The four teams with byes for the upcoming NFL schedule could make for some very competitive games. The winless Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are off, while the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings won’t play after picking up their first victories of the 2013 NFL season. As a result, just five of the 14 games will feature a team with a losing record.
In Week Four, only six of the underdogs covered the betting line. However, every one of the favorites in those games lost outright. Below are picks against the spread for every contest in Week Five.
Buffalo Bills (+3.5) at Cleveland Browns
Both teams have been, somewhat, surprising with their 2-2 starts. Brian Hoyer has given the Browns a boost, and they’re rightfully favored, following two straight wins. The Bills, though, have played all of their opponents close and have a good chance of keeping it within a field goal, if not winning outright.
Prediction ATS: Buffalo
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Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Tennessee Titans
The Titans will be forced to start backup Ryan Fitzpatrick because of a hip injury to Jake Locker. That might not affect Tennessee much, since they’ve been able to win three of their first four games without great quarterback play. Still, the Chiefs have had the best defense in the league, and the Titans have to prove themselves against top competition.
Prediction ATS: Kansas City
Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins were blown out on Monday after starting the season at 3-0, but very few teams are able to remain competitive in New Orleans. The Ravens have struggled too, coming off a loss to the Bills. Ryan Tannehill has outperformed Joe Flacco through four weeks and that should continue on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Jacksonville Jaguars (+11.5) at St. Louis Rams
The Rams are only 1-3 and could be on their way to a last-place finish in the NFC West. However, the Jaguars are one of the worst teams the NFL has seen in years. They haven’t covered a point spread yet and have lost every game by double digits. Sunday should be no different.
Prediction ATS: St. Louis
New England Patriots (+1) at Cincinnati Bengals
In the Brady-Belichick Era, the Patriots have been very successful when the betting odds have them as road underdogs. Despite their injuries, New England remains unbeaten. The Bengals are a late-fourth quarter fumble recovery for a touchdown away from being 1-3.
Prediction ATS: New England
Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Indianapolis Colts
The Seahawks were fortunate to steal a victory in Houston last Sunday. Andrew Luck appears to be getting better every game, and if he can avoid making multiple errors like Matt Schaub did, the Colts could give Seattle their first loss of 2013.
Prediction ATS: Indianapolis
Detroit Lions (+7) at Green Bay Packers
There are likely a lot of points to be scored in this one, with both teams sporting top offenses. The Lions have played the Packers close in the last few years, with five of the last six contests being decided by a touchdown or less. Matthew Stafford finally got a victory against a winning team in Week Four, and he’ll give Detroit a chance to pull off the upset in Week Five.
Prediction ATS: Detroit
New Orleans Saints (PK) at Chicago Bears
The Saints are no longer just a top offensive team. Along with Drew Brees, New Orleans now has a defense that’s performing at an elite level. Chicago gave up 40 points to the Lions in Week Four, and even though New Orleans isn’t the same team on the road, they should be able to score enough to steal a road victory.
Prediction ATS: New Orleans
Philadelphia Eagles (+2) at New York Giants
The Giants have played like the worst team in the NFC, and the Eagles haven’t played well since the first half of their opener. Philadelphia doesn’t have a dominant pass rush, so Eli Manning might have more time to thrown than he had in recent weeks. It’s hard to believe the two-time Super Bowl MVP will lose his first five games.
Prediction ATS: New York
Carolina Panthers (-2) at Arizona Cardinals
The Panthers have had two weeks to prepare for the Cardinals, following their blowout win over the Giants. Arizona doesn’t have a strong home-field advantage, and Carolina may be poised to rip off a few straight wins after finally getting their offense to click.
Prediction ATS: Carolina
San Diego Chargers (-4) at Oakland Raiders
Philip Rivers is finally playing like the quarterback that was an MVP candidate from 2008-2010. There’s no reason to believe he won’t be able to keep it up against the Raiders, and Terrelle Pryor will have trouble keeping pace.
Prediction ATS: San Diego
Denver Broncos (-7.5) at Dallas Cowboys
No team has been as dominant in 2013 as the Broncos. Their smallest margin of victory has been 16 points. Dallas hasn’t been a very good home team since moving into AT&T Stadium in 2009, and Peyton Manning could have a big day against their poor pass defense.
Prediction ATS: Denver
Houston Texans (+6.5) at San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick had a bounce-back performance in his last contest, but he hasn’t been able to string together two straight consistent performances. The Texans defense is one of the best in the league and San Francisco’s will take a hit without Aldon Smith. The 49ers might come out on top, but it should be close until the end.
Prediction ATS: Houston
New York Jets (+10) at Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta is better than their 1-3 record would indicate, and New York might be worse than their two wins. Despite some of the Falcons struggles, Matt Ryan continues to put up big numbers. Conversely, Geno Smith has the worst passer rating of any quarterback who’s started every game. This one could be over early.
Prediction ATS: Atlanta