Whether you are cleaning up through four weeks or looking to turn things around, Week 5 represents a great chance of adding a few wins to your total against the spread.
There are a handful of exciting matchups on tap, many with lines that look reasonably fair and potentially quite lucrative.
Let’s take a look at the latest betting lines, my picks for each and every game on the slate and a closer look at the lead pipe locks of the week.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (+2) over Carolina Panthers
The Cardinals haven’t been very pretty this season, but they are sitting at .500 and currently undefeated at home, both straight up and against the spread.
This untrendy team is a great side to back against the visiting Panthers, a squad that has just one win, that one coming at home against the lowly New York Giants.
Carolina just doesn’t travel well, losing to the mediocre Buffalo Bills in Week 2—the team’s sole road game of 2013.
The Panthers were not stable on the road last year either, as they won just four games away from Charlotte and none of those were against opponents with a record over .500 at the time.
Arizona matches up well against this foe, even though Carolina is conceding just 225.7 yards per game through the air.
Regardless of the numbers, the visiting team’s secondary is absolutely atrocious and certainly beatable. If the Cardinals can keep quarterback Carson Palmer upright, he will be able to dissect the defense for big gains.
Wideout Larry Fitzgerald is poised for a monster performance, as the superstar has yet to eclipse 100 yards receiving in a single game.
Don’t expect to see much running in this game, as pass-happy Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians will dial up throw after throw to exploit the advantages that his receivers hold over the defensive backs.
That should result in plenty of points on the board and Arizona improving to 3-2 at the end of this one.
New England Patriots (-2) over CINCINNATI BENGALS
The Patriots are looking to continue their undefeated start to the season with yet another road win, this time against the Bengals.
Prior to Week 4, this appeared to be one of the toughest contests on the slate for New England, but that all changed after the Cleveland Browns exploited their AFC North rival last Sunday.
The upstart Browns left Pats head coach Bill Belichick a blueprint to beating their next opponent, utilizing a big tight end in Jordan Cameron to exploit mismatches in the secondary.
Cameron turned 12 targets from Brian Hoyer into 10 receptions for 91 yards and a score, which means that Rob Gronkowski—if he returns from injury—has a chance to explode onto the scene in this game.
Quarterback Tom Brady will not only love to have him back for red zone purposes, but also as another target in his steadily-improving receiving corps.
With the Cincy secondary again hobbled by a variety of injuries—you can check the team’s injury report here—it’s without question that New England will do its best to take advantage.
Look for the Pats to air it out and come away with a convincing win as they move to 5-0 on the year.