NFL Week 5 Odds: Mismatch Outlook
Sometimes you have to seriously look past an NFL team's records, understand the mindset of an oddsmaker to comprehend a point spread, and never question the motive. Thus, when you have a 1-2 team laying -8 points to a first-place team that is 3-1 and just handed a rival its first loss, don't ask why, and just know that number has been installed for good reason.
For instance, the Green Bay Packers are that 1-2 team, they're laying nearly double digits to the Detroit Lions (3-1), who just knocked off the Chicago Bears and now have a share of first place in the NFC North. Crazy right? Well, brace yourself, as the division battle is also one of the three biggest mismatches according to OddsShark.com's power rankings ... in Green Bay's favor. The Packers are the fourth-ranked team in the poll, while Detroit checks in at No. 19. And make note, the Lions have lost 22 straight games in Wisconsin, including 19 straight at Lambeau Field.
The biggest mismatch on the card is another clash where you have to look past the records, as the fifth-ranked Carolina Panthers (1-2) visit No. 29 Arizona (2-2), where the Cardinals are 1-0. The Panthers have lost their lone road game, but the oddsmakers have them installed as a 1.5-point favorite. Carolina's defense is allowing just 12 points per game, while Arizona has been outscored by 20 points and only has seven touchdowns on the year.
The winning record vs. favorite discrepancy continues with the second-biggest mismatch according to the power rankings, with the ninth-ranked Atlanta Falcons (1-3) laying 10.5 points to the New York Jets (2-2), who are 28th in the poll. Perhaps it's because the Jets have lost both road games and have been outscored by 20 this season.
As for the consensus plays at OddsShark: 71 percent of the voters like the Kansas City Chiefs laying 2.5 at the Tennessee Titans; 69 percent say the Denver Broncos will cover -8.5 at the Dallas Cowboys; 66 percent have the Panthers cashing in the 1.5 in Arizona; and 65 percent believe the San Diego Chargers will make money laying -4 at the Oakland Raiders.