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NFL Upset Picks for Week 5 – Best Underdogs to Bet

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Oct 9, 2021 · 6:27 AM PDT

Zach Wilson running out of tunnel
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) runs onto the field to face the Tennessee Titans during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
  • Will the New York Jets pull off an upset for the second week in a row, this time against Atlanta overseas?
  • Can the Chicago Bears and this new-look offense keep pace with the Las Vegas Raiders?
  • Last week’s picks went a mere 1-2 but we still came out ahead 0.35 units, bringing our season total to +10.58 units (7-4 record)

The beauty of betting underdogs is that when that longshot comes in, your day is already made. The Jets cashed in for us last week, making it four straight winning outings.

We’re going to keep it rolling with Robert Saleh and company again, as one of only two upsets I like across a pretty tight  Week 5 NFL slate. Set your alarms for this one folks.

NFL Week 5 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons ATL -2.5 +128 Jets 1.5
Chicago Bears vs Las Vegas Raiders LV -5.5 +198 Bears 1.5

Odds taken Oct. 8 from FanDuel

Jets Start Streak Against Hopeless Falcons

We often end up betting a lot of the same teams across a season of picking upsets, but if you told me before the year that the Jets would appear in this column twice in the first five weeks, I wouldn’t believe it. Yet that’s the reality we live in as 1-3 Gang Green travels across the pond to face a 1-3 Atlanta Falcons team favored by 2.5 points.

Despite bringing in a new coaching staff this year, Atlanta showed they’re still committed to the Falcons’ calling card: blowing leads late. The Football Team rallied back against this Atlanta D that continues to toil amongst the league’s worst.

As we know, New York got their first win of the year, assuaging concerns about concerns about Zack Wilson’s development by lighting up a weak Titans secondary. With another poor unit on tap, Jets fans could see more plays like this from their new hope.

Arthur Smith hasn’t been able to reignite Atlanta’s offense yet: his only real accomplishment is making Cordarrelle Patterson a fantasy star. Playing behind a bad offensive line, Matt Ryan hasn’t looked to push the ball downfield to Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. Now, the Falcons blockers will need to stop a Jets front that had seven sacks and 14 hits against Smith’s previous offense last week.

On top of that, news broke Thursday that Calvin Ridley won’t be making the trip to London due to personal reasons, making life even more difficult for this Falcons offense. While that news makes me more confident in this pick, it also means a lot of the value this line offered at this start of the week is no longer there.

Bears Rattle Raiders

I realize trashing a team whilst fading them one week, only to turn around and pick them seven days later is a confusing look. But let me justify why backing the Bears as 5.5-point underdogs in Las Vegas this Sunday is not a completely ludicrous 180.

First, Matt Nagy took the criticism of his gameplan in Cleveland to heart, going so far as to ask offensive players for input on what they’d like to run (not sure why that’s not a consideration from Day 1). But the most notable change was Nagy once again turned play calling over to Bill Lazor, and with the calm-voiced OC guiding Justin Fields, the Bears offense had a strong outing against a weak Lions team.

Detroit still had their chances to win this game, but every time they got into the red zone, this ferocious Bears pass rush would make a big play. Chicago actually leads the NFL in sacks through four games, which won’t be welcome news to Derek Carr after the Chargers pass rush shook him up on Monday Night.

In Khalil Mack’s first revenge game against the Raiders, Jon Gruden did everything he could to limit the former fifth overall pick’s impact, by running away from him and constantly providing help. With the way Robert Quinn has been playing opposite Mack this season, Gruden can’t spend all this time focusing on stopping 52. If he does, the rest of this weakened Raiders offensive line could be in trouble.

The Bears will be without David Montgomery, which will be damaging over the long run, but Damien Williams is a solid replacement for this week. Against a Raiders secondary that was dealt a few injuries on Monday Night, Chicago just might be able to keep pace with Vegas in this one.


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