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NFL Week 4 was pretty much the worst in my NFL handicapping contest history. I finished 0-4-1 and it was a disastrous end to the first quarter of the NFL regular season. My record has fallen to 8-11-1 and I need to make up a ton of ground for a prayer of making the money in the Circa Million IV.
- JAGUARS +6.5 at Eagles❌
- Bills at RAVENS +3🔪
- Jets at STEELERS -3❌
- Chiefs at BUCCANEERS pick ’em❌
- RAMS +1.5 at 49ers❌
Truth be told, I don’t feel much better about Week 5 than Week 4. In fact, I’ve only placed side cash bets on my first two picks at the time of publishing.
But, the rules are “five NFL games against the spread every week” and I’ve identified a few other spots to round out my Week 5 Circa Million IV entry.
Circa NFL Week 5 Picks
- Listed by order of confidence. First is most confident, and fifth is least.
- Chargers at BROWNS +2
- Lions at PATRIOTS -3.5
- BENGALS +3.5 at Ravens
- FALCONS +8.5 at Buccaneers
- Dolphins at JETS +3.5
Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns +2
This is my favorite matchup of Week 5 because the line is wrong. The Browns were favored in last year’s game vs. the Chargers, which was in L.A. Cleveland hosts Sunday’s meeting with the Chargers and the Browns are home underdogs?!
L.A.’s rushing defense improved from last in 2021 to the fifth-worst this season while Cleveland’s ground game is as powerful this year. I’m expecting a big afternoon from Browns RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Furthermore, Browns QB Jacoby Brissett has been a huge upgrade from Baker Mayfield thus far. Brissett is eighth in success rate and Cleveland’s offense is sixth in adjusted efficiency, according to Football Outsiders (FO).
Detroit Lions at New England Patriots -3.5
It’s the Matt Patricia Revenge Game. Patricia was unfairly thrown under the bus when fired after Week 12 in 2020 as Lions head coach. He returned to his former employer, the Patriots, and Patricia is back for vengeance.
Nah, I’m just joking about that. There’s better analysis in the handicap I produced earlier this week for this Lions-Patriots matchup. I pretty much remind people that it’s Bill Belichick vs. Dan Campbell and Belichick vs. Lions QB Jared Goff.
Cincinnati Bengals +3.5 at Baltimore Ravens
The Bengals beat the brakes off the Ravens in both meetings last season (41-17 and 41-21) and have been easy money as underdogs over the past two seasons.
Cincy is 9-3 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog with a +7.0 ATS margin since 2021 and 5-2 ATS vs. the AFC North with a +7.4 ATS margin. Baltimore is 5-9 ATS with a -3.0 ATS margin as favorites over that span.
Also, the Ravens have blown big leads this year because their defense wears down as the game continues. Baltimore’s defense ranks 26th in adjusted efficiency in the second half of games whereas the Bengals rank fourth, per FO.
Atlanta Falcons +8.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta’s injury report is certainly concerning. The Falcons placed RB Cordarrelle Patterson on IR earlier this week and announced stud TE Kyle Pitts would miss Sunday’s game vs. the Bucs.
But, Atlanta is 4-0 ATS in 2022 and the Falcons could catch the Bucs snoozing in Week 5. Tampa’s first five games were a gauntlet. Bucs met the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in Week 1, visited the Saints in New Orleans Week 2, hosted the Packers two weeks ago and the Chiefs Sunday.
Also, Atlanta’s ground game could have success vs. Tampa, even without Patterson. The Falcons are second in adjusted offensive rushing efficiency (per FO) whereas the Bucs are 25th in rushing defense success rate.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets +3.5
This is more of a “fade” against everyone else’s analysis, which is Dolphins backup QB Teddy Bridgewater isn’t a big dropoff from starting QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Maybe all of the Miami organization has been lying but the Dolphins had real excitement about Tua. Miami started 3-0 and Tua showed different skills in the three wins.
He game-managed the Dolphins past the Patriots and Bills in Weeks 1 and 3 and Tua went OFF in Miami’s crazy 42-38 upset win at the Ravens. Also, Tua’s injury isn’t the only one Miami is sweating.
Dolphins LT Terron Armstead missed practice all week with a toe. Miami WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle were limited when they practiced this week. All three are top-nine players at their position (per Pro Football Focus) and all are listed as “questionable” on the injury report.
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