NFL Picks Week 5: 2 Underdogs Sure To Cover the Spread
Las Vegas oddsmakers aren't messing around during the 2011 NFL regular season, as very little edge is found in wagering on favorites or underdogs.
Teams that are getting points this season are 32-29-3 against the spread, including a 12-10-2 mark when playing at home.
Let's take a look at two underdogs that will have you cashing at the betting windows Sunday.
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The Cincinnati Bengals have tallied a 2-2 straight-up record through the first four weeks but bring in a 3-1 ATS mark.
Quarterback Andy Dalton threw two interceptions early in the first half last week before bouncing back and picking up a 23-20 win over the Buffalo Bills as three-point home underdogs.
Even though the schedule hasn't offered much resistance in terms of offensive juggernauts, the Bengals will still enter with the league's No. 1 defense.
That's a significant statistic when being placed as an underdog against the NFL's worst offense in terms of scoring, averaging just 9.8 points a game.
From a betting perspective, Jacksonville falls into a terrible situation, being placed as a home favorite after three consecutive failures as an underdog.
The Bengals will make it three in a row against the number away from Paul Brown Stadium.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5)
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Sports betting is very similar to the stock market and oddsmakers can go a little too far in terms of public perception sometimes.
The Green Bay Packers are currently receiving the highest percentage of bets in Las Vegas, which has pushed the opening number higher, as most shops have moved the line by 2.5 points.
Last year's playoff game between these two teams was a bloodbath, as Atlanta earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, only to be handed a 48-21 loss as one-point home favorites.
The Falcons have been unimpressive this season, but bettors need to examine last week's time of possession.
Atlanta come out with a 40:10 to 19:50 advantage, which will allow the defense to be well rested against one of the league's best offenses.
Also, Green Bay must prepare for Atlanta rookie wide receiver Julio Jones, who broke out for 11 catches and 127 receiving yards last week.
Did I mention that Matt Ryan is one of the best home quarterbacks in the NFL?
He's never gone off as a home underdog of this price in his career.
That's enough for me.
Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+6)