The NFL season marches on for Week 5 action, as plenty of intriguing matches could go either way. Some teams are trying to establish themselves as dominating forces in their division, while others are hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive already this early in the season.
Sunday action kicks off with the first international game in two seasons. From there, a full slate of games fills up Sunday, capping off with Colts-Ravens under the lights. Here’s a look at all of the Sunday games, with NFL picks against the spread.
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City
Kansas City Chiefs -2.5
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Last year, these two teams faced off in the AFC Championship game. There’s still a chance that it happens this year as well, even if there have been some rough patches for both sides. Patrick Mahomes is still in the running for MVP, but he will have his hands full going up against a defense that is as good as any in the NFL.
The key here will be how Mahomes handles the defense. Buffalo already has a pair of shutouts, and they have 11 takeaways to lead the NFL right now. Limiting the passing game, and specifically limiting Tyreek Hill, could give them the slight upset victory. Even if it ends up being a close game, Buffalo seems like the perfect pick against the spread in a tight one.
Pick: Buffalo Bills +2.5
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers -1.5
The Browns head to the West Coast to face a very tough team in the Los Angeles Chargers. Both teams enter the game 3-1, but will Cleveland continue their strong running game? They currently lead the league in rushing yards per game at 177, and the Chargers are not particularly great at limiting rushes as well.
Another reason why Cleveland seems like the better pick is that their defense has been getting after the quarterback. Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney have led the charge for a total of 14 sacks this season, which is second in the NFL.
Justin Herbert has been great, but he’ll face a very tough challenge this Sunday. It will be a close one, but Cleveland has a great opportunity to pick up a solid road victory.
Pick: Browns +1.5
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals -5.5
A surprising 4-0 start for the Arizona Cardinals has them as a pretty solid favorite over the visiting San Francisco 49ers. Another problem for the 49ers is that they could likely start Trey Lance, as Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a calf injury last week.
Regardless of who starts, it really comes down to whether or not Arizona can keep putting points up on the board. They are leading the NFL with 35 points per game, and they beat up on a pretty good Rams defense last week. The line is under a touchdown right now, and it seems like it might only get bigger if injury issues bite San Francisco.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals -5.5
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers -3.5
The Bengals welcome a very tough test in the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. It will be a challenge to see whether or not Cincinnati is for real. In week one against the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay looked completely lost but reeled off three straight victories heading to Cincinnati.
The defense for Cincinnati should be a strong test for Rodgers, but it’s always very difficult to go against a much more seasoned side. So far, Joe Burrow has been pretty consistent for Cincinnati, but Green Bay poses a different type of challenge. The Packers are favorites on the road, but look for them to win by at least a touchdown. That makes them a pretty easy pick against the spread.
Pick: Green Bay Packers -3.5
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants -7
One of the biggest rivalries in the NFL is not a marquee game this Sunday, mostly because the Giants have looked lost. They are 1-3 on the year, and a visit to Dallas is likely going to be another tough matchup. With that being said, a rivalry game can sometimes be pretty close, and a seven-point spread seems large.
Dallas is a playoff contender this year for sure, but there are still questions about their defense. Going up against Saquon Barkley, who will likely get a lot of touches on the ground, could be their biggest challenge yet. Take the New York Giants to keep it close enough to potentially pull off a victory, but ultimately come up short.
Pick: New York Giants -7
New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons, London
Atlanta Falcons -3.5
For the first time since 2019, the NFL returns to London. They aren’t exactly getting the best matchup, as both teams enter with 1-3 records. Since it seems unlikely that either will be a playoff contender, this could play a role in the draft position.
It’s always very tough to make picks for the overseas games, as not every team takes the game particularly seriously. With that being said, Atlanta has a bit more talent, including some skillful offensive players who will help them score too many points. Take the Falcons to win and cover.
Pick: Atlanta Falcons -3.5
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans -4.5
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been an absolute mess so far this regular season. Not only are they winless, but their coach Urban Meyer is under some fire for his behavior off the field. It already seems as though the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t really care about winning at all this year, and they’re looking forward to the draft.
