Our 2017 NFL Week 5 preview could provide watershed games for more than one NFL team. The action starts on Thursday when the New England Patriots travel to Tampa to battle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Check out my NFL Week 5 Preview!
2017 NFL Week 5 Preview
New England Patriots -5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers +5
I’m just not sold on New England’s defense. The Pats allow over 460 yards per game on average. Tampa Bay has a solid offense. QB Jameis Winston threw 3 TD passes versus a better secondary, the New York Giants’, in Week 4. With that being written, Pats’ QB Tom Brady is deadly after a loss. Not only that, but the Buccaneers’ defense is banged up. New England should win this game by at least 10 points.
Pick: New England Patriots -5
New York Jets +1.5 at Cleveland Browns -1.5
I don’t understand this spread. Not at all. Think about it. The Browns’ offense is one of the worst in the NFL. The defense is also one of the worst in the NFL. Jets’ strong safety Jamal Adams and free safety Marcus Maye should dominate Cleveland’s offense. This is a best pick if there ever was one.
Best Pick: New York Jets +1.5
Jacksonville Jaguars +8.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers -8.5
Pittsburgh looked great when beating Baltimore 26 to 9 in Week 4. The Steelers finally got RB Le’Veon Bell on track. Most NFL handicappers are taking the 8.5 points on Jacksonville. I’m not. I believe that Bell has his way with the Jaguars’ rush defense. I like Pittsburgh to blow out the Jags.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -8.5
Buffalo Bills +3 at Cincinnati Bengals -3
Buffalo’s offense isn’t that bad. Cincinnati’s offense isn’t bad, either. The difference in this game? Buffalo’s defense. The Bills allow 13.5 points per game. That ranks first in the NFL. Cincinnati’s defense allows 16.8 points per game. That ranks third in the NFL. Cincinnati’s defensive ranking came in their last against the Cleveland Browns while Buffalo’s defensive ranking came against Atlanta.
Best Pick: Buffalo Bills +3
Tennessee Titans -1 at Miami Dolphins +1
The Titans secondary is so awful that I have no doubt that Miami QB Jay Cutler tears it up with passes to good wide receiver Devante Parker. The Dolphins’ offense should finally get on track. Any secondary that allows a rookie QB to throw 5 TDs against it is terrible. The Titans might have a second issue if QB Marcus Mariota can’t go.
Best Pick: Miami Dolphins +1
San Francisco 49’ers +1.5 at Indianapolis Colts -1.5
The Colts are favored over the 49’ers. Why? No, seriously. Indianapolis might audition centers this week because Ryan Kelley is still banged up and Deyshawn Boyd is out for the season. San Francisco has lost by 3 points this season to the Seahawks and Cardinals. They lost by only 2 points to the L.A. Rams.
Best Pick: San Francisco 49’ers +1.5
Arizona Cardinals +6.5 at Philadelphia Eagles -6.5
The Eagles should have no trouble beating up Arizona at home, right? I don’t know. The matchup actually favors Arizona. Philly’s defense isn’t as great as the Eagles’ 3 to 1 record might indicate. Opponents pass for 285 yards per game against Philly’s secondary. That ranks 30th in the NFL. I’m taking the 6.5 points.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals +6.5
L.A. Chargers +3.5 at New York Giants -3.5
The Giants have no rushing attack. The Giants’ defense is full of veteran players who end up gassed by the middle of the third quarter. The L.A. Chargers want to play outside of Carson, California. Playing in front of 25, 300 fans for every home game is deflating. More Charger fans are likely to show up in New York than what the home team has been seeing in Carson. I think Bolts’ QB Phillip Rivers takes apart a tired Giants’ secondary while Bolts’ DE Joey Bosa is in Eli Manning’s face all afternoon. I like San Diego, err, Carson, err, L.A. against the spread.
Pick: L.A. Chargers +3.5
Carolina Panthers +3 at Detroit Lions -3
At the end of the NFL Regular Season, we could all look back at this game as one of the most important games in the National Football Conference. Carolina is 3 and 1. Detroit is 3 and 1. Who wins in what I believe is the most important game in the NFC so far this season? I think Detroit wins, and I think the Lions win by at least 6 points.
I didn’t just come up that opinion. Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense was great in Week 4. Any time you can outscore the New England Patriots, you’re doing a good job. But, I don’t believe the Panthers and Cam can get close to being as effective on offense versus Detroit’s defense this Sunday.
Detroit allows an average of 17.5 points per game. I like the Lions to easily handle Carolina’s offense while it’s hard to find a QB in the NFL that’s playing better than Lions’ signal-caller Matthew Stafford.
Pick: Detroit Lions -3
Seattle Seahawks +2.5 at L.A. Rams -2.5
If Seattle has any hopes of winning the NFC West, they must beat the L.A. Rams in the Coliseum in Week 5. Seattle can’t continue to mess around. The problem the Seahawks have to beating the Rams straight up this Sunday is two-fold. First, the Rams almost always beat the Seahawks at least once every season. Even when the Rams were awful, which wasn’t too long ago, they managed to beat Seattle at least once every season.
Second, LAR averages 35.5 points per game. Seattle gave up 33 points to the Tennessee Titans 2 games ago. I think the Rams roll the Hawks in this matchup.
Best Pick: L.A. Rams -2.5
Baltimore Ravens +2.5 at Oakland Raiders -2.5
The Ravens must do something to break the 2-game losing streak. The only thing I believe Baltimore can do is give the football to RB Alex Collins at least 20 times a game. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco won’t settle down until the Ravens have established the run. Also, allowing Collins to rush the football should allow Flacco to throw the ball deep.
The Raiders should win this game. Without QB Derek Carr, who’s out at least 2 weeks with a back injury, Oakland won’t. I think Baltimore finally gets back to playing decent football.
Pick: Baltimore Ravens +2.5
Green Bay Packers +2 at Dallas Cowboys -2
I see this as a bad matchup for the 2 and 2 Cowboys. Dallas’ defense was terrible versus Denver, just okay versus Arizona, and horrible versus the L.A. Rams. Green Bay’s offense is more like the Rams’ offense than it is like Arizona’s or Denver’s. The Packers should score at will while the Cowboys might have trouble rushing the football against an underrated Green Bay defense. This is a best pick.
Best Pick: Green Bay Packers +2
Kansas City Chiefs -1.5 at Houston Texans +1.5
Kansas City over Houston is a best pick from my point-of-view. Texans’ QB DeShaun Watson should come back down to earth after his 5 TD performance versus the Tennessee Titans. Kansas City QB Alex Smith is playing at an MVP-like level while no team can contain RB Kareem Hunt.
Best Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -1.5
Minnesota Vikings -3 at Chicago Bears +3
Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook is out with a torn ACL. Cook had been working towards a possible NFL Rookie of the Year Award. Minnesota is a good enough team to get past the loss of Cook. RB Latavius Murray had some big games as an Oakland Raiders’ running back the past couple of of seasons.
The big question regarding Minnesota is whether QB Sam Bradford plays or not. If Bradford plays, the Vikings should beat Chicago by at least 10 points. If Bradford doesn’t play, Chicago has an outside shot of upsetting the Vikings.
What I’ve noticed is that Chicago’s offense is much more effective at home than it is on the road. That could be truer this week because Chicago Round 1 pick QB Mitch Trubisky gets the call. Trubisky figures to lean on WR Kendall Wright. I like the Bears.
Pick: Chicago Bears +3