NFL Odds: Three Week 5 Betting Favorites To Avoid

And we're fading the Chargers again


October 4

There’s not a whole lot to say as we get set to enter Week 5 of the NFL season.

Among the notable storylines entering the week is the second of three London Series games kicking off Sunday when the Green Bay Packers make their first trip across the pond to take on the New York Giants. It looks like Kenny Pickett will make the first start of his career for the Pittsburgh Steelers and will have to go into Buffalo for a showdown with the Bills in order to do so. The game of the week probably comes Sunday night when the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens square off in a game with massive AFC North implications.

Half of this week’s games feature point spreads of a touchdown or higher, but the three favorites we’ve highlighted to avoid betting are all 4.5 points or shorter this week. Here are our three Week 5 betting favorites to avoid.

(-3) Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
Teddy Bridgewater is a capable backup with a good deal of starting experience in the NFL, so the Dolphins should be in pretty good position with him under center. He also has more than a full week to prepare as a starter. Yet, it’s still hard to throw support behind the veteran, whose arm strength lacks, and you do wonder whether he’ll be able to step in and have the same sort of chemistry with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle that Tua Tagovailoa had. On the other side, the Jets offense did show improvement in the first week with Zach Wilson under center. You do also wonder whether there might be some added motivation for that New York defense going up against Hill, who picked Miami over the Jets in the offseason. Would be quite a time for Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner to make an emphatic statement.

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(-4.5) Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys
There’s no way to circle this game without it looking like recency bias. The Cowboys had their way with Washington on Sunday, and the Rams looked borderline inept at San Francisco on Monday night. But there are legitimate issues with the Rams offense. It just isn’t clicking the way it did a year ago, and that’s in large part due to offensive line issues. Those protection problems have seemingly eradicated any comfort Matthew Stafford felt last year, and he looks like a shell of the player he was last season. Dallas, meanwhile, has one of the best pass defenses in the NFL with a solid pass rush that could further expose LA’s issues. The Cowboys also might have Dak Prescott back this week, too, although Cooper Rush has been a perfectly fine replacement in Prescott’s absence. And adding to all of that, it’s a short week for the Rams coming off a divisional game, and it’s unlikely they’ll have any tangible home-field advantage with the Cowboys and their fans in town.

(-3) Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns
It’s another tough schedule spot here for the Chargers, who were in Houston last week and now have to go back to Cleveland for an early kick. Will it matter? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s not exactly advantageous for Brandon Staley’s team, so it is something to consider. The bigger issue, though, might be the LA run defense. The Chargers rank 31st in rushing yards allowed per attempt, 28th in rushing EPA allowed and 18th in rush defense DVOA. Cleveland, meanwhile, has the NFL’s most efficient rushing attack. The Browns certainly will need to control the pace and way this game is played considering their own defensive shortcomings. This is more about staying away from the Chargers than it is buying into the Browns, though.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images

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