NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 5, 2022



NFL Picks (Preseason 2022): 7-5 (+$645)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2022): 10-6 (+$1,165)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2022): 7-8-1 (+$1,050)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2022): 11-4-1 (+$2,825)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2022): 10-5-1 (+$1,305)

2022 NFL Picks: 45-28-3 (+$6,990)
2021 NFL Picks: 153-141-2 (+$210)
NFL Picks (2020): 138-124-7 (+$9,350)
NFL Picks (2019): 148-128-9 (+$1,200)
NFL Picks (2018): 140-134-12 (+$845)
NFL Picks (2017): 137-147-10 (-$4,300)
NFL Picks (2016): 148-127-10 (+$780)
NFL Picks (2015): 133-138-10 (-$3,215)
NFL Picks (2014): 143-133-7 (-$1,885)
NFL Picks (2013): 144-131-8 (+$7,825)
NFL Picks (2012): 130-145-8 (-$7,445)
NFL Picks (2011): 137-133-12 (-$1,335)
NFL Picks (2010): 144-131-8 (+$5,880)
NFL Picks (2009): 151-124-9 (+$4,235)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$6,105)
NFL Picks (2007): 162-135-10 (+$3,585)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Oct. 9, 11:00 a.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games






NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 5 Early Games


Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1) at Denver Broncos (2-2)
Line: Broncos by 3.5. Total: 43.5.

Thursday, Oct. 6, 8:15 PM


The Matchup. Edge: None.

Week 4 Analysis: We had another great week, winning just a bit more than 13 units. I'll continue to break down all the 3+ unit picks each week:

Chargers, 5 units (win): Things got scary when the Chargers fumbled a kickoff return to set up a Houston field goal, but the Chargers scored points on the ensuing drive to get the cover.

Seahawks, 4 units (win): Wow, what a game! We hit the moneyline on this one as well.

Redskins, 4 units (loss): This one was frustrating because it looked like the Redskins had a good chance to cover for a while. The play-calling by the coaching staff was so terrible and predictable.

Cardinals, 3 units (win): The Cardinals were sluggish in the first half, but really got moving after halftime. The Panthers are so bad. Why were they favored?

Patriots, 3 units (win): It's always a relief when you have a huge underdog heading into overtime. I was tilted for five seconds when Brian Hoyer got hurt, but then I remembered that Bailey Zappe is probably just as good, if not better than Hoyer.

49ers, 4 units (win): This one was never in doubt. I debated going to five units, but didn't pull the trigger for some reason.

Before I begin, I should note that we have some new features, including WalterFootball Premium. We've gotten lots of complaints about the ads over the years, but there hasn't been anything I can do about them because I've needed the ad revenue to pay my employees and the hosting. This is an alternative way to view the site. For $7.99 per month, you won't get any ads. You'll also have access to a premium chat where I'll be every day to answer any questions. The chat will be available soon. If you want to support the site, besides telling others about it, signing up for WalterFootball Premium would be a great way to do so!

INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: Three teams saw their starting running backs go down with injuries last week, and two are matched up in this game. The Colts believed they lost Jonathan Taylor to a high ankle sprain, but Taylor has a chance to play in this game. If he can't go, Indianapolis has a viable option in Nyheim Hines, plus someone named Deon Jackson.

Whether it's Taylor, Hines, or Jackson, I expect the Colts to ram the ball down the Broncos' throat after what transpired last week. Josh Jacobs had a career game against Denver, so this might be a spot where Taylor finally lives up to expectations after three disappointing performances.

The Colts will need to establish the rush to keep the ball out of Matt Ryan's hands because he can't keep the ball in his hands. Ryan has three lost fumbles in the past two weeks that have set up 21 total points for his two opponent. It's not all Ryan's fault because he's protected poorly, but I don't see how that would change in a matchup versus Denver's fierce defense.

DENVER OFFENSE: It's unclear if Taylor will suit up, but we know that Javonte Williams won't. Williams was diagnosed with a torn ACL. This is painful for this matchup, as the Broncos likely would have attacked the Colts like the Titans did last week. Derrick Henry trampled Indianapolis at will, so Williams had a chance for a similar performance.

With Williams sidelined, the Broncos will have to rely on Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone. The coaching staff doesn't trust Gordon, and understandably so because he has been guilty of four fumbles already this season. Boone has some potential, but he had a huge drop on the final drive last week to cost us a teaser win.

Russell Wilson will have to do more than usual in the wake of Williams' injury. Luckily for Wilson, the Colts have nothing as far as a pass rush is concerned. He should be able to locate Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy with ease, just as Ryan Tannehill did with Robert Woods and other receivers last week.

RECAP: I'm not sure if I'll be betting this game. Based on the talent of the players of these two teams, I think the spread is a bit short. However, the advance spread was Denver -2.5, so getting both threes with the underdog is appealing. Also, it's difficult to ignore the fact that the inept Nathaniel Hackett will be trying to put together a game plan on such a short week. I don't trust Hackett to make any correct decisions in normal situations, so I can't back him on a short work week.

Furthermore, excluding garbage time last week, the Broncos haven't scored more than 16 points all year, so if they continue to be limited offensively, it will be difficult for them to cover a spread of more than a field goal.

On the other hand, Wilson is coming off a loss, and I love backing elite quarterbacks following a defeat. Denver is appealing for that reason, but I'll still side with Indianapolis for no units at the moment.

Our Week 5 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Jonathan Taylor is out, but the Broncos will be missing Randy Gregory. We'll see what the final injury report looks like, but I'll likely remain on the underdog. By the way, an e-mailer did some digging and showed me that first-year head coaches are 8-18 against the spread on Thursday night.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are on the Colts at +3.5, but not +3. Perhaps they're considering a rookie coach being on a short time to prepare, or Randy Gregory's absence. I'm on the Colts +3.5 as well, but I see no incentive to bet this game. If you do, the best line is +3.5 -115 at Bovada and FanDuel.






The Motivation. Edge: None.
No edge found.


The Spread. Edge: Colts.

WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Broncos -4.5.
Westgate Advance Point Spread: Broncos -2.5.
Computer Model: Broncos -1.
DVOA Spread: .






The Vegas. Edge: Colts.
No one wants any part of the Colts.

