There have been a lot of upsets in the first four weeks of the 2016 NFL season, but that trend will only last for so long. Multiple favorites could have big wins in Week 5, covering the spread in blowout victories.
Three teams are favored by a touchdown in Week 5, according to the latest betting odds at Las Vegas sportsbooks, but none of those favorites are the NFL’s three undefeated teams. The league’s only winless team is the biggest home underdog of the young season.
There’s no such thing as a “sure thing” when it comes to gambling, but here are the five best bets for Week 5 of the 2016 NFL season:
Philadelphia Eagles (-3)
A lot of gamblers will stay away from betting on the Eagles against the Detroit Lions, viewing it as a “trap game” for an unbeaten team that might be overlooking a mediocre opponent. But just like Denver won with ease as three-point favorites in Tampa Bay last week, Philadelphia should have no problem winning in Detroit.
It’s too early to tell if Philadelphia is as good as the NFL’s other two unbeaten teams (Denver and Minnesota), but it seems pretty clear that they are among the NFC’s best teams. After dominating two weak opponents, the Eagles had their best game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Philadelphia allows the fewest points per game, and only the Atlanta Falcons score more. Detroit’s only win came against the 1-3 Colts, and two of their losses came against 1-3 teams. Carson Wentz looks like the real deal, and the Lions will be lucky to lose by only a field goal.
Baltimore Ravens (-4)
The Ravens and Redskins are only separated by one win, but it seems pretty clear that Baltimore is the better team. At home, they shouldn’t have a problem beating Washington by more than a field goal.
Baltimore won its first three games by taking advantage of weak competition, and that’s exactly what they’ll do on Sunday. Redskins defense hasn’t improved at all from a year ago, ranking 28th in total defense. Washington has allowed at least 27 points in every game except for their Week 4 victory when they gave up 20 points to the winless Browns. Conversely, Baltimore ranks first in total defense, and they’ve even surrendered fewer yards than the Packers, who have played one less game. Kirk Cousins has been inconsistent in the early going, and he could be in for a long afternoon in Baltimore.
Oakland Raiders (-3.5)
Since the Raiders are just 3.5-point favorites at home, the betting line indicates that they are nearly even with the San Diego Chargers on a neutral field. But Oakland is the significantly better team, making them an easy choice against the spread in Week 5.
It might be hard for some to believe that the Raiders are a legitimate playoff contender since they’ve been so bad for so long, but Oakland could be headed for the playoffs. They are coming off a big win in Baltimore, and they’ve showcased one of the NFL’s best offenses. San Diego has just lost cornerback Jason Verrett for the season, and they rank 28th against the pass. The Chargers have allowed at least 26 points in all three of their losses, and the Raiders will likely surpass 30 points in a win on Sunday.
New England Patriots (-10.5)
It usually isn’t a good idea to bet on a road favorite that’s laying more than 10 points, but the Patriots’ game against the Cleveland Browns is an exception. With Tom Brady coming back and the team having lost in Week 4, they should blow out the Browns on Sunday.
Even without Brady in the first four games, New England nearly won multiple games by double-digits, defeating the Texans 27-0 and taking a 28-point lead over the Dolphins that was eventually cut to seven points. Cleveland is the NFL’s worst team, and when facing the three worst teams on their schedule last year New England never failed to win by at least 17 points. The Patriots are out to prove that they are the league’s best team with Brady under center, and Sunday’s game could get ugly for the 0-4 Browns.
New York Giants (+7.5)
The Giants are being undervalued because of two straight losses and the controversy surrounding Odell Beckham Jr. New York is still one of the most talented teams in the NFC, and they shouldn’t be getting more than a touchdown in their visit to Green Bay on Sunday night.
New York has the potential to be an explosive offensive team, and they could break out against one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses. Beckham might have let the Minnesota defenders get in his head in Monday’s loss to the Vikings, but he was largely held in check because he faced the conference’s best defense. The Packers don’t have the personnel to slow down one of the game’s best wide receivers, and if Green Bay wins, it’ll be in a close, high-scoring affair. The Packers are overvalued because of Aaron Rodgers, but they have just three wins by more than a touchdown in their last 14 regular-season games.
Season Record: 12-8