Week 4 of the NFL season was very interesting. Favorites were 7-7-1 against the spread and home teams were 4-10-1 against the spread. While teams who were at least touchdown favorites were 11-3 against the spread entering the week, touchdown favorites went just 1-3-1 against the spread in Week 4! We saw some shocking upsets like the Carolina Panthers taking down Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals and Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns blowing past the Dallas Cowboys. Are we in for more surprises in Week 5?
Below, I'll give you my top five picks of the week. For the very first time this year, I'm going to be selecting all favorites. That doesn't mean I don't think this week will be uneventful, but I'm out to win money. Let's go ahead and jump in.
All odds courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.
Top five picks record: 11-9
Overall ATS record: 35-26-2
Which teams will cover the spread in Week 5? Pete Prisco, R.J. White and SportsLine's Kenny White join Will Brinson to break down their best bets and every game; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox/NFL Network)
Point spread: Buccaneers -3.5
Both of these teams are 3-1 straight up and 2-2 against the spread. The Buccaneers did pull off their third straight win last Sunday, but their injury report is concerning. Chris Godwin and LeSean McCoy have already been ruled out, Leonard Fournette is doubtful and wide receivers Mike Evans and Scotty Miller are questionable. Normally, I would stay away from this one, but Tom Brady reeled me back in with his performance last week. The future Pro Football Hall of Famer threw for 369 yards, five touchdowns and one interception last Sunday during the Buccaneers' 38-31 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. All five of those touchdowns went to different receivers, so it's fair to say he is getting comfortable with the new weapons at his disposal. Without a doubt it was the best Brady has looked in a Buccaneers uniform so far. As for the Bears, I really thought inserting Nick Foles into the starting lineup would have solved the offense's problems, but their loss to the Indianapolis Colts last week was hard to watch. Chicago does have a great defense, but I would counter saying that Tampa Bay has an underrated defense as well. They are physical and love to fly around to the ball, and they are ready to make a statement during a primetime matchup. This game could be close for the majority of the night, but I think the Buccaneers end up covering.
The pick: Buccaneers 28-20
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Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Cardinals -7
The Jets are reportedly going to hold Sam Darnold out in Week 5 and let Joe Flacco start, so I hope you already jumped on this line like I suggested earlier this week. I could throw you stats about how the Jets are yet to cover the spread this season or that Murray has a 75 percent cover rate on the road in his career, but all I have to point out is that the Jets lost by nine points to a quarterback who was making his very first NFL start last week. The two NFL teams in New York have recorded exactly 1,112 total yards of offense so far this season -- which is tied for last in the league. Yes, we may have learned over the past two weeks that the Cardinals aren't exactly ready to win the Super Bowl, but they are definitely seven points better than the Jets.
The pick: Cardinals 30-10
Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Rams -7
I took the Rams to cover a large spread against the New York Giants last week and it did not happen, but covering seven points is much easier than covering 13. Ron Rivera made the decision to bench Dwayne Haskins for Kyle Allen, and the move was confusing for several reasons. Haskins threw for a career-high 314 yards and rushed for a touchdown last week against the Baltimore Ravens -- but more importantly, he did not turn the ball over. It appeared he had done enough to keep his job, but Rivera clearly thought differently. Allen may understand Rivera and his system better than Haskins, but people joke that Allen is the quarterback that got Rivera fired in Carolina.
Jameis Winston led the league in turnover-worthy plays last year with 40.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 7, 2020
Kyle Allen had 34 on 150+ fewer attempts.
If that's familiarity with the system, you can keep it.
Washington is 1-2-1 against the spread this season with that lone cover coming against the overrated Philadelphia Eagles. All three of Washington's losses have come by double digits, so I'll go ahead and take the Rams this week.
The pick: Rams 27-17
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Texans -6
Bill O'Brien is officially out and a new era of Texans football is here. Since 2000, teams are 14-21-0 (40 percent) against the spread the game following a midseason firing, including 2-6 over the last five seasons. But, this trend is very streaky. There are times where a coaching change just knocks something loose with a team, and I think that's going to happen with the Texans on Sunday. When you take a step back, this looks like the perfect opportunity for Houston to finally get into the win column. The Texans had to face three playoff teams and a stingy Pittsburgh Steelers defense to begin the season, and now they get a 1-3 divisional opponent that is coming off of a road loss to a rookie quarterback. This Texans team has talent, and when interim head coach Romeo Crennel was asked what he wanted to see from his team this Sunday, he simply answered that he wants to see a change in attitude and energy. I think he's going to see exactly that.
The pick: Texans 30-23
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Cowboys -9.5
I got burned by the Cowboys last week, but I'm going to give them another chance here. Dallas is 0-4 against the spread, but recent history indicates that is likely to change here in Week 5. Since 2000, 32 NFL teams have started 0-4 against the spread. They are 19-12-1 against the spread (61 percent) in their fifth game. Yes, the Cowboys have no defense, but do you really expect Daniel Jones to explode for 40-plus points? The Giants average a league-worst 11.8 points per game. On the flip side, the Cowboys have the most explosive offense in the league (509.5 yards per game) and have scored the third-most points (126). Four out of the last six games the Cowboys have won against the Giants have been won by double digits, so I'm going to take a chance on Dallas again here in Week 5.
The pick: Cowboys 31-16
Other Week 5 picks