Tennessee only enters as a 4.5-point favorite, which doesn’t seem like enough. It’s not as if Tennessee is a juggernaut team themselves, but they are better than what they showed when going up against the New York Jets.
Look for the Titans to win by at least a touchdown, and maybe more. Jacksonville doesn’t really seem that dedicated to making a push this season.
Pick: Tennessee Titans -4.5
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers -3.5
A lot of football fans are pretty high on the Carolina Panthers so far this year. That means that they should be able to handle the Philadelphia Eagles, who have limped out to a 1-3 start. However, at second glance, the Panthers might not be as good as their record shows. Jalen Hurts will face a pretty good test when going up against Philadelphia, and it could be too much for him to handle.
Philadelphia could gain an edge by following the game plan that others have started to use on Hurts. The Eagles also have a pair of tight ends who can tear apart the defense for Carolina, putting them on upset alert. Philadelphia enters as a 3.5 underdog, but look for them to win outright.
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles +3.5
Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders -5.5
The offense for the Chicago Bears has looked lost so far this year. It seems like a huge work in progress, and the decision of starting quarterback is up in the air. Their defense is good enough to keep them in the game, but can they keep it close against the Las Vegas Raiders?
Expect Las Vegas to win outright, but covering the spread will be a bit tougher. They barely get the job done, but this is one of the toughest matchups to pick in Week Five. Giving 5.5 points does a lot for a team that has not exactly blown out an opponent so far this year.
Pick: Las Vegas Raiders -5.5
New England Patriots at Houston Texans
New England Patriots -9.5
After such an anticipated matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, the New England Patriots hit the road to take on a Houston Texas team that has been a disaster. Some might think there could be a bit of a letdown, especially when looking at a spread of 9.5, but New England knows how to approach a matchup like this.
It also doesn’t hurt that Houston is already handling the season like they are trying to play for the number one draft pick. Look for a double-digit victory for the New England Patriots on the road, as quarterback Matt Jones starts to gain more and more experience.
Pick: New England Patriots -9.5
New Orleans Saints at Washington football team
New Orleans Saints -1.5
This figures to be one of the closest games on Sunday, and the spread certainly agrees. The Saints are a slight favorite on the road, but this is essentially a tossup. The only reason why New Orleans is favored is that Washington’s defense has been dreadful so far this year. Even though New Orleans hasn’t been lighting the field on fire on offense, they still should be able to put up some points against Washington.
Until New Orleans figures out what exactly they are doing with the quarterback position, it’s hard to pick them every week. When in doubt, it’s always best to go with the home team, and since they are the underdog, it’s really a no brainer. Take Washington in this matchup.
Pick: Washington +1.5
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers -1.5
With the Pittsburgh Steelers in desperation mode after starting 1-3, it just seems like they are going to get this done any way possible. Denver has plenty of problems of their own, as they are trying to figure out who will be the quarterback to lead them going forward.
Ben Roethlisberger is just not the same quarterback he was in the past, and it’s very apparent that they are going to have to count on their defense and a ground game to get the win. Najee Harris certainly seems up to the task as a rookie so far, and he’ll be the reason why the Steelers win and cover on Sunday.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -1.5
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings -7.5
The Detroit Lions have felt helpless on defense so far this year, which is bad news when going up against the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota has been able to feast on poor defensive teams, and veteran Kirk cousins should be able to dice them up.
Another thing working against the Detroit Lions is that their quarterback Jared Goff will be missing some of his favorite targets. That hurts any chances of Detroit pulling an upset win.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings -7.5
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens -7
The offensive firepower of the Baltimore Ravens should be able to do what they want against the Indianapolis Colts. Yes, they still have Lamar Jackson to get a lot of things done on the ground, but the passing game is also starting to come along. Indianapolis relies heavily on the run, but when they fall behind, it will put pressure on them to climb back with Carson Wentz. He doesn’t seem capable of orchestrating marches down the field with throws this year.
Wentz isn’t terrible, but Baltimore will be able to contain him enough to cruise for a pretty easy victory. Baltimore is favored by touchdown, but winning by more than that should be relatively easy at home.