NFL Week 5 Sharp Report
We’ve reached the quarter-pole of the NFL season, and some definable trends are surfacing despite the small sample size. One thing is for certain, the favorites and overs have been ruling the day thus far.
Through the first four weeks, home-favorites of 4.5 points or more are covering the number 63% of the time (12-7 ATS). To put that in historical context, in the first four weeks of 2015-19, those same favorites beat the spread just 45% of the time (49-60).
The reasoning here goes against the narrative that home teams will be devalued this season because of the lack of fans. The strict traveling protocols could be contributing to the road teams having issues covering the numbers, but I think the answer is simpler than that. Home teams favored by over 4.5 points tend to be the better teams with better quarterbacks, and those teams obviously have the advantage every week. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Now, this could turn on a dime, and the “sharper” underdogs could start barking, but we have not yet seen that after four weeks of results. That being said, we do have some significant line movement to report this week, which could be construed as sharp money.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Carolina somehow opened as a 3.5-point underdog against the lowly Falcons, but the line quickly swung across the key number and is approaching zero. Atlanta’s defense has devolved into a totally untrustable unit; meanwhile, the injuries keep piling up. The Falcons rank 31st in passing yards allowed per game and are near the bottom in sacks and red-zone defense.
Meanwhile, Carolina’s defense has turned into a solid unit, ranking top 10 against the pass and third in sacks. The Panthers have also been opportunistic and rank sixth in takeaways. The Falcons locker room is also a concern as the team showed minimal fight in Monday night’s loss to the Packers. It’s impossible to back Atlanta here, so the movement matches the narrative.
The Bet: Panthers +1.5
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers
Sometimes being sharp is all about getting ahead of the number. We received some strong intel this week from our own Dr. Chao that Jimmy Garoppolo would play this week, allowing us to get ahead of the number with the 49ers laying 8.5 points.
On Friday, that news was confirmed, pushing the line up to 49ers -9. I expect it to continue to inch higher throughout the weekend. This will be the first game that Jimmy G will have his full complement of weapons with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Ayuik, and Raheem Mostert, all expected to suit up.
They will be facing a Dolphins secondary that ranks 28th against the pass and Kyle Shanahan should be aggressive early with his play-calling. On the other side, Ryan Fitzpatrick is on thin ice as the Dolphins starting quarterback with Tua looming.
Overall, this is a bad spot for Miami coming west and facing a 49ers team that should be very focused coming off a loss.
The Bet: 49ers -8.5
Week 5 NFL Trends
- Overall: 36-26-1 O/U
- Divisional games: 11-4 O/U
- Early games: 28-7 O/U
- Afternoon games: 2-11-1 O/U
- Primetime O/U: 6-8 O/U
Winning team covers spread: 49-12-2 (80.3%)
Home favorites of -4.5 or more through 4 weeks:
2020: 12-7 ATS (63%)
2015-19: 49-60 ATS (45%)
Home favorite of -4.5 or more this week: Texans, Chiefs, Steelers, Ravens, 49ers, Cowboys, Seahawks