For the first time during the 2020 NFL season, we didn’t net a profit last week in this space. Granted, it was a break-even week at 2-2-1, but alas, the results could have been better and it’s a reminder that handicapping professional football contests (in the world’s sharpest market) is pretty difficult. Still, we press on with an interesting card in Week 5 and, before we get to our five selections, it is time to take a glance at the season-long results.

  • Week 4: 2-2-1
  • 2020 Season: 12-7-1

Come get these winners.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears UNDER 44.5 points

We haven’t dipped much into the Unders this season and, well, that is fortunate given how things have played out across the league. With that said, there is some an intrigue with this Thursday night number. Tampa Bay’s offense, headlined by Tom Brady, is enough to scare you a little bit, but the Bucs are missing weapons all over the place. As for the Bears, count me as a skeptic of this offense, while still buying the defensive side. Cross your fingers.

Las Vegas Raiders (+7) over Kansas City Chiefs in the first half

Earlier in the week, the full-game number was high enough to like it but, at this juncture, the value may be gone. I do, however, like the first half at a full touchdown or better. The Chiefs are the better team. We all know that, but the Raiders are frisky and Kansas City sometimes takes a little bit longer than they’d like to get started. It’ll be a sweat but I like it.

Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers UNDER 22 points in the first half

This total feels juicy, and sharp money has come in on the full-game Under to a significant degree. If you can get more than 44 points, that full game is still pretty appetizing but, even so, I like the first half more. There is a chance, of course, that these two quarterbacks start firing in the fourth quarter but, in the first half, I trust Pittsburgh’s defense and Philadelphia should have enough to slow a Steelers team coming off an unexpected bye.

Miami Dolphins (+9) over San Francisco 49ers

We rode the Eagles to success over the Niners last week, and I’m going back to it with the Dolphins. Yes, Miami is kind of bad, but San Francisco remains completely devastated by injury. This number should probably be 6.5 or 7, and we’ll take the 9 with glee.

Cleveland Browns (+2) over Indianapolis Colts

I actually believe in the Colts. Really, I do … but I also believe in the Browns. That is, of course, abjectly terrifying, but I don’t really see the justification for Indy laying points on the road here. Cleveland is probably more trendy than I would like, but I think it’s the right side.