Percentage of money on Denver: 68% (343,000 bets)


The Trends. Edge: Broncos.
  • Matt Ryan is 21-10 ATS in night games.
  • Russell Wilson is 28-17 ATS after a loss since his second season.
  • Russell Wilson is 23-14 ATS in night games.
  • First-year head coaches are 8-18 ATS on Thursday Night Football.
  • Opening Line: Broncos -3.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Broncos 17, Colts 16
    Colts +3.5 -115 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Colts 12, Broncos 9




    New York Giants (3-1) vs. Green Bay Packers (3-1)
    Line: Packers by 8. Total: 41.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 9:30 AM
    at London


    The Matchup. Edge: Packers.

    My overrated-underrated feature was posted in this spot the past couple of years. I thought it would be better if there was less clutter on this page, so I set up a new NFL Overrated and Underrated Teams page that will be updated every Monday. I have overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: I discussed injured running backs in the Thursday night game, but the London affair centers around a hobbled quarterback. Daniel Jones rushed for two touchdowns against the Bears, but injured his ankle and had to leave the game until Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion. Jones reentered the contest, but only handed the ball off out of shotgun.

    Jones' ankle is extremely significant because he needs his mobility behind his putrid offensive line. The Packers have a top-10 pressure rate, so they will hound Jones all morning. Of course, any defense could probably do the same because of how horrible New York's blocking has been. Jones' mobility would have been an equalizer, but that won't be the case if he can't move as a result of his bum ankle.

    There's still hope for the Giants on this side of the ball, however, and that would be via Saquon Barkley's runs. Barkley has been incredible now that he's two years removed from his torn ACL, and he'll continue to run well against a Packer defense that can't stop ground attacks.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: The Packers will attempt to establish the run as well, and they should have success doing so, especially if Leonard Williams is sidelined again. The Giants rank 30th in yards-per-carry surrendered, which bodes well for Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.

    Both Jones and Dillon figure to have success as receivers out of the backfield as well, unless Jaylon Smith's return to prominence is a thing. The Giants' linebacking corps has been a mess, but Smith, who was called up from the practice squad last week, looked great versus Chicago. I'm not sure if this was a fluke, but Smith will want revenge against one of his former teams.

    The Packers will need Jones and Dillon to thrive in the passing game because of the lack of downfield receiving threats. Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson have potential, but they're not quite there yet, as evidenced by Doubs' dropped touchdown last week.

    RECAP: If this were a normal game, I'd be betting the Giants. The Packers have a limited offense and have done nothing impressive this year. Their marquee victory was in Tampa Bay against a Buccaneer offense missing all of its receivers and multiple linemen, and yet that win was by just two points. Green Bay is not explosive anymore, and without Davante Adams, it will have trouble covering these large spreads. The Giants, like the Patriots last week, will be able to run the ball and shorten the game that way.

    However, there are two issues with the Giants. First, we don't know the health of Jones. He needs to be able to scramble to avoid pressure that his horrendous offensive line allows. If he can't run as a result of his ankle, it'll hinder the Giants offense, which already had major problems.

    Second, this contest is in London. This is not always the case, but when one team is vastly inferior in these games, its warts seem to get exposed. That makes sense because teams can't prepare normally as a result of the travel, so if one squad has major issues to correct, it can't do so during the week.

    In fact, I'm going to be on the Packers because I worry about Jones' ankle and the Giants' inability to completely prepare. I won't be betting Green Bay, however, because I think the line is too high.

    TEASER: I'm locking in a teaser now because the Green Bay line could rise if Jake Fromm is announced as the starter. I'm teasing the Packers -8, Redskins +2 and Chiefs -7 for four units at +150 (Bookmaker). I normally do two-team teasers, but I plan on hedging with a potential middle on the final leg Monday night. If we're winning our teaser by Monday, we can set up a huge victory with a middle by betting the Raiders +7. If we're losing the teaser by then, we would have lost anyhow.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Giants were working out Jake Fromm, but Daniel Jones practiced Wednesday, so he's looking good to start this game. We'll have to see if he'll have his mobility, however.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Daniel Jones was limited-limited-full in practice this week. The final full practice makes me wonder if he won't be hindered by his ankle, but it's impossible to know. What will hinder Jones is that four of his top five receivers are sidelined. Aside from Richie James, Jones won't have any viable targets, so if he can't run, I don't know how the Giants are going to move the ball at all. I'm going to place two units on the Packers, but with Jones potentially healthy, I wouldn't risk a big wager.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Heading into early Sunday morning - I hate these London games - I thought Leonard Williams would play, and that Adrian Amos would be out. The opposite is true, as Williams is sidelined, while Amos has cleared concussion protocol. This means this matchup is even more lopsided than initially suspected. I'm going to put a third unit on the Packers. The best line is -8.5 -110 at Bookmaker. The sharps liked Green Bay a bit at -8, but otherwise had no interest in this game.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Giants.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Packers -6.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Packers -7.5.
    Computer Model: Packers -10.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Green Bay: 55% (71,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 122-81 ATS since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Packers -7.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 63 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Packers 24, Giants 10
    Packers -8.5 (3 Units) - Bookmaker -- Incorrect; -$330
    Teaser: Packers -2, Redskins +8.5, Chiefs -1 (4 Units, +150) - Bookmaker -- Incorrect; -$400
    Under 41 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Giants 27, Packers 22




    Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at New Orleans Saints (1-3)
    Line: Saints by 5. Total: 45.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot. The highest-bet sides were 34-42 in 2020 and 48-37 in 2021. The highest bet sides are now 7-6 this year.

    Here are the teams getting the most bets last week:

  • Cowboys -3
  • Vikings -2.5
  • Chiefs -3


  • The sportsbooks got smoked last week.

    Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:

  • Chiefs -7
  • Broncos -3.5
  • Titans -3
  • Dolphins -3
  • None of these are surprising. Everyone loves the Chiefs after what they saw Sunday night, and everyone wants to fade the Colts, Redskins and Jets.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: It's amazing that the Saints nearly prevailed in London despite missing their starting quarterback, superstar running back and top receiver. Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas were all sidelined, yet the Saints were one yard away from sending the game to overtime.

    It's unclear who will play in this affair, but it seems as though Kamara has the best chance because he was scratched a couple of hours leading up to the London game. Kamara's absence was most significant because Andy Dalton was capable of filling in well for Winston, while the Saints have two other capable receivers in Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry to mitigate Thomas' absence. Kamara's return would be great news against the Seahawks, who just allowed Jamaal Williams to have a big performance.

