NFL Picks Week #5 (2023 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #5)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written October 4th, 2023 at 11 AM Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
I have 3 NFL picks for Week 5 for you in this article, along with some bonus leans. I’m Professor MJ, a 15-year university professor of statistics. Let’s get started right away!
PICK #1: DETROIT LIONS -9 (VS CAROLINA PANTHERS)
NFL Pick number one for Week 5 is the Detroit Lions as 9-point favorites at home against Carolina. I am smelling a blowout in this game, and I’ve got many arguments backing this statement.
First of all, the Lions will benefit from three extra days of rest after playing last Thursday at Lambeau Field. It is also worth noting that Detroit holds an 8-3 record against the spread (ATS) in their past 11 home games.
The Lions don’t have any glaring holes. Their defense is playing well, their ground game is dominating its opponents, and its passing attack led by Jared Goff is playing solid football as well. To top it all off, Jameson Williams will return from a four-game suspension, which will add even more firepower to the offense.
Carolina’s secondary is banged up. They suffered a big blow when they lost Jaycee Horn to an injury. The other starting cornerback, Donte Jackson, left the game against the Vikings last week, and his status is uncertain for Week 5. The Panthers have also allowed the fourth-highest yards-per-carry average of the 2023 season so far.
Rookie Bryce Young has looked overwhelmed so far in his young career. He has tossed just 2 TD passes after facing the Falcons, the Saints and the Vikings. Except for the Saints, the other two clubs don’t necessarily have a top defense, so Young’s performance is really disappointing. He also presents the 30th best passer rating in the league, which is awful. The Lions also have a good pass rush led by Aidan Hutchinson, and they are projected to make things difficult for the 22-year-old signal caller.
As if we needed more justifications for this pick, the Lions will be looking to avenge a 37-23 defeat at the hands of the Panthers in Week 16 last year. Give me the Lions to roll in this matchup.
PICK #2: MINNESOTA VIKINGS +4.5 (VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFS)
NFL pick number two for Week 5 goes to the Minnesota Vikings +4.5 points at home against the Chiefs. All Minnesota games have been tight: they lost by 3, 4 and 6 points, while winning by an eight-point margin last week. Meanwhile, Kansas City’s games were also close, except their demolition of the lowly Bears. To me, the line is way too high because it won’t be easy for the Chiefs to win this contest by five points or more. In my mind, it has a probability that is much smaller than 50%.
K.C. has had to travel quite a big recently. They flew to Jacksonville, then went back home for one game before going to New York last week and now Minnesota this week. I also think the Chiefs could be looking ahead to their upcoming three straight divisional games against Denver, the Chargers and Denver again in Weeks 6, 7 and 8. Facing a non-conference team doesn’t look super exciting in comparison.
The Chiefs have a nice balanced attack, but so do the Vikings. Alexander Mattison started the season slowly by obtaining just 34 and 28 yards on the ground in the first couple of games of the season. However, did you notice which teams he faced? The Bucs and the Eagles, who are both solid against the run.
In Weeks 3 and 4, Mattison racked up 93 and 95 yards on the ground. After acquiring Cam Akers, the team has a reliable #2 running back. That gives Minnesota a more threatening backfield, which will make life easier for Kirk Cousins and company.
The Vikings are the more desperate team, they are at home and they have good talent. They could win the game outright, and if they don’t I expect them to keep it close. Give me Minnesota to cover the 4.5 point spread on Sunday October 8th.
PICK #3: NEW YORK JETS +2 (AT DENVER BRONCOS)
My third official NFL pick for Week 5 is the New York Jets as two-point underdogs in Denver. New York’s defense is incredibly better than Denver’s. There is no debate here. The Broncos’ defense ranks among the worst teams, both against the run and the pass. Meanwhile, the Jets’ defense limited the high-octane Bills offense to 16 points and Kansas City 23 points.
So why are the Broncos favored by two points then? Ok, they are at home. But is their offense much better than New York’s? I’m not so sure. Denver’s offense has had mitigated success so far, so at best they are slightly better than New York’s O.
Zach Wilson’s struggles have been well-documented, but he is coming off his best game of the season against the Chiefs. He has a great supporting cast that includes Breece Hall, Dalvin Cook and Garrett Wilson.
LEAN #1: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS +5.5 (VS BUFFALO BILLS)
Would you like me to share a few extra picks? The following are non official betting plays, as right now I don’t like them enough to bet, but if forced to bet I would go with these teams.
Lean number one is the Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5 points against Buffalo. The Jags are very familiar with games played in London. They played over there last week, and it will be their 10th game overseas, the most of any NFL team.
Jacksonville will welcome left tackle Cam Robinson back because he is done serving a four-game suspension. Meanwhile, Buffalo’s defense took a big blow when it lost star cornerback Tre’Davious White to a season-ending injury last week. Safety Jordan Poyer is also listed as questionable right now.
The Bills obviously have a great team, but they could experience a letdown game after such an emotional game in which they crushed the Miami Dolphins 48-to-20.
The Jaguars defense can be difficult to score against. Keep in mind they only allowed seven points to the Falcons last week, and they also limited Patrick Mahomes and company to 17 points in Week 2. To me, the point spread is too high, so I would be tempted to grab Jacksonville +5.5 points against the Bills.
LEAN #2: LOS ANGELES RAMS +4 (VS PHILADELPHIA EAGLES)
Lean number two goes to the Los Angeles Rams +4 points against Philly. The Eagles have won all four of their games, but three of those wins occurred by a six-point margin or less. They have looked good, but not great.
Philadelphia’s defense has been stout against the run, but not so much against the pass. That bodes well for the Rams who prefer to air it out. The Eagles have allowed 9 passing TDs, the third most in the NFL. With Cooper Kupp possibly back, although that is far from guaranteed, that would give L.A. a big boost and a nice weapon across rookie sensation Puka Nacua.
GREAT INFO ABOUT THE NEW YORK GIANTS-MIAMI DOLPHINS GAME
Now, I would like to leave you with an astounding betting system that applies to one team this week. Since 2011, home favorites by 7 points or more and who are coming off a loss by a margin of at least 17 points have posted a 9-17-1 record ATS. If you focus on the first nine weeks of the season only, their record stands at 0-12 ATS.
Which teams fits this description? The Miami Dolphins. They are indeed favored by more than 7 points. They are coming off a devastating 28-point defeat. So, by following the rules of this system, we should be FADING the Dolphins. In other words, the qualifying play is the New York Giants +11.5 points in Miami.
That being said, as of now I am not making this bet. I just can’t. New York’s offensive line is a joke: they allowed 10 sacks to the Seahawks last Monday night. They are so desperate that they called me to play left tackle for them with my 135 pounds, but unfortunately I had to decline their offer. The Giants only passed for 203 yards after seeing Seattle allowing 300+ yards to each of their opponents thus far this season.
New York also loses one day of preparation after playing the Monday nighter. Tua and the Dolphins will face a blitzing defense, which fits perfectly Miami’s quick passing offense.
In other words, even though the system’s past performance has been outstanding, I find it hard to trust it due to other factors. Personally, I am not betting this game, but I thought I would share the information with you.
FREE PREDICTION CONTEST (CASH PRIZES!)
Congratulations to Jorge Ramos who won $100 US in my Week 4 NFL prediction contest!
I invite all of you to enter your picks against the spread for Week 5, and who knows, you might end up 100 dollars richer! The contest is completely free to enter, so why not give it a shot, while showing us that YOU are the prediction beast?
Simply enter this free contest at mjpicks.com.
Thanks so much for reading!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)