Jason La Canfora's NFL Week 5 picks: Dolphins cover vs. Jets, plus same-game parlay, player props, and more best bets
This is the time of year when we start to learn about these teams. Or at least really think we do.
Some trends are forming. A few will look more like fads a few weeks from now. But undoubtedly, some of the cream of the NFL crop is starting to rise. Teams will begin to separate more in the coming weeks. The rust of so many teams resting so many starters is starting to fade, and front offices are being challenged by the inevitable wave of injuries that are starting to take hold.
We have another international game, and soon enough the byes will be upon us. There is money in the air. Let's go get it.
Dolphins -3.5 at Jets
The Jets have lost 12 straight divisional games and in the two games they won this season, they trailed by double digits in both. That's a tall order to keep games close, especially in a situation like this with Miami on extended rest and New York's offensive line in tatters. Sure, Zach Wilson had a wild ride to comeback on the Steelers last week, but he's erratic and looked very much the part of a developmental QB in the first three quarters. I like Mike McDaniel to get the best of another former 49ers assistant, Robert Saleh, here. Teddy Bridgewater is 24-6 against the spread all time on the road, he has elite weapons and speed around him and this Jets defense hasn't been what I thought it would be up front. Has Miami been overvalued thus far? Perhaps. But the same goes for the Jets, too.
Cowboys +5 at Rams
The Rams are reeling. Their offensive line is brutal and they just got destroyed up front by the 49ers. And here come the Cowboys, another premier pass-rushing, high-pressure defense with hybrid pieces they can move around to exploit matchups. The Rams can't run the ball and they don't throw it effectively to anyone but Cooper Kupp; Dallas will bracket him. A week ago the Rams had to scrap their 11 personnel stuff (they only run it like 96% of the time) to get more backs and tight ends involved. I could very much see that happening again. Dallas leads the NFL at 16-5 against the spread since the start of last season and the stripped-down offense they are running for Cooper Rush makes a ton of sense (and will be even more effective with Dak Prescott if they stick with it). More Tony Pollard showing up in passing game and more 21-and-12 looks. They can play some bully ball here and keep this close, if not win outright.
49ers at Panthers Under 39
This should be quite ugly. San Francisco allows just 11.5 points per game and these two offenses score 16 per game. Baker Mayfield is playing poorly and Jimmy Garoppolo is still rusty. The 49ers are forcing punts almost 60% of the time. Carolina could only muster 16 points on the lowly Cardinals at home last week, and it took a defensive score to get there. The Under is 7-1 in the eight games these teams have played thus far. In fact I like this so much I'm going to use it twice (sorta) -- first half Under 19.5 points looks good, too. Carolina averages 5.5 points in the first half, the game scripts have been brutal, the execution has been brutal. The coach is going to be fired -- it's a matter of when, not if. The 49ers struggle to score 11 points in the first half of games.
Eagles -3 First Half Spread
No team dominates in the second quarter – therefore the second half – like Philadelphia. The Eagles have a plus-57 first-half scoring margin (no other team is above 40). Arizona has been outscored by 50 points in the first half (no other team is worse than -42). The Cardinals start games bumbling and unprepared. They don't do much until Kyler Murray finally starts to run around and play with his hair on fire late. The Philly defense is no joke, unlike many of the other teams Arizona has faced.
Titans to Win First Half
The Titans have gotten Derrick Henry going and expanded the play action game the last two weeks. And their early-game scripts have clicked. They have outscored opponents 48-20 in the first half in doing so. The Commanders have been outscored 58-7 in the first half in the last three weeks. Their pass defense stinks.
Teaser: Eagles +1/Packers -2
I see an Eagles team that can push around the Cardinals on both sides of the ball. And with the Giants QB situation and a weird week in London, Green Bay covers this number. Bailey Zappe running around on them was a wake-up call. They will sell out to contain Saquan Barkley and Aaron Rodgers got a good look at coordinator Wink Martindale's blitzes late last season when he faced Baltimore -- he threw two touchdowns and had a rating of 136.8 against that defense.
Same Game Parlay - 49ers at Panthers (+1000)
- Under 40.5 (alt total)
- Deebo Samuel Anytime TD
- Eddie Piniero Over 1.5 Field Goals
Player Props of the Week
Romeo Doubs TD (+155)
Aaron Rodgers knows he needs this kid to be a thing for him. He needs someone else besides Allen Lazard he can trust downfield. Martindale will try to take away Lazard, who ran TE routes out of 11 Personnel against him last year to great impact. The Giants have major issues stopping the run and play action will give them fits. Rodgers will feed Doubs, who has a knack for getting open in the end zone already. The drops give me tiny pause but there is good value here.
Joe Mixon Over 3.5 Receptions (-113)
No one in the NFL has more touches and uncaught targets than Mixon. He has had the greatest opportunity to impact the football game of any skill player. Baltimore has seen 40 passing attempts already to running backs against its struggling defense, which lacks linebackers with any coverage skills. They bleed yards after catches. Mixon is averaging six targets per game and on the road in prime time against a desperate opponent, Zac Taylor will continue with the stripped-down offensive approach favoring higher-percentage passes.
Ryan Tannehill Over 1.5 Passing TD (+159)
As mentioned, the Commanders give up a lot of passing TDs and their rushing defense has quietly improved quite a bit in the last two weeks. But play action will gut them and Tannehill has looked much better in recent weeks, so this is a nice potential payday.
Kareem Hunt TD (+155)
The Chargers can't stop the run and the Browns can do it like few others. The Chargers have allowed a fair amount of passing TDs – nine – and four of them have been to running backs. Hunt is a threat in the open field and he has 13 targets compared to eight for Chubb. Hunt had the two rushing TDs early in the season and I expect there to be a lot of offense in this game – I like the Over – which means lots of play and ample touches for Hunt.
Looking for the best picks against the spread, sharp plays on the total, and props you can take straight to the pay window? Join Jonathan Coachman on the Early Edge as he speaks with SportsLine's top handicappers to preview the day's biggest games. We promise to keep it short, sweet and to put some green in your pocket. Early Edge is in your feed every single day by 11 a.m. ET. Subscribe right here on YouTube to watch daily, plus don't miss the Early Edge specials and live shows!
GET VEGAS EXPERT PICKS FOR NFL, MLB, NBA, CBB, GOLF, NHL, HORSE RACING AND MORE - PLUS ADVANCED COMPUTER SIMULATIONS, WINNING TOOLS, AND MORE!JOIN NOW
Share This Story