Written By Billy Attridge
NFL Week 5 isn’t the most exciting slate of games, but they do appear competitive; 11 of the 15 matchups have spreads of 5 points or less. We’ll look to see if Atlanta has any fight left for their trek to Houston, there’s also a total out west you should keep an eye on, and we’ll discuss the lone 4:25pm game in Dallas. Before investing your money this weekend, find out why these lines have moved. As always, we conclude by revealing the Vegas look-ahead lines for NFL Week 6!
Atlanta Falcons +5 (-105) @ Houston Texans:
We open in the heart of Texas with a dead number and a Falcons team in desperation mode after dropping a home game to Tennessee last week. This number opened Houston -3.5 at Fox Bet, and we’ve seen it tick out to 5, but I wouldn’t expect this number to climb any higher. The perception of Atlanta is they’re a dead “team” walking, with head coach Dan Quinn leading the charge. While true, that perception is 100% factored into the number. Atlanta has faced one of the toughest schedules of opposing offenses thus far (4th), and it doesn’t get much easier this week with Deshaun Watson, but there is hope. The Texans have done a really nice job running the football this year (3rd in Rushing Success rate), but that is where Atlanta has excelled on defense (6th in Defensive Rushing Success rate). Houston has done that against the 9th easiest slate of opposing defenses, while, as stated above, Atlanta has had to face Minnesota, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and the Titans; all tout powerful run games. This feels like the season for Atlanta, and we shall see if they’re passing offense can get on track against a Houston secondary ranked 20th in passing success rate. Everyone is selling Atlanta, which means it might be time to buy. This number will drop.
Denver Broncos @ LA Chargers Over 44 (-110):
Denver is one of the most interesting teams in the NFL this year; they’ve played really competitive football, but have 0 wins to show for it. The narrative coming into the season was Denver would lean on a strong Vic Fangio defense, and pray to the heavens Joe Flacco could manage the offensive side of the ball. The results couldn’t have been any different so far, as the defense, despite facing the 10th easiest schedule of opposing offenses, has struggled getting any pressure or push from the defensive line (29th in adjusted line yards, 30th in adjusted sack rate), and now has to deal with losing one of their most talented players in Bradley Chubb (torn ACL). On the opposite side of the ball, the Broncos offense has gone against the 9th toughest schedule of opposing defenses, but is Top 11 in both offensive rushing and passing success rate. Now Flacco and momentum-gaining Denver offense face a Chargers defense that’s been hit by the injury bug, and boy do the metrics indicate the injuries have caught up (25th and 29th in defensive rush and pass success rate). Mind you, that’s with the Chargers defense playing the 12th easiest schedule of offenses so far. This total opened 44 (a key number), and should continue to tick up as we inch closer to game-day.
Green Bay Packers +3.5 (-110) @ Dallas Cowboys:
In one of the more anticipated matchups Sunday, we get to see two Super Bowl contenders go at it, as Green Bay travels to Dallas off their TNF loss to Philadelphia. Green Bay has had ample time to rest, and looks to get back stud DE/LB Za’Darius Smith, who should wreck havoc on a Dallas OL that is without their best piece in LT Tyron Smith. Dallas has looked awesome on the offensive side of the ball, but they’ve played the easiest schedule of opposing defenses thus far, and we saw a little chink the armor last week against the Saints, as the Cowboys seemed extremely conservative compared to the first 3 weeks. Dallas gets to face a Packers defense that’s been very poor against the run (dead last in defensive rush success rate), but extremely strong defending the pass (4th). Philadelphia exposed the Pack on the ground, and it would appear Dallas should have the same ability, but the loss of Smith on the OL is MASSIVE, and I believe Green Bay can stack the box and challenge Dak to beat their talented secondary. This number opened 4 at Fox Bet, and we’ve seen that number disappear. If Green Bay’s OT Bulaga is a full-go (limited on Wednesday), this number should come down to 3.
Vegas Look-Ahead Lines for NFL Week 6:
New England -14 vs. New York Giants
Carolina -1 vs. Tampa Bay (London, England)
Baltimore -8.5 vs. Cincinnati
Cleveland -2 vs. Seattle
Kansas City -8.5 vs. Houston
Jacksonville -1 vs New Orleans
Minnesota -3 (EVEN) vs. Philadelphia
Washington -6.5 @ Miami
Los Angeles Rams -5.5 vs. San Francisco
Atlanta -2.5 @ Arizona
New York Jets vs. Dallas (N/A – Sam Darnold)
Denver -1 vs. Tennessee
Los Angeles Chargers -5.5 vs. Pittsburgh
Green Bay -6 vs. Detroit
BYE WEEK: Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis, Oakland