Each Monday morning during the season, I’ll preview three games with spreads that I think will move by the end of the week. This article is designed to help you get the best odds possible by helping you to decide if you should place a bet early in the week or if you should wait to wager until closer to kickoff based on potential line movements. I’ll include any early week leans and wagers that I make in my write-ups.
Week 5 Opening Lines
Lines courtesy of Westgate SuperBook on Sunday night.
Byes: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5) at Chicago Bears
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-12)
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (no line) — Awaiting more Cam/COVID-19 news
Los Angeles Rams (-10) at Washington Football Team — Line moved to -9 by Monday morning
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6.5)
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills (no line) — Awaiting more COVID-19 news
Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at New York Jets
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-8.5) — Line moved to -7 by Monday morning
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-12)
Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers (no line) — San Francisco QB situation
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-8.5)
Indianapolis Colts (pick-em) at Cleveland Browns
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5)
Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints (-8)
New York Giants (0-4, 2-2 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-3, 0-4)
Opening Line: Cowboys -8.5
Recent Results: The Giants showed some actual fight on the field and they showed fight after the game with Golden Tate going after Jalen Ramsey, who is the father to two of Tate’s young nieces. New York lost 17-9 to the Rams but they grinded out a cover as 13.5-point road underdogs. The Giants entered the game with the worst rushing offense in the NFL, but they mustered 25/136 rushing against the Rams. The Cowboys are coming off yet another embarrassing defensive performance against the Browns in a 49-38 loss as 4.5-point home favorites. The Browns ran for 307 yards despite losing Nick Chubb in the first quarters while Dak Prescott posted another monster stat line with 502 passing yards and four TDs as they tried to catch up late.
Injuries/Developments to Follow: It wouldn’t be surprising to see both Tate and Jalen Ramsey face a one-game suspension this week after their fight last week. The Giants are already undermanned at wide receiver with Sterling Shepard already out of the lineup. S Jabrill Peppers will be in a race to return this week after initially suffering his high-ankle injury in Week 3. C Joe Looney left early in Dallas’ loss with a knee injury and Dallas benched RT Terence Steele so the Cowboys could be reshuffling their O-line this week.
Potential Line Movement: I think this line opening below double digits is a bit of an overreaction to last week’s results for both the Cowboys and the Giants. I’ll likely still have the Giants power rated as the league’s second-worst team despite their Week 4 cover against Los Angeles. Meanwhile, I had the Rams power rated slightly ahead of the Cowboys, but I don’t see a major difference between these teams in terms of point spreads after they played neck-and-neck in the season opener. The Rams closed as 13.5-point home favorites against the Giants while the Cowboys opened as 8.5-point home favorites against the Giants just one week later. I just don’t see a five-point difference between the Rams and the Cowboys. I think this line should be more in the 10-11 point range if we adjust for last week’s results so I think there’s some major value on the Cowboys side, which is rare in a marketplace that typically shades toward Dallas. I already bet on the Cowboys -9 on Monday morning since I expect this line to move closer to 10 points later this week. Giants backers should be in no rush to get to the window once again this week as they await those double-digit lines.
Arizona Cardinals (2-2, 2-2 ATS) vs. New York Jets (0-4, 0-4)
- Opening Line: Cardinals -7.5
- Recent Results: The Cardinals have come crashing back to earth after the first two weeks with consecutive losses to the Lions and Panthers as favorites. Kyler Murray averaged a pathetic 4.3 YPA in their 31-21 loss to Carolina as three-point home favorites. The Broncos went into MetLife Stadium with their third-string quarterback and beat the Jets 37-28 as one-point road underdogs. HC Adam Gase and DC Gregg Williams have lost total control of their roster after the Jets took six personal-foul penalties to aid the Broncos two-score victory.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: The Jets could get some offensive weapons back this week in the form of RB Le’Veon Bell (hamstring), WR Breshad Perriman (ankle), and WR Denzel Mims (hamstring). However, we’ll see if Sam Darnold is able to play this week after he gutted through a sprained shoulder that he suffered early in last Thursday’s game. Veteran Joe Flacco would be the next man up for the Jets, which would be a slight downgrade for New York. WRs DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) and Christian Kirk (groin) both played in Week 4 after entering Sunday as game-time decisions. No setbacks were reported so they should be in better shape for this week.
- Potential Line Movement: I’ve been an Arizona Cardinals spread whisper in the early going. I’ve won three Best Bets either backing the Cardinals (Week 1) or fading them (Weeks 3-4). I’m moving back to the Cardinals side this week as I’m full-on fading the Jets until they show the ability to cover a spread this season. This line actually moved to -6.5 on Monday morning and I already bet the Cardinals at -6.5 since I think this line could still move closer to double digits by the end of the week, especially if Flacco is forced to start in Week 5. The Jets could get some offensive firepower back this week, but I still only see this line moving up later in the week. There should be no sense of urgency to back the Jets this week or any week for that matter as their best numbers will be coming on the weekend after the Cardinals money comes in this week.
Cincinnati Bengals (1-2-1, 3-1 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (3-1, 2-2)
- Opening Line: Ravens -12.5
- Recent Results: Joe Burrow picked up his first career victory in a 33-25 win over the Jaguars as a one-point home favorite. This spring’s first overall pick became the first rookie quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in three straight games while Joe Mixon got off the schneid with a three-touchdown day. The Ravens either barely covered, pushed the spread, or blew the cover depending on when you wagered on Baltimore last week. After averaging 3.5 YPA against the Chiefs in Week 4, Lamar Jackson got back on track with two passing TDs and a rushing TD in their 31-17 victory over the Football Team as 14.5-point road favorites.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: It appears that both teams escaped Week 4 in relatively good shape with no major injuries to report. LT Ronnie Stanley will be in a race to be ready after missing last week with a shoulder injury — he didn’t practice Thursday or Friday. The Bengals won’t get DT Mike Daniels (elbow, IR) back this week, and they could use a healthy Geno Atkins on their defensive line against this Ravens rushing attack. He’s trending toward making his 2020 debut this week after finally getting limited practices last week with his shoulder injury.
- Potential Line Movement: This line is quickly moving toward a 14-point spread early in the week after the books moved too slow to move the Ravens to two-touchdown favorites last week. I would jump in now if you want to grab the Ravens before they reach that 14-point threshold this week. I’ll be waiting until later this week to snatch up +14s or better with my boy Joey “Covers” Burrow. Cincinnati’s ATS record is technically 3-1 but sharp bettors like us had Cincinnati at +3.5 against the Chargers in the season opener long before it closed at +2.5. The Ravens also showed in Week 4 they’ll pull Lamar Jackson early if they’re holding a three-score lead in the fourth quarter, which is notable going forward since the Ravens are going to be heavily favored in more contests going forward. Dwayne Haskins took advantage of the backdoor being open, and we’ve already seen Burrow go through the backdoor against the Browns in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football.