NFL Week 5 Prediction: Best Picks Against the Spread

Payton Matthews | Updated Oct 04, 2021

The Sunday night schedule early in this NFL season has been terrific and that continues in Week 5 with an AFC Championship Game rematch as the Buffalo Bills visit the Kansas City Chiefs.

Here’s a quick look at all Week 5 NFL games, played Sunday unless noted.

Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks, Thursday

It’s the fourth game in about a calendar year between these NFC West rivals — they played the usual two times in the 2020 regular season but also in a wild-card game, with the Rams pulling off a 30-20 upset in Seattle. Los Angeles was upset at home on Sunday by Arizona, while Seattle was an upset winner in San Francisco. The Seahawks held the 49ers to 2-for-14 on third down.

Point spread: Rams -1.5

Pick ATS: Los Angeles

New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons

This game is in London with a 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff. Matchup of first-year head coaches in New York’s Robert Saleh and Atlanta’s Arthur Smith. Saleh got his first win Sunday, a 27-24 overtime upset of Tennessee. Rookie QB Zach Wilson had his best outing with 297 yards and two TDs. New York’s Quinnen Williams and Quincy Williams became the first brothers to record sacks for the same team in the same game since the NFL made sacks an official stat in 1982. Atlanta lost 34-30 at home to Washington on a TD pass in the final minute. Matt Ryan threw four TD passes in the loss.

Point spread: Falcons -3.5

Pick ATS: Atlanta

Green Bay Packers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati rallied to beat Jacksonville 24-21 last Thursday but lost top running back Joe Mixon to an ankle injury. He’s being called week-to-week. Starting wideout Tee Higgins missed a second straight game with an injury and is in question for this one. Green Bay beat visiting Pittsburgh behind three TDs from Aaron Rodgers. He now has 420 passing TDs, tied with Dan Marino for the sixth-most all-time.

Point spread: Packers -3.5

Pick ATS:  Green Bay

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

Detroit is now the only winless team in the NFC following a 24-14 defeat in Chicago. Two Lions starters, centre Frank Ragnow and linebacker Romeo Okwara, left with injuries. Okwara is done for the year. Minnesota was a 14-7 loser at home to Cleveland, putting Coach Mike Zimmer right back on the hot seat. Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook returned after missing a game injured but wasn’t a factor.

Point spread: Vikings -8

Pick ATS: Detroit

Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers simply don’t fire coaches … but that hasn’t stopped chatter from picking up around Mike Tomlin with the team a disappointing 1-3 and frankly having collapsed since starting last season at 11-0. At age 39, QB Ben Roethlisberger looks done. Canadian wideout Chase Claypool missed Sunday’s loss in Green Bay with a hamstring injury. Denver fell from the ranks of the unbeaten – it had played an incredibly easy schedule – with a 23-7 home loss to Baltimore. Starting QB Teddy Bridgewater was knocked out with a concussion, so it’s a race for him to be cleared for this one.

Point spread: Steelers -1

Pick ATS: Pittsburgh

Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Dolphins look broken, especially on offence, during a three-game losing streak. Jacoby Brissett has not been good since replacing an injured Tua Tagovailoa under centre – Tua will not play this week, either. Tampa Bay won the much-hyped Tom Brady Bowl in his return to New England on Sunday night, 19-17. Brady didn’t play all that great in rainy conditions and was without star tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs). Already thin in the secondary, Tampa saw two more defensive backs leave injured.

Point spread: Buccaneers -10.5

Pick ATS: Miami

New Orleans Saints @ Washington Football Team

The Saints were surprised in their first home game of the season, 27-21 in overtime vs. the Giants. New Orleans was up 21-10 with just under seven minutes remaining. The Saints were without their top offensive lineman in left tackle Terron Armstead, who won’t play this week, either. Washington trailed in Atlanta 30-22 with about four minutes left but won 34-30 on a Taylor Heinicke 30-yard TD pass to JD McKissic with 33 seconds remaining. Terry McLaurin caught six passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

Point spread: Saints -1

Pick ATS: Washington

Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers

If the Dolphins don’t trade for Deshaun Watson, the Eagles might as they have dropped three in a row following a 42-30 home loss to Kansas City on Sunday. Jalen Hurts put up nice numbers in the loss with 387 yards and two scores while leading the team with 47 yards rushing. However, the Eagles can’t run the ball otherwise and are not good defensively. Carolina suffered its first loss, 36-28 in Dallas. Canadian rookie running back Chuba Hubbard had 13 carries for 57 yards in his first career start with star Christian McCaffrey out because of a hamstring injury. McCaffrey might be back this week.

