the Saints. The question this week is, will we see Jones continue to play well and execute without turning the ball over? Or, will we see the dam finally break this week?
The Cowboys are on a heater. Not only have they covered the spread in every game this season, they’ve done it without being especially close in each. The Cowboys have been balanced and potent in 2021. The combination of Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliot is likely the best in the league, and Dak Prescott has steered the ship valiantly.
The two big problems I see in this game are the Giants defense, and the challenge for Daniel Jones against a turnover-happy Cowboys defense. I like the Cowboys too much in this one.
Cowboys 38 Giants 17
49ers +5.5 at Cardinals
On paper, this looks like a no-brainer. The 49ers have been flaky on both sides of the ball, while the Cardinals have been impossible to solve on offense, all season. The rub in this game is the zone rushing attack of the 49ers.
With Elijah Mitchell returning to the lineup this week, the 49ers will finally get the speed boost from the running game they rely so heavily on. Trey Sermon was fine in his absence, but Mitchell showed in Week 1 he is the ideal runner in this scheme.
The Cardinals offense has been shockingly efficient, but it has nothing to do with the schemes or with Kliff Kingsbury. Every bit of credit for how this offense has succeeded should be credited to Kyler Murray. Murray’s scrambling ability has bought his receivers ample time to break off routes and cause chaos in the secondary.
This week, it’s fair to expect Kyle Shanahan to implement some plan to quell the effectiveness of Kyler Murray. I like for the 49ers to shock the NFL world today and pull the upset.
49ers 29 Cardinals 27
Bills at Chiefs -2.5
The Bills have pitched two shutouts so far this season. Is it more of a question as to their actual effectiveness defensively or just feasting on weak opponents. Offensively, the Bills are running the ball much better in 2021, but have struggled to find the explosive plays that carried them in 2020.
The Chiefs are officially reeling. Following two losses to the Ravens and Chargers, the Chiefs rebounded last week in Philly, but still have a lot of issues on defense. This week is a prime time game and one you know the Chiefs will be ready for, at home.
The rubber meets the road this week and I anticipate Pat Mahomes coming out and going big early. Expect the Chiefs to put a very aggressive game plan into action, as this one should transpire similarly to both meetings last season.
I trust the Chiefs have adequately prepped for this one and think they’ll win a very important game this week.
Chiefs 33 Bills 27
Colts at Ravens -6.5
This matchup looked much better before the season began, but at least the Colts got the win last week. I’m not much for praising the Ravens, but I think they’ve done well getting the wins when they’ve needed to. Aside from that, they haven’t looked like the same team we’ve seen the past few seasons.
With this being a prime time game in Baltimore, there is a lot to like for the Ravens. Their defense, though not the same as old, has shown up when they’ve needed it to (with exception of the Raiders game).
The spread here is a little longer than I’d prefer, but the Colts have struggled completing passes under pressure (Pass Rating of 73.5). The Ravens love to bring pressure and have done relatively well stopping the run this season.
Ravens 27 Colts 16