Some say that the best bets are the ones you don’t make. I like to say that you have to spend money to make money, and I plan on making anyone who reads this article lots of it. I will give you my three best bets of the week, and then the rest of the Week 5 slate. All of my odds and betting lines will be coming from Draftkings Sportsbook. Let’s begin…
Tampa Bay (-4) @ Chicago
That’s right. I’m starting with Thursday Night Football. Both Tampa Bay and Chicago come into this game with 3-1 records. Tampa is coming off of a 38-31 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, a game in which Tom Brady seemed to have found his groove with 5 TD passes. Chicago lost to the league’s #1 defense in the Indianapolis Colts to the tune of a 19-11 defeat. That would explain why Nick Foles found his inner Mitchell Trubisky in that game.
Tampa Bay was a major talking point after their Week 1 loss to the Saints. The offense looked out of sync and Tom looked anything but terrific. Since that defeat, they have averaged a healthy 32 points per game with Brady looking more and more comfortable each time out.
Chicago has had a strange start to the season to say the least. They overcame two double digit deficits to win games against Detroit and Atlanta. They barely beat the Giants. Their first real test of the year was this past week in the Colts. The three teams they had played prior currently have a 1-11 record. To be frank, the Bears are one of the most fraudulent 3-1 teams I have seen. A short week certainly will not help matters.
My one key stat of the game is Tampa Bay’s rushing defense. They have allowed the second fewest rushing yards per game in the league, according to ESPN. Chicago wants to run their offense through David Montgomery and they will not be able to do that easily. At the end of the day, Chicago does not have the firepower to keep up with a surging Tampa Bay offense. Tampa should easily cover the spread.
Bet: Tampa Bay (-4)
Minnesota (+7) @ Seattle
Wait, another primetime game? Yes, primetime is where money is made. The Vikings come into this game having handily beaten the lowly Houston Texans 31-23. The Seahawks were given a layup courtesy of the Miami Dolphins. They also won 31-23. Chef Russell Wilson has been in the process of cooking a gourmet meal so far this season. He is clearly at the front of the MVP conversation. The Vikings now have an improved passing game with the emergence of first round pick Justin Jefferson, who seems to have inherited the Stefon Diggs role in this offense.
The Vikings started off the season in rough fashion. They were dismantled by the Packers and Colts. It looked like they were headed towards a very disappointing season. The past two weeks, however, they have really stepped up their game offensively. As I had mentioned before, Justin Jefferson has emerged with back-to-back 100 yard receiving games and has given this Vikings offense a weapon that people felt they would be without this year after the Stefon Diggs trade. However, at the end of the day, this offense begins and ends with All Pro running back Dalvin Cook. He has had 100+ rushing yards in each of his last two games and seems to be finding his groove.
What more can be said about the Seahawks offense? Wilson has been playing on another level this season as he leads the league in touchdown passes with 16, according to NFL.com. He has two receivers that perfectly fit with his skill set in Tyler Lockett and D.K Metcalf. Nobody has ever made a binky look as cool as Metcalf has. The Seahawks offense have scored 30+ points in every game this season and are clicking on all cylinders.
My main stat of the game is actually two stats. They both relate to how brutal both of these defenses have been against the pass. Both teams are among the four worst in terms of passing yards allowed on the season, according to NFL.com. This game will be an absolute shootout in an empty CenturyLink field. An extra bit of advice would be to start Justin Jefferson, he will win people their matchups this week. With the spread being a full touchdown in favor of the Seahawks, I anticipate this game being very back and forth where neither team will have a real advantage on the scoreboard. That bodes well for the Vikings as they are the underdogs. Take the Vikings.
Bet: Vikings (+7)
Chargers @ Saints (O/U 51.5)
I promise that all of my best bets will not be primarily focused on primetime games. I just happen to find the best value this week kicking off past 8:00. Both of these teams have been very up and down this season. The Chargers just lost in a true shootout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-31. The Saints overcame a early 14-0 hole to defeat the Lions 35-29.
For the Chargers, their young QB Justin Herbert continues to show flashes of brilliance early in his career. While that has not translated into a win as of yet, he has averaged 310 yards per game over his first three starts. The big and unfortunate injury news for the Chargers is Austin Ekeler, who is out for the foreseeable future. However, the Chargers fourth-round pick Joshua Kelley has shown that he is more than capable for making up the loss of Ekeler.
