Week 5 Tips
October 5, 2012
By Kevin Rogers
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One month is in the books inside the NFL season as only two teams remain unbeaten following Arizona's loss at St. Louis on Thursday. The Falcons look to move to 5-0 with a trip to Washington, while the Texans are long favorites on Monday night against the Jets. Four favorites on Sunday are attempting to avoid a letdown when they take on inferior opponents, as we'll see if these public teams are solid bets this weekend.
Falcons (-3, 51 ½) at Redskins - 1:00 PM EST
Atlanta rolled through its first three opponents (Kansas City, Denver, and San Diego), but had its struggles in a 30-28 home victory over Carolina last week as seven-point favorites. The Falcons head to the Nation's Capital to take on electric rookie Robert Griffin III and a Redskins' squad that is 2-2 through four weeks.
Washington won and covered each opportunity as an underdog this season at New Orleans and Tampa Bay, while staving off the Buccaneers with a game-winning field goal in last Sunday's 24-22 victory. The Redskins are playing only their second game at FedEx Field, as Mike Shanahan's club lost in the favorite role in Week 3 to the Bengals, 38-31, as Washington is a perfect 4-0 to the 'over' this season.
The Falcons have scored at least 27 points in all four games, but the 'over' sits at just 2-2. Mike Smith's squad owns a 10-5 ATS record as a road favorite since 2008, including a victory at Kansas City in the season opener. Atlanta is making its first trip to D.C. since 2006, when the Falcons beat the Redskins, 24-14 as one-point underdogs, a game that dates back to the famed Jim Mora, Jr. era.
Ravens (-6, 46 ½) at Chiefs - 1:00 PM EST
Baltimore has been off since last Thursday night's home victory over Cleveland, as the Ravens head to Kansas City for the first time since knocking off the Chiefs in the Wild Card round in January 2011. Two teams have lost three games by double-digits this season, as both the Chiefs and Titans search for their second win on Sunday.
Romeo Crennel's team has failed to be competitive in three losses to the Falcons, Chargers, and Bills, while needing to rally from an 18-point deficit to force overtime in a victory at New Orleans. The Chiefs haven't cashed in any loss this season, but Kansas City has compiled a 6-3 ATS record as an underdog at Arrowhead Stadium since 2010. Due to an atrocious defensive effort through four games, the 'over' is 3-1 so far, while the Chiefs have allowed at least 35 points in all three defeats.
The Ravens hit the road for just the second time in 2012, as Baltimore's first away contest was a bitter 24-23 defeat at Philadelphia in Week 2. John Harbaugh's club managed a 23-16 win over the Browns in Week 4, but failed to cash as 11-point favorites. Baltimore owns a 7-4 ATS record the last 11 in the role of road 'chalk,' including the 30-7 rout of the Chiefs to advance to the second round of the 2011 postseason.
Bears (-4 ½, 41) at Jaguars - 4:05 PM EST
An interesting spot for Chicago, coming off Monday's dominating performance as a road 'dog at Dallas. The Bears crushed the Cowboys, 34-18, while intercepting Tony Romo five times, including returning two of those picks for touchdowns. Now, the Bears head to North Florida for a late kickoff with the struggling Jaguars, who fell by 17 points to the Bengals in Week 4.
Lovie Smith's club has put together an impressive 3-1 ATS record, including a pair of double-digit victories in the favorite role over the Colts and Rams. Chicago faces another team in this class, as Jacksonville has scored a grand total of 17 points in two home games. The Jaguars are 3-7 SU/ATS at home off a loss since 2009, which includes a victory over the Ravens last season as a 10-point 'dog.
The Bears are listed as a road favorite for the first time this season, as Chicago is 7-3-1 ATS since 2007 when laying points away from Soldier Field. The defense has held their last two opponents (St. Louis and Dallas) to just 24 points combined, while the Bears own a 5-1 ATS record the last six opportunities as a favorite off a straight-up victory as an underdog.
Bills at 49ers (-9 ½, 44 ½) - 4:25 PM EST
The Niners rebounded nicely from a Week 3 loss at Minnesota by slicing up the Jets, 34-0 last Sunday. San Francisco returns home after spending the last two weeks on the highway to host a Buffalo team that is reeling following a 52-28 beatdown at the hands of New England. How bad was it for the Bills? Chan Gailey's squad led 21-7 before the Patriots ran off 35 unanswered points, as New England improved to 22-2 to the last 24 meetings with Buffalo since 2000.
Since Jim Harbaugh's arrival in the Bay last season, the 49ers are 15-6-1 ATS, while cashing three of four times in 2012. San Francisco has failed to cover one time in this span at Candlestick Park, losing the NFC Championship to the Giants in overtime this past January. The Niners have won six of their previous seven home games against AFC opponents, including a pair of double-digit triumphs over the Steelers and Browns last season.
The Bills have been involved in three high-scoring affairs this season, while allowing at least 48 points in two defeats. In the last 10 games in the road underdog role, Buffalo is just 3-6-1 ATS, including the 20-point blowout loss in the season opener to the Jets. The 'over' is on a nice run for the Bills, going 6-1 since last December.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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