At the beginning of the season, I outlined some of my favorite NFL betting strategies. For NFL Week 5, we’ll revisit a few of those concepts, make a few picks, and try to win some money.
We didn’t have much luck last week, as Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars fumbled away a backdoor cover, but we’re still up through four weeks. Nothing to do now but look for the next betting opportunity.
And with that, here are my NFL Week 5 betting tips and strategies.
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NFL Week 5: Take the Free Points
Miami Dolphins -3 vs New York Jets
The Miami Dolphins will be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after he suffered two devastating hits in back-to-back games. The young star was clearly concussed in the Dolphins Week 3 win against the Bills yet was cleared to play in the Dolphins Week 4 loss to the Bengals. An independent medical member working for the Dolphins has since been fired, but the repercussions should extend higher into the organization. Team doctors, coaching staff, and executives should be fined, suspended, and dealt with accordingly for risking this young man’s life.
Tagovailoa is expected to miss significant playing time, and the Dolphins turn to backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He isn’t a household name like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. He isn’t a flashy player like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, or Lamar Jackson. But he’s an absolute BEAST against the spread. So much so, the man is affectionately known in the sports betting world as Teddy Covers!
Bridgewater is 42-21 lifetime ATS, good for a 66.6% success rate. His numbers on the road are even better, going 24-6 ATS lifetime in road games. Covering bets 80% of the time is good, right?
Yes, it is.
This point spread opened as Dolphins -6 but dropped three points with the Tagovailoa injury news. Bridgewater is a slight downgrade to be sure, but a three-point shift against the New York Jets? I don’t buy it. Bridgewater threw for 193 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals last week, starting with an absolute dart for 20 yards on his very first pass. The guy can play.
Against a leaky Jets defense that barely escaped against the terrible Pittsburgh Steelers, I love the Dolphins in this spot. They’ll be well rested after playing last Thursday, and Tyreek Hill should absolutely destroy this Jets secondary.
When the point spread shifts and offers you free points, you take them. Grab Dolphins -3 before it moves off this key number.
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NFL Week 5: Protect the Bankroll
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills -14
Speaking of those terrible Pittsburgh Steelers…
Mitch Trubisky has lost his starting job after three and a half games of uninspired football. Kenny Pickett has been announced as the Steelers starting quarterback for this NFL Week 5 matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills will likely improve to 4-1 on the season in this NFL Week 5 mismatch. Buffalo is laying two touchdowns at home against the Steelers and while they’re the clearly better team, I’m having a hard time with this huge point spread.
Steelers head doach Mike Tomlin has thrived as an underdog in his career, going 48-26-3 ATS for a 63% success rate with Pittsburgh. With their season on the line and a rookie quarterback looking to make an impression, the Steelers will be the more motivated team.
The Bills, on the other hand, are in a prime spot for a letdown game here against an inferior opponent. Josh Allen and company are fresh off a thrilling 23-20 comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens (which was delightful for both my Bills division futures bet AND my Ravens +3.5 wager) and might be overlooking this one.
Having said that… the Steelers remain terrible.
Sometimes the best bets are the ones you don’t make. We’ve seen plenty of upsets this year and I’m not interested in laying fourteen points. I also refuse to put money at risk backing the Steelers.
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NFL Week 5 Underdog
Atlanta Falcons +9 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Don’t look now, but the Atlanta Falcons are 4-0!
… against the spread.
The Falcons have done better than most pre-season projections. They’ve managed a 2-2 record through four weeks and currently rank eighth in total offense generated this season. With so many variables in the NFC, it’s not too bold to think the Falcons could sneak into the wild card picture. They run a quick offense and have managed to keep games close.
On the other side of the ball, the Buccaneers will be a popular pick in NFL Week 5. Tom Brady is the guy everyone wants to bet on come Sunday and this line feels inflated because of it. The Bucs put up 31 points in a losing effort to the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football but had failed to score more than 20 in their other three games. Against a Falcons team that plays fast football and can score in bunches, this number is a little too high.
One of the best betting strategies is to fade the public and with everyone picking the Bucs for a bounceback here, there’s value in grabbing the Falcons +9. I’d play this down to +7 but wouldn’t be interested below that key number.
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NFL Week 5 Teasers
Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings (-1)
Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-1)
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-1)
After a few NFL weeks without a ton of teaser options, we’ve got a slew of candidates for NFL Week 5.
A quick recap on teasers:
- Always Cross Two Important Numbers
- Never Cross Zero
- Never Tease Totals
The best six-point teasers include a 7.5- to 8.5-point favorite that gets teased down to -1.5 to -2.5. Likewise, teasing a +1.5 to +2.5 underdog up to a +7.5 or +8.5 is what you want. In both instances, we’re crossing key numbers of 3 and 7.
Teasing the Vikings, Jaguars, and Chiefs down this week adheres to each of the three rules. Each of these favorites has a substantial edge in team talent and should have no trouble against inferior opponents. They’ll each also be playing in front of their home crowds which only adds to the advantage here.
The Packers are another leg to consider adding as they fit the three teaser rules. I just need to see a better effort than last week’s sloppy win against the Patriots before making another wager on them.