This is NFL Best Bets Week 5! Welcome back to the 2023-24 NFL season and this article series. Here, we provide our best game line bets for the Sunday-Monday NFL slate each week on sportsbooks.
Each week’s article features two to three picks on either the moneyline, spread, game total, or team total. For each bet, we will provide a wager size recommendation (note: 1 unit = 1% of your gambling bankroll). It’s important to keep your exposure disciplined and stick to the recommendations. Be sure to check the odds. It is always worth line-shopping at the time you place your bet. This is so you can get the best value available online.
We are coming off a sweep of the board in Week 4. This includes a win on our first 2-unit bet of the season. The Jaguars had no issues covering their 3-point spread in London as they dominated the Falcons on both sides of the ball. The Texans cleared their team total by 9.5 points as C.J. Stroud led a trouncing of the Steelers at home.
We are now 4-4 on the season and in the profit column. Let’s dive into the Week 5 betting board in search of back-to-back winning weeks.
1 unit: Falcons ML (-125, DraftKings)
We’ve made a lot of money at PlayerProfiler already, backing the quarterback who should have been selected No. 1 in this year’s draft, C.J. Stroud. What he has accomplished already with a beaten-up supporting cast is impressive. It is clear that the Ohio State product is a legitimate star in the making. However, with the books finally reacting, the public is all over Houston continuing their winning streak by taking down the team that just got embarrassed in London. It is now time to pivot and take the sharp side.
Despite Stroud’s Texans putting on an offensive showcase over the last few weeks, their team total is still set by Vegas at 20.5. This is exactly where it was set last game where we cashed the over. With Atlanta now back home, where Arthur Smith is 6-5-0 against the spread since last season, they should go back to their fundamental style—grind it out with their backfield instead of turning Desmond Ridder into a playmaker. The Houston Texans rank No. 22 in the NFL in run stop win rate and No. 23 in rushing defense EXP. The elite backfield duo of Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier should have their way. This will allow the Falcons defense to take advantage of the Texans’ injuries and do the rest.
Texans Offensive Line
For the Texans, offensive linemen Laremy Tunsil, Josh Jones, and Shaq Mason remain questionable. Although Stroud has found success so far despite dealing with a banged up offensive line, it is unrealistic to ask him to continue this hero ball all season long. He was able to expose the lackluster secondaries of Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. However, it’ll be a tad harder to repeat that performance against the likes of A.J. Terrell, Jeff Okudah, and Jessie Bates III. Despite Stroud’s results being staggering, he does rank No. 25 in completion percentage and No. 20 in pressured catchable pass rate under pressure.
Don’t expect Houston to get any sort of ground game going either. Starting running back Dameon Pierce is inefficient. Additionally, he has been banged up himself and now has to go up a Falcons team that ranks No. 8 in run stop win rate and No. 1 in rushing defense EXP.
The betting public hates the Falcons. They don’t want to back Arthur Smith’s ugly offensive tactics. However, there is a reason Vegas is still respecting them at home as a favorite. They have the right read on this one.
1 unit: Cardinals +3 (-110, DraftKings)
If I told you before the season that the former AFC-winning Cincinnati Bengals led by Joe Burrow would only be three-point favorites against the Arizona Cardinals, whose quarterback situation was uncertain until Week 1, you probably would be in stunned silence. That is where we stand and rightfully so.
Burrow is dealing with a calf injury. Additionally, he has not looked good trying to play through it. Among 34 qualified quarterbacks, Burrow ranks No. 30 in adjusted EPA per play, No. 30 in success rate, and No. 33 in complete percentage over expectation. Now, his second-best weapon, Tee Higgins, is likely out of the offense due to a rib injury. Things have gotten so ugly for Cincinnati’s offense that in Week 4, when they faced one of the most egregious pass funnel defenses in the league in the Titans, they still couldn’t muster a single touchdown drive.
The Bengals are staying competitive in some games thanks to some defensive turnovers. The problem is their peripherals are far from elite. This is a discouraging sign considering they are up against an Arizona Cardinals offense that has been sneaky good to start the season. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs ranks among league-average in adjusted EPA per play, success rate, and complete percentage over expectation.
#NFL offenses in the top-6 in both pass DVOA and rush DVOA
San Francisco 49ers
— Ahaan Rungta (@AhaanRungta) October 4, 2023
Quite simply, the Cardinals have the more well-polished offense right now, and the Bengals don’t have too many defensive counters. They rank among the league’s worst in pass rush win rate, run stop win rate, and defensive EXP. Take the home team to keep it within a field goal or just win outright.