    The Seahawks are terrible against both the run and the pass. Their pass rush is lackluster, while their secondary is dealing with plenty of injuries. This obviously bodes poorly against a New Orleans receiving corps with plenty of talent, even if Thomas is sidelined again.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: Geno Smith had the game of his life in Detroit. He led his offense to a 48-point output and even won someone $1 million on DraftKings. I imagine Jets fans never believed this would happen when they watched Smith commit countless turnovers early in his career.

    Smith has been tremendous against the blitz this year, which was helpful in last week's matchup because the Lions send extra pass rushers often. The Saints, by contrast, do not. In fact, only three teams blitz less often than the Saints. This isn't a surprise because New Orleans has invested a lot into its defensive line. Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport should be able to apply pressure on Smith, forcing him into some bad situations.

    Smith won't be able to lean on his running game either. Rashaad Penny was explosive last week, but the Saints are stout versus the rush. They just put the clamps on Dalvin Cook, so they won't have any issues with Penny.

    RECAP: It's telling that this spread has skyrocketed since it opened at -4. The line is now -5.5/-6 despite lots of public action on the Seahawks. The sharps love the Saints, and understandably so.

    Assuming the Saints will get back some of the many key players they were missing versus the Vikings, they should be able to defeat Seattle quite easily. Smith, as discussed, doesn't have nearly as favorable of a matchup this week, while New Orleans' offense will be able to do whatever it pleases against the horrible Seahawks defense.

    I don't see this game being close, so I'll be betting on New Orleans. The unit count will depend on the Saints' injury report. Ideally, we'll have Kamara and Thomas available. I don't care at all about Winston. In fact, I'd prefer Dalton because we know he's healthy. Dalton's presence would actually lower the spread a bit in our favor, so there's no rush to bet this game.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas didn't practice Wednesday, but Alvin Kamara did. Kamara, as mentioned before, is the most important piece. I'll be betting on the Saints if he returns to action.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas are both out for this game. Alvin Kamara was limited in practice all week, so it's unclear if he'll return. The Saints will welcome Andrus Peat back from injury, but New Orleans could be without two secondary players. P.J. Williams is out, while Marcus Maye was limited all week. Jarvis Landry is also a question after missing Friday's practice. The sharps have come in on the Seahawks a bit, driving this line down 0.5 to one point on Friday. I'll be on the lower end of my projected 2-4 unit count.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Saints are down some key players like Marcus Maye and Jarvis Landry (in addition to Michael Thomas, which we knew already). I still like them to cover this spread, but I'm not nearly as high on them as I was earlier in the week. There's been a bit of sharp money on Seattle. The best line is -5 -110 at Bovada.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Saints -5.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Saints -6.5.
    Computer Model: Saints -3.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Saints.
    Slight lean on the Seahawks.

    Percentage of money on Seattle: 68% (126,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • Pete Carroll is 6-11 ATS in his second-consecutive road game.
  • Opening Line: Saints -4.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Dome.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Saints 27, Seahawks 17
    Saints -5 (2 Units) - Bovada -- Correct; +$200
    Under 46 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Saints 39, Seahawks 32




    Houston Texans (0-3-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)
    Line: Jaguars by 7. Total: 43.5.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. This is from our resident conquistador:



    I imagine Puddles would have been right there, cracking the whip and yelling at the American Indians to move along.

    I was surprised to see some hate about this, only because I didn't mean the hurricane in its entirety. I wanted to refer to the hurricane's impact in Tampa, but forgot to mention it because I was in a rush:



    Still, it's ridiculous to get sand in your vag over something someone writes. Like, who cares what my stance on hurricanes is, even if you disregard that I left Tampa out by accident?

    Here's another Twitter reply:



    See what I mean? Why do people get so worked up over what total strangers have to say online? I truly don't care about it at all.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Trevor Lawrence was not a fan of the rain last week. He had issues receiving snaps from his rookie center, which helped cause five turnovers, four of which were fumbles. Lawrence won't have to worry about any negative conditions this week, as the weather predictions are calling for sunny weather in the high 70s.

    Lawrence will be playing in ideal conditions, so he should have his way with Houston. The Texans frustrated Lawrence in a sweep last year, but Lawrence is no longer a rookie and won't be nearly as confused by Lovie Smith's schemes anymore. He has taken a bit step forward mentally and has superior weapons around him.

    Then again, Lawrence may not have to do much if he relies on his rushing attack. James Robinson didn't get a chance to do much last week because of the deficit and difficult matchup, but he figures to thrive in this contest. The Texans have the worst run defense in the NFL, as both Jonathan Taylor and Austin Ekeler have their only great rushing performances of the year against them. Robinson and perhaps Trevor Etienne could go off with monstrous outputs.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: The Jaguars haven't just made strides with Lawrence making a big leap in his second year. The pass rush is also terrific with Travon Walker serving as a potent bookend for Josh Allen. Jacksonville ranks fourth in pressure rate this year, so it'll be able to rattle Davis Mills.

    The Jaguars have gotten positive play out of their cornerbacks as well. They shouldn't have any issues covering Houston's receivers, as Brandin Cooks is the only viable threat, and he doesn't even look like the same player this year because he's not getting the same sort of separation.

    The Texans will want to counter Jacksonville's pass rush by feeding the ball to Dameon Pierce, who broke free for a 75-yard run against the Chargers last week. However, the Jaguars are much better against the run than the Chargers, so it's unlikely that Pierce will replicate this feat.

    RECAP: At first glance, this spread might be too high. I would argue, however, that it's not quite high enough. I made this line Jacksonville -9, while the computer model believes -10 is correct. The Texans have been "competitive" on the scoreboard this year, but they've been obliterated when it comes to yardage. They've been outgained by every single opponent, including a 517-299 result against the Colts, and a 350-234 stint in Denver. Even the Bears generated more yardage. Houston has gotten lucky that it hasn't lost a game by more than 10 points yet, but that time is coming.

    I like Jacksonville coming off a loss, as the team was humbled in Philadelphia and will be focused as a consequence. The Texans swept the Jaguars last year, so that's another reason why the host would take this game seriously. I just wish we were getting line value because I don't see a great betting opportunity presenting itself.



