Eli’s Week 5 NFL Best Bets: Spread, Total Picks For Broncos vs. Jets, Falcons vs. Texans
With NFL Week 5 odds almost underway, this article guides price discovery and handicapping point spreads, moneyline odds, and totals across NFL betting sites. In particular, one look-ahead line was adjusted too much compared to my numbers. It involves Broncos vs. Jets, and I also took a piece of the total in Falcons vs. Texans. With that in mind, let’s examine my Week 5 NFL best bets for these two games.
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new york jets at denver broncos
Some bettors may be unaware of the term price discovery. As bets pile up on the opening line, it initiates this process. Early action from gamblers is used to modify the odds. Sportsbooks could also decide to trail the operators that are “market makers,” modifying their prices because a polarizing competitor shifted theirs. Of course, their liability tolerance (or lack thereof) could be enough to move the odds themselves.
In a rematch from last season, Denver was a field-goal favorite on the look-ahead line before it shortened to . Despite the Broncos’ fortunate comeback in Chicago, I’m betting against this alteration.
Don’t Believe In Fairytales
As noted, Denver fell to New York at Mile High Stadium in Oct. 2022. Broncos signal caller Russell Wilson was on the shelf, forcing Brett Rypien into action. Both defenses were among the league’s best, and Rypien and his counterpart Zach Wilson unsurprisingly tallied the two worst dropback success rates that week. For context, a play is considered successful if it snags at least 50% of the necessary yards for a first down, 70% on a second down, and 100% on a third or fourth down.
This time, the Broncos and Jets each possess bottom-10 defenses. As a result, the total has risen to . But this handicap revolves around the Jets’ overvalued offense. No, that isn’t a typo.
The market has moved against Wilson & Co. in New York’s two previous games. This week, we’ve seen the opposite, as Wilson kept New York competitive against the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. That’s all fine and dandy, yet Wilson’s 36.4% dropback success rate in Week 4 — the fourth-lowest rating among qualified quarterbacks — speaks volumes. Additionally, Denver’s bottom-barrel pass defense will improve if All-Pro safety Justin Simmons (hip) returns to the lineup. He’s missed the last two games and the second-half collapse against the Commanders.
Meanwhile, the Jets’ talented secondary hasn’t amassed positive results. They’ve let up a top-six EPA per dropback and passing success rate. Couple that with cornerback D.J. Reed in concussion protocol, and the other Wilson could be in for another big outing. He’s notched a bounce-back season under Sean Payton, including the third-rated big-time throw rate versus turnover-worthy play rate (per PFF).
For the first of my NFL best bets, I’m returning to the gutter with the Broncos odds. Join TheLines.com’s free sports betting Discord to get an alert when I first place a bet. Head to the #roles server to enroll in the push notifications.
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Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons
I’m wary of betting on a game with a team that just played in London. As I mentioned on the podcast, there’s a travel disadvantage for the Falcons. But even with this spot factored in, my numbers still show the total of to be slightly inflated.
Which Team Will Own The Trenches?
There is nothing about C.J. Stroud’s play over the last three weeks that’s overly concerning. During this stretch, he showcases a top-10 EPA per dropback and success rate. However, under pressure, his adjusted completion percentage ranks No. 24 among qualified QBs. Even if Laremy Tunsil (knee) and Tytus Howard (hand) — the left side of the Texans’ offensive line — return, Atlanta’s pass rush is an onerous test.
First-year defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen has seen his unit deliver a top-10 pressure and hurry rate, respectively. They’ve accomplished that with a league-average blitz percentage. Coming off consecutive losses, expect a motivated performance from Grady Jarrett and the rest of the Falcons’ defensive front, especially with Tunsil and Howard slowly returning to full strength. Therefore, Stroud’s efficiency should undergo a dip.
On the flip side, Desmond Ridder’s struggles don’t need explaining. Nevertheless, let’s do so anyway. Ridder is dead last in big-time throw rate versus turnover-worthy play rate. The thought of another pick-six from the second-year QB generally causes concern when eyeing an under. Still, in previous articles, I’ve hammered out how takeaways aren’t predictive of future outcomes.
In fact, the total could be inflated by a contrasting thought process. Remember that Jacksonville accrued three Ridder-centric turnovers in Week 4, setting up prime field position and a score. Similarly, Houston profited from five takeaways in their two-game winning streak.
Moreover, the Falcons are built to win on the ground via their stout offensive line. If tailbacks Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier find lanes versus the Texans’ susceptible run defense, they’ll avoid some of Ridder’s erratic throws while servicing a positive game script. That also lends itself to the under, as Atlanta has manufactured a below-average neutral pace.
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