NFL Week 5 Best Bets from the T Shoe Index
I couldn’t believe the disparity between the haves (Bills, Cowboys, 49ers) and the have nots (Broncos, Bears, Giants) when I updated my power ratings after Week 4. I’ve generally had a gap of about 10-14 points between my No. 1 team and my No. 32 team; however, this week, there is a massive 22-point gap between the Bills (11.4) and the Broncos (-10.6), which has created some enormous spreads that TSI hasn’t really produced in the few years I’ve been doing it.
My point is that I’m less apprehensive about laying bigger numbers with favorites this season than I normally am and am less likely to have a betting card full of underdogs, as I have in the past. Those were my initial thoughts for this week, now let’s see where TSI identifies betting value for this Week 5 slate.
The Bills have been on a tear ever since they lost to Zach Wilson and the Jets in their first game. After destroying the Dolphins last week to remind everyone they are the supreme team in the AFC East, I wouldn’t want to get in front of this train. Conversely, the Jaguars have not quite started off the season as well as some might’ve expected, but are riding some momentum after soundly beating the Falcons in London last week, which I think helps keep this line under a touchdown; therefore, creating value on Buffalo.
TSI projects the Bills as 10-point favorites here, so I’m certainly not going to hesitate to pull the trigger at less than a touchdown. This matchup is the No. 1 overall team vs the No. 12 team, which on the surface makes a 5.5-point line seem fair; however, this is why I always harp on the difference between rankings and ratings. The rankings aren’t terribly far apart; the ratings (11.4 vs 1.2) indicate a canyon-sized gap between these teams’ performances, by NFL standards. I was relatively low on Buffalo coming into the season, and even my preseason projection would’ve been Bills -7.5. Nothing we’ve seen so far this season tells me anything other than the Bills are far superior.
Pick: Buffalo Bills -5.5 (play to -6.5)
Other than Buffalo, you’d be hard-pressed to find a team feeling better about themselves after Week 4 than the Titans, who massacred the wounded Bengals in Nashville, 27-3. Conversely, the Colts lost in overtime to the Rams, 29-23. Both teams actually got a bump in my power ratings, but given the state of the Bengals, I think oddsmakers may have given too much credit to Tennessee for the win.
TSI projects the Colts as a 4.5-point favorite at home, so I’m going to take the points here with the higher-rated team. With Anthony Richardson now healthy and adding a dynamic element in the run game for the Colts’ 11th-rated offense, I think the Colts have the advantage in what’s definitely the best matchup of the game against the Titans defense. Both the Titans offense and the Colts defense are outside the top 20, so that matchup should come out in the wash. Give me the home dog in a game that should bring the Titans back down to Earth.
Pick: Indianapolis Colts +1.5 (play to pick)
Bonus teaser pick: Colts +7.5, Jets +7.5 (-120) Note: don’t play 6-point teasers unless you get -120 odds.
To learn more about who I am or what my T Shoe Index is, be sure to read my introduction on VSiN.com and check out my free NFL Guide with ratings, projections and win probabilities for every single game this season and follow me on X, @TShoeIndex.