    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Some sharp action has come in on Houston, driving this spread down to +7. I don't know why the sharps would like the Texans at all.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I did some asking around, and the sharp sentiment is that the Jaguars, as a young team with no history of success, have a tall task to cover as a large favorite, especially against a team that swept them last year. However, the 2021 Jaguars had a rookie quarterback, poor supporting cast, and garbage head coach. Lovie Smith was able to trick Trevor Lawrence into several turnovers, but that's unlikely to happen now with Lawrence having experience.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: As mentioned earlier, the sharps took the Texans at +7.5, but not at +7. I'm still zero units on the Jaguars. If you want to bet Jacksonville, the best line is -7 -105 at Bovada.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Jaguars -9.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Jaguars -7.
    Computer Model: Jaguars -10.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
    Who wants to bet Houston right now?

    Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 71% (136,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Texans.
  • History: Texans have won 19 of the last 23 meetings.
  • Texans are 50-40 ATS after two or more consecutive losses (8-11 ATS as favorites).
  • Jaguars are 9-15 ATS as favorites of 6.5 or more since 2003.
  • Jaguars are 12-24 ATS as home favorites since 2008.
  • Jaguars are 5-9 ATS as favorites of -7 or more coming off a loss.
  • Opening Line: Jaguars -7.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 75 degrees. Mild wind, 14 mph.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Jaguars 27, Texans 13
    Jaguars -7 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Texans 13, Jaguars 6




    Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) at Buffalo Bills (3-1)
    Line: Bills by 14. Total: 45.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Bills.

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    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: I'm not sure why Mike Tomlin didn't make the switch to Kenny Pickett prior to the Jets game, but I guess you can say it was better late than never when he gave the nod to Pickett at halftime. Pickett put his team in position to beat the Jets, but some unlucky bounces thwarted those chances.

    Pickett will have his work cut out for him in this matchup. This wouldn't have been the case two weeks ago when the Bills had countless injuries to their defensive players, but they've gotten many of those players back into the lineup. The Bills will have quality defensive backs available to deal with Pickett's talented receivers.

    Of course, the greatest issue for Pickett is avoiding the pass rush. The Bills generate great pressure on quarterbacks, and the Von Miller-Dan Moore mismatch will be too much for the Steelers to overcome. Pickett will be able to use his mobility to scramble out of tough situations, but the Bills will get to him more often than not.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: The Steelers' problems in the trenches would explain why they're 1-3. They won't be able to protect Pickett, and they also won't be able to generate pressure on Josh Allen. Of course, things would be different if T.J. Watt were still around, but Pittsburgh's pass defense has taken a huge hit in the wake of his injury.

    The Steelers have to blitz more than they'd like because of Watt's absence. That only plays into Josh Allen's strengths. Allen has been great against the blitz this year, going 35-of-52 for 445 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. He has made more big-time throws into the blitz as opposed to when not seeing extra rushers.

    With that in mind, it's difficult to envision the Steelers dealing with Buffalo's passing attack at all. Watt would give them a chance, but Allen is too good, and he has too many great weapons at his disposal.

    RECAP: This spread seems like it's too high, doesn't it? Mike Tomlin is historically great at covering the spread as an underdog, and it's not even clear if the Bills will be focused. Following two extremely difficult games against the Dolphins and Ravens in hostile game environments, they have this "easy" battle, and then they have to take on the Chiefs. No one would fault them for taking the Steelers lightly.

    I may sound like I plan on betting Pittsburgh, but I won't be pulling the trigger on a wager. The Steelers are starting a rookie quarterback, and I love fading such players against smart, defensive-minded coaches. Sean McDermott qualifies as such. In seven matchups versus Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson (twice), Mac Jones (thrice) and Davis Mills last year, McDermott's defense surrendered 88 total points. That's 12.6 points per game. If that average holds up, the Bills will need to score 27 points to cover/push versus this Watt-less defense, which seems very feasible.

    This may surprise you, but I'm going to be on the Bills as a result. I won't bet them because of the motivational angle I just discussed, but I don't trust Pickett to have any success in Buffalo.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing new concerning this game. I don't plan on betting it unless there are surprise injuries.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Bills have some injury issues, as the project to be down between five and seven starters, including Jordan Poyer, Dawson Knox, and potentiall Ed Oliver and Isaiah McKenzie. Furthermore, there's going to be some wind (19 mph) in this game. I would still take the Bills, but I'm even further removed from betting this game. I even considered the Steelers, but don't want to back a rookie quarterback versus the Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier defense.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: With Isaiah McKenzie out, the Bills will be missing six starters. They'll at least get Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips back, which would help, but I wouldn't want to back a 14-point favorite missing so many players. I don't want any part of the Steelers either. The sharps haven't touched this game. I'm seeing -14 across the board, but -105 vig at Bookmaker and BetUS.





    The Motivation. Edge: Steelers.
    The Bills are coming off two tough games and will play the Chiefs next week.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Bills -11.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Bills -13.
    Computer Model: Bills -16.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    A slight edge on the Steelers.

    Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 56% (163,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • Mike Tomlin is 46-26 ATS as an underdog.
  • Opening Line: Bills -14.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 58 degrees. HEAVY WINDS, 19 mph.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Bills 34, Steelers 10
    Bills -14 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 45.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Bills 38, Steelers 3




    Atlanta Falcons (2-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)
    Line: Buccaneers by 10. Total: 46.5.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Buccaneers.

    If you missed it, I have an NFL Betting Props page. I'll be adding to it as the season progresses!

    Also, Confidence Pool Picks will return. They'll be posted by Wednesday morning each week!

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The Buccaneers have endured some hardships in their first four weeks. They were missing all of their receivers and multiple offensive linemen for two games. This didn't help against the tough stop units they battled along the way. Every team they've faced thus far is in the top half of defensive DVOA.

    Things are changing for the better, however. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are back on the field, while the schedule is getting easier. The Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They apply the third-least pressure in the NFL, and they have to blitz often to compensate. This will be a huge issue against Tom Brady, who eats blitzes alive.

    The Falcons are better against the run than the pass, but only really by default. They won't be able to deal with Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White as the Buccaneers run out the clock late in the game.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: The Falcons have enjoyed positive injury luck to start the year, but as with the Buccaneers, things are changing. That's because Cordarrelle Patterson was placed on injured reserve.

    Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley had nice performances last week, but only because they were facing a depleted Cleveland defensive line. They don't have good matchups this week, as the Buccaneers are usually stout versus the run. Patterson gave the Falcons someone who could break a long touchdown at any moment, but the other backs don't have that capability.

