NFL Week 5 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Six Best Bets

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

Even though we got bit on the backside by the bad beat monster when Patrick Mahomes decided to slide instead of score, last week's picks finished 4-2. Which brings our season record to a downright astounding 16-8. At a time when the highest-profile celebrity prognosticators are having their blazing tips go cold or their million-dollar bankroll go bust, perhaps the lil' ol Big Lead is the safest bet in sports? What a time to be alive and profitable.

BILLS (-5.5) over JAGUARS

The Jaguars have an advantage here since they played in London this past Sunday and will stick around all week before taking on the Bills. All time-zone adjusted and everything. But Buffalo looked more dominant than they've been in quite some time over the course of their dismantling of the Miami Dolphins. Jacksonville won because they had the luck of going up against the comically overmatched Desmond Ridder. Wonky stuff happens during these international games but the Bills are for real and are too explosive for the Jags to keep up as they continue to work through their significant offensive struggles. Bills 29, Jaguars 20

COWBOYS (+3.5) over 49ERS

This NFC Divisional rematch is probably going to be the best game of the week and will come on Sunday Night Football. So we are all winners in that regard. But while the Niners are maybe the best team in the NFL and pantsed Dak Prescott the last time they saw him, this is the sort of game that ends up very close as both sides give that extra 10 percent of effort that can wane during regular season play. San Francisco is the better overall team, as was the case in the postseason last winter, but Dallas' defense is better and more opportunistic. This will end up a slugfest where the stars have to shine and it'll come down to the wire. 49ers 20, Cowboys 17


We may not appreciate just how terrible the Raiders are. Davante Adams remains elite but otherwise... things are bad. The offensive line gave up six sacks to Khalil Mack alone on Sunday and can't give Josh Jacobs any room to operate after he led the league in rushing last season. The defense is undisciplined and incapable of getting a stop when they need one unless they are playing the Broncos or Brandon Staley. Green Bay's demolition at the hands of the Lions was undoubtedly a wake-up call as far as how significant the Packers' flaws are but they still lap Vegas in terms of talent. And right at this second it's anybody's guess as far as who will actually be starting at quarterback for the Raiders, which is pretty important! Capitalize on the uncertainty while you can. Packers 34, Raiders 13

RAMS (+4.5) over EAGLES

On one hand, it's pretty scary that the Eagles remain one of the precious few remaining unbeaten teams in the league when they've looked a bit discombobulated and hungover from last year's Super Bowl. On the other, perhaps that will be the way this season goes, where they don't look like world-beaters but manage to beat pretty much everyone by the slimmest of margins. Matthew Stafford and the Rams are arguably the biggest sleeper in the NFL right now, playing above perceived potential and developing an unknown wide receiver into a small-sample size god. Homefield isn't really as helpful at SoFi and we think the line reflects that. Still, this feels like a 60-minute affair and honestly one of the more appealing contests in an otherwise underwhelming slate. Eagles 31, Rams 28


It's bizarro world as the Lions have turned into one of the safest bets in sports and flirting with double-digit spreads in their favor. And yet when you survey the entire league, it feels entirely warranted. Going into Green Bay and humiliating the Packers was impressive. But what really stands out is how easy it looked. This team can run the ball, has a bonafide budding superstar in Sam LaPorta, and Jared Goff does enough to win every week. If the defense can put pressure on whomever starts for the hapless Panthers, this could be over before halftime and Dan Campbell isn't one to let up on the gas. Lions 34, Panthers 16


Lamar Jackson vs. Mitch Trubisky. Lamar Jackson vs. Mitch Trubisky. Repeat this phrase three times in a mirror and the ghost of quarterbacks past comes alive and gives you the scare of a lifetime. Don't overthink it. Take the stress-free cover. Ravens 23, Steelers 10