BET­TING NFL Week 5 hand­i­cap­ping break­down

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - SPORTS - Lee Ster­ling, Paramoun­tS­ports.com, @paramoun­ts­ports

■ Time: 10 a.m.

■ Line/To­tal: Ravens -3, 45½

Anal­y­sis: To beat the Ravens de­fense, you need an ex­pe­ri­enced QB that has seen all the blitz pack­ages they em­ploy and a slew of WRs that can ei­ther beat press cov­er­age or read where the holes are in the zone. Bal­ti­more also gets CB Jimmy Smith back from sus­pen­sion. Browns rookie QB Baker May­field is go­ing to have his ups and downs, and this could be one of those down days. Cleve­land third-year WR Rashard Hig­gins and rookie wide­out An­to­nio Cal­loway aren’t quite ready for these types of so­phis­ti­cated de­fenses.

■ By the num­bers: The Browns have hung around in most games be­cause they are plus 7 in turnover ra­tio. That num­ber should slip with May­field in­serted as the start­ing QB. … The Ravens are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 games vs. AFC North op­po­nents.

■ Pick: Ravens 24, Browns 13

Jaguars (3-1) at Chiefs (4-0)

■ Time: 10 a.m.

■ Line/To­tal: Chiefs -3, 49

■ Anal­y­sis: Chiefs QB Pa­trick Ma­homes faced one of the most so­phis­ti­cated de­fenses with a top-level pass rush last week in Den­ver and didn’t flinch. His last two drives were the stuff le­gends are made of. The Jack­sonville de­fense is one of the top three units in the NFL, but this high-scor­ing Kan­sas City of­fense, av­er­ag­ing 36 points per game, won’t be shut down.

■ By the num­bers: The Jaguars are 1-7 vs. the AFC West in the last eight meet­ings. … The Chiefs are on an 8-0 ATS run.

■ Pick: Chiefs 31, Jaguars 24

Ti­tans (3-1) at Bills (1-3)

■ Time: 10 a.m.

■ Line/To­tal: Ti­tans -5½ ,39

■ Anal­y­sis: I don’t think the Ti­tans are as good as their 3-1 record. I also don’t think the Bills are doomed to win only two or three games. I doubt that Mar­cus Mar­i­ota teams up with sec­ond-year wide­outs Corey Davis and Tay­wan Tay­lor close to the 16 times he did last week.

■ By the num­bers: Rarely are all the games played by a team de­cided by dou­ble dig­its, but all of Buf­falo’s games this sea­son — win or lose — have been de­cided in blowout fash­ion.

■ Pick: Ti­tans 20, Bills 17

Gi­ants (1-3) at Pan­thers (2-1)

■ Time: 10 a.m.

■ Line/To­tal: Pan­thers -6, 43½

■ Anal­y­sis: I guess the think­ing in the Gi­ants’ camp was if the team drafted RB Saquon Barkley, the run­ning game would al­low QB Eli Man­ning to have more time to throw in play ac­tion and the of­fense would be fixed. But the of­fen­sive line re­mains the big­gest prob­lem, as Jon Hala­pio is lost for the sea­son with an an­kle in­jury and 2015 first-round pick Ereck Flow­ers is still per­fect­ing the look­out block.

■ By the num­bers: The Gi­ants’ of­fense has been pu­trid. It has been lim­ited to fewer than 18 points in 11 of its last 14 games. … Carolina has the NFL’s No. 1 rush­ing of­fense, pow­ered by Chris­tian McCaffrey, who had a ca­reer-high 184 rush­ing yards in the Pan­thers’ win over Cincin­nati.

■ Pick: Pan­thers 27, Gi­ants 13

Bron­cos (2-2) at Jets (1-3)

■ Time: 10 a.m.

■ Line/To­tal: Pick, 42½

■ Anal­y­sis: As good as the Den­ver de­fense is, QB Case Keenum might not be the right fit, as he’s thrown six in­ter­cep­tions in four games. The Jets don’t have many stars on de­fense, but they rarely bust a cov­er­age. New York’s ball-hawk­ing sec­ondary might be the dif­fer­ence in a game that could be de­cided by one big play ei­ther way.

