by Mark Mayer | As Week 5 begins, the three unbeaten teams remaining are all in action. The Super Bowl champion New York Giants would seem to have the easiest test as a 7-point favorite at home against Seattle. Buffalo and Tennessee will have to keep their perfect marks alive in road action. The Bills are a 2-point underdog at Arizona, while the Titans are a 2 1/2-point favorite at Baltimore.
Only two of the 14 games on the slate involve teams giving more than a touchdown. One is in Dallas, where the Cowboys are a 16-point favorite against the winless Cincinnati Bengals. Look for Cowboys running backs Marion Barber and Felix Jones to be much more prominent in an attack that basically pass happy in last weeks 26-24 loss to Washington. For Cincinnati, QB Carson Palmer is slated to start and wide receiver Chris Henry returns after sitting out a four-game league suspension.
The other heavy favorite is Carolina, who opened at 11 and now giving 9½ points to the Kansas City Chiefs. Last week the Chiefs were an 8-point home underdog to Denver and won outright 33-19 as Larry Johnson rushed for a season high 197 yards. The Panthers are 3-1 overall and 2-1 against the spread. Six games have a margin of three points or less, including the Monday night matchup between New Orleans and Minnesota. The host Saints are a 3-point favorite at the Superdome.
From a spread standpoint, the most interesting contest is the Titans-Ravens clash in Baltimore. Both teams are perfect against the spread Tennessee 4-0, Baltimore 3-0. Other top teams against the number are the Eagles (3-1), Saints (3-1), Bills (3-1) and Redskins (3-1). The Rams (0-4) and Lions (0-3) have been the biggest losers at the ticket window. Other teams youve lost money on backing thus far include the Jaguars (1-3), Vikings (1-3) and Bengals (1-3). New England, Indianapolis and San Diego, considered the elite of the AFC in preseason, are just 4-6 ATS.
Teams sitting it out this week are the New York Jets, Cleveland, Oakland and St. Louis. The Browns will host the Giants a week from Monday. For those who like to play hunches involving teams making management changes, this is the first game for Detroit without fired GM Matt Millen. The Lions are a 3 1/2-point home underdog to Chicago.