NFL Week 5 picks, odds: Cowboys hold off Giants in shootout, Bengals scare Ravens and more spread winners – CBS Sports

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder in 2020, we now have ourselves an absolutely insane week that could feature multiple games played or not played for various reasons. There’s a virus that continues to spread across the country, and it could affect up to four different games for various reasons. And there’s a hurricane that could cause at least one game to be moved.

It’s wild out there in the NFL right now, and these are unprecedented times. But that won’t stop us from making picks every single week, so let’s get to the Week 5 selections.

What picks can you make with confidence in Week 5? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that is up over $7,300 on its top-rated picks.  

Tampa Bay (3-1) at Chicago (3-1)

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Buccaneers -3.5

I don’t like to make a habit of lazy journalism. Calling a team a fraudulent 3-0 club and calling for them to lose 24-3 and then nearly having it happen, though, kind of makes me want to double down and just fade the Bears in a BIG WAY here. If only for the mentions from Bears fans. This line has dropped like crazy, probably because of the injuries that the Bucs are dealing with on offense right now. I’m nothing if not true to my brand though. Bucs roll the Bears here and Tom Brady gets a very small measure of revenge against Nick Foles.

Pick: Buccaneers 24, Bears 3

Carolina (2-2) at Atlanta (0-4)

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Falcons -2

I fully understand why the Falcons are favored here. They’re at home, they’re desperate, they have a good offense (we’ve been told) and, uh, that’s it? The Panthers are just playing better football right now. Carolina’s defense has multiple rookies making major impacts and might just be better than what the Falcons are trotting out. We have to assume Julio Jones isn’t playing in this game. I don’t know if Calvin Ridley gets shut down like he did on Monday night in this matchup, but the Panthers will be able to match whatever Atlanta tosses up and then some. 

Pick: Panthers 31, Falcons 28

Jacksonville (2-2) at Houston (0-4)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Texans -6

This absolutely reeks of a classic Dead Cat Bounce Game for the Texans. You don’t fire your coach four weeks into the season without a layup on the other side. And when you fire your coach, everyone realizes they have a job on the line. They elevate their play — Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller might go nuts here against a very questionable Jaguars defense. David Johnson will want to prove himself as well. The Jags should get points — I like the Over a lot in this game because of how bad the teams are — but the Texans will be able to score at will here if they don’t run the same old horrible offense Bill O’Brien kept trotting out. I don’t think that will be the case, and I anticipate a monster game from Watson here. 

Pick: Texans 35, Jaguars 24

Arizona (2-2) at N.Y. Jets (0-4)

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Cardinals -7

This is pretty simple: You cannot bet on the Jets. Ever. They refuse to cover. They refuse to be competent. They might get Le’Veon Bell back, but they’re downgrading to Joe Flacco in the process. Arizona has looked very bad the last two weeks, and Kyler Murray’s deep-ball accuracy in Weeks 3 and 4 should be a huge concern. Kenyan Drake does not look like the dynamic rusher we saw last year. It is fair to have questions about the Cards, but New York is unbettable. 

Pick: Cardinals 28, Jets 14

Philadelphia (1-2-1) at Pittsburgh (3-0)

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Steelers -7

This is a giant line, and it’s easy to pick the Steelers here. The Eagles and the entire NFC East are terrible. I have some concerns about the matchup of Philly’s D-line against the Steelers O-line. And the Steelers had their schedule unnecessarily flipped on them with the Titans dealing with the COVID-19 situation. There’s a real opportunity for the Steelers to dink and dunk early, take some shots against a questionable secondary, score early and then force Carson Wentz to throw against a difficult secondary. If that game script gets flipped, the Eagles are a live ‘dog. If not, the Steelers should roll. 

Pick: Steelers 28, Eagles 14

Buffalo (4-0) at Tennessee (3-0)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: OFF

Who knows if this game is played. At the time of writing, who the hell knows. Some people are calling for the Titans’ season to be flat-out cancelled. That’s absurd. But the league does need to hammer Tennessee if it finds out the Titans flaunted protocols and potentially wrecked the season for multiple teams. I kind of want to take the Titans here in a “damn the man” kind of way as they continue to face major scrutiny from the league and everyone else over practicing outside the facility, but the Bills are just too good a team to fade and Tennessee’s defense is not good at all right now. 

Pick: Bills 31, Titans 14

Cincinnati (1-2-1) at Baltimore (3-1)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Ravens -13.5

Are the Bengals the best 1-2-1 team in NFL history? I kid, I kid. Kind of — Joe Burrow is freaking awesome. This kid is so ridiculously polished for a rookie quarterback (especially for one drafted in a pandemic!) on a team with a really bad offensive line. The Bengals probably aren’t going to win this game, but the Ravens are dealing with a Lamar Jackson injury, and I would expect we see a healthy dose of Robert Griffin III in the second half if Baltimore has a lead. Burrow loves the backdoor, so I’ll take the two touchdowns here and watch him stroll through late. 