The Saints are coming off of a much needed win over the 1-3 Lions. Drew Brees has been able to string together a couple of solid efforts, even without star wideout Michael Thomas, who has a decent chance to play this week with an extra day to prepare on a Monday Night. The main focal point for the Saints this year has been Alvin Kamara. After a year in which he noted himself that he was not 100% healthy, he has come back full force so far. While being a running back, Kamara is fourth in the league in receptions with 30, according to ESPN. He has been the reason that the offense has been able to keep the ball moving without Thomas.
The key stat in this game isn’t a stat at all. It is more of a key note. Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins, the top two Saints cornerbacks, are dealing with injuries that caused them to miss their last game. The Chargers are suffering from the loss of Derwin James, who has been absent since the beginning of the year, which led to their defense getting torched by Tom Brady. With two offenses gaining confidence and two defenses dealing with key injuries, the O/U of 51.5 should be blown past in the Superdome on Monday Night.
Bet: Over 51.5
Note: At this time of writing, the Draftkings Sportsbook does not have odds for three games. Denver @ New England, Bills @ Titans, and Miami @ San Francisco. This is presumably due to injuries and COVID-19.
Bengals (-13.5) @ Ravens
The Bengals are gaining confidence as Joe Burrow looks more and more like Smokin’ Joe each game he plays. The Bengals only have one win to their name so far, but they have been in very close games that could’ve gone either way. They have losses of 3 and 5 points to go with a tie against the Eagles. While the Ravens are dominant at home, I see the Bengals hanging around enough to keep this game within 10 points or so.
Bet: Bengals (+13.5)
Cardinals (-7) @ Jets
Joe Namath is not walking through that door. Take the Cards.
Bet: Cardinals (-7)
Raiders @ Chiefs (-12.5)
Derek Carr is 0-4 against the Chiefs since Patrick Mahomes has become the starter. The Raiders have been outscored by 88 in those four games. In the two games at Arrowhead, the Raiders have been throttled twice to the tune of 35-3 and 40-9. Even on an unexpected short week, take the Chiefs.
Bet: Chiefs (-12.5)
Rams (-7.5) @ Washington
Washington has lost by double digits in every game they have played this year. They just benched Dwayne Haskins in favor of Kyle Allen. There is too much turmoil for Washington to keep this close. Take the Rams.
Bet: Rams (-7.5)
Eagles @ Pittsburgh (-7)
The Eagles are coming off of a huge win against the Niners on Sunday Night, while the Steelers were forced to take the week off after the Titans COVID-19 outbreak. The main stat in this game is just how dominant the Steelers defense has been. They have given up the second fewest yards per game in the league, according to ESPN. With the Eagles still missing arguably three of their top four pass catchers, the Eagles will not be able to score enough points to keep this game close.
Bet: Steelers (-7)
Panthers (+2) @ Falcons
The Falcons have been better than their record would suggest this year. They had double digit leads against the Cowboys and the Bears and found a way to lose both games. The Panthers have been on a two game winning streak after losing their first two games. With the Falcons trending in the wrong direction while dealing with injuries to their top two wideouts, the Panthers seem like they should be the favorites in this game. Take advantage of the fact that they are underdogs.
Bet: Panthers (+2)
Jaguars @ Texans (-6)
The Texans are 0-4 and they just fired their longtime head coach Bill O’Brien. The Jaguars are 1-3 and are finally starting the “Tank for Trevor” campaign. All I can do is look to the history of this matchup. Jacksonville has been outscored 40-10 over their last two meetings against the Texans. The Texans should be galvanized by their head coach being fired and they will be out to make a statement. Take the Texans.
Bet: Texans (-6)
Giants @ Cowboys (O/U 54)
This is a game in which it is hard to trust either team. It makes sense to lean more towards the points in this game. The Cowboys defense has been atrocious so far, as they have given up 36.5 points per game. Their offense has been put in a position where they have averaged 31.5 points per game. Both of those stats come courtesy of ESPN. Do the math. That equals an average of 70 points scored in Cowboys games so far. I look for the trend to continue. Take the over.
Bet: Over 54
Colts @ Browns (O/U 47)
This is a key game for both teams as they both sit at 3-1. This also has all the makings of an ugly, grind-it-out kind of game. Both teams like to lean on the running game as much as possible. Cleveland, in particular, has averaged 204.5 yards per game on the ground, according to ESPN. Indianapolis also has a second round rookie in Jonathan Taylor who they ideally want to revolve their offense around. Both of these teams want to dominate the line of scrimmage and dominate time-of-possession. That is why the under is appealing in this contest.
Bet: Under 47