Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

Week 5: NFL Betting Primer

We’ve all had someone or something that’s played with our emotions.

For some, it started young when dad pulled the old “I’m going to the store for a pack of cigarettes” trick. For others, it’s when your prom date pulls the old “I’m going to the bathroom” trick, then you don’t see her until a few hours later when she’s inexplicably slow dancing with your dad, whom you haven’t seen since he left for that pack of smokes.

This is a pretty specific example that I’m sure only a few of us can relate to, but one thing we can all relate to as bettors is having our emotions played with each and every week during the NFL season.

Let’s use the Buccaneers and Saints, who play this weekend, as perhaps the ultimate examples of teams that toy with our hearts and warp our minds.

The Bucs came into the season with expectations as a team that could possibly be in line for an improvement, but ultimately not much was expected. They fell short of those modest expectations in Week 1 when they were embarrassed at home, losing 31-17 as a 1-point favorite vs the 49ers. As a result, many of us wrote them off as they looked a lot like the disaster they’ve been the past few seasons.

Then, after throwing us all off the scent, they come out in Week 2 and win outright as a 6.5-point underdog in Carolina with the defense and Jameis Winston each having one of their best performances of the past few seasons.

Then, we found ourselves pondering the possibility that maybe there’s some sleeper potential with Tampa Bay. NOPE. They follow up the big win by blowing an 18-point lead at home and losing to the Giants as a 5-point favorite.

So, we got them pegged, right? WRONG! In what will go down as one of the bigger upsets of the season — one that maybe ousted you from your survivor pool — they fly across the country and destroy the Rams by 15 as a 9-point underdog. If someone claims that they predicted this start for the Bucs, they’re lying.

The Saints have played with our emotions in a much different way the past few seasons as they have a pattern of starting slow, then putting their foot on the gas. After barely edging out the Texans at home in Week 1, they got their butts kicked in LA to start the season 0-2 ATS, which made them look like a serious candidate for regression. NOPE. They won their next two games as an underdog.

This is how their previous four seasons have gone:

2018: They didn’t cover in Weeks 1 and 2, then they covered in eight straight games.

2017: They didn’t cover in the first two weeks, then they covered six of the next seven.

2016: They split the first two, then covered five of their next six.

2015: They go 0-2 ATS in Weeks 1 and 2, then cover in four of the next five.

What I’m getting at with these two very different examples is that this is a very volatile league from week to week and especially from season to season. However, you shouldn’t let the wild swings we see each week impact your mindset. Emotion should not be involved in your handicapping strategy — that’s why many bettors avoid betting on or against their favorite team.

This is much easier said than done, but always try to determine if a surprise performance is an outlier based on the team’s body of work leading up to the game, or if it’s a realistic sign of things to come.

Besides the Bucs and Saints, emotions are running high for much different reasons in another matchup this week between the Vikings and Giants. Many will be keen to fade Kirk Cousins and the Vikings after they got embarrassed vs the Bears, completely forgetting that they also got embarrassed vs the Packers in Week 2, only to turn things around the following week and destroy the Raiders.  

There’s countless examples throughout a season, so be sure to handicap based on a larger sample size, as opposed to how you feel about a player or team based on one game. As for your dad abandoning you and humiliating you on your prom night, though, no one will judge you if you get swayed by emotions, but remember that it’s not healthy to hold a grudge.

My System for Sleeping on a Plane

As you’re likely aware if you follow me on Twitter or watch Guys & Bets, myself and a few other members of the Odds Shark crew are headed to Jolly Old England to do a few shows, check out Bears vs Raiders, take in a few soccer matches and experience the British culture. It will all be documented so make sure you’re subscribed on YouTube and following along on Instagram.

Anyways, getting there is a pain in the ass. After a layover, it’s a seven-hour overnight haul which gets us in at 9 a.m. local time. I want to hit the ground running with as much energy as possible upon arrival, so sleep will be imperative on the way there.

Many hate and/or cannot sleep on planes, but this isn’t an issue for me. It’s not an automatic thing, though, as there’s a few simple steps that I put into place for an optimal sleeping-while-flying experience.