    It'll be up to Marcus Mariota to lead the Falcons to victory, which will be problematic, given that he completed only seven passes last week. The Buccaneers generate a heavy pass rush, which will force Mariota into some give-aways. Mariota is one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL in regard to turnover-worthy plays when under pressure.

    RECAP: It's strange how different the schedules have been for the Buccaneers and Falcons. For Tampa, this is its easiest game by far. It has battled the Cowboys (with Dak Prescott), Saints, Packers, and Chiefs. The middle games occurred when the Buccaneers were missing most of their receivers and multiple offensive linemen. Conversely, the Falcons have battled the Saints, Rams, Seahawks, and Browns (no Myles Garrett). The one tough opponent in that group, the Rams, obliterated the Falcons before allowing some garbage-time touchdowns, including one blocked punt returned for six. The one common opponent is the Saints. The Falcons lost to New Orleans at home, while the Buccaneers defeated the Saints by 17 on the road despite Mike Evans getting ejected.

    The Buccaneers are healthy now, and they need to rebound from two consecutive defeats to avoid dropping to 2-3. They'll be extra focused for the Falcons, whom they outclass rather easily. Remember, the Falcons completed seven passes last week, and now they'll be missing Patterson.

    With all that in mind, this spread is short of what it should be. If the Rams could be -10 over the Falcons, the Buccaneers should be as well, at the very least. Also, I love backing elite quarterbacks coming off a loss, and Brady has been defeated in two consecutive contests, so he'll be even more motivated than usual. This is one of my favorite plays of the week.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I was asked how I thought Tom Brady's divorce would impact his performance in this game. Given that Brady chose football over his wife, I would imagine that playing this game would serve as a needed reprieve from real life for him. If anything, it could help him play better.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Kyle Pitts is out, prompting this line to move to -10. It sucks we didn't get the lower number, but I still love Tampa at this spread. With Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson sidelined, the Buccaneers can focus on stopping the Falcons' lone, remaining play-maker, Drake London.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps bet this line up to -10, but they haven't had interest at -10. I still love the Buccaneers at this number. The best -10 I see is the ordinary -110 at Bookmaker and FanDuel.





    The Motivation. Edge: Buccaneers.
    Tom Brady is coming off two consecutive losses.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Buccaneers -9.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Buccaneers -8.5.
    Computer Model: Buccaneers -10.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Falcons.
    A good lean on the Buccaneers.

    Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 65% (164,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • History: Buccaneers have won 5 of the last 6 meetings.
  • Road Team is 117-80 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Buccaneers are 36-61 ATS at home in the previous 97 instances.
  • Tom Brady is 277-89 as a starter (207-144 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 192-130 against the spread since 2003.
  • Tom Brady is 49-24 ATS off a loss (11-13 ATS as -7 or more; 16-1 ATS as an underdog).
  • Opening Line: Buccaneers -8.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: .



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 10
    Buccaneers -10 (5 Units) - Bookmaker/FanDuel -- Incorrect; -$550
    Under 46.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15




    Chicago Bears (2-2) at Minnesota Vikings (3-1)
    Line: Vikings by 7.5. Total: 44.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Vikings.

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    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: As Justin Jefferson was going off in London, I imagine Dalvin Cook fantasy owners were incredibly frustrated. I know this because I am one of them! Cook hasn't done much this year, but that is about to change.

    The Bears have a bottom-five run defense. Because of all the talented players they lost this offseason, they've been trampled by Dameon Pierce and Saquon Barkley the past couple of weeks, so Cook will dominate on the ground.

    Cook's running will create easier opportunities for Kirk Cousins. The Bears generate a heavy pass rush, but don't blitz often. Cousins will be happy about this because he's terrible against the blitz. He'll do fine in this matchup though, as he'll be able to connect often with his talented receivers, thanks to the favorable downs granted by Cook's runs.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: The Bears have nothing going for them on this side of the ball, aside from their running backs. David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert are capable of gashing bad run defenses, but if they can't get on track, Chicago won't be able to score at all.

    This is because the Bears have the worst offensive line in the NFL. The Vikings don't have a very strong pass rush, and yet they should be able to win in the trenches very easily. Justin Fields is terrible under pressure this year, but don't take my word for it; just look at the stats. When pressured this season, Fields is 5-of-21 for 121 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The yardage being so high is the result of that ridiculous play he had in Week 1 when he found Dante Pettis for a huge gain after running in circles for an eternity.

    As you can see, Fields has no chance, given the current conditions. Given how bad the offensive line is, it's no surprise that Chicago often runs on third-and-9 and punts on fourth-and-2 at midfield with a couple of minutes remaining in regulation. As I've stated on our podcast, the Bears aren't even a real team.

    RECAP: I don't think the Vikings are as good as their record says they are, but I still think this spread has come in a bit short. As much as I dislike the Vikings, I hate the Bears even more. They are arguably the worst team in the NFL. They do nothing well outside of run blocking and pressuring the quarterback. The Vikings can stop the run just fine, and the pressure isn't an issue because Chicago doesn't blitz at all.

    I made this spread -8.5, which is telling because I'm so down on Minnesota. If I'm right, we're getting some value with the Vikings. It's not much, but there is a key number involved, so that's at least something. That said, the Vikings are in a bit of a poor motivational spot because they've arrived back home from a win in London, and following this game, they have to battle the Dolphins. It's not the most significant sandwich situation in the NFL, but it's enough to keep me from betting the Vikings heavily.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The level of money coming in on the Vikings is concerning, especially since the line isn't moving at all. I'm not betting this heavily, however, and I think the Bears are trash.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Lots of public money has moved this line to -7.5, with no pushback from the sharps on Chicago. The only injury of note is to Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who is listed as doubtful. His absence will make it more difficult for the Bears to stop Minnesota's passing attack.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have bet this line up to -8.5 or -9 in most sportsbooks, but there is still a -7.5 available at FanDuel. I still like Minnesota a bit.





    The Motivation. Edge: Bears.
    The Vikings are coming off a big win in London, and they play Miami next week.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Vikings -8.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Vikings -6.5.
    Computer Model: Vikings -7.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    Who in their right mind would bet Chicago?

    Percentage of money on Minnesota: 70% (141,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • History: Home Team has won 27 of the last 38 meetings.
  • Vikings are 38-26 ATS at home since 2014.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -7.
  • Opening Total: 43.
  • Weather: Dome.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Vikings 23, Bears 13
    Vikings -7.5 (1 Unit) - FanDuel -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 44 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Vikings 29, Bears 22




    Tennessee Titans (2-2) at Washington Redskins (1-3)
    Line: Pick. Total: 43.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Redskins.

