Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
Sunday Blitz - Week 5
GAMES TO WATCH
Buccaneers at Saints (-3, 45 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
Tampa Bay (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) is winless in two home games this season, but the Buccaneers have excelled on the road by beating the Panthers and Rams in the underdog role. In Week 4’s most unexpected result, nobody predicted the Bucs would drop 55 points on defending NFC champion Los Angeles in a 55-40 upset as nine-point underdogs. Jameis Winston posted 385 yards and four touchdown passes for the Bucs, who have covered five consecutive games as an underdog since Week 15 of 2018.
For the first time since Teddy Bridgewater has taken over as starting quarterback for the injured Drew Brees, the Saints (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) are listed in the favorite role on Sunday. Bridgewater led the Saints past the Seahawks as a road underdog in Week 3, followed by a 12-10 triumph as 2 ½-point home underdog to hand the Cowboys their first loss of the season. The Saints are laying points for the first time since a Week 1 last-second win over the Texans, but New Orleans is riding an 0-5 ATS run (including the playoffs) since Week 15 of 2018 as a favorite.
The road team captured each of the two matchups last season, as the Buccaneers outlasted the Saints, 48-40 as 10-point underdogs in the 2018 opener. Both Brees and Bucs’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick each eclipsed the 400-yard passing mark in that shootout, but the Saints got the better of Tampa Bay in the second meeting at Raymond James Stadium, 28-14 as 10-point favorites. The Bucs own a 3-2 ATS mark in the last five trips to the Superdome, but all three covers came as a touchdown underdog or higher.
Best Bet: Saints 24, Buccaneers 20
Bills at Titans (-2 ½, 39 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
Although it’s only Week 5, this is a pivotal game in the AFC playoff race as a Buffalo (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) would help solidify the Bills as a Wild Card contender. The Bills started 3-0 prior to suffering their first loss of the season last Sunday, 16-10 to the Patriots. Buffalo fell to 3-29 in the past 32 meetings with New England, but managed a cover as seven-point underdogs. The Bills outgained the Patriots by 151 yards, but scored only one touchdown as Buffalo has amassed more yardage than its opponents in all four games.
The Titans (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) rebounded from consecutive divisional losses to the Colts and Jaguars to knock off the Falcons, 24-10 as 3 ½-point road underdogs. Tennessee jumped out to a 24-7 halftime lead and cruised to its second win this season in the ‘dog role led by Marcus Mariota’s three touchdown passes. The only issue for the Titans this season is succeeding in the favorite situation as Tennessee is 0-2 SU/ATS when laying points.
Buffalo squeezed past Tennessee last season, 13-12 as six-point home underdogs, marking the third consecutive meeting since 2012 that has been decided by exactly one point. The Bills are leaving the state of New York for the first time this season, as Buffalo tries to improve on a 6-3 ATS record in its past nine road contests.
Best Bet: Titans 17, Bills 14
Packers at Cowboys (-3 ½, 47) – 4:25 PM EST
Both these NFC squads dropped their first game of the season last week as each of these teams seek a 4-1 start. Green Bay’s (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) offense finally woke up, notably quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw for a season-high 422 yards after not posting more than 235 yards in any of the first three wins. However, Rodgers was intercepted on the final drive in the red zone as the Packers lost to the Eagles, 34-27 as 3 ½-point favorites. Now, Green Bay is flipped to a road underdog, as the Packers are 2-9 SU and 3-7-1 ATS the past nine games away from Lambeau Field.
The Cowboys (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) took care of the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins in each of the first three weeks, while scoring at least 31 points in each of those victories. Dallas didn’t allow a touchdown in last week’s game at New Orleans, but the Saints did enough to edge the Cowboys, 12-10. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Cowboys led, 10-9 before a short Wil Lutz field goal put the Saints ahead for good to cash as 2 ½-point underdogs. Dak Prescott threw nine touchdown passes in the first three games, but didn’t reach the end zone, while Ezekiel Elliott was held to his lowest rushing output of the season with 35 yards.
Dallas responded well off a loss in 2018 by going 5-1 SU, but covered only twice in those six opportunities. The Packers have owned the Cowboys over the last decade by winning seven of the last eight meetings since 2009, as Green Bay is 3-0 in Arlington in this stretch. The three wins have come by 1, 3, and 4 points, capped off by a 35-31 victory as 2 ½-point underdogs in 2017 as Green Bay erased a 21-6 deficit by scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute.
Best Bet: Packers 28, Cowboys 24
Kevin Rogers (2-3 last week, 11-9 this season)
Vikings -5 ½
Browns +3 ½
Chris David (2-3 last week, 8-12 this season)
Panthers -3 ½
Vikings -5 ½
Redskins +15 ½
Saints -3 ½
Kevin Rogers (3-1)
Eliminated – Rams lost to Buccaneers in Week 4
Chris David (4-0, Week 1 – SEA, Week 2 – NE, Week 3 – DAL, Week 4 – LAC)
Eagles over Jets
BEST TOTAL PLAY
UNDER 40 ½ - Bears vs. Raiders
Chicago and Oakland hook up at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London for the first overseas game of the season. The Raiders are coming off an impressive road victory over the Colts last week, 31-24, but Oakland has struggled to score points following a win since Jon Gruden returned as head coach. Oakland is 0-5 off a win since 2018, while scoring 10, 3, 16, 17, and 10 points in those games. Oh, and throw in the fact that All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack is facing his former team for the first time since the Raiders dealt him to the Bears prior to last season. The Bears have allowed no more than 15 points in a game this season and even though they turn to backup quarterback Chase Daniel, Chicago may win this game and not even reach 21 points.
TRAP OF THE WEEK
The Broncos still haven’t won a game yet this season as they sit at 0-4. Tow of those losses came on a last-second field goal at home to the Bears and Jaguars, while squandering a 17-3 lead in last week’s two-point defeat to Jacksonville. Denver heads to Los Angeles to face the Chargers, who are coming off their second win of the season. The Chargers opened up as 6 ½-point favorites, but that number has dropped to 5 ½ at the Westgate Superbook. Denver rallied past Los Angeles last season, 23-22, as the Chargers own a 2-6-1 ATS mark in their last nine home contests.
BIGGEST LINE MOVE
Both the Bengals and Cardinals have yet to win a game this season as the two teams hook up at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati opened up as a 4 ½-point favorite at the Westgate Superbook, but the Bengals have dropped to a three-point favorite. The Bengals’ offense has gone backwards from a yardage perspective each week, while tallying only 175 yards in last Monday’s 27-3 drubbing by Pittsburgh. Cincinnati has won only one of its last 12 games dating back to last season, while Arizona seeks its second road cover of the season.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW
The Falcons have struggled in the role of a road underdog the last few seasons by accumulating a dreadful 1-8 SU/ATS mark. The only victory came at Washington in 2018 as a measly one-point ‘dog, while Atlanta is 0-2 ATS when receiving points on the road this season in defeats at Minnesota and Indianapolis. The last time the Falcons won outright as a road underdog of four points or more came at Oakland in Week 2 of the 2016 season. Atlanta is facing its third consecutive AFC South opponent, as the Falcons try to end their interconference hex by going 1-12 in their last 13 matchups with AFC foes.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.