NFL Week 5 Opening Odds Analysis
Let’s take a look at a few games that are sure to draw bettors attention for Week 5. We will just be discussing the matchups. If you are looking for more concrete predictions and projections, be sure to check back throughout the week for our game picks.
All odds are courtesy of our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears
Odds: Buccaneers -5.5, O/U 44.5
Tampa Bay looked excellent in Week 4 behind Tom Brady’s five passing touchdowns. Not all was well, however, as the team lost O.J. Howard for the season with an Achilles injury. They also lost LeSean McCoy for what looks like a few weeks with an ankle injury. Still, seeing Brady battle back against one of the stronger defenses in the league (albeit down a few critical pieces in Derwin James and Chris Harris Jr.) suggests that he is finally getting comfortable with his new offense.
Chicago was 3-0 heading into Week 4, but against the Colts, even with Nick Foles under center, they looked like an 0-3 team. They were handed an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts, with a garbage-time score and a two-point conversion, making what should have been a 19-3 beatdown, a 19-11 final score. The Bears were without Tarik Cohen, but the offense was so bad against a defense that lost Darius Leonard mid-game that Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles are likely going to be debated by the coaching staff this week.
The -5.5 spread seems more than fair given what we have seen from these two teams this season. There should be perceived value on each side for home team bettors, while the sharps will definitely have a lean that will be moving this line, likely by Tuesday. Tampa Bay is 3-1-2 ATS in their last six contests overall. Chicago is 1-6 ATS in their last seven overall. The 44.5 over/under screams immediate value, so expect this line to look very different by the time we kick off Week 5. The over is 12-2 in the Buccaneers’ last 14 contests overall. However, the under is 9-2 in the Bears last 11 home contests.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Odds: Chiefs -11.5, O/U n/a
Las Vegas has looked good for most of the season but got a rude awakening against the Buffalo Bills. They were able to remain competitive at times throughout the contest. Still, there were others, like the late pick-six or their inability to stop Stefon Diggs, that showed that while they look like a team that can compete for a playoff spot, that they are nothing more a wild card hopeful with not much chance of actually contending. Las Vegas is dealing with some key injuries, most notably to hotshot rookie receivers (and starters) Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. Still, they are also missing another critical piece in starting right tackle Trent Brown.
Kansas City has yet to play their Week 4 contest, so there is no over/under assigned to this contest. The Chiefs have been excellent this season, but have already fallen into the trap of playing down to their opponent’s level at least once this season. With Cam Newton out, they may fall into the same trap, and then facing a depleted Raiders team may cause them to do the same. Patrick Mahomes remains an unbelievable quarterback capable of winning games (almost) by himself, but some offensive line issues have shown up on game day.
The -11.5 spread is sure to see some movement. Regardless of which side you happen to lean, your lean is likely to be definitive for this contest. As for key trends, Las Vegas is 2-5 ATS in their last seven contests overall. Kansas City is 6-0-1 in their last seven home contests. Expect this spread to look very different, heading into game time. The over/under, while not listed at FanDuel as of yet, is slated to open around the 56 point mark. However, any key injuries on Monday or a COVID cancellation could remove this game from the board.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks
Odds: Seahawks -7.5, O/U 57.5
The Minnesota Vikings have had a tumultuous season. They were able to move to 1-3 after picking up their first win of the season against the Houston Texans, but have so many struggles in their secondary that one wonders if they truly plan on competing this season. Anyone who was paying attention knew that their first and third-round rookie cornerbacks were instantly the top corners on their roster, a major problem for a team with designs on not just making the postseason but also competing. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has also been a major issue, as he entered Week 4 with five touchdowns to six interceptions. He was able to pull the ratio to 1:1 with a passing touchdown on Sunday. Cousins needs to improve to the point to where he can help the Vikings win games.
Seattle has been excellent this season. One of the only 4-0 teams in the NFL, they are powered by Russell Wilson, aka Mr. Unlimited, and the terrific play of wide receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Chris Carson found the end zone twice in a lower scoring contest than expected against the Miami Dolphins, proving that Wilson had no way to keep up the 72 passing touchdown pace he was on before Week 4. Jamal Adams will hope to make his return to the team in Week 5 after missing Week 4, and most of Week 3, with a groin injury, suffered against the Dallas Cowboys.
The -7.5 spread is about one point higher than expected but is understandable given that the books likely want to attract some inflated Seahawks action as well as some Vikings action for Week 5. The spread has not been kind to either team lately, with the Vikings going 2-6 ATS in their last eight contests as a road underdog, while the Seahawks have gone 2-6 ATS in their last eight contests as a home favorite. The over/under is quite high but is not totally shocking given how many points these two teams have surrendered this season. The over is 5-2 in the Vikings last seven road contests. The over is 7-3-1 in the Seahawks last 11 contests on field turf.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints
Odds: Saints -8.5, O/U 52
The Los Angeles Chargers have been granted new life under the guidance of Justin Herbert. Tyrod Taylor can be a serviceable stopgap that interests fantasy football players. Still, in real life, a team should always want its most talented quarterback out there, especially if that player gives the team the best chance to win. Los Angeles is now 1-3 on the season, and it is becoming fair to wonder if the Chargers should not go all-in on the ‘Suck for Sewell’ race. Los Angeles is without Derwin James, Austin Ekeler, and Chris Harris Jr. for the next 3-5 weeks minimum, so these key injuries could push the team in that direction.
The New Orleans Saints made do without Michael Thomas again for Week 4, but it would be a major surprise if he did not return to the field against the Chargers in Week 5. Drew Brees looked more comfortable without his star receiver, picking up his first win without his stud wideout since Thomas was drafted. Emmanuel Sanders is finally comfortable enough in the offense to make plays, and that takes a lot of the burden off of Alvin Kamara to carry the load. They will have a tough test in Week 5 against the Chargers still strong defense, but getting Michael Thomas means that New Orleans will have two starter caliber receivers for the first time since Brandin Cooks was traded years ago.
The -8.5 spread is quite a bit larger than many expected and is sure to attract action on both sides. With that being said, this number is destined to change and is actually (still?) listed at -7.5 elsewhere. FanDuel is one of the more responsive books, so perhaps sharp action has caused them to move off the initial -7.5 to -8.5 based on late evening and overnight action. The 52 point over/under seems more than fair for a dome game a week after both teams scored at least 31 points.