Week 5 NFL best bets and predictions
Each week, I’ll be looking through Sunday’s NFL games to try and feed my readers three winners. And that continues with the three best bets I have for the Week 5 slate, which includes a pick on a meeting between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills in London. I also have a play on an exciting battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. Keep reading to find out what I have and make sure you also check out what my talented VSiN colleagues are playing. Those plays, along with all of our NFL content for the week, are available at our Week 5 NFL Bet Hub. You can also get all of our picks for the week on the Pro Picks page.
I ended up cashing on the Jaguars Under last week and I’m now turning to Jacksonville to cover against a Buffalo team that is coming off an impressive 48-20 win over the Miami Dolphins. I just think it’s hard to ignore a lot of the little things when looking at this game. For starters, the Jaguars have had the luxury of having spent the last two weeks in London, so they’re not going to have to deal with any jet lag. They should also be comfortable with their surroundings and find a way to focus on the task at hand. The same can’t be said for the Bills. They had to fly out after playing in the states, so the experience will hit them like a ton of bricks. And Buffalo is also coming off an emotional win last week, making this something of a letdown spot.
The Jaguars are also a solid team defensively. Jacksonville did give up 37 points against the Houston Texans in Week 3, but that was just a bad week — and the Houston offense has been pretty good this year. The Jaguars have allowed 21 or fewer points in three of their four games this year, and they forced three turnovers in all three of those games. So, this is a defense that can be stingy and that could catch the Bills off guard, especially if they are sleepwalking early in the game. I also think you’ll see the Jaguars Josh Allen getting after the Bills Josh Allen quite a bit, assuming he sheds his questionable tag and plays here. Allen is the seventh-ranked edge rusher in PFF this year, and he has been a monster thus far. Another matchup to keep an eye on is Darious Williams against Stefon Diggs. Williams has been sensational for Jacksonville this season.
It’s also hard to ignore that the Jaguars are 8-7 straight-up and 9-6 against the spread as underdogs under head coach Doug Pederson. He loves being in this position. Jacksonville is also 6-3 ATS when playing teams with winning records under Pederson.
Bet: Jaguars +5.5 (-110 – Play to +4)
The Vikings were able to pick up their first win of the season last week, as they earned a 21-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers. I have maintained all season long that this Minnesota team is better than it has shown, and I think it was big the Vikings were able to finally win one last week. Now, I’m expecting this team to go out and give the Chiefs some trouble.
Kansas City didn’t look overly impressive in a 23-20 win over the New York Jets last week, and that game ended up being rather tough for the Chiefs to pull out. It’s never easy to hard two tough road games in a row in this league, so I question the type of effort we’ll see out of Kansas City here. I also wonder whether this team is distracted by all the Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift noise. It certainly looked that way in the Sunday night game, where the Chiefs made Zach Wilson look wildly competent. And Patrick Mahomes looked awful.
Kansas City’s offense should look a lot better against Minnesota, as the Vikings aren’t as talented as the Jets on the defensive side of the ball. But Brian Flores is a very good defensive coordinator and I think he’ll have a good plan in place here. And I expect the Chiefs to have some trouble slowing down the Vikings offense in this game.
Kansas City’s secondary simply looked very beatable against New York last week, and not many quarterbacks are playing better than Kirk Cousins this season. Cousins has thrown for 1,214 yards with 11 touchdowns and only four picks this year, and he should get a boost from the running game in this one. Kansas City is just 20th in the league in Defensive DVOA against the run this season. And if the Vikings can run the ball, Cousins will make the Chiefs pay in the play-action game.
For what it’s worth, Minnesota has also gotten up for bettors in big games. The Vikings are 9-7 ATS when playing teams with winning records over the last three seasons.
Bet: Vikings +4.5 (-110 – Play to +3.5)
It feels a little crazy to be playing the Over on any Jets game, but this number feels way too low when you consider everything we’ve seen this season. The Broncos have gone Over the total in each of their last three games, with opponents scoring an average of 44.3 points per game in that span. This team is last in the league in Defensive DVOA this season, and they just can’t seem to stop anyone. With that in mind, I like the Jets offense to turn in a solid day here, especially after opening up the playbook against the Chiefs last week.
New York looked a lot more willing to throw the ball 10+ yards against Kansas City last week, and the team was a little less conservative on first and second down. Wilson rewarded them by making a lot of tough throws in the game, so there should be some confidence amongst the entire offense heading into Week 5. New York knows how bad this Denver defense can be, so the team should feel good about scoring in this one.
As for the Broncos, for as bad as things have been defensively, the team is 13th in the league in Offensive DVOA. So, Russell Wilson and Co. should have some success against a good Jets defense here. After all, Denver has scored 31 or more points in two of its last three games.
Overall, I just think this game should feature a lot of offense, even if neither group seems very good, on paper.
Bet: Over 43 (-110)
Best Bets Record: 8-4 (+3.80 units)