NFL Week 5 Predictions: Latest Odds and Picks Against the Spread
Blowouts could be a rare commodity during Week 5 of the NFL season.
According to Vegas, there isn't a game on the Week 5 slate that features a favorite by more than 10 points. Only four games show a favorite by a touchdown or more.
If Vegas is right, there should be a number of enjoyable games to watch Thursday through Monday night.
In the following slides, we give our predictions for each game against the Vegas spread.
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (+2.5)
The Cardinals are 4-0, but Vegas still doesn't trust these guys with an away line that's more than a toss up.
Considering the Rams are 2-0 at home, including 2-0 against the spread as a home underdog, Vegas is probably on the right track here.
Both the Cardinals and Rams are 3-1 against the spread overall, but Arizona is 0-1 as the underdog. We'll take the Rams to cover this small spread, even if the Cardinals win on the road.
Prediction ATS: Rams
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
The Bengals have won three games in a row after a season-opening loss to the Ravens, and the Dolphins have yet to win away from Miami.
A 3.5-point line seems a little low for this Week 5 matchup.
While rookie Ryan Tannehill had his breakout performance in Arizona on the road, Andy Dalton has arguably been the NFL's hottest quarterback over the last three weeks, throwing for almost 900 yards and eight touchdowns.
Dalton should continue playing well with the Dolphins' suspect secondary coming to Cincinnati.
Prediction ATS: Bengals
Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts (+7.0)
The Green Bay Packers finally had their offense back on track against the Saints, going over 400 yards and scoring at least four touchdowns for the first time this season.
The Colts might have the toughest week of their 2012 season ahead of them, regardless of what could happen on the field. The surprising loss of head coach Chuck Pagano makes preparing for the Packers mostly an afterthought.
With Aaron Rodgers starting to heat up, the Packers cruise to a double-digit win.
Prediction ATS: Packers
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (+5.0)
How can the 1-3 Chiefs be just five-point underdogs against the 3-1 Ravens, even at home?
Baltimore has had a long week of preparation since playing on Thursday night. The Chiefs can't seem to stop shooting themselves in the foot, especially at home.
The Ravens are better in every area, except maybe running the football. But Baltimore has such a distinct advantage in the passing game that Kansas City could struggle keeping this game decided by less than a touchdown.
Prediction ATS: Ravens
Cleveland Browns at New York Giants (-7.5)
The Giants are 0-2 against the spread at home, including 0-2 against the spread as the favorite. So there should be some hesitation in picking them as a 7.5-point favorite in New York.
The Browns have been strong as a touchdown or more underdog, covering those spreads all three times in 2012.
With that in mind, the Giants have a pressure scheme that should limit the Browns young passing offense, and Eli Manning has weapons of his own to take advantage of a secondary that will be without Joe Haden.
Unless Trent Richardson controls this game from start to finish for Cleveland, New York should roll at home.
Prediction ATS: Giants
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.0)
The Eagles are 1-3 against the spread, including 0-2 away. But they've yet to be an underdog in any game this season, so Sunday's trip to the Steelers is unknown territory for this club.
A 3-point line suggests more of a toss-up, but the Steelers are coming off a bye and have their backs against the wall at home. Good teams with good quarterbacks usually respond in those type of situations.
Ben Roethlisberger makes a couple of backyard scramble plays to move the football, and Pittsburgh's defense gets to Michael Vick enough times to cause a few turnovers. The Steelers win by a touchdown to cover the 3-point line.
Prediction ATS: Steelers
Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins (+3.0)
A three-point line for a 4-0 team that is 2-0 against the spread on the road is somewhat low, but that's probably the Robert Griffin III effect.
The rookie has been dynamic through four games, and the Redskins currently average a whopping 422 yards a game in 2012.
However, Washington probably doesn't have the defensive front to stop Atlanta's high-tempo passing game, and two short cornerbacks in 5'11" Cedric Griffin and 5'10" DeAngelo Hall could get eaten alive by the 6'3" Julio Jones and 6'0" Roddy White, who plays taller than his listed height.
Ryan tossed six touchdowns and one interception on the road in 2011. He'll shine again as he outduels RG3 by more than a field goal.
