- Is it time to buy the Steelers off an embarrassing defeat?
- Why I’m backing the Jaguars as London underdogs.
- Read on for full analysis for early NFL Betting Predictions.
Save for Monday Night Football, Week 4 of the NFL regular season is in the books.
Ample storylines emerged from the Sunday slate, with none bigger than the Bills handing the Dolphins their first loss. Elsewhere, the Titans, Ravens and Buccaneers all pulled upsets as underdogs while the Eagles moved to 4-0 following an overtime win.
Now, we’re on to the Week 5 slate. Here’s a look at the current spreads and totals, as well as my two early best bets.
|Week 2 Game
|Commanders vs. Bears (Thursday Night Football)
|Bills vs. Jaguars (London)
|Falcons vs. Texans
|Lions vs. Panthers
|Colts vs. Titans
|Dolphins vs. Giants
|Patriots vs. Saints
|Steelers vs. Ravens
|Rams vs. Eagles
|Cardinals vs. Bengals
|Broncos vs. Jets
|Vikings vs. Chiefs
|49ers vs. Cowboys (Sunday Night Football)
|Raiders vs. Packers (Monday Night Football)
NFL Week 5 Early Betting Predictions
NFL odds are reflective at the time of writing and subject to movement.
Pittsburgh Steelers Spread (+4.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens
I hate this bet with every fiber of my being. However, it must be done.
The Steelers played arguably their worst game of the season Week 4 in Houston, and public bettors are probably leaving them for dead. But the truth is that they fit a number of historically profitable betting angles.
Teams off a loss of 20 or more points are 57% against the spread in their next game. When the opposing team is coming off a win of 15 or more points, the underdog is 59.6% against the spread.
Also, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is brilliant as an underdog against the spread.
For his career, Tomlin is 64.9% in that position, including 6-1-2 ATS when he’s a home divisional underdog and 16-5-3 ATS when he’s a home underdog.
Lastly, home divisional underdogs in the first six weeks of the season are 59% ATS dating back to 2005-06.
Given those trends, expect the Steelers’ defense to help keep this game close against an overvalued Ravens’ side. Back the Steelers at +3.5 or better.
Jacksonville Jaguars Spread (+5.5) vs. Buffalo Bills
If anything, this bet is more theory-based than it is metrics-based.
The Jaguars obliterated the Falcons in London on Sunday and will stay there for Week 5 against the Bills. Conversely, Buffalo produced a massive win but has never featured in an NFL international game.
The lack of travel familiarity for Buffalo likely decreases their ability to win this game by six or more points. Add in Jacksonville will stay in the United Kingdom for the week, and that probably gives them an edge.
Even if you approach this matchup from a metrics standpoint, these teams are arguably closer than the spread implies.
Per ftnfantasy.com, Jacksonville ranked 15th in total DVOA entering Week 4, including 11th in defensive DVOA.
The Bills are first overall – don’t expect that to change after their win against the Dolphins – but time will tell if that ranking travels.
Take the Jaguars at +5 or better on Sunday.
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