Written By Billy Attridge
As we get into the meat and potatoes of the NFL schedule, monitoring injuries, scheduling situations, and reading, reading, reading, start to factor in quite a bit compared to the beginning of the year, where power numbers tend to hold a bit more weight. In Week 5, we’re evaluating whether or not the Giants offense has potential this week, if a poor situational spot for a west coast team carries weight, as well as the Monday Night football match-up between an elite pass offense and their counterpart on the defensive side.
New York Giants +7 @ Carolina:
BetOnline.ag opened this number first, Carolina-4.5, with the market coming in a touch higher at -6. Since then, we’ve seen this tick out to the key number of -7, where we started to see Giants money enter the market. The Giants are 1-3, off a home loss to the Saints, and Carolina is 2-1, off of a bye. New York looks to get back edge rusher Olivier Vernon, a huge addition to a pass rush that desperately needs him. Corner Eli Apple is apparently going to give it a go as well, bolstering a secondary that is already above average at 9th in pass success rate. After last week’s game, we saw Odell Beckham Jr. come out and voice his displeasure with the current Giants offense, and he’s not wrong. They rank 22nd in overall offensive efficiency, but this match-up verse a Panthers defense who give up the explosive pass play (29th) could be the perfect time for a resurgence to this pass game. Carolina was fortunate Week 3 against Cincinnati, as they won the turnover margin (+4), but were out-gained 6.5 yards per play to 5.7. With New York’s additions on defense and a favorable match-up offensively, come game time I see this number closing south of 7.
Denver @ New York Jets PICK’em:
We saw the Jets open anywhere from -1.5/-2.5 across the market, before we saw a slight drop down to the current price of PICK. The Jets have lost 3 straight, after their upset win on Monday night football over the Lions. Denver is off their own Monday Night game, losing to the Chiefs after holding a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter. Recreational bettors seem to remember what they saw last, and while Denver did lose, they impressed some in their showing on Monday, and are now garnering over 70% of the tickets being written on this game. When we dig in here, there are a few interesting metrics to point out. At kick, the Jets faced three straight Top 10 pass defenses, and have struggled. Denver’s weakness is defending through the air, ranking 19th in overall pass defense efficiency, and 27th in explosive pass plays allowed. On the other side of the ball, the Jets tout the #1 ranked defense in efficiency, and the #2 ranked pass defense. Denver RT Jared Veldheer has been questionable all week with a knee injury, and would be a big loss if he couldn’t go. Add in the fact the Broncos are traveling across the country on a short week for a 1:00pm kick, and we have a recipe for a decent spot here with New York. This number feels a bit short, and I believe will rise again before kickoff.
Washington +6.5 @ New Orleans:
The Saints opened a 6.5/7-point favorite, and currently reside at -6.5/-6 depending on the shop. The Redskins are off a bye, while New Orleans has won 3-straight after their road victory in New York. The Saints have been fantastic on offense, with the 3rd overall most efficient unit, and they get back a key cog in RB Mark Ingram. Where they continue to struggle, however, is in their pass defense, where they rank dead-last in efficiency, which includes facing a Tyrod Taylor-led Browns offense and a pedestrian Giants pass attack. It’s been bad enough that the Saints have a negative yards per play margin (-0.2). The Redskins have been slightly above average through the air, and Alex Smith has done an excellent job doing what he does (not turning the ball over). Washington also ranks 2nd in pass success rate defense, and they’ll be put to the test on Monday Night Football. Washington has a +1.0 yards per play margin (3rd in the league), and that is part of the reason the +7’s have been gobbled up for this match-up. As difficult of a task as it is to compete with the Saints at home in primetime, professional money has gravitated towards the underdog here.
Vegas Look-Ahead Lines for NFL Week 6:
Philadelphia -2.5 @ New York Giants
Minnesota -11.5 vs. Arizona
Cleveland -1.5 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Miami -1 vs. Chicago
Washington -1.5 vs. Carolina
New York Jets -1 vs. Indianapolis
Cincinnati -3 vs. Pittsburgh
Atlanta -6.5 vs. Tampa Bay
Oakland PICK’em vs. Seattle
Houston -8 vs. Buffalo
Los Angeles Rams -6 @ Denver
Jacksonville -2.5 @ Dallas
Baltimore -1 @ Tennessee
New England -3 (-120) vs. Kansas City
Green Bay -8.5 vs. San Francisco
BYE: Detroit, New Orleans