■ By the num­bers: Bron­cos coach Vance Joseph is 1-8 on the road. … The Jets are av­er­ag­ing 19.8 points per game, and that in­cludes their 48-point ex­plo­sion in Week 1.

■ Pick: Jets 20, Bron­cos 16

Fal­cons (1-3) at Steel­ers (1-2-1)

■ Time: 10 a.m.

■ Line/To­tal: Steel­ers -3½ ,58

■ Anal­y­sis: The Fal­cons keep tak­ing hits on the de­fen­sive side of the ball, as they lost two safeties for the sea­son as well as their best line­backer and DT Grady Jar­rett. I doubt that the Steel­ers make the play­offs, but they have a pro­lific of­fense and this game is played on grass, an off sur­face for the Fal­cons. Just be­cause At­lanta’s of­fense has played well in the last two games doesn’t mean it has solved its red zone prob­lems.

■ By the num­bers: The Fal­cons have scored more than 30 points in each of their last three games but have only one win to show for all that of­fense. … Even though At­lanta’s de­fense ap­peared to have am­ple depth go­ing into the sea­son, it has al­lowed 403.5 yards per game and 30.5 points.

■ Pick: Steel­ers 33, Fal­cons 27

Pack­ers (2-1-1) at Li­ons (1-3)

■ Time: 10 a.m., KVVU-5

■ Line/To­tal: Pick, 51

■ Anal­y­sis: I’m not sure what is worse, the allgray out­fits worn by the Li­ons or the throw­back Pack­ers uni­forms. If not for Aaron Rodgers’ in­cred­i­ble come­back in Week 1 against Chicago, the Pack­ers would be 1-2-1. De­troit has an un­der­rated WR trio of Golden Tate, Mar­vin Jones and Kenny Gol­la­day that could do dam­age against a re­built Pack­ers sec­ondary.

■ By the num­bers: The un­der­dog is 4-0 ATS in De­troit’s games. … The Pack­ers were on a 0-6 ATS

skid un­til their shutout win last week over Buf­falo. ■ Pick: Li­ons 31, Pack­ers 28

■ Time: 10 a.m.

■ Line/To­tal: Bengals -6, 48½

■ Anal­y­sis: The Dol­phins are 3-1, but they have been out­gained by 438 yards. They will be with­out Bobby Mc­Clain, their best slot CB, and are down to four de­fen­sive line­men who made their ros­ter in Week 1. With Bengals RB Joe Mixon due back, Cincin­nati’s of­fense should have enough bal­ance and quick-strike ca­pa­bil­ity to play with the lead and keep the Dol­phins de­fense off bal­ance.

■ By the num­bers: Not many good signs for the Dol­phins last week, as QB Ryan Tan­nehill threw for 100 yards against the Pa­tri­ots be­fore he was re­placed. … Mi­ami fin­ished with 172 to­tal yards against New Eng­land.

■ Pick: Bengals 28, Dol­phins 17

Raiders (1-3) at Charg­ers (2-2)

■ Time: 1:05 p.m., KLAS-8

■ Line/To­tal: Charg­ers -5½ ,52½

■ Anal­y­sis: The Raiders fi­nally won a game last week, but it was gifted to them by the ref­er­ees. Oak­land’s of­fen­sive line ap­pears to be leak­ing with no hope for fix­ing that prob­lem this sea­son. The line has al­lowed six sacks in the last two weeks in games vs. Mi­ami and Cleve­land. The Charg­ers are giv­ing up 30 points per game, but have faced the top two of­fenses in the league in the Rams and Chiefs. Don’t let those num­bers sway you on the wrong side of this game.

■ By the num­bers: The Raiders’ top two re­ceiv­ing tar­gets, Jared Cook and Amari Cooper, had more than 100 re­ceiv­ing yards in the same game for the first time this sea­son. … Philip Rivers is hav­ing an­other un­der-the-radar great sea­son with 11 TD passes against two in­ter­cep­tions.