    If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. It all started numerous years ago, when a man named Jon Wire from the "United Bank of Africoan" promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a "lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP)." Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.

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    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: The Redskins cost me $150,000 last week. That was the grand prize for the Circa Million first quarter, which I would have won had the Redskins covered. Instead, they had a pathetic performance with some of the worst, predictable play-calling anyone has ever seen. Seriously, how many times could they run in first-and-10 or second-and-10 situations? As much as I hate Carson Wentz, the coaching staff gave him no shot.

    Wentz has a better chance of performing well in this game. Whereas the Wentz's previous two opponents, the Eagles and Cowboys, rank in the top five of pressure rate, the Titans are in the middle of the pack. Jeffery Simmons will be a big problem for the Redskins in the interior, but Wentz doesn't have to worry about the edge rush with Harold Landry injured.

    Even better, Wentz may not have to do much, although I like his receivers' matchups against Tennessee's cornerbacks. The reason is that the Titans have one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL. It was unexpected that they bottled up Jonathan Taylor last week, but they've struggled against the run otherwise, so Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic will have more success than they did last week.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Redskins are better against the run than the pass. The one thing they did well last week was bottle up Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Derrick Henry provides a much greater challenge, but Tennessee's offensive line is not what it was last year. The Redskins stand a good chance of limiting Henry, at least as a rusher. Henry could still do well as a receiver out of the backfield, though he dropped two passes last week.

    Ryan Tannehill will have to do more of the heavy lifting in this contest, which could be problematic because he lost one of this starting receivers, Treylon Burks, to an injury last week. Robert Woods is still available, but that's about it. Woods should do well against Washington's poor secondary, but I wouldn't expect a great performance.

    One thing in Tannehill's favor is that the Redskins blitz often as a result of Chase Young being unavailable. Tannehill isn't amazing against the blitz, but he's solid when facing it. The Giantz blitz very heavily, and Tannehill had a fine performance against them in Week 1, albeit in a loss.

    RECAP: Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I love the Redskins this week. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit, but it's not like they have fierce competition. They're battling a Tennessee squad that lost to the Giants at home in Week 1. The Titans have rebounded with two victories since, but those wins have been extremely fluky. They beat a Raider team that was extremely banged up, and they then defeated the Colts with the help of some random turnovers. The Colts outgained the Titans, 365-244, and they averaged one more yard per play.

    Tennessee's luck will run out eventually, and it could happen in this sort of matchup where Henry won't be as effective because the Redskins can limit him. Conversely, the Titans have a far worse pass rush than the Eagles and Cowboys, so they won't be able to rattle Wentz as easily.

    I also love the line value we're getting with the Redskins. They were one-point favorites on the advance spread, but now they're three-point home dogs in some sportsbooks. That's way too much of an overreaction, and yet the public is taking the bait, betting Tennessee very heavily. The public is right sometimes, but I don't believe that to be the case in this instance, and I'm willing to bet heavily on that.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps bet the Redskins at +3, +2.5 and +2. There are nothing but +1.5 lines available. The +3s are long gone.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Both teams have some major injury concerns. The Titans may not have Nate Davis as he had just one limited practice on Thursday and Friday. Zach Cunningham, Bud Dupree, Treylon Burks, and possibly Caleb Farley could be sidelined as well. The Redskins, meanwhile, won't have Sam Cosmi and Jahan Dotson on top of Chase Roullier. I'm not as concerned about Cosmi because the Redskins have a quality third tackle and won't be facing much of an edge rush. The Titans, conversely, shouldn't be favored if they're down up to five starters. It sucks that we lost out on the +3, so I'll drop this pick to three units, but I still really like the Redskins, and I'm glad the sharps are on my side.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Nate Davis is out for the Titans, which is huge. They're down their top two offensive linemen and three players in the front seven. The sharps are all over the Redskins. The best line is PK -105 at BetUS. I'm increasing the unit count to four.





    The Motivation. Edge: Redskins.
    The Titans are coming off a big win versus the arch-rival Colts.


    The Spread. Edge: Redskins.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Titans -2.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Redskins -1.
    Computer Model: Titans -6.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    Free money! Just bet the Titans!

    Percentage of money on Tennessee: 73% (121,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Redskins.
  • Redskins are 16-8 ATS after losing to the Cowboys since 1997.
  • Opening Line: Titans -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 62 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Redskins 23, Titans 20
    Redskins PK -105 (4 Units) - BetUS -- Incorrect; -$420
    Teaser: Packers -2, Redskins +8.5, Chiefs -1 (4 Units, +150) - Bookmaker -- Already counted
    Over 42.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Titans 21, Redskins 17




    Miami Dolphins (3-1) at New York Jets (2-2)
    Line: Dolphins by 3.5. Total: 46.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Jets.

    Video of the Week: One of my favorite channels on YouTube is the Pitch Meeting series. They delve into how ridiculous some TV shows and movies are. This one is about Back to the Future:



    I never realized how weird it was for George McFly to hire Biff after Biff tried to rape his wife.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: Tua Tagovailoa has already been ruled out in the wake of the brutal injury he suffered last Thursday. Miami made the announcement very early, as it attempted to generate some positive press after how poorly they handled Tagovailoa's apparent concussion in Week 3.

    Tagovailoa's absence doesn't mean very much to me as far as this matchup is concerned. Teddy Bridgewater isn't much of a downgrade, as he'll be able to operate in this dynamic offense just fine. He'll get the ball to his two explosive play-makers, as the Jets don't generate much of a pass rush. They're slightly below average in pressure rate, which has to be music to Bridgewater's ears because he was 10-of-13 for 149 yards last week in a clean pocket.

    Bridgewater should be even better this week because he's had more time to prepare. Bridgewater was thrust into action on a short week, so he had no reps in practice. He'll now have some time to develop chemistry with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The latter will be healthier than he was in Cincinnati.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Zach Wilson had a strong second half against Pittsburgh last week. He led his team to victory with a fourth-quarter comeback, though he was lucky the Steelers committed some turnovers. Still, he made a couple of impressive throws to put Breece Hall into position to score the decisive touchdown.

