NFL Week 5 predictions: our picks against the spread
Giants at the Dallas Cowboys,4:25 p.m., Fox
Line: Cowboys -7 | Total: 52
The Cowboys (3-1) can stand out more from the rest of the NFC East with a win over the Giants (1-3). The historically bad defense of 2020 has transformed under first-year Dallas coordinator Dan Quinn, with his dismal passing defense saved by the league-leading five interceptions from cornerback Trevon Diggs, and the unit s’ is ranked sixth in rushing yards allowed per game (81).
Saquon Barkley, however, is the best runner the Dallas defense has seen, and he returned to form in an overtime win over the Saints in Week 4, when he totaled 126 yards and two touchdowns. Even more impressive, the Giants won without two of their top receivers, Sterling Shephard and Darius Slayton, who are still questionable with hamstring injuries.
Three of the last five clashes between these two division rivals have been decided by a score. The momentum is real, and while Dallas is the better team, the Giants could make it competitive. To take:Giants +7
Jets at Atlanta Falcons (sort of),9:30 a.m., NFL Network
Line: Falcons -3.5 | Total: 44
The NFL returns to London for the first time since the start of the pandemic with a clash that most Americans will sleep in or miss for a church service.
This early meeting between two teams 1-3 is more important for the positioning of the draft than anything else. Last week, the Jets narrowly won their first game against a disabled Titans team in overtime, fueled by the defense’s seven sacks. The unit could have another solid exit if they put pressure on Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ first pass attack. Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is still leading the league in interceptions (8), but he made a big developmental milestone in last week’s win. If he continues to deal with the ball, connects on a deep throw or two, and the defense plays well again, the Jets could start a streak. To take:Jets +3.5
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings,1 p.m., Fox
Line: Vikings -8 | Total: 49.5
It should be a rebound game for the Vikings (1-3), after another one-scoring loss to a playoff-caliber opponent. The Lions (0-4) have been competitive every game, but have made so many turnovers at key moments that they now seem inevitable. Kirk Cousins was beaten in a loss to the Browns last week, when he was sacked twice and hit 10 times. But the Lions don’t have Myles Garrett, and you can guess for sure that Jared Goff is going to grope or throw an interception giving the Vikings some extra possession. To take:Vikings -8