■ Pick: Charg­ers 42, Raiders 14

Car­di­nals (0-4) at 49ers (1-3)

■ Time: 1:25 p.m.

■ Line/To­tal: 49ers -3, 40

■ Anal­y­sis: If you watch more than a se­ries of this game, you are ei­ther a big fan of one of the two teams or you bet on the game. San Fran­cisco has scored 13 or fewer points in four of QB C.J. Beathard’s six ca­reer starts.

■ By the num­bers: The rea­son the Car­di­nals will be an un­der­dog is they rank last in al­most all of the ma­jor of­fen­sive cat­e­gories. … The un­der is 14-6 in Ari­zona games since the start of 2017.

■ Pick: Car­di­nals 14, 49ers 13

Vik­ings (1-2-1) at Ea­gles (2-2)

■ Time: 1:25 p.m., KVVU-5

■ Line/To­tal: Ea­gles -3, 46½

■ Anal­y­sis: Min­nesota QB Kirk Cousins isn’t the rea­son the Vik­ings have a los­ing record. The of­fen­sive line lacks tal­ent, and the de­fen­sive line is hav­ing trou­ble get­ting pres­sure on the QB, ex­pos­ing the sec­ondary on many long passes. Philadel­phia QB Car­son Wentz seems to be close to 100 per­cent, and Al­shon Jef­fery, his top WR, came back last week and looked in mid­sea­son form with eight catches for 105 yards and a TD.

■ By the num­bers: The Ea­gles are on a 7-2 ATS run vs. the Vik­ings. … Min­nesota’s of­fen­sive line has sur­ren­dered 13 sacks.

■ Pick: Ea­gles 27, Vik­ings 20

Rams (4-0) at Sea­hawks (2-2)

■ Time: 1:25 p.m.

■ Line/To­tal: Rams -7½ ,50

■ Anal­y­sis: Seat­tle needs long, time-con­sum­ing drives to score most of its touch­downs. The Rams have quick-strike ca­pa­bil­ity with deep-threat wide re­ceivers Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Those three re­ceivers have com­bined for 74 catches and eight TDs. They also plugged in Sam Shields at cor­ner­back af­ter the loss of Aqib Talib for the sea­son, and he looks as if he might be headed back to the Pro Bowl.

■ By the num­bers: The Sea­hawks are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games. … Seat­tle is on a 3-15 ATS slide in Oc­to­ber af­ter com­ing off a straight-up win vs. a di­vi­sion op­po­nent.

■ Pick: Rams 34, Sea­hawks 20

Cow­boys (2-2) at Tex­ans (1-3)

■ Time: 5:20 p.m., KSNV-3

■ Line/To­tal: Tex­ans -3½ ,45½

■ Anal­y­sis: Teams won’t win many games in the new NFL with­out a strong pass­ing game. Dak Prescott had his first 200-yard pass­ing game of the sea­son last week. Tex­ans QB De­shaun Wat­son seems to be round­ing into shape, throw­ing for 375 yards and two TDs in a win last week in In­di­anapo­lis. He also wasn’t afraid to run for the first time this sea­son, net­ting 41 yards.

■ By the num­bers: Hous­ton has sur­ren­dered 17 sacks. … The Tex­ans are 2-12 SU and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games.

■ Pick: Tex­ans 28, Cow­boys 20

Red­skins (2-1) at Saints (3-1)

■ Time: 5:15 p.m. Mon­day, ESPN

■ Line/To­tal: Saints -6, 53

■ Anal­y­sis: It ap­pears the only way the Saints will win most games are in shootouts, as their de­fense is al­low­ing more than 300 yards pass­ing per game. With the loss of slot cor­ner­back Pa­trick Robin­son, the Saints de­fen­sive stats could fall even fur­ther. The Red­skins’ de­fense is un­der­rated, giv­ing up 14.7 points per game.

■ By the num­bers: Saints op­po­nents have a com­bined 5-10-1 record. … New Or­leans’ de­fense is giv­ing up 30.2 points per game.

■ Pick: Red­skins 31, Saints 28

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