    Wilson faces a tough challenge in this game, however. The Dolphins blitz frequently, which doesn't bode well for Wilson. The second-year quarterback was 3-of-11 for 41 yards and an interception when facing the blitz last week. If you're wondering about this being a small sample size, last year when battling the blitz, Wilson completed just 44.7 percent of his passes and threw on a 4.8 YPA with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Making matters worse, the Jets are down their top four tackles!

    The one hope for Wilson is that some of his play-makers will break long gains, which is certainly possible. It's a positive that Hall is now getting the majority of the workload. He'll have to do his damage as a receiver out of the backfield, however, because Miami is solid versus the run.

    RECAP: This game reminds me of the Cardinals-Panthers contest last week where there was so much betting action on the visitor because the sportsbooks mispriced the line. The Dolphins were -6 on the advance spread, yet they dropped to -3 for some reason. I imagine that's because of the quarterback situation, as well as the fact that the Jets beat the Steelers.

    I don't see why this line would move that much, or at all. I don't think there's much of a downgrade from Tagovailoa to Bridgewater, especially if the latter gets a full week of preparation. The Jets, meanwhile, defeated the Steelers, but only did so because of some fluky turnovers. Besides, beating a T.J. Watt-less Pittsburgh squad isn't that impressive, even if it occurs on the road.

    I like how Miami's defense matches up against Wilson and the Jets' offense, especially with all the injuries to the offensive tackles. I'll be betting several units on them as a result.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps and public are on the Dolphins, and I fear that the -3 lines may disappear soon. I'm going to lock in -3 if I see -115 vig or better on Thursday.

    SATURDAY NOTES: I'm not loving the injury report for the Dolphins. Xavien Howard barely practiced, so if he's out, the Jets' receivers are going to have a field day against a Miami secondary missing its top two cornerbacks. Furthermore, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle both missed practice. I think they'll play, but we'll have to check back Sunday morning. As for the Jets, Duane Brown may return from injured reserve. He'll be a huge upgrade for the Jets. I'm switching my pick to New York, and I may bet them if Howard is out.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Xavien Howard is out, which is exactly what I wanted to see for a bet on the Jets. I don't know how Miami is going to deal with New York's talented receivers. The best +3 line is for -105 at BetUS and Bovada, but I'd rather pay the -120 for +3.5 at FanDuel. The sharps are on the Jets.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Dolphins.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Dolphins -5.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Dolphins -6.
    Computer Model: Dolphins -6.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    People think the sportsbooks are giving away money.

    Percentage of money on Miami: 74% (142,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • History: Dolphins have won 8 of the last 9 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -3.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 63 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Dolphins 24, Jets 23
    Jets +3.5 -120 (3 Units) - FanDuel -- Correct; +$300
    Over 44 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Jets 40, Dolphins 17




    Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2)
    Line: Chargers by 1. Total: 47.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    The Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts are complete. They may return in the future, but I had to stop them for now. Besides, I wrote a similar-type book is called How the 2020 MVP Was Stolen:

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    SAN ANGELES OFFENSE: Justin Herbert's performance in Week 4 was night and day compared to what we saw in Week 3. The Herbert from Week 3 labored though his throws and was obliterated by the Jaguars. Herbert didn't face much competition this past Sunday, but showed no ill effects from his rib injury.

    Herbert will have a much greater challenge this week, but only if Myles Garrett is able to play in the wake of his car accident. Garrett's availability will be essential because he'll be able to expose the weakness the Chargers have at left tackle with Rashawn Slater sidelined. Jadeveon Clowney returning to the field will help as well.

    Having Garrett and Clowney available will be massive for Cleveland's run-stopping efforts as well. The Browns are ordinarily stout against the rush, but that wasn't the case in Atlanta with Garrett and Clowney injured. Austin Ekeler had a huge game this past Sunday, so having at least one end available will help to slow him down. The Browns will also need to put the clamps on Sony Michel late in the afternoon if the Chargers have the lead because they go into a terrible, protective shell and do nothing but feed the ball to Michel. This is one of the reasons the Texans were able to mount a comeback.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: The Browns left a lot of points on the field last week, but I suspect they'll have more success in this contest. The reason is that they have a major advantage that they'll be able to expose, which the Texans couldn't quite do this past Sunday.

    That advantage is in the running game. The Browns have one of the top rushing attacks in the NFL, while the Chargers are weak to ground attacks. We saw this last week when Dameon Pierce broke free for a 75-yard touchdown, but the Texans couldn't run much because of an early deficit. Cleveland's defense won't allow that to happen nearly as easily, so the Browns will be able to feed the ball to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt way more often than Houston did with Pierce.

    Chubb and Hunt will continue to allow Jacoby Brissett to perform at a high level. The Browns are fifth in average yards per drive, and that ranking could rise because the Chargers blitz often. This hurt Davis Mills last week, but it won't be effective against Brissett, who is 24-of-36 for 252 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions when blitzed this year.

    RECAP: This is another game where we have some significant line movement. The Chargers were -1.5 on the advance spread, but because they throttled the Texans, and the Browns lost to the Falcons, this line is now -3.

    I love the value with the Browns at +3. Think about how different this spread would be if Cleveland didn't constantly shoot itself in the foot versus the Falcons last week. The Browns should have won that game, even without Garrett and Clowney. They outgained the Falcons, 403-334, but scored no points at the Atlanta 2-yard line, then settled for only three from the 1-yard line because of a holding penalty. They were extremely unlucky, so if they had prevailed, they would be 3-1, and the spread would be closer to the -1.5 we saw a week ago.

    The Browns should be able to run all over the Chargers, and if at least one of Garrett or Clowney returns, they should have their way with a Charger offensive line missing their left tackle. I like them to win outright, so I love them at +3. My unit count will depend on the status of Garrett and Clowney.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The sharps are pounding the Browns, likely because Myles Garrett returned to practice Wednesday. I can't find a viable +3.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Adam Schefter said Myles Garrett would be out again, but Garrett is not listed on the injury report any longer. The Chargers, down Rashawn Slater, Joey Bosa and Keenan Allen, shouldn't be favored in Cleveland.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Jadeveon Clowney will be back along with Myles Garrett. I love the Browns, as do the sharps. The best line is +1 +100 at BetUS.





    The Motivation. Edge: Browns.
    The Chargers play Monday night against the Broncos next week.


