Written By Billy Attridge
We’re three data points in and starting to better grasp what teams are and the schemes they’re running. Still, this is the NFL, and the market is reactionary to what we’ve seen last – and that creates value. In saying that, we’ll start with an NFC East matchup, make a short trek to Western New York for a showdown of undefeated AFC East squads, and we’ll finish in Los Angeles where we’ve been pleasantly surprised by one defense in particular. Before investing your hard-earned money this weekend, find out why some of these numbers have moved. Finally, we conclude with revealing Week 5 look-ahead lines from Vegas.
Washington Redskins +3 (-120) @ New York Giants:
The Giants opened 1.5-point favorites against a 0-3 ‘Skins team in search of their first victory. It hasn’t been easy sledding for either teams schedule wise; Washington has played Philadelphia, Dallas, and Chicago — three playoff teams. One area Washington has exceeded expectation is passing the football where they rank 6th in overall success rate. Now they face a Giants team that’s 28th in defensive success rate, and for all intensive purposes should be 0-3 if Matt Gay puts a chip shot through the uprights in Tampa Bay. We’ve seen the total balloon from 46 to 49.5, obviously signifying very real money on the over. With New York, we’ve seen a squad dealing with significant injuries to Saquon Barkley, linebackers Ogletree and Davis (his replacement), along with DL Olsen Pierre. The movement on the side of this game has been interesting; the open of 1.5 looked accurate, but with the Daniel Jones hype we’ve saw this tick out to -3 before professional money gobbled the key of +3. No matter who starts at QB for Washington (Keenum missed Wednesday practice but returned Thursday without a boot), they should have success moving the ball.
New England @ Buffalo 1H Under 21 (-120):
It’s telling when a New England Patriots full game total sits below some key numbers in 44 and 43, but that’s where we’re at as they gear up for a monster divisional game against Buffalo. The full game opened 44, and we saw a strong move to the under sending this total down to 42.5 by dinner time Monday. Buffalo and New England are Top 6 in overall defensive efficiency, and maybe more importantly, they are #1 and #3 respectively in explosive pass defense. That results in longer, time consuming drives forcing offenses to be efficient 10 yards at a time against elite units. The Patriots are a little banged up on the offensive side of the ball, as FB James Devlin, a key cog to this offense is out. WR’s Edelman, Gordon, and RB Burkhead look to all be playing Sunday, but are nursing some bumps and bruises from the previous week, and that’s not what you want going into a hard-hitting game against the Bills defense. Buffalo has had “some” success offensively; it took them three quarters to score against the Jets, they obviously had success versus the Giants defense (read above), but again, only mustered 17 points against a bottom half of the league defense in Cincinnati. New England is currently surrendering 3.5 yards per play and has only allowed 3 points total all year. We agree with the under move, but it’s imperative to get 21 or better.
Tampa Bay @ LA Rams 1H Under 24.5 (-120):
Yes, another first half under in a game where we’ve seen sharp money on the full game total. This time we head to LA, where the 3-0 Rams look to stay perfect against a 2-1, oops, scratch that, 1-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team (insert Jameis Winston’s face here as he saw that game winning field goal pushed right). When breaking down this game these two defenses have really excelled, especially Tampa under new DC Todd Bowles. Tampa is 7th in overall defensive efficiency, and the Rams are 4th, while the offenses haven’t been as hot (TB 26th, LAR 16th), which is something unexpected entering the season. The Rams offense looks to be working through early season kinks, and that is showing up in their 1st half production as they’ve only averaged 7.3 points per game in half one. Tampa’s defensive line has been phenomenal, ranking 3rd in adjusted (ADJ) line yards despite playing opponents who all rank in the Top 15 in offensive ADJ line yards. We’ve harped on this enough, but Jared Goff just isn’t “that guy” under pressure, and TB DE/LB Shaq Barrett is licking his chops as he looks to make a run at the sack title. Pro bettors expect another slow start from the Rams offense and likewise with Tampa and Jameis, as Wade Phillips has done an excellent job to start the year with his talented secondary. 24.5 will likely disappear.
Vegas Look-Ahead Lines for NFL Week 5:
LA Rams -1.5 @ Seattle
Baltimore -3 @ Pittsburgh
Chicago -6 vs. Oakland (London, England)
Cincinnati -4 vs. Arizona
Carolina -3 (-120) vs. Jacksonville
Minnesota -5.5 @ New York Giants
New England -13 @ Washington
Philadelphia vs. New York Jets (N/A – Sam Darnold)
New Orleans -6.5 vs. Tampa Bay
Houston -4.5 vs. Atlanta
Tennessee -1 vs. Buffalo
LA Chargers -6.5 vs. Denver
Dallas -4 vs. Green Bay
Kansas City -8.5 vs. Indianapolis
San Francisco -4 vs. Cleveland
BYE WEEK: Detroit, Miami