For the first time of the 2021 NFL season, the favorites were able to win the week. Underdogs went 7-9 against the spread after going a combined 30-18 in the first three weeks of the season. There were still some big outright upsets — notably the Jets and Giants — and the Patriots barely missed being in that category as well, but the favorites largely played much better in Week 4 after a rocky start to the season.
Heading into Week 5, bettors and bookmakers alike have a month’s worth of data to analyze with each team. There are major changes within the NFL every week thanks to quarterback changes and injuries, so the advantages may not be crystal clear at first. That said, those that are watching things closely will find themselves making winning picks more often than not.
Injuries continue to be the biggest talking point impacting best bets and spreads ahead of Week 5. Most importantly, there are a couple of banged-up quarterbacks in Andy Dalton and Jimmy Garoppolo that could make way for rookies.
Dalton (knee) has missed the last two games, but Matt Nagy says he will start if healthy. Garoppolo is a question mark; he thought he would be out in Week 5, but Kyle Shanahan hasn’t made a decision on that front yet. If they can’t go, Justin Fields (Bears) and Trey Lance (49ers) will be tapped to start. That will have an impact on the spreads in each of the team’s games, as Fields has started twice while Lance played limitedly in place of Garoppolo last week.
Knowing the latest injury news is critical for bettors. So too is knowing the latest odds and trends for each team. If you analyze each aspect of those three aspects, they will help to key a winning formula — except for the occasional week where chaos rules. Here’s hoping that won’t be the case in Week 5.
For more expert NFL predictions, check out Sporting News’ picks straight up and against the spread for Week 5.
NFL WEEK 5 PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
NFL odds for Week 5
Below are the latest Week 5 NFL odds, including point spreads, money lines and over-under totals for every game, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Last updated: Saturday, Oct. 9
NFL point spreads Week 5
|Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks||LAR -1.5|
|New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons||ATL -2.5|
|Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers||CAR -3|
|Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB -9.5|
|New Orleans Saints at Washington Football Team||NO -2.5|
|Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars||TEN -4.5|
|Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings||MIN -10|
|Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers||DEN -1.5|
|Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals||GB -3|
|New England Patriots at Houston Texans||NE -8.5|
|Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders||LV -5.5|
|Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers||LAC -2.5|
|New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys||DAL -7|
|San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals||ARI -5.5|
|Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs||KC -3|
|Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens||BAL -7|
NFL money lines Week 5
|Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks||LAR -134|
|New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons||ATL -144|
|Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers||CAR -164|
|Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB -460|
|New Orleans Saints at Washington Football Team||NO -130|
|Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars||TEN -210|
|Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings||MIN -460|
|Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -126|
|Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals||GB -146|
|New England Patriots at Houston Texans||NE -405|
|Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders||LV -240|
|Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers||LAC -132|
|New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys||DAL -310|
|San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals||ARI -240|
|Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs||KC -156|
|Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens||BAL -320|
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NFL over-unders Week 5
|Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks||54.5|
|New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons||45.5|
|Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers||45.5|
|Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||47.5|
|New Orleans Saints at Washington Football Team||43.5|
|Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars||48.5|
|Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings||49.5|
|Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers||39.5|
|Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals||50.5|
|New England Patriots at Houston Texans||39.5|
|Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders||44.5|
|Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers||47.5|
|New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys||52.5|
|San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals||48.5|
|Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs||56.5|
|Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens||46.5|
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NFL best bets for Week 5
Bills (+3) at Chiefs
The Bills have shaken off the rust after a slow start to the year on offense. Now, they will have a chance to continue their dominance against a weak defense.
The Chiefs stopped their two-game losing skid against the Eagles last week, but they still surrendered 30 points in that game. They are allowing an average of 31.3 points per game on the season.
Meanwhile, the Bills have been excellent on offense in recent weeks and are scoring an average of 39.3 points per game during that span. That includes two shutout wins over the Dolphins (35-0) and Texans (40-0).
Buffalo isn’t likely to keep that up against Patrick Mahomes, but they at least have the personnel needed to make stops on defense. They are forcing an average of 2.5 punts per every offensive score that they allow. That ranks first in the NFL. The Chiefs rank last in that category with 0.3 punts forced per offensive score.
If the Chiefs and their 22nd-ranked third-down defense can’t get the Bills off the field, then Buffalo will have a good chance to keep this one close and possibly win. As such, getting them as a field-goal underdog is a good value. They have the talent needed to stay level with the Chiefs even in front of a hostile Arrowhead Stadium crowd.
Patriots (-9) at Texans
The Texans played well in two games to begin the 2021 NFL season. However, without Tyrod Taylor, they have been completely lost.
Houston has failed to cover the spread in either of the games that Taylor hasn’t started after covering in each of the first two. Davis Mills has proven to be an ineffective replacement for Taylor and the Texans’ offense has sputtered badly as a result of his performance.
Texans per-game averages with Davis Mills starting
The Texans are facing a Patriots defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards per game (185) and the sixth-fewest points per game (17.5) this season. They just held Tom Brady to zero touchdown passes and the high-flying Buccaneers’ offense scored just 19 points.
Mac Jones has proven to be a solid starting quarterback so far and the Patriots are better than their 1-3 record would indicate. They would have beaten the Dolphins Week 1 if not for a late Damien Harris fumble and they very nearly beat the Bucs last week in a game where few gave them a chance to compete. Thus, they’re far superior to this reeling Texans team.
The Patriots should be able to win and cover against Houston. They have a 10-3 record against Houston all-time, but they have lost the last two meetings. It’s safe to say that Bill Belichick will want revenge for those defeats and will want his team to bounce back after a tough loss against Brady’s Bucs.
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Broncos (+1.5) at Steelers
This game figures to be a hardcore defensive struggle. The Broncos are coming off a 16-point loss to the Ravens during which they lost their starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater. He may not be able to play in Week 5, but Denver may still be a solid bet.
The Steelers have struggled immensely so far this year on offense. They haven’t been able to score much at all and are averaging just 16.8 points per game this year. That’s tied for the fourth-worst in the NFL.
The Broncos have a strong defense. They are allowing just 12.3 points per game the second-fewest in the NFL, and they should be able to give Ben Roethlisberger some trouble this week.
Roethlisberger is dealing with an injured pec and now also has an injured hip. He’s 39, so those injuries could hamper his downfield throwing ability. His offensive line hasn’t played well this season either, so that will limit his time to make decisions and plays within the pocket.
Pittsburgh’s offense should struggle against Denver. Even if Drew Lock starts at quarterback and has issues of his own, the Broncos should be positioned to win this one, especially if they get back one or two of the offensive linemen that missed their last game (Graham Glasgow and Dalton Risner). Feel free to trust them and to continue fading the Steelers.