NFL Line Watch Week 5

By: Art Aronson | Monday, October 2, 2017
NFL Helmet

Game to bet on now

Buffalo at Cincinnati (-3)

The first-place Buffalo Bills. OMG.  No, today is not Opposite Day.  The Bills are actually in first place in the AFC for the first time since, well, maybe George Bush - the FIRST George Bush.  Anyway, New England's continued defensive struggles have created at least a temporary opening for the Bills and their long-suffering fans, and right now they're taking full advantage.  Through four games Buffalo has given up the fewest points in the league (less than 14 a game), and back-to-back wins over quality teams (Denver, at Atlanta) has raised hopes sky-high in western New York.  With the Patriots on a short week and the Bills on the move, things could get very interesting in the division for the first time in a long time.

Game to wait on

Green Bay at Dallas (-2.5)

This line opened at Dallas -1 in some books but the consensus was -2.5, which led to Green Bay backers jumping in with both feet. It has the look and a feel of a game whose line could melt a bit.  There might be an air of desperation in Dallas (even moreso than usual) as the Cowboys are 2-2 and still trying to figure things out.  Certainly no one in the league had penciled in a home loss to the Rams when the schedule came out, but here we are.  The Boys need to get rolling and fast, but the next four-game bloc includes this one, road games to each coast (San Francisco, Washington) with a home game against a solid KC team mixed in.  Green Bay is relishing a few extra days off after demolishing the Bears last Thursday, with about a dozen players nursing various injuries. Might be worth waiting for the injury report before betting this one.

Total to watch

Carolina at Detroit (43.5)

Is Cam Newton finally out of the box, or was Sunday's 33-point burst just an example of another QB taking advantage of New England's league-worst defense? Newton's Panthers had scored just 22 points total in their previous two games (New Orleans, Buffalo) but got out of the sick bed fast against the porous Patriot D. Newton got the job done against NE despite two sacks, an interception and a fumble, which means the O still has some cleanup work to do. The Lions defense has been about average this season, so there should be plenty of opportunities for Carolina to put points on the board as it continues an October stretch of four road games in five weeks.

 

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