No team has ever played in a Super Bowl in its own stadium. Super Bowl LI is Feb. 5, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston. The Texans weren’t considered to have a great shot of becoming the first Super Bowl “home” team, but there was at least a small chance.
However, any chance likely evaporated last week with the news that the defensive end J.J. Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and perhaps the most important non-quarterback in the league, was done for the season following another back surgery. It will be much tougher for the Texans to repeat as AFC South champions without Watt.
Here’s a quick look at all Week 5 games with Sports Interaction NFL odds. Games on Sunday unless otherwise noted. The Chiefs, Saints, Seahawks and Jaguars are on the bye.
Thursday Night Football: Week 5
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Point spread: Cardinals – 2.5
The Cardinals swept the 49ers last year. The game in Santa Clara was tight, with Arizona winning 19-13. Carson Palmer scored the winning touchdown on a 7-yard run with 2:28 left in the game. The offensively-challenged 49ers actually outgained Arizona in that one. Look for an in-depth preview of this game later this week.
Pick ATS: Cardinals -2.5
New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns
Point spread: Patriots -10 > Patriots -10.5
This looks like one of the mismatches of the season on paper as some guy named Tom Brady returns from his four-game suspension from New England, which was upset in Week 4 by Buffalo. Think he will have a chip on his shoulder? The Patriots remain the Super Bowl favourites, while the winless Browns could be the second team in league history to go 0-16.
Pick ATS: New England
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
Point spread: Eagles -2.5
Unbeaten Philadelphia comes off its bye week as we see if quarterback Carson Wentz can continue his amazing start. Wentz was deservedly named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for September. The No. 2 overall pick has completed 64.7 percent of his attempts for 769 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 103.8 passer rating. The Eagles were blown out in Detroit last Thanksgiving when Mark Sanchez was the team’s starting quarterback.
Pick ATS: Detroit
Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts
Point spread: Colts -4.5
Usually teams that play in London have a bye the following week. The Colts lost in London to Jacksonville in Week 4, but they told the NFL this offseason they didn’t want their bye so early. Thus this will be an interesting test to see how perhaps a full-time NFL team in London might fare with the travel. Andrew Luck‘s NFL debut was in Chicago on Sept. 9, 2012. Indy lost that one 41-21 as Luck threw for 309 yards but three interceptions. These Bears are much worse than that team, although they did get win No. 1 on Sunday by beating Detroit.
Pick ATS: Indianapolis
Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins
Point spread: Dolphins -3.5
Dolphins coach Adam Gase made several changes to his lineup for last Thursday’s game in Cincinnati in hopes of sparking his guys. It failed miserably as the Dolphins were inept offensively in a 22-7 loss. The Dolphins had 152 yards through three quarters, or 14 fewer than Bengals receiver A.J. Green had at that point. To be fair, the Fins were without four starting offensive linemen, running back Arian Foster and tight end Jordan Cameron due to injury. The Dolphins blew out the Titans 38-10 in Nashville last year, Miami’s first game after firing Coach Joe Philbin.
Pick ATS: Miami
Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens
Point spread: Ravens -3.5
The Battle of the Beltway. It’s only the second time the neighbors will play a regular-season game in Baltimore (2008). The Redskins won their second straight Sunday, beating Cleveland 31-20. Washington had four red-zone touchdowns, more than it had the first three games combined. Baltimore lost its first game, 28-27 at home to Oakland. All four of the Ravens’ games have gone down to the wire.
Pick ATS: Baltimore
Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings
Point spread: TBA
The Vikings are on a short week after hosting the New York Giants on Monday. The Vikings won’t have any empathy for the Texans regarding Watt as Minnesota has lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Adrian Peterson, and left tackle Matt Kalil for the season already. Houston did beat Tennessee 27-20 in Week 4 without Watt.
Pick ATS: TBA
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
Point spread: Steelers -6.5 > Steelers -7.5
Is it time to for the Jets to make a quarterback change? Ryan Fitzpatrick had six interceptions in a Week 3 loss to Kansas City and then three more in Sunday’s home defeat to Seattle. Both of Fitzpatrick’s top receivers, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, are banged up too. Decker might miss the rest of the season. The Steelers welcomed back star running back Le’Veon Bell from a three-game suspension and he rushed for 144 yards in a blowout of the Chiefs. Ben Roethlisberger had five TD passes.
Pick ATS: Pittsburgh
Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos
Point spread: Broncos -4.5
Atlanta surprised Carolina in Week 4, 48-33 behind 503 yards passing from Matt Ryan and 300 yards receiving from Julio Jones. Both were team records and the first time any pair of teammates had a 500-yard passing and 300-yard receiving day in the same game in NFL history. Denver lost starting QB Trevor Siemian to a left shoulder injury but beat Tampa Bay handily regardless. Rookie Paxton Lynch played well after Siemian left and is likely to get the start this week.
Pick ATS: Denver
Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys
Point spread: Pick’em
The Bengals are on extra rest after that dominating 22-7 win over Miami on Thursday in Week 4. This should have special meaning for Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton as he’s from Katy, Texas, and played college ball in the Dallas area at TCU. The Cowboys won in San Francisco 24-17 on Sunday despite playing without Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant. His status is in question this week.
Pick ATS: Cincinnati
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams
Point spread: Rams -2.5 > Rams -3
It’s Buffalo’s first game in Los Angeles since 1983. The Bills pulled off a big surprise in New England on Sunday 16-0 to win a second straight game and take Coach Rex Ryan off the hot seat for now. However, top receiver Sammy Watkins might be done for the year. The Rams are 3-1 after a shocking 17-13 win at Arizona. It’s their first time at 3-1 in 10 years.
Pick ATS: Los Angeles
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
Point spread: Raiders -4.5
Let’s call this the Los Angeles Bowl. If a stadium referendum in San Diego doesn’t pass this November, the Chargers could move to L.A. as soon as next year. The team has until mid-January 2017 to tell the NFL of its intentions. If the Chargers decline that, the Raiders are allowed to move Los Angeles, although they are also pursuing a stadium in Las Vegas. Oakland swept the Chargers last season for the first time since 2010. If the Chargers lose this game to fall to 1-4, Coach Mike McCoy might be fired after the team blew Sunday’s game vs. New Orleans. San Diego is just a couple of plays from being 4-0.
Pick ATS: Oakland
Sunday Night Football: Week 5
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers
Point spread: TBA
Look for an in-depth preview of this Sunday night game later this week. It’s a double benefit for Green Bay as it comes off the bye, while New York is on a short week after playing at Minnesota on Monday night in Week 4.
Pick ATS: TBA
Monday Night Football: Week 5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers, Monday
Point spread: TBA
Also look for an in-depth preview of this Monday night game later this week. It could be a matchup of former No. 1 overall picks and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks in Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston and Carolina’s Cam Newton. However, Newton suffered a concussion in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, which dropped the defending NFC champions to 1-3. So he’s in question this week. The Panthers have won six in a row against the Bucs.
Pick ATS: TBA