NFL Lines Week 5: Favorites Who Won't Cover Spread
Thursday Night Football's matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams proved that the oddsmakers get it wrong every now and then.
The undefeated Cardinals—who were favored by 1.5 points (via Yahoo! Sports)—were downed by the Rams 17-3.
Unlike Arizona, I'm thinking there are three teams in Week 5 who are favored and will win, but won't cover the spread assigned to them by Bovada.
Here they are:
New York Giants (-9) vs. Cleveland Browns
Giants fans are well aware that their team often plays down to its opponent's level and takes lesser opponents too lightly, and we may see that this Sunday.
I don't think the G-Men will have an issue winning this one, but I don't think it's going to be a blowout like the oddsmakers predict.
New York played poorly against subpar teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Red Skins last season, and I'm sure Giants fans haven't forgotten how poorly Big Blue played against the Browns the last time they were the reigning Super Bowl champs in 2008, when they lost 35-14.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be surprised to see Eli Manning and the Giants blow the Browns out of the water, but I also don't expect Cleveland to just lay down and take a beating.
The Browns have hung tough with every opponent they've faced this season, and with the Giants banged up with injuries on both sides of the ball, Cleveland should not be dismissed.
Minnesota Vikings (-6) vs. Tennessee Titans
I know that the Titans are without Jake Locker, but don't forget his backup is a three-time Pro Bowler and former NFC Champion.
Despite throwing two interceptions, Tennessee backup QB Matt Hasselbeck was effective against the Houston Texans' D, going 17-of-25 for 193 yards and two touchdowns last week.
The Titans' defense held Arian Foster under 100 yards last week (which is a feat in itself), and they have the potential to do the same thing to Adrian Peterson this Sunday.
Christian Ponder has yet to throw an INT this year, but if AP gets shut down early, I think that statistic will change.
On top of it all, Chris Johnson finally got it going on the ground last weekend, and if he can match his Week 4 performance and find the end zone against Minnesota, you can kiss that six-point spread goodbye.
New England Patriots (-7) vs. Denver Broncos
Did you see the way Peyton Manning played last week against the Oakland Raiders? I did, because I was covering the live game grades for Denver in Week 4, and as a result, I'm not going against the Broncos until they lose.
The Patriots defense ranks No. 25 in the NFL against the pass, something Denver just so happens to specialize in with No. 18 under center.
The Broncos come in sporting the No. 8-best defense in terms of total yards and it was certainly on display against the Raiders, surrendering just six points last Sunday.
Denver has a complete offense with Manning and Willis McGahee balancing the pass and run, similar to the Baltimore Ravens, who New England lost to in Week 3.
I like Manning and the Broncos to go into Gillette Stadium and leave with a win on Sunday.
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