In Monday TPS reports, we’ll review the slate of NFL games and what to make of it all from a betting perspective. Or more specifically, what to make of teams as we move forward, evaluate their identities and look for betting opportunities.
Here’s a snapshot at NFL Week 5: How underdogs, favorites, home teams and away teams performed, and a look at the totals. In a week with a lot of small spreads, away teams delivered the covers (nine). Then we’ll get to the individual team recaps:
- Underdogs vs Favorites (ATS) 6-7 (Season: 40-33-2)
- Home vs Away (ATS) 4-9 (Season: 34-38-2)
- Over/Under Record: 6-7 ((Season: 37-38-1)
- Straight up underdog Wins: 6 (Season: 30)
Week 5 NFL Betting Recap: Road Teams Roar, Texans Suffer Major Blows, Jaguars Humiliate Steelers
Los Angeles Chargers (+3) at New York Giants: The Giants are an abject disaster and look headed for a 3-13 campaign. Eli Manning doesn’t have much life or accuracy left in that arm. They lost an incomprehensible FOUR wide receivers in this game: Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Harris, Sterling Shepard, and most importantly, obviously, Odell Beckham Jr. to a broken ankle, which probably keeps him out for the season. Chargers and the points was the smart side despite their late-game failures and cross-country trip. The Giants will likely be an underdog in every remaining game, perhaps offering a bit of value here and there. The defense isn’t nearly as imposing as it was in ‘16, due in part to injuries, regression, and loss of morale stemming from the epic disappointment. Final score: Chargers 27, Giants 22.
Tennessee Titans (-3) at Miami Dolphins: Smart money was on the Dolphins here — irrespective of the Titans’ QB situation — in a bounce-back spot after two horrific showings at the Jets and Saints in London. The Fins mustered a dismal 178 total yards of offense but held the Matt Cassel-led Titans to only 188 yard and sacked him six times with some inspired defense. The Fins D picked up a fumble return TD score while Tennessee unraveled with 11 penalties (one of them nullifying a long touchdown). Neither team inspires much confidence as Miami heads to Atlanta off a bye, catching 10.5 points after opening at 10. Final score: Dolphins 16, Titans 10
Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers: I predicted a Jaguars cover and the under but my oh my, who predicted this? It was a magnificent Steelers disaster that has Ben Roethlisberger questioning his ability and signaling a retirement (which he already contemplated last year) after this season. Credit to a swarming Jaguars defense, which intercepted Ben five times and scored back-to-back pick sixes, seizing the momentum and stymying the Steelers. Rookie rusher Leonard Fournette punished the black and gold for 181 yards including a 90-yard TD run for an encore. Jaguars 30, Steelers 9
Arizona Cardinals (+6.5) at Philadelphia Eagles: The Cardinals cannot run the ball – at all – but in any event the Eagles rendered Arizona completely one-dimensional by putting them in a 21-0 hole early. The cover was never a sweat for Philly who controlled the ball for over 35 minutes. QB Carson Wentz needs to be more accurate more often but it’s hard to nitpick three passing touchdowns in the opening quarter. Palmer took 10 hits Sunday behind a wobbly Cardinals offensive line. Philly now heads to Carolina as a three point dog (total 46) for a somewhat surprising showdown between 4-1 squads (and perhaps an under game). Eagles 34, Cardinals 7
Buffalo Bills (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals: The defensive-minded Bills held the Bengals’ resurgent offense mostly in check except for an early 77-yard bomb from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green. This was looking a lot like Bills cover after Buffalo took the ball down 17-13 at the Cincy 12-yard line with 10:37 remaining, but they got held to a field goal, making it 17-16. Cincinnati then milked 5:30 off the clock, netting a field goal to go up a spread-covering four points, 20-16, forcing Buffalo to get a touchdown to cover. The drive ended with a pick, giving Buffalo its first ATS loss of the season (4-1). Bengals 20, Bills 16
