The Minnesota Vikings may look like easy money entering Week 5, but bettors should still be wary. That same skepticism should also be applied to the buzz suggested by heavy odds in favour of the New York Giants dominating the Cleveland Browns.
Don't get too overconfident
Pinnaclesports.com puts the Minnesota Vikings as clear favourites at home against the Tennessee Titans, with a line of -6. There's a lot of hype surrounding the Vikings at the moment. Consecutive victories over the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions will have that effect.
However, the Titans won't be as easily dismissed as this overconfident line would suggest. Chris Johnson got back on track against a tough Houston Texans defense in Week 4. An in-form Johnson gives the Titans a chance in any game.
Tennessee haven't had trouble moving the ball and will certainly keep this one closer than expected.
This line's way too generous
Footballlocks.com has overstated the case when they give a line of -9 favouring the New York Giants at home to the Cleveland Browns. Granted, the defending Super Bowl champions at home to an 0-4 team is likely to inspire these kind of odds.
Yet bettors should always be wary of the Giants in these kind of games. Remember how difficult they found things at home to struggling teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins in 2011?
There's also the small matter of how a run defense that was mauled all over the field by the Philadelphia Eagles, will cope with Browns rookie Trent Richardson. The Giants have the knack for pulling out narrow victories and that's exactly what this one will be, so don't bet with the spread here.
Take the money line
Betonline.com lists the Carolina Panthers as slim three-point favourites at home to the unpredictable Seattle Seahawks. It's worth taking the money line on Pete Carroll's team at +140.
That may seem like a risk, but the Panthers are coming off a heartbreaking loss on the road against the Falcons. The Seahawks may been edged out by the St. Louis Rams, but their defense is good enough to bottle up Cam Newton.
There's also no way the Panthers' defense, one of the worst-tackling units in the league, will be able to stop Marshawn Lynch.
Expect this winless team to easily cover the spread
Betonline.com has the 0-4 New Orleans Saints as -3.5 favourites at home against the 3-1 San Diego Chargers. Despite still drawing a blank in the win column, expect the Saints to easily cover this spread.
Drew Brees and company are due a win and ran the Packers very close in Green Bay. The Chargers have dominated some struggling AFC teams, but their only encounter with NFC opposition, resulted in a 27-3 shellacking at home against the Atlanta Falcons.
That makes the Chargers 3-6 in their last nine games against NFC teams, and Norv Turner's talented but temperamental team don't always travel well. With Drew Brees set to add another record to his list, bet on the Saints covering this spread.
Catch this one before the line adjusts
Footballlocks.com only lists the Baltimore Ravens at -5 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Even though the Ravens are on the road, that seems slim.
The Chiefs passing game is mired in turmoil and the defense hasn't been able to contain anyone. A visit from the Ravens is bad news, given how easily they dominated Rome Crennel's defense back in the 2010/11 Wild Card playoffs.
The Ravens won that game 30-7 and amassed 390 total yards. Jamaal Charles may be running well, but that won't be enough to prevent the Chiefs suffering another heavy defeat.
This line seems sure to adjust, so get on it now at these odds.
Rest of Week 5's Odds courtesy of footballlocks.com.
Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) at St. Louis Rams, total 38.5
Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Washington Redskins, total 50
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5), total 44
Green Bay Packers (-7) at Indianapolis Colts, total 48
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5), total 45
Chicago Bears (-5.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars, total 40
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (-7), total 51.5
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5), total 44.5
Houston Texans (-8) at New York Jets, total 41
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