Week 5 of the NFL season is upon us, and we have a lot of significant underdogs this week as the better teams in the league start to rise to the top. That being said, we still have the ability to attack overreactions in the markets on some teams that could rebound. Let’s get into my five favorite underdogs to bet on this weekend.
New England Patriots at Washington Redskins (+15)
This is the spot where the Patriots come out a little bit flat and struggle to put the Redskins away. Although rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins struggled in relief last week, I think that he gives the Redskins the best chance to play spoiler in games like this because he has the most big-play potential, especially since he should favor his college teammate Terry McLaurin even more.
If you go back and watch the first three weeks of Redskins games, you will be able to find open wide receivers because of McLaurin’s ability to stretch the field. If McLaurin plays, I think that he stretches the defense enough to create bigger holes all over the field.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5)
The Steelers have not been very good this season, but I think that the more Mason Rudolph plays, the more comfortable they will look on offense. It seems as though the Steelers have put training wheels on Rudolph, and they should slowly begin to take those off more and more as the weeks go on.
I think the Ravens continue to be one of the most overrated teams in football after stomping the Dolphins and playing a one-possession game with the Cardinals. When playing talented football teams, the Ravens have not appeared to be in their class, and I think that these two teams are much more comparable than what the line suggests.
The Ravens offense could not generate much offense on the Cardinals or the Browns, and they really struggled vs. the Chiefs too until the Chiefs had the game in hand. This is one of the worst Ravens defenses that we have seen in recent years, and I think that they are just getting too much credit for running out rather mediocre units on both sides of the ball.
Atlanta Falcons (+5) at Houston Texans
This is not a game that I am dying to watch, but I do think that it’s one with a few good matchups. Most notably, I really think that the Falcons’ passing game should be able to win all day against the Texans’ secondary.
On the other side of the ball, I don’t think this mismatch will be nearly as clear. But I think that Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones, and Austin Hooper could all have major games based on the matchup, and I think I like the Falcons to win this game outright in Houston.
Indianapolis Colts (+11) at Kansas City Chiefs
I get where this line is coming from. The Colts have a lot of major injuries, and the Chiefs have looked like one of the best teams in football. I just think the line is too big.
For most of this year, I have been very aggressively betting favorites in big spreads because the bad teams in the NFL right now are just REALLY bad. However, I think the Colts have general talent that isn’t incredibly exploitable all over the field, and I think that they are a well-coached football team. I just don’t feel comfortable giving up that many points to a good team.
Cleveland Browns (+3.5) at San Francisco 49ers
I really like the construction of both of these teams, and I think that the obvious matchup is the 49ers’ much-improved pass rush vs. the Browns’ struggling O-line. That being said, the number here should be basically even because of the talent disparity.
I love Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers coaching staff, and I think that they do as good of a job as anyone in the NFL when it comes to getting the most out of players. However, the Browns are just so much more talented on the outside of the field in this matchup that I have to take the Browns +3.5. A field goal and a hook? That is just too good to pass up.