New York Jets (PK) at Cleveland Browns: You do NOT win money betting on the Cleveland Browns! They’re simply un-bettable!!! Under Hue Jackson they have won ONE game straight up (1-20 overall) and more importantly to our purposes, they’re 5-16 (24%) against-the-spread. QB Kevin Hogan gave the Brownies a spark along with rookie TE David Njoku after Hogan entered after halftime; they actually tallied 22 first downs to New York’s 14 and out-gained them 419 to 212. Oh, Browns. Jets 17, Browns 14
Carolina Panthers (+2.5) at Detroit Lions: The Lions nearly pulled off yet another fourth-quarter comeback trailing 27-10 in the final frame, but Carolina managed to keep the ball out of Detroit’s hands with a late-game first down. Carolina’s front seven ate up the Lions’ front for six Matthew Stafford sacks. Cam Newton’s arm strength and deep ball are definitely back and tight end Ed Dickson emerged as a receiving stud with 5 catches for 175 yards! Panthers 27, Lions 24
Seattle Seahawks (+2) at Los Angeles Rams: I had thought this was going to be a shootout. It was not, falling far short of the 46.5 total (combined 26 points). Seattle couldn’t run the ball at all with Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls against the Rams’ underwhelming rush defense. But the Rams couldn’t finish long drives, turned the ball over five times, and Greg “The Leg” Zeurlein missed a rare field goal from 36, while Blair Walsh converted all three attempts. The Rams now head to Jacksonville as 2.5-point underdogs while the Hawks take a breather. Seahawks 16, Rams 10
San Francisco 49ers (+1.5) at Indianapolis Colts: I thought the Niners would break through and maybe they would have with a full-strength Carlos Hyde. Down 23-9 in the fourth quarter, the Niners scored a game-tying touchdown with 20 ticks left but and very nearly earned the cover-via-tie, but who else, Adam Vinatieri, gave the Colts a win and cover with a 51-yard winner with 1:38 left in overtime. San Francisco is still 3-2 against the spread and should continue to offer value (getting 10.5 at Washington in Week 6) as the public generally perceives them as a crummy 0-5 club. Colts 26, 49ers 23
Baltimore Ravens (+2.5) at Oakland Raiders: Two teams fighting a swirl around the drain… the Raiders doomed themselves when Jared Cook fumbled at midfield early in the game, which Jimmy Smith scooped and sprinted to the house for a Ravens 14-0 lead.
Jimmy. Smith. pic.twitter.com/qgZE8ZGuBQ
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 8, 2017
Joe Flacco then led (sort of) a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with lots of rushing and short passes, putting Baltimore into soid cover range and they never looked back. The Raiders need Derek Carr and a turnaround STAT if they’re going to fight back and nab a wild-card spot. Ravens 30, Raiders 17
Green Bay Packers (+2) at Dallas Cowboys: The Pack didn’t have left tackle David Bahktiari, top rusher Ty Montgomery) and Jordy Nelson (hamstring) was limited but all they really need is Aaron. Rodgers, mainly, but Green Bay may have found a true running back in their fifth-round rookie Aaron Jones who showed good vision and elusiveness in a 19-carry, 125-yard performance in his first start. Rodgers was masterful once again, leading a nine-play winning and spread-covering drive that began with only 1:13 remaining. Dak Prescott played well but the Pack has Dallas’s number. Packers 35, Cowboys 31
Kansas City Chiefs (-2) at Houston Texans: The game started very poorly for the Texans, who lost two of their top three defensive players in OLB Whitney Mercilus (torn pec, done for the season) and DE J.J. Watt (left tibial plateau fracture) in the opening quarter. It sucked the life out of Houston. Watt is now done for the season for the second straight season (after Week 3 in ‘16). Kansas City was once again dynamic on offense and remains undefeated team straight up and against the spread, but the story is Houston, which finally appeared to pair good defense with good offense. After losing two irreplaceable players in one half, we’ll see. Chiefs 42, Texans 34
The Monday Night Football line on Minnesota at Chicago is out to Vikings -4 with Sam Bradford set to return from a knee injury to take on rookie QB Mitch Trubisky in his first NFL start. With a QB subject to get lifted at any moment against a rookie QB, this is one I’ll just be watching… See you back tomorrow for the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest update.