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NFL week 5 picks against the spread

Matt Prater

Well, last week was a middle of the road effort. After a 6-8-1 mark, the season record now sits at 32-29-2. Picks are bolded, outright upsets have an asterisk, and all spreads are from rtsports.com at the time of writing. Here’s to the second quarter of the season being as solid as the first.

Thursday:

Colts at Patriots (-10)- This is a ton of points to swallow, especially with the way Andrew Luck has played this year. However, the Patriots started to look like themselves last week, the Colts are traveling on a short week, and five Indianapolis starters missed practice Tuesday. NE 38 Ind 21

Sunday:

Falcons at Steelers (-3)- These two teams are basically the same. Great offenses and bad defenses will be on display here. Pittsburgh is at home and the Falcons are still trying to figure out how to offset the loss of three defensive starters to injury. In reality, no roster is equipped for that. Pit 38 Atl 31

Ravens (-3) at Browns- Yes, Baker Mayfield was fun to watch last week. Still, he turned the ball over four times against the Raiders. The Ravens defense is miles ahead of Oakland. This number is alarmingly small. Mr. Mayfield is going to get humbled here. Bal 30 Cle 17

*Broncos at Jets (-1)- Anything could happen in this one. Despite playing really well last week, Denver dropped a heartbreaker. This is the point where the Broncos folded like a cheap tent last year. If they lose here, that will probably happen again.

Royce Freeman
Photo: nfl.com

However, Denver does possess the second-ranked rushing offense, that should travel well. The Broncos’ weakness has been giving up big plays. The Jets are 31st in total offense and may be unable to exploit that. There is no reason to have a lot of faith either way here, but this is a good matchup for the road team. Sam Darnold has never seen a front seven like Denver’s in the Pac 12. Den 20 Nyj 14

Packers (-1) at *Lions– Aaron Rodgers is still highly effective but still hobbling on one leg. Buffalo’s offense was not able to put any scoreboard pressure on the Green Bay offense last week, Detroit certainly can. They are a few bounces of the ball away from being 3-1 and not 1-3. Rodgers has not been able to lead his team to victory when forced to keep up with another decent offense since the opening week. Det 31 GB 28

Jaguars at Chiefs (-3)- Like Denver, Jacksonville has the ground game and defense to make Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Kansas City offense uncomfortable and at times irrelevant, but for as good as Kansas City is, this number is too small not to take, especially at Arrowhead. In the long term, be careful about anointing the Chiefs. Every year, they look unbeatable in September and October. Every year, they regress to the mean. Only time will tell if Mahomes really is the difference. KC 28 Jac 23

Dolphins at Bengals (-6.5)- Picking the Bengals to cover a considerable number as a favorite is always risky. Still, despite a decent start record-wise, there is nothing special about Miami on either side of the ball. It will be tough for them to keep up with or contain one of the deepest offensive arsenals in the sport. Cin 30 Mia 17

Giants at Panthers (-7)- Carolina is off an early bye, the better team, and at home. The more we see of the Bengals, the more impressive Carolina’s manhandling of them looks. In a league where physicality is dying, the Panthers hit people in the mouth. However, this is the kind of game where the inconsistent Giants are supposed to get creamed, which means they will keep it close at the very least. Car 28 Nyg 24

Titans (-3.5) at Bills- Even at 3-1, it is hard to gauge how good the Titans are. In a year where offensive records are falling every week, Tennessee has scored 20+ points once in four games. As far as this week, there are two truly awful teams in the NFL this year. Even with a big upset of the Vikings on their ledger, Buffalo is one of them. Ten 21 Buf 10

*Raiders at Chargers (-5.5)- As strange as it sounds, winning was not the main objective of bringing Jon Gruden back to the Raiders. He was brought back to appease a fan base that is losing its team in a couple years and get the best out of the offense. He has marked both those boxes. Only the Rams rank higher in total offense. The Chargers defense is not what it was supposed to be, due in part to the Joey Bosa injury. Derek Carr will be too comfortable for the Los Angeles defense in what is sure to be a shootout. Oak 35 Lac 31

Cardinals at 49ers (-4.5)- Josh Rosen handled himself okay in his debut last week, but the Cardinals are the other awful team in the NFL. On the other side, Kyle Shanahan got a lot out of backup quarterback C.J. Beathard last week and the 49ers had the Chargers on the ropes. Neither team is going anywhere this year, but the 49ers are better coached and at home. SF 22 Ari 14

Rams (-7) at *Seahawks– This pick will raise some eyebrows, but these matchups are almost always close. Seattle is still one of the best home-field advantages in the league. The Rams offense has been scoring 30+ points while yawning this year. It is not impossible for them to pull that off here, but it is hard to imagine. If the defense does indeed keep it close, Russell Wilson finds a way more often than not. Sea 27 Lar 24

*Vikings at Eagles (-3)- Without Carson Wentz playing at an MVP level, the Eagles are not outstanding at any particular facet of the game and clearly suffering a Super Bowl hangover. Minnesota has also been underwhelming to this point. Mike Zimmer’s defense has been embarrassed in consecutive weeks. He is too good of a coach with too many good players on that side of the ball for that to keep happening. Min 24 Phi 23

*Cowboys at Texans (-3)- The view that Dallas turned some sort of corner last week probably is not popular, but Ezekiel Elliott and the defense can take this team a long way. This week is fairly simple. Houston has allowed 17 sacks in four games this year. The Dallas defense has the third most sacks in the league. Dal 24 Hou 17

MNF:

Redskins at Saints (-6.5)- The Redskins have been the toughest team to figure out through their first three games. They have the talent to play with anyone but can also lose to anyone. The Saints seem to have stabilized after a shaky first couple weeks, they are the smart bet at home with Drew Brees chasing history. Nor 31 Was 21

Drew Brees
Photo: upi.com

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1 comment

Week 6 NFL picks against the spread • The Game Haus October 11, 2018 at 9:15 am

[…] Game Haus is giving away free money so far in the 2018 NFL season. After a 9-5-1 mark last week, the season record now sits at 41-34-3 against the spread. Picks are bolded, outright upsets have […]

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