NFL Picks Week 5: Over/Under Vegas Lines, Expert Predictions and Odds

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2017

Los Angeles Rams' Jared Goff (16) participates in warm ups before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys o, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Roger Steinman/Associated Press

Those who play NFL picks each week have to feel a little bit like the New England Patriots right now. 

Those Patriots are average at .500, which is both good and bad. The good is it could be much worse. The bad is they sit with the same record as the New York Jets. 

Such a set piece before we get started helps to illustrate how tough this season has been so far. It's not easy to pick games a quarter of the way through the season where the New York Giants have yet to win and the Jacksonville Jaguars sit tied for a division lead. 

Alas, let's provide some reinforcements by taking a look at the full Week 5 slate and nailing down some predictions. 

           

NFL Week 5 Schedule, Odds

New England (-6) at Tampa Bay  | O/U 56

Arizona at Philadelphia (-6.5)  | O/U 45

Buffalo at Cincinnati (-3)  | O/U 39

Carolina at Detroit (-3)  | O/U 43.5

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh (-8.5)  | O/U 44

L.A. Chargers at N.Y. Giants (-3.5)  | O/U 44.5

N.Y. Jets at Cleveland (-1)  | O/U 39

San Francisco at Indianapolis (-1.5)  | O/U 44

Tennessee (-3) at Miami  | O/U n/a

Baltimore at Oakland (-4)  | O/U n/a

Seattle at L.A. Rams (-2.5)  | O/U 47

Green Bay at Dallas (-2)  | O/U 52

Kansas City (-3.5) at Houston  | O/U n/a

Minnesota (-3.5) at Chicago  | O/U n/a

Bold denotes predicted winner against the spread and over/under projection. 

       

Arizona at Philadelphia (-6.5)

The Philadelphia Eagles are quietly one of the best teams in the NFL, and the Arizona Cardinals don't travel well, so this looks like a layup of a line for bettors to exploit.  

Carson Wentz and the Eagles have looked dominant to start the year 3-1, only coming up short on the road against the elite Kansas City Chiefs by a touchdown. Week 4 was a 26-24 road escape of a game Los Angeles Chargers team. 

Former coach Tony Dungy is one of the many seeing big steps from Wentz: 

Wentz hasn't posted world-beating numbers, but it helps his offense has discovered a running game thanks to LeGarrette Blount, who has 249 yards and a score on a 5.9 yard-per-carry average. A Brandon Graham-led defense boasts 10 sacks and consistent pressure on opponents. 

Said opponent this week is a Cardinals team with an immobile quarterback in Carson Palmer and a 2-2 record that doesn't do justice to just how rough the team has looked. 

The Cardinals hardly slipped past the Andrew Luck-less Colts in Week 2, a road game that went to a 16-13 overtime finale. Same story in Week 4, where the Cardinals needed overtime to escape the winless San Francisco 49ers, 18-15. 

Without David Johnson, Palmer has thrown five touchdowns and interceptions, and the team averages less than three yards per carry. That simply won't get it done on the road against a budding Eagles team. 

Prediction: Eagles 30, Cardinals 17

         

Seattle at L.A. Rams (-2.5)  

Breaking news alert: The Seattle Seahawks are off to a miserable start to the year. 

All jokes aside, the Seahawks are notorious late starters, though this year feels even worse than usual. Russell Wilson and Co. have lost both road games to start the season and only slipped past the 49ers in 12-9 fashion at home, later blowing away the Colts, 46-18. 

So what gives that makes this feel different? Mostly Seattle's questionable approach to building in the offensive trenches, which already has Wilson suffering 10 sacks and endless pressure. 

He's mostly had to do it all himself: 

While the Seahawks have struggled in worse-than-usual fashion, the Los Angeles Rams have been one of the season's better surprises while surging to a 3-1 record behind seven touchdowns and one interception from a leap-year Jared Goff. 

After struggling as a rookie, Goff looks like a completely different player, with the latest example coming on the road against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, where he threw two touchdowns and no picks in a 35-30 upset. 

At this point, the Rams taking down the Seahawks wouldn't even register as an upset. The Rams did the same at home a year ago, and this year's team is droves better, if not an outright playoff contender. Seattle isn't doomed overall by any means, but Wilson won't be able to do it all on his own like he did against a bad team like the Colts. 

Prediction: Rams 23, Seahawks 17

       

Minnesota (-3.5) at Chicago

Monday Night Football should be interesting. 

This isn't always the case, but the Chicago Bears trotting out second overall pick Mitchell Trubisky for his career debut against a strong Minnesota Vikings defense has interesting betting implications. 

Mostly because Trubisky is an unknown. We know Minnesota only allows 19 points per game on average. We know the old Chicago offense was a lame-duck performer under the guidance of Mike Glennon. We also know Chicago quietly has one of the better front sevens in football. 

We don't know much about Trubisky other than a live arm and the athletic ability to get on the run and make plays with his legs or arm. 

He's ready for the Vikings to try to confuse him before the snap, too, according to ESPN.com's Jeff Dickerson: "I think other teams are expecting that from them now. So they're showing other looks. But when they do show that, we'll have an answer for that. We just need to get to that. You've got to be ready for as many things as they can throw at us."

As of this writing, we don't know if the Vikings will even have starting quarterback Sam Bradford, who is day-to-day, according to head coach Mike Zimmer (via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press).

Meaning, the Vikings will either trot out a rusty, returning-from-injury Bradford or Case Keenum, who on 100 attempts so far has three touchdowns and no interceptions, all three coming in a fluke of a performance. He's attempted 30 or more passes in two other games, both losses, and averaged less than eight yards per completion. His offense also lost rookie star running back Dalvin Cook for the year. 

Trubisky might be a rookie, but his booming arm and ability to push the ball down the field will open up the running game for the strong duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, who will take this one at home in a grind-it-out affair. 

Prediction: Bears 20, Vikings 17

           

Stats courtesy of NFL.com. Odds according to OddsShark.