NFL Week 5 Picks: Predictions for Vegas Odds Before Thursday Night

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 3, 2019

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks to throw against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Three of the four NFL divisional matchups in Week 5 may go a long way in determining the final standings. 

The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks come into Thursday night at 3-1. Pete Carroll's team holds an early advantage on the Rams with a 1-0 record in the NFC West.

If Sean McVay's squad wins on the road, it could be on the fast track to first place since it faces undefeated San Francisco in Week 6. 

After landing in the win column Monday, Pittsburgh could claw back into the AFC North race by beating Baltimore Sunday.

A win by John Harbaugh's team would knock the Steelers down a peg and create a two-horse race between Baltimore and Cleveland.

In the NFC South, New Orleans could open a two-game advantage on Tampa Bay, or another statement victory from Bruce Arians' team would move it into first. 

Denver's visit to the Los Angeles Chargers carries the least intrigue, as the Broncos enter without a victory and both are chasing the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs. 

                              

NFL Week 5 Schedule and Odds

All Times ET

Odds from Caesars; predictions against the spread when available in bold. 

               

Thursday, October 3

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle (-1.5) (8:20 p.m., Fox/NFL Network) 

            

Sunday, October 6

Baltimore (-3.5) at Pittsburgh (1 p.m., CBS) 

Buffalo at Tennessee (-3) (1 p.m., CBS) 

Jacksonville at Carolina (-3.5) (1 p.m., CBS) 

New England (-15.5) at Washington (1 p.m., CBS) 

New York Jets at Philadelphia (-13.5) (1 p.m., CBS)

Atlanta at Houston (-5.5) (1 p.m., Fox) 

Arizona at Cincinnati (-3) (1 p.m., Fox) 

Chicago (-6) vs. Oakland (1 p.m., Fox; Game in London) 

Minnesota (-5.5) at New York Giants (1 p.m., Fox) 

Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-3.5) (1 p.m., Fox) 

Denver at Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5) (4:05 p.m., CBS) 

Green Bay at Dallas (-3.5) (4:25 p.m., Fox) 

Indianapolis at Kansas City (-11) (8:20 p.m., NBC) 

           

Monday, October 7

Cleveland at San Francisco (-3.5) (8:15 p.m., ESPN) 

               

Predictions

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle (-1.5) 

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Seattle has a chance to end a four-game losing streak for Thursday favorites against the spread. 

The Russell Wilson-led offense has been consistent with over 20 points in each game, and it has produced either 27 or 28 in the last three weeks. 

Additionally, the Seattle defense is coming off a performance in which it held Arizona to 10 points on the road. 

Los Angeles' defensive unit has plenty to fix after it was gashed for 464 total yards in Week 4. On two occasions, the Rams have conceded over 300 yards from scrimmage. 

The biggest problem for the defending NFC champion has been Jared Goff's turnovers. In Week 3, he was picked off twice and lost a fumble against Cleveland, and he turned the ball over four times versus the Buccaneers. 

Seattle forced at least one turnover in every game, and it has given up six passing touchdowns while holding teams to 6.2 yards per attempt. 

If Pete Carroll's side forces Goff into difficulty, it could take over through Chris Carson, who is going up against a Rams rushing defense that is one of nine to concede five or more scores.

The Seahawks running back totaled 145 yards, 101 of which came on the ground, in Week 4, and he racked up 116 rushing yards in his home meeting with the Rams in 2018. 

In two meetings last season, Wilson had six touchdowns on 374 passing yards. If he combines with Carson to wear down the Rams, Seattle could secure its second NFC West victory. 

                               

Baltimore (-3.5) at Pittsburgh 

Nick Wass/Associated Press

If Baltimore believes its the favorite to win the AFC North, it should go into Heinz Field and knock off the Steelers.  

Lamar Jackson and Co. enter on a two-game losing streak, but they still have put up over 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in each contest. 

In Pittsburgh's three defeats, it conceded over 400 total yards and its offense turned the ball over at least once. 

Mike Tomlin's side held Cincinnati to 175 total yards Monday, but based off what we have seen in four weeks, the Ravens are much better than the Bengals. 

If the Steelers win Sunday, it will be because of their pass rush. Stephon Tuitt and T.J. Watt combined for six sacks and eight tackles for loss, and if they limit Jackson's mobility, Baltimore could have a few short possessions. 

In Week 4, Jackson was sacked four times and intercepted twice by Cleveland, but that was more of an outlier than a consistent theme for the second-year quarterback. 

Jackson has been intercepted four times in his career and last week marked the first time he was brought down on more than three occasions.

Mark Ingram could be the key for Baltimore, as both of his 100-yard performances and all five of his touchdowns have come on the road. 

If the first-year Raven tears up a defense that gives up the 11th-most rushing yards per game, John Harbaugh's side could erase the glimmer of hope Pittsburgh created with its Week 4 victory. 

                      

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference

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