Prediction ATS: Falcons
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers (-3.0)
The 2012 season has been pretty plain to map out for the Seattle Seahawks.
When playing at home, this is a team that creates havoc on defense and runs the ball well enough for the Seahawks to win games. They are 2-0 in Seattle.
But on the road, things have changed. Russell Wilson has struggled mightily, and the defense hasn't been as destructive. Seattle is 0-2 on the road.
Sunday, the Seahawks travel across the country to face a Panthers team that should be kicking itself after allowing a winnable game get through its fingers in Atlanta.
Seattle has failed to cover two small lines on the road already this season, so Carolina's 3-point line should be more than enough.
Prediction ATS: Panthers
Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.0)
The Jaguars were made a slight favorite in Week 4 against the Bengals at home, and they responded by losing by 17. Vegas isn't making that same mistake this week.
The Bears, which crushed the Cowboys on the road Monday night, now travel to Jacksonville to take on the home underdog Jags.
Cincinnati sacked Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert six times and limited Maurice Jones-Drew to just 38 yards, and the Bears are plenty capable of replicating that blueprint Sunday.
As long as Jay Cutler throws to the right color jersey, Bears win by two touchdowns.
Prediction ATS: Bears
Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings (-6.0)
While the Vikings have been one of the big surprises of the NFL season, they've also been 0-2 against the spread as a favorite in 2012. They failed to cover a 3-point line to the Colts and a 3.5-point line to the Jags.
However, if one is ready to concede that the Titans are losing this football game, you might check out the margin of defeat in each of Tennessee's three losses this season.
The Titans have lost 38-14, 38-10 and 34-13, for an average margin of 24.3 points.
Minnesota probably isn't going to blow out Tennessee on Sunday, but winning by a touchdown doesn't seem so far-fetched considering the Titans struggles this season.
Prediction ATS: Vikings
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (-6.5)
The Broncos can forget about the last time they were in New England. This is a different team with a different quarterback and identity.
But boy, that 45-10 score from the 2011 playoffs has to still be ringing in the ears of some, especially on defense. Watching the film of New England's offense from Buffalo won't ease any tension of returning either.
The Patriots produced two 100-yard runners and receivers against the Bills, while scoring a franchise-record 45 second-half points.
Peyton Manning always embraces his personal rivalry with the Patriots, and he'll give them a chance on the road. But New England looks ready to take control of this season. The Patriots cover a 6.5-point spread.
Prediction ATS: Patriots
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5)
A West Coast trip for Buffalo won't be easy, but at least the Bills know that the 49ers are making a similar trip back home after dismantling the New York Jets.
That said, an ailing offensive line couldn't have come at a worse time for the Bills. Both Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik are likely to miss Sunday's game, which puts Ryan Fitzpatrick at a big disadvantage.
If the 49ers keep continual pressure on the mistake-prone Fitzpatrick, the Bills could have a long day. Expecting a 10-point win over a team still trying to find its identity isn't much for a 49ers team that has successfully rebounded from its Week 3 upset.
Prediction ATS: 49ers
San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
Drew Brees will appreciate the opportunity to break Johnny Unitas' record for consecutive games with a touchdown against the team that gave up on him five years back. Getting the Saints' first win of the 2012 season is vastly more important, however.
Securing a win against an offense that can score points makes it difficult for New Orleans. The Saints defense has been historically poor in 2012, and San Diego is averaging 25 points a game.
Brees and the offense should continue rolling, but there's no trust in this defense. Philip Rivers covers a 3.5-point spread by continuing to expose a really bad defense.
Prediction ATS: Saints
Houston Texans at New York Jets (+9.0)
The Jets are a team in disarray. There are big problems on both sides of the ball, and now each and every move this team makes will be put into the national spotlight on Monday Night Football.
Coming into New York are the Texans, which might be the best team in football. No team is more balanced in both the running and passing aspects of offense and defense. J.J. Watt might be the best player through four games, too.
It'd be a major upset if the Jets kept this game within nine points. The Texans should continue the Jets' free fall with a big win on Monday night.
Prediction ATS: Texans