Point spread: Panthers -4

Pick ATS: Carolina

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Titans played without their top two receivers in AJ Brown and Julio Jones and were upset in overtime at the Jets 27-24. Randy Bullock missed a potential tying 49-yarder with 15 seconds left in OT. NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry had another monster day with 157 yards and a TD on 33 carries. He’s on pace to break numerous single-season records. Only the sorry Jaguars could find a way to lose as time expired after not trailing for an entire game. That’s what they did last Thursday, 24-21 in Cincinnati. Top wideout DJ Chark suffered a season-ending ankle injury.

Point spread: Titans -4

Pick ATS: Tennessee

New England Patriots @ Houston Texans

For years, the Texans have tried to become the Patriots South and their first-year GM is former New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio. Houston has gotten worse by the week, losing 40-0 in Buffalo on Sunday. The Texans finished with 109 total yards and had just eight in the first half. New England lost at home to Tampa Bay 19-17 when Nick Folk’s 56-yard field goal try hit the left upright with less than a minute to play. Many questioned why Bill Belichick didn’t go for it on fourth-and-short.

Point spread: Patriots -9.5

Pick ATS: Houston

Chicago Bears @ Las Vegas Raiders

Don’t be surprised if this crowd isn’t at least 50 percent Bears fans as they have been gobbling up tickets where possible for their team’s first-ever game in Vegas. Chicago will be without top running back David Montgomery after he injured his ankle in Sunday’s win over Detroit. Not clear whether rookie Justin Fields or veteran Andy Dalton will start at QB. Coach Matt Nagy said it would be Dalton if healthy, but that’s frankly hard to believe. It’s a short week for the Raiders as they visited the Chargers on Monday in Week 4.

Point spread: Raiders -4.5

Pick ATS: Las Vegas

Cleveland Browns @ Los Angeles Chargers

Short week for the Bolts as they hosted the Raiders on Monday to close Week 4. Starting linebacker Kenneth Murray injured his ankle in practice over the weekend and missed it. Cleveland won its third in a row, 14-7 at Minnesota. QB Baker Mayfield didn’t play very well, but the defence dominated again.

Point spread: Pick’em

Pick ATS: Cleveland

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

The Giants got their first win of the season Sunday, rallying from down 11 in the fourth quarter at New Orleans to win 27-21 in overtime. Daniel Jones threw for 402 yards and two scores despite missing injured starting wideouts Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard. Dallas might have the NFL’s best offence right now following a 36-28 win over Carolina. The Cowboys had 433 yards against a terrific defence. Trevon Diggs became the fourth player in the NFL since 1990 with at least one interception in each of his team’s first four games of a season.

Point spread: Cowboys -7.5

Pick ATS: Dallas

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals

There simply are no easy games inside the NFC West this season. Arizona is the NFC’s lone unbeaten following a 37-20 win at the Los Angeles Rams. Kyler Murray threw for 268 yards and two scores and might be the NFL MVP right now. San Francisco lost at home to Seattle, 28-21, and lost starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo to injury. It’s expected that rookie Trey Lance will make his first start. He’s the only 2021 first-round QB yet to start.

Point spread: Cardinals -5

Pick ATS: Arizona

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday night game. Kansas City was 2-0 vs. Buffalo last year, including a 38-24 victory in the AFC Championship Game. Buffalo is the third team since 1990 with two shutouts in the first four games of a season following a 40-0 whitewashing of Houston on Sunday. The other two clubs won the Super Bowl. Kansas City snapped a rare two-game losing streak with a 42-30 win in Philadelphia behind five TD passes from Patrick Mahomes, three to Tyreek Hill.

Point spread: Chiefs -3

Pick ATS: Kansas City (alternate line of -2.5)

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens, Monday

The Colts got their first win of the season Sunday, 27-17, despite being without numerous injured starters. QB Carson Wentz snapped a personal seven-game skid dating to last year with Philadelphia. The Ravens won their third straight, 23-7 in Denver. Baltimore rushed for 102 yards, its 43rd consecutive 100-yard rushing game, tying the mark set by Pittsburgh from 1974-77. The Ravens were short of 100 yards but ran the ball on the game’s final play instead of taking a knee. That didn’t make the Broncos happy.

Point spread: Ravens -7

Pick ATS: Baltimore (alternate line of -6.5)