2023 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 5

Making NFL picks and score predictions for Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season
NFL picks
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Carolina Panthers (0-4) @ Detroit Lions (3-1)

Sunday, October 8, 1:00 PM ET

Everyone was really excited to see the Detroit Lions this season after the way they finished the 2022-23 campaign. I was worried that too many in the media were overhyping the Lions and that they weren’t going to be able to match or even come close to expectations, but they have.

Not only did the Lions start off with a signature in on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, but they are currently 3-1 and sitting in first place in the NFC North. They are looking good both offensively and defensively, and substantially improved in the latter area.

Defensive improvement was essentially out of the gates for the Lions this season, as their defensive struggles for the first half of last season likely ended up being the difference between the team making the playoffs and watching them from home. 

Playing at home this week against the Carolina Panthers, the Lions have a chance to prove how good of a team they truly are. Good teams beat the bad ones, especially when they’re playing at home. Carolina has been bad this season, evidenced by their 0-4 record, but they’re going to be hungry to get that first win of the Frank Reich/Bryce Young era.

Detroit just has too many ways to beat you right now. Offensively, they can be dynamic as a passing team or running team. They have a strong defense. They have one of the best offensive lines in football. To me, I think the Lions are clearly the right choice for NFL picks here in this game, and oddsmakers agree. 

The oopening lines have the Lions at 8.5-point favorites to start the week.

Prediction: Lions win 31-19