As NFL teams, at least most of them, begin to tighten up their offenses and defenses, the betting action could start to get interesting. Moving into Week 5, a new lineup is forming that is going to make some gamblers reconsider their positions and others to pack up and take a break. Either way, upsets are still a major part of the season and this is going to continue with the upcoming games.
The Dallas Cowboys are going to have to look to recover from their loss to the New Orleans Saints when they take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The Cowboys are the current favorites (-4), but the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers are always full of surprises. This could prove to be a turning point for the team if it can overcome the Cowboys in Texas.
The Cleveland Browns (+3.5) have had an interesting season so far and are ready to keep the momentum going. They will visit San Francisco on Sunday to take on the 49ers and the Browns, currently tied for first place in the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens, need to be ready to bring it. The 49ers are coming off a bye week that allowed the team to recover and regroup, and it’s going to come out charging. In the end, though, the Browns will most likely be able to pull down another victory as it continues its best performance since 2013.
No one really expected the Jacksonville Jaguars to conquer the Denver Broncos last week, but here we are. Strange things happen and the Jags are putting their new quarterback, Gardner Minshew II, to good use. He’s stepping in for the injured Nick Foles and is proving to be a driving force behind the team’s success. Something similar will be seen against its opponent, the Carolina Panthers, who have substituted Kyle Allen for Cam Newton. Newton exited after the first two games – both losses – due to injury and Allen has taken the Panthers to back-to-back wins. It’s going to be a battle of the quarterbacks on Sunday, but the Jags are the slight favorite at +3.5 and will most likely prove oddsmakers right.
The Seattle Seahawks (-1.5) could edge out the LA Rams, who have had a mixed season so far this year. There’s no doubt that the Rams are looking for payback after losing to the Browns, but they’re losing favor with oddsmakers after having opened as a 1.5-point favorite last week. The Seahawks have been repairing its defense and this is going to prove vital against the Rams. On the other side, the Rams have had a difficult time keeping its defense organized and this will only help the Rams as they find the end zone over and over.
The Houston Texans (-5) are almost a sure bet to win against the 1-3 Atlanta Falcons. However, any gambler will tell you that there is never a thing known as a sure bet. The Atlanta squad is going to come out looking for blood and, thanks to an uncertain Texans offense, could find it on Sunday.
Despite the fact that NFL is typically a “me-against-them” game, players have a tendency to band together when someone does something flagrantly wrong, like ram a defenseless tight end in the open field with a helmet. That’s what Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict did against Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle last Sunday and he’s now going to sit out for the rest of the season because of it. However, the Chicago Bears (-4.5), who have always had a propensity for tough play, might come out swinging in retaliation against the Raiders. The Raiders are good at folding under pressure, and that tendency could be repeated on Sunday.
Week 5 is going to prove vital to a lot of teams and their quest for the playoffs. Some are on the verge of already having any chance of making it completely wiped out, and this week is going to be the time to step up and take charge, or be left behind and hope for a better season next year.