The NFL season, before the change to a 17-game schedule, could be divided quarterly. So, for the sake of the metaphor here, let’s just assume after Week 4 is the first quarter of the year. The first quarter of an NFL game is generally a feeling-out process between both sides; they’re seeing what works and what doesn’t over the span of drives and plays. This same set of circumstances can be used to describe this weekly article.
Through Week 4, we are 10-10. A (less than) perfect 50%. Some teams that were regarded as contenders appear to be pretenders and others not lauded are now the talk of the league. We’ve seen incredibly bad beats and backdoor covers, good and bad. What cannot be debated is that the NFL is king due to its unpredictable nature.
First quarters are usually scripted by coaches. But, once you hit the second, adjustments must be made to win the game. Steakspeare has you covered here. Adjusted, excited, and coming off a 4-1 week with five more great games to watch and maybe make a unit or two off the spread!
Here. We. Go.
Steakspeare’s Spreads Week 5
Detroit Lions +3 @ New England Patriots
It’s very easy to look at just the team names in this matchup and immediately pick a side. If this were a history test, you’d likely pick the Patriots at home and not even worry about checking the score. These teams are trending in opposite directions of their historical norms.
For starters, there is concern that quarterback Mac Jones of the Patriots even suits up for the game. Current backup Brian Hoyer left last week with a concussion, forcing in rookie Bailey Zappe in an offense with “co” coordinators. Factor that in against a Lions team that will likely score a lot of points (they are 4-0 currently with overs this year) and you have what could be a serious home letdown for New England.
The Lions may not have the win totals to support what is being written, but they’re a team that will not go away. They’ve played tight games against the Eagles and Vikings, both formidable NFC opponents, and scored 45 points in a loss to the Seahawks last week. The Pats have more pressure here than the Lions and I think this bodes well for Detroit.
Tennessee Titans -2.5 @ Washington Commanders
The Titans have not had the early season success both they and the fanbase expected. They started 0-2 before narrowly escaping the Raiders and only defeated a shaky Colts team by a single touchdown.
All that being said, this team still was the #1 seed in the AFC last year and still boasts a run game of Derrick Henry with a defense that outside of the Bills game hasn’t looked awful. In two games against the Titans last year, quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 459 yards three touchdowns, and two interceptions in what were two losses to the Titans.
This game is correctly indicated by the spread of how close it will be, but the Titans have found ways to win lately and Washington isn’t a team I would be very afraid of. This game may appear close, but expect the Titans to firmly control and ultimately cover this spread.
San Francisco 49ers -6 @ Carolina Panthers
This was picked solely because one team is just leaps and bounds better than the other. Monday night, the 49ers dismantled the Super Bowl champ/division rival Rams and seem to be even better now that they have “backup” quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm. This is a team whose core has allowed them to get to two NFC title games and one Super Bowl.
The Carolina Panthers, on the other hand, seem to have some internal squabble going on. Last week in this article, it was correctly predicted that Arizona would beat the Panthers outright even though they were 2.5-point dogs. They beat the Panthers by double digits. Blame the coach, the quarterback, or D.J. Moore, but one thing remains constant: good teams beat bad teams. This game will be a blowout early and likely cashes before 6:00 pm Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals +3 @ Baltimore Ravens
Back in the Red Rifle Andy Dalton days, you would have been a fool to even suggest a Primetime Bengals bet, let alone for them to win. Joe Burrow has changed the culture of this franchise. The Bengals are steadily rising over the course of these last few weeks and have extra rest going into the best AFC North game so far this year, Sunday Night Football in Baltimore.
The Ravens are currently Lamar Jackson-centric, which in most years hasn’t been an issue, but this year seems to be giving the team more fits than hits. Factor in another crazy stat: they’ve lost six straight home games and have blown multiple double-digit leads this year. This is another tale of two teams that are trending in opposite directions and if last year is any indication of future success, look for Cincinnati to win this game outright.
Kansas City Chiefs -7.5 vs Las Vegas Raiders
Kansas City is back with a vengeance this year. They have looked just as explosive if not more so even since the departure of Tyreek Hill and the Raiders have looked anything but since the beginning of this year.
The disappointment of the NFL so far has to be the Raiders who came off a first-round playoff exit but added playmaking wide receiver, Davante Adams, to a team already loaded with talent. Something just isn’t clicking there although they did just get win number one last week against the “Dangerwich” Broncos team.
Kansas City looks too good and the Raiders just look bad and for that, we are siding with the Chiefs and the points here. Large spreads are always anxiety-filled, but KC nearly always delivers.
4-1 was a much-needed win for this particular writer. The walls were closing in, the banks were needing their money and all seemed hopeless. Keep grinding, follow the trends, and most importantly BELIEVE IN THE SPREADS! This week is loaded with great games and tasty spreads! Who do you love here?