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A clash between two of the NFL’s most storied teams highlights Week 5 of the NFL season. Covers checks in on the opening lines for a quartet of contests, with insights from Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu.
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-2.5)
Through the first four weeks of the season, Dallas still can’t seem to find the form it had during a 13-3 SU regular season in 2016. On Sunday, the Cowboys (2-2 SU and ATS) were in a dogfight throughout with the Los Angeles Rams and ultimately fell short 35-30 as a 5-point home favorite.
Green Bay got through the first month at 3-1 SU (2-2 ATS), with the only loss coming at defending NFC champion Atlanta. Last week in the Thursday nighter, the Packers bounced the Bears 35-14 as a 7.5-point chalk.
“This rivalry has renewed in great fashion the last few years, and this game will easily be our biggest handle of the season from a public perspective,” Cooley said of this 4:25 p.m. ET clash on Sunday. “Neither team is probably as good as perceived, and they are very close in our power ratings. Peg Dallas as a short favorite and see where the action takes it.”
New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4)
Much like Dallas, New England was dealt a stunning home loss in Week 4 and has now lost two of its three home games this season. The Patriots (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) tumbled to Carolina 33-30 as a 9-point fave, and now hit the road on a short week, playing in the Thursday night game.
Tampa Bay (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) got a Nick Folk 34-yard field goal as time expired to edge the New York Giants 25-23, but the Bucs fell a tick short of covering as 2.5-point chalk Sunday.
“We’re expecting this number to inflate with the Patriots coming off a loss. But it’s doubtful it will grow to -5, and unlikely it will drop below -4,” Cooley said. “Our team was pretty consistent on this number and it feels right. Squares will think this is a steal spread, backing the Pats.”
As Cooley predicted, the number did bump up a tick later Sunday night, to Patriots -4.5.
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (-6)
Philadelphia is looking solid through four weeks, having already posted a pair of road victories. On Sunday at San Diego, the Eagles (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) held on for a 26-24 win as a 2-point underdog.
Arizona (2-2 SU) hasn’t covered in any of its four games this season. The Cardinals needed overtime Sunday in an offensive slog against San Francisco, winning 18-15 laying 6 points at home.
“My best guess is that this will climb a bit on the favorite side,” Cooley said. “Arizona is just not a good team, while we’ve been quite impressed with the Eagles, particularly in their road victories against decent competition. Some of our oddsmakers wanted this at -7.”
By late Sunday night, it was already trending that way, with Bookmaker.eu moving the Eagles to -6.5.
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (no line)
Los Angeles is arguably one of the biggest surprises so far this season, getting out of the box 3-1 SU (2-2 ATS) while piling up a ton of points. The Rams went into Dallas on Sunday as a 5-point pup, but came away with a 35-30 victory, getting six field goals from Greg Zuerlein.
Seattle finally showed signs of life on offense in the second half of the Week 4 Sunday night game. The Seahawks (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) scored 36 points over the final two frames against Indianapolis, rolling to a 46-18 victory laying 12.5 points at home. With Seattle in the Sunday nighter, Bookmaker.eu is waiting until Monday to post the line on Seahawks-Rams.
“Depending on how the Sunday night game goes, we’ll likely open Seattle as short chalk on the road,” Cooley said. “The Rams have surprised most, and the Seahawks haven’t exactly impressed in the early goings (prior to Sunday). That said, the public won’t think twice about backing the ‘Hawks at a favorable number.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.