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NFL Week 5 picks: Jets beat Broncos, Giants overmatched in Carolina; Rams (lock of week), Chiefs get to 5-0

Sam Darnold and the Jets look to snap

Sam Darnold and the Jets look to snap a three-game losing streak when they take on the Broncos Sunday.  Credit: Getty Images/Jason Miller

With four NFL weeks in the books, you should have a good read on certain teams and situations. It’s still the most unpredictable league, though, so make sure not to overplay your hand.

Underdogs went 6-5-4 against the spread last week with four winning outright. That takes their season totals to 32-24-5 ATS with 21 wins. There should be a lot of close games this week.

My most confident picks ATS are the Rams, Vikings, Raiders, Redskins and Jets. Two games to avoid: Titans-Bills and Cowboys-Texans.

BRONCOS (2-2) AT JETS (1-3)

Pick’em; O/U: 42 1/2

TV: Ch. 2, 1 p.m.

When I retweeted the Week 5 lines Sunday night, the most-asked question I received was: Why are the Jets favored over the Broncos? I’m glad you asked. The game is a toss-up now, but this is the perfect spot for the Jets to snap a three-game skid, hosting a team that played Monday night and is making the long trip for the early start. Denver blew a 23-13 lead against the division-rival Chiefs, and that can take a lot out of a team. You have to think the embarrassing loss in Jacksonville will fuel the Jets, back home for just the second time this season. Sam Darnold has shown an ability to be mobile in the pocket, and he’s going to need to against Von Miller and that pass rush. Quincy Enunwa and the Jets’ receiving crew need to make some plays, and I think they will as Darnold finds a way to win a tight one.

The pick: Jets


Panthers by 6 1/2; O/U: 44

TV: Ch. 5, 1 p.m.

As was the case in Week 3, the Giants find themselves as a fairly big road underdog after a loss. Big Blue responded last time with a win in Houston, but it’s hard to see it happening in Carolina. The Panthers are rested off their bye and have won seven in a row at home, including sound wins over the Cowboys and Bengals this season. Cam Newton is 36-20 at home opposed to 28-27-1 on the road. The Giants haven’t hit the 30-point mark in a game since the 2015 regular-season finale . . . back when their current GM Dave Gettleman oversaw that 15-1 Panthers team. Pat Shurmur was supposed to fix the Giants’ offense but it’s still sputtering with 15, 13 and 18 points in the three losses. It won’t get going against Luke Kuechly and a solid Carolina defense. Lay the points as Christian McCaffrey and Newton have big days.

The pick: Panthers



Chiefs by 3; O/U: 48 1/2

It doesn’t get much better than this, as the NFL’s highest-scoring offense (36.2 points per game) takes on the league’s stingiest defense (14 ppg). Kansas City’s defense has struggled, allowing 28.8 ppg. Still, Patrick Mahomes (14 TDs, 0 INTs) and that electric Chiefs offense get the edge. This is only the second home game for Kansas City, and Arrowhead will be rocking. That’s a big plus against a Jacksonville team that hasn’t been on the road since Week 1.

The pick: Chiefs


Steelers by 3; O/U: 57 1/2

Before the season, this could’ve been circled as a potential Super Bowl preview. Now? It’s a battle between one-win teams. Atlanta, its defense ravaged by injuries, has lost two in a row despite scoring 37 and 36 points. Pittsburgh can’t stop anyone either so play the over . . . over and over again. Take the points in a close finish.

The pick: Falcons


Bengals by 5 1/2; O/U: 48 1/2

Something’s fishy about this line. Yes, the Dolphins were no-shows in a 38-7 loss at New England but that shouldn’t entirely erase their 3-0 start. Backing a team after a bad loss pays off. Check out this stat courtesy of OddsShark’s Joe Osborne: Since the start of last season, teams that lost by 20 or more are 34-22-3 ATS the following week. Miami will be in this game the whole way.

The pick: Dolphins

RAVENS (3-1) AT BROWNS (1-2-1)

Ravens by 3; O/U: 45 1/2

Cleveland COULD be 4-0 and SHOULD be 2-1-1 after last week’s controversial overturn in Oakland. The Browns (3-0-1 ATS) are improved but the Ravens (3-1 ATS) will be too much. Baker Mayfield will struggle against a Baltimore defense that hasn’t allowed a second-half touchdown this season and gets back its top cornerback in Jimmy Smith. Oh, and Joe Flacco is 17-2 all-time vs. the Browns.