Here they are:

  1. Eat a meal before getting on the plane
  2. Wear a lightweight hoodie, a hat and sunglasses
  3. Get some earplugs
  4. Drug yourself (With something legal! I recommend over-the-counter motion sickness pills and/or melatonin)

Before the plane takes off, take your “sleep aid.” Pop in those earplugs, put on your hat and shades and pull up that hoodie. Once you’re in the air, the drowsiness should start to kick in and the earplugs, hat, hoodie and sunglasses combo will put you into your own little world, which you’ll hopefully be comfortable enough in to doze off.

That’s the easy part, so hopefully you won’t have to deal with any delays, a seat directly across from the bathroom or some slob who’s dominating the armrest in the seat next to you. Give my sleep system a try, good luck in Week 5, and as always KEEP CHASING THAT PAPER!

Rams-Seahawks

  • The Rams won both games vs the Seahawks last season, but Seattle covered the spread in each game.
  • Since 2007, the Seahawks are an INSANE 24-6-3 ATS in night games. This includes a 15-3-2 ATS run in home night games.
  • The Rams are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Rams' last six games on the road. (Avg combined score: 41.0)
  • The road team is 8-20 SU in the last 28 Thursday Night Football games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 10 of the Seahawks' last 13 games. (Avg combined score: 51.46)
  • The Rams are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games on the road vs the Seahawks.

Bears-Raiders

  • The Bears are 12-3 SU and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games.
  • The Raiders are playing in London for the third straight season. In their last two games there, they scored a grand total of 11 points, losing the games by 24 and 25 points.
  • The Raiders are averaging 14.63 points scored over their last eight road games.
  • Bears games have had a league-low average combined score of just 27.75 points.
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Bears' last nine games. (Avg combined score: 29.0)
  • The Bears are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games after an ATS win.
  • The Raiders are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games after an ATS win.
  • The Raiders are 1-7 SU and ATS in their last eight games in the early afternoon.

Bills-Titans

  • The Bills beat the Titans 13-12 in Buffalo last season.
  • The Titans have allowed just 15 points per game over their last eight games.
  • The Titans are 11-4 SU in their last 15 games as favorite.
  • The Bills are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Bills' last nine games on the road. (Avg combined score: 36.67)
  • The total has gone OVER in four of the Titans' last five games at home. (Avg combined score: 42.8)

Broncos-Chargers

  • The teams split the season series last season with both games going UNDER.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the Broncos' last 13 games. (Avg combined score: 39.38)
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Broncos' last seven games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Chargers' last 11 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Broncos are averaging just 15.38 points over their last eight games.
  • The Broncos are 0-8 SU in their last eight games. (Avg losing margin: 7.13)
  • The Broncos are 1-9 SU and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as road underdogs.
  • The Broncos are 1-9 SU and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games vs their division on the road.

Buccaneers-Saints

  • The total has gone UNDER in 15 of the Buccaneers' last 21 games vs the Saints. (Avg combined score: 46.86)
  • The Buccaneers are 4-16 SU in their last 20 games on the road.
  • Over their last 10 road games, the Bucs are allowing an average of 34 points per game.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Saints' last four games at home. (Avg combined score: 40.75)
  • The Saints are 0-6 ATS in their last six games as favorite.
  • The Saints are 16-3 SU in their last 19 games as home favorites.
  • The Saints are 7-2 SU in their last nine games vs their division at home.
  • The Buccaneers are 4-11 SU in their last 15 games vs the Saints.
  • The Bucs and Patriots are the only remaining teams with perfect 4-0 first-half ATS records.

Falcons-Texans

  • The total has gone UNDER in the Texans' last six games at home. (Avg combined score: 31.5)
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Falcons' last four games. (Avg combined score: 42.25)
  • The Falcons are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games on the road.
  • The Falcons are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games on the road in October.
  • The Falcons are 0-13 ATS in their last 13 games vs the AFC.
  • The Texans are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games at home after losing their most recent home game.
  • The Falcons have a first-half point differential of -12.75 points which is the second-worst in the NFL.

Jaguars-Panthers

  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Jaguars' last seven games. (Avg combined score: 34.86)
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Panthers' last four games at home. (Avg combined score: 36.5)
  • The Jaguars are averaging just 13.4 points per game over their last five road games.
  • The Panthers are averaging just 15 points per game over their last four home games.
  • The Panthers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games as favorite.

