NFL Picks Week #5 (2021 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #5)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Wednesday October 5th, 2021 at 1 PM Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
Oh my God! After going a perfect 4-0 in Week #3, we followed up with a 3-0 record last week.
So far in the 2021 NFL season, we have posted an incredible 13-2-1 record against the spread (ATS) in this weekly write-up.
If you add the recommended wagers on totals and the prop bets I have sent out to the paid members on my Patreon page, we have generated 27 wins, 6 losses and 1 tie, an 81.8% winning percentage!
Last week, I got bashed for taking the New York Jets, especially as a 4-star pick. Let me quote what I said:
“Some people will truly believe I’m crazy, but I’m going to take it a notch further by claiming the Jets have a reasonable chance of winning this game outright.”
When it was all said and done, the Jets had pulled off a 27-24 overtime victory in front of their home crowd against the Tennessee Titans.
On the menu this week I’ve got 3 official picks for you.. As a bonus, I am also going to share 3 leans.
PICK #1 (4 STARS): PHILADELPHIA EAGLES +4 AT CAROLINA PANTHERS
The public’s perception, based on the current standings, is that the Panthers are clearly a better team than the Eagles. I’m not so sure of it.
Philadelphia opened the season with a bang by crushing the Falcons on the road. Then, they lost their following three games but look at the quality of the opponents: the 49ers, the Cowboys and the Chiefs.
Meanwhile, Carolina did the exact opposite by winning their first three meetings before losing to Dallas last week. Again, let’s have a peak at the opponents they beat: the Jets, the Saints and the Texans. Two of those teams are among the league’s worst teams, while New Orleans can either be great or bad.
Also, many of you may be surprised to hear that the Eagles lead the league in rushing yards per attempt. That matches up very well against Carolina’s run defense that ranks 23rd in yards per rush average allowed.
Both Eagles’ tackles, Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, are questionable to play, which is definitely a source of concern to me. On Carolina’s side, star running back Christian McCaffrey is doubtful to play as of Tuesday afternoon, which is when I wrote this article.
Some past trends about the Eagles made me doubt this pick. For example, they have covered the spread just once in the last six occasions where they were road underdogs. However, there are also many trends about the Panthers that suggest they are a bad bet this week. Just to name a few, Carolina has a 4-9-1 record against the spread in their last 14 home games, and they have failed to beat the spread five straight times when hosting a game against a team with a losing record.
In short, I believe the Eagles are just as good as the Panthers, especially when McCaffrey is out. They could very well win this game outright, so I’m going to grab Philly as a 4-point underdog as my best bet in Week #5 in the NFL.
PICK #2 (3 STARS): CLEVELAND BROWNS +2 AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Is it possible that the Chargers experience a bit of a letdown game after such a critical win over their archrivals, the Raiders, on primetime television? I think so. Moreover, L.A. loses one day of rest and preparation after playing the Monday nighter.
We all know how good Cleveland’s running game is with its two-headed monster made up of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. That’s awful news for Chargers fans since they are dead last in terms of average rushing yards allowed per carry. The Browns should be able to bully them in a big way. Football is a game of matchups, and this represents a huge mismatch in favor of Cleveland.
Here are some additional numbers backing this pick:
- The Browns are 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings against the Bolts;
- Cleveland has beaten the spread in each of their last four matchups on the road against a team with a winning record;
- The Chargers have a disappointing 5-15 record ATS when playing at home against a team with a winning record.
There are still a couple of things that worry me. First, left tackle Jedrick Wills is questionable to play. Secondly, Cleveland will be traveling through three time zones to play this game.
Still, there are too many arguments inviting me to put my money on the Browns, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do this weekend.
PICK #3 (1 STAR): BUFFALO BILLS +3 AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The revenge factor comes into play here: Buffalo will be looking to avenge their 38-to-24 defeat in last year’s AFC Championship game.
Overall, the Bills have fared well at Arrowhead Stadium. Indeed, they have beaten the spread in five of their last seven trips over there.
Also, Buffalo owns an impressive 9-1 ATS record after scoring more than 30 points in a game. The Chiefs also scored more than 30 points last week, but, historically speaking, they have not done well in their next meeting, as shown by their 0-4 record against the spread in such cases.
The Bills have done well as road underdogs in the past few years, as evidenced by their 7-2-2 record ATS. As a comparison, Kansas City is just 1-6 against the spread as home favorites.
The Chiefs defense has been abysmal so far this season. They have allowed 29, 36, 30 and 30 points in their first four games, respectively. Granted, they might get Frank Clark, Willie Gay and Charvarius Ward back on the field, but that’s not a sure thing either.
In my humble opinion, the Bills will show the world they are the top dog in the AFC Conference by winning a statement game in Kansas City on the national stage.
For entertainment purposes, here are some leans:
- Over 49 points Lions-Vikings (This one was close from being an official pick. Detroit only scored 14 points in Chicago last week, but they still moved the ball very well. The problem was they failed to register a single point in each of their first three drives, despite getting inside the Bears’ 10-yard line, which is mind-boggling! They have a decent passing game, along with a couple of good running backs with D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. They won’t have trouble scoring points against a weak Vikings defense. On the other side, I don’t believe I need to convince you that Minnesota is expected to score a lot of points against Detroit. In my opinion, the total should have been above 50 for this game.);
- Bengals +3 vs Packers (Green Bay has an injury-weakened defense with key guys tagged as questionable to play this weekend: linebackers Krys Barnes and Preston Smith, as well as both starting cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Kevin King. I’m aware that they won’t all be absent, but I’m guessing a couple of them won’t play or will at least be pretty banged up. Cincy gets three additional days to game plan against the Packers after playing last Thursday. Running back Joe Mixon may miss the game, though.);
- Colts +7 at Ravens (Indy has a 1-3 record so far, but they were defeated by strong opponents: Seattle, Tennessee and the L.A. Rams. Despite facing explosive offenses, they have allowed an average of 24 points per game, which isn’t that bad. I expect them to surrender a number of points similar to 24 this Monday, in which case the Colts only need to put 17 points on the board to cover the spread. I believe they can do it with their running game and by making quick throws to decent pass catchers like Michael Pittman, Zach Pascal and Mo Alie-Cox. The Colts are 6-1 ATS over their last seven visits in Baltimore, but the Ravens are 12-5 on Monday night and 6-2 as favorites recently.).
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Thank you my friend for reading this article, I appreciate you! See you next week!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)