The pick: Ravens

PACKERS (2-1-1) AT LIONS (1-3)

Pick’em; O/U: 51

It’s Thanksgiving in October as the NFC North rivals meet for the 178th time. Aaron Rodgers has owned the Lions with 13 wins in 16 meetings, but he isn’t 100 percent right now. Detroit sandwiched a dominant home win over the Patriots between road losses by three and two points, respectively. The Lions can’t afford to start 1-4, and with their bye week on deck, expect Matthew Stafford & Co. to put it all together for a thrilling win.

The pick: Lions

TITANS (3-1) AT BILLS (1-3)

Titans by 5; O/U: 39 1/2

These franchises have some dramatic playoff history, from “The Frank Reich Game” when the Bills rallied from 35-3 down to “The Music City Miracle” when the Titans’ kickoff return won it. Don’t expect as compelling a matchup this time. Tennessee has won three in a row, all as an underdog. Now it’s favored and this is a tricky spot. There could be a letdown for the Titans after beating the defending champs in OT, but I’m going to bank on Mike Vrabel having his team ready.

The pick: Titans


VIKINGS (1-2-1) AT EAGLES (2-2)

Eagles by 3; O/U: 46 1/2

This NFC Championship rematch has big early-season stakes. Minnesota is the more desperate team, and also more rested after putting up 31 points in a loss to the Rams last Thursday night. The Eagles played five quarters last Sunday in an OT loss at Tennessee. Kirk Cousins is 4-3 with 16 TDs to five INTs against the Eagles. Look for him to have success throwing to Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen as the Vikings, unlike in January, leave Philly feeling super after a big win.

The pick: Vikings


RAMS (4-0) AT SEAHAWKS (2-2)

Rams by 7; O/U: 50 1/2

Things change in the NFL about as fast as it takes Jared Goff to hit receivers in stride for perfect touchdown passes. OK, maybe not that fast. It wasn’t long ago (December 2016) that Goff, then a rookie, and the Rams were 15-point underdogs at Seattle. Now, they’re a touchdown favorite. Goff was 26-for-33 for 465 yards and five TDs in the 38-31 win over the Vikings last Thursday night as the Rams eclipsed the 30-point mark for the fourth straight game to open the season. With a trio of talented receivers and a star back in Todd Gurley, expect more of the same against a Seattle defense that lost Earl Thomas last week. Sean McVay is a master play caller and with extra time to prepare for this game, the Rams will put up another 30-spot with ease. L.A. won, 42-7, at Seattle last year. Look for that explosive Goffense to go off again.

The pick: Rams


Chargers by 5; O/U: 52 1/2

The Chargers face a fellow California team for the third straight week after splitting with the Rams and 49ers. Philip Rivers & Co. always seem to play tight games early in the season, so take the points with Derek Carr in a close division battle.

The pick: Raiders

CARDINALS (0-4) AT 49ERS (1-3)

49ers by 4; O/U: 40

The NFL’s lone winless team is desperate, and I’m willing to take a shot that Arizona can be competitive like last week’s last-second 20-17 loss to Seattle.

The pick: Cardinals



Texans by 3; O/U: 45 1/2

This battle of Texas is one of the toughest matchups to call. Houston is home, and coming off a thrilling OT win in Indianapolis. Dallas is 0-2 on the road, but take the points with Dak Prescott, who is 10-2 in prime time.

The pick: Cowboys



Saints by 6 1/2; O/U: 53

With the Redskins being on a bye last week and now playing on MNF, that means by the time this game kicks off, 27 teams will have already played their fifth game before Washington played its fourth. The Redskins beat Green Bay, 31-17, in Week 3, and Alex Smith and the offense will be ready for a shootout in the Big Easy. Washington will put up points against a beatable defense to earn the cover.

The pick: Redskins


(best bets in bold)


25-33-5 overall, 2-2 best bets

Last week: 7-4-4

Jets Panthers Chiefs Falcons

Dolphins Ravens Lions Titans

Vikings Rams Raiders

Cardinals Cowboys Redskins


24-34-5, 1-3

Last week: 5-6-4

Broncos Panthers Chiefs Steelers

Bengals Browns Packers Titans

Eagles Rams Chargers

49ers Cowboys Saints 


29-29-5, 3-1

Last week: 7-4-4

Broncos Giants Jaguars Steelers

Bengals Ravens Packers Titans

Vikings Rams Raiders

Cardinals Cowboys Saints


27-31-5, 2-2

Last week: 7-4-4

Jets Panthers Jaguars Steelers

Bengals Browns Lions Titans

Eagles Rams Chargers

Cardinals Texans Saints

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