NFL Week 5, 2019: Best picks against the spread (ATS)

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Its been a rollercoaster season in the NFL, but one thing remains constant. Road teams always cover against the spread. NFL Week 5 will be no different. Your best picks ATS.

In Week 4 of the NFL season, road teams went 11-4 straight up. For the 2019 season, road teams are an amazing 40-22-1 thus far against the spread. Is this a quarter-season fluke of the schedule or something that is becoming a trend?

We have a hunch as to why road teams may be getting better ATS. As offenses become more efficient, they can function and succeed in any environment. Thus, home-field may not be as much of an advantage as it used to be.

And yet, Vegas still places points on the spread to represent the home-field advantage. If that benefit is lessened but the lines aren’t, road teams will continue to cover at a large rate. Last year, road teams finished 10 games over .500 collectively against the spread, and we are already 18 games over in 2019.

Or we’re just talking. In 2017, road teams were well under .500 as a group. We need more data to really know what’s up. But don’t expect NFL Week 5 to be different. Road teams getting points are must picks. These are your best picks against the spread. All lines come via Bovada.

Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, debate NFL Week 5 in today’s NFL Sports Debate.

2019 Record ATS

Dan Salem’s record ATS: 3-5
Todd Salem’s record ATS: 4-4

Todd Salem’s Best Picks ATS

Green Bay Packers +3.5 at Dallas Cowboys
Cleveland Browns +3.5 at San Francisco 49ers

I’m going with the 3.5-point road specials to test my hypothesis. In my mind, both Green Bay and Cleveland would be pick ’ems or even favored in neutral-site contests against their Week 5 opponents. There is too much benefit being given to the home teams, especially public teams like Dallas and San Francisco.

I like that Green Bay faced its first hiccup last week but saw a coming-out party for Aaron Rodgers and the passing offense. If the defense settles back in, this will be a formidable team the rest of the season.

As for Dallas, the Cowboys may not have been exposed in Week 4, but it opened everyone’s eyes to how truly terrible their schedule had been to that point. They faced the Eli Manning-led Giants, Washington, and Miami: arguably the three worst teams in the sport. Not coincidentally, those are nearly the three worst defenses in the game as well.

In the case of Cleveland, the Browns are trending in the right direction. It is easy to formulate a narrative in which the sky-high expectations overwhelmed everyone, especially Baker Mayfield, to start the season. Five weeks in, they are able to settle down and get their bearings. And San Francisco’s schedule to this point may only be beaten in terms of ease by the aforementioned Dallas slate. The 49ers could be ready for their first test and first bump in the road.

Dan Salem’s Best Picks ATS

Buffalo Bills +3 at Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos +6.5 at Los Angeles Chargers

I got burned last week by teams I thought were good. With a bit more evidence, I too am embracing the road teams this week and taking two teams getting points away from home. The key to this strategy is finding teams that are either winning or losing close. That epitomizes the Bills and Broncos.

Buffalo has been playing great football and lights-out defense. They likely beat New England if Josh Allen doesn’t get injured. I fully expect him to be at full strength and fully expect the Bills to remind us of who the Titans truly are. They might be pretty good, but Marcus Mariota will struggle against Buffalo’s defense. Getting points is just a bonus in this game.

dark. Next. 20 Bold Predictions for NFL Week 5

Denver has lost all but one game by fewer than ten points. They lost by eight points against Oakland, two points versus Chicago, eleven points against Green Bay, and two points versus Jacksonville. How close will they play the Chargers? Los Angeles looks more like Oakland and Jacksonville than potential playoff teams like Chicago and Green Bay. I expect another close game, so take the points. We’re getting quite a few.