Week 5 NFL picks and predictions from Adam Burke


NFL Week 5 best bets and betting odds

Each week in the NFL is unique. Forrest Gump would say it’s like a box of chocolates. We never really know what we’re going to get and I think that is very true of Week 5. There are some really ugly games and some very tough handicaps, as a lot of teams that haven’t looked good face each other or there are favorites that simply do not look like fun bets to make.


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Fortunately, there are a lot of resources with a lot of data out there and there are always betting angles to find. Those bets won’t always win, but if you have a trusted process and good reasoning behind your wagers, that’s all you can ask for, as then it’s up to the players on the field.

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Here are my favorite Week 5 NFL picks:

(Odds as of October 5, 11:30 a.m. PT)

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions (-10, 44)

I was torn with my Week 5 Survivor suggestions between the Dolphins and the Lions. Future opponents were ultimately the deciding factor, but I like the Lions a lot and like them to actually cover this number.

In three games with Bryce Young at the helm, the Panthers have scored a total of 40 points and averaged 250.7 yards of total offense. The defense has played admirably in all four games, but the Vikings have major red-zone issues, the Saints and Falcons are not very good offensively, and the Seahawks had 425 yards and 37 points.

The Lions are averaging 5.7 yards per play and allowing just 4.5. The Seahawks moved the ball on them as well, but nobody else really has. This simply feels like the type of game where Carolina cannot keep up and the Detroit defense has been much better than I expected. The Panthers are also the worst defense in the NFL in Rush EPA, so I think they’ll have a hard time keeping the Lions from adding on or running out the clock.

This is a big mismatch and the Lions are on extra prep and extra rest, plus they get to play at home in the dome.

Pick: Lions -10 (would play at 10 or lower)

Philadelphia Eagles (-4, 49.5) at Los Angeles Rams

The Rams could get Cooper Kupp back this week, but they’ve gotten along just fine without him, as Puka Nacua has become an instant darling and Matthew Stafford isn’t looking his age like he did last season. The Rams are still only 2-2, but have done well ATS thus far and have a top-five offense in EPA/play to go along with a roughly league average defense.

The Eagles haven’t been as stout defensively as we would expect. It’s still early and that can obviously change, but maybe the loss of Jonathan Gannon was bigger than we thought, especially because the Cardinals look way better than anybody expected.

Both offenses rank in the top 10 in EPA/play, with the Rams just a smidge higher than the Eagles. Last week, I felt like Jalen Hurts didn’t look the same. He didn’t look as evasive and it seemed like he wasn’t stepping into his throws with as much conviction as normal. If that’s the case, it puts more pressure on a defense that ranks 25th in third-down conversion rate against and 28th in red-zone TD% against.

I think the Rams are live here. It is a long trip out west for a non-conference game for the Eagles and they’ve had three one-score wins already. Sean McVay seems to have a little swagger back and the Rams are playing at a pretty high level.

Pick: Rams +4 (would play to +3.5)

Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5, 52.5) at Minnesota Vikings

Weather won’t be a factor indoors at U.S. Bank Stadium, so that probably has something to do with why this total keeps inching up. Personally, I’m looking at the Under in this one. The Vikings are 21st in third-down conversion rate and have cashed in just 50% of their red-zone chances. Some of the ones not ending in touchdowns have wound up being turnovers, so there are some clear-cut examples of not converting or executing in big spots.

I do think that the defense for the Vikings should improve under Brian Flores throughout the season. For now, this is a league average defense, with the Panthers game doing some of the heavy lifting. But, the Chiefs continue to be very methodical on offense. They blew out the lowly Bears with 41 points, but have been held to 20, 17, and 23 in their other three games. Patrick Mahomes hasn’t taken great care of the football and the running game has largely been hemmed in except for a few chunk plays here and there.

Opponents have only scored on 23.3% of their drives against the Chiefs, who are a top-five defense by EPA/play. I think we see a ball control type of game from KC and see Minnesota continue to make mistakes that leave points on the field.

Pick: Under 52.5 (would play at 52.5 or higher)

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