Pick: Ravens 28, Bengals 21

L.A. Rams (2-2) at Washington (0-4)

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Rams -7

Are you ready for the KYLE ALLEN EXPERIENCE? Dwayne Haskins was benched this week by Ron Rivera, in a move clearly designed to send a message to the second-year quarterback, with Haskins not even relegated to a backup role but instead slotted as the third-string quarterback behind Alex Smith. Allen won his first four games with the Panthers last year and this same coaching staff, so it’s not impossible we see a shot in the arm from the undrafted free agent. He knows the offense, he’s willing to cut loose on some throws and there’s a Dudes Getting Fired/Put On Notice potential bounce (back?) for the Washington offense here.  

Pick: Rams 17, Washington 14

Las Vegas (2-2) at Kansas City (4-0)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Chiefs -13

Another game that’s absolutely a “maybe” on being played this week, thanks to COVID-19 concerns with both teams. The Raiders have had a positive test — and have been disciplined for attending a Darren Waller charity function without masks and while intermingling with fans — and the Chiefs just played the Patriots. The last time we saw Patrick Mahomes, he was getting an on-field hug from Stephon Gilmore, who has since tested positive for coronavirus. There’s plenty of reason to believe the NFL might postpone this game with all that’s going on. If it is played and everyone is healthy, I would expect the Chiefs to go wild here. Andy Reid dominates the Raiders against the spread, going 10-4 ATS since arriving in KC in 2013. The Chiefs are on a HEATER right now, going 11-1-1 in their last 13 games against the spread as well. 

Pick: Chiefs 42, Raiders 21

Miami (1-3) at San Francisco (2-2)

4:05 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: 49ers -9

The Dolphins aren’t a very good team, whether they put Tua in or just let Ryan Fitzpatrick play. They were always going to be a year or two away, despite the offseason hype leading into this year. But San Francisco is just banged up, man. Kyle Shanahan doesn’t seem inclined to crank up the offense and, depending on who plays quarterback for them, might not even have the option. I think he’d love to run the ball a ton and get away with a win here. Low-scoring affair with Miami finding a backdoor cover makes a lot of sense.

Pick: 49ers 24, Dolphins 17

N.Y. Giants (0-4) at Dallas (1-3)

4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Cowboys -9.5

The rare NFC East game on CBS! The Cowboys are a very, very, VERY desperate team at 1-3, with Jerry Jones already breathing down Mike McCarthy’s neck. But this game is a little different, since it’s the Jason Garrett Revenge Bowl. Garrett was fired by Dallas, replaced by McCarthy and then latched on in New York as the offensive coordinator for the G-Men. Who is more motivated here with the Garrett situation? Garrett obviously would LOVE to get revenge against Dallas for firing him by posting a huge game for Daniel Jones. But McCarthy better be motivated not to let Garrett beat him too. That would be very much not good. I think the Giants hang here, but the Cowboys will get a win. 

Pick: Cowboys 41, Giants 34

Indianapolis (3-1) at Cleveland (3-1)

4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Colts -1.5

It’s totally possible I’m a sucker here for chasing the Colts as road favorites against what is shaping up to be a good Browns team. Indy hasn’t played anyone worthwhile yet, but the Browns are really banged up in this spot. Nick Chubb is on IR and Kareem Hunt has been limited in practice. If they can’t run the way they want — and it will be more difficult against the Colts, by the way — then I think Indy can kind of flip the script and force this game onto Baker Mayfield’s arm. If that’s the case, the Colts should have no problem taking care of business on the road in a low-scoring affair between playoff contenders.

Pick: Colts 21, Browns 17

Denver (1-3) at New England (2-2)

4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: OFF

Another game with COVID complications and an uncertainty on if they will even play this matchup. For now, let’s assume the Pats are pretty substantial favorites, regardless of whether or not Cam Newton plays (if he plays, they’re probably 7- to 10-point favorites). I love New England here, with or without Gilmore playing (likely without). The Broncos will trot out either Drew Lock or Brett Rypien against a Bill Belichick defense when they’re on the road, and that could be a problem considering the struggles of young quarterbacks against Belichick over the years. The Pats should generate some turnovers, run the ball effectively and put Denver away here. 

Pick: Patriots 21, Broncos 10

Minnesota (1-3) at Seattle (4-0)

8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Point spread: Seahawks -7.5

After the last time these two teams played in Seattle in prime time with Kirk Cousins as a dog, I swore to myself I would never pick the Vikings in this spot again. So I’m not going to do that. Minnesota won’t open up the offense and Seattle will throw bombs. 

Pick: Seahawks 35, Vikings 24

L.A. Chargers (2-2) at New Orleans (2-2)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Point spread: Falcons -2

Not sure yet whether or not this game is going to be played in New Orleans or in Indianapolis (the Colts have offered to let the game happen there in the event Hurricane Delta becomes too much of a problem), but I don’t think it matters. The Saints are dynamite in October, riding a 13-game against the spread record in the month. They need this win to keep pace with the Buccaneers, and the Chargers will be trotting out a rookie quarterback against a defense with something to prove. 

Pick: Saints 34, Chargers 17