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NFL Week 5: Top underdog bets to take

The NFL season is rolling into the fifth week of the campaign, and we’re starting to understand which teams are good, and which are falling toward the bottom of the standings. With that in mind, let’s look at five games that are good bets on the underdog.

5. Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (+1)

This is the only home dog of the group. Detroit isn’t very good, evidenced by its 1-3 mark, but the Lions have a few advantages in this game. For starters, Detroit can’t stop the run, but the Packers don’t run well. Green Bay has the edge at quarterback, but Aaron Rodgers is currently playing on one leg and is at odds with head coach Mike McCarthy. On the surface, the Packers should win this game, but the underlying points say the Lions find a way at home.

4. Denver Broncos (+1) at New York Jets

The Jets are somehow favored in this game, a bit of news that sharps will jump all over as the week goes on. Denver isn’t great, but it’s a .500 team with some real players on both sides of the ball. For three quarters on Monday night, the Broncos were able to give Patrick Mahomes and the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs all kinds of problems. If they can do that against a top offense and quarterback, imagine what they can do against Sam Darnold and a cast of unknowns.

3. Minnesota Vikings (+3) at Philadelphia Eagles

Minnesota isn’t playing well, but the talent is there to get on a major run. The Vikings might have quietly turned a corner in last Thursday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, when Kirk Cousins went for more than 400 passing yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Eagles have simply looked terrible in all four of its games on the offensive end, with no quick fix in sight. Philadelphia needs to find itself, but that will be tough against a loaded Vikings team.

2. Washington Redskins (+6.5) at New Orleans Saints

The Redskins aren’t getting an ounce of respect here, and it doesn’t make sense. Washington will have had 15 days off bay the time it plays this game, coming off the bye week. Additionally, the defense has been very tough and Alex Smith is playing his typically solid football, helping the Redskins to a 2-1 record and first place in the NFC East. The Saints are the better team, but they’ve played middling ball to this point and the Redskins can keep it close.

1. Oakland Raiders (+5.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

Would this line be as large if the contest was in Oakland? Probably not. Now consider that Raiders fans will make up approximately 90 percent of the crowd at StubHub Center come Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles is the better team, but it always plays down to competition and the Raiders are good enough to make it close.

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