It feels like the NFL season is flying by as we already find ourselves at Week 5. We’re into the first bye week with four teams getting the early bye. Let’s take a look at the slate and highlight a few spots where I find value.
We’ll start overseas as the Bills will “host” the Jaguars at 9:30am EST at Tottenham Stadium in Lonon. How the Bills ended up losing a home game and elected to play a team spending two straight weeks in London is beyond me and creates a unique scheduling quirk we have not yet seen.
The Jaguars have an obvious advantage when it comes to adjustment to time difference and comfortability with their surroundings, yet how much do we value that in a football spread?
The pre-season lookahead line was -3.5 for Buffalo and opened -4.5 on Sunday. It was bet up to -6 before some buyback settled the line at Bills -5.5 where it is now.
Jacksonville has been very disappointing to start the season, particularly on offense, where they look out of sync. The Bills, however, rebounded from a difficult Week 1 game against the Jets, scoring 37+ points in each of their last 3 games, routing the Raiders, Commanders, and Dolphins.
My play in this one is going to be the under 48.5, which is available across the market. Although the Bills look every bit the part of an offensive juggernaut, I’m not going to be too quick to auto-bet their over this week.
As mentioned, this is an interesting scheduling spot for Buffalo where the Jaguars could find themselves with a preparedness advantage having been acclimated to London already.
Looking further into Jacksonville, I’ve been disappointed with their offensive output thus far as they rank just 17th in offensive DVOA. They are ranked 29th in the league in third down conversion rate and 23rd in points per drive.
The Jaguars seem to have all the skill position pieces to have a good offense and the offensive line hasn’t been a major liability. While I do think the Jags offense can get in sync throughout the season, this matchup against the Bills pass rush and their #1 ranked defensive DVOA unit might not be the spot.
On the other side of the ball, Jacksonville has been better than expected on defense, ranking 11th in defensive DVOA. The Bills offense runs best when Stefon Diggs can run all over the opposing corners, however, both Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams have graded highly in pass coverage, so the Bills may need to rely more on Gabe Davis and Trent Sheffield in this one.
Further, Josh Allen (Jags) has come alive for the pass rush and could give Josh Allen (Bills) a challenge coming off the edge. The Jags pressure could force the Bills into more 2 TE sets, which could keep Diggs out of the slot position, where he would have a more favorable matchup.
I don’t think this is a great spot for either team and while many are expecting two high powered offenses in London, I don’t think that this is the product we’ll get. I’m taking the under 48.5 for a 1.5% play on Sunday.
We’re going to make this one a simple handicap. The total at 44.5 is way too high. Joe Burrow is hurt, and it is the major contributor to the Bengals awful offense in 2023.
This has been discussed in the mainstream media enough but let me remind you that Joe Burrow is the worst ranked QB in the NFL by passer rating and he has the lowest YPA in the league.
From an EPA/play perspective he’s been worse than Bryce Young, Daniel Jones, and Desmond Ridder. We know Burrow is better than this but it’s just difficult to watch right now.
Yes, Arizona has been surprising as they were expected to be the worst team in the league. They had a fluke victory over the Dallas Cowboys, which was great for anyone playing survivor, but not very indicative of the Cardinals talent level.
This is a league-average/ slightly below average team. With Burrow’s complete inability to throw the ball down the field and the relative mediocrity of the Cardinals, I don’t see why we are getting 44.5 for this game.
Perhaps its name value alone but I’m happy to take the under 44.5 for 1% here.