We’re all set to get going with the Week 5 odds for NFL this week at Bang the Book, as there are a plethora of games that we are going to be focusing in on that are going to have some huge impacts on the entire season.
Normally, we start the week by discussing some of the best games of the week in the NFL, but this time around, we are going to be talking ‘totals’ at the outset. The numbers for over/unders are just getting so ridiculously high, it isn’t even funny. However, the justification is definitely there for it to be happening, and it is scary to think where we might end up.
The Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions always… ALWAYS played some of the highest scoring games that we see in a year in, year out basis. Last year, there were only 47 and 44 points in the two games, but both ‘totals’ were at least 48.5. In 2011, there were 85 points scored in the second meeting, and that killed the ‘total’ of 41.5. This year, the number that is hanging on the board for the clash at Lambeau Field is 52, which would normally be the highest ‘total’ of any given week by normal NFL standards.
But of course, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos are anything but normal.
We’ll start with the Broncos, who have averaged… that’s right… AVERAGED… 483 yards and 44.8 points per game this year. They already probably have more points scored than the Jacksonville Jaguars will score for the entire season, and they might have about as many passing yards as the Jags will have in the first half of the season. It’s disgusting for sure, and the team seems poised to score at least 35 every single week with no regard for what normal numbers should look like. The Broncos have the Dallas Cowboys this week, and we’re already scoffing at the idea of QB Tony Romo being on the same field as QB Peyton Manning. The over/under is 55, and it isn’t even the highest ‘total’ of the week.
Yes, that goes to the Eagles and their defense which is surrendering 36.5 points per game this year. The defense didn’t allow a single point in the first half of the first game of the season, and since that point, all hell has broken loose on that side of the ball. It was all exposed once and for all last week against Denver on the road where 52 points were scored with a full week and a half to prepare for the game. Philly and the winless New York Giants are featuring a ‘total’ of 56 this week, the highest of the weekend.
The lowest ‘total’ of the week is the 41.5 between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns, though we know that the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs is liable to be lower than that, knowing that QB Jake Locker very well could be out of the fold. That game is off the board as of Sunday night when this article was written, as Locker’s status is unknown.
That’s a great transition though, into the week of point spreads. We’ll start with that Thursday nighter between the Browns and the Bills. Buffalo has surprised some by starting off the year at 2-2, though QB EJ Manuel has only played one road game thus far in his career, and it was an ugly loss against the New York Jets. Manuel has a tough test ahead versus QB Brian Hoyer, who is 2-0 in his career as a starter for the Browns, who are hoping to wake up on Friday morning and see their name in first place in the AFC North for the first time in quite some time. The Browns are giving 3.5.
This is all setting up a Sunday that is going to be a good one. There are five games with NFL spreads of three points or fewer, and a lot of the teams that are underdogs are good ones. The Baltimore Ravens are +3 on the road against the Miami Dolphins, while the Indianapolis Colts are +3 against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have to take a second straight trip on the road to an AFC South opponent, and for the second straight week, they are going to have to get up early for what will feel like a 10:00 a.m. start time to them on the West Coast. Baltimore meanwhile, has its work cut out for it after getting beaten on the road by the Bills last week to go visit another AFC East team in Miami, a team that has really looked the part of a Super Bowl contender in the first quarter of the campaign.
The Chicago Bears just suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Lions, but they are going to be playing against a very similar team this week in the New Orleans Saints. This game in the Windy City should be a good one, as Chicago is averaging 31.8 points per game and putting up some of the best offensive numbers that this team has put up in decades under first year Head Coach Marc Trestman. The Saints have played better defense than you would expect though, and they could be game for this one on the road.
The winless Giants are actually -2 at home against the hapless Eagles, while the Arizona Cardinals are getting a point at home from a Carolina Panthers team that is off of their bye, but have to fly clear across the country for the game.
We expect that the Chiefs are going to be relatively heavy favorites against the Titans this week, especially if Locker is out of the fold, but another close game could be in store for the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots. The Pats are still perfect, but they really have yet to put together that one game that makes you think they can really go all the way. They looked good last week against the Atlanta Falcons, but this is going to be a big test at Paul Brown Stadium against a very stout Cincinnati team that is unlucky not to be better than 2-2 at this point in the year.
Unfortunately, there are some bigger favorites on the board in some games that are probably going to flat out stink. As we have already alluded to before, the Broncos and the Cowboys could be a huge mismatch if Romo isn’t going to keep up with Manning. Denver is -7, and we would bet against it from getting another cover in this one. Monday Night Football between the 1-3 Atlanta Falcons and the 2-2 New York Jets won’t be a good game either. Atlanta is giving 8.5 in this one in spite of the fact that it has been a completely inferior team to what we have all expected. And then of course, comes the obligatory Jacksonville Jaguars game. This week, the Jags are +13 on the road against the St. Louis Rams, and there just doesn’t seem like there is much hope at all for Jacksonville to win a game any time in the near future. The San Diego Chargers are -4.5 against the Oakland Raiders, while the Packers/Lions game that we mentioned at the top features the Pack at -6.5 off of their bye at home.
Sunday Night Football might be the most intriguing game of the weekend. With both teams at 2-2, the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans are both fearing underachieving in the grandest of ways. Neither team is guaranteed a playoff berth at this point, and if things don’t go well, both could be in very bad shape in their own division title races after this game is said and done with. The Niners had their get better game last week against the Rams, and the oddsmakers are showing it by making them -7 at home. Houston has shown glimpses of being able to beat the best teams in football, as the team roared through San Diego and Tennessee at times, spent the whole first quarter and a half making the Ravens look like chumps, and then took three quarters and dominated in every sense of the word against the Seahawks. However, the team is bad enough to be 0-4 at this point as well, and there is a good chance that the pressure is going to mount on QB Matt Schaub and the gang in Week 5.
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.