And just like that, the first month of the NFL season is in the books. The first two weeks were a pretty shaky start to the season, but we've turned things around to cap off the month, so we're just going to say that we were still dusting off some preseason rust. Over the last two weeks, my locks have gone 6-3-1 ATS and we're coming off a Week 4 slate that had no shortage of drama. Buffalo was able to rally from a 20-3 deficit and give us a push against Baltimore and we even had an adrenaline-pumping cover (Vikings -2.5) in London that survived thanks to an international double-doink.
This week we're channeling our inner "Florida man" by picking two teams from the Sunshine State to cover inside my five Locks of the Week. We'll also be targeting two divisional prime-time games. Ready? Let's jump in!
Locks of the Week ATS: 8-11-1
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
Atlanta has been a betting darling through the first month of the season. They own a 4-0 ATS record that includes a tightly contested game against the defending champion Rams and back-to-back wins against Seattle and Cleveland. However, the clock looks like it'll strike midnight on this run in Week 5 when they visit the Buccaneers.
Even if you put the 28-3 jokes aside, Tom Brady has historically destroyed the Falcons. Brady is 10-0 in his career against Atlanta (including playoffs), making him one of just four quarterbacks in NFL history to have double-digit wins and zero losses against one opponent. Brady has also performed extremely well when his teams have lost back-to-back games like the Bucs just did. In his career, he's 14-0 SU and 12-2 ATS immediately after a two-game losing streak. His teams also own a +19.6 points per game differential in those games.
Projected score: Buccaneers 33, Falcons 21
The pick: Buccaneers -8.5
Tua Tagovailoa has already been ruled out for this game, so it'll be Teddy Bridgewater under center for Miami. I don't believe there is that much of a drop-off between these two quarterbacks and Bridgewater may even be a better down field thrower, which plays perfectly into the skill position players that the Dolphins have. Let's also not forget that Bridgewater is a LEGEND in betting circles. In his career, he's covered 67% of his starts, which is the best by any quarterback since 2000 (min. 30 games). Those numbers are even better on the road as Bridgewater is 24-6 ATS (80%) as the visiting quarterback.
Projected score: Dolphins 27, Jets 21
The pick: Dolphins -3
Is it fair to have some concerns about Baltimore's ability to close? After all, they just blew a 20-3 lead to the Bills last week, which came just two games after they blew a 28-7 lead against the Dolphins. Lamar Jackson has been otherworldly to begin the year, but the Ravens are a risky bet here as they take on a division rival in prime time. Taking the points with Bengals -- who have leveled the ship with back-to-back wins -- seems like the safer play in this spot. That's especially true when you consider Joe Burrow's recent domination over the Ravens. In Cincy's season sweep over the Ravens last year, Burrow had a 131.1 passer rating, completed 71.4% of his passes and 941 passing yards, the most by QB vs. any team in a season all-time. The Bengals' ability to push the ball down the field also plays into one of Baltimore's biggest weaknesses.
Projected score: Bengals 27, Ravens 24
The pick: Bengals +3
The Raiders are coming off their first win of the Josh McDaniels era last week and it was largely thanks to the fantastic performance by Josh Jacobs, who totaled 177 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Not only would it be jaw-dropping if Jacobs put a similar performance together for a second consecutive game, but I believe the Chiefs will be able to slow Las Vegas' rushing attack. Heading into Week 5, K.C.'s run defense ranks fifth in the NFL in DVOA.
On top of that angle, Patrick Mahomes looks like he's rounding into MVP form, which is bad news for a Raiders franchise that he has typically owned. In his career, Mahomes is 7-1 against Las Vegas, which includes a 3-1 record at home. All three of those wins at Arrowhead have came by 30+ points. The Chiefs are also 12-6 ATS against the Raiders under Andy Reid.
Projected score: Chiefs 33, Raiders 24
The pick: Chiefs -7
Bears at Vikings
I simply just have no faith that Chicago's offense will be able to keep up with Minnesota. Through four games, the Bears have attempted 67 passes, which is the fewest by any team through four games since the 1982 Patriots. When he does drop back to pass, Justin Fields has a 4.2% interception rate and a 13.4% sack rate, which are both the worst in the NFL dating back to last season. Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins -- for all his prime-time faults -- has been solid when a betting favorite. Since joining the Vikings, the quarterback owns a 108.1 passer rating in games as the betting favorite (third-best mark in the NFL since 2018). Minnesota's defense is admittedly shaky, but I don't know if it'll matter against this Bears offense.
Projected score: Vikings 27, Bears 17
The pick: Vikings -7