Jets-Eagles

  • The Eagles have the best third-down conversion rate in the league. The Jets have the worst.
  • The Eagles are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games as home favorites.
  • The Eagles are 0-9-1 ATS in their last 10 games in the early afternoon.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Jets' last four games. (Avg combined score: 36.0)
  • The Jets are 0-6 SU in their last six games. (Avg losing margin: 14.17)
  • The total has gone UNDER in 17 of the Jets' last 22 games after a bye.
  • The total has gone OVER in three of the Eagles' last four games. (Avg combined score: 53.75)
  • The Jets are 0-10 SU in their last 10 games vs the Eagles. (Avg losing margin: 10.0)

Patriots-Redskins

  • The Patriots have a league-best first-half point differential of +15.75. The Redskins rank 28th at -8.25.
  • The Redskins are allowing a league-high opponents third-down conversion percentage of 62.96. The Patriots have the league best at 12.36 percent.
  • The Patriots are 9-0 SU in their last nine games. (Avg winning margin: 19.0)
  • The Redskins are 0-6 SU in their last six games at home. (Avg losing margin: 16.67)
  • The Patriots are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as a double-digit favorite.
  • The Patriots are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games after consecutive ATS losses.
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of the Patriots' last five games. (Avg combined score: 33.0)
  • The Patriots have allowed just 6 points per game over their last five games.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of the Redskins' last six games at home. (Avg combined score: 45.67)

Vikings-Giants

  • The Vikings are 8-1 SU in their last nine games as favorite.
  • The Vikings are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as favorite.
  • The Giants are 1-6 SU and ATS in their last seven games as home underdogs.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Vikings' last six games. (Avg combined score: 36.17)
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Giants' last four games at home. (Avg combined score: 39.25)
  • Over their last five road games, the Vikings are averaging just 13.2 points.

Cardinals-Bengals

  • The Cardinals are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games in the early afternoon. They’re coming off two straight home games.
  • The Bengals have allowed 33.5 points per game over their last six home games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of the Bengals' last five games. (Avg combined score: 39.2)
  • The Bengals are 0-6 SU in their last six games. (Avg losing margin: 10.67)
  • The Bengals are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games at home.

Ravens-Steelers

  • The Steelers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as underdog.
  • The Ravens are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as favorite.
  • The Steelers are 15-1-1 SU in their last 17 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Ravens are 0-5 ATS in their last five games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone OVER in 12 of the Steelers' last 17 games at home. (Avg combined score: 54.71)
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of the Ravens' last eight games vs the Steelers. (Avg combined score: 45.5)

Packers-Cowboys

  • The Cowboys are 7-0 SU in their last seven games at home. (Avg winning margin: 9.86)
  • The Cowboys are 8-1 SU in their last nine games after a loss.
  • The Packers are 2-9 SU in their last 11 games on the road.
  • The total has gone OVER in 18 of the Packers' last 25 games on the road. (Avg combined score: 52.88)
  • The Packers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games after an ATS loss.
  • The Cowboys are 11-3 SU in their last 14 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of the Cowboys' last seven games. (Avg combined score: 47.43)
  • The Packers are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games vs the Cowboys.
  • The total has gone OVER in 15 of the Packers' last 21 games vs the Cowboys. (Avg combined score: 51.24)

Colts-Chiefs

  • Both teams rank in the top five in third-down conversion percentage.
  • The Colts rank last in opponent red-zone TD scoring percentage.
  • The total has gone OVER in four of the Chiefs' last five games. (Avg combined score: 59.4)
  • The Colts are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on the road vs teams with winning records.
  • The Colts are 2-9 SU in their last 11 games at night.
  • The total has gone OVER in 19 of the Colts' last 22 games at night.
  • The Colts are 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS in their last six games before a bye.
  • The Chiefs are 4-0 SU in their last four games. (Avg winning margin: 10.25)
  • The Colts are 7-2 SU and ATS in their last nine games on the road vs the Chiefs.

Browns-49ers

  • The home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 MNF games.
  • The 49ers are 0-12 ATS in their last 12 games as home favorites.
  • The 49ers are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games after a bye.
  • The Browns are 4-0 ATS in their last four games on the road.
  • The Browns are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games after an ATS win.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Browns' last five games at night.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the 49ers' last four games at home. (Avg combined score: 37.5)