Against the Spread: Picking the Top Matchups in NFL’s Week 5

Last week, we witnessed the Patriots return back to normal, whereas the Dolphins dropped back to earth. The city of Cleveland got screwed by officials again in Oakland, Mitchell Trubisky may be the Bears’ franchise QB for years to come, and how about Patrick Mahomes? He continues to impress the eyes of every football fan. Week 5 brings us some division games and a couple of fun matchups between many of the best in the NFL. Let’s get started.

Key Match-Ups

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-3): Something has to give this week as the best offense in the NFL faces off against the league’s best defense this Sunday. Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes has been superb through his first four NFL starts this season, completing 65.2 percent of his passes for 1,200 yards, 14 TDs, and most importantly no interceptions. The individual matchup between DB Jalen Ramsey and WR Tyreek Hill is also intriguing. One thing to keep an eye on is the weather. According to the forecast, there’s a high chance of rain in the area for this one, which could impact both offenses, especially the Chiefs. Considering Kansas City is back at Arrowhead, I’m choosing the Chiefs to get the win and remain perfect. Chiefs win 17-13.

Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5): Both teams are off to 3-1 starts and are looking to prove their worth. Quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton have each performed admirably thus far and will look to keep their winning ways going. When betting on this matchup though, the key here is to pick the hot-hand. Miami floundered in New England last week, whereas Cincinnati delivered an impressive road victory at Atlanta. With that, I’m choosing the Bengals to win this one. Bengals win 27-13.

Baltimore Ravens (-3) vs. Cleveland Browns: A huge battle between two AFC North rivals. We will see how Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield responds following the first defeat of his NFL career. On the other hand, we will see how Baltimore performs after a huge win in the Steel City. This showdown is a little tricky as the Ravens are flying high right now and the Browns, despite a 1-2-1 record, have shown that they can put up points. I’m going to pick the Ravens to win this one due to the fact that Baltimore is hot right now. Ravens win 17-10.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-3): Atlanta and Pittsburgh were each coming off frustrating losses last week. When looking at this matchup, you have two high-powered offenses going head-to-head, but the defenses have not been there much for either team. I trust the Falcons’ defense more than the Steelers and the culture on top of it. Falcons win 34-24.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-3): A rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game which saw the Eagles dominate the Vikings. One difference in this year’s matchup compared to last years, however, is the quarterback matchup. Minnesota heads into Philadelphia with a significantly better QB in Kirk Cousins, opposed to Case Keenum last January. Because the Eagles will have the home field advantage once again in this matchup, I expect Philly to take full advantage. Eagles win 23-17. 

Game to Avoid

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers: This one is self-explanatory as both Arizona and San Francisco break-in backup quarterbacks this week (for Arizona it’s Josh Rosen, and for San Francisco, it’s C.J. Beathard). All in all this game essentially features two teams who are well on their to having dreadful seasons.

Lock of the Week

Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots: Andrew Luck has struggled in the past against the Patriots, especially in Foxboro. Julian Edelman is back as well for New England, and he will likely receive many targets from quarterback Tom Brady in this one. I expect this game to be a rout in favor of the Patriots.

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