    The Spread. Edge: Browns.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Chargers -2.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Chargers -1.5.
    Computer Model: Chargers -2.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Cleveland: 59% (43,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • Justin Herbert is 7-10 ATS as a favorite of -3 or more.
  • Opening Line: Chargers -3.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 64 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Browns 27, Chargers 24
    Browns +1 +100 (4 Units) - BetUS -- Incorrect; -$400
    Over 47 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Chargers 30, Browns 28




    Detroit Lions (1-3) at New England Patriots (1-3)
    Line: Patriots by 3. Total: 46.5.

    Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

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    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: It's unclear who will be starting at quarterback for the Patriots, but does it really matter? New England will do everything in its power to not pass the ball very often, as both Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe are very limited in what they can do.

    Besides, the Patriots just trampled the Packers with Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris, so they'll attempt to replicate that feat against the Lions. Detroit is statistically poor against the run, though it did a good job of bottling up Rashaad Penny last week until late in the game when the players were tired. We could see something similar this week, as Stevenson and Harris will grow stronger as the afternoon progresses.

    Unlike the last week, however, the Lions won't be threatened the passing game at all, so they'll be able to play closer to the line of scrimmage. The Patriots have nothing like D.K. Metcalf or Tyler Lockett, especially if Jakobi Meyers is sidelined again. Also, Geno Smith thrived this past Sunday because he's great against the blitz. Zappe was just 6-of-11 for 68 yards when blitzed in his debut. That's not terrible, but they're nowhere near Smith's ungodly numbers.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: It's extremely difficult to handicap this game at the moment because it's unclear who will play for Detroit. Seven starters were missing last week, including dynamic play-makers like Amon-Ra St. Brown and D'Andre Swift. This is why it was difficult for the Lions to engage in a shootout with the Seahawks until garbage time.

    There's a chance at least one will return, and that'll be a huge boon for the Lions. St. Brown would especially be helpful because he's the Lions' top receiver by far. Bill Belichick will likely focus on stopping St. Brown, but Jared Goff will be able to spread the ball around to other players like T.J. Hockenson, Jamaal Williams and potentially Swift and D.J. Chark, both of whom were missed versus Seattle.

    Speaking of Williams, he'll have another nice performance. The Patriots beat up the Packers on the ground last week, but they're not very strong versus the run themselves. Also, don't forget that they'll be exhausted after playing five full quarters, so Williams, like Stevenson and Harris, could grow stronger as the game progresses.

    RECAP: If you thought we were done discussing radical line moves, you were mistaken! The advance line on this game was pick 'em, but now New England is favored by three. Imagine a three-point line move involving Bailey Zappe and a 48-point output by Geno Smith!

    I can't imagine people wanting anything to do with the Lions after they surrendered 48 points to Smith, but they were missing seven starters and were matched up poorly against Smith, as odd as that sounds. Smith is great against the blitz, and he had the dynamic receivers at his disposal to take advantage of Detroit's secondary. Zappe has no such luxury, and it's unlikely he'll be as proficient against the blitz as Smith.

    Speaking of Zappe, he has to win this game by four or more to cover the spread, which seems unlikely. Not only is that improbable based on his talent level; the Patriots as a whole will be exhausted after playing five full quarters in Lambeau. The Lions, conversely, will almost certainly have some reinforcements returning to action. It's extremely unlikely that they'll be missing seven starters again.

    Assuming the Lions are healthier this week, I'll have major interest in them, especially at this reduced spread. At the very least, they'll be able to charge back after falling behind and make this a close game.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Neither Amon-Ra St. Brown nor D'Andre Swift practiced Wednesday. We may see some -3.5 lines soon.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The Lions are missing a bunch of players again, including Swift, Charles Harris and John Cominsky. Amon-Ra St. Brown may return, but he got in one practice during the week, and it was a limited session on Friday. I was really hoping for a better opportunity with the Lions, but it doesn't seem as though we'll get it. I'll still have interest in betting them if St. Brown plays, so we'll see what happens Sunday morning.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Amon-Ra St. Brown will play, which is huge for the Lions, who will also be getting a key offensive lineman returning to action. I like the Lions, as do the sharps at +3.5. I don't see anything better than +3 -115 at most sportsbooks right now.





    The Motivation. Edge: Lions.
    The Patriots are likely exhausted after playing five full quarters against Aaron Rodgers.


    The Spread. Edge: Lions.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Patriots -1.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: Pick.
    Computer Model: Patriots -4.
    DVOA Spread: .






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Detroit: 54% (145,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Sunny, 60 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.



  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Lions 26, Patriots 23
    Lions +3 -115 (3 Units) - any sportsbook -- Incorrect; -$345
    Over 45.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Patriots 29, Lions 0






    Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games
    49ers at Panthers, Cowboys at Rams, Eagles at Cardinals, Bengals at Ravens, Raiders at Chiefs



    LOADING COMMENTS...

    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenever winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.


    Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games



    NFL Picks - Dec. 7


    2023 NFL Mock Draft - Dec. 7


    NFL Power Rankings - Dec. 6


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 7


    2022 NBA Mock Draft - June 23




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    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

    Cowboys: 5-7
    Bears: 6-5
    Bucs: 6-6
    49ers: 7-5
    Eagles: 7-5
    Lions: 7-5
    Falcons: 7-4
    Cardinals: 6-6
    Giants: 3-9
    Packers: 8-5
    Panthers: 7-5
    Rams: 6-6
    Redskins: 4-9
    Vikings: 7-5
    Saints: 8-5
    Seahawks: 6-6
    Bills: 5-5
    Bengals: 8-4
    Colts: 8-5
    Broncos: 4-8
    Dolphins: 8-4
    Browns: 5-6
    Jaguars: 4-8
    Chargers: 9-2
    Jets: 6-6
    Ravens: 5-6
    Texans: 5-6
    Chiefs: 10-2
    Patriots: 4-7
    Steelers: 7-4
    Titans: 6-6
    Raiders: 6-6
    Divisional: 34-22 (2011-21: 502-485)
    2x Game Edge: 21-22 (2011-21: 336-333)
    2x Motivation Edge: 28-30 (2011-21: 441-366)
    2x Spread Edge: 34-28 (2011-21: 153-129)
    2x Vegas Edge: 22-22 (2011-21: 381-399)
    2x Trend Edge: 14-13 (2011-21: 286-259)
    Double Edge: 13-14 (2011-21: 172-155)
    Triple Edge: 1-4 (2011-21: 31-32)

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